During our travels throughout Europe, we have eaten in many places, but some of them stand out and remain in our memory. What makes a place – a restaurant, a pub, a snack bar, etc. – turn it into a unique travel experience is not only the food, but also the location, the scenery, the view, the time of day or even the time of the year. In this article we present 10 of our favourite (not the best) restaurants across Europe.
Pitcher & Piano at Brindley Place (Birmingham/UK) : Birmingham has 35 canal miles, which is said to be longer than Venice. They are enjoyed by walkers, cyclists and narrow boat owners and are reminiscent of a unique industrial history. During the Industrial Revolution, the canals were busy with waterways carrying coal, iron and other heavy goods. Pitcher and Piano is a well-known restaurant-pub chain in the United Kingdom with 17 venues in the heart of vibrant cities. Their Birmingham location at Brindley Place on the city canal is probably the most impressive. In a lively and well-kept environment, you can try all their classic dishes at any time of the day. Try their signature “P&P burger” or “beer battered fish & chips” while looking at the traffic outside. (The Water’s Edge, Brindleyplace, Birmingham)
Prater Gaststatte (Berlin/Germany) : Prenzlauer Berg is one of the most popular neighbourhoods in Berlin, with magnificent architecture, chic shops, and many eateries. It was left largely unchanged after the city was divided and it was ceded to the Soviet Sector. During this time, many members of East Germany’s counterculture lived here and the Bohemians and artists living in this area played an important part in the events that lead to the fall of the Wall in 1989. At the center of the neighbourhood Prater Gaststatte with its cozy interior and lovely typical beer garden is the best place to eat German dishes and drink a big glass of beer among locals. Taste braised beef with red cabbage and potato dumplings along with a glass of their own Prater Pils for a real Berlin experience. (Kastanienallee 7 – 9, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin)
Cap Horn (Copenhagen/Denmark) : The long canal of Nyhavn, lined on both sides with colourful houses, is probably the most visited and photographed place in Copenhagen. Although touristy and crowded, the beauty of the place never stops to amaze visitors. Stand on the dock and just stare at the canal for a few minutes and this will be enough to transfer you to the sailing past of the city. Cap Horn with a history that dates back to 1687, was the first restaurant to serve organic food in Denmark in the 1990s. The place offers a lunch and an evening menu with a sufficient variety of choices that change every month. If you find it on the menu try the pumpkin soup and any dish with baked or smoked salmon because it is one of the best places in Copenhagen to try it. (Nyhavn 21, Copenhagen) [see also our related article about Copenhagen]
VKolkovne (Prague/Czech Republic) : Prague is one of the most beautiful and picturesque cities in Europe. Visiting Prague is like traveling back in time. You encounter history at every step you take and around every corner you turn. Czech cuisine has both influenced and been influenced by the cuisines of surrounding countries and nations but also many of the dishes that are popular in Central Europe come from the Czech lands. VKolkovne is one of the best places to eat authentic Czech dishes in the center of the Old City and to avoid many of the restaurants that are basically overpriced tourist traps. It is a place preferred by both locals and tourists. It is almost mandatory to try here “krkonose potato soup”, which is a soup served in a bowl of bread, as well as the traditional “pilsner goulash”. (V kolkovne 910/8, Stare Mesto, Prague) [see also our related articles about the legends of Prague]
Figlmuller (Vienna/Austria) : Travelers visiting Vienna have in mind to try a perfect Viennese schnitzel. There are plenty of restaurants around town serving good schnitzel, but Figlmuller has become a benchmark for the dish. Ignore the critics who say it is touristy, go through the long queue that usually waits outside, book ahead through their website and enjoy a real culinary experience. The schnitzel, either pork or chicken, is huge, crunchy, extremely tasty and served with potatoes and green salad. They are the two Figlmuller venues in the center of the old town with a very warm interior and authentic atmosphere, while the service is fast and friendly despite the crowd.(Backerstrasse 6 & Wollzeile 5, Vienna) [see also our related article about Vienna]
Le Pistou (Chateauneuf du Pape/France) : One of the best known French wine labels, takes its name from an unassuming village on a small hill near Avignon in Provence, Chateauneuf du Pape. During your walk around the village you will find a number of wine tasting cellars from the various local domains. But apart from the cellars, the village is also famous for its restaurants, where you could taste excellent Provencal cuisine and drink the local wines. Our favourite restaurant in the village is Le Pistou. A small place with a picturesque yard at the back which serves excellent dishes. The quality of the local products they use is superb and raises the level of the dishes. Υou must try here cock cooked with local herbs and the unique “poelee de noix de St Jacques” (scallops with saffron cream). (15 rue Joseph Ducos, Chateauneuf du Pape) [see also our related article about Chateauneuf du Pape]
7 Portes (Barcelona/Spain) : 7 Portes is a historic establishment, which for 183 years retains the same quality. Very close to Barceloneta, in a wonderful and historical building, this is the best place in Barcelona to taste paella. Paella is a traditional Valencian rice dish and in its modern form is a free-style combination of meat, seafood and vegetables. Barcelona due to its strong fishermen tradition and strong culinary scene is one of the best places in Spain to taste this exceptional dish. At 7 Portes along with a huge variety of traditional dishes, you could choose between five variations of paella but the most famous and delicious is “rich man’s paella” which includes chicken, pork, cuttlefish, sausage, lobster and prawns. (14 Passeig Isabel II, Barcelona) [see also our related article about Barcelona]
Atira-Te Ao Rio (Lisbon/Portugal) : Cacilhas is a waterfront district on the southern bank of Tagus river which offers the most beautiful views of Lisbon and has several restaurants known for their fresh fish. A short walk alongside abandoned riverside warehouses will bring you to Atira-Te Ao Rio [photo at the top], with excellent food and a breathtaking view of the 25 de Abril bridge. The restaurant serves traditional Portuguese cuisine with modern touches and all dishes are delicious and unique. Sit at a table outside, drink a glass of wine while you wait for your meal, and if it is during sunset, get ready for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. (Rua do Ginjal, Cacilhas, Lisbon) [see also our related article about Lisbon]
La Montecarlo (Rome/Italy) : Everyone visiting Rome, it is almost certain that he will search for the best pizza in town. At the top 5 of every search, he will come across the name “La Montecarlo”. Located close to Piazza Navona and operating since 1986 at the same spot, this pizzeria is really one of the best in town. It is a regular place for the locals, it has an acceptable waiting time, affordable prices and a casual atmosphere. The place is always full and noisy, the waiters are friendly and always in a rush, but all those are the things that make this place a real Roman experience. The pizza is typical Roman with very thin dough and rich fresh ingredients on top. It is a little bit ugly and the edge is burned but at the same time one of the best you would ever taste. (Vicolo Savelli 13, Rome) [see also our related article about how this pizzeria has become a pop icon]
Ristorante Greppia (Verona/Italy) : While walking around the historic center of one of Italy’s most beautiful cities, be sure to search and find this unique restaurant. Ristorante Greppia is committed to protecting the food and wine products of the Scaligera tradition, helping to preserve the Veronese culinary culture. With a spectacular interior and a few tables outside in a small alley, this is the place for a perfect Italian meal. Each dish is treated like a small work of art in which no detail is overlooked. Particularly famous is their boiled meats trolley which, with its variety of flavors, conquers your taste. At the end be prepared for tiramisu, with pavesini and soft cream, a great classic that never gets boring. (Vicolo Samaritana 3, Verona)
Every traveler could share an unforgettable moment from a restaurant he has visited in the past. No trip is complete without an unforgettable dining experience.
See also our article about our 15 favourite taverns all over Greece