From Wanderlist:Delicious Imbibements

Drinking Recommendations from AFAR Travelers

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Fichtekränzi

Frankfurt
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Fichtekränzi, Frankfurt, Germany
"Apple wine is served here"
In the Frankfurt region of Germany, the twisted branches of the spruce tree--in German, 'Fichte'--is the sign to a traveler that apple wine is on the menu. Fichtekränzi in Sachsenhausen, founded in 1849, is one of the oldest apple wine restaurants in the city, and is a great place to sample this traditional local beverage. The restaurant's logo is in fact, a Fichte ring. I visited Fichtekränzi on a spring evening. It was too cool yet to sit in the garden, so our group gathered around a communal table inside. We enjoyed a Bembel (crockery jug) of apple wine, along with a range of dishes that included Schnitzel, Flammkuchen from nearby Alsace and an excellent poached salmon with salad. The sides were local, from Schneegestöber (a spread of Camembert, onions, butter, cream cheese, and carraway seeds) to potatoes with Frankfurter 'green sauce'. The verdict: superb renditions of dishes from the Frankfurt kitchen, and delicious options for carnivores and vegetarians alike! Go for the local color and the apple wine, stay to enjoy the excellent food and friendly service. This is an apple wine restaurant with plenty of Gemütlichkeit, that uniquely German sense of belonging and coziness.
"Apple wine is served here"

Olivia te Cuida

Madrid
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Olivia te Cuida, Madrid, Spain
The Coziest Breakfast Spot in Madrid
Breakfasts in Madrid are taken quickly: a cup of coffee and a plate of churros before one dashes off: it is if everyone is late for that all important meeting. But when Madrileños seek a more relaxed start to the day, they head to Olivia Te Cuida, a small restaurant down a narrow balcony-lined street in the Justicia neighborhood. Olivia Te Cuida invites you to linger a while. A stack of Spanish and foreign periodicals await your perusal. Tea lights flicker as Miles Davis trumpets and Carla Bruni whispers. Olivia Te Cuida focuses on healthy fares: fresh pressed juices, yogurt, granola, and organic eggs. Patrons toast their whole-grained breads at the two Dualit toasters centered on the communal table. Olivia Te Cuida is the place to enjoy the company of others while eating the perfect breakfast. It is as if Olivia has opened up her simple, beautiful, cozy, whitewashed home for you to relax and gather your thoughts before you head off into the busy day.
The Coziest Breakfast Spot in Madrid

Romita Comedor

Mexico City
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Romita Comedor, Mexico City, Mexico
Romita Comedor: Wonderful 2nd-story eatery and lounge in Mexico City
After a morning of urban cycling, we choose a shaded, open-air balcony table at Romita Comedor and each order a beer, tequila, and sangrita, then discuss Mexico City's prospects with Michael Parker-Stainback, a U.S.–born journalist, translator, and the author of the Mexico City Stylemap and TimeOut Mexico City guides. To accompany our beverage trio, we order tortas, panuchos, and creamy avocado soup. “I feel this city is at an amazing point in its history,” Parker-Stainback tells me. It is “young, full of energy, and the food is fresh,” he says. “It’s also a little formal. There is a lot of ‘good morning,’ ‘good afternoon,’ and ‘si señor.’ It’s a very friendly, creative place.” I nod my head as I chew, then signal the waiter for another round. It is about 3:00 p.m., and he informs us that there is a reservation at our table at 7:00, when we'll have to leave. That tells you something about the dining culture of D.F.—there is plenty of time to sit, talk, relax, and watch the people of the Roma Norte district walk by on the sidewalk below. PHOTO by Joshua Berman
Romita Comedor: Wonderful 2nd-story eatery and lounge in Mexico City

Lee's Unleaded Blues

Chicago
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Lee's Unleaded Blues, Chicago, Illinois
Old School Chicago Blues
Calling itself "Chicago's favorite juke joint," this south side lounge hearkens back to the days when blues clubs lined both sides of the street and patrons squeezed in wherever they could fit. The shadowy room boasts a rectangular bar and crimson carpeting. The regulars are mostly neighborhood locals and University of Chicago students who come to hear straight ahead live blues,with a kick. The vibe is laid back and welcoming; expect to be called "baby" by a waitress or bartender at least once.
Old School Chicago Blues

Caffe Storico

New York
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Caffe Storico, New York, New York
Hidden Gem on NYC's Upper West Side
Caffe Storico is truly a hidden gem in New York City - a one-of-a-kind, beautiful eatery in a historic museum on the Upper West Side, just steps from Central Park. The newly-renovated New-York Historical Society is located on Central Park West and 76th Street (next to the Museum of Natural History). Chef Matthew Oetting and restaurateur Stephen Starr (Morimoto, Buddakan) deliver beautifully-plated, seasonal antipasti, cicchetti (small plates), handmade pastas, panini and hearty entrees. A recent menu included panzanella salad, pappardelle with duck ragu, frutti di mare bucatini, and roasted organic chicken with oyster mushrooms. Soaring 15-foot high ceilings, shelves lined with white antique dishes, abundant sunlight and bright yellow seating make this one of the cheeriest cafes I've seen. The decor and the flavorful food makes for a memorable meal. Eating at Caffe Storico does not require admission to the museum, but I highly recommend a few hours educating yourself on the remarkable history of New York City. The museum is a manageable size and not very crowded, which makes for an enjoyable, leisurely visit.
Hidden Gem on NYC's Upper West Side

Champagne Bar

Hong Kong
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Champagne Bar, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Champagne Bar at The Grand Hyatt Hong Kong
Hong Kong is renowned for its dining and drinking options, which span the globe in terms of offerings. Tucked inside the lobby of the Grand Hyatt is an opulent, 1920s-styled Parisian bar, full of dark, rich wood accents; brass trappings; and a giant, circular bar in the center. They offer free, live Jazz concerts in the evenings and a spectacular array of fine champagne and wines. The menu also offers caviar, freshly shucked oysters, foie gras, and Maryland crab cakes. It’s a great place to relax your sore calves after a long day of touring the city’s steep hills.
Champagne Bar at The Grand Hyatt Hong Kong

My Blue Cruise

Fethiye
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My Blue Cruise, Fethiye, Turkey
Blue Cruise Turkey
As the sun rises the boat comes alive. With the cook getting ready the Coffee and Tea for the early risers in the group. Some want to see the colours of the sky reflected in the sea water as the sun climbs the horizon. Others sleep in their comfortable cabins or out on deck. When the time is right, wake up to the warming sun as it hits the top deck and then jump straight into the crystal clear turquoise water. Scrambled eggs and a full Turkish breakfast are waiting whenever one decides to come out. The morning is spent reading, sun bathing and dozing while the captain takes the boat to the next destination. Perhaps it's Cleopatra's Bath, where you swim amongst ancient ruins, or Butterfly Valley. In The Valley the adventurous can walk up the rocky cliff to the primitive town of Faralya for spectacular views of the Mediterranean. After a luncheon feast, it is time for a well-earned snooze on a sun bed. Sleep comes easily when set to the sound of the gentle lapping of the sea. Maybe you are feeling energetic? Grab a mask to snorkel and explore. As the sun begins to set, you could wade onto shore for a stroll, or throw a line in the water to supplement the evening meal. The freshest fish can be found in these waters if one is fast enough to catch them. Fish or BBQ for the main dish are put on the table with warm bread delivered by tiny traditional boats. A mountain of salad, a great side and fresh fruit, are set in front of the guests,This repeats for a week.
Blue Cruise Turkey

Hotel Grande Italia

Chioggia
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Hotel Grande Italia, Chioggia, Italy
Alle Baruffe Chiozzotte
Chioggia Island is like miniature version of Venice, and has one of the biggest fresh fish markets in Italy. Here, at the Hotel Grande Italia, is a well priced, elegant restaurant called Alle Baruffe Chizzotte, with a dinning room of about 100 covers. The best time to visit is during the spring and summer when the outdoor seating is set up near the piazza, with great lagoon and fabulous sunset views. With one of the biggest fish markets in Italy just around the corner, the menu is decidedly seafood based. It's also nice to know that all the vegetables on the menu are grown right there on the island. The hotel is old and charming, and if you come all this way to snoop around the island and have dinner, it's worth it to make a night of it and check in.
Alle Baruffe Chiozzotte

Beresheet

Mitzpe Ramon
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Beresheet, Mitzpe Ramon, Israel
Superb service in a beautiful setting
This is definitely one of the best hotels in Israel, the staff are notably more attentive than in other hotels (even in the Isrotel chain) and the setting is stunning. They should heat the main outdoor pool as it was too cold for anyone to use. The food was delicious and the family room with the private pool was perfect (see picture). There are many interesting tours/hikes in the area for all ages and it is a great climate for a spring vacation.
Superb service in a beautiful setting

Via Carlo de Cristoforis, 5

Milan
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Via Carlo de Cristoforis, 5, Milan, Italy
Zaini chocolates
It's worth a peek inside Zaini, Milan's historic chocolate maker, whose began creating delicious chocolate confectionaries since the 1910s. Celebrating a 100 year anniversary, Zaini opened the via Carlo de Cristoforis location in honor of a century passed and has included the cocktail magic of Mag's Flavio Angiollilo.
Zaini chocolates

French bakery and cafe

Winter Garden
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French bakery and cafe, Winter Garden, Florida
Out of the ordinary
As I walked down the red bricked paths of Winter Garden Village past my church First Baptist Church of Winter Garden, I was getting a bit hungry with all the walking. To my surprise, there were no stores open except the little French Bakery & Cafe'. I had never stepped foot into the store but I thought I could give it a try since it was Easter weekend. As soon as I hesitantly put my foot past the threshold, and walked by the people munching on their sandwiches, I was completely taken by the plethora of deserts sitting on the racks waiting to be devoured! I went over to a menu just to see what they had and a simple, yet known name caught my eye. It was called the Eiffel Tower! It was under the sandwich section of the menu. I ordered it and was humbly pleased. It came out completely opposite of what I thought it would be. It es savory and a bit salt on the tongue because of the blue cheese. If you are a roast beef lover, you will definitely love this! It came with a side if chips ( thin cut potato slices) and a nice cup of hot chocolate if you ordered it. It's truly an experience to try new things. In my case - always! Never try to step out of your comfort zone! You could never know new things if you don't.
Out of the ordinary

Trattoria Il Marinaio

Milan
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Trattoria Il Marinaio, Milan, Italy
Fresh seafood and Italian wine
Swordfish, tuna, mussels, lobster, shrimp, octopus, lobster. This small fish tavern has the great advantage of offering very good seafood at really low prices. It is located in the Isola neighborhood, an old neighborhood in the center, now frequented by riders and hypster. This is a real gem. It 's always full and you need to book. Go there for lunch. Try it!
Fresh seafood and Italian wine

Ori-Gin

Hong Kong
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Ori-Gin, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Ori-Gin, Central
With high ceilings, gorgeous exposed brick and an extreme gin collection, Ori-Gin transports guests back to colonial, British Hong Kong in both drinks and décor. The menu is filled with both classic and contemporary tipples, as well as some you won’t find anywhere else on Earth. Head cocktail creator Antonio Lai uses culinary methods like vacuum sealing and slow cooking to infuse his gins with herbs like lemongrass, basil and chamomile. His classic Negroni cocktail is a prime example. Made with Beefeater gin, Martini Rosso and Campari, the ingredients are combined and placed in a bourbon barrel to age for three months before serving.
Ori-Gin, Central

Chez Alina

Soweto
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Chez Alina, Soweto, South Africa
A Real Taste of Soweto
Meet Alina, one of Soweto's vibrant and unstoppable entrepreneurs. Starting out as a tourist guide years ago, she realized there was no authentic way to share the Township's food with the travelers she met. So what did she do? She covered the carport of her house, put out tables and chairs, and started to cook. The result is brilliant. The entire family works together, and in the middle of a regular neighborhood, in a Sowetan family home, we were offered a multitude of African dishes; stews (lamb, beef), roasted chicken, vegetables, fish, rice and pap, a traditional South African porridge/polenta dish. Accompanied by an ice cold Castle beer, this was one of my favorite local food experiences, on the road with Collette (http://www.gocollette.com/)! Thanks Alina, for sharing your home, family and community–and letting us be locals for a while! __________________________ For more information on US tour operators, please visit: http://www.ustoa.com/ For more information on beautiful South Africa, please visit: http://www.southafrica.net/country/us/en/
A Real Taste of Soweto

Canton Rd

Hong Kong
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Canton Rd, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Shopper's Row
Canton Road goes on for miles and links up major Kowloon districts. But the stretch in Tsim Sha Tsui, which begins at the intersection at Salisbury Road, is the modern-day Rodeo Drive. This stretch of the road is lined with numerous luxury boutiques, including names such as Dior, Ferragamo, Hermes, and many more. You'll often see a line outside the Chanel shop, too. If you're in town during the summer, take refuge in air-conditioned shopping malls like Harbourcity, Ocean Terminal and the Gateway, which offer more shopping options, banking services, terraces with beautiful harbour views, and some of the city's most popular restaurants.
Shopper's Row

275 Pentonville Rd

London
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275 Pentonville Rd, London, United Kingdom
London Nightlife Wins with Rebel Bingo
Say you’re in London for the night, and you’re looking for a good time. You’ve been to the pubs, you’ve checked out the clubs, and now you want something – else. You want to be a part of something for the insiders, something that doesn’t come around that often. Here’s a suggestion: Bingo. Wait. Bingo? A game of matching a line of numbers is supposed to be unforgettable? It is when you’re playing Rebel Bingo. This under-the-radar event takes place in an ever-changing array of London venues, but it features the same rules: Play the game you learned as a child, only this time, play to a rollicking host and an all-out DJ. You’ll be given a bingo card and a marker for each round, and listen carefully, since big prizes are up for grabs. Between games, dance to the hits, grab a drink at the bar, and doodle on other players. This is the party you were looking for.
London Nightlife Wins with Rebel Bingo

Wochenmarkt Mainz Liebfrauenplatz

Mainz
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Wochenmarkt Mainz Liebfrauenplatz, Mainz, Germany
In the Market for Fresh Produce in Mainz
Three times a week on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday, the Marktplatz outside the Mainzer Dom is filled with stands selling seasonal vegetables, fruits, fresh eggs (with a live rooster standing watch at the table), marinated olives, flowers, wreaths, jams, freshly baked breads, cheeses, sausages, meats, nuts, fish, candles, wines, … I could go on and on. It is the perfect place to pick up ingredients for your evening meal or even for a picnic to take down to the Rhine. And, if you're learning German, like me, or just want to explore the town, it's the perfect place to interact with the very friendly and always helpful vendors and local Mainzers. On Saturday's in sunny months, the Mainzer Winzer stand sets up by the Dom, where local winemakers sell wine, beer, and sekt by the glass or bottle. I love picking up a glass of wine and wandering the market for bread, cheese, prosciutto, and olives for a Saturday picnic by the Dom or the Rhine, soaking up the sun and the taking in the Mainz scenery. Hours: 7:00 to 14:00 For more on Mainz, check out my blog here: http://leaping14.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/herzlich-willkommen-a-tour-of-mainz/
In the Market for Fresh Produce in Mainz

Teppanyaki Alaturka

Ankara
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Teppanyaki Alaturka, Ankara, Turkey
Creamy Ice Cream Treat
What's better than luscious vanilla ice cream atop a slice of grilled pineapple? Not much really. As summer starts to spread her wings it's time for yummy ice cream treats. At Teppenyaki Alaturca in Ankara I highly suggest indulging in their desserts.
Creamy Ice Cream Treat

Hotel-Restaurant Wilden Mann

Lucerne
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Hotel-Restaurant Wilden Mann, Lucerne, Switzerland
Romantic Lucerne's Romantik Hotel Wilden Mann
The Romantik Hotel Wilden Mann is a hotel of character, atmosphere and attentive service. I've stayed there several times, and each time, discovered something new. From the Gothic Revival Burgerstube on the premises of an ancient tavern (Wilden Mann received the right to serve drinks in 1517) to quirky staircases linking the seven houses that make up the hotel, the hotel never ceases to fascinate. Officially listed as a hotel in 1860, the Wilden Mann was on the scene as an inn much earlier--centuries earlier. From the 16th century down to the present day, the venerable establishment has grown higgledy-piggledy to incorporate various buildings situated atop the city's original outer walls. Guests are the hotel are just steps from the famed Kapellbrücke and a stroll along the Reuss, on the most beautiful riverside promenade in Switzerland. If you want to experience Lucerne's colorful history firsthand, the Romantik Hotel Wilden Mann is a great place to start!
Romantic Lucerne's Romantik Hotel Wilden Mann

Chungking Mansions

Hong Kong
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Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Cultural Phenomenon
Just a stone's throw away from luxury hotels and branded shopping is one of Hong Kong's most well-known cultural hubs with a most distinct atmosphere. Located on Nathan Road, this complex consists of residential space, guesthouses, restaurants, shops and other services. This maze of buildings is also known for offering Hong Kong's cheapest accommodations, but bear in mind that you will get what you pay for... Chungking Mansions is a cultural phenomenon; with its harried pace and tight quarters catering to multinational visitors and market-like businesses, the building has also been featured in popular movie "Chungking Express", by famed Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai. There is an estimated 5,000 residents living in the Mansions, and it is a hub for a mosaic of ethnic minorities living in Hong Kong. But the bustle of the buildings, and perhaps the many curry restaurants it houses, is an experience to be sought during your visit to Hong Kong.
Cultural Phenomenon

Comstock Saloon

San Francisco
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Comstock Saloon, San Francisco, California
Speakeasy Culture Is Alive and Well in San Francisco
It’s hard to imagine a time when alcohol was illegal in San Francisco, because it flows so freely now. But speakeasy culture—without the bathtub gin— still has a hold here. San Francisco’s speakeasy bars feel like a drinker’s theme park. They are dark, atmospheric places with small menus and serious, suspenders-wearing bartenders who make drinks that seem too good to be legal. Start with a reservation and a password at Bourbon and Branch in the Tenderloin. If you're near Market Street, keep an eye out for the entrance to the underground (literally) Local Edition, in the iconic Hearst building. In North Beach, the Comstock Saloon is modeled after the oldest bar in San Francisco and serves food too. Photo by Rie Yamaoka
Speakeasy Culture Is Alive and Well in San Francisco

Z-Cafe & Bar

Oakland
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Z-Cafe & Bar, Oakland, California
Downtown happy hour cocktails
Head to Z Cafe & Bar after work for some of house mixologist Mehdi Zarekari's infused cocktails. The restaurant has a wide selection vodkas and hand shaken specialty martinis. Beer and wine also served. Happier hour cocktails ($5) are served from 4 PM Tues.-Fri., Saturdays 5 PM to 9 PM. Happy hour small plates ($5) include bourbon meatballs and fried green tomatoes. I like the hamburger off the regular menu. Good place to meet friends.
Downtown happy hour cocktails

Pacific Parc

Amsterdam
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Pacific Parc, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Dinner and a Movie at Pacific Parc
With its chill vibe, funky decor, warehouse-like interior and spacious terrace, Pacific Parc is a rock 'n' roll bistro with an edge. Situated in a former treatment plant at Westergasfabriek, the café-nightclub on Amsterdam's west side clearly represents its mantra, "Do not beg for the right to live, take it." Life is good over international favorites like satay with coconut-peanut sauce, Indian lentil curry, Black Angus burgers and Dutch pannenkoeken, all priced under €20 on lunch and dinner menus. For kids, chicken drumsticks, chips, cucumber and ice cream are on a children's menu for €8. While little ones romp on the spiral staircase, you can dine at the bar or at wooden tables in the open-zoned dining area, under a whimsical chandelier hanging from the sunroof. If you're attending a Westergasfabriek event, Pacific Parc is a great place to meet up with friends. But there's more to this place than relaxed ambiance, good drinks, reasonably priced fare and a menu based on seasonal ingredients. Thursday through Saturday, DJs mix hip-hop with disco and swing tunes. By 23:00, dinner seats are pushed aside and anyone who sticks around may be in for a wild night. A special "Dinner and a Movie" deal entitles you to a flick at Ketelhuis, Westergasfabriek's cinema, plus a starter and main course (excluding drinks) at Pacific Parc for €25. While the restaurant may lack for romance, it's a fine place to get your weekend date off to a savory start.
Dinner and a Movie at Pacific Parc

Ja' Grill Restaurant & Lounge

Chicago
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Ja' Grill Restaurant & Lounge, Chicago, IL
Jamaican Delights
Serving up authentic Jamaican dishes like ackee and saltfish, curried chicken and brown stewed red snapper, Ja'Grill manages to recreate the relaxing, sunny vibe of the Land of Wood and Water in the heart of Chicago. The owner's a Montego Bay native who delivers all the expected accompaniments including plantains, rice n peas and constant streams of reggae. The lounge downstairs often hosts live DJs and after parties for local reggae concerts.
Jamaican Delights

Round Hill Hotel & Villas

Montego Bay
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Round Hill Hotel & Villas, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Getting Your Groove Back
So legendary is this retreat, dating back to 1953, that it's synonymous with Jamaica. Mentioning Round Hill Hotel & Villas, sitting on a 110-acre peninsula just minutes outside Montego Bay, will also elicit references to glitterati who have escaped here over the decades, from Jackie and John Kennedy–they honeymooned in Villa 10–to Ralph Lauren and yes, Stella in the infamous movie, "How Stella Got Her Groove Back," starring Angela Bassett (filmed in Villa 11, if you must know). For all its fame and status, the atmosphere at Round Hill–with white-stone floor rooms and plush villas enveloped by fragrant flowers, pineapple trees and 180-degree sea views–is as laid back as I've experienced. Families and couples make up the majority of the guests, who wander about all day in beach wear (ladies even receive courtesy sarongs). What you'll fall in love with, aside from the intimate grounds and friendly staff: the farm-to-table meals (be sure to sample the scotch bonnet ice cream) and the daily afternoon tea spread. When you manage to extract yourself from the multilevel infinity pool, walk along the beach and take the wooded trail toward the spa, past cave entrances and swimming coves. There, a sprawling 10-acre lawn with beds and hammocks offers panoramic views of Jamaica's aquamarine coastline and Round Hill's leafy bluffs.
Getting Your Groove Back

Restaurant Zum Isaak

Basel
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Restaurant Zum Isaak, Basel, Switzerland
A Munsterplatz favorite
This restaurant on Münsterplatz is a year-round favorite, set in one of the stately houses of Basel’s old town. With two outdoor seating areas, it and transitions well into the warmer season, and is a great place for summertime people-watching. Take your choice: a table facing the Munster, or in the sunny courtyard out back. The draw here is light, healthy cooking in the heart of Basel’s historic center. I enjoy Zum Isaak in all its guises: for an Aperol spritz or coffee break when wandering the streets of Cathedral Hill, as a spot for a garden lunch, and in cooler weather, a place to meet friends for dinner. Zum Isaak is open from 11 am -11 pm.
A Munsterplatz favorite

Statue of Liberty National Monument

New York
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Statue of Liberty National Monument, New York, New York
Jersey girl!
Located in New York harbor, but on the Jersey side is one of the USA's most popular and well known monuments - Lady Liberty!
Jersey girl!
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