Disclaimer: I really enjoy consuming and talking about food, but I am not a foodie.

RESTAURANTS (AND WHY)

US                The North Pond (Chicago, IL): The art of brunch, with a seasonal menu. Spectacular location in Lincoln Park
                     Coast (Chicago, IL): If you need to get sushi in Chicago
                     Rex Italian Foods (Norridge, IL): Sicilian deli. Try sfincione, arancini, or eggplant parmigiana
                     La Ciccia (San Francisco, CA): Outstanding Sardinian food
                     Pizzeria Delfina (San Francisco, CA): Probably one of the best pizzas outside of the motherland
                     Uncle Boon (NYC): Northern Thai food. Requires some degree of openness to experimentation, but is delicious
                     Fette Sau (Brooklyn): Somebody is barbequing. They also have a great selection of beer and American whiskey
                     Marea (NYC): If you really need to eat Italian food in NYC (most of you do). Specialized in seafood, great wine selection
                     Villanelle (NYC): Very creative, seasonal, modern; a great place for a date. Try the octopus/curry dish

Italy              Canessa (Baratti, LI): Solid seafood in the middle of the famous Golfo di Baratti.  Try the pistachio tuna steak or the spaghetti all'astice
                     Trattoria I Bologna (Rocchetta Tanaro, AL): If you want to understand why Piedmontese food is so revered.  Try the agnolotti, let the owner pick the wine
                     Pizzeria da Pietrino (Vignole Borbera, AL): My favorite pizza. Try the Micky
                     Luini (Milan): Panzerotti, right behind Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. The superb quick lunch of the Italian trader
                     Agriturismo Colognole (Colognole Rufina): Magnificent view of the Tuscan hills, takes a while to get there but food and wine (Chianti) are worth it
                     Locanda Montin (Venezia): Great, simple, traditional food. Great internal garden, in a quiet area of the city. Kudos to my parents who found this place in 1982
                     Trattoria 4 Leoni (Firenze): Very solid option in the heart of Florence. Besides the bistecca alla fiorentina, I recommend the fried zucchini blossoms
                     Locanda Erba Luisa (Paderna, AL): Very nice location on the hills surrounding Tortona, specializes in Ligurian food, I recommend capponmagro and pansotti
 
Israel           Eucaliptus (Jerusalem): Biblical chef Moshe Basson's restaurant. Try the maklouba
                    Lina (Jerusalem): By far (very, very far) the best hummus I have ever had

Germany     Café am Beethovenplatz (Munich): Chopped pork with Knödel, served with Bavarian beer
                  
Thailand      Cooking Love (Chiang Mai): Delicious, very casual, but you need a reservation. Best quality/price ratio of my life

OTHER NOTABLE RECOMMENDATIONS

Japan          Hotel Mume (Kyoto): Simply put, the kindest, most attentive staff ever encountered

Italy            Distilleria Gualco (Silvano d'Orba, AL): Grappa from the lower Piedmont region. My family has been buying their grappa for three generations 
                   Panetteria De Lucca (Novi Ligure, AL): Novi style focaccia. The place to get it
                   Tenuta Elena (Cassinelle, AL): great Dolcetto d'Ovada and outstanding view of the Appennino Ligure