6 Restaurants Chef Kristen Kish Would Travel Across The Country—Or Halfway Around The World—To Eat At feature image


6 Restaurants Chef Kristen Kish Would Travel Across The Country—Or Halfway Around The World—To Eat At

Whether you're driving up a Panamanian mountain, or just getting on a plane to LA, these restaurants are all worth the journey.

Welcome to Perfect For, a weekly Infatuation series of ultra-specific restaurant recommendations from people around town you don't know personally, but might wish you did.

There are hot tables and there are hard-to-get-to tables. Kristen Kish, cookbook author, restaurateur, and host of National Geographic’s Restaurants at the End of the World, is well-acquainted with both. 

Kish’s latest gig is no small task: her new show takes her to places like the Arctic Circle and Brazilian fjords. As a result, eating at some of these remote dining destinations requires some tenacity and grit to get to (as well as driving stick shift up a Panamanian mountain), but the journey makes the meal experience that much more special. 

Thankfully, you don’t need your passport to enjoy every spot on this list, but if you want a closer look into her more far-flung picks, stream Restaurants at the End of the World on Disney+ for a front-row seat into all the action.

Isfjord Radio

“The restaurant at Isfjord Radio is a place you go mid-adventure—you’re trekking through the Arctic, and you need to stop to sleep, eat, and shower. But what you get there is unlike anything you've probably eaten before, and it continues and accelerates the adventure that you're already on.”

I will travel and get on an airplane to see any of my friends or friends of friends. That's the beauty of the chef community. Of course, I'm going for a great meal, but I'm also going to see the people attached to the location. Mei Lin in LA used to have Nightshade, and now she has Daybird. Wherever she's cooking, I will go—her food is outstanding.”

Turner Farm

“A more accessible location from the series for our US viewers is Turner Farm at North Haven Island in Maine. They do these incredibly special family-style barn suppers in the summer. After taking a 90-minute ferry ride from mainland Maine, you're on this beautiful farm. Regardless of the food served, it's the feeling—the unique adventure getting there and the memorable experience the farm offers. The food is just a really wonderful perk of this holistic experience.”

Hacienda Mamecillo

“To get to Hacienda Mamecillo, you fly into Panama City and then to Boquete. Then, you drive your car up a mountain to arrive at the restaurant. The food is great, but if there's any reason to go, it's to meet the owners: Rolando, his wife Gabriela, and their two kids. They're the most beautiful family, and they all take you on a journey when you go there.”

Sem Pressa

“Paraty wasn’t on my list of places to go, but my wife came on that trip with me and when we got to the old town and checked into our hotel, she said, ‘I could move here’ to which I immediately replied, ‘I think I could, too.’ Chef Gisela has three restaurants on the marina, which are all delicious. Sem Pressa is on a boat, and she takes you out into the middle of the ocean to explore the fjords.”

“This year, I will be getting on an airplane to visit Gregory Gourdet in Portland at his restaurant Kann. What makes Kann so special is Gregory. He is one of my absolute favorite people in the world and a longtime friend. Gregory steps into his storytelling by way of his Haitian roots, which is incredibly important and impactful. At his core, he’s a great chef, who can cook anything he wants. But to then fuel his passion, love, history, and culture into his food is just the perfect harmony for an authentic food story.”

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