This restaurant served the best authentic Italian meal we've ever had. Get there early as a queue builds up rapidly for the fresh, very generous portions of seafood, great pasta/pizzas and the biggest fruit salad you have ever seen - all served on huge hand-painted plates. Throw in live music in different parts of this buzzing square (everything from choirs to Afro-Cuban music), entertaining service and low prices, and you have the ingredients for a memorable evening out. Highly recommended.
Piazza Santa Spirito, south of the Ponte Vecchio;
tel: 055 210 437
A trio of brightly coloured rooftop cubes make it easy to find. The rejuvenation of this formerly dilapidated Victorian paint and varnish factory is a fine example of urban renewal. It's now an ever evolving hub of studios with an art gallery on-site. There's also the Brasilian Bocabar providing good food and drink to reward you for a trip off the beaten track.
Bath Road, Arnos Vale, BS4 3EH;
tel: 0117 972 8838;
Take bus numbers 1, X39, 178 & 349 from the city centre or from Bristol Temple Meads train station;
These are NOT for the faint hearted! For $10, get picked up at your hotel and taken on a boat around the beautiful waters of Nha Trang.
Be prepared for a mighty feast, some lethal Vietnamese wine, serious drinking games and a boat full of travellers.
Snorkeling and food/drink is included. It's one hell of an experience.
Ask at any hotel in Nha Trang - they'll know what you mean and help you contact Mama Han.
Europe's largest organic food festival held annually on the first weekend of September. A heady mixture of food, circus, drink, live music, celebrity chefs and The Observer's Seeds of Change photography exhibition draws the throngs to the harbourside location.
Take any bus to the city centre or 20 minutes walk from Bristol TM station;
Singapore has a tremendous range of food and drink but the ColBar is a unique restaurant that is redolent of the colonial repast enjoyed by British ex-pats since it opened in 1948. It is run by Mrs Lim and is located in Portsdown, a quiet suburb with a pleasantly “arty” ambience.
The restaurant is a wooden-walled shed with school canteen tables, aluminium ashtrays and a concrete floor. Ceiling fans circulate the air affectionately and football team photos adorn the wall. It’s basic, and is all the better for that. The food is good Malay and Chinese but you can get the full British breakfast if required.
This is a much loved place that has already had one close call with the wrecking ball of progress. It was relocated lock, stock and wok a few years ago when an expressway was planned. The locals fought a rearguard action and the ColBar was saved. It doesn’t open on Mondays but is a fantastic place to relax away from the commercial bustle of Orchard Road and the Central Business District.
9A Whitchurch Road, off Portsdown Road
Delve into Montpelier to find this treat of a baker. An outlandish graffiti mural adorns the exterior. Scandinavian rye, Irish soda, Tuscan olive, Grecian olive, Italian tomato, Jewish challah, American bagels, Swiss rye all fresh out of the oven, plus they do a mean spinach & ricotta lattice if that's your thing.
12 York Rd, Montpelier, BS6 5QE;
tel: 0117 924 7713;
Huge sound systems, Jamaican patties, jerk chicken and curried goat. Much loved colossal street party held over the first Saturday of July every year. A celebration of Afro-Caribbean culture and the community of St Paul's.
The entire neigbourhood of St. Paul's on the first Saturday of July.
Great bar on Obispo, one of the main thoroughfares in Habana Vieja (old town), great all-girl band in mid-late afternoons with a relaxing atmosphere, in the same street as the Hotel Ambos Mundos which contains Hemingway's room (no. 52). Also, there is an excellent bar in Calle O'Reilly, nearby - don't worry, it's not an Irish bar!
Calle Obispo 316, esquina de Calle Aguiar, Habana Vieja;
Run by a Chilean family, this is a deli with an emphasis on Fairtrade and organic produce. Upstairs there's a small cafe where on Monday nights you can go to practice your Spanish with latinos living in the area.
89 Gloucester Road, Bishopston, BS7 8AS; tel: 0117 944 6810
Music. Atmosphere. Forget tourist traps like the Floridita, even though it's a good place to start. Proceed a short walk south to the Bar Monserrate on the eponymous street, or east on Obispo to Lluvia de Oro, Cafe de Paris or two small bars on the south side of the street, the first Escabeche, the name of the second one escapes me, for cheaper drinks, better atmosphere and great music. Obispo is fun in the daytime too.
Bar Monserrate is on Avenida de Belgica, near Calle Obrapia
An Ethiopian restaurant on the awesome street of St. Denis in the Plateau region. The best thing to get is the injera with a variety plate of different dishes. You get to eat it with your hands! They provide you with warm napkins at the table to wash up with before and after. It's very special, and also delicious.
3435 St Denis, Montréal, QC H2X 2L1;
tel: (514) 281-0111;
Inside it looks as though the proprietors paid a visit to the Lord Chancellor's residence and liked the wallpaper. Decor aside, Goldbrick House has had a great deal of time, effort and thought put into it and is a nice place to eat and drink. Noteworthy is the balcony on the top floor looking out onto leafy Brandon Hill to one side and down into the city on the other.
69 Park Street, BS1 5PB;
tel: (0117) 945 1950;
Surely one for our American friends? Relaxed cafe appropriately housed in a Georgian terrace on trendy Park Street. There's a tiered garden out the back and sofas upstairs. Regional cooking done on site and the coffee ain't bad neither.
75 Park Street, BS1 5PF;
tel: 0117 929 8601
If you really need a curry and a nice pint you should check out the bar Gibraltar in San Telmo, on the corner of Peru and Estados Unidos.
Perú 895, y Estados Unidos, San Telmo, Buenos Aires;
Google map: tinyurl.com/me9tev
Reflecting Easton's eastern outlook is The Sweet Mart. Bills itself as the largest supplier of ethnic foods and spices in the south-west, something confirmed by its well-stocked shelves.
80 St Marks Road, Easton BS5 6JH; tel: 0117 951 2257
Stapleton Road Station on the Severn Beach suburban line from Bristol Temple Meads;
Great tasting and very affordable Thai, Malaysian, Japanese, Singaporean, Indonesian and Chinese food. The seating is communal and informal. The food is prepared before your eyes in the open kitchen which gives Teohs much of its atmosphere. An Oriental supermarket is attached next door. There's a second branch of the restaurant at the Tobacco Factory in south Bristol.
28-34 Lower Ashley Road, St Paul's BS2 9NP;
tel: 0117 907 1191
This is a set of two little Chilean restaurants that have particularly good empanadas. Many varieties, including several delicious vegetarian options. Also serves nachos, quesadillas, tacos, and burritos - quality ingredients and sauces.
152 Napoléon; tel: (514) 286-6075;
64 Marie-Anne W; tel: (514) 982-9212
Fantastic resto with great poutine selection, as well as a summer garden patio. Their poutine has both quantity and quality. Either eat in, or get it to take out to eat in nearby Parc la Fontaine.
994 Rue Rachel, at Parc la Fontaine;
tel: (514) 525-2415
Snug behind the sea defences of England's largest fishing port, this is a real locals' pub, but that doesn't mean the welcome to visitors isn't warm. Far from it. Order the catch of the day (from £6.95) for a succulent piece of cod or haddock that's moist within its crispy, beer-batter casing. It will have been landed that very morning, and just a few hundred yards away, to boot. The pub's cosy in winter, too, with a real fire and low-beamed ceilings, not to mention some classics by local artists on the walls (my personal favourite: Perry With Ling).
Tolcarne Place, Newlyn, near Penzance, Cornwall
Tel: 01736 363074
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