All photos by Coen Wubbels
One thing was certain: Had we searched for dinner on our own upon arriving in Seoul, we never would have eaten fish cakes, rice cakes in gochujang, fried tofu, and anchovies with peanuts for our first meal. We don’t speak Korean, and we hadn’t yet done much research about what to eat here. Where would we have found these dishes? How would we even have known they exist?
My partner, Coen, and I were in luck. A Korean couple had followed our travel adventures on our website for a while, and when they learned we were coming to their country, Jin and Suna offered us accommodation in their home. Local people inviting you to their homes is always a gift, but...Read More
A brief interlude to pay homage to a beloved car and that most freeing of pursuits: the road trip.
“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.” –Douglas Adams
Last week Scott and I received word from Sydney that our beloved Betsy—a 1984 Ford Laser we bought in Melbourne in 2003—was headed for the scrap yard. In an instant, a flood of memories, some of the best of our shared life, rushed forth—a testament to the role this car, and the epic road trip we embarked upon in it, played in our collective traveling past.
It was April 2003. We’d already quit our New York advertising jobs, put all our stuff in storage, spent a month...Read More
Felisa Rogers drove from Oregon to Oaxaca (and back) this winter in search of the perfect down-and-dirty, no-nonsense torta. Here are a few of her favorites.
A torta in Mexico City
The delights of driving the length of Mexico are manifold, but in my world, the taco and the torta reign supreme. On a recent 6,500-mile odyssey to Mexico and back, an unspoken mission developed: I’d find the best tortas, from the best hole-in-the-wall torterias.
Many classy restaurants in Mexico serve tortas, or sandwiches, but I see no reason to order a torta at a nice restaurant. The primary point is the price—typically, any establishment in Mexico that calls itself a restaurant is going to...Read More
The spread at Seng Cheong [All photos by Juliana Loh].
In this guest post, Juliana Loh relays her itinerary for taking “heavyweight food friends from Hong Kong” out to eat in Macau for exactly 12 hours. Because it was during the Chinese New Year holidays, some of her favorite spots were closed, but she came up with great alternatives as needed—all listed here, should you ever have a 12-hour layover in Macau.
Pork chop buns at Tai Lei Loi Kei (called “Da Li Lai” in Mandarin)
In Taipa—the smaller of Macau’s two islands—this place is an institution. It used to have an outdoor eating area where people sit to eat pork chop buns, slurp noodles, and nibble on their curry fishball...
Photo by Naomi Bishop.
While most American families got up early on Easter morning to hunt about their lawns for eggs, my friend (and partner-in-foraging) Leslie, trusty canine companion Roger, and I were combing Grayland beach, on the southwest Washington coast, for razor clams (OK, Roger mostly just ran in circles). There were no bunnies or pastel plastic eggs to be found on this shoreline, just a rainbow of gray, with little definition between the muted-steel sky and the faint slate of the ocean. My eyes were trained on the muddy taupe of the sand most of the day, scanning for “tells,” the tiny, dime-size indents that indicate a clam lurking just below the surface.
It was late...Read More
Our immediate impressions of Tiwai Island, a wildlife sanctuary/research facility and community-led conservation initiative in Sierra Leone’s southeast, weren’t the best: Here we found ourselves on a hot, buggy tropical island in the isolated Moa River, with two very quiet nights ahead. The common area for guests, a large domed, open-sided solar-powered hut in the middle of a forest clearing, offered little distraction other than an information board and a few wooden tables. Same for the simple wood-roofed platforms, each holding one or two tents, dotting the clearing’s perimeter. Scott and I had been relatively unplugged since arriving in Sierra Leone a week and a half earlier, but...Read More
When in Paris as a visitor, the history and atmosphere of a restaurant—just how Parisian it is—matters a lot. It informs our dining experience, it satisfies our expectations, it reminds us that we’re in Paris! In this guest post, Doni Belau of Girls’ Guide to Paris suggests six brasseries that bring the goods in an authentic way.
Aux Lyonnais. Photo: Pierre Monetta
There’s nothing quite like your first night in Paris. Ideally it’s spent at one of the city’s historic bistros or brasseries, the kind that make you feel you’ve really arrived in the French capital. But nowadays, so many restaurants are owned by large restaurant groups or are so chock-full of tourists...Read More
On Antigua, knowledge is power when seeking island cuisine, as the tourism industry and an apparent weekends-only policy conspire to keep some local dishes just out of reach.
On the Caribbean island of Antigua last weekend, our local-food queries were most frequently greeted with:
“Local food? Saturday only.”
“You have to go to someone’s home. Or to the little spots in St. John’s.”
“Hmmm….” [cue squinty thinking face]
It’s true we hadn’t done our own usual research. This trip, a long weekend ensconced in a quiet beachfront apartment on Antigua’s northwest shore, was a “babymoon” of sorts—that final relaxing trip before the new addition arrives, in just over two months...Read More
Diving into the crowded Spice Bazaar in Istanbul (with some gratuitous product placement, natch).
It’s true we’re biased toward food markets, but Istanbul's Grand Bazaar—with its expensive gold jewelry, leather jackets, and endless rows of mass-produced evil-eye tchotchkes—just wasn’t our thing. Much more fun and interactive was the Misir Çarsisi, or Spice Bazaar, a.k.a. the Egyptian market, established in Eminönü in 1664 (it once specialized in goods brought from Egypt). It’s the market you walk smack into if you approach the Old City from the Galata Bridge, as we did most days from our home base in Karaköy.
Over the years, the spice market has become plenty tourist-friendly; in...Read More
Until Eat Your World can travel to Peru to really delve into the country’s incredible cuisine, we’ve relied on the excellent uploads of our users and now, this guest post from Willa Ahlschwede, spotlighting five favorite frequently encountered dishes.
Ceviche mixto. Photo: EYW user Jessie
Peruvians love to talk about their favorite foods, reminiscing about a home-cooked birthday feast or a strange dish enjoyed on a school trip years ago. The country encompasses a surprising variety of climates, from the Amazon jungle to the Andes mountains, and any resident will rattle off with gusto the typical dishes from his or her region. Though today many platos tipicos can be enjoyed all...Read More
“Merhaba. Findik?” I made the motion of eating something. After one week of travel in Turkey, my Turkish had not improved a whole lot.
Three of the men at the roadside table looked blankly at me, but one caught my drift. He said something rapidly in Turkish and pointed vaguely down the dusty, barren road. I was doubtful but pretended I understood, thanked him profusely, and directed Scott, behind the wheel in our rental car, down the street.
There was only one storefront among the garages that it could possibly be. I repeated my terrible Turkish to the man standing in front of it. He nodded, turned away, and returned to the doorway with cupped hands. They were filled with...Read More
The buildup starts on the long drive north. There’s traffic getting out of the city, traffic in Connecticut—where we might stop for pizza in New Haven—and traffic navigating around Providence, Rhode Island. But we’re giddy with anticipation for what’s always our favorite weekend of the summer, when we visit dear friends on Cape Cod.
For the past 10 years, we have been fortunate to have insider access to the Cape and its endless nooks and crannies. Our friends there share our love for adventure, but even better, they have the skills and means of making our wildest summer dreams come true. Over the years these have included: spontaneous flights to Nantucket, catching and grilling...Read More
We first arrived to Freetown via water taxi from the airport, a bumpy adventure in the pitch-black night. Our brief drive through the western part of town revealed a city in full Friday-night revelry: unruly streets, overflowing clubs, and candlelit food vendors, their flickering orange flames extending down the road before us. After 10 days of travel, we returned to the capital via car in the middle of the day and witnessed another, equally chaotic Freetown. On Kissy Road and Sani Abacha Street, the cars compete for space with a smattering of motorbikes and loads of merchandise, but mostly just an inordinate amount of people, going about their daily business. We captured some of it...Read More
View from the road in Popenguine
When Scott and I travel for Eat Your World, it’s hardly relaxing. Before even getting to a destination, our minds are already swimming with loads of pre-trip research, we know what foods we’re tracking down and where, and we have a game plan—a soft itinerary of sorts, which always changes upon arrival—of how we might go about squeezing it all into our limited travel time. Once in town, we run around eating and drinking and writing and hiking as much as humanly possible. Sure, it’s the best kind of stuff to busy yourself with—and, in truth, we’d be doing it on a smaller scale even without the website—but it’s also pretty exhausting.
Which is why...Read More
Find a good sticky toffee pudding between Olympic events!
Maybe you are among the lucky few (OK, millions) who have scored tickets to the 2012 Summer Olympics, or maybe you’re just heading to London to spectate and soak up the infectious camaraderie that will flood the city by the July 27 starting date. In either case, you won’t want to travel too far from the main venues and viewing areas—and you’ll have to eat. Why not celebrate the host city this year by eating good, authentic British food at EYW-approved restaurants, cafes, and markets near the Games’ hot spots?
As a special London 2012 offer, we’re slashing the price of our new London City Guide—30 pages of quintessential...Read More
The latest in our series of travel/food-blogger Q&As takes us to Abu Dhabi,
home base for Jenn Garcia-Alonso, co-founder of The Purple Passport (ThePurplePassport.com). Jenn travels far and wide to create “best of the best” urban travel guides for various cities around the globe, which always, of course, involves a healthy dose of local food. See her EYW profile here.
Tell us a little about your site, and what inspired you to start it.
The Purple Passport (www.thepurplepassport.com) is a web-based collection of chic, one-stop-shop guides to experiencing the world’s cities in style. The inspiration for the site came from my own travels with my best friend, Emily C. Brands; we have...
What to do if you’re traveling long-term and cannot stop thinking about your favorite comfort foods from home? You find local substitutes to quell the craving, as LandingStanding’s Meg Rulli explains in this guest post.
Dulce de leche ice cream in Argentina
My husband, Tony, and I completely adore food. We are more inclined to spend 30 euros on an exquisite local meal than in a random boring museum. For us, learning about the culinary traditions of a place is one of the best activities you can do to learn about the culture of a country.
As much as we love eating our way around the world, though, we still miss certain comfort foods and staples from home (Florida, in our...Read More
Last spring, North India provided one of our most memorable eating experiences, especially within the walled confines of Old Delhi, where, among the dilapidated surrounds and overall crush of humanity, each delicious bite felt like a small victory. When BootsnAll Travel recently approached us about doing a blog-post exchange, it was the first destination that sprung to mind, as we fear it is all too easy for a visitor to be overwhelmed enough by Old Delhi’s madness to miss out on eating really, really well there.Read More
The best way to discover the secrets of regional cuisine is in a local’s home, where it’s not always accessible to the average traveler. In Italy, however, there’s a shortcut to the dinner table, as freelance writer Jessica Spiegel explains in this guest post.
Back-tracking yet again through the narrow, dark streets behind one of central Milan’s many churches, scanning names on doorbells, we were glad we had arrived with time to spare before our appointment. We were both a bit nervous, not knowing what to expect or who else would be there when we finally found the right building, but no matter what else happened we were about to ring a stranger’s doorbell and...Read More
In the spirit of building an online community of global travelers and local eaters, we’re happy to announce a new series of Q&As with travel and food bloggers we’ve come to know through their contributions to Eat Your World. Our first subject is the duo behind Backpack ME (bkpk.me), Ashray Baruah and Zara Quiroga, whose (respective) Indian and Portuguese backgrounds yield distinct perspectives not often encountered in the travel blogosphere. One thing they share in common? A love of local cuisine. (Check out their EYW profile for proof!)
Tell us a little about your site, and what inspired you to start it.
We used to live in Dubai, and after a few years there we got really tired...
After a full day village-hopping along the Freetown Peninsula’s beautiful coastline, we hit our last stop, Bureh beach. We didn’t plan on saving the best for last; it just happened. On this idyllic stretch of palm tree-studded sand—with a river flowing directly through it, emptying into the sea—not another soul was in sight. Laura, Mark, and I jumped into the warm waves and washed off the dirt and sweat from the day’s journey. It was just us three; our guide for the day, Daniel; and a Bureh local named Tom, who found us within seconds of our arrival.
Tom, clearly the town proprietor of goods of all kind, shot off a verbal menu of local fish, oysters, art, and illegal substances...Read More
White clam pie from Frank Pepe’s.
Last week in New Haven, Connecticut, we met the great-grandson of the man credited with inventing “hamburger sandwiches” in the U.S., the grandson of the creator of New Haven-style pizza, and the daughter of the couple responsible for introducing calzones to Americans. These people weren’t hard to find—in fact, they’re still making burgers, pizza, and calzones in their respective restaurants, just as their ancestors did before them.
You might not know if you don’t ask around, especially if you came here only for the pizza. New Haven is rightly celebrated for having great pizza. And though we’ll loudly sing its praises soon enough on this...Read More
It’s not uncommon these days to see a city’s best local foods represented in its sports stadiums: Tony Luke’s iconic cheesesteak in Philly’s Citizens Bank Park, Shake Shack burgers in New York’s Citifield, peach cobbler in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome. But we were still pleasantly surprised with the offerings we saw this weekend at Marlins Park, the brand-new high-tech home of the Miami (née Florida) Marlins. Despite resembling a futuristic alien spacecraft, with its gleaming-white exterior and cool retractable roof, the stadium goes the extra mile to spotlight cuisine reflective of the multi-culti coastal city’s roots—and even those of the visiting team.
Along the perimeter of the...Read More
Ever consider traveling to Sierra Leone? Maybe you should.
View of lagoon from bungalow, Tribewanted, John Obey beach
Somewhere between waking up to peaceful lagoon views; swimming in a warm, empty sea before breakfast; and feasting on spicy pumpkin stew at lunch, I started to wonder: Why isn’t this place swarmed with tourists?
I could guess the answer—this was Sierra Leone, the tiny corner of West Africa best known for an ugly slavery history, a decade-long civil war (1991-2002), and the violent thriller Blood Diamond—but it still didn’t make sense. As I surveyed pristine John Obey beach, where Scott and I stayed our first few nights at eco-tourism venture Tribewanted, the...
A few days in Prague are hardly enough to soak up the medieval romance, abundant history, and vast amounts of beer for which the city is known. But try we did last October, when we hit the ground to round up all the tasty underappreciated Czech food we could. Some important things learned: 1. Autumnal, leaf-blanketed Prague is a beautiful time to be there. 2. Old Town is remarkably peaceful in the rain. 3. There will always be Dixieland on the Charles Bridge (Karluv most).
What happens when Team EYW shows up to a fancy eco-lodge with the best restaurant in Senegal? They wind up eating at the bar man’s house.
Every friend of ours who has been to Senegal recommended we go to a hotel and restaurant in the Sine Saloum region called Lodge des Collines de Niassam. Besides having beautiful eco-friendly bungalows built into baobab trees and overlooking a bird-filled lagoon, the property is notorious for having the best French-inspired fare in the country. It was a big splurge for us, especially after three weeks of pricier-than-anticipated travel around West Africa, but we decided to go nonetheless, calling it an early seven-year wedding anniversary...Read More
After just three days, dusty Dakar has drawn us in with its street-corner baguettes, mellow fishing villages, surf-friendly beaches, and mad markets. A highlight among our explorations thus far has been the fish market at Soumbedioune, a cove on which the men's brightly painted pirogues, or canoes, are pulled from the water each evening, and the day's haul of seafood put out to sale. One side of the market is crowded by grill stations, manned by women cooking fresh fish over hot coals.
Between about 4pm and 6pm, the boats are lugged in, requiring a team of heaving men and two logs (or big empty metal canisters) to facilitate movement. The shore is crowded with onlookers,...Read More
Tomorrow we leave for three weeks in Senegal and Sierra Leone.
The vaccines have been given, the bags (almost) packed, the subletter for our New York apartment is in place. We should already be there—we pushed back our trip partly to avoid Senegal’s protest-riddled presidential election on February 26, only to have it go into a runoff election happening smack-dab in the middle of our visit there (March 25). Hopefully we’ll be in the area during a positive historic moment, when peace and democracy win the day. According to friends in the area, that is what should happen.
In recent weeks we’ve been asked “why there?” a few times, either in the context of “how do you choose where you...Read More
Street food: In the advent of the recent food-truck revolution, it’s been given a romantic connotation. But street food to us has always meant those dirt-cheap, true-blue local joints that you find while wandering a new city, the kind of places that make you immediately envious of the patrons and skeptical of the grub—a healthy suspicion that your gut instinct will either embrace or ignore. It might be termed the five stages of street food:
- “Look at all the people chowing down on this corner! They are clearly enjoying that food.”
- “Damn, does it smell good right here!”
- “I wonder if this will make me sick.”
- “Eh, it’ll be fine: big crowd, no flies, everything’s freshly...
We’d like to introduce a new recurring feature in Eat Your World: trip-recap videos! Every time we travel somewhere for EYW, we’ll create a one-minute video—compiled of photos and video footage we shoot on the road, edit, and set to music—to act as visual sum-up. And, no, it won’t be entirely about food: This is our opportunity to show you other sides of a destination, as well as a little bit of us.
Our first video is from North India, where we spent a few weeks last spring. It was challenging to stick to a minute for this one, to edit the hundreds of photos we took between the two of us in Delhi, Agra, and Udaipur. Ultimately we wanted to capture just a little of the frenetic pace,...Read More
It was 1997 the last time I was on the Charles Bridge in Prague. I was a college student backpacking through Europe, and this moment of Dixieland jazz in the heart of Europe, pictured above, hit me strongly. I wasn't much of a photographer back then, but this is one of the few photos during that trip that actually told a good story and made me proud. When I started shooting professionally, I took the photo out, scanned it, and had the smudged, fingerprinted, black-and-white 4x6 sitting on my desk for years. When we started a Prague section on this site, I knew I wanted it to be a header.
Fast forward to October of this year: I'm back on the Charles Bridge. The same Dixieland...
In this new EYW Blog series, our writers will feature recipes of dishes they’ve encountered while away and re-created at home.
A few gluttonous days in New Orleans are hard to beat, but while you can’t bring home the city’s soulful live music or lighthearted survivor spirit, you can at least attempt to make some of its classic foods in the daiquiri-free confines of your own kitchen. After my last trip to NOLA, I spent a week back in New York dreaming about beignets and BBQ shrimp before my husband and I got our acts together, invited some friends over, and set up a Sazerac bar. We were having a NOLA dinner party, damn it!
My mind wandered to what’s quick and delicious, and...Read More
We often feel like we’re on a scavenger hunt when we travel for EYW. Sometimes we have just three days in a city to find all the foods we’ve researched, come up with good alternatives, entertain new ideas suggested by locals we meet, identify suitable “burn it off” locations. Despite the inevitable last-day dash around said city to tie up loose ends, we’ve become super efficient at these tasks. But doing it in, say, Boston and doing it in Agra, a garbage-strewn Indian city congested with all manner of human and animal traffic, are two very different things.
Last weekend, we arrived in Agra around 4:45pm after the 4.5-hour ride from Delhi, tired but hungry and eager to get started...Read More
Our London EYW section—some 40-plus traditional foods and drinks in England’s fabulous capital—is under construction while we travel to India, but you can read about our absolute favorite Brit dining experience, at the new, historic-food-focused Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, over at Foodists.ca. (Pictured is the clever meat fruit, a dreamy, mousse-like chicken-liver parfait dipped in mandarin gelatin, inspired by the cheeky medieval English tradition of serving “illusion fruit” at dinner parties.) Stay tuned this summer for both London and New Delhi coverage!Read More
When I was asked to meet up with some clients in Detroit, I had a feeling a weekend of EYW coverage would lead to some very good things. It was just a few years ago that I had quickly visited Greektown and experienced the famous "flaming cheese." I knew there had to be much more than that, and was determined to convince Laura to make it a serious destination for us. With some trepidation, she began to research Detroit's foods, and slowly a list of musts became apparent that sold us both to the idea.
When you mention Detroit to anyone, you get a "why would you want to go there?" look immediately. The city has clearly lost its luster over the last god-knows-how-many years, and...Read More
Last weekend I finally attended one of Jeff Orlick’s (a.k.a. Jeffrey Tastes’s) Ambassador Program events, in which one person acts as expert of a cuisine (and, often, culture) and leads a meal for a small group in a NYC restaurant of their choice. Held at Tori Shin uptown and led by Japanese native Yasushi Sasaki, this event revolved around yakitori, or grilled chicken skewers—a more upscale take on the popular street snack than what I’d previously been exposed to along St. Marks Place, this time involving organic birds from Pennsylvania—and I hastened to participate, as Scott and I were feverishly researching our own trip to Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto next month. This was one day...Read More