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We asked people who work and travel around the world to tell us about their favorite restaurants on the planet. From holes in the wall to Michelin-starred feasts, these are some of the places they recommended, presented in no particular order.
A traditional Saudi restaurant in Riyadh. Every time I have a guest from outside the country I'd take them to this place! The food is amazing and the quality control keeps getting better and better. Najd Village, At Takhassusi St, Al Olaya, Riyadh 12331, Saudi Arabia.
— Mazroua Al-Mazroua, Entrepreneur
The place that immediately springs to mind is a tiny street restaurant down an alley in central Cairo that doesn't really have a name. It's run by a woman known as Umm Hagar, which means “Hagar's mum", and she gives you whatever she feels like making that day. You turn up, sit at the single table that stands outside her ground-floor kitchen, and wait to see what's she making. Then follows a carousel of goodies — perhaps soup, then salad, then bread, rice, and chips, and then maybe some kind of vegetable stew. She usually rounds it off with a roast chicken, but she has surprised me once or twice. You have to be very hungry when you turn up there, because Umm Hagar will keep bringing out food. That said, there are plenty of cats lurking nearby — so they'll eat what you can't.
— Patrick Kingsley, Journalist
Honacha, a 60-year old restaurant in the ancient city of Patan, less than 15 minutes outside of Kathmandu, specializes in the local Newari cuisine. It is dark, it is dingy, and chances are that you will never find a place to sit down. But it's OK to eat while standing here. The half a dozen different kinds of buffalo meat cooked with ginger and garlic in mustard oil will leave you wanting for more. The best dishes are the ones that involve fried organs. Vegetarian? Then you must try their soft boiled potatoes smothered in spicy gravy and fried pancakes made from black lentils. I insist that you try the local moonshine, referred to by the local Newari community as aila — there is nothing a peg or four of aila will not fix after a long, hard day. I don't think you will get this kind of authentic and delicious food for just a couple of dollars anywhere else in the world. Honacha, Mamaru Galli Behind Krishna Temple, Patan 44700, Nepal
— Anup Kaphle, Journalist
At KIKU, good meat and great wine are inseparable. You will find the best wines of Moldova and tens of different meat dishes. The restaurant is named after its founder, a famous Moldovan chef. The restaurant respects Moldovan traditions, but also serves specialities that you will not find elsewhere. I highly recommend it to everyone who visits Moldova. KIKU, Bulevardul Decebal 72/2, Chișinău, Moldova
— Andrei Fornea, Project Manager
Kieliszki is located on a street in Warsaw that is either in, or next to, the old Jewish ghetto there. Half of the street still has exposed-brickwork buildings; the Yiddish theatre is just around the corner. The restaurant itself tries to marry old and new Warsaw: Its menu involves black pudding, cabbage soup, pig ears, and other staple central and eastern European foods. But its industrial-like space, with a display of what looks like hundreds of wine glasses upside-down, makes it feel strikingly new too. Kieliszki, Próżna 12, 00-801 Warszawa, Poland
— Emma Hogan, Journalist
Do not be deceived by Murat Karadeniz Pide Salonu's poor furniture and waiters who pressure you to hurry up. This is the perfect place for a quick lunch and above all to taste one of the masterpieces of Turkish cuisine: the pide, based on its original recipe from the Black Sea region. I would particularly suggest the opti. Murat Karadeniz Pide Salonu, Hasircilar Cad. No:63 Tahtakale, Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey
— Marta Ottaviani, Journalist
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Habesha in Kilimani, a neighbourhood in Nairobi, is one of my all-time favorites. It's the most fantastic Ethiopian food on Earth. It's all good, but their shiro (a chickpea stew of sorts) is hands-down the most divine thing to eat. This is my foreign correspondent comfort food. Habesha, Hendred Rd, Nairobi, Kenya
— Jina Moore, Journalist
My favorite restaurant is Ama Laxei in Exarchia, Athens. The food is amazing – traditional Greek but with a modern twist, lots of salads and plates to share. The service is fairly terrible, and it became a running joke that they forgot some of our order every time, but when you are sitting in an Athenian courtyard at midnight drinking wine and laughing with friends, who cares?
Ama Laxei, Kallidromiou 69, Athens 11472, Greece
— Jess Brammar, Journalist
Chaayos, based after the old concept of a “tea room," is a great location for classic Indian tea (chai) and Bombay-style snacks.
— Rahul Mediratta, Student
Nartaa is an open-air, seafront place in the capital of breakaway state Abkhazia. They do few dishes here, but god they’re good. Fasol – stewed kidney beans with a spicy kick, and a disgracefully indulgent boat-shaped bread, baked with oozing cheese and with an egg cracked on top. (It's a version of Georgia’s khachapuri, but best not to call it that here). Finished off with a coffee brewed over hot sands and a stroll along the seafront — perfect. Nartaa, Naberezhnaya Makhadzhirov, 54, Sukhumi, Georgia
— Shaun Walker, Journalist
Squid and octopus in white wine. This spot is a tiny gem hidden in one of Lisbon’s most charming and rustic neighbourhoods. Seafood with a nice bottle of wine is less than $80. Príncipe do Calhariz, Calçada do Combro 28, 1200-012 Lisboa, Portugal
— Nicole Nunes, Project Coordinator
Yummy Korean is an open kitchen with a grandma who cooks on a hot wok. Plastic mismatched plates and linoleum tables. The best kimchi fried rice, plus they bring all these beautiful little peanuts and potatoes and other fixings. Perfect place to gossip with a girlfriend. Also a great hangover cure. And cheap, cheap, cheap! Yummy Korean, 620 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G 1K7, Canada
— Elaisha Stokes, Filmmaker
Hiddo Dhawr is run by Sahra Halgan, who is an extraordinarily popular French-Somali musician. They serve these just wonderful camel-meat stews with soft bread a bit like injera while you watch Somali folk music. The entire audience is hip Somalis — mostly people who have lived in the West who wear the most astonishingly expensive gear: Calvin Klein hijabs and so on. On Thursday and Friday nights, and the weekend, they can get away from the craziness of their country.
— Daniel Knowles, Journalist
I have taken dozens of guests to The Clove Club since its debut in 2013 and their reactions are never less than euphoric. This is the distillation of modern British cooking: innovative dishes, a sparse room, an exposed kitchen, an East End address, and a tasting menu only, which means you are deferring to a genius (Isaac McHale, the head chef) and unburdening yourself of choice. He blends century-old Madeira with duck consommé – and that is just a treat between courses. The opening “snacks" alone justify the restaurant's Michelin star and rigorous booking policy. The Clove Club, Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old St, London
— Janan Ganesh, Columnist
One of my culinary pearls is the eccentric Armand's, a small bistro hidden behind dark wood paneling in a side street off Phnom Penh's always noisy, always hectic riverfront area. Its half-French, half-Khmer owner serves up delicious charcuterie platters and some of the best steaks in town, including a decadent Tenderloin Rossini with melted foie gras. The excellent wine choice matches the high-quality food and theatrical service. Carnivore heaven. Armand's, Preah Sangreach Tep Vong St, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
— Nina Lamparski, Journalist
I've spent the better part of the last decade in Afghanistan, Russia, and California, but my favourite restaurant has to be Vijay's on Willesden Lane in northwest London. It's been my local Indian since I was a child and it hits the spot every time. Fave dish: green mango prawn curry. Fave detail: the 1980s-style crushed-velvet mini bar at the back. Vijay's, 49 Willesden Ln, London
— Amie Ferris-Rotman, Journalist
Truffles arrive at Contre-Temps. The Brussels restaurant occasionally publishes its menu of the day on Instagram.
When you tell people that you often holiday in Mallorca, they roll their eyes — particularly if they're English. The first thing that comes to mind is Magaluf, one of the “lad" capitals of Europe, the scene of all manner of debauchery, which tends to overshadow the beauty of the other side of the island and its great cultural heritage, like Chopin's time in Valldemossa or Robert Graves' life in Deià. Many of Mallorca's coastal villages have a cala or rocky cove, where you can sunbathe and swim, and Deià is no different. Built into the rock beside Cala Deià, overlooking the sea, is the fish restaurant Ca's Patro March. It's unassuming, relatively inexpensive, and serves delicious fresh seafood, and there are few better places to be when the sun is going down in this part of the Med. Ca's Patro March, Carrer Sa Cala, 16, 07179 Deià, Illes Balears, Spain
— James Horncastle, Sports Writer
There's a scene in my favourite Disney movie, Ratatouille, where the snobby French restaurant critic visibly melts at the smell of the eponymous ratatouille placed in front of him, triggering the happy culinary scents of his childhood. Something similar happens to me when I walk into Barney Greengrass [in Manhattan], with its overwhelming aroma of smoked fish, strong cheeses, and fresh bagels. And I'm not even a New Yorker! The century-old “Sturgeon King" is my idea of paradise for weekend brunch, as much for its old New York hustle-and-bustle atmosphere as for its delectable knishes and whitefish salad. Barney Greengrass, 541 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024, United States
— Peter Spiegel, Journalist
Prime and Toast has the best breakfast. Their eggs Benedict or pancakes with mascarpone cheese and caramel, or the ones with ricotta cheese and berries, are some of the things I must have each time I'm in town. What's special is that it's not a global chain. A young Kuwaiti man decided to study cuisine and got this awesome place running. It never fails me. Prime and Toast, Jibla, Kuwait City, Kuwait
— Dahlia Kholaif, Journalist
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Point at the seafood you want to eat. Pay for it. Take it behind the fish market and give it to a guy to cook. Pay. Wait. Eat. Repeat. Basically, the market is huge, and behind is the vast covered kitchen full of huge boiling cauldrons of oil where the cooks take your fresh seafood and deep-fry it. Specialities are prawns, soft-shell crab, and octopus. All served with some pili pili sauce you buy somewhere along the roadside, maybe some masala spice mix thrown in. Haute cuisine? Nope. But it has the freshest seafood cooked as simply and dramatically as possible. If there ever was a hell's kitchen, this, with the soot and smoke and glistening flesh of fried octopus, is it — and it's my No. 1 restaurant on Earth. Kivukoni Fish Market, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
— Jason Patinkin, Journalist
Onyx has a delicious tasting menu, and the wine pairings are a great introduction to Hungarian wines. Onyx, Budapest, Vörösmarty tér 7, 1051 Hungary
— Timothy Kaldas, Political Analyst
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Someone in this list is a Jar-Jar fan.
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Lots of them have taken their kids out of school in protest, saying it's too difficult and that children should be allowed to be children.
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“I just apologized to a table.”
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