A straightforward, good value budget option - the all day menu del dia at 7 euros is excellent and the setting ideal. Take a table outside under the orange trees to watch the world go by on the busy plaza. Refreshingly, the menu makes clear what is included in the menu del dia - with a wide selection of racions, service, drink etc - a pleasant change to other places which may try it on with additional charges (I feel bound at this point to condemn El Cai in Arenal who added 8 euros for 2 lemonades and 5 euros for 2 sachets of olive oil!).
Santa Maria la Blanca, Santa Cruz
A fairly uninspiring municipal (but privately owned) campsite. It has lots of space and shade; there are no marked pitches and the toilet/shower blocks are rather elderly.
But the little onsite bar/restaurant serves amazing, very reasonable evening meals and breakfasts.
On the N110 road south of Crespian (easily missed - look very hard for the entrance signs)
A brilliant restaraunt specialising in fish cuisine. Once we had discovered it, we ate there every night on our last trip to Paris. Our friends (who are well travelled in France) reckoned it was the best Fruit de Mers they had eaten away from the coast. Sensibly priced too.
15 rue Lagrange
A little part of Chamonix how it probably was, once apon a time. Hidden away in the mountain, with no roads, no people; just a little mountain hut specializing in fondu, croute (cheese on baguette), and red wine. Be warned: it only has cheese dishes! And don't be surprised when everyone turns around when you walk through the door; it's a local place for local people. The walk/ride home is rather interesting too.
From the Grands Montets Ski Station, take a little road up the mountain, go through tunnel quite obviously used by skaters, and follow signs through the forest to la cremerie; if lost ask a mountain goat/local.
It can be described as many things: a spicy omlette; a 'breakfast burrito'; the literal meaning approximates to 'egg pancake'. Great for a quick, cheap hot snack; a useful fallback for vegetarians in a meat-loving nation; plus great to watch them being made.
At streetside vendors everywhere
This family run guest house is one of the best value places I've ever stayed. Beautiful house with fantastic rooms for $10 a night. Mrs Amarasinghe's rice and curry are also top notch - some of the best in Sri Lanka.
If you've been in South East Asia for a while and are hankering after some very high-quality western food, this is about as good as it gets. Excellent modern cuisine, great bar, fantastic ambience. Prices are fairly reasonable too. Can't recommend it highly enough.
In the centre of the city close to the river (marked on any guide book map). There's another branch in Siem Reap which is just as good as the original.
It's a fast food place that has toasted sandwiches that are amazing, though never have more than one as this will ruin the experience. I recommend the Texan or the American (with all sauces).
Ravanel le rouge opp the bp garage
Festive carnaval atmosphere at this Brazilian restaurant. Try the native bbq (churasco) and remember not to let go of the delicious fresh fruit caipirinha. Caliente all the way through the week, with special emphasis on carnaval-inspired electro at the weekends. Colourful decor and don't bring muddy shoes, it'll look out of place when you're dancing on the tables.
18 rue du Faubourg du Temple, 75011: 00 33 (1) 40 21 38 14: Metro Republique
Restaurant. In the beach suburb of Palo, at the Eastern end of the city (bus from the Alameda goes there)- great fresh fish, no menu. They cook what's good that day and the waiters bring it out on trays and shout out what it is. If you fancy it, stick your hand up or just ask for a look. Helps to know your Spanish fish names.
On the beach front at Palo.
I should declare a vested interest first. I work as a VSO volunteer at KOTO; we are a restaurant that take in street kids and house, pay and train them to work in the hospitality industry.
The food is fantastic, trust me. Would we have had the likes of Bill Clinton and John Prescott dine with us if it wasn't?
If you like the concept and want to find out more - ask staff and we may be able to provide you with a short guided tour of the training centre too which is near Westlake.
61 Van Mieu Street - opposite the Temple of Literature. The training centre is at 72 Thuy Khue but ask first at the restaurant if it's OK to visit.
My blog on life in Hanoi and my time as a KOTO volunteer: www.ourmaninhanoi.blogspot.com
Paris' largest pizza (so large that waiters need to rest it on two plates) - you could almost say two for the price of one. Just round the corner from Moulin Rouge with the added-value of a terrace, this combines great value and great character.
6 square de l'Opera, 75009: 00 33 (1) 40079256: Metro Havre-Caumartin
One of the best-kept secrets in town is the cafe atop the Post and Telegraf Museum. A stunning view of town and light, traditional Danish courses for lunch. Loads of blue-haired, sophisticated ladies, but that’s part of the charm.
Købmagergade 37, 5th floor
Use the elevator at the back of the museum
Tel: (+45) 33 41 09 86
We stumbled across this restaurant after it was misplaced in the Time Out guide but have remained thankful ever since. Ignore the handlebar moustaches, chainmail and handcuffs and enjoy the superb food at very reasonable prices. Highly recommended.
Tel: 93 323 67 84
The Monro does amazing food that is in my opinion better than some of the top restaurants in the city. Featuring rabbit, wild boar and Welsh buffalo they create really special dishes at great prices.
Also don't be fooled by their bar snacks blackboard on the way in. This is more memorable food that's ingenious and cheap.
Restaurant: Rene-style waiters scribble your order onto the tablecloth, simple but delicious food and wine which is extremely good value - less than £40 for three courses inc wine for three people. Fabulous mirrors and atmosphere. No bookings taken so get there early and they will seat a lone diner at any spare place!
Tucked away on the left at 7 rue du Faubourg-Monmartre, 75009 (off Bvd Monmarte)
If you have an afternoon to spare, why not take a walk down to the historic village of Guapulo.
Take a taxi to the Camino de Orellana, just next to the Hotel Quito - five minutes from the Mariscal.
At the top of the winding round down to the village you will find a small bar, Mirador de Guapulo, where you can enjoy a light lunch with typical Ecuadorean platters, whilst looking out over the fabulous view of Guapulo and its historic church.
From here you can either follow the cobbled street down the hill or take the short cut through the small park in front of the bar. Wear good shoes as the road is steep. On the way down you will see a range of interesting old buildings.
The area has a bohemian atmosphere and is home to many artists. At the bottom sits the beautiful Sancturia de Guapulo, Quito's oldest colonial church, facing onto a small square. In front of the church is a statue of Fransisco de Orellana, the Conquistador who sailed the length of the Amazon to the Atlantic Ocean in 1542. There is a small taxi rank opposite the church, where you can get a ride back up to the city.
Taxi to Hotel Quito and then by foot.
Lively place to eat in shadow of Porte St Martin [mini Arc de Triomphe] and close to several theatres. Menu presented hidden in a French novel! Good French country dishes served with speed and panache by friendly waiters. Busy atmosphere but quieter after 8.15 when theatre goers leave for their shows.
19 Rue Rene Boulanger 75010 Paris Tel 01 42 06 05 27. Metro: Strasbourg St Denis
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