This is a suburb of Gelsenkirchen (which is hosting several World Cup games) and it is much prettier, with a pleasant shopping street and lots of cafes and restaurants like Kronski, Zutz and La Scala, all within walking distance of each other. There are quite a few pubs with beer gardens too. As Gelsenkircheners are enthusiastic football fans, they will most probably give visiting fans a friendly welcome. They're a bit like Northerners - direct and straightforward. Take a guided tour of the Arena as well if you get the chance, it's fascinating to go behind the scenes of this huge stadium.
You can take a bus or tram from Gelsenkirchen to Buer, it only takes about ten minutes or you could even walk there from the Veltins Arena;
For a stylish supper, try the restaurants around Stiftsplatz.
L'Arcata serves upmarket Italian food, while Uwe's Tomate is the main upmarket modern eatery in K-Town and DOES require reservation for main evening dinner time, but you'll find it delicious - subltle food at good value for money, particularly if you come from London and are used to West End prices.
If the weather permits, there's a beautiful, big old swimming pool (unheated I'm afraid) north of Kaiserslautern, it's called Waschmühle and a cabbie will take you there for not much more than 5 Euro, perfect for relaxing pre-and post game days and, due to German tradition and hospitality, beer and fried sausages are sold at reasonable prices.
This place has a really authentic Italian feel about it. There's no trendyness or pretentiousness like you find in other city centre Italian places, whose food generally turns out to be a big disappointment.
Here you can find the best pizzas north of Rome, served by a guy who would be more at home in a gladiator outfit, and the red-checked tablecloths and paintings of Italy on the walls tell you that he's probably a little bit homesick.
It's also relatively cheap, so it's a great spur-of-the-moment restaurant (you don't need to book). In 8 months of living in Brussels, this was my favourite restaurant by far.
Rue Jourdan 5, (just off the top of Avenue Louise)
Shabusen Yakiniku House is an all-you-can-eat restaurant, with two central locations in Vancouver. It's got decent sushi, but the real experience is the Yakiniku (Korean BBQ) and Hot Pot options where you have a grill and/or a hot pot at your table and you cook your own food, be it meat, seafood or vegetables.
It's a tasty and fun experience. And it's only around £12 per person. It gets busy though, so either make reservations or be willing to wait a while (it's worth it!).
2993 Granville Street, Vancouver
Tel: (604) 737-6888
755 Burrard St, Vancouver
Tel: (604) 669-3883
The You Sabai is a guesthouse located in the heart of Chiang Mai. It has 8 comfortable, clean and affordable guesthouse rooms (150 – 250 Baht per night), a charming outdoor restaurant that serves up healthy authentic Thai dishes and western breakfast favourites, and assists with a wide variety of traveller arrangements.
Visitors staying at the You Sabai guesthouse can avail of free use of an open space to practice Thai massage, yoga, or to meditate in privacy.
I kept going back to the same Guest House in Chiang Mai because the people that owned it were really friendly, honest and fun. Now I am lucky enough to be good friends with them. And I wish to tell anyone that is going to Chiang Mai that they should call in and see for themselves.
It may seem strange to recommend a French cafe-restaurant in Berlin, but this place is definately worth a mention.
Just off the Ku'Damm and down the road from the Hotel Bleibtreu (if you're checking out the other tips on this site) this restaurant serves classic French cuisine (the chef IS French, apparently) in an understated, yet stylish decor.
They do a few traditional Berlin dishes too. The cooking is excellent although the clientele can be a bit too trendy and bourgeois for its own good. Worth taking the risk for their food and wine list, though. Reasonable prices too. Advisable to reserve.
Lubitsch Restaurant und Café
Tel.: 030 / 882 37 56
Fax: 030 / 88 72 84 99
It used to be the case that the most interesting and hip bars and restaurants were to be found in East Berlin.
While the city's overwhelming architectural overhall has certainly changed the balance, there are one or two gems still hidden in the Eastern districts. Pasternak is a Russian restaurant (no surprise) steeped in atmosphere and tradition. You can almost hear revolutionaries muttering conspiracy theories into their vodka.
They do a mean Borschtsch and a host of other Russian classics. I've heard there are nights when live music is played but check this out when you reserve - and it is advisable to reserve as this place is very popular.
Metro line U2 Senefelder Platz
Shao Lin Noodle House serves cheap noodles on Broadway near Cambie. They specialise in dragging, cut and pulled noodles. You can see them making noodles while you eat some (slam! slam!). Order the treasure tea - they serve it from a kettle with a three-foot spout, expertly. Order the cold bean curd with cucumber and garlic and the garlic-fried broccoli. Their dumplings are doughy and unique.
Hapa Izaka-ya, Guu with Garlic, Gyoza King are all on Robson Street (closer to Denman than Burrard). All specialize in one form or another of Japanese appetisers. Knock them back with a grande Asahi.
The Irish Heather - the only authentic, atmospheric 'pub' in all Vancouver, I say - serve real colcannon. Next door is its sister, Shebeen, a whiskey bar/restaurant.
Incendio rockstar pizza serve great salads, and foccacia to make you fat, and can be found on Burrard and 5th, (next door to the 5th Ave Cinema), while Annapurna - on 4th at Burrard has make-you-high vegetarian Indian food. Banana Leaf is good for Malaysian curries that are cheap and fast (on Broadway near Oak).
Overrated: Sophie's Cosmic Cafe (4th and Arbutus), the Naam (4th near McDonald), the Whip (Main and 5th).
Book early to get an outside table in one of the many Jewish restaurants lining Szeroka, the main square of Kazimierz, the Jewish quarter of Krakow. Time your meal to finish before dusk, and then just sit back and experience the gradual lighting up of the square by the thousands of restaurant table candles (there is virtually no electric lighting). Sip your coffee and vodka and take in the magical atmosphere where the only noise is the gentle, almost reverential hum of conversations and clinking glasses. Nobody seems to leave their tables until late into the evening. The most breathtakingly peaceful experience I've ever had in the centre of a city!
Ulica Szeroka, Kazimierz, about a mile walk, south from the Wawel; A taxi from the centre will cost about 10-12 Zloty, (£2).
Quite simply a Taipei institution and recommended by Ken Hom himself, Din Tai Fong is the king of dumpling restaurants. Popular with Taiwanese and westerners alike, the speciality are small soup dumplings which melt in your mouth. The chicken soup is also a wonder, a simple chicken and ginger broth with seemingly half a tender wild chicken. There's a bowl on nearly every table.
However it's the dumplings you go for. While the older Xin Yi branch is stuffed in to 4 narrow floors the newer Zhongxiao branch is on one level with the tables arranged in a horse-shoe around the dumpling makers. Take some time to watch: the hands never stop moving as dumpling making is turned into an Olympic sport.
They have a numbered English menu and a line up system which means at busy times (you can wait up to 30 mins for a table), but it's worth it.
218 Zhong Xiao (Chung Hsiao) East Rd, section 4 (enter via lane 216 with the Orange ATT on the corner);
tel: 02 2721 7890;
open 11 am-2 pm and 4 pm-10 pm;
Also at Xin Yi Road, just west of Da-An Park
For five years there has been one restaurant which i have always happily returned to. A five minute walk from the Rynek Glowny, along ul. Florianska and through the Barbakan, you will find Nana.
A bright, airy space with outside tables, this is a small bar which serves some of the best pierogi and placki in Krakow, and all for less than 10zl for any meal. Try any of the main meals with the unique 'hunters sauce'. With side dishes for under 50p, and enough food to leave you satisfied for less than the price of a coffee from the city centre, it is highly recommended, and I will be definitely be returning on my next visit.
pl. Matejki 3
Crisp linen, floral decorations, mirrors and crystal gives the restaurant a formal air. In fact in thick winter coat, jeans and boots I felt rather scruffy in such pleasant, smart surroundings, however, the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly and we were made to feel very welcome.
As for the food, well, that was pretty good too. In fact it was very good with a menu that included a mixture of traditional Polish dishes, meat and seafood. Prices aren’t budget (£30.00-£40.00 for two courses plus wine and coffee) and are, perhaps, a little above average, however, it’s well worth paying for the food and ambience.
It was a pleasure to eat at Szara. The service was exemplary and the fact that our waiter looked a bit like the actor Owen Wilson was an added bonus
Rynek Glowny 6;
012 421 6669
A restaurant with brilliant and cheap Czech food. Get the sirloin with cream and cranberry, or the goulash. But don't go to its sister restaurant opposite, more expensive and worse service, same menu.
Celetná 17, Praha 1;
tel: 222 313 327;
Underneath the Hotel Florinska is Poland’s best pizza restaurant. Oddly enough, the Polish usually do pizza pretty good and these are better than most you'll get in Italy. Cooked in a wood-burning oven, they make a nice break from pirogi, bigos et al. Cheap too.
Ul. Florinska, fashionable street off Rynek,
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