UNIGLOBE Donaldson Travel Cambridge's Blog

(The Limmat River of Zurich)

Probably my favorite part about traveling is eating. I try to be adventurous and always set aside a healthy portion of my travel budget towards food. 

Now, I wouldn't have immediately thought of Zurich as a foodie capital in Europe, but as it turns out there is a thriving restaurant scene in the Zurich West neighborhood. 

Ratha Tep of the NYTimes Travel section did a neat write-up about the region: In Zurich West, Feeding the Hip and the Hungry.  

Here's an excerpt:

Now the area has emerged as the city’s latest culinary hotbed, with serious new restaurants, interesting bars and Zurich’s first permanent covered food market. Their openings are fueled by rapid construction and new infrastructure, including 1.86 miles of tram tracks that made their debut in the district last month, making it easier to hop among the city’s most thrilling spots to eat and drink.

The article includes a pretty diverse list of flavors and places. It's reading posts like these that remind me of how many places I still haven't been. 

Time to get traveling!

 

One of my favorite activities while traveling is sampling the local food. In somewhere like Los Angeles, with its rich diversity and foodie culture, this is especially wonderful. 

Los Angeles has plenty more to offer (just ask us!), but the cuisine might be one of its biggest drawing points.

Tom Wagner of Demand Media just posted his list of Top 10 Famous Places to Eat in Los Angeles, California.  If you're going to dine in L.A., do it in style. The list has everything from high-end splurge experiences to 24-hr delis.

Check out his full list, and for any other info on L.A., contact us at Donaldon Travel!

Venice is an AMAZING destination - one of the most popular in the world, in fact. Given the high level of tourism the city receives, it's easy to be drawn into a tourist trap.

We want you to visit this magical place, but without breaking the bank. This especially applies to dining, where there can be a huge difference between the rich, wonderful local food and the tourist trap restaurants. 

I wanted to share this article by Bianca Reyes, author of Venice for Rookies: The Do's and Don'ts of Dining in Venice, posted to whereivebeen.com. Now a resident of Venice, Bianca has some great info on dining in the city. Below is an excerpt, but check out the full article!

Tip: Venetian fishermen have Sundays off, so don’t eat at any seafood restaurants on Monday since the fish will most likely be two days old. 

 

And contact us at Uniglobe Donaldson to plan your trip in 2012! 

Bonjour!

Europe isn’t as well-known for its street eats as some other regions, but there is a ton of variety of traditional and fusion flavors that you just have to try.

So here are the street cart smarts you need to navigate through the mixed and marvelous world of European street cuisine.

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Picnic 
One of the most fun parts about Europe is the many squares, plazas, fountains, parks and other public spaces available that are perfect for setting up a picnic.

Oftentimes there are street vendors stationed nearby; especially in more urbanized areas street vendors continue to be a popular local snack or meal that you can find almost anywhere.

Set up with some chow to people-watch and chat with friends, or add a cheap bottle of wine and you have budget-friendly romantic date.

Farmers’ Markets 
This is one of the best places to find fresh produce, baked goods, drinks and snacks. European produce is high in quality, and since many people do their shopping out of Farmers’ Markets, you’ll have a large selection to choose from.

Throughout Europe you can find Farmers’ Markets that sell pre-maid snacks and meals for discount prices. Ask around locally (or ask us!) where you can find them.

Turkish Influences 
Particularly in Germany, the Netherlands, and France, a wave of immigration from Turkey and other countries in the Middle East has brought about an influx of delicious, rich flavors, now a staple in the street cart world.

In Berlin especially, Turks make up the majority of the immigrant population, meaning a plethora of fresh Turkish cuisine to enjoy.

Try the infamous döner, which is kebab meat with yoghurt sauce and fresh greens served in a flatbread like a sandwich. According to local legend it was invented in the 1970s by a business-minded Turkish immigrant at Kottbusser Tor.

Falafel is another popular import. In Amsterdam if you’re looking for a cheap, fresh snack, head over to the Amsterdam Central Station for the little falafel cart outside. For more about falafel in Amsterdam, check out this article.

Drink 
In Italy you can easily find a street-side café or Espresso bar for a quick, pick-me-up espresso.

For places like Prague and Berlin, lift your spirits with some wonderful mulled wine. In Berlin, you can find Glühwein, a hot spiced red wine, usually prepared with cinnamon sticks, vanilla pods, cloves, orange peel and sugar. Sometimes fruit wines, like blueberry and cherry wine, are used instead of grape wine. For an extra kick order itmit rum (with a shot of rum). Glühwein is über popular in Berlin, especially during Christmastime.

In Prague, between the art and craft stands at the Christmas Market in Old Town serves up the most warm and wonderful mulled wine. It’s strong and sweet and unlike anything you’ve ever tried.

Sweets 
Ich bin ein Berliner! Seriously though, if you’re in Berlin, don’t miss out on thepfannkichen, a type of doughnut filled with jam.

In Italy, it’s a gelato dream. In major cities you can find small, bodega-like establishments on pretty much every block. For a few Euros you can cool off with a few scoops of gelato. Stick to places that sell only gelato though. One good rule of thumb for food carts is the fewer the options the better the quality.

If you’re traveling to Belgium, you have to try the waffles. Squeezed between the incredible art and architecture in Brussels are dozens of small stands serving up fresh waffles, covered in fruit, chocolate and whipped cream.

In Paris and other areas of France, crepes are where it’s at. For dessert have one spread with confiture de ait or with salted butter and honey. Or if you’re me, lots and lots of nutella. Crêperies are available on almost every street corner and in addition to dessert-style, you can find Arab versions with feta cheese, spinach, olives and sausage or with grated gruyère cheese, and a softly-fried egg.

Here’s Where to Get the Best Crepes in Paris.

Fried Cheese 
Just stop and think about how good that sounds. One of the most popular and traditional of Czech street foods is syr smazeny, which is breaded and fried cheese, usually of the Edam, Gouda or Swiss variety. It typically comes with tatarska omacka (tartar sauce), along with fried potatoes, and salad or bread.

You can find this treat in Bulgaria too, except it’s made with kashkaval cheese.

Top Picks 
Europe is tricky because it’s a region that encompasses 50 different countries. There are a few top hits though, so we’ll try to point them out (let us know what we missed!)

England is famous for fish n’ chips, seasoned with vinegar and salt served on a paper plate piled high with chips (“french fries”).

Across the Balkans you’ll find the most delicious, hand-formed sausages also known ascevapi or cevaps, served on lepinje, a type of flat bread. On the Dalmatian coast in Croatia, it’s fried seafood and seafood salads, such as lignje na salatu (squid salad).

In Athens, it’s the gyros; Germany has sausage with bread, wurst, kartoffein, and struedel; Bury Market in England serves up the best blackpudding; and Stockholm has cheap knäckis, a sandwich of fried herring, topped with cucumbers and red onions, and served on hard bread.

Speaking of herring, don’t go to Amsterdam without trying the “nieuwe” herring, salted and served on a paper plate with onions and gherkin (pickles). Eat with a toothpick and enjoy the surprisingly mild, savory taste.

More Resources 
Here’s a good, more specialized guide to Eastern European Street Food

Huffpost Travel: The 8 Tastiest Street Foods in Europe

When I think back to my trip to Portland a few years ago, two things come to mind: 1) Rain (pretty, refreshing rain - not at all depressing), and 2) the food - Oh My God the food.

Turns out that the folks up in the Pacific Northwest have figured it all out. Through a combination of quality land planning, conscious citizens, organic farming movements, and the laid-back culture, comes one of the most excellent foodie cultures in the States.

Steph, from Twenty-Something Travel, posted an article on Portland: A Budget Foodie’s Heaven on Earth, naming all her favorite spots to get a cheap but delicious bite of food. Check it out!