Wanderlust's travel experts reveal their favourite restaurants around the world, including a vegan junk food bar in Amsterdam, a beach shack in the Caribbean and rustic seafood cantina in Italy...
Vegans, rejoice. This neon palace in three locations across the capital of the Netherlands is heaven on earth. Expect towering plant-based burgers and delicious milkshakes.
The loaded fries – types vary by venue – are topped with vegan cheese, spring onions, creamy mayo and are basically the best things I’ve ever eaten. Dairy or no dairy.
My fave of the three venues is on Marie Heinekenplein, a 15 minute walk from the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum. It’s close by to core tourist attractions, but pleasantly crowd-free mid-week. Keeping my fingers crossed that VJFB comes to London, soon.
More information at the Vegan Junk Food Bar website.
Hidden at the end of a dusty farm track on the outskirts of Baie-Saint-Paul sits a delightful gastronomic treat.
Faux Bergers, a combination cheese shop and restaurant, serves a fine-dining menu that capitalises on local ingredients creating dishes that are a delight to the eye and a punch to the palette.
Chef Émile Tremblay leaves the kitchen to introduce each dish, describing its local ingredients and the cooking techniques. For an extra special treat, choose the paired wines.
More information at the Faux Bergers website.
The best steak I’ve ever eaten and great wine, too. Plus as a little tip, if you get there before your table is ready, you get Prosecco and empanadas free of charge whilst you wait.
The service is excellent and the restaurant itself has a great ambience, as well as an open kitchen, so you can watch your steak being cooked to perfection.
I would suggest booking a table. It’s in the Palermo district, which is a very nice part of the city.
More information at the Parilla Don Julio website.
Based in Languedoc-Rousillon – or as it’s now called, Occitanie after the merger of two regions – this is a real treat of a restaurant.
Owned by Isa and Vincent Bedos, who are great fun and hugely welcoming (she is a former actress from Paris), the restaurant is in a small village, with tables outside and live music in the summer on Friday evenings.
Food is a cut above normal brasserie fare and all cooked on their wood burning grill. Our favourite dishes are their parmentier de confit de carnard (duck shepherds pie to you and I) and their signature Steak Rossini (seared foie gras on a fillet steak!).
The local wine list is excellent, with our favourite wines from Virgile Jolie included, who is based right opposite the restaurant.
More information at the Le Pressoir Facebook page.
If your USA adventures takes you through Providence, Rhode Island, be sure to make a pit stop at Harry’s Bar & Burger.
Located on Main Street, this casual burger joint may not look like much from the outside but, quite frankly, it serves up some of the best sliders in town!
A favourite haunt for Providence townies and Browns University students alike, expect a lively atmosphere as you pull up a bar stool and place your order.
We suggest anything boasting fried onion strings on the menu, and the M.O.A.B. (Mother of All Burgers) comes highly recommended!
Suitably refuelled for your exploration around town, don’t forget to leave a chalkboard message to other patrons on the blackboard panelled corridor as you exit.
More information at the Harry's Burger Bar website.
Everything at La Recyclerie is ethically sourced and sustainable, including the food. The vibe is very, very cool - it's all set inside a former railway station.
Bouillon Pigalle, the restaurant inside, serves amazing authentic French food. There’s always a queue, but as 90% of those of those queuing are French, you know the food is good!
More information at the La Recyclerie website.
Set in a thatched manor house old manor house in the middle of a citrus orchard, this beautifully decorated restaurant serves contemporary European food with an African flair. The food is to die for and the service is impeccable.
Try the farm breakfast with fillet skewers if you’re heading there in the morning, but don’t fill up as you’ll get served warm scones at the end. This is my favourite place to eat!
More information at the Silver Orange Bistro website.
As Tuscan towns go, the port city of Livorno is a bit rough and ready. Founded by the Venetians and populated by pirates, outcasts and miscreants, Livorno is lively, unpretentious and good value – just like Cantina Senese.
Popular with both harbour workers and locals, this no-frills restaurant is always busy, but the waiters will quickly find you a spot on one of the long wooden table.
Seafood is your best bet – both the mussels and squid ink risotto are superb – and on Fridays you get the chance to order cacciucco, a local mixed seafood stew made from what ever was left at the fish market, made following a recipe as old as the city itself.
More information at the Cantina Senese website.
Why is it called Soggy Dollar Bar? Well, you and your money inevitably get soaked climbing out of the boat and onto the beach. Worth it, to reach the home to the original Painkiller cocktail.
The bar is set on Jost Van Dyke, an island that is small and walkable, with trails and sugar mill ruins, but I've mainly just been tipsy, staring out across paradise.
More information at the Soggy Dollar Bar website.
This charming pastry shop is a must-visit if you’re in San Francisco. The pastel-coloured store looks good enough to eat, but step inside and there’ll be lots more to tempt you.
I recommend the Tomboy – bittersweet chocolate cake with meringue buttercream. It’s the best cake I’ve ever tasted.
More information at the Miette website.
One thing hits every visitor to Hanoi Bike Shop with the force of a full-on Scottish gale.
Not the fact that this Glasgow institution is festooned with bicycle parts. Not the sense of relief at finding this Vietnamese restaurant at the end of a dark side street off Byres Road. Not the eclectic mix of street food, pho and their own home-made organic tofu.
It’s the smell of fish sauce so strong that it causes your eyes to water your knees to go weak.
After a moment of acclimatisation, while tastebuds relocate south of the DMZ, has occurred, Hanoi Bike Shop weaves its magic with a menu rich in authentic flavours and rare treats.
More information at the Hanoi Bike Shop website.
Makiyaki is a Japanese/sushi place near South Wimbledon. We’d lived a few metres away from it for about a year, never noticing it.
From the outside it doesn’t look like much it’s quite dark and always looked like it was close. The chef also parks right in front, which doesn’t help.
After some random Google browsing we found out it was quite well rated and decided to give it a go. We were amazed!
The fish is super fresh, there is a counter where you can see the chefs cooking, the portions are super generous and everything’s so tasty. Definitely our best sushi experience.
Since taking the plunge, we have been back many times, with friends, too. Friends came back for it too, travelling all the way to SW London just to visit it. I’d recommend the Dynamite maki, salmon and tuna served with a spicy sauce.
More information at the Makiyaki website.
The NGO ‘training’ restaurant serves up exquisite South-East Asian favourites as well as fusion dishes prepared by Cambodian street youths and other marginalised groups.
It’s here the young people train as chefs, in a social enterprising scheme run by the TREE Alliance.
The seafood laksa is the restaurant’s speciality, and the black sticky rice and coconut sundae is unlike anything you will have tasted before.
Wash it down with a frozen lychee, Chinese pear and lemongrass daiquiri.
More information at the Friends the Restaurant website.
Chef Delven Adams lived and worked in the US until coming back and turning a hobby into Georgetown’s hippest and most magical restaurant that really is in his small but atmospheric backyard. You have to pre-book, and there is no menu - rather you discuss what you like and what might be available with Delven.
While you can just have a meal, for the full experience I recommend taking a market tour with Delven first, shopping for fresh fish, sampling fruit along the way, sipping on fresh coconut milk, and meeting many of the local characters. Then enjoy the freshly cooked results of the shopping expedition, savouring beautiful dishes, scattered with herbs and crammed with flavour.
More information at the Backyard Café website.
Looking out across a long stretch of white sand on the Baltic Sea, 36 Line Grill Restaurant is arguably the best restaurant in Jūrmala, the seaside town close to Riga.
It offers fine dining at affordable Latvian prices, with every dish immaculately conceived, sourced locally and beautifully presented.
The dining environment is casual and chic, but not too casual. A sign insists bathers dress appropriately if they are popping in from the beach.
If the weather is good, get a table in outdoor dining area, surrounded by glass. You’re protected from the fickle Latvian elements, while still feeling at one with the magical view before you.
More information at the 36.Line website.
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