A special pub tucked away in Stokes Croft with Bath Ales and locally brewed beers on tap. DJs play eclectic tunes in the evenings to a savvy crowd. There's a little beer garden out the back and they do food too, good chips.
Hillgrove St, Stokes Croft, BS2 8JT;
tel: 0117 909 6612
Spent a few months in Florence as a student back in the 90s, a wonderful city which can be more beautiful out of season, even if the weather isn't so good. If you get a chance, try the little city of Fiesole a short bus ride up into the hills. It has a Roman amphitheatre which is still used and some delightful restaurants. A great day out if you want to get away from the busy streets of Firenze!
Fiesole us 5 miles (8km) from Florence. Bus no. 7 travels there from Piazza del Duomo. www.arca.net/tourism/toscana/fiesole.htm
My wife and I went to Florence. Our first evening, we went looking for a restaurant. The big restaurants in the squares were obvious tourist traps, so we went exploring the alleys. We found a fantastic little hole-in-the-wall restaurant where no-one spoke English. Neither of us spoke Italian, but we managed to have a wonderful meal including "una litro de vino russo de casa" (told you I don't speak Italian) - and it cost very little.
Next evening, we went looking for the place but could not find it. But we found another small place run by a woman, her son and his daughter. Bright and clean - and, despite the language barriers, we had no problem ordering a fantastic meal that cost us very little.
And, wandering these gloomy little back alleys, at no time did I feel we were in any danger.
Nardo’s is a dark, atmospheric place with heavy wooden furniture, that looks like a big old Parisian bistro. It feels like it’s been here for ages but it was only opened in 2002. There are always lots of Cubans in here as the food (Cuban with Spanish slant), is very good, cheap and comes in huge portions. It’s always pretty full, but climb the stairs, sit on one of the chunky old rocking chairs, and you usually get a place with 10 - 15 minutes.
Paseo del Prado 563
Tel: +53 7 863 2985
The best ice cream you'll ever taste! Santini was an Italian immigrant who invented ice creams with a special recipe. The ice cream store still exists and maintains the quality of old days.
Av. Valbom, 28 F, 2750 Cascais
(McDonalds is on the corner), right next to the railway station, downtown Cascais;
tel: 21 483 37 09;
Deli cousin of across town Brasilian restaurant Bocanova. Good fresh coffee in the day, then during the evenings it sells extremely good pizzas with names like Zico, Bahia Picante and Carioca. Beleza.
184c Wells Road, Lower Knowle BS4 2AL;
tel: 0117 971 3377;
Downstairs is a busy self-service restaurant (and shop) open all day til late. Choose from fresh salads, Asian food, sushi and curries. Put your choice in a plastic box and pay by weight ($7.99 a lb). Eat there or take it over the road into Central Park. Delicious.
10 Columbus Circle; tel: 212 823 9600;
Kinda like an Indian fast food restaurant, only minus the garish interior. It's not the sort of place to have a long protracted meal, but it is great for grabbing a bite to eat. The food is good, and relatively inexpensive for London, although the service can be a little sloppy. Still, this place is always busy, and makes for a nice stop after a hard day's shopping in the West End.
9 Marshall Street, Soho W1F 7EJ; tel: 020 7287 9966;
Also at Earls Court (147 Earls Court Rd, tel: 020 7373 0220 ) and Islington (80 Upper St, tel: 020 7359 3399)
Kitted out in the finest Bollywood kitsch, this restaurant does one thing but does it well - thali. There's live music on Sunday evenings and they operate a tiffin takeout system, which explains why Montpelier residents keep coming and going with insulated take-away towers.
12 York Road, Montpelier BS6 5QE;
tel: 0117 942 6687;
Really, there is other food in Miraflores other than pizza.
Once place to try is Aventuras Marinas. They are one of the few cheapy local places that stay open until 9pm-ish. Especially good is the Ceviche Mixto, and the Aquaditas, a heady soup made with coriander and mixed seafood.
One more recommendation is the most perfect little lunch place at 180 Alcoflores (parallel to Av La Paz). It has no name, just a menu outside with 4 starters and 6 main courses at 6 Sol for the full meal, plus complementary lemongrass drink (the name escapes me). The food tastes like home cooking, and they use real stock for their soups and sauces. Dishes change daily, but don’t change much, so expect soups as starters and chicken, rice, and bean dishes for mains.
This is a gem of a place that is always packed by 1:30pm, so get there just after 12 if you can.
Aventuras Marinas is at 130 Jr. Manuel Bonilla, just round the corner from Pizza Hut.
On our first evening in Berlin, we sought out this restaurant as it had been mentioned in the AA city guide. The name has changed but it is definitely worth a visit. Even though it was only 6.30pm the garden tables in the back were pretty full. Our pinchos (like tapas) were lovely, while the Spanish fish soup was both cheap (£4) and wonderfully fresh with an impressive variety of seafood. My wife's chicken & orange salad was both light and refreshing. The service couldn't be faulted - altogether a very pleasant start to our evening. Well worth going.
Gormannstrasse 22 - just a short walk north west for about 20 minutes from Alexanderplatz;
tel. (030) 285 990 26
We loved everything about this restaurant from the moment we walked into it - French colonial-style bamboo chairs and warm Mediterranean colours, friendly, welcoming waiters and plenty of customers. The high quality and freshness of the food made the whole meal almost like a guilty pleasure given the low prices by western European standards. I've never had tiger prawns (marinated in brandy) served in a pineapple shell before, while the beef carpaccio starter was superb. As for pannacotta with raspberries - comfort food par excellence. All this was washed down with a good Gewurtztramminer for a mere £50 for two people (with tip which the waitress reminded us we were not obliged to pay!). Needless to say, we returned the following night for an equally memorable meal. Worth seeking out.
Siroka 6, Praha 1 - in the Josefov district, near the river;
tel. +420 224 818 322
Great lounge-cum-restaurant on the the trendy Saint-Laurent Boulevard, with good food and equally well-made drinks. I recommend the martinis. Perfect place to kick off the evening while waiting for the clubs to get started.
3515 St Laurent Blvd; tel: (514) 842 0220
Caffé Caldesi is a great Italian restaurant (and cookery school) just off Marylebone High Street. They specialise in regional Italian food, so it isn't the sort of place to go for pizza and pasta (especially not pizza as they don't have any on the menu). The food I had when I went there was fantastic: Sardine alla Siciliana followed by Tagliata di Manzo.
The restaurant is relatively expensive with main courses costing about £15. A meal for two with wine would probably come to £70. Really fantastic
118 Marylebone Lane, London, W1U 2QF;
tel: 020 7935 1144; fax: 020 7935 8832;
nearest station: Baker Street or Regents Park;
Pub of the moment. A traditional style boozer that mixes in the best of bar culture. Their Portuguese chef serves up her 'petiscos' and there are Pieminister pies bought in from just down the road. DJs subtly spin their records come the evening.
118 Cheltenham Rd, BS6 5RW;
tel: 0117 942 7711;
Don’t be taken in by the apparent sophistication of Cuba’s beautiful, historic hotels – the restaurants are nearly always a let down. Best to have a pre-dinner cocktail in one of the atmospheric old bars, then go and eat in a paladar, a family-run restaurant inside the homes of ordinary families – a uniquely Cuban phenomenon. Food is homemade and fresh. Leave a big tip as they pay high taxes.
Apart from the famous La Guarida, some of the best are: Cocina de Lilliam (Calle 48 #1311, Miramar, +7 209 6514); Casa de Adela (Calle F #503, Vedado, +7 832 3776); Le Chansonnier (Calle J #257, Vedado, +7 832 1576). Book ahead.
Late night bar with a combination of Chinese and Mexican on the menu. There's live music every night and open mic evenings. It's a place where Bristol bands from across the music spectrum come to play. Just beware the absinthe.
33 St Stephens Street, BS1 1JX;
tel: 0117 927 3221;
Outstanding independent neighbourhood bakery. Their sun-dried tomato loaves rapidly disappear off the shelves as does most of the bread on sale here. There are cakes, pasties, pizza slices and sandwiches made on the premises if you just fancy a snack.
45 Gloucester Road, BS7 8AD;
tel: 0117 942 1654;
Take the Severn Beach suburban train from Bristol TM to Montpelier station. Number 75 bus from the city centre.
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