When it comes to dining, in a continent surrounded by some of the most exciting culinary landscapes in the world, the well-versed foodie is definitely spoilt for choice. But it doesn’t take much to realise that the design of a restaurant will often have a far bigger impact on your dining experience than the food itself. Many foodies I know will deny the importance of ambience for their satisfaction, but décor for the restaurateur is quickly becoming a number one priority, and a priority that’s showing how we don’t always have to go for the often over priced, is-that-even-a-portion-sized restaurant, to fine, dine and wine. Here is a list of six brilliantly designed and accessible restaurants within Europe that have perfected their menus and design principles and will certainly have you coming back for more.
Short days, long winters, cold nights... The Danes know how to combat Denmark’s seasonal gloom with the art of hygge and its much talked about New Nordic cuisine, but it all comes at a price, and a price that’ll have you reaching deep into the pockets of your feather down jacket to foot the bill. But not at Höst.
Founded by the restaurant group Cofoco together with the local architecture and design duo Menu and Norm Architects, Höst is a traditional new Nordic restaurant, located in the heart of Copenhagen in the neighbourhood of Nansensgade with a modern twist. The restaurant has already won three international design awards including the World’s Best-Designed Restaurant and Best European Restaurant at London’s Restaurant & Design Awards.
Decked with its bare wooden furniture, subtle grey walls and soft lighting, Höst strips everything back to basics to complement the simple delights of Nordic cooking with a touch of modernism, resulting in something aesthetically and mouth wateringly delicious. Their menu includes dishes such asSmoked Trout with cauliflower-puré and pickled mushrooms with truffle and Norwegian lobster, juniper-pickled carrots, sea.buckthorn, juniper cream, hazelnuts and browned butter.
De Kas | Amsterdam
Adopting an environmentally friendly lifestyle whilst eating out might be easier than you imagined. In 2001, chef Gert Jan Hageman converted an eight-meter high greenhouse and former 1920s Municipal Nursery into a self-sufficient restaurant, which has been the source of inspiration to all grow-your-own-foodies since.
De Kas restaurant sources all of its own ingredients in the restaurant’s surrounding gardens and farmland nearby. With produce picked only hours before it is served, the restaurant has a three-course, Nordic inspired, fixed menu that changes according to the season and its availability to ensure that you are graced with a meal that promises to be fresher than fresh.
Kamerlingh Onneslaan 3, 1097 DE | +31204624562 | email@example.com
Dishoom - King’s Cross | London
One day, an eccentric old Irani Café (born circa 1930, Bombay) made a long trip from Bombay in 1970 to London in 2010… Three years down the line and Dishoom have opened its third restaurant in King’s Cross, with an even better Bombay inspired design. Formally a railway transit shed dating back to the 1850s, the restaurant pays homeage to Bombay’s Irani cafes and is reminiscent of Mumbai’s Victoria Terminus that once passed between Britain and the Empire (London and Bombay).
Owned by cousins Shamil and Kavi Thakrar, Dishoom re-invents this period of Indian history in a beautifully designed space sprawling across four floors, furnished with colonial-style bentwood chairs, ornate tiles, ceiling fans and colonial styled décor. The restaurant has a reception and bar on the ground floor, a basement bar, a first floor dining room decked with curved seating overlooking a private dining area, and a chef’s open kitchen on the second floor where you can watch your food being prepared.
Chicken thigh meat steeped overnight in garlic and ginger, a vegetarian Paneer tikka marinated and gently charred with red and green capsicums or the Irani cafe favourite, Lamb keema and peas are just a few of the fine dishes Dishoom has to offer.
020 7420 9321 | 5 Stable Street, London N1C 4AB
Fame/Katerschmaus – Kater holzig | Berlin
Set in an old soap factory on the upper floor of the graffiti covered, art infused KaterHolzig complex, Katerschmaus is an open kitchen-restaurant turfing out great German inspired cuisine, boasting impressive views of the Spree right on the water and better still, with its own rooftop bar. With a menu that changes weekly, expect Argentinian steaks, abruzzo truffles and a culminating sugar boost that will settle your taste buds and have you ready to re-enter the revelry downstairs.
Oh, and no photos allowed, you’re cooler than that.
Holzmarktstraße 2510243 | firstname.lastname@example.org | +49 30 510 521 34
Kronenhalle | Zurich
A haven of art and comfort, Zurich’s Kronenhalle is a restaurant and bar with an astonishing display of 20thcentury art by the likes of Chagall, Mirò, Picasso, Braque and Matisse, that all belonged to one man, silk magnate Gustav Zumsteg. Since its opening in 1924, the restaurant has always been a refuge for art and allegedly a haven for figures such as Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Pablo Picasso and Alberto Giacometti. Today its elegant menu complements the restaurant’s interior; minced veal ‘kronenhalle’ style, Chateaubriand and mousse au Chocolat to name a few.
The restaurant continues to attract an eclectic mix of people and is quickly becoming a hip hangout for Zurich’s students and its creative elite.
Rämistrasse 4, 8001 | +41 44 262 99 00
Nose2tail | Copenhagen
Introducing, ‘Copenhagen’s first sustainable gastro pub’, a cosy, candlelit haven for all meat lover’s, set within the Kødbyen area of Vesterbro in Copenhagen –the ‘Meat Packing District’ - and in what was a former butcher’s house.
Inspired by the British phenomenon River Cottage, the restaurant prides itself for using locally sourced produce and evolves around sustainability, using every part of the slaughtered animal (hence its name, nose to tail) to minimise waste. The menu is divided into three sections, the fish, entrails and the animal. No hidden agendas just honest, tasty, eco friendly food that gives a modern twist to the pub classics. Organic free range pulled pork, organic burgers made from free range beef, deviled organic free range eggs, to name a few. And if that wasn’t enough, the restaurant houses a great selection of local, Danish beers too.
Valkendorfsgade 22, 1151 København K | +45 33 93 50 45