crafting

Get Crafty at a Winery This Holiday Season

You could grab some friends and go have a glass of wine at a local bar – again. Or, you could grab those friends, have a glass of wine and create some holiday decorations you made yourself. Doesn’t that sound like a nice change of pace? These small wineries across the U.S. offer guided craft classes, complete with the ability to sip while you craft. Make your reservations as soon as possible – these fun events often sell out.

Wine Glass Painting at Laurita Winery, New Egypt, NJ

Create your own original artwork on not one but two wine glasses – one for you and one to share with a friend. You’ll be given everything you need, including step-by-step instructions, to turn wine glasses into Santa and one of his elves.

  • Where: Laurita Winery, 85 Archertown Road, New Egypt, NJ
  • When: Wednesday, November 29, 6:30 pm – 9 pm
  • Tickets: $35 online; $45 at the door, includes one glass of wine

Holiday Wreath Making at Labelle Winery, Portsmouth, NH

Take a breather during this hectic time of year for some relaxing wreath making in the winery cellar. Create your own beautiful evergreen wreath that you can hang in your home or maybe give away as a hostess gift. Instructors will give directions, provide tips and offer suggestions. Wreath rings, tools, wire, mountain laurel, white pine and eastern hemlock will all be provided along with winter berries, and you’re welcome to bring some of your own natural elements to include, too.

  • Where: Labelle Winery, 104 Congress Street, Portsmouth, NH
  • When: Sunday, December 3, 10 am or 1 pm
  • Cost: $30, wine available at an additional cost

Grapevine Snowman Wreath Making at Vineyard View Winery, Keuka Park, NY

Bring a little bit of the vineyard into your home by turning vines into an amazing wreath snowman. You’ll paint the wreaths and add embellishments while an instructor walks you through the whole process. To make it a little more snazzy, bring your own string of white lights to wrap around your snowman.

  • Where: Vineyard View Winery 2971 Williams Hill Road, Keuka Park, NY
  • When: Wednesday, November 22, 6 pm – 8 pm (registration required by November 20)
  • Cost: $30, wine available at an additional cost

Wood Sign Painting at Summerset Winery, Indianola, IA

Customize a wooden sign just the way you want it when Gena’s Designs of the Heartland guides you through the steps to make a 12×12 inch piece of art. Sign style and design are chosen in advance so you’ll know exactly what you’ll be bringing home with you to brighten your decor.

  • Where: Summerset Winery, 15101 Fairfax Street, Indianola, IA
  • When: Wednesday, December 6, 6pm – 8pm
  • Cost: $65, includes one glass of wine

Cork Ornaments at Cougar Vineyard, Temecula, CA

Sip, nibble & craft away while creating holiday ornaments out of wine corks. Bring home something special to hang on the tree and something stuff in someone’s stocking – you can make several cork ornaments during this event.

  • Where: Cougar Vineyard, 39870 De Portola Road, Temecula, CA
  • When: Wednesday, December 13, 4pm – 6pm
  • Cost: $15 wine club members, pre-paid; $18 non-wine club members, pre-paid; $20 at door if still available, includes one glass of wine and light snacks

Slate Painting at Chateau Bu-De, Chesapeake City, MD

No experience is necessary to creating a beautiful painting on slate to add to your holiday and winter decor. During this festive evening, you’ll be guided through the steps necessary to paint a winter scene that will make you look like a professional artist. All supplies needed to finish your slate that evening will be supplied.

  • Where: Chateau Bu-De, 237 Bohemia Manor Lane, Chesapeake City, MD
  • When: Friday, December 8, 5:30 pm – 7 pm
  • Cost: $50, includes one glass of wine

Snowman Wood Pallat Painting at Benigna’s Creek Winery, Klingerstown, PA 

Let everyone know ‘There’s snowplace like home” with this folksy wood pallat painting of a cheerful snowman.  Graphic designer and artist Connie Higgins leads painters through the process step-by-step. Even if you’ve never painted before, your artwork will come out looking like a masterpiece.

  • Where: Benigna’s Creek Winery, 1585 Ridge Road, Klingerstown, PA
  • When: Friday, December 1, 7 pm -9:30 pm
  • Cost: $37, includes wine tasting and snacks

 

kona coffee

Kona Coffee Festival Celebrates the Big Island’s Bold Beans

Luaus, big waves, and hula dancing may be the first things that come to mind when you think of Hawai’i, but our Pacific island-state is also very serious about its incredible coffee. For nearly 200 years, Hawai’i has been growing some of the world’s finest coffee beans. This month, from November 3–12, the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival celebrates that heritage.

In the late 1820s, a missionary planted the first coffee trees in Kona, the sunny region that stretches down the west side of the island of Hawai’i (a.k.a. The Big Island) on the leeward side of the Hualalai Volcano. Sheltered from the area’s harshest wind and rain, Kona’s rich volcanic soil, semi-arid climate, and year-round warm temperatures make it perfect for coffee to thrive.

By the mid-1840s, the first coffee plantations had been established. Soon, Kona coffee would win international acclaim when it received an award of excellence at the 1873 World’s Fair in Venice. By the end of the century, 6,000 acres had been dedicated to growing coffee. By the time Hawai’i was annexed as a state in 1959, annual crops were worth $6.5 million. Today, about 650 farms cultivate coffee across 3,500 acres in the Kona district, producing 3.8 million pounds a year and valued at $14 million.

This month, the 10-day long Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, which began in 1970, celebrates the harvest. Farms offer guided tours, food tastings abound, and music and dancing and culture are everywhere. Each year, Miss Kona Coffee and Miss Aloha are crowned during academic scholarship pageants. The Kona Coffee Recipe Contest and Cupping Competition bring out the best and brightest in their fields. And, of course, everywhere you turn, there is plenty of that wonderful, bold, dark, and delicious Kona coffee – still known to be among the world’s finest.

 

champagne

Raise a glass to New York City’s 5th Annual Champagne Week

It’s not difficult to find Champagne any night of the week in New York City, but during New York Champagne Week, it’s almost as if the bubbles find you. This year Champagne Week turns five, and anyone can join in the celebration from November 6-11. So grab a glass or an entire bottle and find the fizzy fun at one of these events.

New York Champagne Week-Long Public Events

The Vine NYC at Kimpton Hotel Eventi (851 6th Ave) hosts a Champagne by the glass menu throughout the week featuring Champagnes by Boizel, Bulle De Rêve, Devaux, Jacquart and La Caravelle, plus a special 5th Birthday New York Champagne Champagne Cocktail will be served up all week long.

East Village hot spot Martina Pizzeria (198 E 11th St) invites guests to grab a pie and one of the many half bottles of bubbly on the menu.  Champagne Laculle by the glass will also be on the available as long as the supply lasts.

Late nights, hit Corkbuzz (13 E 13th St), New York Champagne’s die hard unofficial late night spot for the entire week. From 10 pm till close get your fizz fix at a steal with half price bottles of bubbly.

New York Champagne Week Individual Events

Bubbles & Beats at Giulietta’s Cantina Club (13 Carmine St) will have special Champagne flights and food pairings, plus they’ll have their infamous Chambongs. Wednesday, November 8 from 7 pm–11 pm. Price: Pay as you go.

Bourbon & Bubbles at Bottle Rocket Wine & Spirit (5 W 19th St) bring together a match made in heaven – Bourbon and Champagne. Join Hudson Whiskey’s National Brand Ambassador Han Shan and New York Champagne Week Founder Blaine Ashley as they host an in-store tasting party. Thursday, November 9 from 5pm-8pm. Price: Free.

Fromage & Fizz at Bedford Cheese Shop ( 67 Irving Pl)  Five types of real deal Champagne perfectly paired with 5 types of cheeses – the perfect French indulgence. Friday, November 10 from 7pm-8:30. Price: $85. Call 718-599-7588 to purchase tickets.

Champagne Cocktail Brunch at Giulietta’s Cantina Club (13 Carmine St) hosts a special New York Champagne Week Champagne Cocktail Brunch accompanied by live blues. Saturday, November 11 from 1 pm–4 pm. Call 212-206-9777 to make a reservation.

Bulle de Rêve

All the fine French Champagne that will flow during Champagne Week will be quality, but while you’re out and about enjoying the celebration of all things bubbly, keep an eye for the opportunity to try Bulle de Rêve – French for Dream Bubble. The label was launched by Wine Enthusiast magazine’s 40 under 40 alum & New York Champagne Week founder Blaine Ashley along with third-generation family-owned Champagne house Champagne Lombard.  This limited edition Champagne is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir 100% from the French village of Grande Montagne de Reims.

 

bacon

PA Bacon Fest: A Pork Lover’s Dream

With all the quirky bacon products that have flooded the Internet, it’s pretty clear that bacon marketing jumped the shark some time ago. But bacon itself? Never. The smell, the flavor, the joy… Bacon is just one of life’s great pleasures. Which is exactly why the town of Easton, Pennsylvania hosts the PA Bacon Fest each year. One of the region’s most popular events, the weekend-long celebration attracts more than 150 vendors, 12 musical acts, multiple stages, and 80,000 attendees to this small city located just an hour from New York and Philadelphia.

PA Bacon Fest came to be as a natural extension of the Easton Farmers’ Market, which claims to be America’s oldest continuously operating open-air market, dating all the way back to 1752. Food vendors who source locally and incorporate organic, all-natural, artisan, and pasture-raised products are given top spots in the fest’s popular farm-to-table area.

The family-friendly, non-profit event (a $2 donation donation is suggested at the door) includes a pig roast, pig racing, hog calling, live music, kids’ events, and tons of food, and, as you might imagine, it smells amazing. Visitors come from across the country for chef battles, culinary demos, and hilarious costume contests. (Here’s a good one: A guy dressed as a strip of bacon wearing a “To hale with kale” sign.) As if this lineup couldn’t get any better, additional events include the Kegs Eggs & Bacon, Bacon & Brew, and Cheek to Cheek Pork & Bourbon Pairing tastings. Not for the faint (or clogged) of heart, a bacon eating contest will also be held. If you prefer to get your weekend off to a more healthy start, consider joining the Racin’ Bacon 5K road race. Whatever you do, though, come hungry; you won’t be getting out of this pork-a-palooza without needing to loosen your belt.

seafood appetizer

5 Fall Food Festivals That Will Make Your Mouth Water

We love to eat at any time of year, but when apples and squash start falling off the branch and vine, we find ourselves especially hungry. Seafood, too, finds its peak in the fall; when coastal water temperatures begin to drop, oysters, clams, and other seafood is at its best. Truthfully, of course, we could probably find an excuse in any season to get together with a group of friends to explore the finer points of culinary trends. But great seafood, craft beer, international chefs, and fine wine seem like an exceptional reason to partake right now.

Apple Harvest Festival

Location: Biglerville, Pennsylvania
Date: October 14–15

Deep in the heart of Pennsylvania, not far from Gettysburg, The National Apple Harvest Festival celebrates one of America’s finest harvests. What better way to celebrate fall than with fresh-picked, crisp fruit straight from the tree? The event also includes an antique car exhibit, more than 300 arts and crafts vendors, hay rides, a petting zoo, and all the foods you can make from apples. This is country living at its best.

Wellfleet OysterFest

Location: Wellfleet, Massachusetts
Date: October 14–15

Here in New England, we take our oysters seriously, and assign them profiles based on “merroir.” (That’s like terroir, but based on where something’s grown in the sea.) Located toward the northern tip of Cape Cod, Wellfleet is well known for its delicious bivalves. The cold, salty waters off its shores yield oysters that are decidedly creamy, sweet, and briny – which has made them famous all over the world. For two days every fall, the town’s streets come alive when the Wellfleet OysterFest brings locals and visitors together to celebrate the region’s famous shellfish with food, art, music, and family fun.

Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival

Location: Newport, Rhode Island
Date: October 18–19

Even though summer’s crowds have dwindled, Newport, Rhode Island continues to stay lively, and the Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival celebrates the best the season has to offer. The free event brings entertainment, family activities, and world-famous cuisine from top Rhode Island restaurants together beside the city’s wharves and surrounding yachts. Honoring the “harvest of the sea,” the festival offers seafood specialties – such as clam chowder, stuffed quahogs, clam cakes, fish tacos, and raw oysters – all hauled from Rhode Island’s local waters.

Harvest on the Harbor

Location: Portland, Maine
Date: October 16–22

Among foodies, Portland, Maine has become a true dining and drinking destination, and its Harvest on the Harbor event brings some of the city’s favorite chefs together for dining and tasting events with a focus on sustainable and locally-sourced food. The week-long event, now in its tenth year, also highlights Portland’s dozens of awesome, local breweries. Added bonus: Harvest on the Harbor benefits Full Plates, Full Potential, a non-profit organization that works toward ending childhood hunger in Maine.

Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Location: Disney World, Florida
Date: November 13

Even if you’re not a “Disney person,” you can still enjoy Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival, which runs from the end of August through mid-November each year. Epcot offers more than 35 international food kiosks, plus its themed dining halls, all of which are staffed by people from the countries each restaurant represents, making the food (perhaps surprisingly) authentic. The Food and Wine Festival also brings tasting events, celebrity chefs, cheese and wine seminars, and culinary demonstrations to the park. Whether you go adults-only or take the kids, it’ll be a delicious experience.

Fall Food Festival Dates

  1. Apple Harvest Festival -Biglerville, PA; Oct. 14-15
  2. WellFleet Oysterfest -MA; Oct. 14-15
  3. Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival -Newport, RI; Oct. 18-19
  4. Harvest on the Harbor -Portland, ME; Oct. 16-22
  5. Epcot Food and Wine Festival -Orlando, FL; through Nov. 13

 

New York City Wine & Food Festival Turns 10

New York will play host to more than 80 culinary star-studded events benefiting the Food Bank For New York City and No Kid Hungry® when the Food Network and Cooking Channel celebrate 10 years of the New York City Wine and Food Festival.

Presented by Coca Cola, this year’s lineup includes established fan favorites as well as some exciting new additions. Whet your appetite and review some of the delicious possibilities. NYCWFF runs October 12 – 15, 2017.

Classics

Blue Moon Burger Bash:

One of the events most closely associated with NYCWFF is the Blue Moon Burger Bash presented by Pat LaFrieda Meats and hosted by Rachael Ray.

This event will bring past winners from previous Bashes to battle new contenders in order to see whose burger reigns supreme. Celebrity judges include Lance Bass, Elvis Duran, Jaymee Sire, and BD Wong. Naughty By Nature, best known for their hits “O.P.P.” and “Hip Hop Horray” will also be performing.

Broadway Tastes:

Don’t miss Broadway Tastes, presented by Variety and hosted by Kristin Chenoweth.

A perfect option for gourmet broadway babies, the second annual Broadway Tastes features chefs – and their brunch dishes – inspired by over a dozen popular Broadway musicals. Cast members of Broadway shows will also make the scene, along with Sirius XM host, Seth Rudetsky.

Newbies

Inaugural Clean & Sustainable Cooking:

The Inaugural Clean & Sustainable Cooking panel is a thought-provoking panel with Chef José Andrés, chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup and named one of Time’s “100 Most Influential People;” Sam Kass, former White House Chef; and Radha Muthiah, CEO of Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. The panel is moderated by Susan Ungaro, President of the James Beard Foundation.

Sustainability has never been a hotter topic in the food world. Have a seat and learn from some of the best in the business.

Israeli Brunch:

You won’t want to miss treating yourself to a traditional Israeli Brunch hosted by famed Philadelphia-based chef/restaurateur, Michael Solomonov. Go sweet – with Federal Donuts – or savory, at this family-style brunch at the Café Medi on the Lower East Side.

Chefs are Rock Stars and Rock Stars are Chefs:

This panel gives you the opportunity to Explore the Creative Link Between Music and Food. Panelists include Mario Batali, Award-winning Chef and TV Personality; Jarobi White, Grammy-award winning musician;  and Brooke Mazurek, acclaimed chef and music writer. Moderator Isabel Gonzalez-Whitaker, Deputy Editor of Billboard, will settle in to discuss the creative parallels between food and music.

For the Family

Italian Harvest Party:

Be sure to attend the Alfa Romeo presents Italian Harvest Party hosted by Giada De Laurentiis. Giada and her daughter Jade will bring “la bella vita” to life at their festive gathering. Expect an abbondanza of snacks, pasta, pizza, beer, wine and mocktails – even a live band!

Family Ice Cream Fun-dae:

At Family Ice Cream Fun-dae, I scream, you scream, we all scream celebrity chef ice cream with hosts Mario Batali and Ayesha Curry. Choose from an array of top icy treats curated by Nick Morgenstern of Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream, and Rebecca DeAngelis, the pastry chef Babbo. Will you opt for Butter & Scotch or go Big Gay Ice Cream?

NYCWFF Has Something For Everyone

Breathless and hungry? Wondering how you can possibly make the most this action-packed celebration of food? Luckily NYCWFF founder and director, Lee Brian Schrager, gave us some advice: “With more than 75 events, there truly is something for everyone’s taste buds and budget.  If it’s your very first Festival, I would suggest taking in one of our signature events at Pier 92 or Pier 94 and then one of the intimate dinners, late-night parties, wine seminars or interactive classes (depending on what your personal preference is). And wear comfortable shoes!”

Purchase tickets online or call (800) 764-8773.

 

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ghosts

8 Wicked Good Things to Do In Salem, Massachusetts

Among the oldest settlements in New England, Salem, Massachusetts was once the home of rich sea captains and Revolutionary privateers, and became a seafaring power after the Puritan era. Notable examples of our country’s earliest styles of architecture are on display here, as are cultural institutions such as the Peabody Essex Museum – with its world-class collection of art and artifacts. Salem is also the birthplace of both the National Guard and Nathaniel Hawthorne.

None of these things, however, are what people think of when they think of Salem.

The mere mention of this city north of Boston conjures witches, sorcery, and the supernatural. When the residents of Salem held the Witch Trials in 1692, they probably didn’t know they were forever sealing Salem’s fate. During the mass hysteria, 19 people (mostly women) were hanged and one was crushed to death for allegedly practicing witchcraft. So it’s somewhat ironic that, in the modern era, Salem has become a sort of mecca for Wiccan, warlock, and sorcerer types.

Wizard shops, psychics, wax museums, and other hokey tourist traps cater to visitors year round, but in October, Salem turns into full-blown Halloween Town, with a grand parade, street fair, ferris wheel, haunted houses, and so much more. All of which is to say that this historically odd place has undeniable charm – and for anyone who loves Halloween and American history, Salem in October is on their bucket list. Skip the frightfully obvious hocus-pocus, and dig in to the best the city has to offer. Ironic as it is, this historically odd place, as they say in the region, is a wicked good time.

The Witch House

Salem is unusual even among historic New England in that every major early American architectural style – Post-medieval, Georgian, Federal, Greek Revival, and Italianate – is well represented here. Post-medieval buildings are the earliest type found in New England; the first English colonists would have built in this fashion. Massive central chimneys, gabled roofs with steep pitches, and diamond-paned leaded windows are all typical of the style. The Witch House – home to Judge Jonathan Corwin, who oversaw the infamous 1692 Witch Trials – is a stellar example. Tour the home to explore the quotidian details of 17th-century life, as well as the extraordinary events that made Salem famous.

“Cry Innocent: the People vs. Bridget Bishop”

“The year is 1692. Bridget Bishop has been accused of witchcraft and you are on the Puritan jury.” So begins this historical reenactment and interactive theater experience that invites the audience to play along in the testimonies, cross-examinations, and eventual judgements of Salem’s accused citizens. This “empathic imagination” experience encourages the audience to engage with history, so that they “might broaden their understanding of the present and gain a fresh sense of purpose within their own era.”

Peabody Essex Museum

The beginnings of this museum date back to 1799, when a group of Salem sea captains founded the East India Marine Society and filled their headquarters with “natural and artificial curiosities,” collected on their global trips. Today, the museum’s diverse collection of 1.8 million works still includes some of those very first objects, as well as paintings, sculptures, photographs, textiles, and more from the 1700s through the current era. A 2003 expansion made PEM one of the biggest museums on the east coast, with tons to offer art lovers of all stripes.

It’s Alive! from the Kirk Hammett Collection at PEM

Kirk Hammett, best known as the guitarist from Metallica, happens to be an avid collector of classic horror and sci-fi movie posters, which he credits as being part of his own creative inspiration. On display through November 26, It’s Alive! Classic Horror and Sci-Fi Art from the Kirk Hammett Collection shows off dozens of posters, electric guitars, monster masks, and sculptures that recall the golden age of Hollywood and provide some interesting insight into the evolution of the genre.

Wynott’s Wands

As one might expect, not just warlocks but also wizards galore roam the streets here. Just steps from the Peabody Essex Museum is Wynott’s Wands, a delightful Harry Potter–inspired shop where any old Muggle can browse the stacks and stacks of boxes containing artfully hand-carved wooden wands.

House of the Seven Gables

Born in Salem on July 4, 1805, Nathaniel Hawthorne would write his world-famous novel The House of the Seven Gables – which explores themes of romance, guilt, atonement, and the supernatural – based on inspiration from his native town, and named for this very house. Built in 1668 on the edge of Salem Harbor for one of the richest families in the Thirteen Colonies, the house is now dedicated to Hawthorne’s life and work, and to local history.

Herb Mackey’s Metal Sculpture Yard

Just beyond the ferry landing, local resident Herb Mackey creates imaginative creatures from found objects. Mackey makes frequent additions to the collection, which lives in his yard, much to the delight of locals and visitors alike.

Historic Cemeteries

Salem is filled with Colonial-era burying grounds that feature beautiful headstones with fascinating engraved folk art and lettering. Howard Street Cemetery is said to be where Giles Corey – a victim of the Witch Trials – was gorily pressed to death under the weight of rocks slowly piled upon him after he refused to stand trial. The Broad Street and Charter Street cemeteries also have ties to the hysteria of 1692, with members of the court buried here. Behind the latter is the Witch Trials Memorial, a quiet space commemorating the innocence of those killed and acknowledging the injustice of the events.

 

superhero toys

7 Super Restaurants Near New York Comic Con

It’s that time of year: The season when it’s perfectly acceptable for grown men to wear their underpants over their tights. That’s right. New York Comic Con is coming.

From October 5 – 8, the mother of all geek conventions descends upon New York City’s Javits Center. After watching panels on Black Panther, catching a movie or two, and seriously scaring yourself in the Jigsaw escape room, you’re going to be hungry. Very hungry.

The Javits Center is absolutely massive, and it’s so far west in Manhattan that it’s practically falling into the Hudson River. In other words, unlike other Manhattan neighborhoods, things are kinda spread out. You’re not going to want to do any extra walking, or to scout five different cafes before deciding where to eat. Luckily, we’ve done the homework for you, so you can save your feet for cruising the exhibition halls. Here are seven excellent eateries, all within walking distance of the Javits, where you can go get your grub on.

Friedman’s

The pancakes, waffles, and fried chicken at Friedmans are good enough for any superhero – you’d never guess that the entire menu is gluten-free. The restaurant (which is named after economist Milton Friedman) also serves local veggies and antibiotic-free meats.

Gotham West Market

This giant food hall houses 10 vendors under one roof – from ramen to tacos to Blue Bottle coffee – so there’s a little something for everyone in your posse. Eater describes the fare at Gotham West Market as “interesting and high-quality food,” and there’s a bonus: cocktails, which many food halls don’t have.

Rustic Table

Fresh local food and a cozy, industrial vibe are what you’ll find at Rustic Table, which literally has a reclaimed-wood farm table running down its center. Fresh pastries, fine coffees, and lighter fare like sandwiches are all on the menu.

Clyde Frazier’s Wine and Dine

If you’re a Comic Con cosplayer who still wants to catch the game, Clyde Fazier’s Wine and Dine is the right spot for you. This sports-themed restaurant in Hudson Yards features American cuisine with global flair, an extensive cocktail menu, and a serious collection of whiskeys. With its free-throw basketball court – the spot is named from the former Knicks player who’s a partner in the business – and more than 40 television screens, it’s a place where sports fans and fanboys can co-mingle.

Tavola

Tavola‘s menu is based on the regional Italian fare of Puglia, Rome, and Sicily, and uses many ingredients carefully sourced from these regions, some of which are exclusively imported for the restaurant. Known for it wood-burning ovens, which were handcrafted in Naples, Italy from Vesuvian volcanic clay, this classic trattoria offers meat, fish, and pasta dishes, as well as true Neapolitan pizza.

Larb Ubol

New York is a melting pot of people and cultures, and the result is some damn good, authentic food. Larb Ubol is an authentic Thai restaurant specializing in cuisine from the country’s northeast Isan region. The restaurant’s decor is cheerful and relaxed, though perhaps a bit DIY, but don’t let that distract you: Even the hardest core Thai food lovers will be pleasantly surprised by the extensive menu and intensely delicious dishes.

Print

Located in a repurposed printing factory, Print is dedicated to seasonal, sustainable cooking and offers a menu that’s updated daily based on available ingredients that are collected by the restaurant’s “in-house forager.” Bookend dinner with a cocktail at the Press Lounge, Print’s sister venue located upstairs in the same building, which has spectacular views of the city.

Plated Food

8 Affordable New Orleans Restaurants (That Locals Love, Too)

There’s never a bad time to visit New Orleans, but Halloween has got to be one of the best. In addition to all of the usual food, culture, and general wackiness the city has to offer, the annual Voodoo festival is a weekend-long music and arts adventure. More than 65 bands, immersive art installations, a beer hall, and, of course, amazing costumes are all part of the experience. The food on-site is made by some of the city’s top local chefs, but at some point, you’re going to have to eat outside of Voodoo. When you do, here are eight top picks for uber-delicious, not-too-expensive, super-chill places to go. These locals-approved restaurants might be busy, but they won’t be overrun with tourists.

Pizza Delicious
Neighborhood: Bywater
It’s really hard to get pizza that tastes like it’s from New York outside of New York. But the aptly named Pizza Delicious makes it possible. Their thin crust is crispy but still doughy, and also completely satisfying. Funky toppings (sriracha pineapple, anyone?) and house-made pastas will further delight your palate.

Jack Dempsy’s Restaurant
Neighborhood: Bywater
Don’t let its hole-in-the-wall appearance fool you: Jack Dempsy’s serves up some fine New Orleans fare. With recipes passed down through generations, the fried seafood platters, po’ boys, and mac n’ cheese here are the real thing. This is Southern-style fill-you-up food – you won’t leave hungry.

Satsuma Cafe
Neighborhoods: Marigny, Bywater
Local, fresh, and healthy is the mission at Satsuma, which serves up scratch baked goods, fresh juices, and fine coffees, plus salads and sandwiches. With cafés in two locations – in the Bywater and the Marigny – it’s a great place to fuel up for the day.

Bacchanal
Neighborhood: Bywater
Bacchanal describes itself as “a wine laboratory where food music and culture collude with Holy Vino,” and it’s a wonderful place to gather. With live jazz in the courtyard seven nights a week, patrons pick their poison from the “Old World” wine shop (yes, there are cocktails, too), then move into the dining rooms or backyard to enjoy the Mediterranean-meets-NOLA menu. This is a popular destination with locals and tourists alike; expect a wait most evenings.

The Joint
Neighborhood: Bywater
The ribs, brisket, slow-cooked pork, juicy chicken and house-made sausage at The Joint are all smoked right out back. Add some proper sides and fixins, sit back, and enjoy the shack-like décor. This isn’t just some of the best BBQ in New Orleans, it’s some of the best anywhere.

Juan’s Flying Burrito
Neighborhoods: Uptown, Garden District, Central Business District, Mid-City
If you have a hankering for some really good Mexican, head to Juan’s Flying Burrito, which calls itself “the world’s first Creole Taqueria.” This crowd-pleaser serves interpretative traditional Mexican mixed with local ingredients, so if your squad is on a Margarita kick, this is the place to go. And with locations in four neighborhoods, you’re never too far from one.

Casamento’s Restaurant
Neighborhood: Garden District
For more than 90 years, Casamento’s has served up traditional New Orleanian fare alongside Italian classics. Joe Casamento, an Italian immigrant who opened the space, covered the eatery floor to ceiling in tile, and the original décor still remains. (Be sure to make a trip to the rest room here, which will through the incredible kitchen.) Eat anything you want off the menu, but if you don’t order the chargrilled oysters, you’re a fool.

Café du Monde
Neighborhood: French Quarter
There are plenty of great spots to eat in the French Quarter, but the famous Café du Monde really shouldn’t be missed. Opened in 1862, this New Orleans institution retains an old time-y feel, as servers in paper hats deliver plates of beignets and dark-roasted chicory coffee round the clock. It’s impossible to resist these squares of fried dough topped with mountains of powdered sugar. Is it touristy? A bit. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go.

Beer sampler
Photo by Quinn Dombrowski and Creative Commons.

5 Pubs in Galway Where You’ll Find the Perfect Pint

With its pretty coastline, Galway is often thought of as a popular destination for summer. But with its Bohemian vibe, arts scene, and buzzing nightlife, this city on Ireland’s west coast is a great stop at any time of year. It’s especially tantalizing during the last weekend of September when, every year since 1954, the Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival brings foodies galore to town (This year’s event will be held September 22–24.) Oyster shucking contests, talks, and tasting events are all on the menu – as are champagne and stout beers, of course.

If you’re heading to the festivities, you’ll want to partake in the local culture, too. Which, of course, means heading to the pub for a pint (or two). Beloved by tourists and locals alike, here are five pubs worth bellying up to:

Tig Coili

It’s all about the music at this charming spot, located in the heart of the city’s Latin Quarter. Here at Tig Coili, where many of the area’s best players are drawn, you’re likely to catch a lively session of traditional tunes. Fancy a seat outside? You’ll still be in luck; excellent regular buskers tend to play just outside the front door.

Tigh Neactain

Open fireplaces, live music, and an artsy, intellectual vibe can be found between the walls at Tigh Neachtain, also located in the Galway’s Latin Quarter. If beer’s not always your thing, don’t worry – whiskey is theirs. Choose from more than 130 varieties to sip on. Since 1894, this traditional pub has been a gathering place for eclectic crowds, and to this day it attracts actors, musicians, artists, business people, and tourists alike.

Bierhaus

Popular with a younger crowd, Bierhaus supplies an outstanding selection of regional and international craft brews that would surely get any American beer snob excited. But you don’t have to don a manicured beard to feel at home here – the diverse crowd is friendly and warm. Tucked into Galway’s West End neighborhood, Bierhaus has a fresh take on music and food – offering gourmet sandwiches like Banh Mi in place of traditional fish and chips.

The Quays

Yes, it’s listed in every tourist guide, but there’s a definite reason why. For almost 400 years, The Quays has served the good people of Galway and it’s happy to serve you, too. A beautiful stage and pipe organ serve as backdrop for the lively bands that play at Galway’s most famous and historic drinking establishment.

Monroe’s Tavern

Housed in a historic building, this three-story bar is large, but its interior spaces are inviting and cozy. On the ground floor of Monroe’s Tavern, you’ll encounter traditional Irish dancing and song, along with hearty pub fare. Head upstairs later in the evening, where the crowd favors more contemporary bands and a club-like scene seven nights a week. A Galway institution, Monroe’s has been family-owned for decades.