When it comes to food and travel, nobody did both better than Anthony Bourdain. The late chef had a knack for connecting to a culture through its food, a passion that led to successful careers in cooking, writing, and eventually television. Bourdain passed in 2018, but his legacy lives on in the spirits of nomadic foodies worldwide. For those craving something novel and new, here are four of Anthony Bourdain’s favorite restaurants featuring the exciting and exotic flavors of his favorite countries.
1. Ganbara (San Sebastian, Spain)
This restaurant offers a classic tapas-style dining experience with a modern twist. A white-tablecloth ambience is paired with a traditional Spanish menu. Plates here showcase only the best examples of local favorites such as sea urchin, Iberico ham, and foie gras. Their house specialty, wild mushrooms topped with a rich egg yolk, is especially show-topping.
2. Restaurant Paul Bocuse (Lyon, France)
Reservations are required at this upscale bistro, which has been awarded two Michelin stars. While Chef Bocuse passed in 2018, his legacy continues on in the restaurant bearing his name. They strive to uphold Bocuse’s vision of marrying classic French cuisine with the avant-garde. Their dishes of note include the truffle soup, lobster fricassee, and Bresse chicken cooked in a bladder.
3. Happy Paradise (Hong Kong)
Hong Kong was one of Bourdain’s favorite culinary destinations. For the late chef, Happy Paradise stood out for their menu’s marriage of Cantonese flavors and modern cooking techniques. Sautéed prawns with roasted pumpkin and shrimp roe, tea-smoked pigeon, and oyster mushroom fried rice are three stand-out dishes.
4. Bun Bo Hue Kim Chau (Hue, Vietnam)
In spite of his world-class training, Anthony Bourdain’s favorite foods were ones that are cheap and delicious, which is probably why Vietnamese held a dear place in his heart. Among the classics served in the food stalls of Hue, Bourdain took a particular shine to bun bo Hue, or pork noodle soup. According to him, nobody does it better than Bun Bo Hue Kim Chau, where a bowl of the house soup comes heaped with banana blossoms, mung bean sprouts, and huyet-blood cake.