Our 10 Favorite Restaurants In The World | Top Food & Drank
Over the past few years, we've been fortunate enough to do some traveling. During our time in North America, Asia, Europe -- and now South America -- we've found some pretty awesome dining spots along the way!
These are our 10 favorite restaurants in the entire world. Check back from time to time; this list is subject to change as we continue our travels.
Man, Central really hits the mark as the #4 best restaurant in the world. Everything from the atmosphere to the decor and of course, the food, was so amazing. It actually brought a tear to my eye. To read more about our experience at Central, check out the first entry in our 'Yo Dat Shit Was Dope!' series.
Central is relatively cheap for this caliber of food. However, it'll still cost you $$$$
Manhattan, New York
We went into Sushi Yasuda as normal people, and came out as fiends. Honestly, this was the best sushi that we've ever eaten. Every single dish we had was perfectly prepared and featured flavors that we hadn't experienced before up until that point.
This place is incredibly popular and with good reason. The atmosphere was very casual and conducive to the eating experience. There isn't much fan-fare when you're here. The main focus in the food. If you want to read more about our experience at Sushi Yasuda, check out our 'Yo Dat Shit Was Dope!' recap.
Omakasay what? You better bring the Benjamins, cuz this place is $$$-$$$$!
Just a few blocks from the Barceloneta metro stop, Cal Pep is one of the most popular restaurants in the area. On any given day, you'll want to arrive about 30 minutes before they open (to line up). If you show up right as doors open, be ready to wait up to an hour and a half (although, you can order a few limón cervezas to help pass the time).
The restaurant is made up of a narrow bar area in front, and a quieter seating area in the back. Guess where we sat though? The bar is definitely where you want to be. The atmosphere at Cal Pep is lively to say the least. Perfect strangers will converse with each other about their meals or, with the wait staff, who are incredibly engaging. Ask the Filipino bartender where he comes from, and you're sure to get a hilarious response.
The star of the Cal Pep is the food. We didn't see a menu the entire time we were there. You simply tell your server what kinds of food you like (meat, seafood, vegetarian, etc.), and whether you have food allergies; they take care of the rest -- designing you a menu of 4 to 5 dishes to suit your tastes. You'll also want to take note of what the people around you are ordering, in case you want to try something different.
We had the grilled razor clams, little neck clams in butter sauce, Spanish omelette, Octopus tentacle with sliced potato and baby squids with chickpeas in shrimp paste. Each dish was the best of that type of food that we ever had. The descriptions don't really do it justice so check out some photos here.
Prepare to spend $$-$$$ depending on how many dishes catch your fancy.
We stumbled upon La Cantina while looking for a place to get away from the crowd. The restaurant is located along a busy strip of Venice life.
Once we sat down, we realized that we had found one of the most unique spots on the island. Their menu, focusing on fresh seafood, was a nice change from the many pasta, sandwich and gelato-themed spots along the way.
You will find a big variety of seafood cooked any way you like (steamed, fried, grilled, etc.). However, we opted to order anything that was served on a stick (pictured below). We ended up staying for almost an hour, eating, drinking wine and watching the foot traffic pass us by.
When you go, be sure to try the scampi on a stick. This raw prawn (might have been steamed, too drunk to know for sure) had a surprising amount of meat on it and was a rich, juicy texture.
Depending on how long you spend people-watching, expect to spend $-$$$.
Bar la Plata
This may have been our favorite spot during our European honeymoon. Bar la Plata is a hole-in-the-wall joint in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona (just a stone's throw from Cal Pep). It's in the back of an alleyway, which keeps it relatively less packed than some other main street businesses. However, true OGs will make their way over.
It appears that the purveyors on this fine establishment were a father and son duo; although, they may have no relation at all. The service was quick and friendly the entire time we were there. When ordering a vino, you'll be delighted as Dad (?) pours it dangerously high from a barrel. The drinks are cheap, so keep 'em flowing.
There are 6 items on the menu, but the real reason that you're hear is the Pescadito Frito (small deep-fried fragrant fish). These things have a light crispy battering, juicy inside and are exploding with flavor. We polished off a plate and came back an hour later for another. This place does them better than anywhere we tried.
The dining room is pretty small, but you can sit at one of the tables outside or just lurk around the alleyway, knocking back plates of pescadito.
You can feel free to stop here multiple times a a day because it's only $.
Kaiki Sushi & Teppenyaki
Tsim Sa Tsui, Hong Kong
Looka the flicka da wrist! This restaurant is located in a top floor of The One Building in TST, Hong Kong. In the dining room, you get a great view of the harbor and Hong Kong Island. However, you won’t want to be in there. The dining experience at Kaika involves sitting at the bar in the back and watching the sushi chef prepare each piece of sushi in front of your eyes. Did I say sushi? I meant nigari and sashimi. The fresh Hong Kong seafood is the star of this show, so you won’t find much rice here. You can go next door to the café for that.
Your experience starts out with some soup and a light salad to prepare your pallet. From then on, you are fed the perfect cuts of seafood piece by piece. They start off with some more normalized fare such as salmon, yellow tail and tuna. Then, it gets more mollusk-y as we work our way through surf clam, scallop and eventually, uni. All of the seafood was amazingly fresh. That’s the benefit of being an island, right? Watching the chef make each piece allowed for great pacing and entertainment while we dined. We ate our way through about 10 pieces by the time we finished. It was enough for a light lunch.
Overall, Kaiki is a cool little spot in a great location. Surprisingly, it was only $$ for our experience. Definitely budget-friendly.
Nellcôte is a cool little spot near the West Loop that you should make reservations for a few weeks out. We stopped here on a Saturday evening, during a slight reprieve from the North Coast Music Festival. We had already fested for a solid 1.5 days, so we were in need of some high quality fuel. That’s exactly what we found here.
We arrived just in time for our reservation. However, the place was bumpin’, so our table wasn’t ready. We were told to wait a few moments. We sat down to soak in the atmosphere and before long, the hostess arrived to offer us 2 glasses of champagne while we waited. This was a very nice, personable touch. Plus, it gave us a little buzz, which is always good.
After about 15 minutes, we were seated. We were located right near the middle of the dining area. It was packed, but still felt pretty intimate due to the layout of the place. The room was dim with faint chandelier light illuminating all of the glass and decorations around. It felt very fancy. We ordered a few more drinks because it was quite a lively evening. The crowd was pretty yuppie and everyone seemed to be having a good time.
We ordered a sampling of dishes (it’s a tapas restaurant) – some recommended by our waitress, and some that looked intriguing on the menu. The dishes are European-inspired with a hint of American sensibilities. The menu is ever-changing so it’s hard to make recommendations. However, you must have the roasted pears for dessert if they have it. Perfect way to end the meal.
Overall, Nellcôte is a very fun and classy place to enjoy a drink and a bite. Make sure you got some Benjamin’s on you because it’s $$-$$$$.
This meal took place during my last vacation before starting my career path. We headed up to Toronto for a few days with my Dad and Stepmom. We met up with some family friends and they suggested we try to the roast pig at Peaktop. I grew up on roasted pork, so I said sure thing. I expected some tasty food, but wasn’t prepared for this.
This restaurant was quite elegant and stood out against the average shopping plaza it inhabited. We got the usual Chinese restaurant treatment – seated at a big round table with a lazy Susan in the middle. The hot tea came out right away as the waiter spoke with our family friend. He asked for the roast pig special. I expected them to trim an order off a pig handing from the window, as I was accustomed. When the dish finally came out, it arrived on a rolling cart. That’s because it was an entire pig, head to tail. It wasn’t a full grown hog, but it was still a good 20+ lbs. This thing was probably the size of my torso.
The prep work was done table-side. They trimmed the crispy skin off the pig and put it on a dish for us to eat. And by eat I mean consume with reckless abandon. While this was going down, they brought the pig back to the kitchen to carve. It came back out shortly, in a more accessible fashion. We tried our best to finish everything, but it was just so much hog. There was a little bit left that we could snack on later. I think they packaged it up for us, but I can’t remember on account of blacking out into a food coma.
Overall, this was the best roast pig experience I’ve ever had. Make sure it’s a family friend taking you here because it’s $$$-$$$$.
If you’ve never had Dou Hua (which translates to “tofu flower” in Chinese), then please allow me to explain. Dou Hua consists of slices of soft tofu bathed in a simple syrup. You can also add whatever toppings you want to it for extra flavor and texture. The tofu and syrup base is very smooth and if done right, very subtly sweet. The optional toppings are usually pieces of fruit or red bean paste.
We stopped into this dessert café after a spicy hotpot. This turned out to be exactly what we needed. The tofu was soothing to our inflamed taste buds. The syrup was light and provided the right amount of sweet. The fruit and red bean past added some substance to the dessert, making it a substantial serving. The inside of the café is very small and eclectic. There was seating for maybe 15 people inside, and a courtyard area outside for when it’s nice out (i.e. you’re not soaked through with humidity sweat). The walls are signed by what I can only imagine are visiting celebrities. It’s also situated in an alleyway full of cafes and restaurant; very cool eclectic vibe.
Overall, 騷豆花 is a good place for an after spicy hotpot dessert. Order extra because it’s only $.
Tsim Sa Tsui, Hong Kong
Do you like cooking your own food at a restaurant? Then Asian BBQ is just the thing for you! This restaurant, located in a unsuspecting building in Tsim Sa Tsui, will fulfill your table cooking needs.
You take the stairs up a few floors, pass a giant bronze statue of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, turn a deserted corner and you’re there! Inside, the place is very nice with Japanese-influenced interior design.
We wasted no time ordering an assortment of different dishes to the table and some Asahi beers to go with. When in a Japanese BBQ joint, get Japanese beer right?
They fired up the in-table grill when they brought out our food. We had all the usual fare like mushrooms, zucchini, onions, etc. However, it was the marbled wagyu beef that we were most excited about. Wagyu is among the highest quality beef in the world. Best believe we roasted them suckers up! If there is a heaven on earth, it’s in the mouth of a wagyu beef eater. I won’t even begin to describe it, since I won’t do it justice. Just try it sometime.
Something about the combination of beer, beef, vegetables and table-side cooking is very filling, even though it’s not a lot of food.
Overall, Wa-En is a fun spot with the best beef I’ve ever eaten. Bring much money if you have an appetite, because it’s $$$-$$$$.
Happy travels and we hope you have a chance top try some of these places out!
-E & J