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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

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. $$

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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

SXSW 2013: Your Clip and Save Guide to Austin

Austin

Chances are, if you're in the music, tech, film, or media business, you or some of your colleagues are headed to Austin right about now for the SXSW Music, Film, and Interactive conference which kicks off March 8. While attendees will find their schedules packed with panels, demos, concerts, and wall-to-wall marketing pitches, if they can sneak away from the SxSW circus, Austin has a lot to offer.

Here, we present some suggestions for enjoying the most laid back city in Texas beyond the 24-hour blitz of the festival.

Eats:

The Dock & Roll Diner: Every city has food trucks, but Austin has a food Airstream trailer. Follow them on Twitter @DockandRoll for the daily specials, like today's offering: The Infidel Castro: "Cuban rubbed smoked pork, prosciutto, swiss, pickle, jalapeño and vaquero."

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Chicago with Kids: Spring Break in the Windy City

visiting chicago with family

Perhaps not the most obvious choice for a spring break, Chicago can keep a family happy—if not warm and dry—when school lets out. The city welcomed us with open arms during a blustery spring break week when our 'Plan A' vacation fell through. Here are some basic tips for a terrific time with the kids in the Windy City:

If you’re planning on hitting more than a few museums and skyscrapers, buying the Chicago CityPass ($94 for adults, $79 for kids, 11 and under) not only makes economic sense but it allows you to skip the lines at most of the participating venues. The passes saved us from standing in line in the sleet outside the Shedd Aquarium one day and we felt pretty smug sweeping past the hour and a half wait at the Skydeck. Waltz up to the desk and buy the passes at the first venue you visit, and they're valid for the next nine days.

Museum of Science and Industry This magnificent edifice in Hyde Park, between Lake Michigan and the University of Chicago campus, is one of the last remaining buildings of the 1893 Columbian Exposition (you know, from The Devil in the White City!). The museum offers engaging high- and low-tech exhibits—from the physics of basketball (kids pre-set the velocity and angle of a cannon that launches a ball across the grand hall and into a basket on the far balcony) to how cow manure can be turned into fuel (From Poop to Power!). A longtime favorite of Chicago kids, the museum was fully interactive before the word involved touchscreens. You can easily find enough varied and interesting activities to fill an entire day. Don't miss the retro make-your-own-molded-plastic-souvenir machines at the submarine, farm, and space exhibits.

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This Meal Will Go On: What They'll Eat on 'Titanic II'

titanic_menujpg

The reincarnation of the Titanic by Australian tycoon Clive Palmer will include a dramatic grand staircase, marble-lined Turkish baths, and one hopes, more lifeboats. But until the Titanic II is built, a series of culinary events around the world will give the public a preview of the experience to come.

New York was the latest stop last week. With the help of New York-based caterers Pinch Food Design, an 11-course menu was created for Palmer's invite-only party to promote his project. Around 600 guests attended the black-tie dinner on the U.S.S. Intrepid docked on the Hudson River west of Times Square. Future food-themed parties will be held in London and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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Crowdsourcing: What to Do When You're in Vail, Colorado

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


View Vail, Colorado in a larger map

“Don’t miss dinner at Larkspur. Tuesday’s happy hour menu is the best.” —Jennifer Lesseraux Collins, via Facebook

“Après-ski, I go to the Ore House (232 Bridge St.)—two tacos and a beer for six dollars!” —@ryleeks

“The new Sebastian hotel is cozy yet chic, and its Frost bar has an awesome scotch selection.” —Alex Schack, via Facebook

“We always stop in at the Golden Bear Vail (183 Gore Creek Dr.) for one-of-a-kind jewelry, bags, and scarves.” —Michael Cartwright, via Facebook

“Check out Phil Long’s classic rock set at the Red Lion—he plays weekend nights at nine.” —Scott Kling, via Facebook

Trendy New York Restaurants in Cultural Spaces

Ethiopian chicken tacos at American Table

Food-world luminaries are making sure New York’s culture class doesn’t go hungry. At Lincoln Center, Marcus Samuelsson’s American Table dishes up inventive pre- and post-show treats, including a sensational Ethiopian chicken taco (pictured). Michael Oliver and Andrew Carmellini’s chipotle calamari and pizza popcorn are earning bravos at the Library at the Public, at NoHo’s Public Theater. Over in Queens, Hugue Dufour’s late, lamented Quebecois diner has been reborn as M. Wells Dinette inside MoMA PS1, where rabbit terrine and whelks in garlic butter are elevated to an art form.

Photo by David Alexander Arnold

Chiang Mai's Wat Gate Quarter

Chiang Mai: Deck 1

History and hipsters coexist on the leafy, laid-back streets of Chiang Mai’s Wat Gate quarter.

A former home base of the 19th-century teak exporter East Borneo Company has been revived as 137 Pillars House Chiang Mai, a hotel whose 30 suites are decorated with four-poster beds, claw-foot tubs, and bright orchids. Book a room on the second floor for a well-shaded veranda. 2 Na Wat Gate Soi 1. $$$

The open-air Hinlay Curry House serves terrific (and super-affordable) Indian dishes such as aloo gobi, pumpkin curry, and flaky rotis. Save room for the house-made coconut ice cream—a perfect salve for the tropical climate. 8/1 Na Wat Gate; 66-53/324-621. $

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