Unlike any other city in Australia, nay, the world Darwin is a place where tropical asian style meets the Aussie outback. Locals are down to earth and friendly and one of the best places to mingle with them is at the city's suburban weekend markets.
The Mindil Beach Sunset Markets on Thursday and Sunday nights are an experience but they are mainly skewed towards tourists. My favourite market is Parap on Saturday morning. Try the laksa, the cambodian pancakes, Anni's beef rendeng, rotis and some juice from Mmmmmm juices.
Parap Markets run from 5am to 2pm on Saturdays. Nightcliff Markets 5am to 2pm Sunday and Rapid Creek Markets 5am to 2pm.
Google map: tinyurl.com/la94kn
It's a bar, restaurant and cocktail place. A bit of urban Catalan sophistication in Brighton. Friendly staff, funky dark interior and great little "pincho" snacks to go with the Cruzcampo beer. It's my new local (when I'm feeling continental). I've not eaten in the restaurant, but if the bar snacks are anything to go by it must be good.
Western Road, Brighton just across from Waitrose;
A great local cafe and bar with inside and outside eating areas, a very modern menu and a great wine list. Drop in for a latte and cake or have a full meal. An afternoon next to the fire here is a lazy way to while away a Sunday. The locals (including me) love it because it’s also 'kid friendly'. Babyccino anyone?
382 Hampton St, Hampton 3188;
tel: 9521 0547;
In addition to presenting the "history" of chocolate, the museum displays huge chocolate sculptures. There is also a cafe offering chocolate treats.
Comerç 36, in the Gothic Quarter;
tel: 93 268 7878;
metro: Jaume I or Arc de Triomf;
open: Mon-Sat 10am-7pm; Sun 10am-3pm
Malia, Crete, gets undeserved bad press. Yes, The Beach Road bars/clubs cater for British kids in July/August, but one can avoid them altogether & have a pleasant vacation here. There is an attractive old village to the north of the main road.
Most of the restaurants mentioned in the Rough Guide & Lonely Planet have been closed for the past few years as they were run by non-Greeks and rents were too high for the short tourist season. There are however, two excellent restaurants remaining, The Elizabeth, which is in the town square of the old village, and off to the left, Kalesma, both offering dishes way above the usual taverna fare.
There are two classic rock bars on the Main Road, The Cavern and Epsilon - The Alcoholic Church, which can be dangerous territory in the afternoons if the owner, Michaelis is working. He doesn’t like the customers to leave sober!
Malia is a good central base from which to see the island. It has a spectacular beach and a Minoan Palace nearby. Driving inland will take one to the breathtaking views from the Lasithi plateau in about 15 minutes.
Get traditional German food at this apfelwein kneipe (apple wine tavern), the best in Frankfurt, on Wallstrasse, across from Alt Sachenhausen. Great food, great apple wine (the local drink, better than Somerset cider) and a great atmosphere.
Tel: 069 612 778;
Open: Monday to Saturday from 5pm to midnight
This is the best pizza place in the inner city. No, I would go as far to say in all of Sydney. Hidden away behind the Star Casino in the revived suburb of Pyrmont, this place never fails. Pizzas are great, pastas excellent, salads fresh and large and it is BYO (bring your own alcohol). Nothing flash, and seating is limited, but Made In Italy always impresses.
Levantis restaurant in Parikia is a lovely place. Stop off for a drink first at Pebbles cafe around the corner and watch the sun go down - bliss!
If you're getting a taxi back to your hotel, try and avoid the arrival of the big ferries.
Levantis: Market Street, Parikia;
tel: (22840) 23613;
For directions see www.parosweb.com/paros-goingout/restaurants/levantis/index.html
Pebbles Cafe: on the main waterfront promenade;
tel: (22840) 22283;
This is the best beach taverna on Rhodes, run by Philip (from the island) and his English wife, Barbara. Perfect traditional Greek menu, all freshly cooked, in a drew setting on top of the cliff above the north end of the beach
At the end of a long, winding road through stunning mountain scenery is a little piece of Crete as it was in the 60s and 70s - but with electricity.
A traditional family-run taverna offering fresh food and four simple-but-comfortable balconied rooms, all with stunning views along one of the most picturesque and unspoilt coastlines in Europe.
Situated in a secluded bay and literally perched at the water's edge, you can fall asleep to the sound of the waves after a perfect meal of freshly caught and perfectly cooked fish and a carafe of local wine.
Perfect for those whose idea of nightlife is counting the stars, and who don’t need any water sports other than swimming and fishing.
Stavros & Vicky Peraki;
tel: (0030) 6937124600;
Small covered market off rue de Bretagne in 3rd arrondissment. Excellent quality and variety of fruit & veg, cheese, deli goods and even wine stalls - everything you need for a perfect picnic.
39 rue de Bretagne;
Open: Tuesday to Saturday, 8.30am to 1pm and 4pm to 7.30pm (until 8 pm on Friday and Saturday);
Sunday, 8.30am to 2pm
Metro : Filles-du-Calvaire
Melbourne bar/restaurant that’s located on the beach at Hampton (although the locals call it Brighton Beach because that’s the name of the adjacent railway station). Great outlook (check the website), nice food, plenty of parking, with a place upstairs for a drink and meal with a view. The hotel also hosts live music at times, check out the gig guide.
Cnr South Rd and Beach Rd (aka the Esplanade) in Hampton (aka Brighton Beach), 50 metres from Brighton Beach Station (20 min trip from the city);
tel: 9592 3555;
Turn off the main Chania-Rethymno road at Paleloni, and you will find the road winds down for a mile or so into a picture-postcard bay. This taverna is right on the bay, offering the freshest fish, an upmarket Cretan wine list, and views of the sea from every table. A deservedly popular spot.
Near Paleloni, Chania, Crete
One of the best restaurant/beergardens I've ever been to is located in the old city wall, partly in the tower, partly in the walk along the battlements. There's a variety of things on offer. Sit under old trees in the beergarden and enjoy local and Polish fare which is excellently cooked, and beer which is excellently brewed. Or sit on one of the romantic little tables by candle-light in the walk on the battlements with your sweetheart, looking at the medieval castle skyline. Or sit inside in the restaurant on rustic dark wood tables. Be sure to check out the large function room in the tower with near-360 degree panoramic views above the roofs of Nuremberg. Enjoy!
Hintere Insel Schütt 34;
tel: 0911 242 77 40;
Closest U-Bahn: Woehrder Wiese, or walk from Lorenzkirche U-Bahn in 5-10 mins, going eastwards along the river Pegnitz past the lovely Heilig Geist Spital
Egiali, at the top of the island, is extremely quiet and friendly with just a couple of shops and a handful of restaurants. There are decent rooms and a really good campsite to stay in, all within 5 minutes of a quiet beach with good swimming.
There is a lovely morning's triangular walk to the two nearest villages, Tholaria and Langada. Katarina restaurant in Langada serves THE BEST TARAMASALATA ON THE PLANET.
You can get boats directly from Piraeus to Katapola at the south of the island. Egiali Camping sends a minibus on spec and I'm sure a lot of the private rooms in Egiali do too. You can get the 'Skopelitis Express' from Naxos straight to Egiali, but it is slow.
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