When it comes to choosing my favorite meals of 2016, it is not an easy task.  There were many!  However, I chose these because it was a combination of great food, company, and ambience.  I look back on the year and these were the experiences that I remember the most.  From London to Spain and Mexico, my taste buds celebrated all year with so many amazing foodie experiences.  They are not in any particular order.  I loved them all!  It is important to mention that these are affordable restaurants.  You do not have to be wealthy to enjoy any of these.  On the contrary, some of the meals below were actually very affordable.

1) Crocker’s Folly in London

Special Occasion


Main Dish

This place was so beautiful and their food so delicious that I mention them below in a separate blog post:

3 London Hidden Gems

2) Pintxos in Spain  

Cheap Eat

The pintxos concept in Spain was a new experience for me.  Are they tapas?  Some people get it confused with tapas, but the pintxo is something you will always pay for.  Originally, tapas were free bar snacks served whenever you ordered something to drink.  A pintxo is still a snack, but you will not get it for free.   At the end of the meal, they count the toothpicks to see how much money you owe.  I noticed most pintxos were just One Euro.  If you notice the pic below, there is one pintxo tagged with a red toothpick.  These were a bit more pricey because they had more expensive ingredients like prawns.

La Tasqueta de Blai

La Tasqueta de Blai—Barcelona, Spain

The foodie scene in Spain is so phenomenal that I had to do its own blog post. 12 YUMMY Barcelona Experiences

3) Paella in Ibiza  

Moderately Priced

Ibiza is not exactly known for its food.  It is a very touristy island and I could tell that the foodie scene adapts mostly to the foreigners that go there.  However, there are some Spanish staples that are always a safe bet.  I mean, if you can mess up a Paella in Spain, you got to be the worst chef ever.  What made this meal so special?  Well, while I was feeding my body with a delicious paella, the view of stunning Es Vedrà was nourishing my spirit:)

In Spain, the quality of the food matches the beauty of the country.

In Spain, the quality of the food matches the beauty of the country.



4) El Fogon´s Parrilla Mixta in Playa del Carmen  

Cheap Eat

Get your meat on! Steaks, porkchops, chorizo, chicken, and melted queso to make your own tacos.  This parrilla for six is a feast for carnivores!

El Fogon, Playa del Carmen

Parrilla Mixta

5) Raice´s Pescado Tikin-xic in Holbox, Island  

Cheap Eat

Tikin Xic, pronounced “teekeen sheek” in Mayan means “dry fish”, is a fish dish prepared in the Mayan style. The fish is marinated with sour oranges, adobo, and achiote and then wrapped in a banana leaf.  Once wrapped, it is cooked in a wood fire.

Raices, Holbox Island

Raices, Holbox Island

6) Oh La La in Playa del Carmen  

Special Occasion yet moderately priced


I love this place and I know that each time I go that it will be one of my best meals of the year.  I updated my blog post for them with my recent visit.

Check it out:  Oh La La

7) Gordon Biersch in Rockville, MD

Happy Hour

I know this one may surprise you.  It is a place that you go for draft beer and pub food right?  Wrong!  Yes, the Golden Export here is one of my favorite beers, but the food is far from pub food.  Their menu is well thought out and they got a lot of my business this year.  I had to mention them because I think of all the restaurants that I went to in 2016, this one got a lot of my time this past Summer.  This is not your typical happy hour and bar snacks.  Their appetizers are yummy and will satisfy the foodies.

The Golden Export is my favorite.  The food is wonderful too!

The Golden Export is my favorite. The food is wonderful too!

No ordinary nachos here! Ahi Tuna Nachos.

No ordinary nachos here! Ahi Tuna Nachos.