In Polish 'zakatek' means 'little corner’; its easy to see where this cosy establishment takes its name from. At the end of a passage leading off the Rynek, it oozes peace, quiet and gemutlichkeit, and seems miles away from the action on the square nearby. Filling breakfasts, friendly staff and evocative Polish jazz playing on the ancient record player are just some of its draws.
Grodzka 2, Old Town (Stare Miasto)
This is an Italian trattoria on Rua Pamplona, off Paulista Avenue. Even though it is an Italian place, do not go there to eat pasta. The best dish in this restaurant is the salada do Sargento, a salad with several different leaves, hearts of palm, tomatoes etc. What's special about it isn't the ingredients per se (although they are spectacularly fresh and tasty) but rather the seasoning. It's a well kept secret and I've never managed to reproduce it at home.
One tip: do not order anything else as the salads are huge, even the small one - they come in small, medium and large - and are expensive considering local prices. On the other hand, I don't think anyone would wish they'd had pasta or meat instead. It really is that good. Unless you're a party of four plus, order the small one. Afterwards, a nice walk in the Jardins district and perhaps some shopping can be a nice way to end a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Rua Pamplona, maybe #70, Jardins.
Recommended elsewhere as a coffee house, it's also a source of decent food - excellent set menus, including vegetarian choices - with much more atmosphere than the sterile Sacher. And the waiters are not nearly so snooty as they used to be. There's an excellent bookshop (Morawa) across the road and another exquisite Konditorei (Heiner).
Wollzeile, not far from St Stephen's (the newer branch in the Fleischmarkt is more of a patisserie);
Vienna’s grand coffee houses do not just serve coffee and cake, they also offer a range of meals and drinks. Try Café Bellaria (adjacent to Dr Karl Renner Ring, near Rathaus (the town hall), which may well have a pianist playing. Friendly staff.
For something completely different try Café Hawelka, the traditional haunt of artists and writers. You may be served by old Mr Hawelka himself, or one of the family.
Dorotheergasse (off the Graben one minute from Stephansplatz)
What could be better than a beer clinic? This is a traditional Austrian tavern situated in the heart of Vienna. Try the dunkles (dark) beer for a change. Hearty Austrian food. Try the bauernschmaus if you are very hungry and like meat/sausage, it comes with a dumpling. Friendly staff and lots of interesting rooms.
tel: 533 75 98 12;
Hanoi is a beautiful city and I had a fantastic - if soggy - time there. If it wasn't raining then the air was thick with damp mist, and my clothes never quite dried properly. However, I found the perfect start to these wet days: breakfast at the Kangaroo Cafe. They serve up the biggest and hottest breakfasts - the perfect way to set yourself up for a wet day exploring the city.
18 Pho Bao Khanh, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
A brilliant out-of-the way restaurant with cheap, huge plates of schnitzel. Much better than some of the tourist traps in the centre of town.
Neubaugassse, 52, 7th district; Volkstheater or Neubaugasse underground stop
The restaurant in the Museum fuer Angewandte Kunst (Museum for Applied Arts). It is run by Helmut Oesterreicher who for many years cooked in Austria's best and most expensive restaurant, the Steirereck. Here he has changed his style completely. He cooks excellent traditional Austrian and Viennese fare which everybody can afford. It's at Stubenring 5 - get the No1 or 2 tram.
This is a Viennese boozer in the 7th district with some fine beers, particularly the popular Hanf (hemp!) beer. You can also get excellent and inexpensive local food here, such as Blunzengröstl (large dollop of blood sausage with fried potatoes and onions).
Siebensterngasse, next to the British Council in the 7th district
In Bologna, this is the quintessential eaterie. The menu is hand-scrawled, only in Italian, as if the Bolognese want to keep Fantoni a secret for themselves. Simple, perfect Italian food with no frills and excellent prices. Queue or book ahead as the al fresco terrace is jammed all summer long.
Go to Fantoni, it is worth a trip to Bologna in itself.
Via del Pratello, 11; tel: 051 236 358
Really great bar in the 1st district. It is a brewery that serves its own delicious beers (wheat beers are very good) at very reasonable prices. Has a good mix of locals and foreigners, although it does have a bit of an Anglo feel to it as you can order in English, but sometimes that's a good thing. Nice cheap food too (6- 10 euros for a substantial meal) - far superior to the average crap served in UK pubs or the overpriced gastro fare. I'd be doing the place a disservice by not mentioning how gorgeous the barmaids are too.
1st district, Krugerstrasse 18 / Schwarzenbergstrasse 2
Donde Augusto is a must if you love seafood. A true gem located inside the Mercado Central Fish Market. Being Chilean-American I can assure you this is the genuine real deal. Loved by tourists and locals alike (about a 50/50 split). Remember, lunch only.
Inside the Mercado Central Fish Market
These are two Irish pubs which offer everything expats could possibly want and have an important place in the English-speaking community here in Vienna. Obviously there are plenty of local options available but if you're feeling thirsty for Guinness, want to catch up on some sport other than skiing, or simply spend a few hours in "gemütlich" surroundings, then these pubs are two of the best options.
Flanagans, Schwarzenburgerstr. 1st district;
Charlie P's, Währingerstr. 9th district
An essential part of Viennese culture and you could do a tour of Vienna's coffee houses alone. You can sit for hours and read the newspapers provided in a luxurious, velvet atmosphere and for goodness sake look at the dizzying array of coffees on sale before you order. Cakes the like of which you have never seen (or tasted) before are the order of the day, ranging from the humble but divine Apfelstrudel to the more sophisticated 'death by chocolate' of the Sachertorte created by the Hotel Sacher in... Vienna. Two of the most unmissable cafes are Demel and the Cafe Central.
Eat well and like a local by buying a tamale (a kind of steamed dumpling wrapped in a corn husk - it's nicer than it sounds!) They are really cheap, real Peruvian street food available as either sweet (with a raisin in the bottom) or savoury (with meat).
There is usually a lady selling tamales under the porch outside the shops to the left when looking at the cathedral. There is usually a small crowd hanging around. She's sometimes only around in the morning though
I enjoyed a fantastic meal here. Very friendly service - the waiters will talk you through the menu. We had a selection of starters that were divine.
Cannaregio 5039, Fondamente Nove, Venezia; www.algiubagio.net;
tel: 041 523 6084;
Near the vaporetto stop on Fondamente Nove
It's a restaurant (not a museum) with a massive and diverse selection of regional speciality goulash (which is a stew with paprika and other things such as sausages, beef, venison and eggs).
Behind Stefansdom, down the street with the bookshop on the corner
If you're a fan of BBC's Spooks drama, there's a spy museum where you can have a go at pretending to be Kim Philby or Guy Burgess. As well as the usual spy history displays you can rest your eyes and have a go. Why not try altering the pitch of your voice or reading someone else's email. It's based in an old brewery. After several hours reading and playing at being 007, you'll have no trouble finding somewhere to eat and drink. For real ale buffs, the place serves beer.
+358 3 2123 007
A nice cold beer, a dish of Greek delicacies, the Parthenon above, the Ancient Agora below, crowds strolling by, lazy dogs and cats sleeping under the sun waiting for a treat, maybe a frappe afterwards. Dioscuri, a traditional outdoor café on the street that leads to the Acropolis has them all, and at minimal cost.
Dioscuron 13 Street, Plaka, Athens tel: 210 3219607
Metro: Monastiraki Station
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