The World's Best Meals, According to Jane the Virgin's Yael Grobglas
My love for food started at a very young age, being born to two fabulous cooks with extreme love for the art of food. At my parents’ house, eating together is a ritual: breakfast, lunch, and dinner are special, respected occasions. We sit, talk, and discuss what we are eating.
I was born in France to a French father and an Austrian mother (the debate of which culture invented the “choucroute” is everlasting and will probably never be resolved). We moved to Israel when I was 2 years old. My parents have proud stories of me eating a chicken leg as a tiny baby and shoveling in the caviar at the IKEA restaurant in Paris as a toddler. Life was good.
As much as I’ve always known about my great love for eating, I didn’t discover my love for cooking until I moved out and realized that I could actually make anything I wanted to eat right there at home! So I did. Since then, inviting friends over to try exciting experiments has become almost a daily event.
A few years ago, my conscience overcame my taste for meat (and it was a great love indeed), so I decided to become a pescatarian. I won’t pretend this was an easy or natural thing for me to do—it’s been four years, and I still have meat dreams—but it was worth it for me.
Giving up meat actually strengthened my resolve to cook and eat even better than before, and this is what I’ve been trying to do ever since. Today, I live in Los Angeles and travel quite often, allowing me to discover new amazing restaurants. From the most eclectic hidden treasures to my go-to sushi spot, these are my favorites places to eat around the world.
Obviously Paris has some of world’s best restaurants, so I will mention only one that is especially dear to me: Chartier. It’s more than 100 years old and still known mostly by native Parisians. Entering Chartier, you feel as if you had stepped into the Paris of the Belle Époche. The waiters wear long white aprons and write up your bill on your paper tablecloth. The food is traditional French cuisine—comforting!
7 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre
Paris, France 75009
Orna and Ella
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
This gem of a restaurant is located on Sheinkin, a charming shopping street in Tel Aviv. Opened by two women (Orna and Ella) with a true passion for cooking, you feel that every dish you get is made with so much love; the food tastes like a warm hug and kiss on the forehead from your mother telling you to eat up and enjoy. I highly recommend the restaurant’s sweet-potato latkes!
33 Sheinkin St.
Tel Aviv, Israel 65232
Café Chez Marie
Location: Los Angeles
A hidden taste of France in Los Angeles, this place makes serious use of the word “random.” It’s a magical little restaurant hidden in a rather calm area of Santa Monica Boulevard that looks like it was actually built by hobbits. (I'm not kidding—there is a well!) The cafe is run by the ever-charming Marie, who warmly greets her regulars by name. It’s perfect for breakfast or brunch. If you like crêpes, eggs, and Edith Piaf, you'll love it.
10681 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
Since Tel Aviv is a walking city, almost every week I would grab my grandmotherly basket on wheels and march down to this incredible place. Imagine a market from long ago: messy, loud, and absolutely beautiful, boasting vibrant colors and powerful flavors. Whether you carefully pick out some incredible tomatoes and basil for lunch or decide to eat at one of the many small restaurants around the market, you're always sure to leave with a smile!
Allenby, King George and Sheinkin Streets
Tel Aviv, Israel
My FAVORITE oyster place in Brooklyn has an old-school magic about it. Make sure to go during happy hour for $1 oysters! Get yourself a tower of everything the staff recommends (the options are always changing), and happy post-oyster giggles are guaranteed!
298 Bedford Ave.
Brooklyn, New York, 11211
The best ice cream and sorbet in the world! More than once, I found myself in Paris freezing in the pouring rain, huddled in a spot under a random roof, munching happily on a cone of cassis ice cream. It's worth it.
31 Rue Saint-Louis en l'Île
Paris, France 75004
Location: New York City
My favorite ceviche place! This recent discovery is a tiny place with bar only—no tables. The food is made right under your nose, and the anticipation is a big part of the experience. Just experiment and talk to the chef; you will not be disappointed. Out of sheer gastronomic shock, I was completely silent the first time I was there.
122 E. Seventh St.
New York, New York 10009
What are some of your favorite restaurants around the world? Share your list below!