Authentic viennese cafe on the ground floor of the Neue Galerie, a recently opened gallery to German and Austrian art. Situated in a charming townhouse.
On 88th and Museum mile. About 2 blocks north of the Metropolitan museum. The actual galleries hours are odd - but the cafe is open most days
Market Cafe is a small, unassuming place that's a tad like an institutional canteen but serves gourmet food at great prices. You can easily walk out of this unlikely placed restaurant - that sits just east of the more salubrious areas - spending less than $20 on a first and main course. Try the scallops, which were enormous and delectable on a bed of pureed potatoes and rocket with a burnt butter sauce. They're a steal at around $8.
Market Cafe, 496 Ninth Ave between between 37th and 38th. 212-564- 7350 nearest station 34st-Penn station
It's a vegetarian restaurant serving cuisine from southern India. The food is invariably delicious and cheap, even cheaper at lunchtime when they have an excellent buffet. It's not licenced but you can take your own booze (bought at the supermarket next door if need be). You can't reserve tables, so be prepared to queue at busy times. They also do food to take away. A terrific alternative to the overpriced chain food outlets on Euston Station, as it's only a couple of minutes' walk away.
121-123 Drummond Street, NW1; 020 7387 5556; Euston
Bryant Park is a small but very popular park with tourists and New Yorkers. It is situated on 42nd St and behind the Central Library on 5th Av. In the daytime it is a fantastic spot for eating your lunch on a beautiful sunny day and in the evening there is a chance to enjoy a balmy New York evening with a glass of wine Sex and the City style. You can also enjoy an evening cinema classic on certain days throughout the summer. As a regular to New York I love to pass on my little find to others because if you want to take 5 minutes out from the city's fast pace or simply have lunch and people watch then visit Bryant Park.
42nd St and 5th Av behind the Central Library
Consistently voted Melbourne’s best, this Chinese restaurant was first opened in 1975. A combination of traditional Cantonese cooking, modern innovation and the finest ingredients has to make this one of the best Chinese restaurants in the world. Honestly! Wine list is also excellent. Main course around $A40
17 Market Street, City
Home of one of Australia’s best loved chefs and author of the classic cooking tome ‘The Cook’s Companion,’ Stephanie Alexander’s café is currently only opened for breakfast and lunch. You can also buy a huge range local and imported deli goods and hand-made local cheese from the adjoining larder and cheese shop. Main dishes around $A15.
48-50 Bridge Rd, Richmond www.rhcl.com.au
A quite brilliant sushi place, in SoHo/NoHo/Little Italy. It's down in a basement - with great atmosphere, excellent sushi and an extensive sake list (see it here blueribbonrestaurants.com/sushimanhattan_sakelist.asp). Don't expect to leave sober. There's no bookings. Which is both a blessing and a curse.
If it's a Friday or Saturday night, you need to get there early to avoid a lengthy wait. However, when we last went, they were happy to take your mobile number and call you when a table's free ... so you can go for a drink nearby.
19 Sullivan St, Between Prince and Spring; tel: 212 274 0404; blueribbonrestaurants.com/
This is a modern hotel with excellent facilities and tasteful décor. It represents fantastic value for money if booked online (double rooms can be had for as little as £35 per room including breakfast). It is situated in a southern suburb of the city that has interesting bars, restaurants, market stalls and shops frequented by the locals. Some real bargains can be found here. The only drawback is the distance from the centre of Beijing and the fact that taxi drivers don’t know where it is – be sure to pick up the hotel’s card at reception with detailed directions. It is, however, ideal for visiting the nearby Temple of Heaven Park.
A luxurious, well-known seafood restaurant with plush interiors and a vast tank of lobsters and crabs so you can choose your own victim for dinner. Dinner costs around €50 per head.
There are two branches, one at Calle Lérida, 11 y 13 and the other right in the town centre at Calle Mossen Fernandez, 10; www.marisqueriascivera.com
Vintara, on bustling Plaza de la Reina, belies the rule that restaurants on major tourist thoroughfares are stiffly priced and low on quality. Vintara is neither – it offers earthy but delicious traditional Spanish cooking, using all the best local ingredients. Meat eaters will love the Morcilla con Mousselina de Ibérico. For a full meal with wine, expect to pay around €25-30 per head.
Vintara, Plaza de la Reina, 19
A truly Spanish, family-run tapas bar just by the famous towers. No frills and no tourists; just cheap, well-cooked tapas classics. Around €10 per head for a hearty meal, wine or beer and coffee.
Cervecería Serranos, Calle Blanquerías, 5
It may be a Spanish cliché, but you really can’t visit Valencia without eating paella – and, to the region that invented the dish, if you haven’t eaten it here, you haven’t eaten it at all. The authentic version – Paella Valenciana – is with rabbit, chicken, snails, butter beans and broad beans, although veggie-friendly Paella de Verduras is usually available. To Valencians, “paella” anywhere else in Spain is merely rice with meat and vegetables. They border on the fanatical when talking about the hardness of the water required to perfectly cook the rice – which must be grown locally, of course.
But despite this, paella is not a fussy food. It is hearty family lunchtime fare (never make the mistake of eating it at night, except during Fallas) and best enjoyed on a Sunday afternoon, at one of the many paella restaurants that line Las Arenas beach front to the left of the port. Pepica – one of the oldest and best of these – is rumoured to be where Hemingway first sampled the dish. It is usual to order paella between at least two people. You may want to book in advance to make sure of a table.
La Pepica, Paseo Neptuno, 6; Tel: 96 371 0366
You should never bother with English's restaurant which is overpriced and not all that brilliant. The thing to do is go to the Regency and the Melrose, two fish restaurants run by Cypriots just at Regency Square where you can get for about £6 the finest cod and chips you will get anywhere in Britain. But they also do oysters, lobster, plaice and Dover sole, wonderful chips. It's first rate and hard to spend more than £15-20 a head for a feast.
The Regency, 131 King's Road, BN1 2HH; 01273 325014; www.theregencyrestaurant.co.uk. The Melrose, 132 Kings Road; 01273 326520
I used be a great fan of the Yates Wine Lodge, a great northern tradition. It used to offer what they called 'champagne on draft', but it always seemed to come from a bottle as far as I could see. There was always something nice about going and having some of their champagne - which you could have used to top up your car battery, it wasn't one of the 'grandes marques' – and eat one of their famous Bosley beef sandwiches. An elderly man stood in front of a gigantic baron of beef and took a white roll, dipped the top of it in gravy, and took a great big slab of fat and gristle with some flecks of meat in it, put it on the lower part of the roll and slapped the slopping gravy-sodden roll on the top. There was enough sheer protein, energy and calories to see you through a long day at conference.
Tucked into a little pocket of peace in between Olympia, Hammersmith and Shepherd's Bush, Brook Green is one of the most peaceful and 'villagey' areas of central London. And in the midst of it's charming backstreets and friendly pubs lies the Havelock, a simple, busy pub serving simply excellent food.
57 Masbro Road, Brook Green, W14 0LS; 020 7603 5374
This is undoubtedly the tapas bar for that authentic Catalan experience. It's a Barceloneta institution, with a long, narrow, crowded bar that is incredibly popular with locals. It might not look particularly special, but edge your way to the bar, order whatever tapas takes your fancy, and wash it down with a beer or two.
C/Balbao, Barceloneta; Nearest metro: Barceloneta
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