What makes a good restaurant great, and keeps us coming back for more? In advance of our annual food issue, we posed that question to Travel + Leisure’s editors, who shared their favorites from Japan to Germany, and a whole bunch closer to home.
For New Media Editor Sarah Spagnolo, it’s the everyman neighborhood vibe of a bustling pizza place in Brooklyn she first discovered with her husband—and has since made an appearance on HBO’s Girls—that keeps her on the carb train. (That and the stuffed peppers.)
Managing Editor and ski bum Laura Teusink admits that she looks forward to the healthy, Asian-inflected fare at Lotus Café almost as much as she does hitting the slopes of Jackson Hole, WY. When it comes to researcher Sebastian Girner, it’s a half-century of history and schnitzels the size of his head that he can’t pass up when passing through Cologne, Germany.
With her pick in Portland, OR, Associate Editor Kathryn O’Shea-Evans puts her finger (and maybe a bird) on what makes all these restaurants great: a fantastic sense of place. In Stumptown it means tattooed chefs slinging mac-n-cheese in Seedy-ville (under the Morrison Bridge). For Senior Digital Editor Ann Shields, it means family time over a bucket of crabs in Virginia Beach, VA. The vibe, the location, the décor, the company, and, of course, cuisine all combine to stake out a place in our hungry hearts.
So what makes a great restaurant? Take a trip with T+L to find out. —Justin Ocean