While writing his book
(Workman, 2010), Steven Raichlen traveled across six continents and 53 countries in search of the best flame-cooked foods on earth. Here, in no particular order, are his 12 favorite grill joints in the world. Planet Barbecue!
El Principe Tutul-Xiu, Mani, Yucatan, Mexico
This thatched-roof, open-air restaurant in the heart of the Yucatan is a one-trick pony, but, oh, what a trick:
Poc chuc–thin shavings of flash-brined pork–are grilled over oak and served under pickled onions with fiery habanero salsa. _ El Principe Tutul-Xiu
Calle 26, No. 208, Colonia Centro, Mani, Yucatan
Haxnbauer, Munich, Germany
Since 1916, this restaurant has offered monster
haxn (ham hocks) marinated with juniper and mugwort, then spit-roasted on a charcoal-burning rotisserie. They also dish up rib-sticking knodeln (bread dumplings).
Sparkassenstrasse 6, Munich, Germany
Andres Carne de Res, Chia, Colombia
Lomo al trapo is a juicy, salt-encrusted beef tenderloin that’s wrapped in a cotton cloth and grilled on glowing coals. The best place to eat it is the madcap restaurant of former artist Andres Jaramillo, whose kaleidoscopically colorful eatery spans a city block.
Andres Carne de Res
Calle 3, No. 11-56, Chia, Cundinamarca, Colombia
Warung Ibu Oka, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Whole hogs are stuffed with a paste made from galangal, turmeric, and other aromatics, then roasted on a hand-turned spit over blazing hardwoods. The result?
Babi guling, the most crisp-skinned, fragrant, succulent roast pork this side of North Carolina. _ Warung Ibu Oka
Jalan Suweta, Tegal Sari No. 2, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia _
Elckerlijc, Maldegem, Belgium
Chef Peter De Clercq burns beech, herbs, even olive pits, in his massive wood-fired grill to turn out dishes ranging from bacon and beef to grilled North Sea oysters to smoky apple “steaks” for dessert. _
Kraailokerkweg 17, Maldegem, Belgium
Churrascaria Galpao Crioulo, Porto Alegre, Brazil
Located in the epicenter of Brazilian barbecue, this
churrascaria serves killer picanha–fat-capped beef top sirloin, spit-roasted over charcoal and carved paper-thin off sword-like spits onto your plate. Don’t miss the sugar-crusted rotisserie pineapple.
Churrascaria Galpao Crioulo
Parque da Harmonia, Porto Alegre, Brazil
Lac Canh, Nha Trang, Vietnam
Chef Hang Nguyen seasons pristine seafood from Nha Trang Bay simply, using nothing more than garlic, sugar, and fish sauce. Customers do their own grilling over charcoal-filled braziers brought to each table. _
44 D Nguyen Binh Khiem, Cai River area, Nha Trang, Vietnam
Karim’s, Old Delhi, India
Opened in 1913, Karim’s serves outstanding tandoori-grilled chicken basted with yogurt, ginger, and cumin. The
seekh (minced lamb) kebabs are equally awesome. _ Karim’s
Jama Masjid, Gali Kababian, Old Delhi, Delhi, India
Die Strandloper, Langebaan, South Africa
Fresh seafood grilled over flaming driftwood and served on the beach is what you’ll get at this landmark fish camp. Specialties include apricot and garlic glazed snoek (a local fish) and
roosterkoek, knots of grilled bread served with sweet butter and gooseberry jam. _ Die Strandloper
Langebaan, South Africa
Avazi, Tel Aviv, Israel
Foie gras may seem like the last thing you could grill, but an immigrant from Azerbaijan known as Avazi (Hebrew for “goosey”) uses it to make rich kebabs seasoned with turmeric and black pepper. _
54 Haetzel St, Shchunat Hatikva, Tel Aviv, Israel
Lydia’s Lechon, Manila, Philippines
At this family-run chain, entire pigs seasoned with lemongrass and tamarind leaves are roasted to the color of polished teak on manual rotisseries over wood fires.
Lydia’s Lechon Restaurant
SM Food Court, Concepion Street, at the corner of Arroceros Street, Ermita, Manilla, Philippines
La Bouvette, Le Bois-Plage-en-Re, L’ile de Re, France
With its incredible woodsy essence,
eclade de moules, mussels roasted on a bed of pine needles, is one of the most delicious dishes on the planet. There’s no better place to try it than at this grange-turned-restaurant on the tiny island of Re off France’s Atlantic Coast. _ La Bouvette
Moulin Du Morinand, Le Bois-Plage, France