Archive for ‘city guides’

January 12, 2011

BEST OF TEL AVIV GUIDE (vegetarian friendly)

Visiting Tel Aviv? Please enjoy my BEST OF TEL AVIV GUIDE…


I lived in Tel Aviv for 3 years with my husband and wanted to share our favorite parts of it. I’m skipping hotels since I have no experience there. If you know of a great hotel that you think I should add to this guide please let me know. Enjoy!

FOOD (for vegetarians)!
Tel Aviv is a little beach city that stretches along the beautiful Mediterranean. Amongst locals it’s known for its long summers, temperate waters and great food from all over.

Best Humus
Abu-Hasaan: A real old gem. This little place opened in Jaffa in 1966, and has been serving the best humus around ever since.
You’ll get their Masabacha topped off with chickpeas, served with fresh warm pita bread.
(1 Dolphin St., Tel Aviv)

Best Sushi
Onami: Let’s start with the unexpected. Israel is not known for its great sushi. But that’s not what makes this place special. They just serve great, fresh sushi every single time. There’s plenty of space here so it’s also something the whole family can comfortably fit in and enjoy. You may need to make a reservation first though, it’s popular.
(18 Haarba’a, Tel Aviv)

Best Vegetarian Breakfast
I had a hard time summing up as we ate lots of different amazing breakfasts in Tel Aviv. In fact, breakfast became my favorite meal there. Here are a few places I can happily recommend.

Cafe Michal: Get the french toast. French toast is served a little differently in Israel and I love it. My first experience eating it made me sad as I looked for maple syrup on the plate. But then I tried the alternative which is yummy chopped up seasonal fruit with creme fraiche. Immediate convert. YUM!
(230 Dizengoff St., Tel Aviv)

Love Eat: This place looks a little generic from the outside and it’s also a small chain, but the food is served quickly and it’s actually very nice. I don’t even like yogurt & granola much but I used to LOVE their granola, yogurt and fruit dish.
(at the corner of Dizengoff St. and Jabotinsky, Tel Aviv)

Chader Ha Ochel (The Dining Hall): A little more upscale, this place is located at Tel Aviv’s Opera House. Take a seat at one of their long wooden communal tables. Tables are set like a friendly kibbutz only the design is super clean, conscious and modern. Order the regular Israeli breakfast. It comes with fresh oven-baked bread and all sorts of surprisingly tasty spreads.
(23 Shaul Hamelech Blvd)

Best Vegetarian Lunch
Sorry, I don’t have a lunch-specific recommendation. I would go eat humus for lunch at Abu-Hassan. That’ll work!

Best Vegetarian Dinner
Puah: I miss Puah. I miss the lovely vintage table cloths and furniture. I miss the laid back, beautiful atmosphere. I miss the fantastic veggie burgers with potato wedges. If you just have time for one of these foody recommendations, go to this one. The service may not always be A+ but it’s still impossible to leave there in a bad mood.
(3 Rabbi Yohanan St., Jaffa)

Best Italian Food
Amore Mio: Go there and get the giudita – big homemade noodles with rose sauce made with mascarpone cheese. A big warm treat for your Italian loving belly. YUM!
(100 Even Gvirol St., Tel Aviv)

Best Croissant
Bakery (next to Brasserie): Lots of Frenchies live in Tel Aviv and thank goodness they do because French pastries are my best friends. The Bakery is located next to its mother ship, Brasserie (also a great place to eat).  I’m not crazy about eating on busy sidewalks though, which is where the bakery sits, so I would just order a to-go croissant and stuff your face with buttery flakes along your way.
(70 Even Gvirol, Tel Aviv)

Best Dessert
Well it just so happens that the best dessert is also located at the same place as the best sushi. Not to sound awful but I usual really dislike asian inspired desserts. This place is just the opposite. The chocolate fudgey cake thing is one of the best desserts I’ve ever tasted.
(18 Haarba’a, Tel Aviv)


SHOPPING

I didn’t shop much in Tel Aviv. I had a hard time finding things I loved that were affordable. Shamefully, I mostly shopped at non-native stores such as Zara & Top Shop at Dizengoff Center. There were a few local designer shops I enjoyed but I can’t seem to find all the information on them now. I’ll work on that. For now, just head down these streets & areas and you’ll find plenty to look at:

Gan HaChashmal
, Shenken Street, Dizengoff Street

DO & SEE CHECKLIST

√ Old Jaffa Port
√ Days at the beach
√ HaCarmel Market
√ Neve Tzedek
√ Old Yemeni neighborhood behind the Carmel Market
√ Eat a typical Israeli breakfast (eggs any style with lots of little sides and cheese spreads)
√ Namal (the pier)
√ Park Yarkon


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October 10, 2010

BEST OF PARIS GUIDE (vegetarian friendly)

It’s here! My BEST OF PARIS GUIDE…


We recently got back from a perfect Paris trip and felt it was only right to share the gems we discovered. Covering the best vegetarian-friendly food, sweet shopping, comfy hotel accommodations and the not-so-touristy frolics, here’s what we came up with. 

HOTEL
Paname Hotel Bastille
– This place was recommended to us. It was somewhat affordable (for Paris) and quite cozy. The staff was friendly & we felt like we were really situated amongst other Parisians instead of tourists.

FOOD (for vegetarians!)
It’s not very easy being a vegetarian in Paris. Cafe menus weren’t as varied as some of those in NYC. That said, we ended up discovering some of the best vegetarian friendly food we ever tasted!


Best Croisssant
Au levain du marais: The BEST croissant, baguette and au pain chocolat in Paris. Pick up a few of these in the morning and frolic around the neighborhood. (28, Blvd Beaumarchais, 11e)

Best Vegetarian Breakfast
Les Philosophes: Get the regular Paris breakfast – includes a gorgeous plate of the best croissant, fresh fruit, creme fraiche, jam, butter, OJ, tea/coffee. YUM. (28 Rue Vieille du Temple 75004 Paris, France)

Best Vegetarian Lunch
Le Potager du Marais: Visit the Pompidou Museum in the morning but don’t bother eating their shit cafe food (we tried). Instead, head over to this vegetarian place for lunch. Must Get: quinoa encrusted veggie burger with freshly grated beet and carrot salad and puree cauliflower. A much needed treat for a veggie in Paris! (22 Rue Rambuteau 75003 Paris, France)

Best Vegetarian Dinner
Soya: We heard rave reviews about this vegetarian restaurant before even setting foot in there. And surprisingly, both the atmosphere and the food fulfilled our high expectations. Their website says they close at 7pm. This is NOT true, dinner actually starts at 7pm.  (A little difficult to find but well worth the walk – 20 rue de la pierre levee, 75011 Paris, France)

Best Dessert
Les Philosophes: Creme brulee (28 Rue Vieille du Temple 75004 Paris, France)


SHOPPING
While shopping wasn’t my main focus in Paris (screw the Euro!), we did venture to a few great shopping spots. They are not hard to find. In fact it seemed as though everywhere we walked there was a cute row of shops.

Best Shopping Street
Rue vieille du Temple became a favorite street of ours to stroll down and window shop.

Best Expensive Boutique
Tsumori Chisato: Cheap? Non. Authentic and inspiring? Oui. ( 20 rue Barbette, Paris, France)

Best “Affordable” Paris Boutique
Sessun: I recently blogged about this shop. I love peeking at their online winter collection and I loved visiting their shop in person. (34 rue de Charrone, Paris, France).

Best Unexplored Shopping Area
Rue de Charrone, near Sessun, was a cute area we wanted to explore more but didn’t have time to.


THINGS TO DO & SEE
I have only a few actual site recommendations beyond the usual Louvre, Notre Dame and Centre Pompidou, because besides those visits our days were mostly filled exploring the city streets, across the Seine, through the cobble stone, into the cafes and patisseries, onto the gardens, etc. etc…

Best Walking Tour
While I know it’s obvious to go to the Louvre, Notre Dame and Centre Pompidou, it’s also pretty fantastic. And what we did, was download Rick Steves’ Paris Audio Tours. The Historic Paris Walk, which included Notre Dame.

Best Book Store for English Speakers
Shakespeare and Company: A small and special place with 3 rikity floors of books, an old piano for anyone to play and a typewriter to create your own “old fashioned” letter.

Best Recommended Site We Missed Out On
Promenade Plantee: This is supposed to be a beautiful pathway which was actually the source of inspiration for the amazing High Line in NYC.

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