The Most Memorable Restaurants Around The World, According To Samantha Brown

It's safe to say that travel icon and TV host, Samantha Brown, has had her fair share of tasting her way around the globe. After crisscrossing continents and dining at some of the most authentic and renowned eateries in the world, she's compiled a reputable list of some of her favorites. In her series, "Places to Love," she highlights the best and brightest of the cities she's visited, never forgetting to mention her favorite hot spots for picking up food. Remarkably, two of her top picks are a little closer to home than expected, in New York City.

According to Samantha, food isn't just an indulgent plate of food to dive fork-first into. It's a powerful connector and allows us to grasp the interior of different cultures through the native cuisine. Food speaks to all our senses, not just our palette. From rural farm-to-table establishments and upscale dining rooms to eateries with a fusion of cultures mashed into one, food is a privilege we get to indulge in. Samantha recommends stepping out of your comfort zone for breakfast, lunch, and dinner when in another time zone and embracing the culinary scene of the region. Her list of top picks is a hodgepodge of Italian, New American, Mexican, and Viennese. Each restaurant captures the essence of the local community and dazzles its guests with a quality that can't simply can't be kept a secret. Make sure to add these intricate foodie finds to your culinary bucket list!

The culinary duo of New York City

This Italian trattoria dances to the beat of live Opera music that permeates its dining room on a nightly basis. Located in Brooklyn, New York, Tomasso emulates childhood memories of indulging in home-cooked meals around a table filled with friends and family — the same ones that inspired Chef Tom to launch his local restaurant in the streets of New York City. The dishes are kept simple, yet never lack flavor and quality, with a rustic, country-style flair. Upscale appetizers, like fried calamari and stuffed mushrooms, start guests off strong on their culinary feast, while the fresh pastas finish the job.

Prune doesn't exactly have the capacity to support the long lines of regulars eagerly waiting to be seated at a table — but that doesn't stop them from serving each customer with a smile. Its trendy, modern exterior reflects the quintessential lifestyle of New York City's East Village neighborhood. Founded by New York Times Best Selling author and winner of the Best Chef NYC award in 2011, Gabrielle Hamilton, her accolades speak to this eatery's extraordinary food. After garnering mass attention, word soon spread on the streets that Prune doesn't fool around with its food. This cramped, vibrant bistro prides itself on its ability to elevate modern American staples while adding a unique flair. Open for brunch, lunch, and dinner, Prune capitalizes on its famous Dutch-style pancakes, Monte Cristo sandwich, and Turkish pistachios. Brown also gave a shout-out to the famous homemade burrata on bread! 

Vollpension and Leo's

Founded by a group of eager, transcendent students, Vollpension looks, feels, and tastes just like you'd expect from grandma's kitchen. This cafe's name says it all, translating to "full pension" in German and refers to both retirement aid and an all-inclusive hotel. The mission behind this adorable cafe rests in a passion for combating age-old loneliness, promoting increased pensions, and "baking for world peace."  Guests are served in a living room-style kitchen, seated in oversized booths around small kitchen tables. Even the recipes here resemble a Grandmother-like baking style. According to Brown, they're kept top secret, including the famous apricot cake. 

Leo's is very much a hole-in-the-wall, off-the-grid type of seafood joint in Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Yet, it's what allows this rustic fishing hut to stand out on its hillside plot. The fish here is the freshest you can find, caught and sourced by Leo himself in the early light of dawn. It may not look like much from the outside with no electricity and hardly any dining space, but the food more than makes up for the rudimentary appearance. According to Brown, the fresh goose barnacles are a must on the menu, comparable to the quality of lobster. However, the seaweed salad and tuna sashimi are equally as divine. As astounding as the food at Leo's is, the location is also nothing to scoff at. Situated just minutes away from Playa Contramar, the main beach in town, the views from this seafood sensation are a sight to behold.