We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
Can you believe that 2017 is already over and 2018 is almost two months over? It always amazes us how fast a single year tends to go by. For Ashley and I, it feels as if we were leaving for Central and South America back at the beginning of 2017 yet now we have celebrated the New Year in Warsaw, Poland and have moved back to Healdsburg, CA. All our adventures of 2017 are over and all we can do now is reminisce about the marvelous cuisine that we enjoyed this past year. Ashley and I explored countries with captivating cultures and enticing cuisines with deep histories. We traveled through the cuisines of Peru, Mexico, Cuba, California, Uganda, France and much more. It was a year filled with great wine, cocktails, and meals that we would love to share with you, our trusted foodies, so here are the best things we ate in 2017!
Mexico was definitely our top destination of 2017. While we enjoyed all the countries we visited this past year, Mexico stole our hearts as we explored Tulum in the jungles of the Yucatan Peninsula to the chaotic streets of Mexico City. We were so engrossed in the culture and cuisine we teased with the idea of living in Mexico. Food is such an important part of the Mexican culture that it was not that surprising to find such amazing food and several places top of our list of best meals we ate in 2017.
Sur 69 513, Justo Sierra
Casa Licha in Mexico City is the first great meal that I would like to reminisce about. Casa Licha is a small local restaurant in the Justo Sierra neighborhood that focuses on food from the Guerrero region of Mexico. Our lovely hosts from our AirBnB took us to Casa Licha for a Sunday morning breakfast of pozole as it is very common to go and eat pozole after Sunday Mass. Pozole is a traditional Mexican soup made with hominy, spices, and meat, traditionally pork. There are three types of pozole: Blanco/white, Verde/green, and Rojo/red.
At Casa Licha, we enjoyed wonderful bowls of pozole Blanco and Verde. It was such a memorable meal with new friends, large bowls of pozole, and maybe one too many Mexico City micheladas (beer and lime juice). That is why this meal has made it onto the greatest places we ate in 2017.
Avenue Pdte. Masaryk 513, Polanco, Polanco II Secc
Guzina Oaxaca is another restaurant in Mexico City located in the higher end neighborhood of Polanco II Seco. As the name suggests it focuses on the cuisine of Oaxaca which has a rich history of mole and tequila. Guzina Oaxaca is a modern restaurant that serves traditional dishes with a modern presentation. Guzina Oaxaca shows that Mexico is not just great street food but that their cuisine can be presented with class and elegance.
Ashley and I enjoyed multiple mezcal cocktails, a quesadilla stuffed with fresh Oaxacan cheese, bean paste, cabbage and then fried in pork fat, molotito de plátano macho con mole negro which was a fried plantain split open and stuffed with queso fresco and topped with Mole Negro! The food kept coming though, as we continued the meal with the fish of the day, seabass in a butter corn salsa, and pork confit covered in Mole Colorado. To top all of this wonderfully rich food we ended the lunch with Oaxacan chocolate lava cake with a side of cinnamon ice cream and a couple of espressos.
This lunch blew our minds as it showcased to us the range that the cuisine of Mexico has. The next time that we are back in Mexico City we will definitely be coming back to Guzina Oaxaca!
Carretera Tulum Boca Paila 7.6Km
Located along the beaches and jungles of the Yucatan peninsula, Hartwood is an amazing open-air restaurant ready to delight anyone looking for a nice evening out in the vacation destination of Tulum. Hartwood was opened up by two New Yorkers who were on a mission to use local ingredients and support the local Mayan farmers. They cook everything on their open fire pits and serve up a twist on local delicacies.
This meal cemented itself as one of our top meals of 2017 as the menu they offered was so appealing that it took all of our willpower not to order everything. Their wine list highlights and focuses on the regions of Mexico’s growing wine regions. They also have an amazing cocktail list focused that is built around the delicious alcohol Mezcal.
Our meal was stunning as we enjoyed charred empanadas stuffed with slow cook lechon (pork), ceviche, and large Mayan prawns cooked on the grill for appetizers. Our main meal consisted of freshly grilled hake, and their famous pork ribs glazed with honey, agave and cooked for 14 hours. The meal was just sublime. Our meal then ended with corn and cheese ice cream with coffee infused mezcal.
This meal was just phenomenal and if you happen to find yourself in Tulum make sure to make a reservation.
Peruvian cuisine is everything you would want out of South American cuisine. They have amazing fresh fish they use to make ceviche, more varieties of potatoes then you could imagine and tropical fruit grows in abundance. Peru has an abundance of ingredients that are native to their land. Peru should excite any foodie looking for a cuisine that is explosive and has enough variety that everyone will be elated with joy.
Calle Santa Isabel 376, Miraflores
Our lunch at Central was a one of a kind meal and was the standout meal that we ate in 2017. It was a culinary journey through the many elevations that populate the country of Peru. The kitchen team comes together and creates a set menu that highlights 17 different elevations in Peru. Every course is designed to show you how diverse Peru’s landscape is and how amazing the ingredients are from those elevations. We experienced native ingredients from the Pacific which borders the country from the west to the jungles of the Amazon to the east and up to the tippy top of the Andes.
The best thing about Central is that they open up the reservations in four-month periods. That means you have more of a chance of getting a reservation! The next period opens in March 2018 for May through August if you are planning a trip to Lima anytime soon!
French cuisine needs no introduction. They are a culinary superpower and their cuisine deserves all the praise they get. The French have spent centuries perfecting their cuisine while continuing to push their cuisine to new heights. Yes, I do have a bias towards French cuisine, as it is one of my favorites cuisines to explore and learn about it so its no wonder this country lands on the list for best meals we ate in 2017!
Auberge de L’Ill
2 Rue de Collonges au Mont d’Or
Outside of Colmar in Illhaeusern
Auberge de L’Ill is the epitome of French haute cuisine. The restaurant has held three Michelin stars for 50 years straight and that is the longest any restaurant has held three stars. Ashley and I were blessed with the opportunity of dining at this famous Alsatian restaurant.
When you spend your night at a French three Michelin star restaurant you are not just going to eat you are going to a show. The show is how the French have perfected meal service. It is a ballet that is perfect from beginning till end. With my family, Ashley and I were able to drink beautiful Alsatian wines paired with local foie gras, pan-fried John Dorie fillet, lobster with pumpkin, a French cheese selection the would melt the heart of any cheese lover, and so much more.
This meal was just perfect in every which way. Auberge de L’Ill shows off how wonderful French cuisine actually is.
Bistrot Paul Bert
18 Rue Paul Bert
If you find yourself in Paris and would like to enjoy a traditional French Bistro then make reservations at Bistrot Paul Bert. This bistrot focuses on classic French style cuisine and allowed Ashley and I to enjoy classic French dishes.
This was just such a fun and amazing meal. Ashley and I enjoyed Beaujolais nouveau (which they had just released a few weeks before!), house-made pate, scallop soup, steak au poivre, their signature fillet covered in a savory peppercorn sauce, sole meuniere, a floating island of delicious meringue and Paris-Brest, their famous house-made pastry filled with a hazelnut cream. This lunch had everything I want out of a meal in Paris. If you are looking for a traditional French cuisine then this is the place for you.
Auberge Pyrénées Cévennes
106 rue de la Folie Mericourt
This next meal at Auberge Pyrénées Cévennes was an absolutely amazing meal. This restaurant offers up exceptional cuisine from the Pyrenees region of France. It is a very welcoming restaurant as you feel like you are walking into a friend’s home. There is one dish though that everybody should get when here and that is their traditional Cassoulet which is a southern dish of white beans, and an assortment of meat like pork sausage. It is the greatest comfort food in the world and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. This dish alone made this restaurant one of the best meals that we ate in 2017.
Nicaragua out of all the places we traveled was not really on the top of the cuisines that we enjoyed. A lot of that is because at the end of our trip to Central America we kind of got burned out on rice and beans, plus we spent most of our time in one place that did not have much traditional food. Yet, we had one meal though that stuck out to us and that was Espressonista in Granada.
609, Calle Real Xalteva
Espressonista was one of the highlights of our time in Nica. The restaurant is located in the beautiful city of Granada and is a little more off the beaten path of the city. It is a hipster style place that mixes of great cocktails as well as creative takes on their own cuisine. By day it is a cool hip coffee shop and then at night, it transforms into a casual restaurant filled with international inspired dishes made from fresh local ingredients.
Ashley enjoyed Corvina Nicoise which was a sea bass sauteed with a brown butter and sage on top of Agapito lettuce, avocado, black olives, poached egg, and an olive oil – shallot dressing. I loved my Ossobuco Tagliatelle, a classic of theirs, which was beef shank braised in white wine and thyme, carrots, tomato, and served on top of fresh pasta. Both dishes were absolutely stunning.
We ended our meal with unbelievable local Nica cheeses that our waiter was happy to introduce us to including an insane goat cheese made at a farm not too far outside of Granada. It was a meal we were not expecting after a couple weeks of rice and beans but man oh man it was a fantastic surprise that became one of our favorite meals in this last year.
2017 was a fantastic year for food as we explored so many different cultures and meals. If I truly wanted to write about every fantastic meal we ate in 2017 this article would go on for another five pages. We enjoyed food from all over the world from South America to East Africa, and just don’t know how we are going to top it in 2018. 2017 will definitely go down as one of our best years of eating we had and we could not have been happier. Hopefully, you guys can enjoy one of these meals in 2018!
Pin for Later