Places We Love

Chef Daniel Boulud Dishes on His Fave Cities, Eclectic Markets and Swimming With Stingrays

Lyon holds a special place in my heart as it’s where I spent my childhood and it’s where my roots are. What makes Lyon an amazing city is the very large community of successful craftsmen and its location at the crossroads of the South of France, Rhône Valley, the Alps and Burgundy, making it one of the richest regions in France.

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Meats and cheeses in Lyon. (Photo: Getty Images)

While in Lyon, I enjoy shopping at Les Halles de Paul Bocuse, a shopping mall by Monsieur Paul that boasts high-end products such as cheeses from La Mère Richard, fresh meat, fish and charcuterie.

La Maison des Canuts is a very captivating museum displaying over five centuries of silk production, located in the Croix-Rousse district, historically known as the hub of the silk trade. Le Suprême, a bistro with great, affordable food from Chef Gregory Stawowy is one of my favorites in the city.

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The silk trade in Croix-Russe. (Photo: Alamy)

San Sebastián in the Basque region of Spain has the most vibrant food culture I've ever experienced. It's a perfect marriage of creativity and tradition in one of the most stunning settings.

Daniel Boulud

New York City is my second home as I have lived there for almost 30 years and now have five restaurants and three épiceries across the city. It’s so diverse and interesting, it never stops inspiring me.

La Boîte à Epices is my go-to spice shop by my friend and old DANIEL alum, Lior Sev Sercarz, and Korin is a shop specialized in Japanese “arts de la table” where you can find the highest quality knives for the kitchen. For dining, Gunter Seeger is a pioneer of the farm-to-table movement and his restaurant perfectly demonstrates the authenticity of New York products.

San Sebastián in the Basque region of Spain has the most vibrant food culture I’ve ever experienced. It’s a perfect marriage of creativity and tradition in one of the most stunning settings. I enjoy La Madame, a former brothel turned restaurant and cocktail bar by an American expat chef, Kevin Patricio and Martin Berasategui, which represents Spanish avant-garde cuisine with his innovative restaurant in the stunning Basque Country.

Cayman is the perfect destination for some sun, diving and fine island fun. I go every year for the annual Cayman Cookout with many chef friends and it’s always a warm and welcoming experience. Stingray City is a series of sandbars that you access by boat, where you can swim with the stingrays.

It’s such a fun experience! Blue is my friend Eric Ripert’s fine dining restaurant on the island and as a seafood expert, he sources the best local ingredients for this Caribbean haven.

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Shopping on Portobello Road. (Photo: Getty Images)

London has been emerging as a truly captivating food destination in the last couple of years.

Daniel Boulud

London has been emerging as a truly captivating food destination in the last couple of years. I opened there almost 10 years ago and enjoy seeing how much it continues to evolve. Portobello Road Market, one of the most famous and my favorite antique market, where you can find all kinds of great collectibles.

I always enjoy dining at CORE, Chef Clare Smyth’s elegant yet relaxed restaurant that focuses on the best local produce in London’s charming Notting Hill neighborhood.

Singapore peaks my curiosity every time I go. Ever since opening there in 2010, I’ve been drawn to the diverse community and variety of Asian cultures all in one place, which leads to many different cuisines and flavors.

One of my favorite things to do when visiting is explore all the different markets across the city. I also enjoy eating at Odette, a beautiful, artistic space housed in the National Gallery Singapore and offering delicious cuisine inspired by Chef Julien Royer’s grandmother.

Canada is interesting to me because I have two restaurants in different parts of the country, and Canadian food and products are a true combination of climate and culture and really vary by region.

From rustic and traditional on the East Coast to Nordic influences on the West Coast, the markets offer some of the best produce in North America. The unique La Cabane à Sucre Au Pied de Cochon is Martin Picard’s contemporary yet traditional sugar shack in the Quebec countryside that is part “cabane” part laboratory.

Alo in Toronto is an impressive contemporary French restaurant and cocktail bar by Patrick Kriss, another DANIEL alum who perfectly displays his focus, talent, creativity and ambition.


For more of Chef Daniel Boulud’s favorites, see his Marriott Moments recommendations.