#8. Florence, Italy
Florence, Italy, is a city renowned for its rich culinary heritage, and it offers an array of exceptional dining options. Three of the best restaurants in Florence are Enoteca Pinchiorri, a three-star Michelin restaurant celebrated for its innovative Italian cuisine; Osteria All’Antico Vinaio, a charming and traditional spot for delectable panini; and Trattoria Sostanza, famous for its classic Tuscan dishes. Enoteca Pinchiorri delights with a tasting menu that includes dishes like foie gras mousse and lobster with saffron sauce. Osteria All’Antico Vinaio serves heavenly panini filled with Tuscan specialties. Trattoria Sostanza is beloved for its butter chicken and the famous bistecca alla fiorentina, a mouthwatering T-bone steak.
For a taste of Florence’s nightlife, the two best bars are Il Locale and The Fusion Bar & Restaurant. Il Locale is a stylish cocktail bar known for its inventive drinks and lively atmosphere. The Fusion Bar & Restaurant, located at the Gallery Hotel Art, offers a fusion of Italian and international cocktails in a chic setting.
Florence’s markets offer a delightful array of local produce and artisanal products. The Mercato Centrale, a bustling indoor market, features stalls with fresh ingredients, specialty food items, and local wines. The Sant’Ambrogio Market, a favorite among locals, offers a wide selection of fresh produce, meats, and cheese.
Local and traditional foods in Florence showcase Tuscan cuisine at its best. Pappa al pomodoro, a rustic bread and tomato soup, is a local favorite. Ribollita, a hearty vegetable and bread soup, is another traditional dish that warms the soul. Fresh pasta dishes like pappardelle with wild boar ragù capture the essence of Tuscan flavors. Florence’s culinary scene captures the essence of Italian cuisine, with a blend of traditional recipes and modern innovation, making it a haven for food enthusiasts.
Photo Credit to VRolanas, Mike Packard, Jacopo Maia, and Christina Holmes
#7. Paris, France
Paris, France, is celebrated for its exquisite culinary scene, offering a diverse range of dining experiences. Three of the best restaurants in the city are Le Jules Verne, a Michelin-starred restaurant nestled in the Eiffel Tower; Le Comptoir du Relais, a classic bistro with a focus on traditional French cuisine; and L’Ambroisie, a three-star Michelin restaurant revered for its inventive French gastronomy. Le Jules Verne provides breathtaking views of the city along with delectable dishes like duck foie gras and lobster a la nage. Le Comptoir du Relais offers quintessential French dishes such as coq au vin. L’Ambroisie serves dishes like pigeon from Racan with sea urchin.
For those seeking a vibrant nightlife, two of the best bars in Paris are Harry’s New York Bar and Le Bar du Plaza Athénée. Harry’s New York Bar, a historic establishment, is celebrated for its cocktails, including the Bloody Mary. Le Bar du Plaza Athénée offers a luxurious experience in a chic setting, known for its innovative and stylish drinks.
Paris’ markets provide a glimpse into the city’s culinary culture. The Marché d’Aligre is one of the best, known for its fresh produce, cheese, and gourmet products. The Marché des Enfants Rouges, Paris’ oldest covered market, offers a range of international cuisine, from Moroccan to Japanese.
Local and traditional foods in Paris celebrate the heart of French cuisine. Croissants (recipe here) and pain au chocolat from local boulangeries are quintessential Parisian breakfast treats. Escargot, snails cooked in garlic butter, is a classic French dish. Coq au vin, a chicken stew with wine, mushrooms, and onions, exemplifies French comfort food. Paris’ culinary landscape embodies the essence of French gastronomy, with its rich tradition and continued innovation, making it a dream destination for food connoisseurs.
Photo Credit to EdiNugraha, Didier Provost, and Beck vi’al Mezzoterai