A La Biche Au Bois (45 Avenue Ledru-Rollin)
This was our favorite dinner in Paris. All of the food was excellent (we did the prix-fixe option), and it’s all topped off with the most ridiculous cheese selection that comes out on a huge wheel. You will be in a serious food coma after your meal here! Make a reservation!
La Jacobine (59-61 Rue Saint-André des Arts)
Tucked away on a cute little street was this place, where we got all the French classics: escargot, French onion soup, and tagines. Everything was delicious. We just walked in and only had to wait about 20 minutes for a table.
Georges (Place Georges-Pompidou)
The reason to go here is for the view. I can’t say anything about the food and the drinks are overpriced because it’s a rooftop bar. But stomach those euros and go for a glass of champs—you will get a spectacular view of Paris. Go around to the back of the Centre Pompidou and go up the big escalators to the top. If you make a reservation you can ask to be in the outdoor part facing the Eiffel Tower. It’s worth it for a night cap!
Le Café du Marche (38 Rue Cler)
This was one of two places we went for breakfast on Rue Cler. It’s a very traditional little French café, where many people for all three meals in the day. Tip for little French cafes—you just walk up and sit down. Don’t wait for them to seat you! And sit inside if you don’t want to be near smokers.
Le Comptoir/L’Avant Comptoir (Francek, 9 Carrefour de l’Odéon)
Start at L’Avant—the entrance is next to the crepe window with the plastic-y curtains. The menu of small tapas hangs from the ceiling. Try a few (standing room only btw) before heading to the main event, Le Comptoir. There can be a line, you’ll see if it there is. Delicious food, even more delicious wine.
St. John Bread & Wine (94-96 Commercial St)
The focus of this restaurant is meat (aka the entire animal) and bread, per the title, and neither disappoint. The bread and butter to start, oh em gee, the BUTTER. Everything we had there was delicious, right down to our dessert Madeleines. It’s best to make a reservation but on weekdays it’s not too crowded.
Duck & Waffle (110 Bishopsgate)
This restaurant is located at the top of one of London’s tallest buildings, and has absolutely spectacular views of the city. It’s also open 24/7, so you can go literally for any meal or just drinks at any time of day. I recommend a sunrise breakfast.
The Corner Room (Town Hall Hotel, Patriot Square)
This is a cool little place tucked away in the Town Hall Hotel, serving a very fresh, six-course tasting menu or a la carte dishes. For the price you might as well do the tasting menu. Everything was very good. It reminded me of Contra in NYC.
Canela (33 Earlham St)
If you need somewhere to eat pre-theater, Canela is right in the center of it all and a great option. It’s Portuguese, and also serves brunch and lunch. I had a lovely glass of wine and a couple small plates there before a show, including the Portuguese custard tart (YUM).
Little Viet Kitchen (2 Chapel Market)
I’d read about this place on another blog and wanted to check it out as a break from pub food. It’s out in Islington, which is farther out but offers a taste of London beyond the populated main areas. The food is very good—and spicy! We both enjoyed noodle bowls (with and without broth).
Earl of Essex (25 Danbury St)
Also out in Islington, you won’t find Guinness at this pub! It’s actually all craft beer, which is really gaining steam over there. We hung out while waiting for a dinner reservation, and it had a good vibe. They have food as well.
Victoria Pub (10A Strathearn Place)
We happened on this pub while on our honeymoon, and it’s exactly what you think a cozy, neighborhood pub is like. Mostly locals were inside (we were bit embarrassed we didn’t know our way around the narrow bar gracefully) and it has a top floor with a second bar as well. We got fish and chips and a chicken pie, both of which were delicious.
The Orangery (Kensington Palace Palace Green)
The Orangery is a great deal for an afternoon tea. It’s cheaper than many other places, and you can wander the grounds of Kensington Palace before or after. The tea service is pretty standard, but it’s all solid food and you can get different levels of package depending on what you’d like.
Tom’s Kitchen (11 Westferry Circus, Canary Wharf)
There’s a couple Tom’s Kitchens around London, I went to the Canary Wharf one. I really liked the meal I had there, which is basically upscale British (like new American?) It’s a bit pricey, so I got a prix-fixe option there because it was more worth it.
Dishoom (7 Boundary Street)
There’s now multiple Dishooms around the city, we went to the Shoreditch location (aka the Brooklyn of London). Try and get there early, as a line forms quickly! They have a good strategy of whisking you in for a drink before seating you. The cocktails are delicious, as is all the food. The black daal was our favorite!
Gordon’s (47 Villiers St)
Gordon’s is the oldest wine bar in London—and looks it. Set mostly below ground in what is a wine cellar but looks like a dungeon, the wine list is extensive and it offers some snacks as well. Great for people-watching and enjoying a glass (or three).
E Pellicci (332 Bethnal Green Road)
I found this place on a Buzzfeed list of best fry-ups, and it lives up to its fame. The full English is delicious, and the staff is incredibly friendly and chatty. Mostly locals stop by, asking for their “usuals.” They serve Italian food during the day that’s supposed to be quite good as well.
Punjab (80 Neal St)
Punjab is the oldest North Indian restaurant in London, and this is where you get your fill of chicken tikka masala and curries. All the Indian food. It’s also not far from the theaters for a pre- or post-show meal.
Rivington (178 Greenwich High Road)
When you’ve popped over to visit the adorable streets of Greenwich, stop by the Rivington for a nice meal. It’s a solid pub, with an up and downstairs, serving most of the traditionals. I sat at the bar and got the stuffed game hen.
Roti Chai (3 Portman Mews S)
Roti Chai is upscale Indian, with upstairs part focusing on street food and the downstairs being the dining room. We went to the downstairs. The menu isn’t huge, but most of the options are very good.
The top of the Tate (Tate Modern, Bankside)
At the top of the Tate Modern museum, a restaurant offers a panoramic view of the city skyline. A friend got us the gift of a meal there because it was her favorite place, and we loved it as well. Make sure to ask them to seat you by the windows though when you make your reservation!
Tapas 24 (Carrer de la Diputació, 269)
This was our favorite tapas dinner in Barcelona. They don’t take reservations so you will likely wait in line outside. They also have very limited big tables. Tapas are scrawled on a board to choose from; we loved the rabbit ribs, tiny salted fish, truffle grilled cheese, and patatas bravas. It’s open 24 hours! In the Eixample area.
Bar del Pla (Carrer Montcada, 2)
We were going through a tapas extravaganza in the Born neighborhood and decided to try this place. We only had a few plates, but what we had was delicious! It was mostly locals and not super crowded.
Bar Boqueria (La Rambla, 91)
In the Boqueria market, we went to this bar in the back left for lunch. You have to wait for seats to open up at most of the food counters, same with this one. We got the traditional dish bacalao here, along with some other small tapas. It was a great place to stop in the busy market!
Roca Moo (Carrer Rosellón, 265)
Located in Hotel OMM, Roca Moo is the Barcelona outpost of the Roca brothers, of El Celler de Can Roca fame. Including the amuse bouche it was about 8 courses, and the portions were fairly sizeable for a tasting menu. We also got the wine pairing, which was excellent. If you’re looking for a splurge night out this was a great option.
Hofbrauhaus (Platzl 9)
The quintessential beer hall in Munich. While places like Augustiner or Hacker Pschorr will certainly have fewer tourists, just go here for a beer to get the experience! The beer is delicious (liters only) and the food is actually very good as well (get the cheese spaetzli!) Cash only.
Gasthaus Isarthor (Kanalstraße 2)
Away from the main hustle and bustle, this traditional German restaurant has all the staples, plus some unexpected and yummy items. One dish that stood out—the trout bathed in a butter sauce. You’ll find many locals here, and you can stop by for breakfast with many of them to get the traditional white sausage and pretzel. Cash only. No need for a reservation.
Broeding (Schulstraße 9)
Looking for a break from beer and pretzels? Look no further than fine dining at Broeding. Six to seven amazing courses for about 70-80 euros depending on how much you get and if you get wine pairings. But the real treat is the wine—so go for it if you can! The sommelier is incredibly knowledgeable and friendly. Must make a reservation.
Gasthaus Zwettler’s (Kaigasse 3)
Traditional Austrian food in a cozy, kitschy atmosphere. Among the delish dishes are schnitzel, a surprisingly good beef soup (get it with the pancakes), and river trout. A great place to get Salzburg’s specialty—nockerl. No need for a reservation.
Shrimps Bar and Restaurant (Steingasse 5)
On the trendy Steingasse street, this cocktail bar/restaurant is a great place to begin a night or eat at. Very well-priced drinks, and they have a wide variety of shrimp cocktails for snacks. It is smoky—so be aware if you have an extreme aversion to cigarette smoke.
Pepe Cocktail Bar (Steingasse 3)
Another cocktail bar along Steingasse that is Mexican themed. Don’t bother with the food, just get one of their strangely named cocktails. It’s a place to go for an interesting atmosphere!
Saitensprung (Steingasse 11)
More of a “dive” along Steingasse, carved out of the rocks so it looks like a cave. Smoky, mainly for beers or rail drinks, and more of an “alternative” feeling, but it’s a good stop late at night.
Mediterraneo (Sigmund-Haffner-Gasse 18)
Delicious little Italian café with fresh pastas and coffees. We discovered many of the Italian Salzburgers there. Definitely go for one of the pastas, which the man will make right in the kitchen next to you.
Café Tomaselli (Alter Markt 9)
Sit on one of the main restaurant’s two levels or across Alter Markt at its second space. I recommend the second level for excellent people watching! The main reason to go is for an afternoon coffee pick-me-up and one of the sweets from the giant tray of cakes and pastries. We enjoyed their apple strudel the best.
Reyna (Steingasse 3)
After a night on Steingasse, go here for late night. Delicious kebabs and schwarma!!