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. travel . philadelphia . new york . san francisco . portland
. montréal . london . paris . københavn . amsterdam . buenos aires

 



philadelphia

  • restaurants i ate at, in order of how much i liked them. all were excellent and for all it's best to have reservations. also before you plan to go, call because many places in philly do not have normal hours in august. (it is the month of vacations, i guess.) also all of these restaurants are BYOB, meaning you bring your own wine or beer. they do not have liquor licenses (maybe it is hard to get in philly?). but they don't charge you corkage to open your own.
  • Favorite: Django . 526 S 4th St . 215.922.7151
    • Also good:
    • Mr. Martinos . 1646 E Passyunk Ave . 215.755.0663
    • Bistro 7 . 7 N 3rd St . 215.931.1560
    • L'Angolo . 1415 W Porter St . 215.389.4252
  • here are some other really highly recommended ones (same price range) that were closed for vacation, but i am confident in them, because i did a lot of research.
    • Melograno (does not take reservations) . 2201 Spruce St . 215.875.8116
    • Chloe . 232 Arch St . 215.629.2337


  • food to explore during the DAY
    • Reading Terminal Market (a good "food court", all local shops, huge & exciting) closed Sunday. 12th & Arch.
    • Di Bruno cheese shop in the Italian Market (9th street, a few blocks south of "South Street")
    • Claudio Mozzarella, a few doors down from Di Bruno. eat the mozzarella while walking down the street, then go back for more. the 9th street market is closed Sunday.
  • you MUST have a cheesesteak, it is the Philadelphia Famous Food. these are the best (do not go to Pat's or Gino's. they are for tourists.)
    • john's roast pork on snyder avenue
    • jim's cheesesteaks on south street @ 4th. this is the one i went to and it was amazing. you have to wait in line, but it's worth it. there are long red peppers (the kind that are dried then soaked in oil) in a little bowl right right next to the cash register. look for them and ask. they are not too hot (not as hot as they look) and really great!

san francisco

  • saturday san francisco farmers market at ferry plaza, a building now devoted to slow food and local artisanal production. (you need at least 3 hours. donŐt miss the oysters in southeastmost section.) www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.com
  • modern times book store . 888 valencia street . 415.282.9246 www.mtbs.com
  • tartine bakery: absolutely not to miss. sublime pastry. and only a few blocks from modern times bookstore. 600 guerrero @ 18th. open daily until 7 or 8 pm. tartinebakery.com/
  • noe valley bakery & bread co: baked goods just SO well done. you'll need to go with a friend and swap off participating in some classic san francisco double-parking as finding a parking place is impossible. do not miss the apricot ginger bread and the chocolate cherry bread. the construction of sweetness in these breads is unusual and just tremendous. their cheddar scones are the only scones i eat, anywhere, ever. 4073 24th street just east of castro on the south side of 24th. www.noevalleybakery.com also apparently they have a location at ferry plaza.
  • universal café: dinner, brunch, lunch. easy, romantic (or not), great food (organic and seasonal ingredients). parking isn't bad in this neighborhood. 2814 19th street. 415.821.4608 www.universalcafe.net/
  • boulette's larder. truly amazing part of the permanent farmers market shops housed inside the ferry plaza building. you have never been anywhere like this before. stop in and try something. enter from the east/water side of the building. www.bouletteslarder.com/
  • inexpensive hotel (i haven't stayed here yet, but it looks like it could make a trip to sf affordable): www.sfhoteldesarts.com/

 

new york city

EAT

  • Brown restaurant . Lower East Side . 61 Hester Street (at Essex Street) . 212.254.9825 . breakfast & lunch 9am-6pm . dinner wed-sun 6-midnight
  • Grand Daisy (formerly Sullivan Street) Bakery in Soho 73 Sullivan Street 212.334.9435. open 7 days a week from 7am-7pm
  • Bao Noodle . 391 2nd Avenue @ 22nd Street . 212.725.7770 . a beautiful and comfortable space to unwind and eat great vietnamese food, inexpensively. mid-town. 7 days 11am-11pm Friday & Saturday until 12am.
  • pastries you've never imagined, at affordable prices: The Hungarian Pastry Shop 1030 Amsterdam Avenue (betw West 110th and 111th streets) 212-866-4230
  • Falai . 68 Clinton St, New York . 212.253.1960 fancy food, exciting decor. (update: still amazing 11.06, 8.07, 2.08)
  • Falai Bakery is sublime and open at night, kitty corner on south west corner of the intersection.

 

  • il laboratorio del gelato . 95 orchard between broome & delancey . 212.343.9922 . when i was there i got to watch a woman carefully selecting the lavendar blossoms for the next batch of ice cream.
  • really charming wine bar, grape & grain 620 east 6th between avenues B & C. 212.420.0002.

SHOP

  • fresh local apparel and accessories talent saturdays and Sundays at The Market NYC, 268 Mulberry (St Patrick's youth center betw Houston & Prince) in SoHo/Nolita. 11-7. hand-made and cutting edge...
  • the market's 60 top local fashion craftspeople at edge nyNOHO. wednesday to sunday starting at noon, 65 bleecker street betweeen broadway & lafayette. 212.358.0255. website
  • need a hostess gift? actually no one in new york needs anything, they need less stuff. help them condense at this east village store: tiny living, 125 east 7th. 2112.228.2748. daily 11-9. tiny-living.com
  • branded fashionista? go to ina to find a few well-selected items from big names, used. dig through the galvanized tubs on the floor for things you can afford. several locations including 15 bleecker street between lafayette & bowery. 212.228.8511. also 262 mott, 101 thompson, 21 prince, 208 east 73rd. website
  • affordable vintage in new york? hard to find. one place to go: canal jean company, 718 broadway, just below 8th street.
  • good quality indian imports, much better than you're used to, at the same price! hello sari 261 broome street, 212.274.0791
  • important books (& fair trade coffee): bluestockings at 172 allen (between stanton and rivington) 212.777.6028. (they also have great events).
  • get some education at the brecht forum, 451 west street right on the water. 212.242.4201 brechtforum.org

STAY

  • elegant room in modern brooklyn house, near the very convenient F line. full kitchen. free parking. $125/night. (article and photos from a NYT article contact owner at beaufort9films@earthlink.net).
  • inexpensive hotel (i haven't stayed here yet, but it looks like it could make a trip to ny affordable): chelsea lodge $114 "wood panelling, intimate rooms, b&b feel" toilets shared by tthe floor.
portland

  • the place to stay: Jupiter Hotel cheap and fabulous. jupiterhotel.com 503.230.9200
  • you only need one place to eat while you are here. Pearl Bakery. 102 nw9th ave. 7 days closes at 2 on sundays. pearlbakery.com

 

montreal

  • uh, i just ate at the lebanese cafeterias, which are all over the city. the food is perfect, customizable, and cheap.

london

DO NOT MISS the top two:

Canteen . 2 Crispin Place Spitalfields London . E1 6DW UK
. (+44) 0845 686 1122 . all fresh, seasonal food is not california cuisine. this was, as the restaurant says, traditional British food, but cooked with the sensitivities of "the new cuisine" which is such a meaningless term. but there was nothing about it which reminded of nouvelle anything... no blanched vegetables. no architecture. no contrasts.

moroccan: Maison Touaregue (23 greek street in soho) had sublime food. order the lamb tagine. Zaytouna (same owners, same decor, same menu, around the corner at 45 frith street) had sweet staff and bleached blonde arab lesbians smoking hookah and kissing in the corner, but a decidedly less tender and complex lamb tagine. touaregue's had caramelized onions, raisins, dates, and an enchanting cinnamon perfume that haunted me the whole next day.

*cheap eats* Leon . at Spitalfields (and a few other locations)
3 Crispin Place London E1 6DW Tel: 020 7247 4369

shop/snack: spitalfields market stalls , which is am amazing artisanal foods market and craft market for real handcrafts. the location, nearby buildings, and setup looks quite touristy and junky. but it's actually very fine quality foods and exceedingly funky artists. absolutely hand made. the setting is completely incongruous.

takeaway gourmet (humbly called "deli" in london)
tavola in notting hill 155 Westbourne Grove Notting Hill London, W11 2RS
Tel: 020 7229 0571
ottolenghi, several locations
63 Ledbury Road Notting Hill London, W11 2AD Tel: 020 7727 1121


 

paris

ok, the food in paris is very expensive. there are cute bistros several on any block but these places are total rip offs. the food is awful and i was shocked at how expensive AND BAD it is. using my usual methods of discernment didn't help. i was repeatedly fooled my menus and atmosphere. i learned not to eat anywhere that i haven't researched. and also as a backup never to order the same thing as fellow diners, otherwise we might be totally screwed.

definitely visit the big sunday food market at the bastille

the only good places we ate:

le troquet, basque. everything was delicious. more accessible than the french food. the vanilla souffle was the best thing i ate in paris. 1 rue francois bonvin in 15th arrondisement. 33.1.45.66.89.00 they serve a la carte, or 3 courses, or 6 courses (for only 38, which is a really good price).

chez michel, french. 10 rue de belzunce in 10th arrondisement. 33.1.44.53.06.20

here's the thing. translated menus are a bad sign. but even feeling pretty good about my french getting around, i couldn't figure out ANYTHING from some of the menus and the staff does NOT want to translate. you need to take a culinary translation dictionary, or at least a regular translation dictionary, at least to dinner, even if you have some french, food is harder to translate (both directions, of course). even in denmark, where people have amazing english, translating food was really difficult.

breakfast: le pain quotidian specifically the one in mouffetard. this is a big chain, but this particular one seems to be independent and has the best breakfast pastry i ate. also the best coffee i had. great location looking out into the daily street market.

bakery: boulangere monge on monge avenue at gobelins. (metro 7 to censier-daubentoin, then walk south on monge). they have a special baguette, called "baguette du monge". everything else is great too. a cut above all the other patisseries.

i would skip, even though it has good reviews: aux lyonnaise in 2nd. this food is not what i would call accessible. i had a fancy fish dish that tasted to me like a wet muffin. the bread was served in a style that i would describe as "burned toast". i was pretty horrified to spend 112 euros. and their souffle is definitely not as good as le troquet.

københavn

restaurant cofoco Abel Cathrines Gade 7, 1654 Kbh. V mandag til lørdag kl. 17.30 - 24
3 course seasonal danish food, prix fixe

tango info: http://tangoportalen.com

amsterdam

walk around and eat in the de pijp neighborhood.

for surinamese food and roti: warang marlon 1 e van der helstraat 55, de pijp

did not get to eat here, but next time would put it first on my agenda. open for dinner wednesday to friday only and requires a reservation: balthazar's kitchen. Elandsgracht 108 31-20-420-2114

best bakery: Hartog's Volkoren Ruyschstraat 56, Amsterdam Oost 020.665.1295

tango info: http://www.torito.nl/

 

 

   

buenos aires

you can also download our 2008 guia as a spreadsheet to sort by neighborhood and type of service/goods.