Black sesame mochi, strawberry, kumquat, shiso at Coi Restaurant in San Francisco. Black sesame mochi, strawberry, kumquat, shiso at Coi Restaurant in San Francisco. Black sesame mochi, strawberry, kumquat, shiso at Coi Restaurant in San Francisco. (Photo: Nick Muncy)

Restaurants where you can take fabulous food photos

Presentation is a priority at these international dining rooms.

In an increasingly visual world, chefs are churning out perfect plates that are prime for photo taking. At these destination restaurants around the world, preparation is a priority but not at the cost of spectacular flavor. Chefs use colors and textures to paint an edible picture on a cooking canvas. Be sure to brush up on your food photography skills before you score a treasured table at one of these restaurants.

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At Coi Restaurant in San Francisco, you’ll want to admire the art for a few minutes before diving in. Chef Daniel Patterson was named the 2014 Best Chef: West by the James Beard Foundation. The simplicity of the aesthetic will take your breath away. Coi offers one menu nightly, based on the freshest local ingredients.

Blueberries and violet, steamed vanilla cake, and whipped fromage blanc from Coi Restaurant in San Francisco.Blueberries and violet, steamed vanilla cake, and whipped fromage blanc from Coi Restaurant in San Francisco. (Photo: Nick Muncy)

Pastry chef Nick Muncy has carefully constructed spectacular dishes that are both creative and stunning, including a brilliant blueberries and violet, steamed vanilla cake with whipped fromage blanc. "The steamed vanilla cake was developed when we were trying to make the lightest possible cake while still remaining moist," Muncy told From The Grapevine. "It has methyl cellulose in it, which keeps the cake from falling after it comes out of the oven. Usually a cake that unstable and high in whipped eggs would deflate in the oven, especially when it's steamed for an hour. The result is a light vanilla cake that tastes a lot like a Twinkie."

If you’re able to secure a seat at Thomas Keller’s French Laundry in nearby Yountville, California, you’ll want to have your smartphone charged and ready. The three-starred Michelin restaurant has been dubbed a destination in itself. The French-inspired menu changes daily – and you’ll have a choice of a nine-course chef’s tasting menu or a nine-course vegetable tasting menu. A recent highlight was the succulently slow-cooked fillet of wild king salmon, with d’Avignon Radishes, English peas, Jidori Hen Egg Mousse and Bronze Fennel.

Char Siu barbecue pork, egg pickled cucumbers, onion, plum hoisin and fresh chili at Topolopompo Restaurant in Tel Aviv. Char Siu barbecue pork, egg pickled cucumbers, onion, plum hoisin and fresh chili at Topolopompo Restaurant in Tel Aviv. (Photo: Courtesy Topolopompo)

At Topolopompo Restaurant in Israel's coastal city of Tel Aviv, chef and co-owner Avi Conforti uses fire to create deep flavors and bold visuals. Of his Tamilian Spiced Pumpkin, with black lentil dhal and roasted corn kurma, Conforti told From The Grapevine, “This portion is extremely versatile, since I can switch the pumpkin to roasted pork or charred spiced tuna steak, combine it with black bean dhal and stay truthful to the original flavors with a twist. The contrast of different textures adds a killer effect to this beautiful dish.”

A lime cream is made up of cassis sorbet, meringue and berries at the Popina restaurant.A lime cream is made up of cassis sorbet, meringue and berries at the Popina restaurant. (Photo: Haim Yosef)

An interesting visual contrast to the bold fire of Topolopompo is the more delicate plating at Popina, also in Tel Aviv. “I aim to create a sophisticated modern kitchen, which is still accessible and easy to enjoy,” wrote Chef Orel Kinchi. “The plating is the first and the most simple way the diners can relate to the dish, and so a great emphasis is being put [on creating] a look which is appealing, creative and appetizing, and at the same time practical and relates to the character of the dish. In that way, I see plating as a kind of 'recruited art' which complements the entire dining experience.”

With such innovations as the cheeky green “Gin & Tonic Tartar” and a delightfully fruity rice and coconut milk pudding, Kinchi’s dishes will truly deliver a sense of awe.

Steamed root vegetables tartar with aged balsamic vinegar, chestnuts, cashew butter and carrot-mustard cream at Popina restaurant in Israel.Steamed root vegetables tartar with aged balsamic vinegar, chestnuts, cashew butter and carrot-mustard cream at Popina restaurant in Israel. (Photo: Haim Yosef)

For a farm-to-table experience in Paris, check out the super swanky L’Arpege, which has also earned three Michelin stars. Three farms from three distinct regions provide the restaurant with all of its produce. Dishes are a collage of colors – elegantly crafted with only the freshest of ingredients. Chef Alain Passard’s inspiration is captured in collages that closely resemble dishes on the restaurant’s menu. Recent dishes include porcini mushrooms, with lemon, thyme and olive oil and Moroccan-inspired harlequin flower and vegetable sausages, with argan, lemon, dates and mint. Just a heads up – the menu is written in French, so be sure to bring a pocket dictionary with you!

At Social Eating House in London’s hip Soho neighborhood, you’ll find a tantalizing twist on traditional dishes. Don’t be fooled by the relaxed atmosphere – you’ll be dazzled by the creativity on the plate. Beef tartare is refreshingly reinvented when combined with dainty green mustard leaves and elegant whole and sliced English radishes. In a play on old-school British pub fare, you’ll find a deconstructed plate composed of an egg, smoked ham and chips (or fries as we know them here in the U.S.).

Duck, smoked ham, eggs and chips at the Social Eating House in London.Duck, smoked ham, eggs and chips at the Social Eating House in London. (Photo: Courtesy Social Eating House)

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