Where To Eat in Paris

While now isn’t the moment to dine out (and restaurants are closed nearly everywhere for safety reasons), we can all look forward to our post-confinement lunches and brunches (at some point) in the future. Here are six spots, old and new, I enjoyed the most during my last stay in Paris.

Carbón

Located in the heart of Le Marais distict, Carbón is an ode to nature, a place where the most ancestral cooking technique in the world, fire, encounters the products of land and sea in their extreme nudity. The regularly-changing menu will surprise you with such offerings as oysers infused in coffee or different sorts of ceviche. Its contemporary decor provides a stylish backdrop whether you’re with friends (the sharing plates are perfect for a relaxed dinner) or looking for a more romantic spot. There’s also a great “secret” speakeasy bar, La Mina, hidden away downstairs serving up delicious craft cocktails.

14 Rue Charlot

Le Moulin De La Vierge

You could easily assume that Le Moulin de la Vierge is simply a typical neighbourhood bakery in the sleepy 15th district, however it’s much, much more. The owner is dedicated to preserving the art nouveau architecture of each of his close-to-each-other patisserie stores. The décor is reminiscent of a 19th century Parisian boutique the pastries are so, so delicious (especially chocolate croissants). You might also be tempted to taste one of the numerous pastries like the exquisite éclairs or the mouth-watering tarts. Mille-feuille lovers will also find happiness.

10 Place des Petits Pères

La Belle Epoque

This upscale and mundane dining room that seems to have existed since forever has imposed itself as “the” must-go hangout for the chic, Parisian crowd. A wired atmosphere, a super discrete decor with an elegant 19th century tiling… here is the ideal place to show up with friends and nibble on trendy vintage dishes (leek in vinaigrette sauce, veal chops, ceviche and French style burgers, for a good example).

36 Rue des Petits Champs

Mara by Caché

Charming dining spot in Le Marais that celebrates contemporary Mediterranean cuisine. The sharing menu has a lovely selection of raw fish (seriole carpaccio served in mango sauce, sea bream ceviche with citrus fruits…), shellfish and crustaceans, but also gourmet desserts (including rousquille, a Catalan dessert served with nougat ice cream and chocolate sauce ). All accompanied by a superb selection of niche, natural wines.

27 Rue de Saintonge

Oursin

If you’re missing the sun and the sea, head to the second floor of Galeries Lafayette Champs-Elysées, where Simon Porte Jacquemus has opened Oursin in collaboration with Caviar Kaspia. After Citron, his sunny café located just a floor below, the darling of the fashion world continues telling Provençal stories in an atmosphere that’s dripping with la dolce vita: whitewashed walls, ecru banquettes, braided wicker chairs, beautiful ceramics, draping ivy, Italian melodies… In the kitchen, you’ll find chef Erica Archambault sending out southern dishes: delicious fried artichokes with Greek yogurt and lemon zest; incredibly tender grilled octopus with cherry tomatoes, potatoes and a tomato sauce with capers – all sponged up with squid ink bread; plus an incredible chocolate ganache with yogurt sorbet and blueberries for dessert. The plates – all hand-made by Daphne Leon – are as good as the food.

60 Avenue des Champs-Élysées

Le Costes

This place is old and really well-known, but still, no other restaurant has reached the level of cool chic that Le Costes does so effortlessly for years. The opulent Second Empire décor designed by Jacques Garcia that’s a cross between a brothel and a trip to Egypt, with a lineup that brings together the fashion crowd (especially during fashion week. We were sitting next to @ireneisgood and System’s Elizabeth Von Guttman – and we had a very lovely chat…). The cuisine here is properly eclectic. The menu shifts between healthy options (a  avocado/olive oil/lemon tartine, fresh bass tartare…) and fusion dishes (crispy chicken spring rolls – they are the best – and Thai-style marinated steak) to updated classics: a beautiful Niçoise salad upgraded to include flash-seared fresh tuna or a delightful chicken breast served with fries. Take the divine pavlova with red berries and voluptuous meringue for dessert.

239-241 rue Saint-Honoré

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All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

(P.S. If you are inspired by my Parisian coverage, I’m really happy about, but please have in mind that now isn’t a safe time for any sorts of travelling. Stay at home!)

Sweet Prenzlauerberg

Berlin‘s Prenzlauerberg district is always full of surprises, and this time they were especially sweet. Here are the two amazing spots where you will eat the best Tokyo-inspired ice-cream dessert and a cake that looks too good to eat it.

Tenzan Lab is the place where you will eat the best kakigōri in Berlin. Kakigōri is a Japanese shaved ice dessert flavored with syrup and condensed milk. The one we ordered was served with matcha mascarpone on top, which is the best thing ever (if you love matcha and everything that’s creamy, of course).

Wörther Straße 22

Be Sweet is a vegan patisserie serving all sorts of cakes, tarts and cute desserts. The little, delicious masterpiece we ate was filled with boiled cherries and chocolatte mousse. Heaven. The outside seating area lets you observe Prenzlauerberg’s relaxed, urban rhythm and take a rest.

Kollwitzstraße 37

Baba in Le Marais

Located in Le Marais, Baba is a restaurant open all day for lunch and dinner with a bar service the rest of the time. The place serves a new wave of Mediterranean cuisine mixed with family recipes, contemporary and refined, sometimes eaten with hands. But also, the dishes have a strong Israeli influence, mixed with Italian, Greek, Provençal and North-African flavors. Their tabouleh and beef kefta are my winners. Seasonal cuisine, honest and colorful – it’s really good.

17 rue Charlot / Paris

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Trattoria Sostanza in Florence

A fact: Trattoria Sostanza is the best restaurant in Florence. Please, if you’re planning a trip to Tusany’s capital, book your table here (at least three-four days in advance). This small restaurant, with a toilet located in the back of the kitchen (yes, you have to go through the entire kitchen, which also means meeting the very Italian cooks!), is the best kept secret of the locals. It might be classical, Tuscan cuisine, with dishes that sound like regular Italian plates. But the taste of every single thing here is heaven. From the Florentine steak and artichoke pie to tortellini stuffed with signature ragout and a plate of tomatoes from the chef’s garden, Trattoria Sostanza really shows what finest Italian food is, in an unpretentious, home-made way. If you’re lucky with the season, you will get wild strawberries (straight from a Sicilian farmer) with your meringue cake – which is a masterpiece. Again, go there. Thank me later.

Via del Porcellana, 25/R / Florence

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Kin Dee

Looking for a fresh, fine dining experience in Berlin? Kin Dee is the answer, then. Dalad Kambhu‘s bright culinary retreat, full of robust flavours and bold Thai aromas, is here to elevate the city’s view on Asian cusine. Born and raised in Bangkok, Kambhu, who is a self-trained cook, lived in New York for a decade before deciding to move to Berlin to open her first restaurant with artist Rirkrit Tiravanija. Tiravanjia – whose artwork often involves the context of shared meals – helped pioneer a sharing set menu at Kin Dee. From Duo Pla (ceviche fjord trout and scalops with Thai herb dressing) and Kaprao Octopus (octopus confit in a very, very spicy sauce) to Sweet Green Beef Curry and the special of the day, everything appears to be a taste rhapsody, coming straight from Dalad’s kitchen. Better book a table in advance!

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Sonny

Sonny is the place where you will drink the Instagram-famous Golden Latte – which, in fact, is a combination of turmeric, lemon, ginger and chamomile. The taste can be described as some sort of spicy rhapsody. And the energy boost might be compared to a cup of good espresso! Other than that, Sonny is a daytime place, favoured by the Copenhagen locals. The menu contains regulars, like avocado toast, but not only. Try their signature Sonny Salad, full of vitamins from fresh and crispy ingredients. The Spicy Tuna is a semi-sandwich, which I found especially nutritious. The interior, which is quintessentially Copenhagen – beautiful details, lots of vintage furniture, cozy seatings – is a perfect backdrop for lunch.

Rådhusstræde 5 / Copenhagen

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Sticks ‘n’ Sushi in Berlin

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Just a few steps from Andreas Murkudis and Acne Studios, there’s the two-storey heaven called Sticks ‘n’ Sushi. Although I rarely go to restaurant chains, this one from Copenhagen is an absolute exception. Opened more than a year ago in Berlin, this place has the most refined sushi (and other Japanese specialties) in the city. From the signature rice paper rolls and beef tataki with yuzu sauce to wagyu tartare and the most sensational versions of maki, Sticks ‘n’ Sushi pleases with freshness and inventiveness. Also, I really love the atmosphere in here, which makes me think of New York and those crowdy, stylish Sex & The City-like restaurants. If only the prices could be slightly lower! Still, they’re totally justified, as the quality of every single plate is perfect. And that matcha for dessert…

If looking for something more ‘casual’, but equally good in Berlin, go to Sasaya (good luck with booking a table there, though…).

Potsdamer Straße 85 / Berlin

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Mistu

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If you’re coming to Porto (see my guide around the city’s loveliest spots here), make Mistu your must-go restaurant. It’s the best restaurant I’ve been to in entire Portugal – it’s heaven. After recovering a neo-Arab building and transforming it into the Flow Restaurant & Bar, the restaurateurs’ desire to develop new experiences at the table took them to a former locksmith’s shop behind the Stock Exchange Palace. Black, white, brass, straw and green are the tones that predominate here, creating a chic, groovy atmosphere. But what’s most appealing about Mistu is that several gastronomic cultures of the orld with references of Asia and South America arrive at the table with an Portuguese accent. Chef Rui Mingatos is a magician! Try the tuna ceviche for starter, Uruguayan picanha for the main course. An ecstatic experience! Oh, and you better book a table in advance.

Rua do Comércio do Porto 161 / Porto

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Sasaya

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Ok, let’s make this clear: Sasaya is the best Japanese restaurant in Berlin. It’s just so pure in taste, and so Japanese in everything, from the simple interior to the way the asparagus tempura is served on ceramics plates (which are sold together with delightful pottery and rare sake next to the restaurant space). Sasaya doesn’t only serve sushi – which is perfect – but as well other traditional dishes and tastes like the tsukemono (pickled vegetables), the takana (fried vegetables), dashi broth or the kukiwakame (seaweed). The gyoza stick is a great addition to your portion of maki and nigiri, while green tea cake with matcha macchiato is an ideal desert (at least for me!). Really, Sasaya won’t disappoint those who look for Japanese cuisine, not some kind of philadelphia-cheee-stuffed hybrid.

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.