Neapolitan Pizza at Brigantessa

The Official 2foodtrippers Top 10 List for 2015

In Food Tripping by Daryl & Mindi Hirsch21 Comments

2015 was a busy year for the 2foodtrippers as we mixed food travel with our busy work schedules. Big changes are about to happen, but more on that later. First, though, we want to focus on our top 10 list of culinary experiences for the year.

Top 10 List 2015

1. Plate of the Year – Sashimi at Raku – Las Vegas

We had so many great plates in 2015, including the ten we enjoyed during our anniversary dinner at Raku in Las Vegas. However, Raku’s sashimi stands out in our memory as the most perfect plate of the year – an elegant array of melt-in-your-mouth raw fish. This is the finest, freshest sushi you will ever eat in a desert – or near the sea for that matter.

Sashimi at Roku Top 10 List 2015

Sashimi at Roku

2. Best Breakfast – Russ & Daughters Cafe – New York City

Our first, but not last, meal at Russ & Daughters Cafe reminded us of why we love New York City so much – the vibe, the service and most of all the food. Meal highlights were the Gaspe Nova sliced so thin you can see through it and the Super Heebster Special with its blend of lightly popping wasabi caviar over creamy salmon and whitefish salads.

Fish Board at Russ and Daughters Cafe Top 10 List 2015

Fish Board at Russ and Daughters Cafe

3. Best Neapolitan Pizza – Brigantessa – Philadelphia

Our love affair with Neapolitan pizza started in Naples Italy last year. When we’re stateside, we are lucky to have several solid pizzerias to keep us going. Our favorite local pizzas are at Brigantessa. Chef Joe Ciccala’s salute to Southern Italy in South Philly features supple pies with the finest local and imported ingredients.

Neapolitan Pizza at Brigantessa Top 10 List 2015

Neapolitan Pizza at Brigantessa

4. Most Colorful Plate – Roca Moo – Barcelona

The food in Barcelona is exciting and colorful, much like the city’s architecture. Delicate Mediterranean Cod at Barcelona’s Roca Moo was served with no less than five emulsions, making it memorable for both its vivid colors and provocative flavors.

Mediterranean Cod at Roca Moo Top 10 List 2015

Mediterranean Cod at Roca Moo

5. Most Surprising Meal – Milktooth – Indianapolis

We never thought of Indianapolis as having a progressive food scene, which is why we were pleasantly surprised to find an array of sophisticated food served at the funky yet laid-back Milktooth in Indy’s Fletcher Place neighborhood. The prime eating spot at Milktooth is the bar, where eight stools face a long, open kitchen with a bird’s-eye view of the chefs at work. Though the grilled cheese may be the most popular dish, other dishes shine like the sweet corn pancake topped with fried bologna, hard-boiled egg, yuzo kosho and seared foie. Indianapolis. Who knew?

Sweet Corn Pancake and Fried Bologna at Milktooth Top 10 List 2015

Sweet Corn Pancake and Fried Bologna at Milktooth

6. Best Outdoor Dining – Bacchanal – New Orleans

Our long walk along desolate streets to the very end of NOLA’s Bywater led us to Bacchanal, a unique dining experience featuring live music in the open bayou air. Simple plates like whole grilled fish are served to diners while they enjoy traditional jazz in a romantic backyard space. As an added bonus, Bacchanal is a BYO with a cute wine store on the premises.

Outdoor Dining at Bacchanal Top 10 List 2015

Outdoor Dining at Bacchanal

7. Best Salad – Seafood Palace – Lake Charles

Salads are seldom memorable. This is not the case with the shrimp salad at Seafood Palace. Loaded with fresh Louisiana grilled shrimp, this salad stands out as one of our best plates of the year, with or without lettuce. The well-seasoned shrimp on this salad is so fresh that it tastes like the juicy crustaceans were just plucked from the nearby Gulf of Mexico

Shrimp Salad at Seafood Palace Top 10 List 2015

Shrimp Salad at Seafood Palace

8. Best Bowl of Soup – Chicken Pho at Stock – Philadelphia

We have a thing for soup, and one of our favorite bowls is the pho at Fishtown’s Stock. This soup features lots of fresh herbs, deeply flavored broth and surprisingly moist slices of free range Lancaster chicken.

Chicken Pho at Stock Top 10 List 2015

Chicken Pho at Stock

9. Best Beverage – Coffee – Everywhere

Our love affair with coffee started when we were dating and has continued into 2015. It’s the beverage that we seek whether we’re at home or traveling around the world. We are so lucky to live in the golden age of coffee. The quality and availability of the product couldn’t be better, especially when baristas have the skill of fine artists.

Cappuccino Top 10 List 2015


10. Most Exciting Meal – Dirty French – New York City

Say what you want, but New York City is still a behemoth when it comes to innovative cuisine. Our meal at Dirty French, a bistro in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, excited us on all levels starting with its stylish atmosphere and ending with its breathtaking international nod (and wink?) at Gallic cuisine. Even the bread service featuring warm, soft flatbread and fromage blanc with rosemary was a knock-out.

Millefeuille of Royal Trumpet Mushrooms and Thai Green Curry at Dirty French Top 10 List 2015

Millefeuille of Royal Trumpet Mushrooms and Thai Green Curry at Dirty French

Big News for 2016

2015 was a great year, but we’re ramping things up for an epic adventure that will take us around the United States, Europe, Asia and beyond. We even have a special hashtag for the coming year:


We’re excited to see where the road takes us, and we will document the journey right here with loads of photos and stories.

Stay tuned and stay hungry!

Traveling soon?

Research your travel using or TripAdvisor and support 2foodtrippers at the same time. When you click here and search for hotels, we receive a small commission which we put right back into this site - at no additional cost to you.


  1. The meals look mouthwatering. I think you’re right, that to really experience a place you need to submerge yourself in the food (and pizza in Italy is top!) and I am looking forward to seeing what tastes of 2016 you find. I think my favourite of your 10 is the shrimp salad, salads are underrated! Absolutely stunning photography as well, my mouth is watering looking at all the photos.

  2. I LOVE this post. I’m new to your blog but what a brilliant introduction. I found it fascinating that you have visited so many different places to pull together your top ten. I will be checking out your other posts after this.

  3. That Chicken Pho is sure making me hungry!
    I am not at all one to explore new foods. That very first picture is something I would never try!
    The pizza certainly looked delicious too!
    Wonderful list and great photography!

  4. These are all such great plates! Everything looks delicious. I love going through our food adventures through the past year to remember all that we’ve tried. It’s hard to remember them all.

  5. The Neopolitan pizza looks delicious. I love egg on pizza! Dirty French is such a good restaurant. You’ve reminded me I should get back down there (and the lower east side in general!). We are always on the search for a new breakfast place so I’ll be sure to try out Russ & Daughters Cafe. Looking forward to the tantalizing dishes in 2016 that you’ll share.

  6. I’m just going to follow you around the world eating your leftovers. I was just in New York and wish I’d known about Russ & Daughters Cafe – sounds fun. I was also in Barcelona and wish I’d known about Roca Moo. And that pizza – I have to confess, I’m going to pop a frozen pizza in the oven in about 2 minutes. But I’ll pretend it’s one directly from Naples. And then I’ll pretend I’m in Philly eating pho … I think I’d better go eat that pizza now.

  7. Plate of the Year definitely takes home the medal in my book! I just recently learned to love sushi so it’s like my eyes are open for the very first time, and that dish looks incredible! Thank you for sharing all of these beautiful foodie favorites!

  8. What an amazing list!! I think the coffee would definitely be at the top of my list. I have never tried sushi but it certainly is a beautiful looking dish. Thanks so much for sharing!

  9. Wow, I’m a sushi lover and that top plate from the restaurant in Vegas looks absolutely DELICIOUS! I need some of that in my life… and I also wouldn’t mind snacking on pizza from Philly as well! These all look so good though, I think I’ll have to add all of the locations as must-visit-locations to my travel bucket list!

  10. I absolutely love Russ and Daughters but I have not yet tried the cafe, only the original shop. Looks like you had a great year!

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge