I love food, I always have, and nothing makes me happier than finding a true gem when traveling. Over the years I’ve assembled this list of our favorite restaurants around the world. I’ve kept obsessive lists of restaurants in cities we’ve lived in or visited often. I’ve quizzed co-workers and friends. Sometimes we’ve just stumbled into a place that became a new favorite.
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The Best Restaurant in the World
According to the World’s Best Restaurant Awards Mirazur, on the French Riviera is the Best Restaurant in the World for 2019. You can read the review. I haven’t been, but it looks stunning. And expensive.
The Most Popular Restaurant in the World
This honor for 2019 goes to TRB Hutong in Bejing according to the Trip Advisor Traveler’s Choice Awards. This restaurant serving European cuisine is located in the courtyard of a historic temple. They say “finding us is part of the experience”. Sounds intriguing. You can check out the other places that made the list. Have you tried any of these? Let us know in the comments!
What makes a great restaurant?
We aren’t looking for the priciest, fanciest places. We aren’t judging by Michelin Stars. We look for places that we will talk about long after the meal is over. They may be simple, or more trendy. To be one of our favorites they need to be consistent every time we go. And hopefully, the cost is in line with the value.
Of course, 2020 made everything complicated, and my favorite restaurants in Paris seem to have closed. Clearly, we’ll need to head back and explore some more! Nevertheless, here is our list of current (and as of early 2021, still in business) favorite restaurants around the world, in no particular order. I’d love to hear your favorites as well!
Our Favorite Restaurants Around the World
Some of our favorites are quiet, date-night, tasting menu places, and some are more family-friendly. Below are a few of our favorite restaurants around the world. Add these to your bucket list!
1. Ard Bia at Nimmos, Galway, Ireland
This was our favorite dinner in Ireland. Cozy, unique, and delicious. We loved their homemade marmalade so much that W still talks about it. W had beetroot empanadas with hummus, I had something with beans and artichokes. There were lots of meat options as well, but it was a delight that there were no french fries on the menu!
We had a delicious chocolate pudding with whiskey ice cream for dessert. Good espresso. Good wine list. A bit of an eclectic farmhouse vibe. We loved Galway, in part because of this restaurant. We can’t wait to go back. I would not consider this restaurant family friendly unless your kids are quiet and patient through a long meal. Midrange prices.
2. Dinosaur BBQ, New York City
Dinosaur BBQ is loud, delicious, and always a good time. Make a reservation if you’d rather not spend an hour at the bar waiting for your table. They always have a great, ever-changing selection of beer on tap. A great place to take kids- not only will everyone find plenty to eat, but the background din makes everyone comfortable.
The year S was born, we celebrated Thanksgiving with take-out from Dinosaur BBQ while our newborn dozed by our side. This restaurants feels like home to us. They have several locations, we have always gone to Harlem. There is some outdoor seating, where dogs are welcome. Not expensive (at least by NYC standards).
700 W 125th St, Harlem, NY 10027
3. Dill, Reykjavik, Iceland
Book well in advance for this one, it is divine. It’s also Iceland’s only Michelin-starred restaurant. We did one wine pairing with our meal, as I was pregnant at the time. They were very helpful in making sure I could eat everything presented (no raw fish for example).
There is only “chef’s choice” with or without the wine pairing. Go for it. This is a meal you will savor and talk about for years. Using only native ingredients, it was fresh, light, and scrumptious. Costs approx. $100 USD/person before taxes etc.
In Reykjavik? Check out 10 Amazing Things to do in Iceland with Kids!
Laugavegur 59, second floor
4. ABC Cocina, New York City
ABC Cocina is the restaurant we choose when we want a favorite that never disappoints. It won’t break the bank, it’s not one of those “once in a lifetime” places, but it’s delicious and inventive. This is a great place for meeting a friend for lunch and sangria, or for a romantic date night. There are tables on the sidewalk and an interior with dim lighting and tons of atmosphere.
Just North of Union Square, it’s attached to ABC Carpet & Home. Latin-inspired, it’s a Jean-Georges eatery, if you follow those things. They have excellent cocktails, and an ever-changing menu. Save room for dessert, it’s worth it.
38 E 19th street, New York, NY 10003
So What’s Next?
As travel restrictions lift, we’re going to get back on the road, starting with an epic 60+ day cross-country family road trip. I’ve got my eye on this list of The 50 Hottest Restaurants in America 2020. We’ll try to dine at a few along the way and see if they make our list.
There you have it!
We hope to add more restaurants to our list of Favorite Restaurants in the World as we continue to explore. We’d love to hear about a few of your favorite restaurants around the world!
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