Travel Guide: Philadelphia

Living in Boston, the city of brotherly love has always been one of those elusive destinations that was too far for a day trip, but not quite far enough for a weekend. When the Ritz Carlton offered to have me visit, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to discover a city I had only previously visited on work trips, and haven’t really had a chance to explore.

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Dress: Becken, Bag: Aspinal of London, Boots: M.Gemi

One of the perks of staying at the Ritz is the fact that you are smack dab in the middle of City Center, meaning you can walk everywhere. There’s a couple of great breakfast spots, coffee shops, and landmarks less than a 15-minute walk away. The most notable landmark is City Hall, which not only boasts some seriously breathtaking architecture, but has a pretty fun history as well. You can book guided tours, or just walk around (and through) the building yourself. IMG_3050Processed with VSCO with m6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with m6 preset

Even if you aren’t staying at the Ritz, it is always a good idea to swing in to see their show-stopping lobby, grab a cocktail at the bar, or even sit down for a tasty meal at Aqimero.  The restaurant serves as a perfect place to post up for a business lunch, or enjoy a few snacks before heading out for your evening. I recommend the charcuterie board and the baos.

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My trip to Philly wasn’t all vacation, so I did need to find a few spots where I could post up and catch up on my emails. One of the tastiest, and most focus-inducing, discoveries was the oat milk matcha latte from Elixr Coffee on Sydenham Street. They have a decent number of tables, and it really was the best matcha I’ve ever had. Note to self: drink more tea lattes with oat milk — yum! Next, I fueled up over at P.S. & Co. with an açai bowl. If you’re looking to eat and do work, you have to snag one of their window seats, though. They don’t allow laptops in any other part of the cafe.

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Sweater: Artizia

One of my favorite things to do in any city is explore their street art. Not only does it make for fun photos, but I’m always in awe of the creations that artists manage to achieve on buildings around the city. Philly happens to be known for the wide selection of street art, and it is definitely worth giving yourself half a day to explore. You can find out a ton of information on the Mural Arts Philadelphia website, and they even have tours if you don’t want to build your own itinerary of pieces to see. 

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Sweater: Madewell, Coated Denim: Paige, Boots: M.Gemi

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Speaking of art, there is an inspiring installation in Philly called the Magic Gardens. I actually discovered this place when I was searching on Pinterest for things to do (and photography) in the city. And, what a gem this was! I am always such an advocate for using Pinterest when exploring new places, and the Philly Magic Gardens experience was no exception. This little nook in the South Street neighborhood took 17 years for artist, Isaiah Zagar to excavate and design – a large portion was done so under the radar. In 2002, the Boston-based owner of the lots discovered Zagar’s installation and decided to sell the land, calling for the work to be dismantled. (Noooooo!) Unwilling to witness the destruction of the now-beloved neighborhood art environment, the community rushed to support the artist. After a two year legal battle, his creation, newly titled Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, became incorporated as a nonprofit organization with the intention of preserving the artwork at the PMG site and throughout the South Street region. 1

Needless to say, this was one of my favorite items on the agenda in Philly, and I’m really glad the installation lives on!

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Sneakers: Converse, Dress: Derek Lam 10 Crosby

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The next day, I woke up and spent the morning in the Club Lounge eating breakfast and responding to emails. Luckily, later in the day I had a chance to connect with a former Boston-based blogger, who is now located in Philly, Jenny from Chocolate & Lace! I’m always so grateful for the community that Instagram cultivates — and am forever inspired and empowered by the creators I get to meet. She suggested we have lunch at Parc in Rittenhouse, which in her words, is the quintessential lunch spot in the city. And, what a tasty lunch we had. I highly recommend the crab & avocado plus the steak tartare to start. I had mussels as my main dish, and was stuffed to the brim by the end of the meal. If you’re interested in snapping pics when you’re dining, make sure you ask for a seat next to the window (or outside in the warmer months).

Processed with VSCO with m6 presetIMG_3053These were just a few of my highlights in Philadelphia, but I feel confident they’re a good jumping off point if you’re looking to plan a weekend in the city. If you’re in need of other restaurant recommendations, tips on where in the city to stay, or some of my favorite photogenic spots, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or shoot me a DM on Instagram!

Also, want to say a special thank you to the team at the Ritz Carlton, Philadelphia and Visit Philly for making this trip extra special!

Big Fun at The Big E

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As a Bostonian, we’re always excited for the re-emergence of Fall. Traditions like picking out pumpkins, grabbing our favorite seasonal morning pick-me-up, and watching the leaves turn on the Commonwealth Ave. Mall just flat out make us smile. One of those time-honored traditions happens to be about two hours west of the city and take place during the last two weeks of September — The Big E.

This past weekend, I hopped in the car and headed to this mecca of fair food, games that involve either climbing ladders, throwing darts or throwing rings, and , of course, music. Fortunately for me, I was hanging with my fellow food, Tiffany of Boston Foodies, so we made a point to go around and try all of the goods!

Stars of the show included a mac ’n’ cheese grilled cheese sandwich, taco balls, and The Big E Bakery eclairs. See below for a quick highlight reel of some of my favorite moments and sights from the day!

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Where to Eat: Helsinki

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A few years ago, the Washington Post, published a piece titled Helsinki’s food scene, coming on strong’ , and it was in that moment that I knew the modesty of the Finnish would only work to my benefit when exploring the relatively uncharted food scene in Helsinki when I finally had the chance to journey to the great north. As they have begun to catch up to their Nordic neighbors in notoriety, it’s no surprise that Helsinki is becoming less and less of the “best kept secret in Europe” when it comes to cuisine, and more of a seasoned hand as it will.

But! That didn’t stop me from doing some serious exploring, trying to find some of Helsinki’s best gems – largely with the help of a team of local Finn’s who pointed us in the right direction. Below, I’ve listed out some of the best cafes, lunch spots, and decadent dinner hotspots that are all worth a look on your next trip to Helsinki.

CAFES

Kappeli Cafe – Eteläesplanadi 1, 00130 (Pictured above)
If you’re looking for a little nook in the heart of Helsinki, look no further than this Kodak-worthy cafe. Located literally smack dab in the center of town, Kappeli offers a tasty variety of pastries, coffees and tea. Try to snag one of the round booths completely encased in glass for a 360-view of the city moving around you!

SIS. Deli+Cafe – Kalevankatu 4, 00100 
For a traditional Finnish breakfast, SIS offers a cute little buffet style option. If you’re gearing up for a big day of exploring, this casual cafe is one of the best ways to start your day. Also, this is a great spot to post up should you want/need to do a bit of work on your travels. You won’t be the only person with a laptop open, which is always a good feeling.

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Cafe Regatta – Merikannontie 8, 00260 (Pictured above)
Known for their famous hot chocolate and rustic abode, this has to be one of the most photogenic places I visited during our stay. As a non-coffee drinker, this was a particularly enjoyable reprieve for me, and the fact that they had a crazy ice sled on the water outside that we could push with our new Finnish friends was an extra bonus! To make the experience even more special, take your hot chocolate outside to the fire pit to circle around and swap travel stories with friends.

Café Köket – Aleksanterinkatu 28, 00170
This café, bar and lunch spot by the Seante Square in the Kiseleff House is another great casual spot that won’t break the bank. Köket serves a yummy breakfast buffet and a lunch buffet during weekdays , and for those who are brunch-inclined, they have you covered on weekends.

LUNCH SPOTS

Bronda – Eteläesplanadi 20, 00130 
With a heavy-handed Mediterranean influencer, Bronda offers an amazing 3-course (and sometimes 5) tasting menu at lunch!. The space is found on the corner of Eteläesplanadi and Korkeavuorenkatu with massively high ceilings and large windows, making it any food Instagrammer’s dream, but also just a cool spot to pull up a chair for an hour or two. Many dishes here are meant to be shared, so the more the merrier!

Juuri – Korkeavuorenkatu 27, 00130 (Pictured below)
You will thank me later for this one! If you are interested in trying fine Finnish cuisine, look no further than this unpretentious little spot. The staff is super knowledgeable and was able to assist with questions and making some key selections that are sure to melt in your mouth. The a la carte menu is good, but the real treat is the sapas, small tapas-like dishes excellent for sharing. By Finnish standards this place is not super expensive for the quality of food, but be prepared to spend more than a few dollars for this tasty experience. Note: Menu changes every second month.

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EGG – Kanavaranta 7 B 3, 00170
Looking for faster and lighter fare for lunch? This healthy hot spot is great for those on the go, searching for a tasty option that leaves you feeling energized and satisfied. The wild board omelette is a great choice, and they have an ‘all day breakfast’ if you didn’t quite make it in time for your hotel’s spread. Bonus: this spot is close to the Uspenski Cathedral!

Fat Ramen – Hietalahti Market Hall‍‍‍‍‍‍, Lönnrotinkatu 34, 00180
Ohhhh how I love ramen. I once squealed meeting one of my favorite ramen chefs like I was meeting Mick Jagger or something, so know that I take this dish seriously… but not too seriously.  This place fast casual noodle bar located in Hietalahti Market Hall – which is a cool spot worth checking out regardless. It is the first ramen shop in Helsinki focusing its menu solely around ramen. During lunch this quaint restaurant offers a variety of hand-made ramen bowls, which are known for always having the best ingredients of the season and ambitiously combines Asian and Nordic flavors.

FOR DINNER

Savotta – Aleksanterinkatu 22, 00170 Helsinki (pictured below) 
If you’re looking for a more traditional, and fun, Finnish experience, Savotta is a great spot to try. With a step through the threshold, it’s no question that the decor is meant to pay homage to Finland’s roots. The name Savotta means ‘logging site’, so servers are dressed to play the part of men and women who would work in the forests and thousands of lakes over the years. The food and decor tap in to local nostalgia and showcase decades of tradition right at your table. The street level dining rooms face the Helsinki Cathedral by the Senate Square, so it’s a perfect spot to end a day of exploring the city!

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Ravintola Werner – Bulevardi 12, 00120 Helsinki
Set in what used to be one of the biggest publishing houses in Helsinki, Werner boasts a massive open fire grill, perfect for all the needs of preparing Nordic-style fare. Don’t miss their beef tartar or mussels to start the meal, and then be sure to grab anything that you could wish to have cooked over an open flame. Stick with classics like the salmon, or if your traveling with a hungry companion, the beef entrecôte for two is a must!

Restaurant Savoy – Eteläesplanadi 14, 00130 Helsinki
Last year this Helsinki staple celebrated 80 years of service! Located right in the heart of town, Restaurant Savoy isn’t just a place to have dinner, but rather to have a dining experience. This popular locale oozes old world glamour, and is perfect for anyone who wants dinner with a view. Situated on the top floor overlooking the park, and featuring classic fare, makes this the ideal setting for a special occasion, but is also great for ambitious diners who enjoy meticulous plating, top notch service, and just overall good food. If the price tag scares you, they also do a fabulous three-course lunch worth taking a look at.

Have any dining recommendations in Helsinki I didn’t mention? There are so many good places that I know I missed a few. Leave me your favorites in the comments below!

The Fenway’s Food Scene (and Giveaway!)

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetFor any long-time Bostonian like myself, it has been pretty incredible to see the rapidly evolving food scene down in The Fenway neighborhood – specifically in the last few years. What used to be a place for pre-Red Sox game rituals alone has now become a mecca for food enthusiasts and off-season visitors alike. More and more, I will have readers (like you!) reach out asking where to go to eat when they visit my hometown and I find myself pointing more and more to The Fenway as a neighborhood that is host to some great spots.

Now, with the launch of thefenway.com, I have a resource that I can send to my followers to showcase all the goods this growing neighborhood has to offer. Whether you’re looking for a classic pre-game spot, or one of the newer additions, like Hojoko or Eventide, you’re in good company with every proverbial corner you turn on this new site! Below, I’m taking you through a few of my favorite spots that the team over at thefenway.com feature, as well as including a fun announcement about a major change to the neighborhood below. Hint: the announcement includes a giveaway to Lisbon! Yes – Lisbon!! Came here just for the giveaway? CLICK HERE to subscribe to The Fenway’s e-newsletter for a chance to win!! (Note: Giveaway is now closed – winner will be announced soon.)

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A common misconception about The Fenway is that the food is only good for lunch or dinner, but after a quick look on thefenway.com you’ll realize that is not the case. For those of you who are breakfast or brunch inclined – you’re in luck! There’s spots like Pavement Coffee, Panera, and my personal favorite breakfast joint in The Fenway: Blackbird Doughnuts. This valhalla of creative confections is a major winner in my book, and a perfect pit stop for Fenway early “birds”.

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Ah yes, the classic burger joint. Some say that this is the East Coast version on In ‘n’ Out and with good reason! There is definitely a cult-like following to this Fenway staple. With goodies like the Big & Tasty, Tater Tots, a great beer selection on draft, and addicting Chocolate Eclair Mini Pies, there is not a chance that you leave this place hungry. The takeout window gets notorious long lines as the weather starts to heat up, but the wait is worth it.

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And, the most talked about newcomer as of late is, of course, Eventide. This fast-casual spinoff of their wildly popular Portland, ME location is a great place to pull up a stool, have some prosecco, oysters, one of their many crudos, and their famous hot-buttered lobster roll. As a Mainer, I am skeptical of any hot lobster roll, but this one melts in your mouth and is definitely worth a try. This place really has elevated fast-casual down to a science, so if you’re looking for “fancier” cuisine without the fuss, look no further.

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Coming in 2019, 401 Park Drive will welcome Lisbon’s Time Out Market. The flagship Lisbon location is home to more than twenty-four restaurants, and a whole host of other kiosks, cafes, and even a cooking academy for those who aspire to kick up their kitchen skills a notch. The highly-anticipated Boston space will span 25,000 square feet with an open park area to boot! I can’t think of a better fit for the Fenway neighborhood, as this community continues to grow and thrive.

unnamed.pngIn celebration of Time Out Market coming to Boston, thefenway.com is hosting a giveaway where you can enter to win a trip for 2 to Lisbon! Yes, you read that correctly!! Airfare for two and a 3-night stay are included in this trip of a lifetime, and they’ll be handing over $200 to spend at the original Time Out Market, so you can get a sneak peek of what is to come in Boston! To enter, all you need to do is sign up for their newsletter HERE

This post was created in collaboration with the team at thefenway.com. 

Where to Eat: Scotland

Ah, yes. Travel is all about the sites you see, the people you meet, and most importantly: the food. When I reached out to Visit Scotland for ideas on where to visit, and specifically where to dine, they came back with an amazing group of experiences. Naturally, I wanted to try all of them. On our first full day in Edinburgh, we started our evening off with a gin distillery tour, and then made our way to Restaurant Mark Greenaway for an elevated dining experience just steps from some of the most popular sites in the city, but far enough removed that it wasn’t overrun with other tourists. If you don’t know Chef Mark Greenaway, it’s worth noting he was the only chef in Scotland to be newly awarded 3 AA Rosettes for Culinary Excellence back in 2012 – and continues to pay homage to Scottish tradition by using locally-sourced ingredients. If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, you’re in for a treat, as he’s known for some of the most inventive desserts in the country.

The following morning, we made our way north. This was my first taste of driving on the highway in Scotland (on the left side of the road – gah), so I was a bit nervous, but once we were out of the city it was smooth sailing. Our first stop on our road trip was in Pitlochry; only a few hours north. Pitlochry is a great spot if you like to go hiking or spend time outdoors. We had great intentions to go hiking, but jet lag unfortunately got the best of us. There’s also a few castles within striking distance that you can explore – most notable being Blair Castle.

A night or two at the Fonab Castle Hotel is also an absolute must – especially if you’re looking for a tasty and traditional Scottish dining experience. The restaurant on-site, Sandeman’s, has a six-course dinner that will knock your socks off. With twists on all the classics, impeccable wine pairings, and a sommelier that will leave you laughing throughout the whole meal – it is truly a dinner to remember. Being with my mom at the table, getting to share this uber-foodie experience, was particularly special to me. She always taught me to spend money on two things: travel and good food, so the entire meal really felt like an homage to my upbringing (love ya mom!). In the end, I’m glad I took her sound advice ;).

The next day, the adventure continued! Heading further north, you can’t miss Inverness. For all you scotch whiskey lovers, there are a gazillion distilleries in the area, making this the perfect spot to post up for a night or two. The town sits on the River Ness ( I bet you can guess who’s been rumored to swim through those waters), and really is the quintessential European town. Restaurants and music venues line the river, providing the perfect backdrop to some family-style inspired fare. We stopped into The Mustard Seed for a relaxed and tasty dinner. Their cuisine features a marriage of Scottish and French fare, boasting large portions, and an amazing view of the river. Head in any direction a block or two and you’ll find live music to take you into your evening. A head’s up – if you are driving into town, parking is a little tricky. Be prepared to circle around a few times before you find a spot.

Did someone say food safari?! Why, yes, yes they did. While hunting vests and binoculars sound fun on a trip riding through the Sahara – a safari of the culinary persuasion in Edinburgh was right up my alley. My mom and I were paired up with a local who works with Edinburgh Food Safari; she toured us around a few neighborhoods to taste everything from vegetarian haggis to locally made gin, handmade marshmallows, and tea with scones and clotted cream (plus a homemade lemon custard that was too good for words). This tour isn’t just about the food though; your guide has amazing knowledge about the city, provides spirited conversation on any topic you can imagine, and ours even helped us crash the beginning of a wedding ceremony! I swear to god the father of the bride invited us into the church for the whole kit and caboodle!! If only I wasn’t wearing jeans that day… If you haven’t guessed yet, this was hands down this was one of my favorite experiences the entire trip, and I highly recommend checking them out if you’re in Edinburgh.

To sum it up – Scotland isn’t just haggis, salmon, and scotch (although there is a lot of that), but rather a burgeoning foodie destination with tastes fit for every palette. If you have any questions on what to eat and where – drop them in the comments, and I’ll be more than happy to answer them!

A Home Amid Some Crazy Changes: ELEMENT Hotel

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lot of changes have taken place over the past couple of weeks. I moved to a new neighborhood. We’ve signed a bunch of amazing new companies to work with at RPR, I’m BLONDE! And, I’ve started to re-focus on my health and wellness. Who has seen the ridiculously sweaty Instagram stories of me running hills, practicing yoga, or doing track workouts with @baddiedae?!? While Spring is the most popular season for “re-birth”, there is something about Fall that gets me so freakin’ hyped to shed the B.S. and bring things back into my life that I care about; ultimately get back to a productive routine. Don’t get me wrong, traveling almost every weekend this Summer was amazing, but there’s something so restorative about leaving your two feet on the ground.

BUT, before diving in head first to a crazy move across town, and my busiest quarter yet with my business, I needed a breather. Yes, even need to hit the pause button. So, I escaped to the ELEMENT Hotel in the Seaport for the weekend before my move, which was super convenient because who likes living around boxes for a week?! This hotel was perfect for a few reasons: 1) it is in the same neighborhood as my office – score!, 2) They are a ‘green’ hotel, meaning they take measures to having the smallest footprint on the environment, and 3) they had an awesome ‘Swap Shop’ event that I got to be a part of.

What is this ‘Swap Shop’ event you ask? It was this super cool concept of bringing clothes that you want to purge from your closet and trading them (for FREE) with other attendees at the event. Anything that isn’t picked up by someone else was donated. Perfect for a girl who is moving and needed to purge her closet! While they don’t do events exactly like this one all the time, they do host a number of other initiatives throughout the year that are in line with their mission to be a sustainable hotel. How cool is that? (Note the photo of me below with an armful of clothes – oh and the last hours of me as a brunette!)

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The next day, I explored my city like a tourist, and did some of the things that I have been meaning to do, but always find an excuse to put off. I went blonde with the help of the team at Salon Mario Russo, who is a short walk from the hotel, stopped by the Copley Sq. Market, grabbed one of the hotel’s bikes to take a spin around the city, walked the Esplanade, and ate at a few of my favorite places, including Top of the Hub, which I haven’t been to since 2010, and by CHLOE. which recently opened right around the corner from ELEMENT. See the photo diary from my day scooting around the city below!

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THIS AWESOME POST IS SPONSORED BY THE TEAM AT ELEMENT HOTELS. THOUGHTS ARE MY OWN.

Where I’m Eating in Boston this Summer

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Ah yes, one of my favorite things: eating. I’ve been doing a lot of that around Boston this summer, especially since RPR (my marketing and public relations firm) has been working with Dining Playbook on NESN. Below is a round up of a few of my favorites – including ones that have been in my dining-out repertoire for quite some time.

Lincoln Tavern & Restaurant

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Did someone say brunch seven days a week?! Yep! I actually made a brief TV appearance on Dining Playbook last weekend scoping out the epic brunch menu from Lincoln. The peaches & cream pancakes are my new favorite thing!! Now if only they were calorie free… Bonus, they have a rotating ‘test’ brunch menu where they are trying new items every week, like this smoked salmon pizza – with a tasty everything bagel crust – pictured above. If you have an idea or love one of their concoctions, make sure to let your server know. P.S. Don’t leave without trying the warm goat cheese dip with fig jam. You can thank me later ;).

Reelhouse

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This new Eastie hot spot has so much to offer, I don’t even know where to start. Between an amazing ambiance with their super luxe patio with prime views of the Boston skyline, to a creative cocktail program, to creative nibbles like their seafood charcuterie, I’m in heaven. Yes, the trip to East Boston is a little bit of a trek – but so worth it. Pro tip: You can now take a free boat ride from Pier 6 in Charlestown across the water for the quickest way to get from one summer hot spot to another.

UNI

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Special occasion? Book a table at the sushi bar at UNI. If you’re a fan of sushi, seafood, or just Japanese cuisine in general, your palette will be happy you grabbed a seat at this Back Bay staple. Their summer menu is a selection of local fare – including refreshing dishes, like grilled peaches with burrata and a sophisticated watermelon salad. I always recommend settling in with the omakase tasting menu if you aren’t sure what to get. The chef will put together a selection of all of their favorite, fresh flavors of the day.

Davio’s

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Stop in for brunch at any of the Davio’s locations for a sophisticated take on this Sunday tradition. Whether you’re a steak and eggs lover or looking for a pasta dish that is sure to knock your socks off, you’ll be happy with the big portions, friendly service, and thoughtfully prepared dishes from their team. I happen to be a huge fan of the fact that they have a whole section devoted to spring rolls, and without fail will order a plate or two for the table. My personal favorite? The chicken parm spring rolls. It’s like a whole Italian dinner in one bite. I’ve also had the pleasure of checking out their lunch menu when on-set with the Dining Playbook team. This is the perfect place to take a working lunch meeting, or catch up with a co-worker during the week!

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One word: oysters. Yes, every raw bar item (and every item for that matter) is tasty at this Fort Point seafood locale, but I just cant get enough of their oyster selection. If I’m feeling the need for a refreshing Saturday afternoon with girlfriends – there’s no better way to do it than with some bubbles and bivalves. Not a fan of raw oysters? They have fried oyster lettuce cups that will knock your socks off, and satisfy evening the pickiest foodies at your table. If you happen to be up in Portsmouth, NH, their sister restaurant is a great option for an early summer dinner with friends and family as well.

So, that’s where I’ve been eating as of late. Where are your go-to’s this summer?! Comment with your faves.

 

#INSTAFOOD: CHICAGO

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Ahhh, Chicago cuisine. I have such a soft spot for cities whose food flies under the radar, and while working on the Ben & Jerry’s Core Tour, I was fortunate enough to be able to try all sorts of delicious spots. It means no 3 hour long waits for brunch, no pretentious patrons discecting every ingredient, and innovate fare from some of the area’s most thoughtful and creative chefs that hasn’t already been plastered all over multiple Conde Nast publications. Yes, Yelp and TripAdvisor reviews may seem helpful, but sometimes it’s just nice to taste food for what it really is without all the hype. And in Chicago’s case, it’s freaking tasty.

Below are a few of the flavorful moments that I captured during my time in the Windy City. Snack on these savory social media snapshots for a little inspiration for your next night out in Chicago.

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Eataly Chicago (Near North Side)

While the Chicago Eataly isn’t quite as impressive as the one in NYC, it still makes for a great place to stop for a snack. Munch on some savory veggies and finish your visit with a stop at the Nutella bar, aka heavan on earth.

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Girl & the Goat (West Loop)

Get your daily dose of weird with some of the more unusal combinations at this popular restaurant. Escargot ravioli and octopus salad only scratches the surface of the endless options.

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Three Dots and a Dash (River North)

Looking for a luau in the midwest? Look no further than this speakeasy-esque spot. Every cocktail I’ve tried has been a crowd pleaser, and while you might think they’re fruity and girly drinks, three cocktails will knock you on your ass faster than a bulldozer.

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Perennial Virant (Lincoln Park)

One of the best brunch spots in all of Chicago just so happens to be next to one of my favorite things, the Lincoln Park Zoo. If you’re visitng and need to fuel up before seeing the animals, this is the perfect farm-to-table spot. Also ask to check out the book that the chef authored a few years ago. It’s cool reading material while you wait for your food.

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Elly’s Pancake House (Near North Side)

Hankering for a late night snack? This pancake house, serving up blintzes, eggs benedict, and one of the best German pancakes I have ever had, is open 24-hours away making it the perfect brunch spot all weekend.

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Parson’s Chicken & Fish (Logan Square)

Combine a 7/11 and your favorite cocktail bar for this genius outdoor patio. While the hot days of summer may be slowly slipping away, I highly recommend swinging by for a Negroni slushy before cocktail trends go the way of hot-toddys and spiked egg nog.

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Enolo Wine Bar (Near North Side)

Looking for a great lunch spot in between meetings? Look no further than Enolo. With a full list of bruchettas and a great wine selection, this mid-day treat will have you returning to work satisfied.. and maybe a little tipsy.

Did I miss your favorite spot? Let me know in the comments below.

P.S. Be sure to follow me on Instagram at @venturetravelist

#INSTAFOOD: New York, New York

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I should have picked a different day to start a juice cleanse because these photos are making me miss chewing, carbs.. and well, food. Needless to say, I couldn’t help putting together a little homage to all the delicious eats that I tasted while in New York last month.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.33.41 PM Rosemarys. (Greenwich Village)

Using herbs and veggies from their rooftop garden, this hotspot defines fresh for the downtown brunch lovers. Be sure to taste some of their homemade pastas and fresh squeezed juices.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.36.16 PMPies n Thighs (Williamsburg)

Don’t leave this place without trying the chicken biscuit! While I may not feel hipster enough to eat at this Brooklyn joint on the reg, I definitely find myself being pulled back by the pie.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.35.15 PMCafe Moto (Williamsburg)

One of my favorite spots in all of Brooklyn! Stop in for some live music, a glass of wine (on draft), and their mac n cheese, which they serve with apple sauce. Trust me when I say, between those three things, you have a winning combination.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.36.58 PMBaked (Red Hook)

Looking for the ultimate place to grab a cappucino and a pastry? Look no further than this off the beaten path spot. This a great place to fuel up before you take on the day. If you aren’t a lemon tart fan, try their crowd-pleasing cinnamon bun.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.37.16 PMCookshop (Chelsea)

For farm to table goodness, skip the tourists at Chelsea market and plop yourself down on the trendy patio on 10th Ave. You’d be doing yourself a disservice by not getting a cocktail with your meal. I had the Peaches B. Crazy.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.35.34 PM10 Degrees (East Village)

When all else fails, go for the happy hour specials! With 2-for-1 drinks from noon until 8pm, and a charcuterie served in massive portions, this is a great place to post up and do some work New York style.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.37.34 PMThe Marshal (Hell’s Kitchen)

Places like this don’t pop up in Hell’s Kitchen everyday. If you’re in the area, you won’t regret stopping in for a taste of everything local. From spirits, to veggies, to the honey drizzled over house made fudge… most things don’t come from more than 100 miles away.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.36.44 PMRed Hook Lobter Pound (Red Hook)

Whenever I’m homesick, all I need is a lobster roll to transport me back to my coastal hometown in Maine. I also recommend snagging a cup of lobster mac n cheese for good measure because nothing says comfort food quite like pasta.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.34.57 PMCafe Habana (Nolita)

Tired from a day of shopping downtown? Fear not! The tacos and cheesy corn at this hipster Cuban establishment will fuel you for another round of scowering vintage shops and looking for deals.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.34.23 PMHandsome Dan’s (East Village)

With old school candy like warheads, razzles, and pop rocks, there’s no way you can go wrong at this lower east side candy shop. Embrace the sugar rush and go all in with a sno-cone!

This just scratches the surface of the culinary experiences to be had in New York. Tell me where you love to chow down in the comments below!

P.S. Be sure to follow me on Instagram at @venturetravelist