British Airways is a major Rolls-Royce customer. Its Boeing 787s, including the one pictured here, carry the manufacturer’s engines. British Airways
British Airways is a major Rolls-Royce customer. Its Boeing 787s, including the one pictured here, carry the manufacturer’s engines. British Airways
Jumeirah is launching a new brand, which will bring its total to four by the end of 2019, including Burj, a luxury soft brand collection named after one of its most iconic properties, the Burj al Arab. Jumeirah Group
An Air France A321. The carrier needs the support of unions. Air France
New York is one of the top foodie destinations in the United States. Some would even say that this bustling island is home to some of the best food in the world.
But within that, which spots are crafting unforgettable dishes that deserve a place on your gastronomy bucket list?
I am not an advocate of sticking to fancy and higher-end spots only – or the “most liked” on TripAdvisor. I want a combination of atmosphere, delicious cuisine, and fair price points.
Some of the restaurants on this list have earned their Michelin stars, while others have sand covering the floor. Some have only been open for a year, but already have a cult following.
Somewhat of a New York staple, Cafe Habana is a casual yet vibrant Cuban restaurant on a busy corner of Nolita. Always crowded, Habana serves things like cotija and chili covered corn, fish tacos, and pork sandwiches.
Grab a Michelada or a margarita and hit up Cafe Habana for brunch or dinner, both are great options.
Momofuku Noodle was the first Momofuku to open back in 2004, and 14 years later it’s still going strong. The menu is not only noodle focused, and there are a host of other dishes that have strong supporting roles.
The famous pork, shrimp and shiitake buns are different and delicious, and the spicy cucumbers are incredibly memorable. Cold or not outside, this is a restaurant I want to be a repeat visitor at in all seasons of the year.
Supper is a place that I go back to over and over again, which says a whole lot when you live in a city with new restaurants popping up all the time. Dimly lit, divided into a bunch of small rooms spread throughout the restaurant, Supper is an always consistent and delicious experience.
The burrata on top of tomatoes and basil dish is massive, and an absolute must order. The spaghetti Pomodoro e Basilico with a heap of stracciatella and the spaghetti Limone are total standouts too.
You can’t really go wrong at Supper.
Every city needs a roster of robust, casual, easy to get into restaurants. New York has a bunch, and for me, my chosen go-to is Jeffrey’s Grocery.
The food is not going to change your life, but the food quality is consistent and will allow you to stay healthy. Try the seared squid and a tuna steak salad or veer off of your diet and add a side of the jalapeno and honey butter cornbread.
I went to the West Village’s L’Artusi with a large group of friends when my best friend from Australia was in town. I went here with my family for my 34th birthday. I took a coworker here for our holiday dinner.
L’Artusi is truly the perfect for all occasions spot, ready for you no matter what. My go-to order is always the crudo and the ricotta salata, chilis and fried egg on top of either asparagus or mushrooms.
Follow up with their spaghetti with olive oil, breadcrumbs, garlic, and chili.
Roberta’s used to be the hottest place in town (or in Brooklyn). But while the hype has settled down, it does continue to serve up some of the best food in NYC.
The layout is spacious and fun and has a ton of energy to it. In the summer you can laze around at the picnic tables out back with drinks, and in the winter they convert the same space into what feels like a ski chalet.
The stracciatella with grilled bread is the perfect starter, followed by the roasted sweet potato with buttermilk and Calabrian chili. Their pizzas, Beastmaster and Lil’ Stinker, are doughy and delicious.
Frankies 457, in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, is the definition of a charming neighborhood joint. It is also a place that you should travel to and experience even if you don’t live anywhere near it.
On the scene since 2004, it was the first of its kind way back then. Now, the owners, better known as “The Franks” are known all over the world, often collaborating with different chefs or just doing what they do best right here in NYC.
The menu at Frankie’s is sizable. There are several different crostini options, meatballs, simple salads, and a homemade cavatelli with sausage and brown sage butter that is the star of every meal.
Locanda Verde is one of those New York City establishments that somehow looks exactly like it sounds. Spacious, dark furnishings, high ceilings, and stocked with a prominently displayed liquor shelf.
It’s a solid looking restaurant located in the heart of Tribeca.
The whipped ricotta appetizer is pretty much one of the best things you’ll ever eat, and the homemade pasta is among the best in NYC. Locanda is also good for any occasion – dinner with parents, dinner with friends, brunches, or client lunches. It never fails.
The Brooklyn outpost of Mile End is a favorite local hotspot. I love stopping by their six-person counter midday on a Saturday, watching the chefs flip eggs and hash browns on the grill, and catching up with a good book or the latest edition of Travel and Leisure.
A team that stems from Montreal runs the small space, and their Canadian bagels deserve a spot on any best food in NYC list.
Located in one of the most beautiful corners of New York City, I will always have a special place in my heart for Mary’s Fish Camp. Beachy, nautical, and casual, it stands out in a city that has a lot to offer.
Though their dishes like the fish tacos and the tuna burger are well done and worth trying, the lobster roll is hard to stay away from. It ’s full of mayonnaise, chunky, and worth every penny.
Russ and Daughters Cafe on Orchard Street in the Lower East Side is the perfect example of New York City institution. With smoked fish at the forefront, the cafe works well for any occasion.
Whether you’re on a solo breakfast mission or looking for a great dinner spot to take your friends or family.
There is a lot of good pizza in New York City. There are tons of top five lists everywhere, all written with their own emphatic arguments.
Lucali is my personal favorite. There is no menu here- you get either a plain pizza with a choice of toppings like garlic, basil or grilled eggplant, or a calzone.
Nothing else is offered, and nothing else is needed.
Carbone will make you feel like you’ve traveled back in time, and simultaneously stuff you to the point of no return. The third establishment from the Carbone/Torrisi powerhouse is epic.
Going here pretty much guarantees high energy and a good time. Coupled with the outstanding food and Carbone is easily one of the best restaurants in New York City.
The meatballs, veal for two, spicy vodka rigatoni and caesar salad are the stars on the menu. The mozzarella and prosciutto, the sea bass and the carrot cake are stand out as well.
Go here hungry and with a pair of forgiving pants.
Chez Ma Tante is the perfect combination of a comfortable neighborhood gem meets high-quality cooking. The dinner menu takes on the vibe of a gastropub, offering dishes ranging from steak tartare with potato chips to kohlrabi and apple salad.
The brunch menu feels a little more like a European combo platter with items like tortilla Espanola and quiche with English cheddar. Honing both indoor and outdoor patio seating, Chez Ma Tante is excellent any time of the year.
Out of all the restaurants in New York City, Misi made the biggest impression on me in 2018. The unofficial tagline here is “keep it simple” which is what it does – to an extent.
The concept of simplicity comes through in the structure of the menu. It consists of ten vegetables and ten kinds of pasta.
What was not simple was the caliber of food. Every single thing I tasted quite ‘simply’ blew my mind.
The charred marinated peppers, marjoram, whipped ricotta crostini was jaw-dropping. The roasted eggplant with Calabrian chili, lemon, and olive oil will satisfy any foodies palette.
I found La Mercerie Cafe to be incredibly impressive. The caliber of food to be quite so outstanding for a half high-end home store half French cafe.
The gigantic buckwheat crepes stuffed with aged Comte cheese and the sunny side up egg was my personal favorite on the menu.
There aren’t many Manhattan-based restaurants that can compete with Upland. It boasts towering ceilings, sweeping brightly colored spaces and food that shines brilliantly and consistently.
Coming onto the scene in 2014, Upland’s popularity has yet to die down. You can’t go wrong with their to die for cacio y pepe.
Pasquale Jones is located in one of the best corners of Manhattan. Smack in the center of charming Nolita, the second restaurant from the team behind Charlie Bird has a central focus on its wine and wood burning stove.
The clam pie is a steady crowd favorite. My personal favorites are the warm braised leeks with toasted walnut, the Parmigiano Reggiano, and pumpkin cappellacci pasta with chestnut, sage and brown butter.
Rockaway Taco is a large beach bar that is home to the single best fish taco in New York City. I know that’s a bold statement, but I stand by it.
Everything that I love about a taco exists here on the outskirts of Queens. You’ll get jumbo portions of the fish, topped with the perfect mix of cabbage, radishes, spicy aioli sauce and guacamole.
I have no idea why it took me so long to make it to Diner. It’s a light-hearted place that serves up some excellent food with an atmosphere of a diner.
Menus are scribbled out once you sit down — the waitstaff taking a seat beside you to handwrite the day’s options on the paper that covers your table. The menu is always changing but usually consists of two to three starters, their famous burger, and the fish of the day.
Rule #1, come here with a crew. Rule #2, ideally have a corporate card or two with you. Rule #3, order a ton of food.
Getting to taste a fair share of the menu at the sleek yet buzzing Cosme is part of the fun. It’s the best way to get the most out of a dining experience here.
Launched by the same owners of Pujol in Mexico City, Cosme combines its vibrant Mexican roots with localized Upstate New York touches and ingredients. Though very different than Pujol, Cosme has made its mark in the food world.
It landed spot number 25 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 list.
There are now several different versions of the Emily restaurant group, owned by Emily Hyland and her husband, Matt. There are two in Manhattan, in the East and West Village, and two in Brooklyn, in Williamsburg and Clinton Hill, which is the original.
All outposts come with variations of Detroit style square pizzas and then the more traditional, but very noteworthy, round pies.
Every time I step foot in Estela, I get the feeling that something pretty special is happening there. It has an atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re on the verge of having a memorable evening.
The menu is meant to be shared, and they advise on choosing 5-7 dishes depending. Highlights are the raw scallops with peanut and chili, the burrata and salsa verde on charred bread, and the ricotta dumplings with mushrooms and pecorino sardo.
It’s not a cheap meal, so come here ready to splurge and eat well.
Marlow and Sons was one of the first restaurants in Williamsburg to make its mark on the dining scene. Fast forward 15 years later and its popularity in NYC is still going strong.
Plus, it hasn’t lost it’s down to earth feel and still delivers on a small, but well-executed menu.
Which restaurants do you think are serving up the best food in New York City? Let me in the comments below!
This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Olay. All thoughts and opinions are mine.
Travel doesn’t stop because Winter is here, but there are several changes that need to happen when the seasons change. Your body needs warmer clothes, your cameras need more batteries, and your skin needs more attention! Winter air is cold and dry, so skin hydration becomes much more of a concern. If you are planning to spend some time outside, it’s important to find the right products that work for you. Which is why I’m excited to be trying out the new Olay Mists – Ultimate Hydration Essences.
I recently took a short trip to Vernon, BC and it was a perfect time to test out these new products in the crisp, Canadian, autumn air. The temperature has been dropping and the interior of British Columbia can have very dry air which is tough on the skin. This trip would definitely put these products to the test.
I started the morning with the Olay Energizing Mist to help wake me up and get me ready for the early hike we had planned. My first impression was how fine the spray was and then the refreshingly subtle scent that accompanies it. So fast and easy, it was the perfect little pep I needed to get out the door.
The energizing mist contains botanical ingredients such as vitamin C and bergamot extract which left my skin feeling revitalized, refreshed and energized. The mist is very fine, almost like walking through a cloud. I also enjoyed that it can be applied on top of my current makeup and foundation without causing it to run and leaving my skin looking bright with a healthy glow.
I especially like how it hydrates my skin without having to rub in a product with my hands. I’m frequently in a lot of airplanes, restaurants, outdoors, or other public places where my hands are picking up germs that I don’t even want to think about! The fact that I don’t have to touch my face gives me one less thing to worry about.
The hike wasn’t too intense, but the temperature was hovering around the freezing level and there was a slight breeze coming off of the lake. Usually, after being outside in that kind of weather I’d be left with dry, tight-feeling skin. Despite the challenging conditions, my skin held up and felt great when the hike was over.
Later that day we got back to the hotel and it was time to wind down for the night. After several hours of hiking and a day’s worth of exploring, it was time for some Olay skincare TLC and a nice hot bath. While the bath was filling, I decided to try out the Olay Calming Mist.
The calming mist contains aloe leaf and chamomile to calm dry, tight skin. Aloe vera is great for hydrating and calming skin, while chamomile is known for its soothing properties and rich antioxidants. Just like the energizing mist, it’s free of oils, parabens, and artificial colours and dyes.
The combination of the fine spray and fresh scent made it so relaxing. I think it would have been easy to overdo it with an overpowering smell like a lot of other hygiene and skincare products. I feel they hit the perfect level of scent with these products which I think is especially important for the calming mist.
After testing these products out in Vernon, I am very excited to have two new additions to my winter skincare routine. I just love how easy they are to apply with or without makeup! On a dry plane (they are TSA approved sizes!) and anywhere around the world, I think these mists are going to find a permanent home in my skincare routine. I now have one less thing to worry about when it comes to cold weather travel.
Winter is coming, and I’m ready for it.
Tips for traveling as a couple: How Kara and Nate, and Matt and I make traveling and being in a relationship WORK?!
I’m not a huge fan. I just don’t feel comfortable when the streets are jam-packed, when I need to constantly dodge other people, when I’m faced with lines and groups and little space to call my own.
As travel becomes more and more popular and commonplace though, such tourist crowds seem to be the norm all over the world. Walking down the street in many destinations requires a lot of focus in order to avoid bumping into strollers, lost tourists and group leaders that don’t seem to mind taking over the sidewalks.
Of course, I know I’m part of the problem too. I am indeed a tourist visiting these very same destinations.
Forget about low seasons and high seasons, forget about visiting cold destinations in the heart of winter or tropical destinations in the middle of monsoon season. It almost doesn’t seem to matter any more. Travelers are everywhere, all the time.
We were just in Granada, Spain during what was supposedly the low season. It was 10C / 48F and rainy but the streets were packed and the tapas bars full, every day and every night.
Before that we were in Porto, Portugal, walking around in the cold, right alongside thousands of others willing to line up for an hour at the Livraria Lello or ready to walk along the Douro River.
In Lisbon earlier this month we were quite thankful to be staying at an Airbnb away from the city center, and away from the crowds that turned the streets of the Chiado and Alfama neighborhoods into one big bus tour.
Of course, we still loved these destinations. I’ve always been a strong believer that travel is about the mindset anyway, not the actual places we visit. It really is possible to enjoy any country, city or village if we’re open to getting the most out of our experiences and we focus on the important stuff.
For me, that focus has always been local interaction and local activity.
And no matter how crowded or touristy a place might be, those two things are still ALWAYS possible. (I follow a simple 5-minute rule to help ensure I have local experiences.)
At the same time, there are definitely moments when I just want to push through a crowd and keep running until I’m somewhere quiet, somewhere without other tourists around, somewhere without lines, where we can just enjoy our surroundings on our own.
That takes me to last week…
As my girlfriend and I walked around the Alhambra in Granada, Spain, a breathtaking palace and fortress so very worthy of at least one visit in a lifetime, I made two observations:
Yes, you read that correctly.
While the Alhambra completely blew me away and quickly became a travel highlight of this year, my mind couldn’t help but drift to Romania at times.
The Alhambra. AWESOME. And crowded.
Corvin’s Castle in Hunedoara, Romania. Not as awesome, but definitely remarkable. And no tourist crowds at all.
The same goes for Sighisoara, Corund and Sibiu.
That short list includes one of the best preserved medieval villages in Europe, a stunning region in the countryside where traditional life is still the norm and a historic and gorgeous city. If all of those places were located in a more popular country, they, too, would be full of crowds.
But for now, they offer all the good stuff, without the over-tourism.
Sure, there are tourists in Romania but compared to the sights of Western Europe, there’s VERY, VERY, VERY few. (In Corund, one of my favorite areas, there’s almost none!)
Naturally, it’s not just Romania. There are many countries where even the greatest of what they offer can be enjoyed without the tourist crowds and lines and buses.
Such locations are becoming slightly harder to find these days, but they do still exist.
Actually, maybe they aren’t much harder to find. It’s just that everyone wants to visit the same places that they see on social media or that have the marketing budget to promote themselves as the destinations we ‘must see’ now. Or simply a destination where airlines are suddenly offering crazy cheap flights that we simply can’t turn down.
Whatever the root, though, it’s worth getting away from the crowds from time to time.
There really is something special about having a castle mostly to yourself, even if it’s not rated the most unbelievable castle on the planet.
There really is something rewarding about walking into a restaurant and being the only foreigner.
Or visiting a small workshop where the family is actually creating something useful for the community, not just to sell to tourists.
When you end up in the middle of a local religious ceremony or being invited off the street and into a birthday celebration, chances are high it didn’t happen in the middle of an extremely touristy city. It usually happens in places without crowds, where genuine interaction is still appreciated by all sides.
That’s why my mind drifts to Romania every now and then. It’s one of those countries that offers authentic interaction and rewarding travel experiences almost everywhere you go.
It’s also why my mind drifts to East Timor, Western Sahara and a local island in the Maldives. It’s why I’m just as happy in the streets of Timisoara or Moshi or on a random dirt road outside of Wanaka, New Zealand talking to a farmer about her horses as I am at the dreamy Gardens By The Bay in Singapore or wandering around Rome.
While those popular locations are popular for a reason, sometimes the lack of tourist crowds makes up for the lack of ‘top 10’ sights or ‘must do’ activities. Sometimes all we need is a destination all to ourselves.
Of course, ‘all to ourselves’ is impossible…but luckily, there are still destinations out there that offer something pretty darn close.
Thoughts? How do you feel about visiting incredible, but crowded, places vs less discovered destinations?
The post Let’s Talk About Tourist Crowds (Are They Everywhere?) appeared first on Wandering Earl.
That was crazy. My girlfriend and I recently booked a ton of flights around the world. We needed to get from Europe to South America, then travel all around South America before heading to the USA and back to Europe before I fly off to India in mid-February.
It’s not usually how we travel – to have 3 months planned out and booked before we arrive – but this time, it was the option that worked best given our tight schedule.
When we finished all the bookings, I didn’t know what to do. Celebrate? Sleep? Shower?
Here’s what we booked:
– Barcelona to Miami
– Fort Lauderdale to Quito
– Quito to Rio de Janeiro
– Rio de Janeiro to Ushuaia
– Ushuaia to Buenos Aires
– Buenos Aires to Santiago
– Uyuni, Bolivia to La Paz
– Cusco, Peru to Bogota, Colombia
– Bogota to Medellin, Colombia
– Medellin to Fort Lauderdale
– Fort Lauderdale to London
– London to Budapest
– Budapest to Delhi
In 18 years of travel I’ve never booked so many flights in one go!
At first glance, it would certainly be understandable to think that the above 13 flights around the world cost us an absolute fortune in total. I still have a difficult time looking at all those flights and not thinking that myself.
However, while that colorful array of air journeys certainly didn’t cost $200, the grand total of those trips…
That’s an average of about $169 per flight. Some of those trips are 1 hour long, others are 14 hours and the rest are in between. And in the end, those flights will take us to 4 different continents over a period of almost 3 months. That’s remarkably inexpensive if you think of what we’re getting for that amount of money.
My usual flight booking process is this:
#1. Check the following websites:
(I know a lot of people use Skyscanner and Momondo but I’ve personally never found a cheaper fare on either of those websites.)
#2. Play around with dates and destinations.
Since my plans are rarely 100% set in stone, I always play around with various dates. I also play around with different orders of the destinations. For example, with our flight from Medellin to Fort Lauderdale, changing the date by one day reduced the price by $90. Going from Rio de Janeiro to Ushuaia and then to Buenos Aires was $150 cheaper than going from Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires to Ushuaia. Flexibility is key!
#3. Grouping flights / Multi-city flights
I always try to group flights together. On this South America trip, booking separate flights was more expensive than grouping together Rio to Ushuaia, Ushuaia to Buenos Aires and Buenos Aires to Santiago. Grouping those three together in a multi-city search saved us $200. (But booking Uyuni to La Paz, Bolivia was much cheaper on its own. That flight cost $85. When grouped with other flights, it increased the overall price by $130.)
From Cusco, Peru to Medellin, Colombia, it was also much cheaper to group two separate one-way tickets together than to book one complete ticket all the way through. By booking Cusco to Bogota and then Bogota to Medellin, we saved $110.
Here’s another great example: I once needed to fly from Budapest to NYC. The cost of the one-way flight was $650 at the time. I then decided to try and group it together with another flight I knew I needed to take 4 months later – Miami to Delhi. The airfare went down to $625, total! I ended up with two long-distance flights for the price of one.
Grouping random flights is one of the best methods for reducing airfares in my experience.
#4. Check the airline’s website
Once I find the lowest fare from the websites listed above, I’ll generally visit the specific airline’s website to see what they offer directly. Sometimes, the fare is the same or even lower. When that’s the case, I book it on the airline’s website as this takes away the middleman and is much easier to deal with, especially if there’s an issue at some point.
However, sometimes, as was the case with LATAM Ecuador, the fares on their website were MUCH higher than what we could get on Kayak for the same flights. In these instances, I definitely go with Kayak or Orbitz or whichever site offers the lowest fare. While it’s convenient to book directly with the airline, it’s not usually worth a few hundred extra dollars to do so!
If it’s a multi-city/grouped flight, it depends on whether it involves one or multiple airlines. If it’s one airline, it can be booked on the airline’s website and if it’s multiple airlines, it usually needs to be booked through the site offering the deal.
#5. Different languages
Our flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to London Gatwick is with Norwegian Airlines. I saved $37 by going to Norwegian Airline’s Swedish website versus using their English-language website, where the same flight was more expensive.
It’s a little tricky since there are often dozens of different languages you could test for each airline. But I will generally try a couple of versions, usually the native language of the airline and another country nearby, just to see if there is any difference in airfare.
#6. Discount codes
I’ve started doing this with anything I purchase online. Before I confirm the purchase, I’ll do a Google search for the name of the website or company followed by the words ‘discount code’. Something like “TAP Portugal discount code”.
Every now and then I find something that works. Maybe it’s $10 savings, maybe it’s 10% or more. All it takes is a few seconds and you could end up saving some money so it doesn’t hurt to try!
Finding good airfares is not really complicated. Sure, there are some tricks involved, but it really just requires time. Search, compare, tweak dates, tweak destinations, group flights together, search again…and again and again.
But if you simply don’t like searching for flights, you might not want to spend as much time as I do looking for deals. I usually spend what my girlfriend describes as ‘way too much time’ trying to find cheaper fares. In the case of our 13 flights around the world above, it really did take us a solid 3 days, searching about 3 hours per day, until we finalized everything.
But we did save over $1200 each based on the total price we started with from our initial searches. I’ll take a $1200 savings any day for a few hours of work over a 3 day period!
The extra research also led to more direct flights, shorter layovers and better departure and arrival times. For me, the extra research is worth it even if all I get is a later flight that doesn’t require me to wake up at 4:00am. Also, I landed three flights in premium economy class (it was cheaper than regular economy for some reason), a bonus I certainly won’t turn down!
What’s the best flight deals you’ve ever found? Any advice to add?
The post How I Booked 13 Flights Around the World for $2200 appeared first on Wandering Earl.