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City Guides for Coffee Lovers

Best Coffee city guides

I’m guilty of both a caffeine addiction and a picky palate, so easily tracking down coffee spots is fairly critical to my enjoyment of a city. It’s not rocket science abroad, where quality shakeratos and Nesfrappes are the lay of the land, but domestically, we’re still getting our sea legs when it comes to a good cup of Joe. That’s where the Best Coffee city guides come into play: the collection of iPhone, Android, and iPad apps points travelers in the direction of reputable cafes, provides tips on what to order at each spot, and—for the uber geeky among us—denotes the types of beans, grinders, and machines employed there.

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Crowdsourcing: What to Do When You're on the Las Vegas Strip

We asked true travel pros what to do near the Las Vegas Strip. Want to share your expertise? Join our community on Facebook at facebook.com/travelandleisure and at Twitter @TravlandLeisure.


View Las Vegas Strip in a larger map

“For a great view of the Bellagio fountains (and wonderful crêpes), stop by the Sugar Factory (3655 Las Vegas Blvd. S.).” —Michelle Nolan, via Facebook

“Don’t miss the olive-oil ice cream with grapefruit at José Andrés’s Jaleo, in the Cosmopolitan.” —Bhadri Kubendran, via Facebook

“Take a relaxing break from the Strip at the Mandarin Oriental.” @lassers

“The best people-watching is in the Crystals shopping arcade at City Center.” —Alex Walters, via Facebook

“Bundle up and hit the Minus 5 Ice Lounge (3770 Las Vegas Blvd. S.) at Monte Carlo—you drink out of ice glasses!” —Irina Adler, via Facebook

Public House (3355 Las Vegas Blvd. S.) is a new gastropub with an impressive selection of beers.” —Erin de Santiago-Domue, via Facebook

NYC Restaurant Hosts Ultra-Luxurious Culinary Ski Trips to French Alps

luxury food

Sometimes we all need a little more luxury in our life. Maybe even a lot more luxury. That’s what Donna Lennard, owner of New York’s il Buco restaurant group, must have had in mind when she announced her latest culinary endeavor—a food, wine, and ski adventure at private chalets in the heart of France's Alpine resort town Courchevel. This ultra-extravagant vacation is also ultra-expensive (sticker shock: $50,000-$150,000 per chalet per week).

Why so pricey?

For starters, it's in a great location. Courchevel is part of the famed Les Trois Vallées region, which is the world's largest connected ski area and offers hundreds of miles of ski runs that connect three Alpine valleys.

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Chicken: So Hot Right Now in London

201210-b-chicken-in-london-tramshedjpg

Seems chicken is the muse of the moment for London restaurants. To wit:

In Kentish Town, Soho House recently opened Chicken Shop. The design was modeled after a 1950s American general store (think checked floors and a bar with stool seating).

After a food truck test drive, Canteen co-founder Cass Titcombe opened Roost as a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Soho, offering free-range British chicken—fried, grilled, or roasted.

At Tramshed, Mark Hix’s buzzy new chicken-and-steak restaurant in Shoreditch, a specially commissioned Damien Hirst featuring a cow and a cockerel in formaldehyde takes center stage (how appetizing); in the basement, Cock ‘n’ Bull gallery showcases works by local artists.

Wishbone, a fried chicken joint and cocktail bar from William Leigh and Scott Collins (also behind Meat Liquor), is now open at Brixton Market.

See more of London's best restaurants.

Christine Ajudua is Travel + Leisure's London correspondent.

Trip Doctor: OpenTable Acquires Foodspotting for $10 Million

OpenTable

It’s been a big week for tech news, but for this foodie, no announcement was more exciting than OpenTable’s $10 million acquisition of Foodspotting. For starters, the dish-sharing app will bring new, visual content to the reservation titan’s portfolio of listings. But over time, we can expect the partnership to yield unprecedented search tools to help us find (and enjoy) our next great meal.

Officially, the deal isn’t yet written in stone, but OpenTable users will already see some changes. In advance of Tuesday’s announcement, OpenTable began rolling out preliminary features, such as incorporating user-generated photos from Foodspotting onto restaurant listings. Eventually, most restaurants on OpenTable will have a visual menu, documented with snapshots from Foodspotting users. And from a social standpoint, the partnership will allow you to canvass your Facebook friends for their favorite dishes at the restaurants you’re scheduled to visit.

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Recap: T+L Food Twitter Chat

Twitter chat

Recently we hosted a food-centric tweet-up, inviting some of the biggest names in the culinary industry to share their expertise, answering questions about food and, of course, travel. On our panel?

Host: Adam Sachs (@AdamSachs):

Mario Batali (@MarioBatali):
Andrew Carmellini (@AndreCarmellini):
Gabriele Corcos (@TheTuscanGun):
Mitchel Davis (@KitchenSense):
Kat Kinsman (@KittenWithAWhip):
Debi Mazar (@DebiMazar):
Nilou Motamed (@NilouMotamed):
Daniel Patterson (@DCPatterson):
Marcus Samuellson (@MarcusCooks):

Throughout the hour-long conversation, the panel shared a lot of great information. Here are some highlights:

Talk about a food experience you had while traveling that really inspired you.
Adam Sachs: Foraging for wild wasabi in Japan was up there with top food nerd fantasies.
Mario Batali: I’m a huge fan of the Borough Market in London. It’s like a movie set from the Dickens era, with spectacular food.
Mitchell Davis: I recently made my way to Willows Inn for a dinner of fresh, foraged, and local food in a gorgeous setting.
Marcus Samuellson: Tasting fugu (pufferfish) for the first time in Tokyo. Blew my mind.

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Carnival Puts a Limit on Booze Package

Carnival Cruise

Would you pay $42.95 a day (plus 15 percent gratuity) for virtually unlimited bar drinks on your next Carnival cruise? What about paying the same amount for, say, 15 drinks? That's the big change now being tested on 13 Carnival ships.

The statement from Carnival:

We are still in a trial period with the CHEERS! beverage program which is currently being piloted on 13 ships. We recently made a change to the program, formalizing the limit on how many alcoholic drinks guests will be served within a 24-hour period (15 drinks total within the 24-hour period which runs from 6am to 6am the following day). Sodas and other applicable non-alcoholic beverages remain unlimited and will not be counted toward the 15 alcoholic beverages limit, and all other policies and procedures remain the same.

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How to Drink Espresso Like an Italian

how to drink espresso

A Roman institution since 1938, Sant’Eustachio Il Caffè brews 2,000 cups of espresso a day. Co-owner Roberto Ricci shows us how to fit in with the caffeinated locals.

Order: Approach the cashier and say, “Un caffè, per favore.” Or, to make it a double, “un caffè doppio.” Hand over your euros, and make sure to keep the receipt.

Stand: An espresso will cost about three times as much if you sit at a table—a dead giveaway that you’re not from around here. Find an opening at the bar and give the bartender your receipt.

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6 Great Après-Ski Traditions Around North America

Basecamp

After an invigorating day on the slopes, who doesn’t love a good après-ski drink or bite? Each of these hotels takes the tradition to a whole new level, with fun activities and tasty tipples.

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe has a “marshmologist” on hand every evening leading the Art of the S’more program. The whole family learns how to roast the perfect marshmallow, and adults can enjoy the delicious S’moretini. On the other side of Lake Tahoe, newcomer Basecamp (pictured) offers its guests plenty of beer pairing options, including beer and beef stew, as well as the extremely popular beer and croute au fromage (a hearty Swiss dish of melted cheese over toast). Yes please.

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Designer Han Feng's Shanghai

Han Feng

Ask Chinese designer Han Feng what she loves most about her hometown, and she doesn’t hesitate: the art scene. One of her top stops is James Cohan Gallery, in the French Concession. “He’s brought international talent, such as Italy’s Francesco Clemente and New York video artist Bill Viola, to China for the first time,” she says. Feng reveals a few other favorites below.

Eat

“In the morning, I often head to the intersection of Changle and Xiangyang North Roads for a hearty meal fresh off the outdoor stoves: pan-fried breads; Chinese churros; steamed buns with different fillings.”

“The classic Shanghainese cuisine at Fu 1039 ($$), in the Changning neighborhood, is simply amazing. They serve delicious pork stew in a two-layer ceramic pot filled with water so the meat stays tender.”

“Hidden in a tiny basement, Old Jesse (41 Tianping Rd.; 86-21/6282-9260; $$) is the place to try home-style cooking. I always recommend the fried scallion codfish.”

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