One Culinary Traveler’s Favorite Restaurants Around the World

January 8, 2020

Los Angeles-based actress Shiri Appleby knows her food: not only has her packed film and TV-shooting schedule kept her traveling to various international food capitals, but she’s engaged to be married to Jon Shook, the chef/owner of Animal, Son of a Gun, and Trois Mec, three of Los Angeles’ most adventuresome and lauded restaurants. Inspirato caught up with Appleby (who’s coming back to television this season on both Chicago Fire and Girls) to get the lowdown on where to eat in Vancouver, Chicago, New York, and London.

One Culinary Traveler’s Favorite Restaurants Around the World


The Foundation at 2301 Main Street

This place features light, vegetarian food, with nachos and amazing specials. There was this one dish I’d eat all the time with warm quinoa, tons of different vegetables, and this beautiful peanut sauce that I look for every time I go to a vegetarian restaurant now. It’s a cool, mellow place with graffiti on the walls and live music. For a vegetarian place, it has a real diner feel, with a young, hip crowd.


Publican Quality Meats at 825 W Fulton

When I started acting in Chicago Fire, I became a really big fan of this place, and all of Paul Kahan’s restaurants. Walk downstairs to the bathroom, and you can see the entire freezer with all their meats. The food is delicious: I’m a big fan of farm-to-table food, and I think they do it really well. I usually order a big salad with big chunks of turkey, but their specialty is a sausage-bratwurst creation that’s out of this world. Thanks to Kahan and others, the Chicago food scene is really going off.

New York

Le Parker Meridien at 119 W 56th Street

My favorite hamburger in New York is served at the Le Parker Meridien. You go into a private little room in the back behind a velvet rope and velvet curtain—there’s no sign—and inside is this great little hamburger joint. I like it because they have a thicker patty, super juicy. The whole thing really works together; the fries are cooked but not burnt.

One Culinary Traveler’s Favorite Restaurants Around the World 2


Barrafina at 54 Frith Street

We had a long layover on our way to Italy once, and we made a point of going into the city to eat here. Great tapas, nice wine selection and there are three tables outside that are super-hard to come by, but worth the effort to grab if it’s a nice day. The vibe in there is unpretentious—people will just stand up to eat at the bar rather than wait for a table. It’s that good. They also serve prosciutto, these beautiful shrimps, sliced in half—all made to share, which is how we like to eat.