'Stone ground' doufu/tofu restaurant. Recently expanded and is now an integral part of the Yulin Hotel. The finger-length deep-fried doufu with vanilla/custardy sauce is a delight. Cannot remember the name, but there is a picture menu. Loads of other types of tofu/beancurd, good veg (broccoli=xilanhua), although some meat dishes can be greasier than other Sichuan restaurants.
50 metres west of the junction with RenMinNanLu and 1st Ring Road (YiHuanLu).
Chengdu has thousands of these, from the shabby, almost slum-like backstreet establishments, some of which show DVDs to entertain clients, to the ultra-posh teahouses, where BMW keys and smart rectangular-lensed specs are de rigeur.
Hang out where locals chill. In most of them, it's unlikely you'll be left alone if you don't want to be.
All over Chengdu. Da Ci Temple has a nice teahouse. www.randomstuff.biz has a description and map.
This street is great for shopping with the smaller shops selling souvenirs and kilts and the outside stalls selling handcrafted goods. It is really peaceful too as cars are banned from this street.
It also has a buzzing atmosphere in the evening with people drinking in the many pubs and eateries with funny names like Filthy McNasty and Dirty Dicks. It's a great place to mingle with the Scots.
Rose Street runs parallel to Princes Street between St Andrews Square and Charlotte Square.
Not always on the tourist trail, home to the Last Drop pub, scene of executions in years gone by, and also some good places to eat and interesting shops - Two Fat Ladies cookshop, Mr Woods Fossils and some amazing jumper shops.
Down the winding hill from Greyfrairs Bobby - the most over-rated dog in town.
A vegetarian self-service place, huge portions, their trifle (slightly whole food but with lashings of cream) is to die for - and not that bad for the conscience. Closes about 10 pm; lovely atmosphere, nice staff, low(ish) prices.
Above it is their own shop with wholefoods, breads, some take-outs etc
94 Hanover Street, Edinburgh;
tel: 0131 225 2131;
Always best to eat where the locals do. This restaurant just up from Haymarket Station is one of the best in town for fairly priced, imaginative Scottish food with a twist. Book ahead as the locals love it!
99-101 Dalry Rd (up from Haymarket Station);
tel: 0131 313 4404
With its bright yellow interior, this cafe feels like being inside one of Van Gogh's sunflower paintings. Tucked away in a side street off the Royal Mile, near steps leading down to Princes St Gardens, it's the type of place where you can sit for hours and read the paper without being disturbed.
8 St Giles St, Edinburgh
Cha Cha Cha is a restaurant on Haight Street. The food is Caribbean - my favorite is the red snapper wrapped in banana leaves with black beans and plantains - but no matter what you eat, or even if you're not hungry, DO NOT MISS the sangria (just make sure you don't have to drive afterwards).
As the Frommers website says, Cha Cha Cha is not a meal, it's an experience. Moderately priced. No reservations. Weird people, weird neighborhood, great food and wine (not a full bar).
1801 Haight Street (nearest intersection: Schrader street) - a few blocks from Ashbury and half a block from Golden Gate Park;.
tel: (415) 386-7670
public transport: bus 71 stops less than a block away
Fantasic pub by the river Thames. Great location/setting and excellent food and drink. Recently done up and plenty of outside tables, decks etc. Only drawback is the goose poo on some of the tables!
Queens Road, Thames Ditton - just outside Kingston.
One of the pleasant surprises about visiting San Francisco is that it has fantastic food. Not indigenous US food, but the food-culture imported by its immigrants from south of the border. Taquerias provides authentic, very tasty, cheap Mexican-style food to locals everywhere - especially in The Mission District. The best one is El Toro Taqueria on Valencia St. It is vegetarian-friendly (ie: it definitely doesn't cook beans in lard).
El Toro Taqueria: 598 Valencia St;
tel: (415) 431-2535;
Here's a photo: www.flickr.com/photos/bryceedwards/134769479/
Yank Sing is one of San Francisco's best Chinese dim sum restaurants. Makes the annual San Francisco Chronicle's Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants list.
Its Rincon Center atmosphere is more upmarket than Chinatown restaurants, since it appeals to nearby Financial District workers.
Before or after you eat, look at the murals of California history by Anton Refregier in the old Rincon Post Office Annex. A few of them don't whitewash the Golden State's turbulent labour and ethnic past.
Rincon Center, 101 Spear St. (at Mission St), Embarcadero/South of Market;
tel: (415) 957-9300; open: only for dim sum/lunch;
A great late afternoon/early evening walk up Grant Avenue starting at Market Street and ending at Coit Tower. You start in the heart of downtown but soon transition to Chinatown and then the Italian North Beach district before ending with panoramic views of The City and The Bay.
Stop at local establishments Tosca (www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/tips/7859) for an Irish coffee, Cafe Macaroni (www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/tips/7860) for dinner, then catch some live blues at the Saloon (www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/tips/7858) - Perfect!
Start at Grant Ave and Market Street.
An intimate little Italian restaurant with cheesy decor but great food and bags of character. The upstairs has a ridiculously low ceiling with pasta stuck to it! I heartily recommend the gnocchi with gorgonzola cream sauce.
59 Columbus (at Jackson) in North Beach;
tel: (415) 217-8400
La Caravelle bar is on the first floor of Hotel Belle Vue, and is probably the best place to enjoy a drink in Marseille. Not only does it have a wonderful atmosphere, but your drinks come with free tapas. From within the eclectically-decorated bar or from the beautiful terrace you have amazing views of the Vieux Port and the Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde.
34 quai du Port; tel: 04 91 90 36 64
Here's a photo I took of the outside:
Amongst the usual produce are products peculiar to Cork. Drisheen, a mixture of dried sheep’s blood and herbs in a long pudding skin. Or Crubeen, pigs’ feet boiled “with the hoof on!” And Trotters - sheep’s feet boiled in water.
Tel: 353 21 427 3251
Superb place for breakfast. I notice that one of the owners is a westerner: if he's not Australian, I'd be very surprised, because this place has a really Sydney feel about it. Decent coffee, papers from Bangkok to read, and a 'hang around as long as you like' vibe. Don't leave without trying the Bagel Egger: it'll set you up good for a day of cycling around temples.
Th Chao Fa Ngun (in the centre, and Luang Prabang is small, so you'll find it easily);
tel: 071 252292
Great cafe: hard to believe it's in Singapore. I don't know what this building was originally, but the owners have transformed it into some sort of organic-Scandinavian-modernist-but-not-too-new-looking environment, with eclectic furniture, fantastic music and a view across a small green valley which had me, as a one-time Singapore resident, scratching my head and going 'where the hell am I?' Highly, highly recommended for a weekend brunch or dinner any night of the week.
28B Harding Road, off Dempsey Road, which is off Holland Road in the direction away from town;
tel: 6479 3343
Cocktail bar and restaurant that has a Pacific island theme. The band plays on a boat that drifts out into the lagoon to a mock storm complete with rain. As fabulously tacky as it sounds.
Fairmont Hotel: 950 Mason Street (there's an entrance off California Street);
tel: (415) 772 5278;
Walk around the Mission District, the heart of the Latino district. Eat at any place (I miss the food so much), and go into a few supermarkets for special treats. At night there are many good bars (Divas for their mojitos), movie theatres and clubs. Check out the area during the day first to familiar yourself with the streets if you are the easily-scared type. Some people think the area is a bit unsafe. This petite female never had any problems.
Around Valencia, 16th and 24th streets;
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