LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
Where to begin when it comes to the amazing and diverse food offerings in LA? Everyone knows it has phenomenal Asian and Mexican food, thanks to the large populations of both groups within the city. For modern modern Mexican cuisine from Chef/Owners Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, head to the Border Grill (www.bordergrill.com), which features conscientiously sourced, seasonal fare (like Crispy Baja Shrimp with spicy aioli, tajin, limes, and cacahuates). For Asian food, Marugame Monzo (www.marugamemonzola.com) is considered one of the best places for Japanese food in the city, and serves up scrumptious udon that’s prepared from house-made noodles! LA’s food scene, however, goes far beyond just Asian and Mexican food. Places like The Griddle (www.thegriddlecafe.com) are serving up phenomenal breakfasts, with celebrities regularly lining up to have their photos taken with the plate-sized pancakes. Did you know that Los Angeles Angeles is the donut capital of America? The City of Angeles has more donut shops than anywhere else in the country, and the famous Randy’s Donuts (www.randysdonuts.com), with its giant, house-sized donut logo, even served as the inspiration for “Lard Lad’s Donuts” in The Simpsons. For the true LA experience, a visit to Urth Caffé (www.urthcaffee.com) is a must. Urth is known for their fresh, healthy meals, as well as their signature coffee drinks and matcha lattes that are adorned with gorgeous coffee art, where baristas paint beautiful swans, flowers, and more, all using the frothed milk.
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA
New Orleans is the crossroads of the culinary world. The city is known for its southern creole classics like jambalaya, gumbo, po boys, shrimp and grits, fried gator, and more. A few excellent options for classic NOLA cuisine are Gallier’s (www.galliernola.com), Guy’s Po Boys (www.facebook.com/guyspoboysnola), and Café Amelie (www.cafeamelie.com). And let’s not forget the famous Café Du Monde (www.cafedumonde.com), known for their delicious beignets and robust coffee and chicory blend. But New Orleans is also being filled with new restaurants serving food from all over the world. LUVI (www.luvirestaurant. com) is creating some wonderful Chinese and Japanese dishes, Addis Nola (https://www.addisnola.com) is bringing award-winning Ethiopian food to the Crescent City, and Herbsaint (www.herbsaint.com) is keeping Louisiana’s French heritage alive with stunning modern French cuisine. New Orleans is a truly gorgeous southern city filled with world-class dining.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
New York City is obviously a must-visit for any foodie because the city, quite simply, has it all. From New York-style pizza, like John’s of Bleeker Street (www.johnsofbleeker.com); to scrumptious vegan places, like the queer-owned Red Bamboo (www.redbamboo-nyc.com) near NYU; to upscale dining helmed by world-famous chefs, like Ko by Momofuku (www.komofuku.com); and many, many more. If you love food, you’ll only have one problem when visiting New York City: you’ll never be able to eat everything you want in just one visit! From dim sum in Chinatown to Zabar’s (www.zabars.com) on the Upper West Side, stunning and iconic meals are literally around every corner. If planning a trip, it would be wise to research a few restaurants before visiting. And after your meal, don’t forget to head over to the famous Serendipity 3 (www.serendipitybrands.com) for dessert, which will reopen after renovations during the summer of 2021.
Portland has a reputation for being weird and wonderful, and the city’s food scene reflects that perfectly. The best example of this is Voodoo Doughnut (www.voodoodoughnut.com). Here, they top doughnuts with everything from Butterfingers to Oreos, bubblegum, and even bacon. It’s no wonder why the joint is regularly featured on TV and in magazines. Even Portland’s upscale eateries embrace the weird and wonderful. Canard (www.canardpdx.com) is a highly regarded establishment that’s been wowing diners with high-quality meals that all come with a twist: pancakes topped with duck eggs and tabasco sauce, fried chicken wings served with truffle honey mustard, and for dessert, ice cream served with pine nut better. Even pizza is different in Portland. Ranch PDX (www.ranchpdx.com) bakes square pizzas with thick sides, specifically for the purpose of being able to dip each slice in ranch sauce.
For traditionalists, Little t Baker (www.littletbaker.com) makes phenomenal baked goods, pastries, and loaves of bread. It’s a wonderful place to pick up a baguette, and while you’re there, why not grab a bear claw, financier, and danish for the road? If you’re in the mood to sit back and relax, the Tin Shed Garden (www.tinshedgardencafe.com) is the place to go. Inside is a woodtrimmed cabin, complete with a fireplace. Outside, there’s a gorgeous garden for the warmer months, filled with plants, statues, and bird baths. The restaurant serves their drinks in eclectic mugs, and dogs aren’t just welcomed, but encouraged to come join their families for a meal! For a truly memorable dining experience, Portland is the place to go.
Seattle’s location makes it a phenomenal food city. Sitting on the Puget Sound, not far from the Pacific Ocean, the entire region is brimming with some of the freshest seafood on the planet. Add the endlessly misty weather and fertile soil, and you have a prime location for growing outstanding produce. Put them together and you wind up with Seattle’s booming farm-to-table dining scene, or more precisely, sea-to-table dining. Duke’s Seafood (www.dukesseafood.com) is a popular local chain, and Elliot’s Oyster House (www.elliotsoysterhouse.com) and The Walrus and the Carpenter (www.thewalrusbar.com) are both highly regarded local seafood favorites. For a relaxed weekend brunch, Portage Bay Café (www.portagebaycafe.com) is the place to go. The brand has become so popular that they now have four locations across the city, although many say the U District location is still the place to go. They’re known for Pacific-inspired takes on diner classics like Dungeness crab grilled cheese and smoked salmon avocado toast. And don’t forget to finish it off with a classic cup of Seattle’s favorite drink, coffee! For a very special night, take a ferry over to Bainbridge Island and dine at Hitchcock (www.hitchcockrestaurant.com). The restaurant is famous for their artisan burgers, for hosting rotating pop-up restaurants, and for its decadent bakeshop that serves up delights such as miso peanut butter cookies, homemade sourdough bread, blueberry pie, and more, all using fresh and local ingredients from the Pacific Northwest.
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