Where Are We?
We travel a lot. Yup, 250+ hotel nights & something north of 1,000 chances to dine out every year. So, we see tons of great stuff! Here we’ve narrowed down our favorites. Most are obscure, some are well-known; but rest assured that they all hit the spot.
If you happen to be traveling through, be forewarned, you might bump into us at one of these joints. (Hit the hearts for lists, and the lips for photos.)
It's a big big world, y'all
FermentAsian She cooks SE Asian cuisine, he runs the room & a super dope wine list. Fantastic.
Fino Go here for lunch, eat very well & drink lots of sherry. Then visit Seppeltsfield (see below.)
Apex Bakery Longest running (c.1924) continuously fired oven in OZ. Pasties!!
Casa Carboni- We can’t recommend this place highly enough. Open most mornings and days, with a Friday night dinner option available. Book the Friday dinner. Ask Matteo (husband and Chef) what to drink, as he imports the wines he carries, and tell both he and Fiona (wife, hostess) that we sent you. LOVE.
Tanunda Hotel The TH. Best Cooper’s Pale you’ll ever have. Order a bag of Salt & Vinegar crisps & play pool.
Seppeltsfield Winery With port from every vintage going back to 1878, prepare to be impressed.
Peel St. Restaurant- Always reliable, easy and friggin’ yummy. Hit it up.
Chianti- I’m not gonna lie; sometimes after weeks of harvest, you want a white tablecloth, Italian wine and some fiori di zucca, and the welcoming service makes it real easy to slip into a long, relaxing lunch.
Golden Boy- When you’re ready for something other than pasties, Cooper’s Pale and BBQ, hit this place up for some spicy Thai.
The Franklin Hotel Huge rooms, great style, super affordable.
Clever Little Tailor Many choices on Peel St, we suggest this one.
Salopian Inn- Come for the vineyards, check out the ocean, and eat here. Delicious food in an unassuming little spot, great for a break from wine tasting and hot sun.
Otto Ristorante Campari & Soda. Bottle of Vermentino. Whole fish. Sit on the pier outside, bask.
Golden Century There are tanks lining the walls with mud crabs bigger than small children, & a wine list filled with back vintages of Barossa Shiraz & Bordeaux. Makes sense.
One Penny Red- One of our favorite spots in Sydney; quiet neighborhood, excellent food, warm service and a crackin’ local wine list.
Chat Thai- When you get off the plane and your world is upside down, head here for cold beer, spicy food and a healthy dose of funky fish-sauce based food. Medicine.
Mary’s- Burgers and chickens, natural wine, heavy metal.
Love Tilly Devine- Super lovely wine bar, down a little alley, yummy small plates, cute as hell.
Lord Nelson Brewery & Hotel- Home of Australia’s oldest pub brewery, great beer, crisps, hotel rooms and happiness.
Ovolo at Woolloomooloo- Our favorite place to stay in Sydney, hands down. Great rooms overlooking Woolloomooloo wharf and the Botanical Gardens, right above Otto.
Establishment Hotel- If you'd like to stay somewhere in the CBD, we like it here. Super cool vibe, quiet rooms, great breakfast and bar space.
Tipo OO- Charming little spot with fresh, light Italian food and a fun wine list.
Butcher’s Diner- Open 24 hours. Great burgers. Half bottles of Champagne. Done.
Bar Liberty- This place has an incredibly fun beverage list and outstanding food. Can’t recommend it highly enough.
Patricia- The most complete service operation we’ve ever seen. From the moment you enter til you exit, it’s a flawless movement of hospitality, efficiency and the best coffee we’ve ever had.
QT Hotel- Our go-to for a stylish hotel with quiet rooms in the center of the CBD. Walking distance to pretty much anywhere you’d want to eat, drink and explore.
Franklin- Fresh, imaginative food in a sleek, industrial hip space.
Templo- Italian-ish small plates, lovely atmosphere. Order the entire menu.
Henry Jones Art Hotel- Plush, quirky, excellent location on Hobart Bay.
MONA- One of the best museum experiences we’ve ever had. You get there by boat (ask for the Posh Pit tickets- you’ll get to drink Tazzie bubbles while cruising to the museum), and are transported to the world of the museum… spend all day here snacking in the cafe, playing, imagining, staying for dinner in the restaurant if it suits you… It’ll blow your mind.
Atelier September- You’re already visiting an expensive city; give in to it and order the very expensive, lovely avocado toast and green tea and sigh a great big yummy bougie sigh.
Manfred’s Cafe- They harvest from their own garden and the vegetables are beautiful. They’ve also got a killer steak tartare and a superfun natty wine list. Great for lunch!
Amass- You can commit to the longer form set menu or you can (if weather permits- call to make sure) order the fantastic fried chicken in a to go box, choose a bottle off the list and head outside to the garden for a much more relaxed option.
Sankt Peder- The best option for smorrobrod, beer and saucy service. This place is our favorite. And no, there is no set menu or natty wine, so don’t even ask.
Barr- Located in the old Noma space (read: on the water and lovely), head here for the best schnitzel presentation ever and some very delicious local beer.
Kanalen- Excellent location on the canals, lovely food and a great wine list.
Nobis Hotel- Well appointed, quiet, extremely civil.
GoBoat- Rent a boat, pack a picnic and GO!
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Galápagos Islands: If you like animals, this is the best place on the planet. Go before it disappears.
Le Petit Verdot Japanese sensibilities meet French cuisine; great wine list.
Clamato Septime’s little brother, and by far the superior child. Fried whole fish & Champagne.
Le Dome Go for the bouillabaisse & learn a thing or two about fish service.
Le Repaire des Cartouche Dark, cozy, soulful French cooking.
Le Cafe des Musees In case you need a late-night bistro bite.
David Toutain Fine dining with a light touch; beautiful seafood.
Bistrot Paul Bert Best bistro in the world, hands down. Patina, great food, super fun wine list.
L’Ecailler du Bistrot Paul Bert’s next door seafood joint, ask for the Paul Bert wine list.
Le Baratin Great.
Le Dauphin- Rem Kolhaas-designed bar with delicious food and achingly cool vibe.
L’Ami Louis- Like an old school French bistro with the prices and flavors turned up to 11. Extremely curt service, but GREAT classic French cuisine, à la frogs legs and escargots.
L’Ambroisie- You will pay for it, and you will love it. Exquisite everything. But not silly prix fixe super touched food; this is the best restaurant and the best service in Paris in our opinion. Get anything with truffles. Richard literally cried with joy when we ate here. Exceptional.
Relais Saint Germain Sexy rooms hovering over a great bistro & fantastic wine and snack bar.
Hotel Bourg Tibourg- Super cute hotel tucked into a side street, lovely staff and romantic, tiny little Parisian boudoir-style rooms.
Candelaria In case you need your agave fix in Paris.
EAT / STAY / PLAY:
Michel Troisgros Complete magic. Full stop.
Merle Inside Les Halles, squeeze in & get down to business.
La Tupina As you walk in, there are potatoes being roasted over an open fire, which is connected to a system of pulleys, fuelling the spit which is roasting birds… It’s great.
L’Univerre You’re welcome.
Maison Fredon After lunch at La Tupina, retire to their insanely chic rooms across the street.
Corsica: Go in winter, get a stick shift, pretend you’re in the Indy 500.
Greenland: Next time you fly over the poles, open your g*dd@m windows!
Hong Kong Old Restaurant The smoked chicken (must order a few days ahead) will be one of the best things you’ve ever eaten. Shanghai Cuisine.
Luk Yu Tea House If Hong Kong had a mafia (& they may), this would be their hangout. Don’t let the lovely Art Deco facade fool you. And don’t let those punky waiters get in your grill. The world is yours. Dim Sum.
LockCha Tea House Located in Hong Kong Park, this is the coolest place ever to learn about tea… Great selection of teas as well as food made to go with them.
Spring Deer Restaurant The best Peking Duck of your life. BYOB
Intercontinental On the Kowloon side, overlooking the entire HK harbor. Exceptional service.
Iceland: Reminds you that the center of our planet is liquid.
Dal Pascatore- Tucked in to the countryside among animals and grasses lies this Michelin 3-star joint. Excellent everything.
Osteria Bottaglino- THE TRUFFLES. Also the pasta.
Tra Arte e Querce- The owner heads out with his truffle dogs and forages what will become one of your favorite meals. From the top of a hill there’s a lovely view, the room is warm and homey, and the truffles.
Villa Beccaris- If you’re looking for that just so place to stay on your dreamy Piedmontese tour, we found it for you.
Le Case della Saracca- If you’re staying at Villa Beccaris, walk downhill and find this tucked-into-a-stone-edifice wine bar. Super chic.
Osteria la Traviata- This place is exactly what you want in an Italian bistro: kids running around, family in and out of the kitchen, excellent tortellini in brodo and whatever red they’re serving by the carafe.
Locanda Conchiglia d’Oro- When you’re driving from Piedmont to France or Spain, stop here. Or make a side-trip like we do to visit this place: it’s that good.
Trattoria Omero- Take a car up, get a table overlooking Firenze, have a long lunch, walk down hill for 30 minutes or so back into town. There are little forests, shiny architecture, rustic countryside… in sum, a perfect little afternoon.
Acqua al 2- When you’re feeling overwhelmed with thinking about food and wine, and you simply want to sink in and watch the world roll by, come here. Bustling, yummy, not at all precious.
Cantinetta dei Verrazzano- Have a slice, a freshly squeezed pomegranate juice and a cafe to jump start your day.
Castello di Ama (Chianti)- Yes, you can get visit the winery (the wines are delicious), but maybe even more impressive is the contemporary art collection throughout the grounds. Thoughtful, striking, playful.
Le Volpi e l’Uva- In case you need a few bottles for you room, and a snack to go with them.
Cibreo- This is your go-to for whatever special occasion you’re in town for. And if you’re here because you love food, this is also your place. Exceptional service, food and atmosphere.
Vivoli- il Gelato- So you like gelato? Well, this is the best. Order riso, crema, and cioccolato and be grateful you’re alive.
Cammillo Trattoria- This place. I’d eat here every day if I could. Sure, there’s good wine. But the food. Fresh white beans with bottarga and new harvest olive oil had me stunned for minutes. Outstanding.
Cenacolo di San Salvi- Far from the crowds lies this gem: an old monastery dining hall, housing an electrifying version of The Last Supper. Really special.
Costanza Hostaria Hidden down a few side streets, all about the fish and veg.
La Campana Rome’s oldest restaurant (c.1518) Very staid, very delicious.
Forno Campo de Fiori- Roman pizza: long, crispy pies with the most glorious tomato sauce you’ve ever had… for breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner. Get the Marinara. Then cruise the farmer’s market in the Plaza- complete Roman heaven.
Hotel Locarno Art Deco masterpiece, great patio, away from the noise & bustle.
Sant’Eustachio Get a shakerato, feel like you’re in a movie.
Holbox Island: Go swim with the biggest fish on the planet, and eat at Viva Zapata (ask for Noa and tell her we sent you.)
Hotel Solar de las Animas- This is the place to stay in Tequila if you want to feel like a movie star. There’s a rooftop pool, a lovely restaurant downstairs with an indoor fountain in the middle, and massive rooms where you feel like you’re on the set of Like Water for Chocolate. Yes, please.
Cantaritos el Guero- Outdoor bar on the side of the road mixing up the breakfast you’ll need when leaving Tequila to head to back to the airport.
La Capilla- One of the great bars on earth: not fancy, all soul. The signature drink (Batanga) is stirred with a steak knife.
Ka’an- Drive South past the Tulum scrum to reach this haven in the middle of a nature preserve: silent but for waves, exceptional food, and your feet in the sand. Perfect.
Kitchen Table- Drive North away from Tulum, and reach the archeological preserve, where you sit outdoors in the most unique restaurant layout imaginable, enjoying absolutely fantastic food. We went twice in 24 hours.
Contramar- The Balthazar of the DF; the place to be seen. The room is hoppin’, the crowd is flush, and the food is bangin’. Make a reservation.
Pujol- First: make a reservation. It’s high end, it’s a set menu, and while we generally won’t recommend those, this place blew us away.. The final dish was a dollop of new mole set on top of a dollop of aged mole (somewhere in the 1,000’s of days when we were there). It made us silent. It arrested us. We adore this place. (The chef, Enrique Olvera, also has Eno for those of you wanting something more chill: breakfast, casual lunch, tamales.)
Yakumanka Insanely good Peruvian food- we went there twice in 24 hours. EXCELLENT seafood.
Pizza Felix When you’re tired of tacos head here. Super chill, yummy, and open Sunday nights (not many things are.)
Hotel Condesa DF- One of our favorite hotel experiences: centrally located yet peaceful, stylish rooms… you feel your ‘city shoulders’ relax when you walk in the door after having been out all day.
QI Wellness Center & Gym- The gym you wish you could carry with you when you travel (and you get free passes when you stay at the Hotel Condesa.)
Marco Polo Awesome hidden patio, oven-baked seafood. Micheladas.
Itanoni A love letter to corn.
Casa Oaxaca You want the one within the hotel (see below.) It is GREAT.
Pitiona- Lovely food, wonderful quiet, peaceful indoor patio, nice mezcal service.
Criollo Enrique Olvera, the same chef as Pujol in DF and Cosme in NYC, creates a chic dining space with thoughtful food.
Casa Oaxaca You may decide to travel to Oaxaca just to stay here. Pool, silence, micheladas, fantastic service.
Cafe de Klepel One of our favorite spots in town. Super cozy bistro vibe with an exciting wine list and delicious French-inspired set menu.
Rijsel This is our jam. The ideal wine dinner: roast chicken, greens and fried potatoes alongside a super well-priced, well-stocked list and great service.
Gebr. Hartering- On one of the most idyllic, picturesque canal corners in town, the Brothers Hartering offer an ever-changing, fantastic set menu with a killer wine list.
Maris Piper- Yes, it’s pricey, and y’know what? So is Paris. And this place is the Parisian bistro of Amsterdam. Excellent food and a sexy-ass room.
Cafe Moderne Take the Buiksloterweg ferry fromStation Centraal to Noord and ride or walk here for a great lunch (there aren’t many great lunch spots in Amsterdam) or for a romantic diner. Great food and natural wine.
Bistro Neuf- Good for lunch; easy-going and delicious bistro food.
Worst Delicious comfort food & an excitingly deep wine list.
Marius- The grown-up, next door sister to Worst, with a full set menu and an equally great selection of wine.
The Lobby Fizeaustraat- Slightly out of town, totally worth the Uber or bike jaunt. The food is great and the wine list will reward your travel.
Sichuan Food- They've been open for 34 years, run by the same family. Best Peking Duck menu we know of. Tell Raymond we sent you.
4850- A Nordic-inspired wine bar with yummy snacks and affordable, exciting wine list.
De Kas- Slightly further out of town, a great place to spend a languid afternoon in the greenhouse-feeling space with a veggie-heavy set menu and plenty of Cotat.
BAK- Located in a seemingly non-descript industrial building, head upstairs to find yourself overlooking the river IJ. There is no beef, pork or chicken served, although you may find pigeon or deer, as they only use wild meats. Other than a course of meat, all else is vegetable-focused. Great Champagne options as well as natural wines.
*Beer, Cocktails & Coffee*
Cafe de Dokter- Founded in 1798 and run by the same family for 6 generations. Sure, they have beer, they also have a fun selection of whiskies and a large hunk of cheese and house made smoked ox sausage. The smallest bruin cafe in town, literally dripping in cobwebs and lore.
De Wildeman- If you’re a beer-head, this is your spot. Ever-changing taps as well as a list of ~250 bottled beers. This crew knows their beer; they have decanting baskets for their sour beers. Get schooled here.
Arendsnest Head here if you're after Dutch beer only; they also pair meats & cheeses with each beverage upon request. Ask for advice & let them show you the goods.
Cafe Gollem Fantastic selection of local beers on tap with a few locations around town.
Hiding in Plain Sight- If there’s one cocktail bar we’d recommend, this is it. Great style, great cocktails, great location.
Toki- Best coffee joint in town.
Hotel Pulitzer- Consisting of 25 connecting canal houses: great rooms, super chic, excellent (public!) central gardens and comfy cocktail bar when the cool months have you reaching for boozy comfort.
The Lobby at Hotel V on Nes- The hotel rooms are great, and the restaurant is another one of our favorite lunch spots. Plush interiors, yummy food and a welcoming staff has made us regulars. The sister restaurant at Fizeaustraat has a more formal menu and a deeper wine list. Both are great.
Sloepdelen The Zipcar of canal boats. How they allow someone to anonymously ‘order’ a boat, pick it up, & drive themselves around in a city with a very lenient consumption policy is mind-blowing. Take advantage before they realize this & shut it down. There are many such rental companies... also check out Mokumboot.
Admiraal Heijn- We’ve booked the Admiraal Heijn boat countless times; it’s private, you have your own skipper, and you can navigate where you want to go. And of course bring whatever beverages and snacks you like. Tell Judy Carla sent you.
Sauna Deco The place is decked out in the salvaged Art Deco pieces of the old Au Bon Marche, & you get to walk around naked. What else is there to say?
*Our favorite LGBTQ joints*
Cafe t’Mandje- Opened in 1927 by a lesbian named Aunt Bet, Cafe t’Mandje is our go-to queer bar with super positive, cuddly, beer-loving vibes.
Bar Exit- Our favorite LGBTQ dance club; dive-bar-feeling, open late, welcoming to everyone… we’ll see you there. Their sister spot next door, Nyx, leans more towards a clubby feel if you’re not feelin’ the chill dive vibe.
*Want a View??*
Soho House- If you’re a member, great! Otherwise make friends with one and hit the best view of the city possible, poolside, with a cocktail.
A’Dam Lookout- Head over to Noord on the super-quick free ferry and visit the Lookout on top floors of the A’dam building. The view over Amsterdam is amazing, and you can ride swings that fling you over the edge of the building.
W Hotel W Lounge- If you don’t feel like taking a ferry, take an elevator to the top floor of the W Hotel and view Amsterdam from there.
I AMsterdam- Want to move here? Not sure when trash pick-up is? Wondering what is going on in town today? It's all there.
Asador Etxebarri You have no idea. The mountain view, the smoke, the simple, perfect food… worth the country drive to the middle of nowhere.
Elkano Love letter to turbot. In spring the anchovy are chased into the bay by the turbot, then the turbot taste like anchovy. There is the sun-side, and the sand-side, and they both taste very different… You will learn A TON.
Ibai Still have yet to go…
Saltxipi Get the spider crab & roll up your sleeves; every single part of the crab is divine.
Rekondo That wine list tho.
Ganbara Mushrooms upon mushrooms.
The Loaf Your best bet at getting a decent coffee in all of Spain. Gros district.
Bar Cañete We’d eat here every single day if we could.
La Boqueria Sure, you can walk the market, but the real deal are the restaurants inside the market. Bustling, fresh, delicious.
Hotel Bagues We didn’t look for a gym here. Instead we sat on the roof drinking gin & tonics the size of small basketballs.
Monvínic Fantastic wine bar with a great wine list.
La Dolores Best Mahou on tap in Spain alongside the best anchovy snack in the world. No music overhead; just the clinking of glasses, laughter, & that beer...
La Venencia Old-school, 1930’s-style bar with nothin’ but a few Sherries, a few tapas, a very friendly cat, & all the soul you could hope for. Do not tip (seriously.)
La Posada de la Villa Since 1642, & you believe it when you walk in. The spirit of the place lives in the service, the food, & a great Spanish wine list. Order the Pimientos del Piquillo & fall in love with simplicity.
O'Pazo One of the great fish joints on the planet. We went for lunch & immediately thereafter asked for a reservation for dinner that night.
Casa Gallega Order a whole fish & get schooled on how to respectfully (& beautifully) break it down. Galician cuisine.
Bar Eslava Excellent tapas, both traditional & modern.
El Rinconcillo Oldest restaurant in Spain (c.1670); Sevilla’s version of McSorley’s.
Bar las Golondrinas (1) Head across the bridge to take in this traditional tapas spot, decorated in painted tiles: the specialty in Triana.
Cruz Blanca Sit outside, watch Jerez cruise by, drink gazpacho.
Bar Juanito Order Valdespino Inocente. Order another. Have some jamon.
La Moderna Great for breakfast or tapas; head to the back to see part of the old city wall, tucked inside the restaurant’s interior.
La Carboná Steak. Steak. Steak.
SANLÚCAR DE BARRAMEDA
Casa Bigote After eating all of the seafood you can, head out to the boardwalk for some gin-tonics & the sunset.
Casa Balbino Tortillitas de camarones. Jamon. Sherry. Give thanks.
El Campero A temple built to tuna. There is even a map of the body; turns out you can eat every single piece of it.
Taberna der Guerrita Fantastic bar with tapas up front (run by the dad)...
La Sacristía ... And the best sherry shop in the world in back (run by the son.)
EL PUERTO DE SANTA MARÍA
Aponiente The best wine-paired menu ever; it’s brilliant (you can even have an entirely sherry-paired meal.)
El Faro Still have yet to go...
Cumbres Mayores Extensive menu of traditional tapas & a fun list of sherry.
Parador Hotel Atlantico On the tip of old Cadiz, overlooking the ocean.
UK (Scotland: Islay)
Islay: Pure magic. Worth more time than you think.
US, Arizona (Canyon de Chelly)
Canyon de Chelly: You can race up & down the canyon on some bad-ass horses, or you can chill & walk. Either way, LOOK UP.
Pizzeria Bianco One of the OG Neopolitan pie joints in the US. Quaint and yummy.
Jerome Hit up this old mining town while driving from Phoenix to Prescott; old US history in tact.
Mariscos Chihuahua Best Mexican food in Tucson, maybe Arizona. It’s all about the seafood cocktails & LOTS of hot sauce.
The Little One Open for breakfast and lunch, bustling little cafe where the owner insists on a hug before you go. It’s heart-healthy livin’ here.
El Charo All about the carne seca.
Hotel Congress What The Chelsea must’ve been like before it wasn’t itself anymore.
Arizona Inn Extreme old Hollywood glamor still alive at this place. The pool and the croquet lawns, the ping pong and the afternoon tea… it’s a slice of a simpler time.
Sonoran Desert Museum Cooler than you could possibly imagine.
US, CA, Death Valley
Death Valley: Alluvial fans, baby! Some of the best geology on earth.
US, CA, Los Angeles
Mori Sushi Make an early res, eat some of the most beautiful food of your life, get on a red-eye home. Win.
Fishing With Dynamite The best raw bar recipe: beautiful ocean light, fresh catch, great music & a sense of humor. Manhattan Beach.
Cora's Coffee Shop You can get tortilla soup for breakfast, and it's on the beach. Done & done. Santa Monica.
Capo Great cooking, great wine list, yummy deals to be found. Expensive? Yes. Delicious? Yup. Santa Monica.
US, CA, Monterey Bay Aquarium
Monterey Bay Aquarium: You’re still a kid & you know it. Drink something nice at Passionfish & go look at super beautiful stuff.
US, CA, San Francisco
Swan’s Oyster Depot Coolest restaurant in America. 100+ years old. Cash only. They open at 10:30am; get there early & drink muscadet with your breakfast. Seriously.
Colibri Just off the plane & starving? Guac, fresh tortillas, a shot of Sombra & a beer.
Izakaya Rintaro If you live in SF, you know; if not: now you do. Excellent.
Absinthe Brasserie Great bar, great wine list, & bangin' weekday specials. Hit it up for lunch & drip into dusk.
Cart Driver- Excellent pizza and spritzes located in an old shipping container.
Hop Alley- Chinese focused menu that ranges all over Asia, served alongside a strong hip hop soundtrack.
D’Corazon’s- Mexican food to hit the spot served with margaritas and no pretense.
Little Owl Coffee- Great coffee, great vibe.
The Crawford Hotel- Located in Union Station, the rooms are a throwback to the old culture of train travel. The train station is bustling and having one last cocktail on the third floor of the train station overlooking it all at the end of the night is a treat.
Efrain's II- Best Mexican this side of the border. Get the Costillas.
Basta- Wood fire pizza with great sourdough.
PMG- Excellent food, super fun wine list and great people. Win-Win.
Arcana- Healthy food that doesn’t feel like its looking down its finger at you and a lovely wine list.
Mustard’s Last Stand- Hot dogs and no wine list.
El Korita- If you happen to be driving between Boulder and Aspen, drop in here, order the Korita Tostada & a Michelada. Extreme spice & a lil refreshment to help you survive.
US, Florida (Alligator Alley)
Alligator Alley: Watch your toes.
Japanese Market In a strip mall lives a Japanese Market . In the Market lives a tiny sushi bar in the corner. Walk to the back, grab a 16oz Sapporo, & wait til your name is called.
Mandolin Aegean Bistro Sit on the patio, eat with your hands, suck the bones.
SLS South Beach Eat on the patio, order the Embutido de Iberico & gazpacho for breakfast, along with a glass of Manzanilla.
Double Threat Fishing Charters Really cool, very capable kids with great equipment and moxie for days. #nofishissafe
Locust Projects The nexus of great young art in Miami.
Mitch’s Sushi Get everything on the menu. BYOB!! Also a great stop before your flight home as it’s literally next to the airport.
Creekside Lounge It’s rare in Hawaii to find a truly great dive bar. This is it. Kailua.
La Mariana Sailing Club Also Oahu’s first Tiki Bar, this joint is rich in old-school Hawaiiana. Hit a drink here before heading to Mitch’s.
Spacca Napoli Pizzeria A little outside the city center, & very worth it. One of the best Italian restaurants in the country.
MFK Restaurant Sombra margaritas. Head-on prawns. Half of the restaurant is bar seating. Everything about this place feels right.
Cherry Circle Room Head here for old school luxury; wood paneled everything and a packed wine list.
Doves Luncheonette Diner alert!! Great diner alert!! (And great selection of agave spirits.)
James Hotel They have a GREAT gym. In the world of lots of travel, you pledge allegiance to a place like this.
Virgin Hotel You know the brand, and you either love it or hate it. Personally, I care more about a great hotel room, and this place has it. Stylish; feels more like a fun sleepover than a work trip.
Public Barber Chic, dialed-in barber shop for that just so fade you’re lookin’ for.
US, Indiana (Indy 500)
Indy 500: Impossible to believe until you’re actually there. Make it happen- it’s insanely cool.
Clancy’s We go here every chance we get. Last time we went twice in as many days. If it’s in season get the smoked soft shell crab, it’s insane. This place is one of the greats.
Felix’s Oyster Bar Because the guys shucking.
Camellia Grill BLT. Coffee. Diner culture. Holy Trinity.
Galatoire’s Bar & Steak Yes, Galatoire’s for the Friday lunch is the scene in town. It’s fun as *** and packed. So head next door to their 33 Bar for something a tad more chill with just as much old-wood and white tablecloth charm.
Domilise's Po’Boy Nuff said.
ACE Hotel Like any ACE anywhere, the rooms are sparse, a little dark, and very hip. But the vibe is cool and there’s a rooftop pool and bar.
Bacchanal Grab a bottle of wine from the shop, find a seat outside, order your food, bus your own table. Genius.
US, Louisiana (Tabasco Factory)
Avery Island, Tabasco Factory: One of the most beautiful spots in our country- birds, alligators, Tabasco-flavored Cheeze-Its.
Neptune Oyster Worth the wait. Get everything on the menu.
Island Creek Oyster Bar Fresh-as-can-be oysters expertly shucked. Of course there’s other delicious East Coast treats (chowder, lobster rolls, etc) too, but those oysters… And a fun little list to boot.
Charlie’s Sandwich Shoppe Open since 1927, making diner-lovers swoon for the packed walls, the service and any and all kind of appropriate diner food you can dream up.
New England Aquarium Have a bottle and a dozen, stroll down to the piers if the weather is good, and enjoy what the majority of your planet actually looks like.
Takoi Yup, went here twice in two days. Sometimes when you’re on the road, all you want is spicy Asian food to set you right, and this place answered our SOS calls.
Foundation Hotel Housed in an old fire station, the rooms are lovely, the restaurant and bar scene downstairs are exactly what you want from a young hotel, and the people of Detroit are here to show you that Detroit is back, y’all.
MOCAD Head here for old-school ideas about art (they are great.)
Heidelberg Project Head here for new-school ideas about art (maybe even better.) This neighborhood was run down, gutted, dangerous. It was brought back from the brink with the creation of an outdoor museum, the Heidelberg Project. It made people see that they could take back something that felt broken and heal it, elevate it, make something beautiful out of it. It’s wonderful.
Lamaii Bank Atchawaran's new Thai spot. Trust everything he does from food to wine and you will thrive.
Lotus of Siam Yes, another Thai spot, and yes, worth it. Ask for the wine list.
Estiatorio Milos This place does the ocean right. It is a respectful bow to the riches of the ocean: how to let the fresh ingredients be, how not to fuck it up, how to serve sherry in the shrimp head. Nirvana.
Cosmopolitan Vegas can hurt, but this place changes that stereotype. The rooms are sexy, the casino ain’t dodgy, and there’s great food: Milos (see below), Eggslut, Momofuku, Hattie’s B’s Hot Chicken…. But the best secret is the 3rd floor pizza joint that’s not listed. Don’t ever leave the hotel: see music here (we saw The Cure!), party here, eat pizza. Vegas is workable, trust us.
US, New York (Coney Island)
Coney Island Cyclone: It’s not the biggest or the fastest, but it’s still one of the best.
US, NY, Hudson
US, NY, New York City
Hi-Collar This Place. Japanese cool writ over 1,000,000 times: tea during the day, sake at night, and perfect fried chicken sandwiches.
Joe Junior There aren’t many great diners left in NYC. Those gentrifying assholes are raising rents and putting in juice stores, which means our favorite Greek diners are getting the squeeze. Joe Junior hasn’t given in yet, and we are grateful for it. So much heart.
King A couple of women making excellent food with a wink towards Tuscany, a petite wine list, sun-flooded room, and lovely service. A reprieve when NYC threatens to eat your quiet.
Fuleen Get a crab. If you’re feeling adventurous, pick out your own eel. BYOB makes it extra awesome.
Bohemian Special. Very special.
Via Carota We love love love this place; the atmosphere is chic NYC bistro with shout-outs to Euro sensibilities, and the food is way better than you’d expect from a place so aware of how it looks.
Santina When you need sunlight, clean food and fish rather than heavier chef-ier foods, head here.
Ilili Order Musar Blanc & ask for extra harissa.
Somtum Der You like spice and uber-umami?
Uncle Boon’s Sick, funky, outstanding Thai food served in a dive-bar-like restaurant with loud music, frozen beers and a great vibe. Highly recommended.
Great NY Noodletown Open til 4am. BYOB
Astoria Seafood The trip to Astoria takes you to NYC from another era: all Greek, all Great. Pick your fish, tell em how you want it (grill? plancha? fried?), join along when other tables break into song, & BYOB.
Maison Premiere (BK) Champagne, oysters, and the best daiquiri in town.
Ludlow Hotel Stay in a Skybox!
The NoMad Treat yourself.
Japan Premium Beef Pork chops and bacon WHAT. Butchery as beauty.(We bring it home in our carry-ons.)
New York Beach Ferry Explore the magic of NYC in summer, when water taxis are the jam, & the beach is only a beautiful boat ride away. BYOB
Attaboy In the OG Milk & Honey space; our favorite bar in NYC.
Basik (BK) This is the everyman bar; sure, you can get great cocktails, or you can simply have a beer and a shot. Either way, they know their shit, and with zero fuss.
Dirty Precious (BK) First of all, it’s without a doubt the best name ever. Second, it’s owned by a firecracker of a woman, Katipai, who you’d be lucky to have tend the bar you’re sitting at. Third, great space, great selection of booze, sherry (!) and plenty of know-how without any star-tender drama.
169 Bar Looking for a great dive?
Jimmy’s Corner Photos of Jimmy in his boxing days line the walls, while Jimmy in his present-day self chills at the bar.
Central Park Lake: Row Boats! Picnic here. BYOB and BYOSunscreen.
US, North Carolina
Bida Manda They also own Brewery Bhavana next door, but we are suckers for the Laotian food and vibe here. Run by the most wonderful brother/ sister team you could imagine, tons of love flowin’ in this place- a hug of a restaurant.
Mecca Restaurant One of the best diners in America, we reckon. Grilled cheese and Budweisers, bowls of chili and a chill crowd. Swoon.
Poole’s Diner Ashley Christensen’s restaurants all have Don’t Forget Kindness written across the front window. That should bring you in the door straightaway. If you need another reason to visit, the food is decadently Southern with a sassy twist, and the staff are a hug. It’s sooo good here.
Zahav Excellent Israeli food in a bustling, warm environs.
Vetri Date-night cute, fantastic service and food that makes you feel like you’re being deeply nourished.
Rooster Soup Co. 100% of profits go to support Philadelphia’s vulnerable citizens. The concept was dreamt up by Broad Street Ministry, who is doing some of the most admirable hospitality work on the planet: feeding those who need it most, and doing it with three course meals, warm service and great food: not soup kitchen simplicity. Rooster Soup Co. is everything you want out of a great diner, from a heart of pure gold.
Barnes Foundation Get out! Learn some things! Stroll through others’ ideas!
Robert’s Western World Sit at the bar, near the grill. Fried bologna sandwich, chips, American beer.
The Catbird Seat This is one of the spots that everyone knows about. There’s a reason. Bribe whomever necessary to get in.
Rolf & Daughters If you can’t get into Catbird, come here and console yourself with their on-point pastas.
Union Station Hotel Nashville’s version of Grand Central as a hotel, along with day passes to an awesome gym. IT MATTERS. Genius.
US, South Carolina
Leon’s Oysters, $2 Miller High Life Ponies and a good people-watching scene. Sit outside.
Xiao Bao When you’ve had your fill of pimento cheese and brown booze, come soak it all up with some beer and spice.
Go Fishing! Charter a local boat, grab a 12-pack and go fishing in the estuaries for red drum. A perfect Southern afternoon.
Donald Judd/ The Chinati Foundation Go look at what’s in the artillery sheds: one of the most moving art experiences in the world. Sh*t is bananas.
Tei-An Dallas is big & broad. Tei-An is the opposite. Ask them to pair Japanese whisky with your food.
Hotel Zaza These are sprinkled throughout Texas, and while they are kinda tacky and bridal party trashy, the Dallas location as a great gym and the bungalows are like having your own apartment.
Olamaie We can’t speak highly enough of this place; the team and the food are exceptional, and it feels like home every time we return.
Hotel San Jose One of the most stylish hotels in the country.
Half Step If you find the food trucks & want a cocktail nearby, this is the place.
Midnight Cowboy NYC cocktail-stylee.
Mala Sichuan Bistro One of the best Chinese restaurants in the country, in our opinion. BYOB
West Alabama Ice House Get a buzz on here...
Cy Twombly Gallery at The Menil Collection ...then visit here.
EAT / STAY / PLAY:
The Pitcher Inn Dreamy, super-quaint Relais & Chateaux nestled in a tiny town; drive here from Boston during the Fall and watch the countryside explode in color.
The Walrus & The Carpenter Killer oysters, super fun.
The Corson Building Out of the way in South Seattle- really special, as are all of their restaurants.
Inn at the Market This place is perched on a hill overlooking the Pike Street Market, in walking distance to all great snacks.
Cafe Campagne Located beneath the Inn at the Market, this is the best Parisian bistro we’ve found outside Paris.
Taylor Shellfish If you’re looking for great West Coast oysters, this is your spot.