Friday , December 2 2022

From Paris to Galway: expert foodies reveal the very best places to eat on holiday

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Paris
by Fred Sirieix

Broadcaster and maitre d’

I like Paris in the summer. Parisians go away in August but I think there are adventures to be had in an empty city. A visit to a bistro is essential. I discovered Chez Georges (1 Rue du Mail) quite a few years ago and I think it’s my favourite. It does the traditional cuisine that I love – say, sweetbreads and french fries, with a nice burgundy. Chez Monsieur (11 rue du Chevalier St-Georges) is more modern in decor and the cooking is a bit more refined. I would go back for the blanquette de veau. Le Bon Georges (45 Rue Saint-Georges) has a beautiful exterior and food. Brasserie Lipp (151 Boulevard Saint-Germain) is a classic. Go for celeriac remoulade or oysters, then opposite to Café de Flore (172 Boulevard Saint-Germain) for coffee, where all the intellectuals used to go. It’s great for people watching.

Kei Kobayashi’s cuisine at Restaurant Kei (5 Rue Coq Héron) is exceptional – anchored in traditional Japanese, but influenced by French technique and recipes. Le 404 (69 Rue des Gravilliers) is a north African restaurant; the food is delicious, there’s music, it’s fun – and it does brunch. Patissier Cyril Lignac (9 Rue Bayen) is innovative in his approach, but he knows how to make a nice croissant andpain au chocolat.

Cafe de Flore
Cafe de Flore: great for people watching. Photograph: Alex Segre/Alamy

Riha Durum’s Kurdish sandwiches (1 Rue des Petits Carreaux) are almost like pancakes, filled with spiced lamb and salad and Frenchie on the Go (9 Rue du Nil) does hot dogs and burgers. Rue de Nil has lots of food shops – fishmonger, butcher, grocer. You have everything, all beautifully laid out by people who care about what they do.

If you’re a food nerd, you have to go just outside Paris to Rungis international market (1 Rue de la Tour, Rungis). It is massive, predominantly wholesalers. And there are restaurants where workers, or people like me, can go at 4am and just watch the life that goes on there.

José Pizarro Observer Food Monthly OFM September 2021

Seville
by José Pizarro

Chef-owner of Pizarro and José Tapas Bar, London

I love to be on the street, getting lost, seeing people passing by, and going bar to bar.

Las Teresas (Calle Sta Teresa 2) is small but perfect. You need to have the jamón, which they carve for you, and eat it with some sherry – you’ll be in heaven. At Bodeguita Romero (Calle Harinas 10) you should have papas aliñás – boiled potatoes dressed with olive oil, sherry vinegar, onion and pepper – and the oxtail. Casa Morales (Calle García de Vinuesa 11) is another incredible bar where you can stand and have a caña (a glass of beer), tapas and charcuterie. If you pass Cinco Jotas (Calle Castelar 1), it has a kind of chorizo called morcon and does good padron peppers. Las Columnas (Alameda de Hércules 19) is old-fashioned but good for a glass of wine and some tortilla. Casa Moreno (Calle Gamazo 7) has great things in tins and excellent encurtidos (pickles).

If you like fish go to Cañabota (Calle Orfila 3); I have the marinated sardines. Restaurant Eslava (Calle Eslava 3) is more modern, a little more special – the small clams are terrific. For adobo, a classic dish of the region in which fish is marinated then fried, Bodeguita Blanco Cerrillo (Calle Jose de Velilla 1) is delicious.

The terrace of the Hotel EME in early evening
The terrace of the Hotel EME: perfect for an evening G&T. Photograph: Fernando Alda

All around the cathedral (Avenida de la Constitución) you can find convents where the nuns make traditional sweets. You should walk up La Giralda, the cathedral tower, for views of the city, and if you’re coming in summer it’s a good place to be because the cathedral is nice and cool. Next to La Giralda, Hotel EME (Calle Alemanes 27) is the place to go for an evening gin and tonic on the terrace.
Andalusia is a magic region. I always wanted a house here, a place to escape. And now I have Iris Zahara (Zahara de Los Atunes), a hotel with only five rooms. We do food experiences with guests – go to Seville, Jerez, the markets, cook together. I can see the sea, entertain people and relax. I love it here.

Rosio Sanchez, owner and chef of Hija de Sanchez in Copenhagen
Rosio Sanchez, owner and chef of Hija de Sanchez in Copenhagen hair and makeup: Lulu Bokkenheuser at Tomorrow Management

Copenhagen
by Rosio Sanchez

Chef-owner of Sanchez, Hija de Sanchez Cantina and Hija de Sanchez Taquerias, Copenhagen

Apotek 57 (Fredericiagade 57) is a buzzy cafe where I often go for breakfast. The chef, Chiara, makes all the pastries and some unusual seasonal dishes.

There are lots of good bakeries in the city but Hart (Gammel Kongevej 10; Galionsvej 41) stands out for bread and Juno (Århusgade 48) for pastries. Coffee Collective has shops all over the city but my favourite is in an old telephone kiosk by Nørreport station (Nørre Voldgade 70F).

Poulette (Møllegade 1) is a fried chicken shop in Nørrebro, attached to the natural wine bar Pompette. It does two sandwiches, one with spicy fried chicken, mayo and pickles, the other with fried mapo tofu. Go for lunch or, if you’re drinking next door, pop over for a quick dinner. Tigermom (Ryesgade 25), run by ex-Relae chef Lisa Lov, serves a mix of Asian cuisines and you can order a chilli pairing menu, which is amazing, especially in Denmark where spicy food is hard to find. Esmée (Kongens Nytorv 8) is a French restaurant that does great seafood – it’s a really nice lunch spot.

Asian dishes from Tigermom.
Tigermom: try the amazing chilli pairing menu Photograph: Hedda Rysstad

Dairy produce in Denmark is outstanding and my favourite ice-cream places are Østerberg (Rosenvængets Allé 7C; Tullinsgade 25), which is quite experimental, and in the summer Siciliansk Is, between Refshaleøen and Nørrebro, sells great quality produce from small suppliers.

One of my favourite bars is the Barking Dog (Sankt Hans Gade 19) – the owner, Carl has a great knowledge of mezcal. I also like Duck and Cover (Dannebrogsgade 6), a tiny place in Vesterbro doing really exciting drinks.

Chef Jess Murphy
Jess Murphy

Galway and surrounding area
by Jess Murphy

Chef-owner of Kai, Galway

Rúibín (1 Dock Rd), is a newish bar-restaurant with a cult following. The head chef, Alice Jary, has travelled a lot so it’s a real mash-up of cuisines. Christine Walsh’s food at Éan wine bar (Druid Ln) is absolutely beautiful and it’s a really comfy room. Bierhaus (2 Henry St) is my favourite place on earth. The cocktails are out of this world and I don’t know anywhere with a better beer selection.

Out the back of Carroll’s pub, the Birdhouse (39 Dominick St Lower) serves the ultimate hot wings. Sheridans (14 Churchyard St) is an important cheese shop with a great bar upstairs – go for an Irish cheeseboard and a couple of glasses of prosecco. Kali (133 Upper Salthill Rd) does coffees roasted by local superheroes Calendar in a little shop in Salthill and they are awesome people.

Julia’s lobster truck
Julia’s lobster truck.

Lignum (Bullaun), 40 minutes out of Galway, is Ireland’s best kept food secret. The chef, Danny Africano, is Irish-Italian and he mixes the two cultures together in the most delicious way. Outside Clifden, Fadó Pizza (Killymongaun) is a cute pizza caravan on an organic farm, which supplies the toppings – everyone I send there loves it. Julia’s Lobster Truck is the best. She does half lobsters, scampi and oysters, and chips fried in proper beef fat. If you follow her on Instagram, she’ll tell you where she’s parked.

Sullivan’s Country Grocer (Main Street) is the perfect one-stop provisions shop in Oughterard. It sells charcuterie, fruit and veg, linen for the table – and its Portuguese custard tarts are brilliant. On Inishbofin island, go to Inishwallah (Fawnmore) and get mackerel samosas, spicy pollock broths and pork dumplings served from the side of a red London bus.

Nuno Mendes
Nuno Mendes

Lisbon
by Nuno Mendes

Chef-owner of Lisboeta, London, and creative director of food and beverage at Bairro Alto hotel, Lisbon

Prado (Tv Pedras Negras 2) is one of my favourite places – a farm-to-table restaurant with stunning food using seasonal Portuguese ingredients. I love O Velho Eurico (Largo São Cristóvão No3): some kids took over a really old restaurant and gave it a punk-rock feel. It’s the kind of place where they still serve red vinho verde in cups instead of glasses. Taberna do Calhau (Largo das Olarias 23) is a one-of-a-kind restaurant run by a food-loving architect, Leopoldo Calhau. He wakes up in the mornings and says, “Right, I want to cook this today”, and he puts it on the menu.

Prado Mercearia, Lisbon
Prado, Lisbon: farm-to-table restaurant with stunning food. Photograph: Rodrigo Simões Cardoso

André Magalhães, who owns the wonderful Taberna da Rua das Flores, has opened Quiosque de São Paulo (Praça São Paulo) in a kiosk in Cais do Sodré. It’s a great place to sit outside and hang out. Tati (R Carrilho Videira 20B) is a nice neighbourhood wine bar and Toca da Raposa (R da Condessa 45) is the best cocktail bar in Lisbon.

Comida Independente (R Cais do Tojo 28) is an independent food shop: on Saturdays, it puts on Mercado Independente, featuring many of its producers. Isco (R José d’Esaguy 10D) is really cool. It started making bread and now it does lunches – creative cooking based around a bread oven. Lupita (Rua de S Paulo 79) does killer pizza, the best in town. There’s always good music and a queue outside.

One of my favourite old-school places is Gambrinus (R das Portas de Santo Antão 23), which is a Lisbon institution. I used to sit at the counter with my father. Now I go by myself and drink a beer with croquettes or a prego sandwich.

Emily Scott
Emily Scott

Cornwall’s north coast
by Emily Scott

Chef-owner of Emily Scott Food, Watergate Bay, Cornwall

There’s something quintessentially Cornish about eating a pasty out of a paper bag while walking along a cliff, and for me McFadden’s Butchers (11 Market Sq) in St Just make the best pasties. It feels like walking back in time when you go in there, and St Just is beautiful. Moving west, the Gurnard’s Head in Zennor is a lovely pub with rooms. It’s rugged and beautiful and the food’s great. Book well in advance.

In Newquay, Pavilion Bakery (37 Fore St) is a great place to sit overlooking the sea: its cardamom bun is one of my favourite things. Island (2 Whitegate Shopping Complex) is a cool coffee shop with Nordic vibes. It does breakfasts and substantial lunches, with good vegan options.

The Duchy Grub (Higher Harlyn Park) is a hidden gem in a caravan park. We went a couple of weeks ago and had delicious wild garlic arancini and roasted scallops. I’m a huge fan of Rick Stein and all his places in Padstow, but for a really special treat the Seafood Restaurant (Riverside) is hard to beat. There’s always a good buzz and its signature Singapore chilli crab is incredible. Also in Padstow, Ruby’s Bar (18 Broad St) has a strong selection of drinks – I highly recommend the Ceylon negroni.

Lobster dish from Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen
Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen: great food, great views. Photograph: Kate Whitaker

The Vine greengrocers (8 The Platt) in Wadebridge is a treasure trove, much of the produce from local farmers. In Port Isaac, Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen (1 Middle St) is a beautiful place for lunch or dinner. It’s right on the harbour and you’re guaranteed a great view.

Giorgio Locatelli
Giorgio Locatelli

Sicily
by Giorgio Locatelli

Chef-owner of Locanda Locatelli, London

Sicily is a jewel, with such culture – Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Spanish, British and Italians have all left something. The first thing to do when you arrive in Palermo is have a cannolo. Do not leave Sicily without eating one. In the markets all the food areas are incredible – one of the main ones is La Vucciria (Piazza Caracciolo). You must go to Antica Focacceria San Francesco (Via Alessandro Paternostro, 58) for panino with spleen. Even if you don’t like spleen panino, it’s a lovely place – pizza, arancini and very good cannoli.

Not far from Palermo is Scopello, where you can see all the old tuna canning factories, and Panificio di Stabile e Anselmo (Via XXIV Maggio). Here you’ll find sfincuini, which is like pizza but not that thin pizza. Sfincuini is done in many ways, with different toppings, around the island and here it’s always great.

Ristorante Da Vittorio Menfi Sicily 27
Ristorante Da Vittorio: ‘This place is close to my heart.’ Photograph: Piero Denaro

The best fish seems to come from the south, facing Tunisia. I holiday a lot near Menfi and one of my favourite restaurants there is Da Vittorio (Via Friuli Venezia Giulia, 9). This is a place close to my heart. Vittorio is from the north of Italy, but his wife is Sicilian and when they were 17 they opened a place on the beach. Then they made a restaurant, then a restaurant with rooms – it’s a family story. Vittorio takes me to Sciacca, to the small market of day boats (Via Porto, 33). Most of the fish is booked for restaurants in Palermo but you can still buy some boat-side. There in the square with the boats coming in and people screaming, waving money – it’s an almost medieval way of doing business but so brilliant.

There is a place in Sciacca that everyone calls Zio Aurelio – “uncle Aurelio” (Via delle Dogane, 8). Actually, its name is Bar Roma but I’ve never heard it called that. Aurelio makes the best granita. If he can make a juice out of it, he’ll make a granita with it. A restaurant called La Lampara (Lungomare Cristoforo Colombo, 13) is very good as well.

If you go to Sicily and you don’t go to Etna you’ll miss a lot. So I think a trip up to Etna is very important – then you can take days in Catania or Messina, both of which are beautiful cities with fantastic restaurants. Catania has one of the most astounding fish markets (Piazza Alonzo di Benedetto).

The most important thing in many restaurants here is not to follow a menu; just follow what they say – they’ll give you the best, freshest things. There’s quality of ingredients and an unassuming type of cookery here. Sicilians are very good at simplified flavour. Sicily should be a protected place, so its beauty is kept as it is.

Chef Selin Kiazim
Selin Kiazim

Amsterdam
by Selin Kiazim

Chef and co-owner of Oklava, London

My girlfriend lives in Amsterdam so I’ve been between there and London for about a year and a half: it’s a really exciting, emerging food city. Box Sociaal (Plantage Middenlaan 30A) does Antipodean brunch and uses sourdough from Fort Negen, one of the best bakeries I’ve been to anywhere (Jan Evertsenstraat 31). I love Gebroeders Niemeijer croissants – super crisp and buttery (Nieuwendijk 35). Winkel 43 (Noordermarkt 43) is an institution. The apple pies are deep, crisp and buttery, with custardy-soft apple – a perfect mix of textures. Its terrace is right next door to Noordermarkt, where there’s a Saturday farmer’s market.

There’s quite a lot of street food, such as herring or excellent fries – I have mine with mayo, curry sauce and onions. If I get a craving, my favourite place is Vlaams Fritehuis Vleminckx (Voetboogstraat 33). I love the women at Van Dobben (Korte Reguliersdwarsstraat 5-7-9) who prepare kroket – crisp outside, soft inside and served in a soft bun with mustard. We go to Cafe de Pels (Huidenstraat 25) for ossenworst with pickles. Bitterballen might be the national food – deep-fried nuggets of joy – and the ones at Pels are very good.

Restaurant Gebr. Hartering, Amsterdam
Gebr. Hartering: ‘classic cooking with great service.’ Photograph: Joy Hansson

Gebr Hartering (Peperstraat 10) knocks out classic cooking with great service from Klaas, my favourite waiter. Scheepskameel (Gebouw 024A) is a lazy lunch place – excellent German wine list, and a seasonal set menu. Mexican food is having a bit of a moment in Amsterdam and Coba’s brilliant tacos harness tradition and innovation (Schaafstraat 4). It’s in Noord; you catch a ferry there, but it’s full of good spots, such as Rookt Amsterdam (Meteorenweg 280). Chef Niels is a super nice chap who smokes his own charcuterie, mackerel and even seaweed.

Bambino (Vijzelgracht 5h) has a small terrace and simple but creative cooking; perfect for lunch. Bar Parry (Eerste Looiersdwarsstraat 15) is cute for drinks and snacks. Cafe Binnenvisser (Bilderdijkstraat 36) is a cool spot out west – fantastic wines, a small kitchen but delicious sharing plates. You should plan ahead with bookings – it’s nearly impossible to get a reservation on short notice. People often want to stick very central when they visit cities. In Amsterdam, nothing is that far away and the transport is easy. Go anywhere your curiosity takes you.

Food Stylist and cook Georgina Hayden
Georgina Hayden

Limassol and surrounding area
by Georgina Hayden

Cookery writer and author of Nistisima

Karatello at the Old Carob Mill (Vasilissis Street) is my favourite restaurant in Limassol’s old town. I like the slow-braised beef cheeks in commandaria wine. You get a sense of the Middle Eastern influence on Cypriot cuisine at Syrian Restaurant (3 Iliados St). They make bread fresh all day and the salads are lovely. In the hills above the city, Taverna Agios Epiktitos (Armenochori) has views overlooking the bay. It’s inexpensive and you get wonderful mezze.

Karatello’s Pork Kontosouvli.
Karatello’s pork kontosouvli.

Agora food market (Saripolou) has been done up recently and now you can get tacos, pizzas and other street food. Nearby is Saripolou Square, a buzzing place with good bars – if I was meeting friends for a cocktail, that’s where I’d go. Also close by is Souvlaki Livadias (Kanari 7). It’s just really great souvlaki – grilled meats wrapped up in a pita with chips and salad – and you can sit inside or get a takeaway.

Uluwatu (Anexartisias 10) is a coffee shop that does delicious iced lollies. If you want proper Cypriot ice-cream try the rose and mastic flavours at Pahit Ice – a Cyprus institution with several outlets in Limassol. Zorbas (Agias Filaxeos 199 and other locations) is a 24-hour bakery selling all kinds of breads, cakes and biscuits – as soon as we land, it’s the first place we go to.

Foini is a beautiful mountain village an hour’s drive outside Limassol, famous for its loukoumi, also known as Turkish delight. Ourania Delights flavours the sweets with bergamot and rose and they are truly outstanding.



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