Tuesday, July 27, 2010

food for thought (literally).

A funny thing happened last week. A lady from my bank called to confirm some information on my account, and we started talking about how I just returned from Europe. Since then (only one week…), I’ve had two ladies from the bank (whom I’ve never met in person) call and tell me that they are going to Europe for vacation this summer and were wanting to know what kind of clothing to pack, and if I had any recommendations of places to see and to eat in France.

Having spent the past four summers and fall/winter 2009 in Europe, I have had the highly satisfying pleasure of eating delicious food at great restaurants and, often, in even greater company. Those phone calls from the bank inspired me to share with y’all the incredible gastronomic experiences I’ve had. Here is a list of my favorite eateries across Europe…I hope that all of you might be able to enjoy some of the places I’ve enjoyed!

(I can’t take all the credit for discovering these places…you can thank Rick Steves and several of my friends for many on this list!)

Czech Republic:


Radost FX- during the day, it’s a restaurant; late at night, it’s a club. The interior is so cool looking that Rihanna actually filmed a music video there. I’ve been to Prague twice and I’ve made a point to go to this restaurant both times. It’s vegetarian, but you leave feeling so full. They don’t skimp out on their portions.



Le Grandgousier- a restaurant that specializes in 16th century French food. They have an incredible selection of meats (including lamb and duck) and the best mousse au chocolat I’ve ever had (yes, it even competes with my dad’s homemade mousse).


Le Pili Pili- a laid-back beach restaurant and bar. Serves fresh seafood (all of my friends love the moules frites…mussels with French fries), hamburgers, steaks, salads, and omelettes. Oh and they have an extensive ice cream menu!


Baan Kanya- authentic Thai near Opera Garnier. Heath and I ate here on New Year’s Eve 2009. It was amazing.

Chartier- I won’t lie…it’s a very touristy restaurant right off of Grands Boulevards, but the menu is very traditional (and yummy) French food (escargot, steak hache, croque monsieur…). The interior is beautiful too…a renovated building from the 1920s.

Outside the entrance of Chartier in Paris



Prinz Myshkin- Classy, delicious, unique…I can’t think of enough ways to describe this vegan restaurant. Who knew vegan could be so good?



Coquinarius- the best restaurant I’ve ever been to, hands down. I went twice and had eggplant gnocchi the first night and pear ravioli the second. Both were delicious, but the pear ravioli is heavenly. Ann and I had to close our eyes while we ate because the flavors are so delicate and SO delicious. We also had the most amazing cheesecake for dessert. In Ann’s words: “it’s like eating a cloud.” Ahh, I’m craving this restaurant just talking about it.



Bagels and Beans- this is a chain bagel-sandwich shop and café, but the food is of SUCH good quality and the menu is very diverse. Ann and I really enjoyed eating here.



The Elephant House- First of all, this place is amazing because of all the elephant décor. But, I think more importantly, this café/restaurant/bar is amazing because it is where J.K Rowling began writing the Harry Potter series. It is the birthplace of a world phenomenon.

I could go on with this list, but I’m really trying to highlight the places that have really stood out. If you are traveling through Europe, I am more than happy to give you more of my favorite places if you ask!

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