One of the most fun aspects of traveling is trying local specialties to get a taste of a destination’s flavors. Here at Go Ahead, we’re constantly scouting out the culinary scenes of the destinations we visit to share them with you, our travelers. We asked our team to list their favorite places to grab a bite in London, Paris and Rome.
The growing diversity of this capital’s food scene means there are so many other things to try beyond traditional staples like fish and chips or pub meals.
There’s no better place to start your culinary adventure than at Borough Market (8 Southwark Street), which offers an incredible selection of both English and international treats every day except Sunday. The 100-plus stalls are filled with everything from fish to fruit, and poultry to pastries. Pick up whatever catches your eye and settle in for a picnic along the Thames River, which is just a short walk away.
For incredible views of the city and delicious food, David, our Vice President of Marketing and a Londoner himself, suggests a visit to the OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar and Brasserie (OXO Tower Wharf). Dine in style high above the city, taking in unbeatable views and looking out for St. Paul’s Cathedral across the Thames.
“Indian food is incredible in England,” says Charlotte, Program Development Specialist. Sample freshly baked naan bread and chicken tikka masala, which has a creamy yogurt-based sauce with Indian spices, at one of the many Indian restaurants on Brick Lane in the East End. For more classically English eats, pop by Maggie Jones’s (6 Old Court Place) in Kensington. With a rustic, cozy atmosphere, this hidden gem serves up traditional, home-cooked fare.
High tea is an absolute must-do when visiting London. Take part in the elegant, time-honored tradition of loose-leaf blends accompanied by finger sandwiches, cakes and scones at The Palm Court at the Ritz London (150 Piccadilly). For a fresh spin on afternoon tea, enjoy it mixed with gin or champagne during Tipsy Tea at Mr. Fogg’s Residence (15 Bruton Lane).
The hardest part about eating in the chic French capital? Deciding where to begin! Cuisine reigns supreme here, where cafes and bistros are around every corner.
One place to soak up the vibrant Parisian atmosphere is the Marché des Enfants Rouges (39 Rue de Bretagne), a covered, open-air market in the Marais. “The market has stands selling all sorts of food that you can take for a picnic in a nearby park,” says Marla, Vice President of Customer Relations.
The world-famous crêpe, or very thin pancake, is another must-try. Area Manager Marta found the most delicious crêpes at Au P’tit Grec (68 Rue Mouffetard), where you can choose a savory filling like ham, cheese and tomato or go sweet with banana and nutella.
Cozy, authentic spots abound across the arrondissements, or neighborhoods, of the city. If you see Parisians having a drink at the bar while waiting for a table at a restaurant, you know it’s a good one. Customer Relations Representative Dana recommends Le Bistrot d’Henri (16 Rue Princesse). “This tiny, typical French restaurant off a winding street has great food, nice candlelight and beautiful architecture.” Another staff favorite is Le Petit Pantoise (9 Rue de Pontoise). Communications Director Katie says, “I would highly recommend ordering the Camembert with toasted almonds and honey.” Pair your pick with a glass of red or white wine.
A trip to France isn’t complete until you’ve had a healthy helping of cheese. One delicious way to try it is in fondue or raclette at Pain Vin Fromages (3 Rue Geoffroy l’Angevin). “This was my favorite restaurant in Paris,” says Web Software Developer Peter. “I had raclette, melted cheese with bread and potatoes, and it was out of this world.”
Come time for dessert, you’ll have no trouble satisfying your sweet tooth. While colorful macarons can be seen in many windows, two top spots to purchase them are Ladurée and Pierre Hermé, which have multiple locations throughout Paris. My absolute favorite place for ice cream is Berthillon (31 Rue Saint-Louis en l’Île). It’s just a short walk away from Notre-Dame Cathedral and makes for the perfect mid-afternoon treat. Bon appétit!
Pasta, pizza, gelato—Italian cuisine is well-loved around the world, and for good reason. The choices for authentic, tasty eats in the Eternal City are countless. Located near Piazza Navona in the heart of Rome, Campo de’ Fiori dates back to medieval times. Opening early every morning except Sunday, the lively market is a prime spot for finding fresh produce, fish, meats and spices.
“You must snack on supplì, or fried rice balls with tomato sauce, while walking along the streets of Rome,” says Fabrizio, Head of the Tour Director Department. He also recommends the famous carciofi alla giudia, or fried artichokes, in the Jewish Quarter of the city. A visit to Piperno (Via Monte Dè Cenci, 9), is a great way to experience traditional cuisine of this neighborhood.
For lunch, stop by Baguetteria del Fico (12, Via della Fossa). Christie, Faith-Based Travel Specialist, says “This was the best sandwich shop I’ve ever been to! They shave prosciutto right in front of you.” Just around the corner is the Pizzeria da Baffetto (Via del Governo Vecchio, 114), where locals go for thin, crispy pizzas fresh out of the oven.
It’s nearly impossible to resist the appeal of a mouthwatering Italian dessert, so why not give in to temptation? “Giolitti (Via Uffici del Vicario, 40) is the place to go for gelato,” says Social Media Marketing Manager Melissa. “Try some flavors before you buy a cone!”
Do you have a favorite restaurant in London, Paris or Rome? Tell us about it in the comments below.