Bistro Jeanty

Yountville
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Bistro Jeanty, Yountville, California
Ratatouille at Bistro Jeanty in Yountville
Walk into Bistro Jeanty and you are forgiven for thinking you have been magically teleported to Paris, France. This authentically Parisian cafe has been consistently named as one of the top dining experiences in Yountville, alongside Thomas Keller's French Laundry and Bouchon. Having seen only the charming movie "Ratatouille" and never having tried the actual dish, I was quite excited to see it on the menu at Bistro Jeanty in Yountville downtown. The special for that day was the ratatouille with goat cheese terrine. The roasted vegetables were layered with creamy goat cheese, sprinkled with freshly ground pepper and olive oil. It was to be served cold, which turned out to be delightfully perfect on that warm sunny afternoon. Everything we tried on the menu at Bistro Jeanty was superb. Starting off with bread and butter, followed by creamy tomato soup en croute (encrusted in buttery puff pastry), we also got the chicken special of the day which came topped with trumpet mushrooms and a decadent camembert sauce. We loved the vibe at Bistro Jeanty, the service was impeccable and the food - delicious. It was a memorable experience and we highly recommend stopping by here whenever you are passing through Yountville, for a taste of Paris in California.
Ratatouille at Bistro Jeanty in Yountville

Bitterroot BBQ

Seattle
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Bitterroot BBQ, Seattle, WashingtonAfar-thumbnail
Northwest BBQ in the Heart of Seattle
“The smoked meats at Bitterroot are as close as you can get to something from Texas. The first time I walked in, they were playing Hank Williams. That always softens me up to like a place.” -Bill Frisell 5239 Ballard Ave. NW, (206) 588-1577. Photo by Ian Allen. This appeared in the March/April 2014 issue. Read more about Bill Frisell's Ballard neighborhood.
Northwest BBQ in the Heart of Seattle

Bebidas Coffee Bar

Ormoc City
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Bebidas Coffee Bar, Ormoc City, Philippines
Urban and Artful Coffee
After a dirty and sweaty week of volunteer work on the Island of Leyte to pick up after Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), nothing tastes better than a real (not powdered package) cappuccino or latté. Leyte was devastated by the Super Typhoon. Three months after she plowed through the Island, I arrived to lend my hands to help with All Hands Volunteers. Electricity, milk, and espresso machines were in short supply - particularly in the more remote towns and villages. Visiting Bebidas at the Superdome in Ormoc was certainly a weekend treat. Beyond good coffee, the shop offered reliable internet, amazing mango shakes, and some tasty food to snack on. The café serves as a beer and wine bar with a colorful and comfortably clean venue close to the ferry terminal, hotels, and the Superdome.
Urban and Artful Coffee

Fresh Flours

Seattle
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Fresh Flours, Seattle, WashingtonAfar-thumbnail
Colorful Macaroons and a Cozy Atmosphere
"Before I stopped eating sugar and flour, I used to go to this bakery-café for the macarons they make in different flavors and colors. It's a place where you want to sit and hang out." -Bill Frisell 5313 Ballard Ave. NW, (206) 706-3338. Photo by Ian Allen. This appeared in the March/April 2014 issue. Read more about Bill Frisell's Ballard neighborhood.
Colorful Macaroons and a Cozy Atmosphere

Le Jardin Cafe & Restaurant

Şirince
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Le Jardin Cafe & Restaurant, Şirince, Turkey
Wine, dine, and unwind in Sirince
You woke up early to catch the train/bus/dolmus to Selcuk. You died a little inside as you forked over too much cash for a taxi to Ephesus — or you hoofed it there to save a buck (and your dignity). You battled the crowds. You waited patiently for the entire Club Med tour group to finish their school picture-day reenactment in front of the Library of Celsus. You lost yourself for a minute staring out across a field of gleaming white marble, humbled by the accomplishments of our ancestors. You imagined yourself in a toga at least once. And now, you're starving. The "comfortable walking shoes" you so dutifully packed now feel like weapons of mass destruction — particularly on the back of your left heel and the knuckle of your baby toe where it seems your sock has turned to sandpaper dipped in snake venom. There is only one solution to all your problems. Wine. STAT. Luckily, you're in the right place. Hop a dolmus to Sirince, ride it to the last stop, and hobble your way to Le Jardin. (It's about 25 meters back up the road from the dolmus stop. Look for a sign by a stairwell leading up to the terrace.) Plop yourself down, point to anything on the menu, and succumb to the Turkish countryside. The rolling hills, dotted with terra-cotta-roofed cottages. The sarma, kofte, and "whatever's in season". The attentive, but not overbearing, Turkish hospitality. And of course, the house-made wine. That's what Sirince is known for, after all.
Wine, dine, and unwind in Sirince

Loboc

Loboc
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Loboc, Loboc, Philippines
Loboc and the River
Despite the recent earthquake on the Island of Bohol in the Philippines, tour operators still indulge guests with brilliant day trips through the historic and natural wonders on the Island. However, damage from the earthquake juts out around many of the corners on the island from private homes, to some of the oldest cathedrals in the Philippines - the Island is still broken. A stop in Loboc provided both a beautiful lunchtime cruise aboard a riverboat and a brief tour of the town's earthquake damage. A lovely bridge over the river still stands structurally intact, but the tall guard house leans precariously over the river - rather than a tall and strong lookout over the town. To keep the structure from tumbling down, tension was applied with chains cinched around the building and anchored to the opposite side of the bridge. Workers tirelessly worked in the hot sun below to clear stones that fell from Loboc's long San Pedro Cathedral building. Once the clean up is complete, rebuilding will begin.
Loboc and the River

Fisherman's Catch Restaurant

Wells
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Fisherman's Catch Restaurant, Wells, MaineAfar-thumbnail
Chef Clark Frasier's Favorite Lobster Roll
"Fisherman's Catch is a little, kitschy spot on the marsh, off the beaten track on the way to Wells Harbor, Maine," says Clark Frasier, Chef of Arrows Restaurant in Ogunquit, Maine, and of M.C. Spiedo in Boston. "Lobsters are pulled out of the harbor that day, and lobster rolls are done up with very light mayo, stuffed into a toasted, buttered top-loading bun, and served with tartar sauce." Photo courtesy of Fisherman's Catch
Chef Clark Frasier's Favorite Lobster Roll

Douro

Figueiró dos Vinhos
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Douro, Figueiró dos Vinhos, Portugal
The Beauty of Douro Valley
The Douro Valley is one of many of Portugal's natural treasures. The region starts in the north of Portugal, from the city of Porto toward the eastern border with Spain. The valley is well known for its great wineries and the Port wine manufactured. There are lots of different activities related to Douro Valley; from boating along the river, doing some wine related tours in wineries and wine cellars, gastronomy, history or hiking. The weather is mostly pleasant throughout most of the year. There are so many spots along the Douro Valley that seem to be the Picture-Perfect' and Nature plays a main role in shapes, textures and colors
The Beauty of Douro Valley

Piola

Istanbul
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Piola, Istanbul, Turkey
Mouth Watering Pizza
Piola originally from Treviso, has been in Istanbul for past three years stating as the best pizza in town; their original recipe and fresh ingredients used give me always to enjoy a slice of pizza as I'm at home in Italy. Ciao
Mouth Watering Pizza

RESTAURANTE LA MULATA CARTAGENA

Cartagena
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RESTAURANTE LA MULATA CARTAGENA, Cartagena, Colombia
Lively Eatery, Cartagena: La Mulata
A bustling eatery next to a hostel that feels very vibrant. Young and hip, a lunch break spot for working Colombians and tourists alike. They keep things casual and good. 4 daily dishes, breakfast and lunch only. Patio in the back. Get the coconut lemonade.
Lively Eatery, Cartagena: La Mulata

Ordinary Oyster Bar

Charleston
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Ordinary Oyster Bar, Charleston, South CarolinaAfar-thumbnail
Table to Book Now: The Ordinary in Charleston
The Ordinary has a two-story dining room with an always-packed raw bar where Chef Mike Lata serves some of the South’s best seafood. MUST-TRY DISHES: Smoked oysters with saltines and hot sauce; razor clams with apples, jalapeño, and cilantro; seafood tower. BEST SEAT: Groups should request the downstairs booths. Solo diners should order the rum drink Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and wait for a seat at the raw bar. INSIDER TIP: The lobster roll is on the menu only as a Tuesday special, but if you ask for it any other day of the week, the chef will happily make it for you. Photo by Flickr user Punktoad. This appeared in the May 2014 issue.
Table to Book Now: The Ordinary in Charleston

Lisbon

Lisbon
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Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon's vibrant and joyful "Festas da Cidade" happen in June
June is the month for Lisbon, Portugal, to celebrate the day of its patron saint: St Anthony. The historic neighborhoods of the city, like Alfama, Bica, Mouraria or Bairro Alto vibrate with parades, parties, dancing and eating sardines with red wine. Also known as Santos Populares, or Festas de Lisboa, the fun will take place on the nights of June 12 to 13. In the Avenida da Liberdade, the Marchas Populares parade includes groups from historic neighborhood associations marching down the Avenue in festive costumes. They compete by marching and singing their own lyrics. The Marchas Populares end with the selection of the best neighborhood from Lisbon of the year. Also in honor of the Patron Saint, every year there are the Casamentos de Santo Antonio, a collective wedding of couples born and raised in Lisbon that is offered by the city and "blessed" by Saint Anthony. St Anthony was born in Lisbon in 1195 an is also known as St Anthony of Padua, the Italian city where he died. So, June 13th is Lisbon’s holiday in honor of the Saint, so that after all the celebrations from the previous night people can rest and attend the religious procession that takes place in the narrow streets of the old town neighborhoods. (Photo by EGEAC)
Lisbon's vibrant and joyful "Festas da Cidade" happen in June

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

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

Tribe Travel Agency My Blue Cruise

Fethiye
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Tribe Travel Agency My Blue Cruise, Fethiye, Turkey
The Famous Blue Cruise on the Turquoise Coast
Going on cruise vacations is often the most exciting thing of all for couples and for families. Although this entertainment demands a premium and rightly so, since the providers of this service have to spend a lot of money on the ships and the crew, that facilitates the guests during their vacations at sea. Blue Cruises Turkey offers Fethiye Cruise services to families and couples. The fleet of Blue Cruises comprises of a dozen of beautiful and state of the art ships. All the ships in the fleet have varying features like the capacity of passengers that can be taken on board and the availability or unavailability of accommodation for the crew as well as the type of toilets that are present within. Fethiye Turkey is a beautiful place to see for visitors who are on their trip to the beautiful country. During this, cruises on a ship can double the fascination of the families on vacation and delight of the couples who are on their honeymoon. Visitors can choose from a number of different options with respect to tour length and location.4 days and week long Fethiye to Kekova -Olympos, 12 islands options to choose Furthermore, voyagers have the liberty to choose either private or cabin voyages in which they can have fun with friends and make memories with spouse respectively. As for the life abroad the ships, ship crew provides the voyagers with meals prepared fresh on the boat by the specialist cook. Meals of all sorts based on whether sea food or fresh are served.
The Famous Blue Cruise on the Turquoise Coast

VERA CUCINA ITALIANA AQUABAR

Cartagena
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VERA CUCINA ITALIANA AQUABAR, Cartagena, Colombia
All White Italian Dinner in the Old City: Vera
All white everything is the theme for the upscale italian dining room at the Tcherassi Hotel, all the way down the to waitstaff's shoes. Very modern and chic, being inside, with the adjacent aqua bar is a departure from the colonial feel of colonial downtown.
All White Italian Dinner in the Old City: Vera

Zubuchon

Cebu City
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Zubuchon, Cebu City, Philippines
One Half Kilo of Pig
Arriving alone and hungry in the Philippines, I checked into my hotel in Cebu and immediately asked for a dinner recommendation. After some thought by the staff, I was directed to Zubuchon for some authentic Filipino food; but not just any food: Lechon. And not even "just" lechon, but what Anthony Bourdain suggested is the "best pig...ever." This perfectly prepared lechon holds its moisture close with a generous layer of insulating pork belly fat. Unfortunately, for some reason, I was not able to purchase a piece of pork less than ½ kilo. So, that is what I ordered. Perhaps I should have given the menu a closer look and ordered from the selection of "Fast Meals" that appear to be better suited for one. Before I ran off with my ½ kilo of pig, the server suggested I also try a Kamias Shake which paired with the pork better than any wine pairing I have had with a meal! The tart, not quite sour beverage brought out all the nuances of the lechon. Back at my hotel, I was unable to stop myself from dipping the meat in Zubuchon's vinegar sauce and eating the entire ½ kilo; heading to bed that evening completely stuffed. Try lechon in the Philippines. And, have Zubuchon at least once!
One Half Kilo of Pig

Arisugawa Park 有栖川宮記念公園

Tokyo
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Arisugawa Park 有栖川宮記念公園, Tokyo, Japan
Escape the fast pace of Tokyo at Arisugawa
I discovered Arisugawa a few weeks after moving to Tokyo and it quickly became my quiet haven in the city. The park used to house the villa of a feudal lord and was donated to the city in 1934. Arisugawa is simply enchanting. There are small stone pathways leading to bridges and ponds, secluded benches beneath mammoth coniferous trees, and hidden paths and stairways at every turn. In the warm months fisherman hunker down around the main pond for the better part of the day and art students frequent the park practicing sketching and painting landscapes. Arisugawa is about a 15 minute walk southwest of Roppongi Hills Mori Tower and about a 5 minute walk east of the Hiroo subway stop. Around the park are lots of cafes with patio seating and the gourmet grocer National Azabu is the perfect place to pickup picnic supplies.
Escape the fast pace of Tokyo at Arisugawa

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

Lourinhã

Lourinhã
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Lourinhã, Lourinhã, Portugal
Hunting for Dinosaurs, waves...and brandy in Lourinhã
An hour drive from Lisbon, there is a small town where almost every shop and local business names begin with Dino…if you start seeing these signs along the road it means you’ve reached Lourinhã, the Portuguese capital of Dinosaurs. With unique paleontological findings, Lourinhã has a museum entirely dedicated to this remarkable findings, including two new species of dinosaurs discovered in the region and a nest that even though smashed it allows to observe its eggs – the pieces of shells and the remains of two dino-embryos. But Lourinhã is not all about its dinosaur heritage. The region has a great offer of beaches and seafood. But particularly the town of Lourinhã is famously known for its ‘Aguardente da Lourinhã’, one of the three demarcated areas for brandy production alongside with Cognac and Armagnac (both in France). The surf is also a great deal for the region since it has great waves for beginners or pros. There are plenty of hostels and surf schools that aim to the surfers from every corner of the world. Nearby, in Peniche the beaches of Supertubos, Baleal have hosted international surf competitions. A destination not to miss.
Hunting for Dinosaurs, waves...and brandy in Lourinhã

Staple & Fancy Mercantile

Seattle
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Staple & Fancy Mercantile, Seattle, WashingtonAfar-thumbnail
Family-Style Italian Fare in Seattle
“Order great Italian pasta and meat dishes or let chef Ethan Stowell’s kitchen invent a unique family-style meal.” -Bill Frisell 4739 Ballard Ave. NW, (206) 789-1200. Photo by Ian Allen. This appeared in the March/April 2014 issue. Read more about Bill Frisell's Ballard neighborhood.
Family-Style Italian Fare in Seattle

Pecan Lodge

Dallas
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Pecan Lodge, Dallas, TexasAfar-thumbnail
BBQ Worth the Wait at Pecan Lodge
The lines are long (expect to wait at least an hour) at this young barbecue joint tucked inside the Dallas Farmers' Market—but the tender, perfectly smoked meats are worth the wait says Daniel Vaugh, barbecue editor of Texas Monthly. "They have incredible brisket and giant beef ribs," he says. Watch for a brick-and-mortar outpost slated to open this spring—menu standbys like bacon-and-chile-flecked mac and the "trough" meat-sampler, pictured here, are sure to make an appearance. Photo courtesy of Pecan Lodge
BBQ Worth the Wait at Pecan Lodge

Poor Italian Trattoria

Vancouver
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Poor Italian Trattoria, Vancouver, Canada
Try the Risotto - Poor Italian Ristorante
Burnaby's Poor Italian Ristorante is a one of Metro Vancouver's best choices for Pasta and other regional specialities. The fine dining menu is based on classic Italian working class cuisine with an emphasis on fresh West Coast Seafood. They also have an extensive wine list. The Lemon Risotto with grilled Shrimp and Scallops is the dish that keeps us coming back. © David Brodie - travelin10.com
Try the Risotto - Poor Italian Ristorante

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

Glasgow Style Mile

Glasgow
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Glasgow Style Mile, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Shop Therapy on Glasgow’s Style Mile
If shopping’s your bag, make a bee-line for Glasgow’s “Style Mile,” where the concentration of shops here (some 200) makes it the UK’s largest retail center outside London. The choices include everything from massive department-store emporiums like Debenham’s and House of Fraser (which has been in Glasgow for over 160 years), to boutique kiltmaker’s shops to swanky bath-and-beauty outlets like Space NK. If you’re homesick for American brands, you’ll find plenty of those here, too—including Gap, Nike, and Urban Outfitters. For more information about the places and people who make Glasgow special, visit peoplemakeglasgow.us
Shop Therapy on Glasgow’s Style Mile

demente

Cartagena
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demente, Cartagena, Colombia
Ruinous Retractable Roof in Getsemani
This cool spot in the the hip neighborhood of Getsemani right across from Plaza de la Trinidad boasts a retractable roof, making the tables open air, with a vista over the old dilapidated walls of the building that was in ruins when the owner, Bogota born artist Nick, came in to town. Creative tapas and his dog Socio (business partner) are among its strengths!
Ruinous Retractable Roof in Getsemani

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
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