Culinary tradition and invention in Lyon
The French gastronomic capital has a great passion for the pleasures of the table. On your arrival in Lyon, you will be astounded by the number of good restaurants. Get ready for a feast!
Quenelles, sausage in brioche, chicken Celestine… a desire to sample the local specialities will lead you to the Poêlon d'Or, a famous bouchon in Old Lyon. In this friendly, age-old establishment, Yann Lalle, assisted by his young chef Mickaël Lorini, carries on the best of Lyonnais tradition. Tuck into artichoke hearts with foie gras, chicken liver cake and praline tart, one of the best in the city.
La Mère Jean is another classic bouchon which exudes authenticity, where you can enjoy well-cooked traditional dishes accompanied by good wine. In the kitchen, Pascal Perret knows his classics, such as andouillette sausage cooked three ways, hot sausage and pan-fried hanger steak with shallots.
If you are looking for excellence, head for the Brotteaux district. The two Michelin starred restaurant Neuvième Art is run by Christophe Roure, a holder of the prestigious title of “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” (“best craftsman of France”). His creative cuisine, and in particular his wagyu beef cooked on a wood fire and salt-baked celeriac with lovage powder, will leave an indelible impression.
Your culinary pilgrimage through Lyon is bound to lead you to the master Pierre Orsi. In a well-to-do residence in the historic centre, this former apprentice of Paul Bocuse interprets the great classics of French cuisine in a refined yet contemporary style. The chef showcases fine products such as foie gras or lobster, which can be found, for example, delicately grilled and accompanied by a morel sauce.
29 rue des Remparts d'Ainay
+33(0) 4 78 37 65 60
La Mère Jean
5 rue des Marronniers
+33(0) 4 78 37 81 27
Le Neuvième Art
173 rue Cuvier
+33(0) 4 72 74 12 74
Restaurant Pierre Orsi
3 place Kléber
+33(0) 4 78 89 57 68
Gastronomic daring in Lima
In recent years, Peruvian gastronomy has been revealed to the world as one of the best in Latin America. At the instigation of the star chef Gastón Acurio, the culinary scene in Lima has become remarkably vibrant.
Pay tribute to the leading light of this new Andean cuisine by lunching at La Mar, Acurio's trendy restaurant. Order some delicious linguine with huancaína, a sauce based on cheese and yellow chillies.
Nearby, the Central restaurant is hidden away, a temple of avant-garde cuisine ranked amongst the best restaurants in the world. Having booked your table at least two months in advance, you set off on a journey through Peruvian biodiversity. With each dish on the menu “Mater Alturas”, Virgilio Martinez will bemuse you with his creations which showcase local produce. This virtuoso competes in inventiveness with his wife, Pía León, voted the best female chef in Latin America, with her neighbouring restaurant: Kjolle.
At Maido, Mistuharu Tsumura, the famous chef from the Japanese diaspora, is up there with the best with his Nikkei cuisine, a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian flavours. Amongst his signature dishes, you cannot miss the opportunity to try his squid dim sum.
Well known for its reasonably priced, avant-garde restaurants, Lima also has an abundance of small establishments with a myriad of specialities. If you happen to visit the Surguillo district, take a walk around its popular market and sample some Barbary fig juice, before heading to Al Toke Pez. In his minuscule stall, Tomás Matsufuji, another member of the Nikkei community, will serve you the best ceviche you have ever had!
Av. Mariscal La Mar 770
+51 1 4213365
Av. Pedro de Osma 301
+51 1 2428515
Av. Pedro de Osma 301
+51 1 2428575
Esq. con Colon
Calle San Martin 399
+51 1 446 2512
Al Toke Pez
Av. Angamos 886
+51 961 166 012
Luxury and Berber flavours in Marrakesh
Well-known for the spiciness of its dishes, with their Arab, Bedouin, sub-Saharan and Jewish influences, Moroccan cuisine is one of the main attractions of the kingdom of Morocco. As a real foodie, you are looking forward to enjoying some Berber specialities in the best restaurants of Marrakesh. A visit to the spice market, hidden away behind the famous Jemaa el-Fna square is a must, to inhale the many aromas which make up Morocco's oriental charm. Make the most of the opportunity to fill your basket with cumin, ginger and ras-el-hanout. Take a little detour to the Pâtisserie des Princes, where you succumb to the temptation of gazelle horns, delicately perfumed with orange blossom.
When it comes to good restaurants, you are spoilt for choice. If you decide to lose yourself in the Medina, book a table at Le Jardin. This luxurious and elegantly trendy oasis, hidden away in a 16th century building, will amaze you with its original recipes, such as pastilla of partridge with cherries, and fish tajine with haddock, fennel, cherry tomatoes and preserved oranges.
For a more intimate experience, head to the Hermitage district. The elegant art deco hotel Dar Rhizlane excels in the art of Moroccan-style hospitality. Like a temple to Moroccan gastronomy with a modern twist, its restaurant invites you to sample the creative cuisine of its chef Zakia. In the shade of the phoenix palms in a wonderful garden, a procession of salads and delicious dishes make you lose your bearings: pastilla with seafood and flaked fish, lamb tajine, petits pois and artichoke hearts…
Another enchanting journey awaits you at the restaurant Le Marocain at la Mamounia, Marrakesh's legendary palace hotel. Take a seat on the terrace illuminated by finely worked lanterns or in the intimate setting of a pavilion worthy of One Thousand and One Nights. With 36 years of service, the very experienced chef Rachid Agouray has a top-notch culinary experience in store for you. On the menu this evening, pastilla of lobster, spinach and a red pepper coulis with argan oil, followed by lamb couscous with spiced foie gras. A feast that will linger in your memory.
Pâtisserie des Princes
Passage Prince Moulay Rachid
32 Souk Jeld Sidi Abdelaziz,
Avenu Jnane El Harti
Quartier de l'Hivernage
Rue Ibn Oudari
Le Marocain at La Mamounia
Avenue Bab Jdid
Generous dishes and a public souk in Beirut
Rich in flavours, Lebanese cuisine is a reflection of its people. Beirut has a superb culinary experience in store for you. First, make your way to the Souk el Tayeb, in the city centre. In this organic market, every Wednesday and Saturday, small producers from distant villages present their everyday gastronomic produce. Salads, kebabs, Palestinians stuffed turnovers… the buffet of the Tawlet restaurant will entice you with its dishes concocted by outstanding cooks.
Fancy something sweet? The Achrafieh district is home to the famous Hanna Mitri ice cream shop. It is difficult to believe that this minute shop makes the best ice cream in Lebanon. And yet! Succumb to the delights of a scoop of rosewater or pistachio mastic ice cream without artificial colouring.
A few streets away, a traditional house decorated by local artists welcomes you for a stylish, refined dinner. Fattoush (a salad with toast and sumac), moutabal (aubergine puree), and kibbeh nayye (lamb tartare)… the Liza restaurant will delight you with its new twist on the great classics of traditional cuisine.
Your gourmet getaway takes you next to Casablanca, on the Corniche. Facing the sea, an old white house is home to a restaurant popular with the whole of Beirut. Go there at the weekend, at brunch time, to enjoy the hustle and bustle. Grilled octopus with capers and onions, stir-fried squid grilled with sumac… enjoy this delicious fusion cuisine in an inspired decor, a mixture of traditional indoor design in warm colours with modern touches, like the bar.
Souk el Tayeb
+961 1 442 664
12 rue Naher
+961 1 44 81 29
Achrafieh Mar Mitr Street
+961 1 322 723
+961 1 208 108
Rue Dar el Mreisseh
Ain el Mreisseh Qaddoura Bldg
+961 1 369 334
Culinary revolution and design in Mexico
With its blend of Amerindian, European and Caribbean influences, traditional Mexican cuisine has been included on UNESCO's intangible cultural Heritage list. Make your way to Mexico, where a gastronomic revolution is taking place, led by innovative chefs. A visit to the San Juan market will convince you of the wealth of local produce. Inside a former tobacco factory, you discover the secret garden of the city's greatest chefs. Here, the traders let you taste their wares, here a mango, there a piece of cheese. You will be virtually hypnotised by the exotic meat stands, at the sight of iguanas, armadillos and crocodiles.
For your first Mexican meal, opt for the seclusion of Azul Histórico.
In the heart of the Historic Centre, in the inner courtyard of a 17th century building is the best restaurant of Ricardo Muñoz Zurita, the chef and historian of ancestral Mexican recipes. Between women preparing tortillas by hand, and tall, spindly trees, you make a feast of enchiladas in a mild chipotle sauce garnished with hibiscus flowers.
It is time to discover the quintessence of Mexican nouvelle cuisine, in a very famous restaurant in Polanco, Mexico's elegant neighbourhood. In his restaurant Pujol, ranked as one of the best in the world, the celebrity chef Enrique Olvera guarantees you an explosive experience. Get ready for a sensory journey in which pre-Hispanic ingredients are combined with cutting-edge techniques to create some unlikely flavours. In a designer ambience, you will be astounded by the baby corn with a mayonnaise of edible chicatana ants, and the Mole Madre, a thick sauce made up of a dozen or so ingredients which have been cooking … for more than 1,000 days!
Still in Polanco, there is another prestigious venue which is worth a visit. At Dulce Patria, in the hotel Las Alcobas, chef Martha Ortiz's cuisine is exuberant and creative. The daughter of the Mexican artist Martha Chapa, this woman of character embodies the spirit of Frida Kahlo. In her pink and red universe, amidst a profusion of flowers and embroidered cushions, quesadillas, ceviches and salads in bold flavours make their appearance. These contemporary Mexican dishes presented like works of art will make you giddy with pleasure.
San Juan Market
Calle de Ernesto Pugibet
Calle Isabel la Catolica 30
Centro Histórico de la Cdad. de México
+52 55 5510 1316
Polanco IV Secc
+52 55 5545 4111
Anatole France 100
Polanco III Secc
+52 55 3300 3999
Gourmet market and trattoria in Florence
Both simple and sophisticated, Italian cuisine has charmed the taste buds of the entire world. In Florence, with its informal trattorie, gourmet markets and friendly enoteche wine bars, your senses will be on permanent alert.
Check out the city at its central market, in the San Lorenzo district. Impressed by its structure dating back to 1874, you wander past the stalls of traders proud of their incomparably high quality produce from the Tuscan countryside. The fried meatballs and cold meats, pasta and mozzarella, bread and pastries will give you an appetite. If you are fond of offal, you will not be able to resist the tripe stewed in tomato, one of the local specialties.
Otherwise, go and soak up the sun on the terrace of the Zà Zà trattoria, in the market square. The waiter will recommend the spaghetti carbonara with truffles. Simply delicious!
Did you know that gelato, the famous Italian ice cream, was invented in Florence? Your sweet tooth will lead you to the other side of the Ponte Vecchio, where you find La Carraia. At this famous ice cream maker's, you fall for an original ricotta and pear combo.
On your return to the city centre, stop for a while on the terrace of the historic Rivoire café. Here, you can enjoy a hot chocolate covered with cream opposite the fabulous setting of the Piazza della Signoria.
What could be better than a nice glass of Brunello di Montalcino to continue this merrymaking? In the San Marco district, wine merchant Fratelli Zanobini serves one of the most renowned wines in the world right over the counter. After tasting, you can make your purchases from the 3,000 products offered by this old shop.
Florence Central Market
Piazza del Mercato Centrale
+39 055 239 9798
Trattoria Zà Zà
Piazza del Mercato Centrale 26r
+39 055 215411
Piazza Nazario Sauro 25/r
+39 055 280695
Piazza della Signoria 5/R
+39 055 214412
Via Sant'Antonino 47
+39 055 239 6850
Fish market and exceptional flavours in Tokyo
In the Japanese capital, you can indulge your passion for sushis, makis and ramens. Get up very early for an immersive experience at the Tsukiji market. A guide will take you around the largest fish and seafood market in the world. In this stunning location, you gape in amazement at the giant squid, the cuttlefish in their aquarium and the tuna being auctioned to the great Tokyo restaurants. You have an appointment at the Tsukiji cookery school, where a chef will teach you how to make sushi. After the practical work, you can sample your thin slices of raw fish placed on vinegared rice.
Next, make your way to the posh district of Ginza for an exceptional dinner at Sushiya Ichiyanagi. Take a seat at the counter where there are only ten seats and watch the sushi master performing his meticulous movements. Sampling the Michelin starred sushi of the chef Kayuza Ichiyanagi will introduce you to the finer points of Japanese cuisine. The exceptionally delicate ones with oily tuna and the much firmer ones with squid will be a real revelation.
Taking a walk through the gaily coloured streets of the capital and fancy a little break? Specialising in latte art, the Reissue café serves excellent customised hot chocolate, coffee and cappuccinos. Indicate your chosen design to the waiter and a few moments later it will appear in 3-D on your drink, as if by magic!
The few streets away is Harajuku Gyozaro, one of the best gyoza restaurants in Tokyo. A great place where you can get a good meal for a few yen. At the counter you admire the dexterity of the cooks who prepare these small dumplings filled with pork, or garlic and chives, and either fried or steamed. Add a trickle of vinegary soy sauce and enjoy.
5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji
Chuo City, Ginza
3 Chome-25-7 Jingumae
6 Chome-2-4 Jingumae
Korean barbecue and dishes from the master in Seoul
Healthy, low-calorie and very spicy, Korean cuisine is reckoned to be one of the best in Asia. In Seoul, you will have an amazing choice among barbecue restaurants, market eateries and gourmet restaurants.
Go for a wander around the bohemian district of Samcheong-dong, at the foot of the wooded hills which surround the city. This area is chock-full of excellent traditional restaurants which often offer just one speciality. In the intimate setting of Nun Na Moo Jib, the national dish is served: cold noodles with kimchi (fermented, spicy cabbage) and tofu.
Koreans are passionate about cooking. For dinner, they love sharing a Korean barbecue with friends and colleagues and drinking shots of soju, a rice spirit. A sociable moment you can experience at Maple Tree House, tucked away in a picturesque house in Samcheong-ro. Drink in its elegant atmosphere and barbecue exquisite strips of pork accompanied by salad leaves, sesame seeds, garlic cloves, sweet pepper and bean paste.
500 metres away from Gyeongbokgung Palace, the small traditional market of Tongin promises a gastronomic experience that is both original and cheap. After exchanging a few wons for some old Korean coins – as is the custom of the place –, wait in line amongst the uniformed schoolchildren at the stands of the expert cooks who will fill your tray with tasty dishes.
Head for the backstreets of Insadong, famous for its craftsmen, and hidden oasis of tranquillity. Take off your shoes before entering the Shin Old Tea House. A sweet lady welcomes you into the intimate atmosphere of her tea house. Sitting on a cushion in front of a low table you enjoy tea with jujubes (Chinese dates), while nibbling on puffed rice cakes.
If you are looking for Korean gastronomic excellence, La Yeon, a restaurant with three stars in the Michelin guide, is a venue not to be missed. Located on the 23rd floor of the luxury hotel The Shilla, this exceptional restaurant offers a superb view of Namsan Park, but above all a sophisticated cuisine. The chef Kim Sung II will bowl you over with his new twist on bibimbap and his eels barbecued over charcoal with a gochuiang sauce.
Nun Na Moo Jib
Maple Tree House
18 Jahamun-ro 15-gil
Street food in Shanghai
In Shanghai you can discover Jiangnan cuisine, one of the eight great regional cuisines of China. Renowned for its sweetness and lightness, this culinary art combines seafood, freshwater fish and unusual vegetables, such as wild rice shoots and water chestnuts. The distinctive feature of Shanghaian recipes is the use of sugar which enhances the taste, as with sweet-and-sour pork, a speciality which you absolutely must try.
If you happen to go along Nanjing Road, the main shopping street in the city, drop into the Shanghai First Foodhall. This four-storey food store reveals the extreme diversity of Chinese cuisine. The ground floor overflows with dried seafood products, which the Chinese are crazy about. Amongst other curiosities, you will also find birds' nests, the elegant dish which in former times was reserved for Emperors and is said to delay ageing and cure certain diseases, and many other products as well, associated with traditional medicine.
In Shanghai, you can eat on the go all day long. In Fangbang Lu street, in the heart of the historic neighbourhood of Nanshi, you will be enticed by the delicious aromas coming from the stands where you will find innumerable specialities: noodles, dim sum, brioches, doughnuts and kebabs… Next head off for a tour of the Tianshan Tea Market, located in a pretty neighbourhood with several pagodas. In its shops, the shopkeepers will allow you to taste their classic and fruity fine teas. Here you can buy all sorts of teapots, filters and trays for the tea ceremony.
For a traditional lunch, make your way to the Nanxiang Steamed Bun restaurant, in the old city near Yu Garden. For more than 110 years, this traditional wooden house has served delicious xiao long bao, Shanghai steamed buns, filled with pork or crab and broth.
Another address for food lovers in the former French concession area is Bao Luo, which is always full. In this neighbourhood restaurant you can enjoy a feast of shengjian bao, delicious little sautéed buns filled with pork, then try the red dates stuffed with sticky rice and the tofu soup with crab meat.
Shanghai First Foodhall
600 Handan Rd
+86 21 6510 7611
518 Zhongshan W Rd
+86 21 6259 9999
Nanxiang Steamed Bun
Huangpu District, 200010
+86 21 6355 4206
271 Fumin Rd
+86 21 6279 2827
Creative cuisine in Madrid
Your gourmet getaway in Madrid begins with a guilty pleasure, a thick hot chocolate served with crusty churros. And to honour this Spanish tradition, there is no better place than the Chocolateria San Gines. The oldest chocolate house in the city, in an old alleyway near the Puerta del Sol square, is open around the clock.
Make your way on foot to the Plaza Mayor, the other famous square in Madrid, which opens onto the San Miguel market. This indoor market with its remarkable metallic structure constructed at the beginning of the 19th century is a draw for lovers of fine food. It is better to go there in the middle of the day so you can wander unhindered down its aisles, lined with stalls selling oysters, shellfish and fish from Galicia. A gastronomic dilemma awaits you, faced with the impressive selection of Iberian hams and chorizos.
A stone's throw away, stands a venerable establishment. One of the oldest restaurants in the world, Botín has been celebrating traditional Spanish cooking for more than three hundred years. Opt for the gazpacho and the suckling pig, which you can enjoy next to the authentic 18th century wood-fired oven.
Next, make a beeline for the Chamberí district. Based in a former bank, the Perrachica restaurant combines superb cuisine with a pretty industrial decor with a tropical touch. Here you can share delicious little dishes, such as truffled tortilla or crisp langoustine yakitori and carrot mousse. If you have a good appetite, opt for the squid in ink, served with arrocito, a traditional stewed rice dish, and a poached egg.
Looking for somewhere a little hipper? Head for the 7 Craft Bar, the restaurant of the 7 Islas Hotel, in the lively neighbourhood of Malasaña. Xabier Guitart, a young Galician head chef, will enchant you with his inventive cuisine based on local produce. Perhaps you are hesitating between the salmorejo, a variation on Andalusian gazpacho with smoked fish and caviar, and the Valencian fish with almond cream, corn and figs? Order both! While you are waiting to be served, Narciso Bermejo will draw you into his creative universe. This talented mixologist is reinventing Spanish traditions with his own crazy touch. In the evening, the cocktail expert will concoct an amazing drink for you, based on gin with jalapeño, lime, lemon, pepper and egg white.
Chocolateria San Gines
Pasadizo San Ginés 5
+34 91 365 65 46
San Miguel Market
Plaza de San Miguel s/n
+34 915 42 49 36
Calle de Cuchilleros 17
+34 913 66 42 17
Calle Eloy Gonzalo 10
+34 917 37 77 75
7 Craft Bar
Calle de Valverde 14
+34 915 23 46 88