This award is for happy food experiences whilst away on my travels.
It may give a slightly distorted impression however, and I am not eating out all the time when I am away. I have my fair share of supermarket sandwiches and – occasionally – fast food. I will also enjoy a simple pizza or street food when the mood takes me.
If I am staying in an apartment, I will often buy my lunch or dinner at the nearest supermarket.
That aside, I am still spoiled for choice and consider myself very fortunate in that respect.
In Gdańsk I discovered the hotel restaurant was excellent. I enjoy getting out in the evening, but when the food on offer in the hotel (Dwór Uphagena) is of such high quality it would be daft not take advantage of it. I did go out one evening and had a really good pizza.
Dublin was a similar story to Gdańsk . I ate in the hotel (The Aloft) both evenings.
I visited Porto in 2021 and I stayed in the same neighbourhood (Cedofeita) in 2022. I knew I would have plenty options for restaurants close by, and without having to wander as far as the tourist areas.
Real Hamburgueria Portuguesa on Rua da Torrinha is one place I enjoyed returning to… not Portuguese food but top class burgers and great service.
Évora was a new destination and I enjoyed exploring what was on offer there. I was suitably impressed.
One of my favourites was A Choupana, which had been recommended by locals. It is on Rua dos Mercadores if you want to try a genuine local place.
With a week in Bratislava, I had lots of opportunity to seek out good food. Again, a recommendation from a local was one I really enjoyed – Bratislava Flagship on Námestie SNP. It is a converted theatre and specialises in traditional Slovak food.
I know Rīga quite well, so I was looking forward to the city’s restaurant experience. Sadly, my favourite had not re-opened after the pandemic restrictions lifted. My first meal there was in the 1990s. I found plenty good places I had not been to before. Lido Alus sēta was one – a cafeteria style of place with outdoor seating. It is on Krāmu iela in the heart of the Old Town.
Getting a good breakfast is something I value too, and raiding the nearest bakery to check out the local goodies is a lot of fun. Porto, Rīga and Bratislava were fantastic as far as that is concerned. I usually enjoy hotel breakfasts too – a treat compared to the meagre breakfasts I eat at home. Again, I had some lovely ones in 2022.
Well then, having reviewed my various destinations in 2022 and selected my favourite place in each, now it is time to make a decision. I am going for A Choupana in Évora.
It is so rewarding when you try a place which has been recommended by locals and you end up loving it!
ⓒ iain taylor, 2023