Cocktail Recipes, Spirits, and Local Bars

The 10 Most Touristy Restaurants (and Where to Go Instead)

The 10 Most Touristy Restaurants (and Where to Go Instead)

Touristy restaurants are part and parcel of tourism, but you don’t have to fall into their traps — certainly not when there are so many authentic experiences just around the corner. We’ve gathered 10 of the world’s most tourist-frequented restaurants, and have some suggestions for where you can go instead for a more authentically local experience.

The 10 Most Touristy Restaurants (Slideshow)

You can spot a tourist trap in many ways, but the biggest red flag is the menu. How many different languages does it come in? It should be just one — two at the most. Another way you can tell is by the prices. Nobody should be paying suspiciously large amounts of money for average-seeming food that he or she can probably get at home.

To find the restaurants on this list, we researched some of the most visited cities in the world, according to the World Tourism Rankings, and found which restaurants in those cities are referred to as tourist traps in local blogs. We cross-referenced the terms “tourist” and “tourist trap” with names of famous restaurants in order to find what users on sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp had to say about particular places. We also looked for restaurants that feature prominently in famous movies or books, such as Café des 2 Moulins in Paris, which the movie Amélie made famous, thus turning their interior into a tawdry tribute to the movie rather than a dining establishment worth the wait. Finally, we consulted our Eat/Dine and Travel archives to suggest alternatives.

We did not put Café Du Monde in New Orleans on this list because we could find no alternative to their iconic beignets and café au lait. We were definitely able to find alternatives for the original Starbucks at Seattle's Pike Place, though.

So if you find yourself in these popular destinations, be vigilant of iconic or storied restaurants whose reputation and image have overtaken the care they put into their food. And if we missed one, please let us know by tweeting to us @thedailymeal.

Botín (Madrid)

Botín, founded in 1725, is said to be the oldest restaurant in the world. It is mentioned in such specific, beautiful detail in Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, in which characters enjoy their roast suckling pig and sopa de ajo (chicken broth laced with sherry and garlic and garnished with a poached egg). The restaurant knows this all too well: they have quotes from the novel on the wall (with English translations), and their prices are exorbitant. One blogger reports that some neighboring restaurants put signs on their doors that read “Hemingway does NOT eat here.” Reviews on TripAdvisor complain that the food is mediocre and the service is rushed in order to make room for more tourists, who often line up outside. We can’t think of a thing Hemingway would have disliked more. If you’re looking for a storied restaurant with good, traditional food, go to Casa Lucio, just down the street, which opened in 1933. Mario Batali says it is where he often starts his visits to Madrid.

Café des 2 Moulins (Paris)

This Montmartre café gained international fame for being the workplace of Amélie Poulain, the titular character of the famous 2001 movie Amélie. While the café might have once been a quiet spot where locals could smoke grumpily, complain about life, and be moved by small acts of kindness, it is now covered in Amélie kitsch, and bears almost no resemblance to the movie version. Die-hard fans would probably enjoy the experience of crème brûlée and a glass of red wine here, but otherwise, skip the line and go to the nearby Le Fourmi (“The Ant”), whose quirky name is très Amélie.


Taste Louisville’s Culinary Scene

A culinary adventure in Louisville takes you deep into the heart of the Bourbon Country lifestyle. Naturally, that means you can expect our chefs to be absolutely fearless when it comes to adding Bourbon into their recipes. And don’t be surprised when you ask a Louisville chef what to pair with a certain dish, if the answer comes back, “Happy Hour”.

Bourbon isn’t the only star of our menus. Our chefs are taking traditional regional Southern dishes and putting their own unique twists on them, making Louisville the epicenter for “New Southern Cuisine”. And of course, you’ll need to learn the local food language of treats like: Benedictine, Burgoo, Modjeskas and the Hot Brown. Don’t be afraid to ask!

But don’t just take OUR word for it…

Bon Appetit Magazine has called Louisville “One of the best foodie small towns in America.” Zagat says, “Louisville is one of the 7 up and coming foodie towns in America.” According to Southern Living, Louisville is, “One of the top 10 tastiest towns.” And Food & Wine Magazine calls Louisville’s East Market Street “One of the 10 Best Foodie Streets in America.”


Edison Food + Drink Lab

Edison Food + Drink Lab is the popular creation of Chef Jeannie Pierola, a 4X James Beard Best Chef Semifinalist. To say this place is unlike anything else in Tampa is an understatement, from dishes to decor, an industrial science theme invades all aspects of the restaurant. Patrons enjoy an ever-changing menu of "engineered" food "experiments" such as jalapeno Cracker Jacks and a fried oyster and bacon po-boy with kimchee. Expect to be surprised by the flavor combinations on this menu. The decor is fun as well, with an entrance disguised by corrugated metal fencing and the interior featuring polished concrete floors. The industrial look is cleverly broken up by colorful, graphic word art and pops of color on the tables.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Edison is owned by well-known Tampa Chef, Jeannie Pierola, who serves food that is fun and inventive, as well as delicious.

Scott's expert tip: Don't forget to try an artisan cocktail, it's not just the food that's inventive! If you're fond of bourbon and bacon - check out the Sneaky Peat.


17 Fun Things to do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks

Who says you can’t have a fantastic time in Orlando without visiting a theme park? Aside from the world famous Disney and Universal theme parks, the Orlando area is home to a number of beautiful parks, interesting museums, great local restaurants and shops, a handful of waterfront attractions, entertaining shows, and much more.

All too often Orlando visitors come and go without taking time to explore anything besides the theme parks. This is a shame as there is much more to explore in Orlando. While the theme parks are more than worthy of a visit, you would be missing out by not looking into some of the other activities found throughout the Orlando metro area.

Take a look below at a list comprised of 17 non-theme park attractions & activities in the Orlando metro area. Also, feel free to share a few ideas of your own!

1. Take a relaxing stroll around Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve

Orlando’s small 440 acre nature preserve allows visitors to take a glimpse into the natural scenery of Florida. Take this opportunity to escape the crowds and intense heat of the afternoon sun for a relaxing and shady walk through this quiet preserve. Peaceful views of Lake Tibet-Butler along with beautiful flatwoods and wetlands provide the perfect setting for a scenic stroll.

Six short trails, varying in length from 1/2 mile to several miles, are available for everyone from those wanting a quick natural escape to those looking for a half day nature outing. Keep your eyes peeled for possible wildlife sightings: gopher tortoises, bobcats, and bald eagles are occasionally seen.

2. Have dinner at a fun themed restaurant

Both Downtown Disney and Universal City Walk are home to several great theme restaurants. By choosing one of these fun restaurants you can still feel like you are part of the excitement without visiting a theme park. Some of the fun choices in Downtown Disney include Planet Hollywood, House of Blues, Rainforest Cafe, and Raglan Road Irish Pub.

Universal City Walk is home to options such as Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, Hard Rock Cafe, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, and NBA City. Any choice you pick is sure to lead to an entertaining night filled with fun food, service, and music.

3. View the world’s largest collection of Tiffany glass at the Charles Homer Morse Museum of American Art

This Winter Park museum happens to contain the largest collection of works by Louis Tiffany, a late 19th century designer famous for his impressive collection of lamps, pottery, paintings, and jewelry. Every piece is absolutely gorgeous the small admission price enables everyone to see this impressive collection. Take a little break from the heat to visit this local gem you will not be dissapointed! Student admission is only $1 and Friday nights are free (for everyone) from November-April.

4. Take a scenic boat tour in charming Winter Park

Winter Park, a quaint town located just 20 minutes from Orlando, is one of the most scenic small towns in America. One of the top attractions in town is the Scenic Boat Tour, a daily 1 hour narrated tour through the Winter Park Chain of Lakes. This leisurely ride lets you feast your eyes on some spectacular local scenery, including views of extravagant waterfront mansions, lush greenery, and plenty of wildlife.

5. Enjoy a fun night out at Universal City Walk

Universal City Walk is the premier entertainment destination in Orlando. It’s a great place to visit whether or not you spend the day at Universal Studios. Here you can have hours of fun without stepping foot into the park. Theme restaurants include Hard Rock Cafe, Jimmy Buffet’s Margartaville, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, and more. Aside from dining, entertainment options include seeing Blue Man Group, watching a movie in the luxury IMAX theater, mini-golf, and a handful of bars and nightclubs including City Walk’s Rising Star, a unique karaoke bar where you sing alongside a live band.

6. Rent a paddleboat at Lake Eola Park

Lake Eola park in downtown Orlando is a great escape from the hectic theme park crowds. A refreshing 1/2 mile stroll around the landscaped grounds is sure to rejuvenate both your body and mind. Plenty of plant life and birds make this walk a pleasant nature experience. Great views of the Orlando skyline too! A leisurely ride in a paddleboat is a fun way to take in the beautiful views around you.

7. Enjoy a round of mini-golf at Pirate’s Cove

Orlando’s premier mini golf course is about the best you will ever find. Two scenic 18 hole courses through a shady, pirate themed adventure provides the perfect temporary escape from the afternoon heat.

The entertaining courses feature a pirate ship, waterfalls, and plenty of tropical landscaping. Despite being located on busy International Drive, the course is surprisingly quiet. Rates are affordable too (only $12.50 per adult and $11.50 per child). Be sure to check your hotel lobby for a $1 off coupon!

8. Enjoy the local scene at a coffee shop

Both Orlando and Winter Park are home to a number of fantastic local coffeehouses. Skip the common coffee chains in favor of an eclectic local choice like Sleeping Moon Cafe in Winter Park. This charming local gem features great service, great artwork, live events, and a cozy setting. You can really relax and enjoy the quiet for a while in a place like this!

9. Take a bike ride along the Lake Baldwin Trail

Baldwin Park is a newer, upscale area just a few miles from downtown Orlando. Here you will find beautiful homes and landscaping, lots of stores and dining, and a handful of nice parks. Lake Baldwin park features a 2 and a half mile trail around the lake, perfect for bike riding or walking in the early morning hours before it gets too hot.

This area is perfect for the fitness buff flat, quiet, and never too crowded. It’s nice to have a great place in Orlando to take a relaxing walk away from the traffic and crowds. Whether you feel like biking a few times around or just taking a simple walk, you will leave recharged and in a better mood.

10. Indulge your sweet tooth at the Chocolate Emporium

Dessert at the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium is the ultimate treat for anyone with a sweet tooth. This relatively new addition to Universal City Walk scene is already super popular with tourists. What better way to relax after a long day walking endless miles around the parks then splurging on a massive dessert?

Go ahead and treat yourself – you probably walked way more than the dessert is worth in calories! Over a dozen creative milkshakes, sundaes, and desserts are on the lineup. And yes, they are big enough to share amongst your party!

These decadent milkshakes will tempt even the healthiest diners out there! Go ahead – you are on vacation!

11. Spend the day exploring Disney Springs

Disney Springs is a dining, shopping, and entertainment destination similar to Universal City Walk, only with the added bonus of beautiful water views. Several popular theme restaurants (Rainforest Cafe, Planet Hollywood, & House of Blues) can be found here. In addition, a luxury bowling alley, souvenir shops, a luxury movie theater, and Cirque du Soleil shows can be added to your itinerary. Characters in Flight, a hot air balloon ride which travel 400 feet above Disney Springs, is another unique activity to consider.

12. Ride the largest Ferris Wheel on the East Coast

The 400 foot tall Ferris Wheel, the largest on the East Coast, is one of the newest & best additions to the entertainment lineup in Orlando. A ride in one of the enclosed gondolas is a fun way to take in the diverse scenery of Orlando, which includes scenic city vistas, the theme parks, and the natural Florida landscapes. Orlando (and Florida in general) is a surprisingly diverse area with lots to do, but sometimes we forget that as we are too busy enjoying the theme parks! Enjoy the views then plan a day visiting Orlando’s gorgeous parks and preserves.

13. Go alligator watching via an airboat tour

Alligator watching aboard a narrated airboat ride is definitely one of the best things to do in Florida after beaches and theme parks. Seeing alligators in their natural habitat is a really unique experience, and one that you can really only do in a handful of states. Because alligators are known to attack, it’s nice to be able to see them from the safety of a boat! There are numerous airboat companies to choose from in the Orlando area – Wild Willy’s is a nice choice due to the close proximity to Orlando, beautiful setting on Lake Tohopekaliga, and affordable rates (just $38 per person with frequent deals on Groupon).

If you plan on exploring other cities in Florida, I highly recommend checking out Myakka State Park near Sarasota. They offer a fantastic tour upon the Gator Gal “the world’s largest covered airboat” for a super low rate of just 14 bucks. You will see lots of gators here and the staff are super friendly. Plus, this park in general is in my opinion one of the most gorgeous in the entire state. Additionally, Circle B. Bar Reserve in Lakeland (1 hour from Orlando) is a prime place for gator watching. They even have a hiking trail called Alligator Alley which is lined with gators – I’ve never seen so many! Really scary, but at the same time, really fascinating!

14. Explore downtown Winter Park

On your next outing to Orlando, skip the common chains overpopulating in the area in favor of a unique local treat at one of Winter Park’s numerous fantastic dining gems. Winter Park restaurants offer a refreshing change from the abundance of chains in the area. The downtown area is home to an impressive array of restaurants offering every type of cuisine imaginable (check out Prato, Ethos Vegan Kitchen, and Keke’s Breakfast Cafe). Those with food allergies will be happy to know that many restaurants offer specialty food allergy menus and/or are willing to customize dishes to meet your dietary preferences.

15. Bowl a game or 2 at Splitsville Luxury Lanes

Splitsville is a luxury bowling alley located in downtown Disney. It’s a great activity to enjoy either before or after your meal at one of the fun themed restaurants found in the area. Unique decor, an upscale food menu, and live entertainment make Splitsville the place to be. Weekend bowling specials are $20 per person for 1 hour of bowling. In addition, a great Early Bird special consisting of unlimited bowling from open-12:30pm for only $14 per adult is available for those visiting during the early afternoon hours.

16. Stroll around a local garden

Despite the abundance of congestion, traffic, and man-made entertainment in the area, the Orlando metro area still manages to offer a variety of quaint parks to escape from it all. At Harry P. Leu Gardens, you will have the opportunity to stroll around beautifully landscaped gardens filled with tropical plants.

Winter Park is home to a number of attractive parks, including Kraft Azlea Gardens and Mead Botanical Gardens. Both of these pretty parks offer a glimpse into the natural plants and animals found in the area. At Kraft, you will be able to enjoy wonderful lake views, take advantage of ample birdwatching opportunities, and surround yourself with gorgeous Spanish moss trees. The quiet nature trails at Mead allow you to really decompress.

17. See a show

Consider adding a show to your never ending list of non-theme park Orlando attractions. From a pirate themed dinner adventure, to Cirque du Soleil, to the eclectic Blue Man Group spectacular, there is a show to fit every personality and budget. A few popular options include the Outta Control Magic Dinner Show at Wonderworks, Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, Blue Man Group, Sleuths Mystery Dinner Theater, and more!

If that isn’t enough, here are a few more things to add to your list!

Icebar – Escape the heat with a trip to Orlando’s unique ice bar, featuring over 70 tons of ice. You will be given a parka and gloves before heading into the chilly 22 degree ice room, which features cool ice sculptures and drink glasses made out of ice.

Dave & Buster’s – This large entertainment facility offers dozens of traditional arcade games, ticket redemption games, a sports bar, and a full service restaurant. You can have hours of fun here without spending nearly as much as you would at a day at the parks (sign up for the D&B email club to receive special coupons). The Orlando location tends to be crowded at all times, so be prepared to pay for valet parking or spend all night searching for a spot.

Disney Wilderness Preserve – Escape the crowds for a hiking, kayaking, or biking adventure at this 11,000 acre nature oasis in Kissimmee.

Spas – With all the luxury resorts in town, it comes at no surprise that Orlando has no shortage of fantastic spas. Whether you are looking for your standard treatments or a unique experience to spice up your vacation, Orlando spas have you covered. The Ritz-Carlton and Waldorf Astoria spa are 2 highly regarded luxury choices in town.

For a truly unique experience, look into a massage at The Salt Room. The Salt Room is a holistic choice offering relaxing traditional massage therapies along with therapeutic sessions in salt rooms, which have been reported to help many people with allergies, sinus infections, and asthma. After your massage, you will be treated to a 45 minute session in the salt room as you relax in your zero gravity chair you will enjoy the respiratory benefits of the halotherapy.

A few worthwhile Day Trip Destinations (2 hours or less from Orlando)

In addition to the great attractions listed above, there are plenty of fun day trip destinations within an hour or 2 drive of Orlando. Below are a few fantastic side trip destination to visit on your trip to Orlando.

Tampa Bay area beaches

Florida’s Gulf Coast beaches are often ranked amongst the best in the world. Visiting a beach is a great alternative to theme parks especially on extremely hot & humid days when walking around a crowded, unshady theme park is simply unbearable.

The Tampa metro region is home to dozens of beaches, most notably Clearwater, known for its soft, powdery white sand. If you are looking for more peace and quiet and less of a tourist vibe, be sure to check out Indian Rocks Beach or Fred Howard Park. Both of these quiet options offer pretty views in a more relaxing setting. You will not get the same smooth sand however, you will enjoy less traffic noise, the absence of chains and stores polluting the area, and more opportunity to find seashells.

Approximate Driving Time: 2 hours

Glass bottom boat rides at Silver Springs State Park

Silver Springs State Park in Ocala is famous for its’ glass bottom boat rides, one of Florida’s oldest tourist attractions. Here you will have an opportunity to take an exciting narrated ride across the largest artesian springs formation in the world. The transparent bottom of the boat allows you to see all different types of fish and plant life. Be sure to keep an eye out for the occasional gator sighting on the banks.

The beautiful Spanish moss trees surrounding the lake make for an incredibly scenic ride. Bring with your camera – there are plenty of fantastic photo opportunities at this beautiful state park.

Approximate Driving Time: 1 hour and 15 min.

Silver Moon Drive Inn

In Lakeland, just an hour drive from Orlando, you will find one of the last remaining drive-in theaters in the area. This drive-in is one of the cleanest and most affordable around. Double features are only 5 bucks a person, and on occasional weekends you may even be able to see 3 features for one low price. Treat yourself to some old-fashioned fun what a nice classic activity to enjoy year-round!

Approximate Driving Time: 45min-1hour

Circle B Bar Reserve

Central Florida is one of the most natural and forested areas of the state. It’s home to many parks and reserves and hiking trails. Plenty of wildlife can be seen everywhere. Unfortunately, most tourists do not know this as they never venture outside of the crazy Orlando area. Just a quick half hour away is Circle B Bar Reserve, one of the best locations for seeing alligators in their natural habitat.

On a single visit, you are more than likely to see at least a dozen gators (depending on weather and time of day). Bald eagles, tortoises, and many different bird species are also commonly seen. Several miles of scenic hiking trails will give you a glimpse of Florida’s natural plant and wildlife species. Be sure to reserve your spot on the guided tram ride here a park volunteer will guide you through the park.

Have you visited any of the following attractions? What non-theme park attraction would you recommend in the Orlando area?


On the Road Eats: New Orleans City Guide

Boasting a plentiful mix of fine dining and casual cafes, New Orleans is home to distinctive Creole and Cajun cuisines (think po’ boys, gumbo and muffulettas) that bring food lovers back to the bayou year after year. We’ve got the scoop on the best spots to visit for tried-and-true Big Easy classics as well as innovative riffs on the region’s traditional dishes. Let the good times — and the good eats — roll.

Brennan's Restaurant

Starting the day with a cocktail just seems like the right thing to do in New Orleans. And at Brennan’s Restaurant, a morning nip is practically a prerequisite. This grand dame of the New Orleans dining scene has served boozy breakfasts since the early ’50s, drawing locals and tourists alike. One menu favorite is the Brandy Milk Punch, a New Orleans brunch staple with freshly grated nutmeg on top. Pair the cocktail with spiced barbecued lobster or decadent Eggs Sardou nestled in creamed spinach. Even dessert comes soaked in spirits, as Brennan’s is the birthplace of Bananas Foster. The preparation involves a dramatic finale of flaming rum, which left Duff Goldman entranced when he stopped in for dessert on Sugar High.

Cafe Beignet

When in New Orleans, Alton Brown wakes up and strolls over to Cafe Beignet on Royal Street for — you guessed it — the namesake beignets. The chefs here prepare a perfect rendition of New Orleans’ take on a doughnut. The dough is made fresh daily, then allowed a longer-than-standard rise time of three hours, which is the key to its light and airy texture. After a dip in the deep fryer and a blizzard of powdered sugar, it’s ready to be devoured. On The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Alton suggested pairing the pastry with a cup of the chicory coffee, which has just the right amount of bitterness to counter the sweet beignet. Dunk the beignet in coffee, savor and repeat.

Junction

For some of the best burgers in town, head to this beer bar, where the grass-fed meat is sourced from owner Lloyd Miller’s nearby cattle ranch. Miller and Chef Abe Lemoine have dreamed up more than a half-dozen variations on the basic burger, all with railroad themes inspired by the bar’s proximity to the train tracks. Both Michael Symon and Scott Conant were won over by the Hawaii Consolidated when they stopped by on Burgers, Brew & ’Que. Paying homage to Hawaii’s sugar cane-hauling railway, the burger riffs on some of the state’s signature flavors. The patty is seasoned with a brown sugar-laced dry rub and coated with mounds of Monterey Jack cheese, then topped with Canadian bacon, pineapple juice-spiked teriyaki sauce and housemade pineapple jam.

Galatoire's Restaurant

This New Orleans stalwart provides a sophisticated reprieve from Bourbon Street’s frenetic party scene. The dining rooms are elegant, with chandeliers and mahogany, the waiters wear tuxedos and the menu features French-Creole favorites. One menu staple not to be missed are the Soufflé Potatoes, which were featured on The Best Thing I Ever Ate. They begin with thinly sliced russet potatoes, which are fried at three different temperatures until they puff into airy bite-size pillows. They’re tossed with salt, then served with a creamy bearnaise sauce. Order shrimp remoulade and banana bread pudding to complete the meal.

Cochon

Set in a converted warehouse, Cochon specializes in the Cajun flavors Giada De Laurentiis calls "real comfort food." Many of the hearty dishes served here, like the fried alligator with chile-garlic mayonnaise, incorporate local game. “Honestly, if they didn’t tell you it was alligator, I’d think it was chicken,” Giada confessed on Giada’s Weekend Getaways. Another standout dish is the rabbit and dumplings, a warming stew laced with savory herbs and served in a cast-iron skillet.

Walker's BBQ

Shrimp and oysters get a lot of attention as po’ boy fillings, but Walker’s BBQ swaps out seafood for French-Louisiana cochon de lait (suckling pig). Owner Wanda Walker uses pork butt as the main ingredient, seasoning it perfectly, smoking it over white hickory and creating a crisp black bark that Troy Johnson savored on Crave. To build the sandwich, a traditional po’ boy baguette is sliced in half, slicked with a spicy Cajun sauce and stuffed with the smoky pulled pork and creamy coleslaw. What started as a crowd favorite at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival back in 2000 now draws locals and tourists year-round to this tiny smokehouse.

Antoine's Restaurant

History is at the heart of this French-Creole restaurant, where the menu has remained largely unchanged for more than 100 years. It was here in this kitchen that the dish Oysters Rockefeller was created in 1889, and the same closely guarded recipe is still used to this day. A rich, buttery sauce — containing at least four different greens — is piped onto oysters on the half shell, which are then baked in a specially designed oven until browned on top. Bobby Flay declared the resulting dish a “culinary masterpiece” on Top 10 Restaurants with Food Network Magazine. The combination of indulgent menu items (which include Eggs Sardou, Baked Alaska and the brandy-spiked coffee known as Cafe Brulot), impeccable service and luxurious surroundings has continued to draw diners to Antoine’s for nearly two centuries.

Brown Butter Southern Kitchen & Bar

This casual restaurant tucked away in a Mid-City strip mall offers a creative Southern-inspired menu that stretches beyond the expected Big Easy staples. The name Brown Butter alone gave Michael Symon high expectations when he stopped by on Burgers, Brew & ’Que … and the Brown Butter Brunch Burger did not disappoint. This indulgent burger features a short-rib and brisket patty blanketed in Brie cheese and smothered with bacon onion jam, which Michael lauded for its “smokiness, sweetness and acidity.” The patty is nestled on a bun slicked with garlic aioli, then topped with a sunny-side-up egg to add to the richness. Pair it with thin-fried pickles for added tangy enjoyment.

Brown Butter Southern Kitchen & Bar: Brown Butter Southern Kitchen & Bar

Central Grocery

The muffuletta sandwich at this small Italian market clocks in at a whopping 3 pounds, and eating one is a rite of passage in New Orleans. It takes a sturdy loaf to stand up to all those imported cold cuts, so Central Grocery sources bread from local bakeries that is made specifically to support the hefty meat filling. To build the muffuletta — which is Alex Guarnaschelli’s first meal whenever she arrives in town — a sesame seed-studded loaf is sliced in half, brushed with olive oil, then layered with Swiss cheese, provolone and slice upon slice of mortadella, capicola, Genoa salami and more cold cuts. It’s finished with a housemade olive salad to create a briny flavor that ties the sandwich together. “This is firing on all cylinders,” Alex declared on Guilty Pleasures.

Drago's Seafood Restaurant

When Croatian immigrant Drago Cvitanovich opened the first Drago’s Seafood Restaurant in 1969, his kinship with the local Croatian fishing community helped him secure the freshest oysters in the region. Many decades later, Drago’s has grown to three locations and cemented its reputation for the very best shellfish by continuing to source from local fishermen instead of a distributor. Though the menu offers several oyster preparations, the charbroiled option is the undisputed crowd-pleaser. “They’re smoky, garlicky, cheesy, creamy and just beautiful,” enthused Adam Gertler on The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Freshly shucked oysters are doused with a garlic-butter mixture and sprinkled with parsley, Parmesan and Romano cheese while being grilled over an open flame. Drago’s son Tommy invented this dish in 1993 and it has been drawing the crowds ever since, with as many as 900 Charbroiled Oysters served daily.

La Petite Grocery

James Beard Foundation Award finalist Justin Devillier’s clever takes on traditional local flavors have garnered him a loyal following of fans, as Michael Symon found out when he visited the restaurant on Burgers, Brew & ’Que. Michael couldn’t pass up the signature Blue Crab Beignet. Chef Devillier transforms this fried-dough staple (which is traditionally served alongside coffee as a sweet morning snack) by incorporating blue crabs. To make the bite-sized beignets, Devillier combines the crab with chive-and-shallot-laced mascarpone, then rolls the mixture into balls and coats them in beer batter to create a crunchy, golden outside that gives way to a creamy, crab-studded filling. “This is like the world’s greatest crab cake,” Michael declared. He’s also a fan of the LPG Cheeseburger, which features a coarsely ground beef patty topped with onion marmalade, melty Gruyère cheese and house-brined pickles.

Arnaud's

Soft candlelight and great cocktails make this New Orleans fixture a favorite with couples: There’s even a mezzanine in the main dining room called Lovers’ Lookout. A popular date-night dessert is the Bananas Foster, a local invention with a dramatic tableside presentation. Perfect for two, the dish consists of halved bananas that are sauteed in a caramel sauce made from brown sugar and creme de banane liqueur, then doused with a healthy pour of Jamaican rum for a tableside flambe presentation. A spark-inducing dash of cinnamon adds to the theatrics, as the bananas are torched until a delicate, crisp shell caramelizes around the fruit. They’re served over a scoop of vanilla ice cream, resulting in a dessert that had Geoffrey Zakarian singing its praises on Top 5 Restaurants. He called the dish a “silky, sugary and spirited treat with a temperature combination that will make your toes curl.”

K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen

Aarón Sánchez started his career in the late Chef Paul Prudhomme’s kitchen, and he still raves about the blackened redfish (aka Blackened Louisiana Drum) that this restaurant helped popularize as a quintessential New Orleans dish. The redfish is seasoned with a proprietary blend of black, white and red peppers, then blackened in a cast-iron skillet to form a spiced coating. The contrast of the flaky fish and its seasoned crust will make you feel like you’re “levitating,” Aarón said on The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Crowds flock to K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen for the Cajun and Creole cooking that put the restaurant on the map, so reservations are nearly mandatory.

Cane & Table

Set near one of the oldest ports in the nation, this restaurant — housed in a Creole-style cottage — draws upon New Orleans’ culinary heritage for its menu. As Michael Symon said, they’re “creating local cuisine through a scope of Caribbean flavors.” The tropics shine through in dishes like the Crispy Rum Ribs, which are seasoned and grilled, then braised in a mixture of three-year-aged Guyanese rum, poblano peppers, onions, ginger and garlic. After a three-hour turn in the oven, the tender meat is dipped in buttermilk and a house-blend flour to ensure an extra-crunchy crust once fried. Sweet papaya chutney and spicy chile-packed sambal add even more flavor. “It's not traditional barbecue, but I will eat this all day long,” Michael declared on Burgers, Brew & ’Que.

Jacques-Imo's

This lively restaurant is as over-the-top as the City of New Orleans itself, with its kitsch-filled dining room, charismatic owner and decadent menu stuffed with inventive Creole updates. On The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Adam Gertler described a well-known menu item here as “one of the most shocking, weird-sounding, bucket o’ crazy appetizers” he’s ever come across. A savory spin on traditional cheesecake, the recipe “makes a left turn at salty-ville,” explained Adam, as onions, peppers, smoked Gouda, Gulf shrimp and alligator andouille sausage join the standard cream cheese mixture. The mixture is spooned onto a crust of panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan and Romano cheese, then baked until the dish reaches a quiche-like consistency. It’s served with a spicy tomato Creole sauce for kick.

Elizabeth's

New Orleans can offer quite the late-night celebration. When it’s time to recover, Rahm Fama recommends a hearty country breakfast at this down-home Southern restaurant that’s a favorite with locals. The meaty centerpiece of this order is a succulent pork loin that is smoked on-site. Chef Bryon Peck uses heritage-breed Berkshire pork, which has rich marbling to ensure maximum flavor, as Rahm discovered on Meat & Potatoes. The meat is hit with a spice-laden dry rub, then smoked over pecan wood until a thick, zesty bark — or crisp crust — forms. Finished with a sausage-studded gravy and served with praline bacon, sunny-side-up eggs and cheese grits, this plate is the perfect remedy for a night of excess.

Katie's Restaurant

Open since 1984, this Mid-City neighborhood fixture was nearly wiped out by Hurricane Katrina, when 7 feet of water wiped out most of the inside. Hard work and dedication got the restaurant back and better than ever, and it reopened in 2010 with a marker out front showing the high-water mark. Inside, Creole-Italian dishes like a gooey three-cheese crawfish beignet keep the locals returning. There’s also an outsize take on the traditional po’ boy so large it had Guy Fieri exclaiming, “What human eats that?” Named the Barge, the two-to-four-person sandwich packs fried oysters, shrimp and catfish onto an entire loaf of French bread. Those with even more room should opt for the Brooklyn-style Atchafalaya pizza, topped with shrimp, oysters, crawfish and crab cake.

Bon Ton Cafe

Between the graciously unhurried vibe, the old-school decor and the menu of local classics, the Bon Ton Cafe feels like a throwback to another era. The unpretentious look belies its stellar reputation for serving some of the city’s best authentic Cajun cuisine since opening in the ’50s. Locals can’t get enough of the Crabmeat Au Gratin, which was featured on The Best Thing I Ever Ate. The combination of delicately flavored Louisiana blue crab and creamy cheese makes for an exquisitely rich dish. Team it with gumbo, crawfish bisque and bread pudding with the house whiskey sauce.

Dong Phuong Bakery and Restaurant

There are po’ boys aplenty to choose from in New Orleans, but few places offer Dong Phuong’s take: a Vietnamese riff on the Big Easy classic. Locals and tourists alike venture to eastern New Orleans for a Vietnamese Po’ Boy (aka banh mi sandwich). Choose from more than 15 variations or go for the owner’s favorite, Vietnamese Sausage. “It’s a great variation of a po’ boy if I’ve ever seen it,” declared Rahm Fama on Meat & Potatoes. This sandwich brings together housemade garlicky pork sausage in fresh-baked French bread, slicked with mayonnaise and a mixture of hoisin sauce, pate and peanut butter. The sandwich is finished with a mound of toppings, which include jalapeno peppers, pickled carrots and daikons, fresh cilantro and a cucumber spear.

Evangeline

The focus is local at this cozy spot owned by husband-and-wife duo Tony and Rhonda Miller. The Millers not only source fresh ingredients from nearby markets, but also offer more than a dozen craft beers made by regional breweries. Even the name of the restaurant has a Louisiana connection: Evangeline is a Cajun folk hero. It doesn’t get more local than Chef Jim O’Shea’s updated take on a traditional grits dish, which features the state’s official crustacean: crawfish. Cheesy, tomato-laced grits form the base of this indulgent dish, which comes loaded with succulent crawfish and a creamy yet spicy sauce that Michael says will “wake you up in the morning and put you to bed at night.”

Mother's Restaurant

This Big Easy fixture is known for its top-notch comfort food, classic po' boys and available-all-day breakfast favorites. There's often a line out the door, but the bread pudding alone is worth the wait, as Sunny Anderson explained on The Best Thing I Ever Ate. The kitchen riffs on the classic bread pudding recipe by adding fruit cocktail (yes, the same syrupy concoction that comes in a can at the supermarket), so that you get a taste of peach, cherry or pear in every spoonful. “It’s just moist on top of flavor, on top of decadence,” Sunny said. Omelets filled with crawfish etouffee or Creole shrimp add local appeal for those seeking something savory.

Joey K's Restaurant & Bar

Housed in a charming century-old building, this family-owned restaurant offers home-style dishes bursting with Big Easy flavors, such as jambalaya and oyster po’ boys. The Shrimp Magazine is one crowd favorite that earned rave reviews from Guy Fieri, who was ready to list “the 90 reasons” he is a fan of the dish on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. The shrimp are coated in seasoned flour, then sauteed with artichoke hearts and diced ham in “a hot tub of butter,” Guy joked. Basil, green onions and garlic kick up the flavor for the mix, which is served over angel hair pasta. “Every ingredient that went in there, I dig,” Guy enthused.

Liuzza's by the Track

In a city known for its fiery Cajun and Creole cuisines, tongue-tingling dishes abound, but the gumbo at this neighborhood stalwart really stands out by combining the two culinary traditions. The resulting dish is “the absolute hottest and most-delicious gumbo out there,” Geoffrey Zakarian declared on Top 5 Restaurants. For this distinctive stew, a spice-laden savory stock is combined with a robust Cajun-style roux, okra, chicken thighs and andouille sausage. Tangy crushed tomatoes and steamed shrimp add Creole flavor to the dish, which comes served over a mound of rice. The gumbo is worth a journey, but locals pack in regularly for the po’ boys as well.

High Hat Cafe

Though it only opened in 2010, High Hat Cafe has already woven itself into the fabric of the neighborhood, with its menu of Louisiana staples that give it the feel of a longtime fixture. On Burgers, Brew & ’Que, Michael described the Fried Oyster Remoulade Po’ Boy as the “most crispy, savory and preeminent po’ boy in the entire city.” Gulf oysters are coated in a cornmeal dredge, deep-fried, then tossed in a housemade remoulade that forgoes the traditional mayonnaise base in favor of vinaigrette for a tangier taste. The oysters come nestled on a classic po’ boy loaf (airy on the inside and crunchy on the outside) that’s slicked with mayonnaise and topped with lettuce and tomato. “If you’re going po’ boy, you better go po’ boy here,” Michael advised.

Bayona

Pass this restaurant while wandering the French Quarter and you may think you’ve happened upon a cheery fairy-tale cottage. Behind these walls, however, you’ll find a trio of cozy dining rooms and a bustling kitchen helmed by James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef Susan Spicer, who has been drawing crowds with her New American fare since 1990. The menu rotates daily, but keep an eye out for the Cream of Garlic Soup, which Simon Majumdar raved about on The Best Thing I Ever Ate. “You’re getting so many flavors, and I think that’s what makes it one of the great soups — probably in the world — that I’ve ever tasted,” Simon declared. Spicer caramelizes fresh cloves of garlic, then slow-cooks them with sliced onions for optimal flavor. Follow the soup with fried oysters or a smoked-quail salad with bourbon-molasses dressing, ideally eaten on the beautiful patio.

Restaurant August

This elegant restaurant offers contemporary French cuisine in a grand 19th-century space with massive crystal chandeliers, mahogany panels, antique mirrors and polished wood floors. Many of the dishes incorporate local ingredients for a decidedly New Orleanian twist, including handmade potato gnocchi tossed with blue crab. This dish is a favorite of Aarón Sánchez, who raved about it on The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Served in a rich, vermouth-spiked sauce, the dish is studded with Pontchartrain blue crabs and truffles, which add earthy, briny flavors to every bite. Crawfish tartlets, an elevated shrimp etouffee and best-in-class banana pudding help round out the Southern appeal.

Upperline Restaurant

This artsy restaurant — housed in a 19th-century townhouse — is a short streetcar ride from the bustling French Quarter, but it feels a world away from those tourist-thronged streets. Here you’ll find a homey spin on Creole fine dining, complete with a menu of dishes that Simon Majumdar describes as made “with a lot of love.” On The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Simon raved about the half duckling, which is seasoned with garlic, mustard and soy, then slow-roasted. A quick turn under the broiler ensures a perfectly crisp skin ideal for dipping into the accompanying garlic-port or ginger-peach sauce.

Casamento's Restaurant

At this classic NOLA establishment, the raw oysters are a tradition, as Guy Fieri found out on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. In 1919, original owner Joe Casamento shucked the first oyster at his then newly opened restaurant. Nearly a century later, diners are crowding in for the raw oysters offered by third-generation owner CJ Gerdes. With as many as 3,000 oysters served here in a day, they’re shucked at a startlingly quick pace (as quickly as one every six seconds) to keep up with the demand. The oysters are accompanied by an array of condiments like ketchup, horseradish and hot sauce, but any way you eat them you’re sure to taste the “fresh, vibrant flavor” that had Guy hooked. Casamento's Restaurant is also known for its fried-oyster sandwiches (think mounds of fried oysters on a slab of buttery bread), fried shrimp and soft-shell crab.

Johnny's Po-Boys

As the name suggests, traditional Louisiana sandwiches are this old-school restaurant&rsquos main draw. A family-owned New Orleans fixture, Johnny&rsquos Po-Boys has been slinging hearty Southern sandwiches since 1950. Its namesake po&rsquo boys can be customized with a dizzying array of fillings. Opt for golden-brown morsels of fried shrimp nestled into the house baguette-style slab of French bread. Order it "dressed, baby" for an extra charge and the kitchen will add lettuce, tomatoes and pickles. The muffuletta is another fixture, and one Scott Conant called "perfect" on The Best Thing I Ever Ate. For this sandwich, a 12-inch, seed-studded Italian bun is piled high with ham, mozzarella cheese and salami, then topped with a bright mix of olives and pickled vegetables.

Big Fisherman Seafood

Crawfish is a local delicacy so beloved in Louisiana that it was named the official state crustacean in 1983. Restaurants throughout New Orleans tout their crawfish boils, but this no-fuss seafood market is a go-to spot for locals, as Alton Brown and his crew found out on Feasting on Asphalt Waves. To keep up with demand, sacks upon sacks of the crustaceans are delivered fresh daily by local fishermen. A whopping 150 pounds of crawfish at a time are then boiled in a vat of broth seasoned with red pepper, garlic and other Big Easy flavors. The market is a bit off the beaten path and does not offer seating, so plan to take your haul to go.


4. Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Dip

I have made this buffalo cauliflower dip recipe from Rainbow Plant Life for many Super Bowls, and even my omnivore friends have enjoyed it. It gets its cheesy flavor from nutritional yeast and the kick of buffalo sauce makes everyone forget that they’re not eating meat. Plus, as opposed to cooking and steaming all the ingredients separately before blending them, I like that I can just dump it all in there and use an immersion blender for the perfect consistency.


The 31 best restaurants in Los Angeles you need to try

Despite the ups and downs of our city&rsquos dining regulations, L.A. is still home to one of the most exciting restaurant scenes in the country: a collection of restaurants and pop-ups and vendors with a reputation built on incredible food trucks and off-the-beaten-path tacos just as much as tasting menus and farmers&rsquo market produce.

At its core, L.A. thrives on its diverse blend of genre-bending formats and cuisines, which creates some of the world&rsquos best omakase restaurants, fine-dining institutions and French-bistro gems tucked into strip malls.

Our experts scour the city for great eats and great insider info. We value fun, flavor, freshness&mdashand value at every price point. We update the EAT List regularly, and if it&rsquos on the list, we think it&rsquos awesome&mdashand we bet you will, too.

April 2021: With the return of indoor dining and an increase in restaurant capacity, you&rsquoll find more of our favorite spots returning to dine-in. We&rsquove also been able to add back Providence as the fish palace is once again open. Hayato is still on our list but taking a break for the first week of the month. And then there are two former EAT List fixtures that we wanted to call out: Nightshade is still temporarily shuttered in the Arts District, but chef Mei Lin has opened Szechuan hot chicken spot Daybird in Silver Lake and Broken Spanish, which closed in DTLA last year, has extended its pop-up in Hollywood.

Eaten somewhere on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutEatList. Plus, find out more about how we decide what makes the list.


Wada / Vada Pav

The Wada-Pav also spelled Vada-Pav is a fast-food snack…The Indian Burger! It consists of a spicy, deep fried potato based patty (called the "Wada") sandwiched between a thick square of bread that is similar to a burger bun (called the "Pav"). Thus the name Wada-Pav. This dish is usually served with sweet & sour sauces called "chutney" and fried salted green chilies.

Wada pav is popular only in the state of Maharashtra, and not so well known in the rest of India. It is the preferred noon-time snack for the masses and is sometimes had even for a main meal. Its popularity stems from the fact that it is very economical, filling and easily available. In a city like Pune or Mumbai there are numerous wada-pav stalls and no matter where you may be in the city, you can always find one just around the corner.


List Of Top 10 Best Restaurants In Spain

Spain is famous for its classic cuisine and remarkable food. In almost every part of the country you will find good restaurants or motels. A good restaurant should have a matchless team of chefs and a prime location. Although some of them are not as good as others but still they are well established. Here is the list of List Of Top 10 Best Restaurants In Spain.

10. Sant Pau

This restaurant is run by Chef Carme Ruscalleda who has the honor to be the only women chef of Spain to receive three Michelin stars. The restaurant is situated in Barcelona and some typical dishes include stuffed calamari and Iberian pork shoulder.

9. Can Fabes

Can Fabes is located near Barcelona, Spain and is ranked as one of the best in Spain. It is a Michelin three star restaurant administered by Chef Santi Santamaria. Some of its famous dishes include tender pigeon and mackerel. Lovely place with tasty dishes is known as Cana Fabes (Spain).

8. Quique Dacosta

This restaurant is situated in Denia, a beautiful city of Spain located on Costa Blanca. Run by a famous Spanish chef, Quique Dacosta, this eponymous restaurant encompasses a variety of different cuisines and dishes. The speciality of this restaurant is that all the ingredients used are local and taken from within 75 km of the restaurant. Another special quality of the chef, which is why this restaurant is the 41 st best restaurant in the world, is that he only uses two or three ingredients in his recipes, hence restoring the original flavor of the constituents.

7. Martin Berasategui

Fresh, light, imaginative, prepared with precision, deep in its environment and an immediate cuisine served in a captivating environment. This is what Martin Berasategui’s eponymous restaurant is all about. Situated in the attractive valley of Lasarta Oria, they claim to have only the most perfect and brilliant recipes on their menu list. Furthermore, Martin Berasategui is the only seven star chefs in Spain and under his command this restaurant is ranked as world’s 35 th best restaurant.

6. Asador Etxebarri

Nested deep in the Atxondo valley, far away from the hustle and bustle of city, this restaurant preserves every early technique of grill cooking. From dishes of main course to desserts, everything is cooked on over a grill, hence having a diverse taste of firewood in it. The chief chef is Victor Arguinzoniz who is best known due to his experience and versatility.

5. Azurmendi

With great and diverse building design, which joins together the mechanical feel with the more conventional style, Azurmendi is surely one of the best places to visit. It is an haute restaurant situated in the wonderful valley of Larrabetzu, Spain with an outstanding glass building which provides panoramic view of the valley. Eneko Atxa is the chief chef of Azurmendi Restaurant. Azurmendi restaurant have the honour to win the third Michelin Star in November 2012.

Azrak was built in 1897 by Jose Arzak in a house a like building in San Sebastian, Basque country. It is now run by the grandson of the founder. Arzak is number eight on the list of top best restaurants in the world. Moreover, in 2008 it was awarded Universal Basque award. Their Basque cuisine, which is another specialty of Azrak, is loved by people. Pine nuts, smoked tuna and fresh figs are some renowned dishes.

Mugaritz is situated in the valley of Renteria in Basque country, Spain which is near to the Oiartzun River. It was opened in 1998 under supervision of Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz. It is a highly rated restaurant and is recognized worldwide because of its delicious cuisines. It has received a lot of awards and has received two Michelin awards in 2000 and 2005. Likewise, it is also ranked as the number 4 th best restaurant in the world. At Mugaritz you can find a perfect blend of all the flavours and ingredients. The aesthetic design and environment adds to the visit and make it a memorable one. Monkfish cheek and ceramic potatoes are a few well-known dishes.

El Bulli is one of the best restaurants in the world. It was named world’s best restaurant a record of 5 times by Restaurant magazine. This Michelin 3 star restaurant is located on the north-east side of Spain on the bay of Cala Montjoi. It is run by Chef Ferran Adria who is very famous for his trout tempura which is available in El Bulli. This small restaurant was closed in 2011 as there are only limited seasons in which it operates but it will reopen in 2020.

1. El Celler de Can Roca

The Best Restaurants In Spain – El Celler de Can Roca

Also known as Celler Can Roca, it is not only the best restaurant in Spain but also in the world. It was ranked as “The Best Restaurant” in whole world by Restaurant magazine after remaining second for two years, that is, 2011 and 2012. It was built in 1986 by Roca Brothers (Joan, Josep and Jordi) near their family restaurant. It was shifted to a newly built wooden building in 2007. It has received three Michelin stars and is famous among folks due to its traditional Catalan cuisine. Besides this, it is also famous for its remarkable presentation. Sometimes they use chilled and then baked liquid nitrogen in calamari as a cracker to amaze the folks or at times they use bonsai tree to serve the appetizers.

Furthermore, they have also introduced some desserts and dishes which are based on branded perfume which also seems very interesting. Tahitian ice cream and baby squids along with rock shaped onion are their typical dishes.


List of Top Bangladeshi Food

Here is a list of the top Bangladeshi food someone must try while visiting Bangladesh for an authentic Bangladesh experience. Most of these foods are available to taste in traditional Bangladeshi restaurants, but some of them are homemade food and not available in the restaurants. The only chance to taste them is if you get invited by a Bangladeshi family. Try these famous Bangladeshi food and let us know in the comments how much you like them.

Paratha – Popular Bangladeshi Food for Breakfast. ©Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Bangladeshi Breakfast

Paratha

Paratha is an unleavened flatbread in Bangladesh made by baking flour dough on a frying pan and finishing off with shallow frying. It is layered by coating with oil and folding repeatedly using a laminated dough technique. It is the most popular Bangladeshi food for breakfast in the restaurants, which is normally eaten with Bhaji (mixed vegetable) or lentil or a mixture of these two together, and with fried eggs.

If you are visiting Bangladesh, the most authentic local way of starting your day would be having breakfast with paratha, Bhaji, and egg fry, followed by tea. You can also have Nehari with paratha, which is slow-cooked beef shank with lots of gravy – a very popular breakfast with the locals.

Kachchi Biryani – A special Bangladeshi food. ©Photo Credit: nannabiryani.com

Bangladeshi Main Dishes

Kachchi Biryani – Special Bangladeshi Food

Kachchi biryani is usually a featured dish for weddings and social gatherings and celebrations. Layers of meat, rice, and potatoes are infused with warm and delectable blends of aromatic spices to prepare Kachchi biryani.

The term “Kachchi” means raw referring to the biryani ingredients being combined raw in layers instead of first cooking the meat or rice separately. Traditionally, Kachchi biryani is cooked in a clay oven and the cooking pot is usually sealed with flour dough to allow the biryani to cook in its own steam. The sealed pot is not opened until the biryani is ready to be served.

A simple salad is sufficient as a side for Kachchi biryani but traditionally Shami Kabab and chutney are served alongside. Also very popular is to have Borhani with Kachchi biryani, which is a traditional yogurt drink. Kachchi Biryani is the most popular formal Bangladeshi food that you must try at least once while visiting Bangladesh.

Bhuna Khichuri – A special Bangladeshi food. ©Photo Credit: bdfoodnavi.com

Bhuna Khichuri

The Bengali word “Bhuna Khichuri” means browning, mixing, or deep frying spices with rice and lentil. It is the richer version of the plain old Khichuri. Bhuna means braised, so this dish is kind of slow-cooked to infuse the flavors and the spices as opposed to the simple process of cooking everything together during the other times. You cannot ignore the beautiful aroma while it is braising and cooking!

Bhuna Khichuri could be cooked with different types of meat – beef, mutton (goat), and chicken. Also, it can have eggs or prawn added to it. It is a very popular dish for lunch in traditional Bangladeshi restaurants. Bhuna Khichuri would be the number three authentic Bangladeshi food you must try while visiting Bangladesh.

Patla Khichuri – A romantic Bangladeshi food. ©Photo Credit: Raw Hasan

Patla Khichuri – Romantic Bangladeshi Food

Patla Khichuri is the actual traditional Khichuri of Bangladesh cooked plainly with rice and lentil. It is semi-liquid. Usually different seasonal vegetables, spinach, and potatoes are added with it. It is eaten with any meat curry – beef, mutton, or chicken. Also eaten with a fried egg or Begun Bhaja (fried eggplants). Just a teaspoon of ghee brings out the actual essence of this yummy dish.

Patla Khichuri is a romantic food in Bangladesh. During the heavy rain of a monsoon day, a hot plate of Patla Khichuri with meat is what any traditional Bengali people want! Patla Khichuri is cooked in every village house during the two Eid festivals, the biggest festivals in Bangladesh. When people go to visit other people’s houses in any village during Eid, Patla Khichuri is a much thing to serve with meat curry, along with the special Eid dessert called Semai.

Patla Khichuri is a traditional homemade food and not served in restaurants. Only the Bhuna Khichuri is served in the restaurants. The only chance of tasting Patla Khichuri is if you are invited to a locals house during a rainy day of monsoon, or in a village house during Eid.

Morog Polao – A special Bangladeshi food. ©Photo Credit: helloworldmagazine.com

Morog Polao (Chicken Pilaf)

Morag Polao is a very rich flavorful full dish where chicken and rice are cooked with spices, yogurt, and clarified butter (ghee). Nowadays to make it a little less rich, oil and ghee are used together.

Morag Polao is a very traditional rich item in Bengali cuisine. It is not spicy, and the chicken has a light and yummy taste. It is a treat for meat lovers because chicken is used in large portions here. It is usually served on special occasions together with the traditional yogurt-drink known as Borhani. Morag Polao would be the number four Bangladeshi food you must try while visiting Bangladesh.

Rice with Curry, Vorta, Vaji, and Daal. ©Photo Credit: ntvbd.com

Rice with Curry, Vorta, Vaji, and Daal – Everyday Bangladeshi food

Plain rice is the main food in Bangladesh. It is served with different fish and meat curry, Bhorta (mash) of different vegetables and fish, bhaji (fried) of different vegetables, and Patla Daal (lentil soup). There is a proverb in Bangladesh – “rice and fish makes the Bengali people”. From this, you can understand that fish and rice is the most popular food in Bangladesh.

While visiting Bangladesh, go to any traditional restaurant anywhere in the country, and order rice with different curries, Bhortas, bhajis, and daal. This will be the most traditional way of having lunch or dinner. You should try this Bangladeshi food for lunch at least once while visiting Bangladesh.

Bangladesh Tour Packages

Check out the 8-28 days Bangladesh tour packages of Nijhoom Tours, a multi-award-winning local tour operator directly from Bangladesh.

We run regularly scheduled tours in Bangladesh throughout the year with a tiny group of 2-5 people only, which are good value for money compared to any foreign operator.

Grilled Chicken. ©Photo Credit: chowstatic.com

Bangladeshi Evening Snacks

Grilled Chicken with Naan Roti

Grilled Chicken has become very popular in Bangladesh recently. You can find mouth-watering grilled chicken on almost every street. Chicken is marinated with spices and later grilled on the griller. The chicken is super moist inside but crunchy bits of chars outside make them taste heavenly. Grilled chickens are normally served with Naan Rooti (an oven-baked flatbread), mayonnaise, and simple salads. This is an evening snack, mostly available after 5.00 pm at the restaurants.

Haleem. ©Photo Credit: thedailystar.net

Haleem

Haleem is basically spicy lentil soup very popular in Bangladesh. Haleem is made of wheat, barley, meat (usually minced meat of beef or mutton), different types of lentils, spices, and sometimes rice is also used. This dish is slow-cooked for seven to eight hours, which results in a paste-like consistency, blending the flavors of spices, meat, barley, and wheat.

Haleem is served with coriander leaves, lemon wedges, chopped ginger, green chili, and fried onion. Sometimes it is served with naan or any kind of bread in Bangladesh. This is another evening snack available in almost every restaurant in Bangladesh. Haleem is a special Bangladeshi food you must not miss while visiting Bangladesh. You’ll miss a lot if you do so!

Sheek kabab with Paratha. ©Photo Credit: 4.bp.blogspot.com

Sheek Kabab

Sheek Kabab is beef or mutton cut in cubic pieces, marinated for a long time with spices, put together on a skewer, and Bar-b-Qed. The main trick of melt-in-mouth kabab is how to marinate and for how long to marinate it. They are marinated for three hours to two days.

Sheek Kabab is served with Naan Roti and a simple salad. It is another evening snack, available mostly after 5.00 pm at the restaurants. While visiting Bangladesh, try Sheek Kabab at least once in the evening. You will not regret it!

Fuchka. ©Photo Credit: thedailystar.net

Bangladeshi Street Food

Fuchka

Fuchka is the most popular street food in Bangladesh, served mainly in the evening. It has a unique spicy, sour, crispy taste. It consists of a round, hollow puri, fried crisp, and filled with a mixture of flavored water, tamarind chutney, chili, chaat masala, potato, onion, and chickpeas. Fuchka uses a mixture of boiled mashed potatoes as the filling and is tangy rather than sweetish while the water is sour and spicy.

Bangladesh Tour Packages

Check out the 8-28 days Bangladesh tour packages of Nijhoom Tours, a multi-award-winning local tour operator directly from Bangladesh.

We run regularly scheduled tours in Bangladesh throughout the year with a tiny group of 2-5 people only, which are good value for money compared to any foreign operator.

Misti Doi / Sweet Yogurt. ©Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Bangladeshi Desserts

Misti Doi (Sweet Yogurt)

Sweet Yogurt is a traditional Bengali dessert item that is locally known as Mishti Doi. It is a healthy low-fat dessert. No Bengali occasion is complete without Sweet Yogurt and Sweets. It is not your regular yogurt. Also, it is not at all runny as curd. It is thick, dense, and more like creamy cheesecake.

Misti Doi is made with milk and sugar or jaggery. It differs from plain yogurt because of the technique of preparation. It is prepared by boiling milk until it is slightly thickened, sweetening it with sugar or jaggery, and allowing the milk to ferment overnight. Earthenware is always used as the container for making Misti Doi because the gradual evaporation of water through its porous walls not only further thickens the yogurt, but also produces the right temperature for the growth of the culture.

Bangladeshi people are very fond of desserts, and sweet yogurt is a popular one after lunch or dinner. Sweet Yogurt is mostly sold in the sweet shops, but also available in restaurants. In the restaurants, they normally serve it in small cups made of pottery. Sweet Yogurt of Bogra is the most famous in Bangladesh. In Dhaka, Ali-Baba Sweets makes one of the best Sweet Yogurts in Bangladesh.

Doi Chira. ©Photo Credit: i.ytimg.com

Doi Chira

Doi Chira is authentic Bangladeshi food. In this recipe flat rice or Chira is soaked for several hours in water then mixed with sweet yogurt, sugar, banana, or some other sweet fruits. This recipe is comfort food that will calm anyone down. Doi Chira is a Bangladeshi food that is easy to prepare and involves no cooking. You should try this Bangladeshi food at least once during your visit.

Falooda. ©Photo Credit: jamunanews24.com

Falooda

Falooda is a cold dessert very popular in Bangladesh. Traditionally it is made from mixing rose syrup, vermicelli, sweet basil (sabza/takmaria) seeds, and pieces of jelly with milk often topped off with a scoop of ice cream, lastly garnished with chopped fruits. The vermicelli used for preparing Falooda is made from wheat, arrowroot, cornstarch, or sago pearls.

Rasmalai. ©Photo Credit: thesaffronplatter.com

Rasmalai

Rasmalai is a unique Bangladeshi delicacy. This Bangladeshi dessert is a flattened cheese ball soaked in malai (clotted cream) flavored with cardamom. Malai or clotted cream itself has a unique texture.

Malai is made by heating non-homogenized whole milk to about 80 °C for about one hour and then allowing it to cool down. A thick yellowish layer of fat and coagulated proteins forms on the surface, which is skimmed off. The process is usually repeated to remove most of the fat.

Rasmalai is available at every sweet shop in Bangladesh. Raasmalai of a sweet shop in Comilla named “Matri Bhandar” is the most famous in Bangladesh. “Alibaba Sweets” in Dhaka also makes good quality Rasmalai. If you are visiting Bangladesh, good quality Rasmalai is a must to taste.

Borhani. ©Photo Credit: somoynews.tv

Bangladeshi Drinks

Borhani

This is a spicy yogurt drink served at weddings or big parties with Biryani, Tahari, Bhuna Khichuri, or Morog Polao. It is a traditional drink and is very easy to make. Borhani balances the spiciness of the main food and it has ingredients like mint, cumin, and yogurt. It also helps digestion.

Bottled Borhani is available in the restaurants, but it is the home-made one on the wedding feasts which you need to taste for the actual taste of Borhani.

Sweet Lacci. ©Photo Credit: i.ytimg.com

Sweet Lassi

Lassi is a popular traditional yogurt-based drink from Bangladesh. Lassi is a blend of yogurt, water, spices, and sometimes fruit. Lassis are enjoyed chilled as a hot-weather refreshment, mostly taken with lunch. It is a very popular drink in Bangladesh which you must try at least once while visiting Bangladesh.

Have you ever visited Bangladesh? What is your most favorite authentic Bangladeshi food that you’ve tasted here? Have I missed something that should be on this list? Share with us in the comments!

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