Throughout our years of traveling, we have had the pleasure of enjoying some delicious meals in locations all over Europe. Sometimes this means grabbing a quick bite to eat somewhere easy but we try more often than not to go to unique spots. When we are researching and planning a trip, as food lovers, we are always looking to find interesting places to add to our experience. Even better is getting recommendations from locals or stumbling upon a place ourselves while we are wandering through the old crooked streets. We strongly believe that part of traveling and immersing ourselves new cultures is trying the cuisine or going to a locals favorite spot. Lucky for us we've been able to fill our bellies up in some really great restaurants so we decided to share five of our favorites
This list comprised of locations and meals that we constantly reminisce about and try to replicate. They've gone down in our books as the ultimate spots to have a meal in Europe. Enjoy and try not to get too hungry!
Lady Pi Pi | Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik has gone down as one of our favorite places we have ever traveled to and we owe some of that to Lady Pi Pi. One day in the late afternoon we were walking the old city walls and smelled something delicious. We soon saw the smoke where it was coming from below us but later as we were passing by strolling through the streets was when we got our first look close up. The small family run restaurant sits outside under a leafy pergola where you can watch your food mixed meats and sea food being grilled. The staff is all super friendly and since the restaurant is tucked away up in the back of the city, it's a peaceful spot to unwind from the day.
Trattoria dal Billy | Manarola, Italy
On a plane ride to Costa Rica, we were sitting next to a man who had recently been to Cinque Terre. Heading there was already set in stone for us and Rico had been to this beautiful section of Italy once before. In our brief conversation, the man told us that his favorite little village was Manarola to which we excitingly replied that we would be heading there soon. He mentioned Trattoria dal Billy in this conversation and we let it slip away from our memory. Now fast forward a few months and we arrived in Manarola to enjoy a few days hoping between the five coastal towns. During our wanderings, we saw signs for Trattoria dal Billy and instantly remembered the recommendation. Not only did we eat there once...but we returned for a second evening as well because it was just so good! The restaurant is set high up in the town, has three terraces nestled in lemon trees and lush greens, and—best of all, it offers breathtaking views of the colorful houses framing the Mediterranean. Three generations of fishermen run the place and are extremely welcoming to their guests. We shared some delicious pasta with green beans and potatoes in a pesto sauce the first night. YUM. And, the second night I opted to try the mussels—these are still the best I have EVER had.
Treize | Paris, France
Tucked away in a cobblestone courtyard off of Rue des Saints Pères in Saint German, Treize is run by South Carolina native Laurel Sanderson. Laurel is there to greet you from the moment you walk through the door and is a bubbly presence throughout your time as she chats away with each and every guest. You don't quite feel like you are in a restaurant—it is more like dining in an old friend's home. While it's not quite the right cuisine for a cultural experience in France, it's worth it to have some comfort food. The menu will show you that it count as authentic french food at all but it does count as a charming spot to grab a meal while visiting the romantic city. The food is American southern style with items such as Non-Fried Chicken and biscuits (with a healthy twist). This is one of those spots where I can pat myself on the back for doing my research ahead of time to find. We highly recommend for those looking for something a little quirky and different to try.
Donna Stella | Amalfi, Italy
For us, going to Italy means enjoying some of the best food there is in the world. It's always easy to find places to eat with plenty of options. I can admittedly be picky in countries that have more meat heavy options. When we landed in Italy and had a full week ahead of us to enjoy the beautiful Amalfi Coast, we knew food would never be an issue though. I did some looking around beforehand to find spots in Amalfi for lunch or dinner and luckily came across Donna Stella. The restaurant is tucked away off the main drag. If you are paying attention you'll see a couple spots where signs will point you to the hidden oasis. Here you will enjoy what I promise you will be the best pizza of your life under lush lemon trees (you may even get hit in the head with one...). We made our way straight there on our first day to get some lunch and found ourselves continuously returning—especially for the potato and ham pizza.
On a side note—in the mix of trying to figure out which of the many delicious pizzas we should try, we got to talking to the couple sitting next to us and found out that we were both Americans living in London—and not too far from each other either. Small world! They have since become really good friends of ours and we have Donna Stella to credit for that.
Cafe Tomaselli | Salzburg, Austria
Cafe Tomaselli isn't so much of a hidden spot sitting right in one of Salzburg's busy squares but it offers an authentic Austrian experience as the country's oldest coffee house (tracing back to the 1700s). We've been so Salzburg twice and have made it a point during our trips to head here for breakfast or cake as much as possible. We love starting our day off enjoying the scrambled eggs with sausages and their brioche (which sell out fast). Their wide selection of cakes and cheesecakes are also worth taking a peak at. The old school vibe still holds strong at the cafe with its vintage interior, locals grabbing their coffees, and the antique newspaper rack. Whether you're stepping in through the curtains on a cold winter day or onto the floral covered patio, you are sure to feel welcomed by the staff and immersed in the Austrian way of life.