Update, 7/4: Amsterdam’s last world class kosher restaurant, H’Baron, closes their doors for good tonight.
I dined their twice earlier this year and wrote about it in my Amsterdam Trip Report. It’s a real shame and a blow for the local Jewish community and tourists alike.
With kosher tourism numbers rising and kosher restaurants thriving on other continents, does anyone have any theories about what is going on with kosher restaurants in Europe?
Originally posted on 5/7:
It’s not a good year for kosher travelers in Europe.
In February, Frankfurt’s Sohar restaurant lost their kosher status from Rabbi Havlin due to kashrus violations. Sohar also provides kosher meals to Lufthansa and other airlines. They obtained a new kashrus certificate afterward, but multiple US kashrus agencies have stated that after a new kashrus inspection, they do not recommend eating their food.
Sohar caviar appetizer in Lufthansa First Class circa May 2010, no longer recommended by US kashrus agencies:
In March, Amsterdam’s Sal Meijer deli closed its doors after an incredible 62 years in business. Rising costs due to government limitations on ritual slaughter and dropping revenue doomed the deli.
Kosher dining options in Amsterdam are few and far between, so it’s a big loss for that city.
Then in April the best kosher Indian restaurant in the world, Darjeeling, closed its doors in Paris. Their food was out of this world and it was one of the only glatt kosher fine dining experiences in the city of lights.
Darjeeling was a must for any kosher traveler visiting Paris. I last ate there in 2016 on my way home from a trip to the Arctic.
Another good glatt kosher option in Paris, Thai One, has also closed their doors. There sure aren’t many decent glatt kosher options left in Paris, though another glatt kosher Indian restaurant, Tavlini, has opened in the 19th arrondissement of Paris.
Meanwhile across the chunnel, London has just lost Reuben’s, a landmark in the downtown area for nearly half a century:
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With a heavy heart, unexpectedly we have had to close due to a family bereavement. We are proud that of the 46 years Reubens has served the community. Our family have proudly run the business for over 37 years. We wish all our customers and friends the best wishes. Thank you for your custom and good memories we have all shared! Love from all the Reuben family.
I last ate in Reuben’s on my first trip abroad in 2003 when I tried their salt beef sandwich. It may have been overpriced, but it sure was convenient to have near the city’s tourist attractions. We would have been back in 2015 if not for American’s revenge.
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Your Salt Beef is only a tap away! Get your food delivered to you in a easy and convenient way by Deliveroo‼️#theoriginalreubens#saltbeef #reubenssandwich#deliveroo #centrallondon #bakerstreet #instafood #earlydinner #takeaway #deliveryservice #lazymondays #restaurantgoals
The closure leaves London with no kosher restaurants left in the city. There are plenty of kosher restaurants in Golders Green and other suburban Jewish communities, but it’s a huge loss for the tourist and business communities which now have no dining options in the city other than to-go sandwiches from Hermolis.
What is your favorite kosher restaurant that has closed? Mine is probably NYC’s Clubhouse Cafe, hit the comments with yours!