Mastering the art of traveling requires a lot of trial and error, practice and research: knowing where and how to book your ticket, your hotels and your tours, how to pack, how to stay flexible, and ***here comes my favorite part*** where to eat. Knowing where, what to consume and avoid is crucial for me while traveling: I am a foodie with a gluten intolerance and I utterly hate to be ripped off in touristy places a.k.a we-serve-expensive-average-food.
If you are what you eat, then I am someone who likes the new and the beautiful regardless of place, city, country, restaurant, food items, spices etc etc. In our little kitchen I always like to explore new recipes, and by always I honestly mean without any exaggeration every time: I barely remember cooking the same dinner twice and if I need to do so it is because the recipe was exquisite and I want to share it with our family and friends. I am not saying I am a great cook, all I am saying is that I am fearless when it comes to food making and most of the time my risks pay off. I am very lucky that Erwin is very similar in this matter because it makes our food adventures light-hearted especially when the appeal of the recipe is far better than the real taste of it. Unlike a lot of people, we consider cooking in our little kitchen our bonding and luxury time. Erwin and I are not home half the time, we live a rather nomadic life traveling from one place to another. This kind of lifestyle requires a lot of dining out in different cities. Sometimes we stick to local food places and other times we decide to venture into the multi ethnic influences of expats in these cities. Our curiouser and curiouser list of favorite restaurants is very long, so I will stick to our very best:
The Hague: Hanting cuisine (1 out of 1084 restaurants in the Hague)
Type of Cuisine: Asian, Chinese, Fusion. One Michelin Star.
We tried it for Erwin’s birthday a month ago. The food was mouth watering: we chose the 3 course surprise menu. The flavours and textures to each dish were fantastically blended and balanced . We are definitely coming back there.
Amsterdam: Geisha (236 out of 2839 restaurants in Amsterdam)
Type of Cuisine: Asian- Japanese- Fusion.
It is our absolute favorite in Amsterdam. From the duck pancakes to the lychee scroppino; I am irrevocably in love with this place.
Campo de Fiori (251 out of 2839 restaurants in Amsterdam)
Type of Cuisine: Italian.
We had our Valentine dinner there this year. The restaurant was cozy and romantic. The food was so authentically delicious that we got a taste of Italy in the middle of Amsterdam.
Manna (9 out 206 restaurants in Nijmegen)
Type of Cuisine:Seafood, Indonesian, Fusion, International cuisine.
We love it so much we decided to make our wedding reception there.
Bistro Flores (1 out of 206 restaurants in Nijmegen)
Type of Cuisine: French, Dutch, European food.
Not to repeat myself, I will refer you to my Giro d’Italia in Nijmegen post.
Izzi: (14 out of 206 restaurants in Nijmegen)
Type of Cuisine : Japanese, Sushi.
My second best sushi restaurant in the Netherlands after Geisha (mentioned above). The sushi was very fresh and the menu was very creative.
Plaats1 (38 out of 206 restaurants in Nijmegen)
Type of Cuisine: Dutch, European, International.
I absolutely love their outside setting and their scroppino. The price you pay for the high quality sophisticated food you get is surprising in a good way. Keep in mind that their portions are a bit small, which is a good thing because it gives you a chance to taste more than one delicious dish.
Stoom (45 out of 206 restaurants in Nijmegen)
Type of Cuisine: Dutch Brewery Bar.
A very relaxing chilled place to be in. The food is ok but the beers are excellent, the best I have ever had. They are definitely worth my gluten free cheating day. You can now buy those Oersoep beers at the supermarket Albert Heijn
Ede: Het Koetshuis: (4 out of 73 places in Ede)
Type of Cuisine: Dutch, French, International cuisine – One Michelin Star.
We had the 5 course menu and it was exquisite. The service, the attention, every tiny detail was Michelin Star worthy.
Dusseldorf: I already went through a few of my favorite restaurants in my Dusseldorf the catwalk of Germany but I will add to it three more.
Psst Bandidos: (95 out of 1385 restaurants in Dusseldorf).
Type of cuisine: Mexican
You get the feeling of Mexico in the decoration, the superstitious religious walls, the arrachera fajita and burger. Nothing says Mexican more than an arrachera meat. My favorite meat of all time.
Da Bruno: (57 out out of 1385 restaurants in Dusseldorf)
Type of Cuisine: Italian.
Typical Italian family restaurant. I chose to eat parma ham with watermelon while Erwin had his pizza ***Gluten alert*** He asked me if I wanted to try a tiny bit because the pizza is delicious ***temptation of Eve in the making*** so I did and I couldn’t stop eating from his pizza, gluten or not it was totally worth it!
Bosphorus: (3 out of 1385 restaurants in Düsseldorf)
Type of cuisine: Turkish.
***Spoiler alert***: It is not a Doner place. The lamb I ordered was filled with dates and walnuts, it was so tender and sweet. It was exquisite. I highly recommend you order item 71 of the menu!
Cologne: Beirut (17 out of 1819 restaurants in Cologne).
Type of cuisine: Lebanese.
Erwin and I found this restaurant on tripadvisor and decided to try it. I remember it was a cold night in Cologne and for some weird reasons the streets were very empty till we arrived to the Lebanese restaurant’s street. People were waiting outside in the cold to get in. The place was full and my lebanese pride was on the top of the roof. I had to pull some of my lebanese skills to get in and it worked. We got ourself a table in 15 minutes. The food was even better than what I usually even have in Lebanon and it was much cheaper.
Hamburg: Chacha(248 out of 2820):
Type of cuisine: Thai, Asian, street food restaurants.
I loved their combo appetizers platter specially the mango soup.
Prague: La Veranda: (20 out of 4441 restaurants in Prague)
Type of cuisine: Italian-French, Seafood.
Small cozy restaurants, it was one of the best lunches I have ever had. The smoked salmon risotto was so elegant. Erwin chose the fregola fish and seafood. He thought the seafood was the best he has ever had. We both didn’t want to leave any tiny bit on our plates. The price you pay for this fancy meal is very affordable. Great value for money.
Paris: La creperie de Josselin (561 out of 14,213 Places to Eat in Paris)
Type of cuisine: French-Crepe.
Recommended by my friend Rana, I went there and had the best french crepes ever. Thank you Chicca.
Note for gluten intolerant and allergic people: The galettes are usually made with buckwheat(Sarrasin in French). You can have as much as you want because they are gluten free. At least the dough is!
Versaille: Gordon Ramsay (3 out of 328 Restaurants in Versailles)
Type of cuisine: French, European, International . Two Michelin stars.
It was so good, Erwin proposed that night. And I said YES!
Nazare: Rosa dos ventos (2 out de 99 Restaurants Nazare).
Type of cuisine: Seafood, Portuguese.
The fish! Have the fish, it was the best I have ever had! Thank God for our guide Jose Pedro Carrilho who took us there. I recommend you book your tours with him out of Lisbon. We had such a great time, thank you Jose.
Krakow: Cafe Camelot (30 out of 1161 places to eat in Krakow)
Type of Cuisine: Italian, Polish Cafe.
The place itself was interesting because of its architectural character and historical ruins. We went there for breakfast and it was one of the best breakfasts we have had. The plates were very generous, and the omelettes and juices were very fresh and delicious.
Nine Kitchen Sushi & Asia (119 out of 1074 restaurants in Krakow).
Type of Cuisine: Asian, Japanese, Sushi.
It was the first time I tried the plum wine and I loved it! The sushi was surprisingly so good and fresh. If you decide to go there do order their sushi .
Padre (8 out of 1074 restaurants in Krakow).
Type of Cuisine: Italian- Polish.
Located in the basement of a 500 year old church, the very romantic restaurant has a modern contemporary twist. The location is away from the busy crowds. The food was appetizing and the staff was very friendly.
Barcelona: Pura Vida (56 out of 7351 restaurants in Spain)
Type of Cuisine: Latin bar, Tapas, South American, Spanish.
The Latin American tapas were so good, I had to intrude with a couple who was confused on what to order and recommended them the best tapas I have ever had. Definitely choose the South American tapas please!
Bruges: Park Restaurant (1 out of 575 restaurants in Bruges).
Type of Cuisine: French, Belgium, European.
Erwin took me to Bruges for my birthday and booked this restaurant for dinner. I didn’t know where we were going or what I should be expecting, so I was happily surprised by the upper class service and exquisite cuisine. Best birthday ever, thank you darling!
Antwerp: De Bomma (34 out of 1063 restaurants in Antwerp)
Type of cuisine: Belgian, European, French, Dutch.
When Mireille came to visit us, we decided to make a small weekend in Belgium. We didn’t have mussels in Brussels but we had them in this cute restaurant in Antwerp and they were fantastic! We didn’t try anything else, so I can only recommend those delicious mussels.
London: Chaopraya Eat Thai (2435 out of 17092 restaurants in London)
Type of Cuisine: Asian, Thai
The location of the restaurant is right on Oxford street in St Christopher Place. Very cute restaurant, very nice and attentive service. The food was authentic Thai and very delicious from appetizers to main dishes. We loved it!
La famiglia (2,121 out of 17,092 Restaurants in London)
Type of Cuisine: Italian.
Wonderful traditional Italian dishes in the Chelsea area off the Kings road. It was a such a delightful lunch. I went there almost 3 years ago and I still remember how good it was. Thank you Charles and Gail for inviting us there.
Lake district: The Signature restaurant at the Wordsworth (12 out of 27 restaurants in Grasmere)
Type of Cuisine: British, European
We stayed two nights at the hotel for New Year’s eve in 2013. We had dinner once at the Signature restaurant(the night before the New Year’s eve) and they had a wine pairing dinner on that night. Among the wine selection which was fantastic, was an excellent Lebanese wine Massaya Gold. The food was top notch, I loved it all of it. I heard recently that the hotel was sold. I hope the new management keeps up with the great work of the previous owners.
Santiago: Bocanariz(3 out 3707 restaurants in Santiago)
Type of cuisine: Wine bar, Seafood, Chilean.
Chile is one of those iconic worldwine wine producers and if you are planing to visit my Mother’s land, then you should keep in mind the impeccable Chilean wine. Our meal at Bocanariz was one the best food experiences I have ever had. The food and wine pairing was done to perfection. The food was fantastic, the salmon tartare I chose was exquisite, best I have ever had. The wine list was exhaustive: they had 300 different Chilean wines to choose from (including 30 by the glass). The wine we fell irrevocably in love with was a Pinot Noir Maycas del Limari. I was so happy when Erwin was able to find it at Albert Heijn. Thank you baby! And thank you Tia Luz Amada and the whole family for inviting us there.
Punta del este: Napoleon (26 out 182 in Restaurants in Punta del Este)
Type of Cuisine: South American, Seafood, International .
It is not a refined dining restaurant, but the food was still very delicious and generous. So was the Cleriquot. Despite some bad reviews, I do recommend it.
Dubai: Toro toro (100 out of 8,608 Restaurants in Dubai)
Type of cuisine: South American, Latin, Spanish.
Every time I am in Dubai that’s the place I go to. I love their drinks and their bar and recently I tried their tapas and I love it. I highly recommend their piscos drinks, they are my absolute favorite cocktails.
Teatro (299 out of 8,608 restaurants in Dubai)
Type of Cuisine: Japanese, Asian, Seafood, Sushi.
I believe it is one of the best restaurants in Dubai. The service, the multi ethnic creative dishes are absolutely amazing. Pat, the manager, runs a great restaurant. I have never seen a manager that devoted: she makes you feel as if you are a special guest at her own house. And that my friend is priceless.
Do keep in mind that we haven’t tried all the restaurants in the cities I have mentioned above, and I pretty sure that there are many others great ones waiting for us to explore. I am very curious to hear about those we haven’t try. It is your turn now, so you tell me! Which are your favorites restaurants around the Globe and why?