Joodie’s Guide to Eating Europe

It’s that time of year again. That time when we’re sick of our internships (which are finally over) and ready to get our of the real world and back to the Disneyland that is college. The luckiest of us aren’t heading back to school, but are about to embark on crazy adventures abroad in Europe, Asia, Africa, and beyond. For those of you jetting off to Europe for the next 4 months, let me tell you that although I envy you, I also want you to eat well. With that, I give you Joodie’s guide to eating Europe. Feel free to comment any additions or opinions, and enjoy!

**special shoutout to those heading to Leuven. Say hi to Komeet, Onan and the Pasta Man for me.**

Florence, Italy:

  • Il Profeta, Borgo Ognissanti, 93/r, 50123– This was one of the greatest meals I had abroad. Go to the rooftop of the Westin Hotel for aperativo, then walk a block to Il Profeta, where Claudio and his wife will not stop until you can hardly move and are slowly drifting off, dreaming about everything you just ate. Must orders: the John Travolta pasta, pear ravioli, wild boar, and the misses’ wonderful tiramisu. Take me back.
  • Gusta Pizza, Via Maggio, 46/r – You want freshly made Italian pizza? Head to Gusta Pizza for an inexpensive and phenomenal lunch or late night bite. You can’t go wrong with any of the options. They provide balsamic vinegar to dip your pizza in, definitely worth a try.
  • San Lorenzo Market, behind the leather market on Via dell’Ariento – A large market filled with fresh fruits and veggies, a large selection of chartucerie, cheese, and olive oils, and, of course, sweets and breads. Taste away!
  • Trattoria Zaza, Piazze del Mercato Centrale, 26 – This place was listed on every guide we had. It was by no means the “best meal ever,” but it was a very good lunch spot, especially since most places in that part of town can get pretty touristy. The salads were particularly tasty, especially after five consecutive carb-loaded meals.
  • Acqua Al 2, Via della Vigna Vecchia 40/r – Never over 20 euros, get a pasta or salad sampler, then the balsamic steak or chicken porto. There is one in NY now, though!

 

Rome, Italy: (thanks, Sara Kotcher!)

  • PierLuigi, Piazza de Ricci, 144 – Kotcher’s single favorite restaurant in Rome. This spaghetti al vongole has forever changed her view on pasta. The appetizers are also fabulous – ask for the sliced octopus not usually on the menu, any of the raw fish crudos, as well as the prawn and potato salad. Fried calamari is top notch as well.
  • Da Enzo, Via dei Vascellari, 29 – NO MATTER HOW LONG YOU ARE IN ROME, YOU MUST GO TO THIS RESTAURANT. Burrata. Artchokes. Meatballs. Done. Seriously, so incredible and you will not get in without a reservation. Looks like a hole in the wall but you will dream about it for years after. Gives PierLuigi a run for its money.
  • Cul de Sac, Piazza di Pasquino, 73 – I’ll make this easy. Food: Lasagna and pasta with broccoli and pecorino cheese. Then get the artichoke pie. Greek salad and caprese, and something from the cool wine list. You’re set. Great for families, lunch or dinner. You will never leave unhappy!
  • Da Remo, Piaza di Santa Maria Liberatrice – Hands down best pizza in rome. I repeat, BEST. PIZZA. IN. ROME. Order all the appetizers knowing that you can’t finish them because the pizza is the main event. Their suppli (fried rice balls) happen to be great though.
  • Forno Roscioli’s & Roscioli’s, Via dei Chiavari, 34 – The forno (bakery) has the most amazing take away slices of pizza, cooked in a brick wood oven. Types include rosemary and potato focaccia and pizza rosa is a classic. Try the epic mozzarella hamburger from Roscioli’s (the sit-down, reservations-necessary part).
  • I Due Ciccioli, Vicolo del Cedro, This is a small restaurant owned by a couple who serves about 8 tables a night out of their own kitchen. It is truly a unique dining experience. Only 25 euro per person.
  • Piperno, Via Monte de Cenci, 9 – Three words: world famous artichokes.
  • Ba’Ghetto, Via Portico d’Ottavia, 57 and Via Livorno, 10 – The reason there are two addresses is because it is a kosher restaurant in the Jewish Ghetto, meaning instead of having two kitchens they just simply split their restaurant into two parts: meat section and dairy section. You can get the falafel and hummus platter at either location and I highly suggest it.
  • Hosteria La Botticella, Vicolo del Leopard, 39 – Giulia is such a gem. She serves huge platters of incredible food for only 25 euro a person. Good for big groups. The antipasti plate and the pasta plate are so beyond. Dreaming about this everyday.

Leuven, Belgium:

  • Pasta Man, Parijsstraat 39 –Ok, it’s actually called l’inizio, but if you’re American you’re going to call him pasta man. Pasta man sells giant containers of pasta (you’ll finish it) outside a little shop window. Always call ahead.
  • Sakura, Restaurantstraat –The service sucks, but the sushi is great and definitely three times as good as anything you’ll find in Leuven. We loved all the rolls, seaweed salad, salmon skewers, and “zalm filet”. Also, steal as many of the free candies as you can on your way out – I average 15 per visit. Do not trust any other sushi, it will be gross.
  • Café Komeet, Oude Markt – We went here at least twice a week (saying a lot because we were only there two days a week and we occasionally went twice a day) while in Leuven, to the point where the waiter knew to bring us ketchup, balsamic, and hot sauce with our eggs and salads. Get the chicken salad (no dressing), scampi salad (no dressing), warm goat cheese salad (no dressing), and any of the omelet options. D
  • Soup Away, Tiensestraat 29 – Great lunch spot. The owner makes the soups fresh every day, and if you go a lot he can recommend soups you’ll like since they change every day (warning: the menu is only in Dutch). For reference, anything that says “pompoen” (pumpkin) or “thaise curry” is delicious.
  • Koffie Onan, Parijsstraat 28 – I went here for coffee every day. Not only do they have soy and skim milk, but their breakfast pastries and cakes are amazing and the artisanal vibe reminded me of downtown New York. Major plus – you get a chocolate with every purchase J
  • Donki the Rockin’ Burrito, Oude Markt – Bootleg Chipotle. Enough said.
  • Pepe Nero, Restaurantstraat – Perfect when you need a nicer Italian meal. It’s not crazy expensive and the food is delicious. A large menu makes this perfect for big groups. Try the pizzas and fish dishes, especially the salmon and branzino with lemon sauce.
  • Istanbul, Oude Markt – late night wasted food near Bar Vista. Get the doner with chicken and everything on it with spicy sauce. So good, and pita is great.
  • Bar Louis, Grote Markt 2 – New York-style décor with contemporary food, great for when parents visit. Order lots of the appetizers. Make a reservation in advance!
  • Greenway, Parijsstraat 12 – Vegetarian. You’re going to pass this on your way to class, we picked it up for dinner on our way to our night class. We loved the salads, daily soups, chili, and curry dishes, but the pastas and sandwiches are great as well!

Paris, France:

  • Spring, 6 rue Bailleul – Eric and I agree that this was hands down the best place we tried the entire semester. It’s a major splurge, but there is nothing more worth it. The set-menu changes daily, but they can vary the offerings if you have allergies, are vegetarian, etc. I highly recommend sticking with what they offer unless there’s a significant reason why you can’t eat something. Everything was the best I’ve ever tasted. If you sit upstairs, you even get to watch the team as they prepare your food. Best of all, the owner is a Chi-Town native.
  • L’as Du Fallafel, 34 Rue des Rosiers – Super touristy, but so good. Get the special falafel with everything on it. It’s a quick meal to give you energy before you shop around La Marais. The fresh juices are underratedly good.
  • Breizh Café, 109 Rue Vielle du Temple – Also in La Marais, this place has the best crepes you will ever eat. Make sure to make a reservation if you want to go on the weekend – it gets super packed.
  • Verjus Wine Bar, 52, Rue de Richelieu – Wine bars are as popular in Paris as froyo is in the US, so you must try a few! Apparently this is coming to NYC soon, and I cannot wait. This was our favorite wine bar in Paris. It’s not too expensive, and the wine, atmosphere and food are all incredible.
  • L’Avant Comptoir, 3 Carrefour de l’Odéon – The wine bar attached to the Le Comptoir. Order some wine and any of the tapas you see listed on the ceiling (If you speak French, pick the thing that most closely translates to “fried cheese balls” They resemble the fries at JG Mellon but with cheese. I died.)
  • Frenchie, 5 rue du Nil – Unlike the ever-trendy set menus in Paris, this place gives you two options for each course. The casual bistro was just what we needed upon our first night in Paris, and everything we had was tasty, especially the foie gras. They have a wine bar across the street if you want to keep your bank account floating.
  • Les Papilles, 30 Rue Gay Lussac – Family style, one-choice-only menu. We had a delicious cauliflower soup to start and a beef cheek stew as a main. Definitely not for picky eaters, but the meal was great and the wine list more-than-impressive.
  • L’Entrecote, a couple locations – Touristy but delicious. They serve steak and fries, that’s all. They give you seconds, and you will finish everything because everything tastes great when drenched in their special sauce.

Amsterdam, Netherlands:

  • Green House Coffeeshop, Haarlemmerstraat 64: The floor has fish in it! So cool. It’s a bigger space than most coffeeshops, so you can fit a bigger group (the minus side is that it gets really crowded, so tables may be hard to find).
  • The Pancake Bakery, Prinsengracht 191: Right up the block from the Anne Frank House, it’s a great stop either before or after you hit the coffee shops. The sweet pancakes are obviously bomb, but if you can find someone to split two with you, try a savory one! You can also get whole-wheat pancakes, but like… do you really want to be that person?
  • Kantjil & De Tiger, Spuistraat 291: An Indonesian restaurant great for large parties, the cuisine was certainly among the most unique we tried. The food was pretty good (you get to pick exactly what meats, noodles, and vegetables you want), and you will walk out more full than you can possibly imagine.
  • De Dampkring, Handboogstraat 29HS: Great coffee shop in the middle of Amsterdam. On Friday evenings they walk around serving the best (free) pancakes filled with speculoos, sugar, or chocolate while you smoke. Mmmm.
  • Winkel 43, Noordermarkt 43 – Sit outside with some of the famous, godly apple pie.

London, United Kingdom:

  • Gail’s Artisan Bakery, 138 Portobello Rd, Notting Hill, W11 2DZ – Was the wait too long at 202? Head a few blocks down to Gail’s in Notting Hill before checking out Portobello Market. The freshly made goods – pastries, breads, yogurt – are light and delicious, a great beginning to any lazy Sunday.
  • Kappacasein, Borough Market, Stoney Street – In Borough Market, you MUST try their grilled cheese or else you haven’t lived!
  • Harvey Nichols, 109-125 Knightsbridge – Expensive, but definitely go for tea if you have time! This is the quintessential tea place in London and you will not regret it!
  • Yalla Yalla, 1 Green’s Court – Lunch spot, very cheap for London!! Lots of small plates, falafel, hummus, manakish zaatar (warmed pita drizzled with olive oil and dusted with lemony spice), baba ganoush.
  • Dean Street Townhouse, 69-71 Dean Street, Soho – They offer a full Sunday Roast, an English tradition, but it is also a great place for brunch, lunch and dinner! It is a little on the expensive side, though.
  • Camellia’s Tea House, 12 Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, London W1B 5PW, United Kingdom – A cute little space in Soho. Order an assortment of cakes, biscuits, and finger sandwiches – we loved the carrot cake and lox sandwich (this is joodie, remember?).
  • The Delaunay, 55 Aldwycg (at Drury Lane) – A trendy tea place. Get crumpets, eggs, a sandwich, whatever brunch fare your little heart desires. But make sure you get a crumpet.
  • Zuma, 5 Raphael Street, London SW7 1DL – It’s a huge splurge, but really, when you’re on the pound you’re never not splurging, so I say just do it. Even the simplest dishes – the chili spiced edemame, specifically – are unreal. Can’t get a res? Check out their sister restaurant Roka, which is just as trendy.
  • Blue Elephant, The Boulevard, Imperial Wharf, Townmead Road – Incredible Thai food, a great changeup from the norm. Good for big groups and not too pricey (considering you’re on the pound and everything is going to be pricey for you…)

Barcelona, Spain:

  • La Boqueria, Rambla 91 – This is a giant open food market. There are stands selling produce and raw meat, but also great shops dishing out awesome tapas and other treats. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT skip the crepe guy – from sweet to savory, that French guy knows his shit. Try some croquetas (they look like mozzarella sticks, but you can also get spinach, mushroom, meat and other kinds!) and make sure to grab a bag and scoop candy from the piles at many of the different stands.
  • Cerveseria Catalana, Mallorca 236 – Very popular tapas joint. They have incredible seafood – try the octopus dish and the eggs scrambled with shrimp and mushrooms! You’ll have to wait, but the service is great and the food is beyond worth it.
  • Elsa y Fred, Rec Comtal 11 – Incredible for brunch, cool 1950s-style ambiance. The pastrami sandwich is a hit with everyone if you’re missing your local Jewish deli…
  • Picnic, C, Comerc 1 – Speaking of brunch, head over here if you’re around on a Sunday! The sangria can’t be missed, and the blueberry pancakes and eggs benedict are bomb. Also, the staff spoke perfect English, which we loved.
  • Mosquito, Carders 46 – If you’ve been in Europe for a while, you’re probably missing good Asian food. This place has awesome dim sum and dumplings for cheap!
  • Sol Soler, Placa del Sol – You may not make it here because it was a random shop right near our hostel, but it was super cheap, authentic tapas. The waiter was so friendly and made sure we were trying everything for the best experience! Make sure to get the patatas bravas and quiche.

Berlin, Germany:

  • Katz Orange, Bergstraße 22, 10115– Nestled in a lovely courtyard, Katz Orange makes you feel trendy from before you even walk in. You must get the slow cooked short rib as a main. Great spot to go with parents.
  • Cookies, Behrenstraße 55 10117– Give yourself an extra 15 minutes to find this place. Nestled waaaay back in a sketchy back alley, this sceney speakeasy-like spot is part-club and part-restaurant. We went for dinner (and sat across from Natalie Portman!) and thought the vegetarian plates were way small for their massive price tags. Go for drinks at the club instead.
  • Borchardt, Franzosische 47 – A little expensive but an awesome meal. I must admit, though, it’s a little touristy. Get the schnitzel and you’re all set.
  • Café Fleury, Weinbergsweg 20, 10119– We stumbled on this place in a desperate search for lunch. Located near the Circus Hostel, this inexpensive coffee/brunch joint is filled with German hipsters you wish you could dress like. Great stop for a quick bite on the way to museum mile.
  • Impala Coffee, Schönhauser Allee 173,– Ok, so there’s really nothing that special about this chain coffee shop, but after being deprived of chai and soy milk during most of our time abroad, we were stoked to find this coffee shop a block from our hostel. Get the orca spice chai tea latte, it will change your life. We stopped at this place twice a day while in Berlin.

Santorini, Greece:

  • Nikolas Taverna, Erythrou Stavrou– It’s touristy and you’re going to have to wait for a table, but it’s really worth it. Serving authentic, inexpensive Greek cuisine, this place got my picky friends to try new foods (and like it). We dug the moussaka and babaganousch, but honestly everything was fantastic. A central location makes it a good place for a quick dinner before you go out.
  • Lotza, Nomikou pedestrian, Oia–You wouldn’t expect it from the quaint outside, but this place is bomb, as you’ll understand when you smell the homemade goodness wafting out of the kitchen. The outdoor patio is right on the coast, giving you an unbeatable view of the water and white houses below as you enjoy your lunch.
  • Apiron, Fira– Greece was the first trip our group took, and we decided to celebrate the end of it with a nice meal at Apiron. We sat outside, overlooking stunning views of the caldera. All of the food was awe-inspiring. The owner treated us all to free desserts and was over-accommodating with our boisterous party.
  • Momma’s, Down the road from the San Giorgio hostel. Amazing brunch and Momma is such a cutie, we went every day for breakfast (they have omelettes, pancakes, etc) and she gave us free grapes and stuff because she loved us. Must go if you’re in Fira!

Mykonos, Greece

  • Davinci Gelato, by the water – Best Greek yogurt of all time. Seriously, all of us were obsessed enough that when a friend’s sibling visited months later and sent us a picture, we all had minor heart attacks.
  • Taverna Nikos, in town somewhere – Great for big groups, not expensive. Note that this is not the same as the Taverna Nikos on the beach by Nammos, which is more upscale. Great food and friendly waiter, but be careful because he tried to convince us to buy a giant whole fish. Grilled octopus and saganaki are great.
  • Nammos, On the water somewhere – Not a restaurant, but if you find yourself in Mykonos during their party season you must go. It is a fucking SCENE and though expensive it is worth every minute. We got there a little too late so make sure it’s the right time of year!

Oktoberfest (Munich, Germany):

  • Ok, you’re definitely going to be too drunk to remember any of this, but halfway through your fourth liter you’re going to need some food, and maybe a break from the Hofbrauhaus tent. Grab some schnitzel (fyi, unless they explicitly say it’s chicken, it’s veal) with cranberry sauce, kaiserschmarn (chopped up crepe-pancake with apples and any other toppings you may want), and rotisserie chicken.

Dublin, Ireland:

  • Elephant & Castle, 18 Temple Bar – Go for any meal, but make sure you get your hungover ass there for brunch. The eggs are great, and make sure you find a few people to split the spicy wings with – they’re too good to skip.
  • Ray’s Pizza, Upper Fownes Street – When you’ve been in a foreign continent for three months and you’re drunk and hungry, a place that reads “New York Pizza” is literally a beacon. And guess what? It was actually really good. Get any slice and it’ll be in your hands before you’ve even paid.
  • Bewley’s Café, 78-79 Grafton Street – Phenomenal hot chocolate menu and great sandwiches. Great, inexpensive lunch spot.
  • Murphy’s Ice Cream, 27 Wicklow Street – There are no words to describe the seasalt and burnt caramel.
  • Little Ass Burrito Bar, 32A Dawson Street – Missing Chipotle? Here’s your taste of home.
  • The Pig’s Ear, 4 Nassau Street – Great lunch deal, but you can go for dinner too. Kind of like a modern take on the gastropub (the whiskey and citrus salmon is great!). Awesome place to take pictures of your #foodporn.

Edinburgh, Scotland:

  • The City Café, 19 Blair Street – A great American diner! You can get fajitas, burgers, salads… whatever. A wonderful reminder of America.
  • Imans, 4-6 Lochrin Buildings – Indian BYO, perfect for when you’re missing Penn! We went with a huge group, ordered a ton of naan and chicken tikka masala, and went crazy.
  • Mary’s Milk Bar, 19 Grassmarket – Let Mary make you a warm cup of hot chocolate if you find yourself in Edinburgh in the winter. We stopped in during the break of a three-hour walking tour, and it was the perfect place to warm our toes.
  • Tiger Lily, 125 George Street – Great seasonal menu, a little Asian influenced, so pretty! The specialty drinks are a must-try.

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