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4 Cool Supper Clubs

Supper Clubs: Settimio

Da Ping Huo, Hong Kong: The under-the-radar private restaurant has a 12-course set menu featuring Sichuan classics such as fiery pork ma po dofu and chile-laced braised beef. At the end of the evening, co-owner Ms. Wang, a classically trained soprano, sings a charming Chinese folk song. $$$

Chez Wong, Lima, Peru: Culinary superstars like Eric Ripert seek out this diminutive dining room—tucked inside a residential building in working-class Santa Catalina—for the city’s finest ceviche, sliced and seasoned by chef Javier Wong. It’s only open for lunch; reserve a spot well in advance. $$$

El Pozole de Moctezuma, Mexico City: On a gritty block near Metro Garibaldi, this closed-door restaurant has no sign—just a buzzer that reads pozole. Order the spicy, fortifying hominy stew, which tastes best with tostadas slathered in Mexican crema. 52-55/5526-7448. $

Settimio, Rome (pictured): Come without a reservation and you’re rolling the dice—the quirky owners will decide with a glance whether you deserve a seat at their trattoria. If you do make the cut, you’ll find quintessential Roman classics like house-made fettuccine. 39-06/6880-1978. $$$

Restaurant Pricing Key
$ Less than $25
$$ $25 to $75
$$$ $75 to $150
$$$$ More than $150

See more Best Places to Eat Like a Local

Photo by Todd Porter & Diane Cu

3 All-American Enclaves for Ethnic Food

Eat Like a Local: Papo Llega y Pon

Thiên Thanh, Houston: Catering to one of the nation’s largest Vietnamese communities, Bellaire Boulevard is lined with countless pho and bánh xèo joints—but everyone comes here for bánh cuón: dainty, ravioli-like crêpes filled with ground shrimp or barbecued pork and drizzled with a pungent nuoc cham sauce. 281/564-0419. $

Attari Sandwiches, Los Angeles: The city nicknamed “Tehrangeles” is home to hundreds of thousands of Iranian Americans, many of whom live or work in Westwood. On Fridays they flock to Attari’s courtyard for the special abgoosht, a nourishing lamb-and-bean stew that’s mashed into a paste and served with lamb broth and piquant torshi (pickles). $$

Papo Llega y Pon, Miami (pictured): Roast pig was never as glorious as at this bare-bones pit stop in Allapattah, a historically Cuban enclave west of the city’s Design District. At lunchtime, line up with the cops for a superlative pan con lechón (chopped-pork sandwich) served on warm Cuban bread. 305/635-0137. $

Restaurant Pricing Key
$ Less than $25
$$ $25 to $75
$$$ $75 to $150
$$$$ More than $150

See more Best Places to Eat Like a Local

Photo courtesy of Papo Llega y Pon

5 Restaurants for Classic American Food

Classic American Food: Fargo's Pit BBQ

Five very different reasons to love the U.S.A.

Chase’s Daily, Belfast, Maine: This bakery/luncheonette/farm stand is the unofficial canteen for the harbor city of Belfast. The Chase family crafts hearty vegetarian dishes—savory onion crêpes; velvety leek soup—from ingredients grown on their farm in nearby Freedom (yes, Freedom). $

Fargo’s Pit BBQ, Bryan, Texas (pictured): Superb pork spare ribs, tender brisket, and juicy smoked chickens (with skin as crackly as potato chips) draw the faithful to the newest location of Fargo’s, just up the road from its former takeout shack in the Brazos Valley town of Bryan. 979/778-3662. $

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5 Cool Restaurant Scenes

Cool Restaurant Scenes: Juvia

Where the people are just as pretty as the food.

Southern Barbarian, Beijing: In Baochang Hutong, an up-and-coming nightlife destination, this slick spot focuses on the cuisine of the Yunnan province of southwestern China (home to many of the country’s ethnic minorities). Ditch your preconceived notions of Chinese food and order the pan-fried goat cheese, mashed potatoes with pickled vegetables, and mint salad. $

Republika, Kigali, Rwanda: One of the best restaurants in the Rwandan capital—not to mention the top place for drinks at sundown—attracts a chic clientele with great music, friendly service, and dishes like the superbly salty, deep-fried sambaza (a sardine-like freshwater fish) from Lake Kivu. $$

Juvia, Miami Beach (pictured): A showstopping “living wall” by horticultural artist Patrick Blanc forms the backdrop for the equally photogenic array of models and scenesters nibbling daintily on crudi at the penthouse atop 1111 Lincoln Road—perhaps the trendiest parking garage in the world. $$$$

Bar Strelka, Moscow: On warm nights, the roof deck atop the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture & Design is the stomping ground for the city’s freethinking intellectuals and cultural elite. An eclectic menu ranges from shareable snacks (jamón ibérico) to hearty classics (oxtail ragù with polenta). $$

Da Cesare, Rome: On the ground floor of a 1970’s building in the residential Monteverde neighborhood, this nondescript space is touted by food lovers as the best trattoria in town. The standouts on the menu are fried meatballs in a basil sauce, tiny cuttlefish, and gnocchi that are nothing short of revelatory. 39-06/536-015. $$$

Restaurant Pricing Key
$ Less than $25
$$ $25 to $75
$$$ $75 to $150
$$$$ More than $150

See more Best Places to Eat Like a Local

Photo by Blasius Erlinger

4 Restaurants Worth the Trip

Eat Like a Local: Els Pescadors

Trust us—you’ll be glad you made the trek.

Abu Gosh Restaurant, Abu Ghosh, Israel: In the Judean Hills west of Jerusalem, this simple restaurant is devoted to the art of making hummus from chickpeas ground by hand daily. (The entire Arab village of Abu Ghosh is famous for it.) Baskets of warm pita and the tenderest lamb, beef, and chicken kebabs complete the meal. $$

Els Pescadors, Llançà, Spain (pictured): Beside the harbor in a tiny Costa Brava town, Els Pescadors serves up the day’s tastiest catch—prawns, John Dory, sea bass, turbot—brought in by the fishing boats bobbing just a stone’s throw from your table. $$$$

Ardigna Ristorante Rustico, Salemi, Italy: The most charming restaurant in western Sicily sits an hour’s drive inland from Marsala, on a remote hilltop. Nearly everything is made in-house: tangy ricotta, fragrant wildflower honey, garlicky salumi, silky tagliatelle, even the bittersweet amaro digestif. $$

Restaurant Ziegelhütte, Zurich, Switzerland: Take a tram from downtown, then walk up a trail to this traditional country restaurant and beer garden, where regulars gather over plates of schnitzel and Älplermagronen (creamy macaroni with cheese and potatoes). $$$

Restaurant Pricing Key
$ Less than $25
$$ $25 to $75
$$$ $75 to $150
$$$$ More than $150

See more Best Places to Eat Like a Local

Photo by M.Trinidad Vilchez

The Doctor Recommends: Must Reads for the Week Ending March 8, 2013

Here are a few recent travel stories that piqued the interest of T+L's news team.

Clearly, we're not alone in our obsession with Hotel Tonight. Here, the folks at Hotel Chatter put together a few nifty tips for maximizing your deal on the last-minute booking app. (Nikki Ekstein)

What happens when American Airlines opens up its software to a SXSW-hosted hackathon? Hopefully, something cool, according to Skift. (N.E.)

Is free wifi the key to turning hotels into social hubs? Maybe, says Barbara De Lollis in USA Today, but we're still pining for free wifi in our rooms, thank-you-very-much. (N.E.)

Need another reason to heed the TSA's warnings against checking luggage you didn't pack yourself? You might wind up in an Argentine prison like Paul Frampton, a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill physics professor who was just trying to help a friendly Czech bikini model he thought he'd met on the internet retrieve a bag with "sentimental value" in Bolivia. Maxine Swann's New York Times Magazine story must be read to be believed. (Matt Haber)

Also, check out this map of United States Passport Ownership that comes via one of the internet's best curators, Maria Popova. Now, go make sure your passport is up to date. (M.H.)

See a story you'd recommend to us? Send it via Facebook or Twitter.

Balestier Road: Singapore Food Crawl

Singapore street food

Café de Hong Kong: Homesick Hong Kongers come for comfort food such as fried rice with fish roe. 65/6255-3865. $

Combat Durian: Follow your nose to this seasonal stand that sells prized varieties of the much-maligned fruit. The buttery mao shan wang is as creamy and rich as its name implies. 65/9278-9928. $

Founder Bak Kut Teh: Plenty of shops sell bak kut teh—a pork-rib soup that’s the ultimate hangover cure—but Founder’s version has extra-tender ribs and a long-simmered broth. 65/6352-6192. $

Loong Fatt Eating House & Confectionary: A tiny bakeshop with superior tau sar piah, crumbly sesame-seed-encrusted pastries filled with sweet or savory bean paste. 65/6253-4584. $

Whampoa Food Street (Keng) Fish Head Steamboat: Slurp up every last drop of fish head steamboat, a rich stock of grouper or pomfret bobbing with thick slices of fish, prawn, squid, cabbage, and sour plum. 65/9127-6550. $

Restaurant Pricing Key
$ Less than $25
$$ $25 to $75
$$$ $75 to $150
$$$$ More than $150

See more Best Places to Eat Like a Local

Photo courtesy of Combat Durian

5 Cool Bar Food Scenes

Bar Food: La Salle a Manger

Grab a stool and join us at the bar.

El Vaso de Oro, Barcelona: Among the old fishermen’s houses of Barceloneta, this sepia-toned cervecería is full of local sea dogs and other salty types who come for house-brewed lager and a dizzying array of tapas (boat-fresh squid and shrimp; flash-fried padrón peppers). And when a football match is on, forget about it: the tiny bar is as jammed and as rowdy as it gets. $

Ved Stranden 10 Vinhandel & Bar, Copenhagen: On Monday nights, the canal-side wine bar becomes the hangout for the city’s culinary scene. A guest cook—sometimes from Noma or Relae—prepares a simple, tasty one-pot dish that functions like a staff meal, except it’s open to all. $$

Read More

Romantic Travel: Overhyped or Underrated?

Romantic Travel: Couples Tower Isle Spa

Overhyped:
• A tub filled with flower petals
• Chocolate-covered strawberries
• Mini-bar intimacy kits
• Couples-massage suites
• Sade on the stereo

Just Right: Oysters

Underrated:
• Marquis de Sade on the nightstand
• Couples-massage lessons
• Mini-bar candles
• Do Not Disturb signs
• Two-headed showers

Tells us what you think on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo courtesy of Couples Tower Isle Spa

Weather Channel Video: Weekend Getaways from Memphis

Travel + Leisure's Sarah Spagnolo presents easy weekend getaways from Memphis on the Weather Channel's Wake Up and Go.

1. CULTURE SPOT: Bentonville, AR
This small city is being transformed into a world-class arts destination, thanks in part to the Crystal Bridges Museum, which opened in 2011. It’s owned by Wal-Mart heir Alice Walton, and houses her collection of American art. WHERE TO STAY The new 21C Museum Hotel, just off the city’s town square, has contemporary art from the 21st-century—hence the name—and a buzzy restaurant, The Hive. PRICE $175 a night. BOOK NOW

2. FOODIE ESCAPE: Greenwood, MS
Inspired to see the locations from the film The Help? Try Greenwood, a low-key culinary mecca just two hours south of Memphis. WHERE TO STAY The Alluvian hotel is home to 45 rooms, five suites, a Viking Cooking School, and Giardina’s restaurant, a southern spot that’s been open since 1936. PRICE $205 a night. BOOK NOW

3. MUSIC HAVEN: Nashville, TN
Music City has that perfect mix of old-school Southern class and modern country flair. It’s also known for its friendly people. And we’re in the middle of Vanderbilt University’s basketball season! WHERE TO STAY The Hutton Hotel debuted on the T+L 500 list this year. A secret: there’s a complimentary wine hour from 5–6 p.m. PRICE $249 a night. BOOK NOW

For more easy escapes from major cities, sign up for Travel + Leisure’s Weekend Getaways newsletter.

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