When you head off on your holidays this summer, the one thing you really need to take with you - more than sun tan lotion or even your passport, is a really good recommendation for a local restaurant. And who better to give that recommendation than someone who grew up there?
Hot Dinners asked some of the best chefs in London - who grew up elsewhere - for their tips on where to eat in their hometown. From Spain to the sunny south west of England - here's what they came up with.
Jose Pizarro on Extremadura
Hospedería Real Monasterio de Guadalupe
Plaza Juan Carlos I, 10140 Guadalupe, Cáceres
"This heavenly restaurant is located in the beautiful town of Guadalupe within the monastery where the peregrines stayed after their long journey, and today it’s still run by the monks. The food is simple, but very well cooked. The location is stunning and you must try the morcilla (black pudding) from the local butcher cooked with Pimentón de la Vera (the indigenous paprika from the area). One of my favourite dishes there is the Ibérico pork fillet marinated in Pimentón de la Vera."
El Figon de Eustaquio
Plaza San Juan, 12 - 14, 10003 Cáceres
"This place reminds me of my childhood – I used to go there with my grandfather all the time. It’s widely perceived to be the best restaurant in Extremadura. Fantastic ingredients cooked simply – perfect."
Avda. de España, 30, Cáceres.
"This restaurant is in the new Relais & Chateaux hotel in Cáceres. The food is exquisite, taking in local produce and suppliers and creating a stunning end result. The food is fancy so if you want simple food, avoid Atrio!"
Calle Juan Solano Pedrero, 15, 10005 Cáceres
The reason i love this place so much is because it encapsulates everything that I love about a great restaurant: simple food, regional ingredients, beautifully cooked.
Av. Villanueva, 6, 06005 Badajoz
A simple, local restaurant where dishes are straightforward, with wonderful flavours, perfectly executed. Great for seafood.
Nievas Barragán Mohacho (Barrafina) on Bilbao
Hurtado de Amezaga Kalea, 5, 48008 Bilbao, Vizcaya
"This is actually where I got the idea for our private dining concept at Adelaide Street. You start with a selection of small tapas, similar to a ‘para pica’ menu and then you have a larger dish for all to share, very traditional in that region. Something that is cooked whole. The restaurant itself is more like a delicatessen with amazing produce."
Zabalbide Kalea, 221, 48004 Bilbao,
"5 minutes from Bilbao, with an amazing view over the city. It is in a typical Basque house with very traditional Basque dishes."
C/ Muntaner, 171 08036 Barcelona
"It's where my mother used to take me for special Sunday lunches and whenever I had a good report card in school. They basically serve very very fresh seafood and rices at a reasonable price"
Restaurante Koy Shunka
C/ Copons 7, 08002 Barcelona
"Catalan-Japanese Fusion. Sounds weird, tastes amazing. Awarded a Michelin star shortly after opening and has served me, on more than one occasion, some of the best food of my life."
Omar Allibhoy (Tapas Revolution) on Madrid
Pasadizo San Ginés, 5, 28013 Madrid
"San Ginés is a café at Pasadizo de San Gines and has the best churros."
Taberna La Daniela
Pasadizo San Ginés, 5, 28013 Madrid
"Cocido Madrileno is a traditional chick-pea based stew from Madrid and the best place to have it is at Taberna La Daniela."
Av. Almirante Reis nº1 - H, 1150-007 Lisboa.
"It's one of the oldest, coolest and best seafood and beer houses in Lisbon. I grew up going there with my Father and eating amazing percebes (goose barnacles), live langoustines and Portuguese-style dressed crab. The seafood is the freshest in the Lisbon area and the service is always very fast. It is one of the first restaurants I remember seeing a queue out the door and a no-booking policy."
Mar do Inferno
Avenida Rei Humberto II de Itália, 2750-800 Cascais.
"A 20 minute drive or train ride out of Lisbon you find this restaurant perched on a cliff looking out at the ocean. Stunning views and super fresh fish. This is a place I used to go to growing up and I still remember their famous sea bass grilled in salt which is a signature dish of the house."
Bruno Loubet (Grain Store) on Bordeaux
Les Sources de Caudalie
Chemin du Bourran, 33650 Martillac
"The estate of the luxury skincare brand this stunning 5* hotel has 2 restaurants; 1 fine dining, one more casual. Making the most of best produce in the area; Ceps, truffles, wine, cote de boeuf cooked on an open fireplace. It really is the most beautiful location, just in the suburbs of Bordeaux - ideal for a real treat."
6 Rue Porte de la Monnaie, 33800 Bordeaux
"A Bordeaux institution - this is the place for classic interpretation of the areas best dishes. Where Caudelie is the best contemporary approach to the areas ingredients 'bounty', La Tupina is the old school treatment."
Claude Bosi (Hibiscus) on Lyon
25, Rue Guynemer, 69002 Lyon
"I adore Abel, it's one of the oldest bistros in Lyon which serves up very traditional dishes."
Helene Darroze (Helene Darroze at the Connaught) on Biarritz
Les Halles market
"When you arrive in Biarritz, head straight for Les Halles, the huge covered market off Rue Gambetta. It is full of farmers from the countryside and the produce is amazing; you can find anything there. Try Basque cheeses - the best are Brebis and Ossau-Iraty - fruit and the sausages. Mamia, a ewe's milk yoghurt is also not to be missed, it's like a dessert and I top it with muscavado sugar."
Le Bar Jean
5 Rue des Halles, 64200 Biarritz
"Surrounding the market are little tapas bars, my favourite being Le Bar Jean, which serves simple but excellent tapas. It gets busy as it's so popular but you can stand around the bar if you can't get a table. The grilled bread with an egg on top and thinly sliced jambon de Bayonne is delicious."
Jeremie Cometto-Lingenheim (Primeur) on the Ile de Re
9 route de St. Clement, 17590 Ars-en-Re, Ile de Re
"Le 20 is a lovely wine bar tucked away outside Ars en re. It offers simple food and doubles up as a wine shop and brocanteur. Probably the best selection of wine on the island."
16 Rue de l'Olivette, 17670 La Couarde-sur-Mer, Ile de Re
"Luc et Marie Pierre are both natives of the island and have been running this true beauty of a restaurant every summer season for the past 20 years. The food is extremely fresh and favours fish & oysters. Marie Pierre is the most wonderful hostess and Luc a truly accomplished chef who champions simplicity."
Giancarlo Caldesi (Caldesi Restaurant and Caffe) on Tuscany
Buca di Sant’Antonio
Via della Cervia 3 - Lucca
"We love going to Tuscany and since we usually land in Pisa we make a short journey to Lucca as we love to park the car outside the walls of the city and hire bicycles to go around the walls. Then we go into the centre and eat at Buca di Sant’Antonio restaurant. It has been there for years, is really pretty and serves wonderful Lucchese food cooked by owner and chef Giuliano and his team."
Marianna Leivaditaki from (Morito) on Crete
Stavros & Stamatis restaurant
Agora Market Chaniá, +30 2821 044183
"This is the best place in town for the real Cretan traditional lunch. Located in the main indoor market of Chania father Stavros and son Stamatis start their cooking before daylight seven days a week. People enter the amazing taverna located opposite the fish stalls in the busy market at all times. The fishermen go for a plate of offal or mutton soup early in the morning after being at sea all night and from then on its non stop serving of delicious food made with lots of love and knowledge. It’s been there since 1928!" "
36, Chatzimichali Daliani str. Chania, Crete, Greece
"Located in a beautiful building right opposite the Minaret in the old part of the city Mesogeiako is an old favourite. Manolis the chef and owner has created a lovely menu with many middle Eastern influences. In the summer you can sit outside in the courtyard surrounded by lots of plants and sip and eat until the early hours."
Akti Papanikoli Street 5 Nea Chora, Chania Town
"This is by far my favourite! Seafood all the way. Situated just by the water in Nea Chora sits this gem of a mezze hub where you can go for a glass of cold beer or retsina and some amazing seafood. The restaurant is family run and makes the best octopus in red wine sauce ever. The actual place is very basic filled with locals chatting about the daily gossip and letting the day go by. The food is great every time."
Mark Hix (Hix) on Dorset
4/5 Brunswick Terrace, Weymouth DT4 7RW
"A family- run Italian restaurant with outstanding views of Weymouth Bay."
Behind The Bull Hotel, 34 East Street, Bridport DT6 3LF
"A cider house, serving gourmet Dorset pizzas unlike anything else"
Neil Rankin (Smokehouse) on Edinburgh
45 Morningside Road, Edinburgh EH10 4AZ
"My memories of Edinburgh are mainly of Italian food for which it does some of the best in the country. Nonna's is a great example of what makes them great. Beautiful fresh local produce and a warm welcome, it's the kind of experience most neighbourhoods deserve but rarely receive. Worth it alone for Jimmy's mammoth rendition of the specials list from memory."
2 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1AD
"Perfect, perfect, perfect seafood. I can't say much more than that. Nowhere in London holds a candle to it and I can only think of the Seafood in Padstow and Nathan Outlaw's that are comparable. Roy Brett is a bit of a genius with fish and a lovely guy to boot. Go for the fruits of the sea and grilled langoustines."
Neil Borthwick (Merchants Tavern) on Edinburgh
Tom Kitchen’s Scran & Scallie
1 Comely Bank Road, Stockbridge, Edinburgh EH4 1DT
“I completely agree with Tom’s culinary ethos, putting emphasis on great local produce and simple cooking. Scran & Scallie is perfectly pitched for the part of Edinburgh it’s in. I visit every time I’m back home.”
Isaac McHale (The Clove Club) on Glasgow
Mother India's Cafe
1355 Argyle Street, Glasgow G3 8AD
"Small portions of great Glasgow Indian food, little sister to Mother India - a Glasgow institution."
28 Gibson Street, Kelvinbridge Glasgow G12 8NX
"My first job in a kitchen aged 15. Great place - sit in the ground floor bar and have venison haggis or any of the other great dishes. I go every time I am in Glasgow."
8 Sussex Terrace - Dublin 4
"For sophisticated cooking in a relaxed atmosphere, Forest Avenue is run by a husband and wife team which have a short menu with tasting available lunch four course being of particular great value."
The Pigs Ear
4 Nassau St, Dublin 2
"Run by Steven Mcallister this is modern cooking but also with some hearty dishes like braised lamb shoulder shepherds pie."
Number 58, Upper Grand Canal Street, Dublin 4
"Paulie's Pizza is a great place for amazing pizzas and pasta dishes with a real New York feel they have a really cool cocktail bar upstairs where I recommend booking and eating there as the vibe is better."
Cavistons Food Emporium
59 Glasthule Rd, Glenageary, Glasthule, Co. Dublin
"Cavistons Food Emporium in Glasthule village has a tiny traditional seafood restaurant which has a great wine list and a real countryside feeling right by the coast."
"A cracking place with great cocktails."
118 Courthouse Square, Oxford, MS 38655
"Ajax is a "meat and three” and more. Go for the blue plate special, which might be Matty’s Mom’s Meatloaf (juicy meatloaf sewn through with a slice of country ham and pepperjack cheese in the center) with mash, or a Southern vegetable plate (mix and match any of the 15-20 veggies available each day), you can not go wrong. Wash it down with electrically sweet ice tea and don’t forget to have a slice of blueberry or bourbon-pecan pie to finish up the deal."
152 Courthouse Square, Oxford, MS 38655
"This is the pinnacle of fine dining in Mississippi. Start your night on the balcony in the bar above the restaurant with a cocktail or two. Then head down for some of John Currence’s heavily cajun/creole influenced modern Southern fare. Don’t miss the Shrimp & Grits or anything on the menu that includes 'gravy'."
Abe’s BBQ, Clarksdale, MS
616 N State St, Clarksdale, MS 38614
"When it comes to BBQ, pretension only exists in the big city joints. It’s the roadside stands and restaurants that have been doing it for many years that simple don’t need to position themselves above the rest. Abe’s is exactly that kind of joint. Go for the pulled pork and slaw BBQ sandwich. Actually, get two, as the law of diminishing returns does not really apply here."
“You cannot be from LA and not be completely loyal to In-n-Out Burgers. The menu is simple, ingredients are fresh, they are always consistent, the quality is high and the service is always amazing. There’s something in that special sauce that keeps you coming back tim and time again. Days when my boarding school would hire out an In-n-Out burger van to park on campus was a special day. There’s also a secret menu that’s not listed. Only a true LA native will be able to tell you what’s on it. Hint: order the fries ‘animal style’.”
99 Ranch Market
“This is an amazing Chinese super market. The grocery quality there is incredibly fresh and affordable, and you are able to find all sorts of rare Chinese vegetables and dry goods. The meat and seafood counter is wonderful too, with live seafood to choose from and all parts of the pig to buy.”
Salta 1050 - Buenos Aires
"For a special dinner, definitely Aramburu by Chef Patron Gonzalo Aramburu, a little gem of a restaurant in bohemian Montserrat neighbourhood. A talented young Chef Aramburu has the most creative Argentine cuisine and is currently the hottest place in town."
El Cuartito and Guerrin
El Cuartito: Talcahuano 937 - Buenos Aires
Guerrin: Corrientes 1368 - Buenos Aires
"By far my favourite meal in Buenos Aires, the Argentine version of pizza is to die for. To try it, I would suggest 2 classics: El Cuartito and then Guerrin."
Don Julio en Palermo
Guatemala 4691 - Buenos Aires
"For meat/parrillada it has to be Don Julio in Palermo - simply the best sirloin steak of my life!"
Calle Esperanza 154, Miraflores, Lima
“Located in the heart of Miraflores, near one of Lima's most vibrant squares, this traditional criollo restaurant is over 40 years old. But like a fine wine it seems to get better with age. Classic dishes like ceviche, arroz con pollo (rice and chicken) and cau cau (tripe stew) are prepared just like my great aunties used to make them; with love, care and tons of sazon (flavour). I was there recently and ate ‘Patitas Con Mani’ (pig trotters in peanut and chilli sauce) which was a revelation."
Calle Santa Rosa 388 Surquillo, Lima
“I can't stay away from this place. I visit Peru around three times a year and always go there as the dishes are consistently brilliant. They use the freshest ingredients. I was recently and had the most delicious giant clams ceviche. Try their ‘Causa de Sardinas’ (sardine potato salad) as well as their ‘Coctel Picantero’ (tiger's milk cocktail). A picanteria is a family run restaurant in the Andes - which is an inspiration for our Shoreditch restaurant, Andina. At La Picanteria the focus is on dishes with tons of flavour based on tradition from one of Peru's greatest chefs - Hector Solis.”
Shuko Oda (ex Koya) on Tokyo
Isohan (Sushi restaurant in Nishi-Ogikubo)
“It was always a treat whenever the family went to Isohan, the sushi is perfectly prepared and it has a real local feel about the place "
Wakaba (Taiyaki takeaway in Yotsuya)
Tokyo, Shinjuku-ku, Wakaba 1-10
“Wakaba is 'a hole in the wall' type of takeaway place I used to go after school. Their famous Taikyaki, is a traditional sweet in Japan which is a fish-shaped cake with sweet red bean paste filling.”
Kobe-ya (BBQ in Shimokitazawa)
“Korean style BBQ was one of everyone's favourite, and we would go once a month for some meat feast, Kobe-ya doesn't look much from outside, but their meat quality was the best around.”
Torifuku (Yakitori restaurant in Kanda)
2-2 Kanda-Tacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
“I still remember the excitement of visiting Torifuku for the fist time, a yakitori (charcoal grilled chicken on skewer) restaurant which is still an all time favourite of my father's. You would be served pretty much every part of the bird throughout your meal, starting from a tender breast meat (slightly pink!) with big chunks of freshly grated wasabi.”