Östermalm - the classic posher areas of Stockholm. Lots of trendy clubs and restaurants where the rich and beautiful people hang out, mainly around Stureplan and Humlegården. It is also good for shopping - all the big designer names are around Birger Jarlsgatan/Biblioteksgatan, and the streets around Östermalmstorg.
There is a great indoor food market in Östermalmshallen. Sturegallerian is nice for little quirky shops and cafes, and Sturekatten is the classic old cafe around here.
East on Stureplan - very good Asian food if you get tired of herring and crispbread!
Eriks Bakficka on Fredrikshovsgatan - the dinner menu is expensive, but it has a great lunch menu.
Carpe Diem on Lutzengatan (Karlaplan tube) - simple and rustic but very good.
Lisa på Torget on Östermalmstorg - great cocktails and good food too.
Walk up from Stureplan, or catch the tube to Östermalmstorg
if you want good Lebanese/Turkish somewhere down-to-earth and without pretentious customers this will do the trick, and cheap too. Eat from formica tables, surrounded by the owners' friends and family, watching Al Jazeera.
just off Bd. Ion Mihalache (1. Mai), on a left-hand side street before Piata Domenii
Two of the best cafes in Sydney? Others would, no doubt, nominate their own favourites, but the espressos at these two establishments, located over the road from each other on Challis Avenue, in Potts Point, would be hard to beat: I have rarely had better even in Italy.
Spring Espresso perhaps has the edge with the intricate, leaf-like pattern its barristas skillfully etch on the cappuccinos they serve up. Both cafes do delicious eggs benedict, that Sydney breakfast institution.
Diners are mainly residents of the wealthy surrounding suburb of Potts Point; they are interesting enough to observe in themselves, but the main draws are the food, the coffee and the location. Potts Point is only a leafy, five-minute stroll away from Woolloomooloo Bay, on the harbour.
65 Macleay St, Potts Point
+61 2 9331 0191
12-16 Challis Ave, Potts Point
+61 9357 1744
In a city of overpriced and, often, poor cuisine (compared to the rest of the country) this place is a real find.
Basic, no-frills Italian cooking and all the better for it — pasta, risotto, minestrone are all superb. And the owners make you feel more than welcome.
Possibly the best, and cheapest, dining in Venice.
Calle dei Boteri 1570-1571,
Tel: 041 721721
A small hotel - very friendly and helpful, unbelievable location just off St Mark's Square, reasonably priced, beautiful decor.
Also, food doesn't have to be "tourist" prices - one of my best ever meals was coming out of the freezing February cold into a small restaurant in a lane just off St Mark’s Square - pizza and beer for a tenner.
Corte Zorzi, San Marco 1083;
tel: 041 520 4827;
Just along from the Florianska Gate and the Barbakan, this is a Krakow institution and a place to enjoy Polish classics such as sernik (cheesecake). The art nouveau interior, designed by Karol Frycz, is rather cavernous, but once your eyes adjust they’ll feast on the amazing details of this highly individual cafe. After traipsing round the city you can sink into quirky chairs and vast green banquettes. It’s a place for leisurely chat, and the ‘it’s Tuesday so it‘s Krakow’ mentality is frowned upon here. Don’t come here if you’re in a hurry to catch a train – service can be slow, and asking for the bill before the waiter or waitress comes to you is not good form.
ul. Florianska 30, Old Town (Stare Miasto);
If you are used to looking in restaurant windows to check for free tables, beware. Especially around the central Stefansdom area, but also elsewhere, the small ground floor area you see will be nothing compared to the vast cavern downstairs.
Check in the immediate area around the Stefansdom
Like most European capital cities, Vienna offers a variety of better and lesser known places to visit as a tourist. One of the lesser known indulgences, at least outside Austria, is the Hotel Sacher Cafe, which is located in close proximity to Karlsplatz tube station (U1, U2, U4).
The hotel itself was originally founded in 1876, is still run and owned by the founding Sacher family, and has come to be known as one of the more fashionable places to stay while in Vienna. The family are also the originators of the more widely known Sachertorte chocolate cake (something unique to Austria), which can be enjoyed with a cup of great coffee in the attached cafe. This also provides a rewarding interlude during what can sometimes become a tiring day of architectural ogling.
Not to be outdone done by Tokyo, Kyushu’s fashion capital recently saw the opening of its first maid café.
Café Tenjin Style, just off Showa Dori, looks like any other Fukuoka eatery. The unsuspecting moocher will be surprised to find themselves served by young women in kinky French maid outfits.
While not exactly family fun for western observers, the Japanese see very little unusual in this, taking note of the “kawaii” (cute/ sweet) aspects rather than the sexy/ sexist conundrums.
That said, being called, “Honourable Lord,” by a twenty-year-old in lace suspenders can hardly be seen as Hello Kitty territory.
Café Tenjin Style is located near to Fukuoka International Bar, just off Showa Dori
This is a cheap pizza place (less than 1 CUC for two pizzas) but the experience is even better than the price. You have to pluck up the courage to stand in the middle of the road and shout up your order (in Spanish) to a face hanging out over a balcony on the roof, three stories up.
You then wait with all the locals until your pizza is lowered down to you in a basket attached to a Heath Robinson style pulley system. You then swap pizza for money and the basket goes back up. If you need change then the basket is lowered back down and money is distributed fairly under the command of the man on the roof pointing at you and shouting “Seven pesos!' The pizza is good too, if a little oily.
In the Vedado area. On San Rafael, near the junction with Infanta - look for the crowd of people standing in the middle of the road then look up
This cafe is attached to the modern museum and the architecture museum (Moderna Museet and Arkitekturmuseet respectively). It has reasonable food at OK prices, but the real reason to go is the fantastic view of Östermalm from the windows and the terrace. Go for sunset in the spring and see the light reflected from the windows of the smart hotels and apartment buildings opposite. Brunch at the weekends is also great.
Moderna Museet is 10 minutes away from Kungsträdgården, and 20 minutes from T-Centralen or Gamla Stan. Walk past Grand Hotel and Nationalmuseum on Blasieholmen, opposite the Royal Palace. After crossing the bridge to Skeppsholmen, continue up the hill. The entrance to Moderna Museet and Arkitekturmuseet is on the left-hand side
Karavitis is a very nice traditional taverna that is central, but located far enough from the tourist area that it remains uniquely Greek. A good sign is that it is always full of locals. The food is traditional, inexpensive and delicious. Also, if you go on a Friday or Saturday night you might be lucky enough to experience some live entertainment courtesy of an old gentleman who sings to you whilst playing his guitar.
The place is very basic, with tables covered in paper tablecloths and walls lined with wine barrels. In the summer there is a vine-covered patio which is a delight to sit on. If traditional is what you are after, it does not get much more traditional than this.
Located near the Panathenaic Stadium and across the street from the statue of Harry Truman. It is at the corner of Arktinou and Pafsania Street just off the main street of Vassileos Konstandinou in the district of Pangrati (exact address is 35 Arktinou and 4 Pausaniou);
nearest metro: Evangelismos;
tel: 2107215155; open 8pm-1:30am.
A welcome relief from tzatziki-overload, the Pak is five minutes walking distance from the centre, with great atmosphere, friendly staff and good quality Indian favourites (from 10 euros). Upstairs is a special area with low tables and cushions to sit on the floor if you're feeling particularly exotic...
13 Menandrou Street; tel: 210 321 9412/210 324 2225;
nearest metro: Monastiriki/Omonia
Plaka's a tourist trap with some rubbish restaurants but irresistably pretty on a spring evening, so what do you do?
Go to To Kafeneio - the locals’ favourite, tucked away on a sidestreet. It's got a limited but great quality mezedes menu, and a local feel. Not to be missed are the meatballs with 'special' sauce (patented, apparently) and fava dip.
1, Epicharmou Street, Plaka;
tel: 210 324 6916;
nearest metro: Acropolis or Monastiriki;
This is a big covered market. It’s quite fun to watch the locals buying their fish and chickens but for visitors I recommend it for the fruit and nuts. I stocked up on pistachio nuts for munching while I was sightseeing and came home with bags of dried figs and pine nuts at bargain prices compared to England. You can also buy slabs of halva if you have a sweet tooth.
Athinas Street, between Omonia and Monastiraki metro stations
This is a branch of Milan’s Salumaio di Montenapoleone and the right place to eat authentic Italian food in a city that boasts a plethora of Italian restaurants. Try their exquisite dishes and their fabulous desserts sitting in their wonderful patio on a warm spring evening in Athens. Sheer happiness.
Panagitsas Street, Kifissia
Ladadika is what remains of the Jewish quarter (Thessaloniki had a huge Jewish population until the war). It’s a very small area but one of the nicest places to eat in the city centre and has a style like Dublin's Temple Bar. Its also one of the few places where you get a feel for what Thessaloniki must have been like before the fire.
Also if you want to experience one of the best nightlifes in Greece, walk from Ladadika along the seafront to the white tower where the party never seems to end.
Walk down Tsimiski street until the central bank or walk down the seafront until the port, Ladadika is the little area between Tsimiski and the port
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