Category Archives: Travel

Travel

Part Two: Our Honeymoon in Mykonos, Greece

Hey hey! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving last week! I was in Maine celebrating with my family, and it felt so nice to be able to drive to Thanksgiving this year, rather than fly. I love living on the same coast as my family!

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Today’s post is all about our honeymoon in Mykonos, Greece. If you missed part one about the two days we spent in Athens, you can click here to read the post.

We traveled from Athens to Mykonos on a teeny tiny Olympic Air plane. I’m not typically scared of flying, but I’ll admit that small planes like we flew here make me nervous. Luckily, we were only in the air for about 30 minutes, so I wasn’t nervous for too long. The carriers who fly between the Greek islands are typically low cost, which means that if you don’t care to select your seat and only have carry-on luggage, then your ticket could potentially be very inexpensive. We wanted to sit next to each other and we each had one large suitcase to check, so we paid additional fees for those upgrades, but the cost was still relatively cheap (about $70 USD per person).

 

Where We Stayed:

When we arrived at the Mykonos airport we were picked up by our hotel’s complimentary shuttle. We stayed at the Mykonos Bay Hotel for six nights. We chose the Mykonos Bay Hotel because it was one of the very few hotels we found that had direct access to the beach, a swimming pool, and a close proximity to Mykonos Town.

When we first arrived we were put in a guest room next to the hotel’s laundry room, which was extremely noisy. We immediately knew that if we wanted to enjoy our time in Mykonos and get any quiet time, then we’d have to find a different room. After speaking with management, they were able to switch us to a beautiful guest suite with a private jacuzzi for our first night and then move us to a sea view room located far away from the laundry room for our remaining nights.

We were very grateful that they were able to accommodate the change, but if you do stay at the Mykonos Bay Hotel, make sure to request a room away from the laundry facilities. I also highly recommend upgrading to a sea view room. You’ll love opening your doors to this view every morning!

The guest rooms at the Mykonos Bay Hotel are pristine white (classic Greek style) and modern. Just like most European hotels, the rooms are small, but still very comfortable. I particularly loved the rain shower, fluffy robes, and slippers in our room. Also, each room is equipped with a Nespresso machine, which comes in handy if you are experiencing jet lag or just need a mid-day pick-me-up.

The hotel also offered an incredible complimentary Greek buffet breakfast daily.

The options were endless: dozens of artisan breads and crackers, a rotating selection of traditional Greek pastries (I may or may not have had baklava every morning…), pancakes, sausage, granola, Greek yogurt, eggs, nuts, cheese, fresh fruit, coffee, tea, and so much more. We made sure to fill up our plates each morning to start the day on the right foot.

Since we had just come from a crazy week of wedding celebrations, we decided to take a few afternoons to just relax, and laid on the beach chairs with our books. I went through two books in four days!

 

How We Got Around:

Because our hotel was so close to Mykonos Town, we were able to walk there daily to eat and shop. I highly recommend staying in a hotel that is walkable from Mykonos Town because you’ll be able to do so much more by foot. The streets in Mykonos are very narrow and there are no sidewalks, so walking can be especially dangerous at night. If you do walk on the streets at night, wear light colored clothing and constantly be on the lookout for oncoming traffic.

You can rent a car, ATV, or scooter; however, parking a car is sometimes difficult and maneuvering around other (crazy) drivers on an ATV or scooter isn’t the easiest. We chose to rent a car for one day just to explore other parts of the island, but in the end we decided it was too stressful to drive on the old and narrow streets. We likely wouldn’t do it again.

Taxis in Mykonos are very expensive because there are so few of them, yet there are many tourists looking for rides. A five minute taxi ride could easily cost you 20 Euros, so keep that in mind before taking one. Many hotels offer complimentary shuttles to and from Mykonos Town, which is another great thing to look for when selecting a hotel. Some shuttles operate on a schedule and others, like our hotel, are available whenever you call for them.

There is also a bus system in Mykonos that appeared to be very popular, but we didn’t use it. It has many routes and seemed relatively inexpensive, so that is certainly another option to get around the island.

 

What We Did:

Walk around Mykonos Town

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Exploring Mykonos Town is SO much fun! The cobblestone streets are filled with fantastic restaurants, clothing and accessory shops, and souvenirs. When they were constructed many, many years ago, the streets were intentionally designed like a maze to confuse pirates. I loved getting lost in the maze of streets because every turn we took we stumbled upon something new we hadn’t seen the previous day.

 

Watch the Sunset

The sunsets in Greece are undeniably gorgeous. We spent some evenings watching the sunset from our hotel porch and other nights watching it along the beach in Mykonos Town. Pro tip: you can buy a bottle of beer (or in my case bottle of prosecco) from a shop in Mykonos Town and carry it with you to watch the sunset. The shop we purchased from even opened the bottles for us!

 

Mykonos Sailing with Artemis

If you do one excursion in Mykonos, make sure it’s this sailing trip. We had SO. MUCH. FUN!

Artemis operates two daily sailing trips from his personal sail boat – one in the afternoon and one at sunset. We chose the 5 hour afternoon trip and were among a small group of three other couples, so eight passengers total. We really lucked out because the other couples on our trip were a blast to hang out with and we all hit it off right away. (We even keep in touch on social media now!)

The boat makes two swimming stops and the trip includes an all you can eat and drink (beer and wine) Greek meal. Artemis cooked an INCREDIBLE Greek feast by himself on the boat. We were amazed what he could whip up using a small portable grill and sailboat kitchen. He’s a pro sailer and cook!

I really can’t recommend this sailing trip enough!

 

Where We Ate:

Vergera

Vergera is a great little cafe right on the water at the edge of Mykonos Town. We loved the chicken kebabs and grilled vegetables.

 

Kastros

We loved Kastros so much that we went there twice throughout our six day stay. It’s located in Little Venice, overlooking the water and sunset. We made early dinner reservations both nights so we could watch the sunset while we ate. Everything on the menu is fantastic, so you really can’t go wrong!

 

M-eating

If you’re looking for an upscale meal that will impress you, go to M-eating.  The presentation and flavors were fantastic. We loved sitting on the porch that overlooks the hustle and bustle of Mykonos Town, so try to get a seat outside if you can.

 

Pepper Souvlaki

Pepper has THE BEST chicken souvlaki sandwiches. They even have whole grain pitas available, which was an extra win for us. Each giant sandwich was less than 4 euros, so it was by far our cheapest meal on the island. Travis loved these pita sandwiches so much that one night he had one after we had already eaten dinner. He just couldn’t leave Mykonos without having a Pepper souvlaki sandwich one last time!

 

Up next: Santorini, the final stop of our honeymoon. Thanks for reading along!

 

Travel

Part One: Our Honeymoon in Athens, Greece

Here we are one month after returning from our honeymoon in Greece and I am finally getting around to tell you guys about it! As you know, life has been a tad bit crazy for us with our cross-country move last month, but I was able to go through and edit all of our honeymoon photos this weekend so I feel much more caught up.

I brought my DSLR camera with us on our honeymoon, but I ended up leaving it in the room for the majority of our vacation for two reasons. #1: It was really hot in Greece in September, and lugging a heavy camera around just wasn’t very comfortable. And #2: I consciously tried to be fully present throughout our honeymoon, and sometimes spending time setting up the “perfect” shot prevents you from doing that you know? It was a lot easier to keep my iPhone in my small cross-body purse and pull it out quickly if I wanted to capture something. So that was my long way of explaining why the majority of the photos that I’m going to share from our honeymoon actually came from my phone (although I am wishing the iPhone X was out at that time…have you seen that picture quality!?).

Read all about our Honeymoon in Athens! Where we stayed, what we did and where we ate. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

You may want to know: how did we select Greece as our honeymoon destination? Travis and I both always wanted to go to Greece, so we considered it along with Southern Italy for our honeymoon. We wanted a honeymoon that included delicious food and wine (duh!), and a mix of sightseeing and beaches. In the end, we selected Greece because we found a ridiculous flight deal that we could not pass up. Normally, Travis and I spend a long time researching our future vacation destinations, but when we were alerted to the flight deal, we ended up booking our flights to Greece that same night! It was pretty spontaneous and out of the norm for us, but with roundtrip flights to and from Athens for less than $500 per person, we knew we’d have a good amount of flexibility in our budget for hotels, activities, and meals.

Per the suggestion of a few of our friends, we only spent two days at the beginning of our trip in Athens, and allocated our remaining time to the Greek islands. To keep things organized (and to prevent this from being 50,000 words), I’ve decided to break up my honeymoon recap into three posts: Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini. So in today’s post I’ll share highlights from our brief time in Athens including where we stayed, what we did, and where we ate. If you’re planning a trip to Greece I hope you’ll find this helpful, and feel free to reach out to me with additional questions.

 

Where We Stayed:

Read all about our Honeymoon in Athens! Where we stayed, what we did and where we ate. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Image source

We stayed at the Amalia Hotel in Syntagma Square for three nights. We booked the hotel because it is located right in the heart of Athens, and it’s walkable from all of the main tourist sites and many fantastic restaurants. We were welcomed to our room with a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine and fruit platter, which was very appreciated after a long day of traveling. The hotel and guests rooms are modest in appearance, but very comfortable. We had no problem falling asleep in our queen-sized bed at night and greatly enjoyed the view of the National Garden from our balcony.

Like most hotels in Greece, the Amalia offers a complimentary breakfast buffet. Given that the breakfast was included in the room rate, our expectations of it were fairly low, but we ended up being pleasantly surprised by how delicious it was. There were so many different selections of bread, eggs, breakfast pastries, cereals, jams, and more. It was so helpful to be able to fill up with a hearty breakfast and plenty of coffee before sightseeing both days.

Read all about our Honeymoon in Athens! Where we stayed, what we did and where we ate. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

If you’re looking for a well-located and reasonably priced hotel in Athens, I highly recommend the Amalia Hotel. All of the activities and restaurants that I mention below were walkable from the hotel, and the only time we took a cab was to travel to and from the Athens airport.

 

What We Did:

Panathenaic Stadium

The Panathenaic Stadium is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Athens. It was built in 330 B.C. for the Panathenaic games, and it is the only stadium in the world made entirely out of marble! It was refurbished in the late 1800’s and hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the first modern Olympics in 1896!

Read all about our Honeymoon in Athens! Where we stayed, what we did and where we ate. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

We loved climbing our way to the very top of the stadium because the view looking down was incredible. Make sure to take the free audio guide tour because there aren’t many signs within the stadium, so the audio guide explains everything you see along the way. If you’re feeling up for it, you can even run a lap or two around the track (seriously, you can!).

Pro tip: Wear shoes with good traction and be EXTRA careful if you’re visiting after a rainfall. The marble steps are extremely slippery, and I took a tumble down some steps even wearing sneakers.

 

Tour the Acropolis

The Acropolis is an ancient fortified area located on top of a rocky hill in Athens. It contains many historically significant buildings, the most famous of which is the Parthenon. Visiting the Acropolis was a must-do on our list, and it was amazing to finally see it in person. I tried to remember everything I could from my 7th grade ancient history lessons, but I honestly wished that I’d done a little refresher before visiting. There are many guided tours available, which we likely would have done if we had more time.

Read all about our Honeymoon in Athens! Where we stayed, what we did and where we ate. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Depending on what time of year you go, the Acropolis can get very hot, so make sure you wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Also, you’ll be walking up rocky, steep hills throughout your tour, so I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to wear sneakers or hiking shoes.

 

Walk Through the National Garden

Our hotel was located just a short three minute walk away from the National Garden, so we spent our second morning wandering through its beautiful maze-like twists and turns. You really can’t take a wrong turn in the National Garden because every corner has something new to explore, and there are so many amazing photo-ops. There is even a small zoo inside, which is great if you’re traveling with kids.

 

Visit the Temple of Olympian Zeus

Read all about our Honeymoon in Athens! Where we stayed, what we did and where we ate. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

The Temple of Olympian Zeus was an ancient Greek Temple dedicated to Zeus. Construction of the temple began in 470 BCE and what we are standing in front of in the photo above still exists today. You really have to visit in person to understand how incredible (and enormous!!) this temple is. Our Acropolis tickets included entrance to this site, but I’d say you don’t need more than 20 minutes here.

 

Where We Ate:

Ergon

Ergon was an adorable outdoor café located down the street from our hotel, and the meal we had there our first night really hit the spot after 14+ hours of traveling! We devoured every slice of bread in that bread basket with a variety of Greek dips, and we shared a small grilled whole fish for our entrée. The flavors were simple, yet totally authentic.

 

Mono

Mono was one of our favorite meals of our entire honeymoon. When we made our 7PM reservation, we felt lucky to get a good time slot considering how popular we’d heard the restaurant was. It turns out that NO ONE in Athens eats as “early” as 7PM, so we had the place to ourselves for our whole meal. Needless to say, we had fantastic service given that we were their only customers, ha!

For our meal we shared an amazing Peloponnesian white wine, a Greek salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, herbs, homemade croutons and balsamic, and moussaka for our entrée. We were very impressed by both dishes, and no bite was left untouched.

 

Avocado

Avocado is a vegetarian café located right outside of Syntagma Square. The menu has an emphasis on clean, healthy, plant-based dishes, and reminded me of something I would see in Los Angeles. Travis and I shared a fresh-pressed green juice, (a giant serving of) avocado hummus and pita, and a salad. The menu is pretty extensive, so if we were staying longer I would have liked to try more of it.

 

Athinaikon

Read all about our Honeymoon in Athens! Where we stayed, what we did and where we ate. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Image Source

We went to Athinaikon on our last night in Athens, after window shopping at the hundreds of stores in Syntagma Square. For our meal we shared a whole fish, grilled vegetables and the house white wine. One thing we noticed throughout our time in Greece is that the house wine at most restaurants is very good! It’s served in a carafe and usually offered in a 500ml portion, which is about 2/3 a full bottle of wine. It’s a great option if you don’t want a full bottle and don’t want to spend a lot of money. For the most part, we found that a 500ml carafe of house wine was only around 5 to 6 euros (about $7 USD)!

 

Up next: I’ll be sharing parts two and three about our time in Mykonos and Santorini next, so stay tuned!

 

 

 

Products I Love Travel

My Favorite Packing Essentials That Make Traveling Easier

Let it be known: I traveled A LOT in 2017. From our EuroTrip in February and March, to regular flights to and from Boston for wedding planning, and then our honeymoon in Greece, I’ve spent a lot of time on planes, in hotels, packing and repacking. I’ve always been an over-packer. I’m that person who packs the new-with-tags top that’s been sitting in my closet for three months, thinking that maybe I’ll just happen to wear it on my upcoming trip (guess what? I never do!). By the end of a trip I’ll usually stare at my suitcase and kick myself for bringing way too much stuff. However, because we traveled so much over the course of the last year I’ve gotten MUCH better at packing. I can attribute a lot of that improvement to the packing essentials I’ve found that really make traveling easier. Because these items have helped me so much, I decided to do a roundup of my favorites to share with you. Hopefully you find something new that helps you for an upcoming trip!

 

Samsonite Softside Spinner Suitcase

Packing Essentials That Make Traveling Easier ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Travis and I each got one of these suitcases to use as our checked baggage before our Eurotrip earlier this year. These Samsonite bags are extremely lightweight and the four wheels at the bottom allow you to cruise through the airport easily. They’re very roomy without looking massive, and they fit our packing cubes (mentioned below) perfectly. Pro tip: you can usually find similar Samsonite luggage at TJ Maxx, Marshalls, or Ross for even less than you’d find on Amazon!

 

Longchamp Expandable Bag

Packing Essentials That Make Traveling Easier ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I’ve always loved Longchamp tote bags. I used one in college to carry my books and have another that I use as a beach bag. About five years ago my mom gifted me with a black expandable Longchamp bag that I’ve used basically every day since. It’s a great multipurpose tote because it expands into an even larger size that’s great for traveling when you’re carrying bulkier items such as a laptop and neck pillow. I always use this expandable tote as my “hand baggage” that goes under the seat on the plane. These bags are so durable — I’ve given mine a pretty good beating over the last five years, and it’s still going strong!

 

Bag Bungee

Packing Essentials That Make Traveling Easier ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I use the Bag Bungee to attach my Longchamp (or other carry-on bag) to the top of my rolling suitcase when I’m walking long distances through a city or airport. It’s very secure and it allows you to keep extra weight off your back or shoulders while you’re traveling.

 

Bagail Packing Cubes

Packing Essentials That Make Traveling Easier ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Packing Cubes, where have you been all my life!? I first read about packing cubes when we were preparing for our trip to Europe earlier in the year. I’ll admit, at first I didn’t get the hype. I thought: So what, you put your clothes in cubes? What’s the big deal?

Well packing cubes have completely changed the way I pack. I use each cube for a different “category” of clothing. One cube is for pants, one is for tops, another for sweaters, and another for miscellaneous items. The cubes basically act as dresser drawers, so if you’re looking for one pair of pants, all you have to do is take out that specific cube and the rest of your items stay folded and organized in your suitcase. Packing cubes really help if you’re traveling from city to city because you won’t waste time unpacking and repacking your suitcase.

 

Wet Ones Antibacterial Wipes

Packing Essentials That Make Traveling Easier ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

There are so many germs on planes, and being stuck close together with other passengers for long hours is one of the easiest ways to get sick. I recently started bringing antibacterial wipes in my carry-on bag, and I wipe down everything around me as soon as I sit down. Knowing that my armrest, TV screen, tray table, and headrest are clean makes me rest a lot easier, and ever since I started this I haven’t gotten sick after a flight.

 

Protein-Packed Snacks

Packing Essentials That Make Traveling Easier ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

The food on long haul international flights can often leave much to be desired, so I try to pack healthy protein-packed snacks whenever we travel. Some of my favorite travel snacks include Chef’s Cut Chicken Jerky and RX Peanut Butter Bars because both have lots of protein to keep you going for a couple of hours. If I’m able to, I like to pack us turkey and avocado sandwiches on whole wheat bread for cross-country flights since most airlines do not serve any complimentary food anymore. Having healthy snacks as a backup saves me from getting hangry, and then I’m less likely to reach for an unhealthy food option.

 

Bobble Water Bottle

Packing Essentials That Make Traveling Easier ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I’ve talked about my love for Bobble water bottles a bunch before, but if you’re new around here, the reason I love this water bottle is because it filters the water as you drink it. Think of it as a Brita filter in your water bottle. I drink water like a fish, so I love having my Bobble with me to fill up in any sink or water fountain.

 

Cabeau Neck Pillow

Packing Essentials That Make Traveling Easier ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I’ve tried a lot of neck pillows and this one is by far my favorite. It’s made from thick memory foam and the pillow has an extra raised layer that offers just the right amount of support for your head and neck. It’s the first neck pillow that’s allowed me to sleep for more than one hour at a time on a plane. Travis and I both have these pillows and we’ve even purchased them as gifts for others because we love them so much.

 

Microfiber Travel Towels

Packing Essentials That Make Traveling Easier ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I bought these towels when we went to Israel in the spring of 2016 because the trip required that we bring our own towels for swimming and other activities. I knew we’d constantly be on the go throughout our ten days there, and I hated the idea of packing a large, wet towel in my suitcase and having to reuse it (hello mildew!).

Welcome the travel towel! This particular brand comes with a set of two towels: one large bath/beach towel and another small hand towel. Here’s why I love these towels: They’re very thin, yet incredibly absorbent. They take up as much room in your suitcase as a t-shirt, making them easy to pack even in a small carry-on. The best part about these towels is how fast they dry. They’re basically completely dry within an hour or so from using them, which would be next to impossible for a regular cotton towel.

 

Tide Travel Sink Packets

Packing Essentials That Make Traveling Easier ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

These Tide Travel Sink Packets are a fairly new discovery, and I used them often throughout our honeymoon in Greece when we didn’t have access to a washing machine. These packets are great for hand washing delicate garments in the sink or when you just need to clean a couple of items during your trip.

 

Medicine

Packing Essentials That Make Traveling Easier ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

There is no question that traveling long distances, especially through different climates and time zones, is an easy way to get sick. I always like to be as prepared as possible and pack a variety of medications and first-aid items in my suitcase. Most often this includes: Vitamin C capsules, NyQuil, Advil (or other Ibuprofen), anti-diarrhea and laxatives (just keepin’ it real, you never know!), Tums, Benadryl, cough drops, blister bandaids, and Neosporin.  Some people might think that this is a waste of space in your suitcase; however, if you’re traveling in a different country and not feeling great, the last thing you’ll want to do is have to look for a pharmacy and decipher medication labels in a different language. Trust me, it isn’t fun!

 

Disclosure: I hope you enjoyed reading about my favorite packing essentials. While none of these items are sponsored, this post does include some affiliate links, which means if you buy one of these products I may earn a tiny commission. As always, thank you for your support!

Travel

My Bachelorette Party in Nashville!

This past weekend I celebrated my bachelorette party in Nashville, TN!

This post would be amiss without saying how appreciative I am of my best friends who were able to travel all the way to Nashville to celebrate with me. They made the weekend incredibly special. It took me nearly all week to finish this blog post because I have SO much I want to say and share about our time in Nashville, but I know you guys don’t want to read a 100-page book!

When researching potential cities for my bachelorette, I was drawn to Nashville because it seemed like a convenient meeting point for my friends who were flying in from all over the country. And after just a quick google search of Nashville bachelorette ideas, I realized that there was so much to do and see in the city, including fantastic restaurants, bars with live music, and wine tasting. Most of my friends had never been to Nashville before, which just made the destination all the more exciting.

 

Thursday

Most of our group flew into Nashville by early evening on Thursday, and arrived at the Airbnb we rented by 6PM. By the time I got to the house, my sister-in-law, Morgan, and college friend Emily had already set everything up and picked up lots of delicious snacks for the weekend.

Morgan also put together these adorable goody bags for all of the girls.

Inside the bags were: matching grey tank tops that said “Rachelorette in Nashville”, pink sunglasses with each girl’s name on the stem, a bottle of gatorade (a bachelorette necessity), and an itinerary for the weekend.

Once everyone arrived, we popped a couple bottles of prosecco to enjoy while the girls got to know each other. My best friends are from all different points of my life: high school sports, college, my sorority, summer camp, etc., so for many of the girls this was their first time meeting. It felt very special to have so many of my favorite people in one room together!

We decided to keep it low key that night, and for dinner we picked up take-out from Hattie B’s Hot Chicken and Coco’s Italian Market. It was also my friend Kelly’s birthday (THANK YOU Kel for flying to Nashville on YOUR birthday!), so we celebrated with a variety of cupcakes from Gigi’s Cupcakes. If you’re an icing person, you’d LOVE Gigi’s Cupcakes because there was a TON of icing!

Pretty soon after dinner we decided to call it a night (it was already midnight) and headed to bed so we would feel rested for the next day.

 

Friday

On Friday morning my friends Liz and Rebecca led us through a quick 15 minute workout in the backyard of our Airbnb. Just by looking at us, you would have thought we worked out for 90+ minutes because we were DRENCHED thanks to the humidity and 90 degree heat that morning! I am not used to that kind of humidity, but it felt really good to get the day started with a quick and sweaty workout.

Afterwards, we quickly showered and got ready for brunch at Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant. Puckett’s was recommended to us by a couple of people and it lived up to the hype! We ordered pretty classic southern dishes, and I dove right a plate of chicken and waffles.

My Bachelorette Party in Nashville, Tennessee! -- www.littlechefbigappetite.com

After brunch we drove to Belle Meade Winery for wine tasting. The tasting was held in an old barn on the property and was led by sommelier, Debbie Van Pelt.

We sampled five different wines and paired them each with a piece of cheese, meat, or chocolate. Since Debbie didn’t have another group after us, she graciously went over our allotted time to talk to us about the wines and answer our (many!) questions. If you’re ever in Nashville and have the opportunity to go to a wine tasting led by Debbie, do it! She was very knowledgable and made the whole experience lots of fun.

After the wine tasting at Belle Meade we went back to the house and played a few games. Without me knowing, my friend Kelly coordinated a really cute game involving Travis. She sent Travis a list of questions and had him answer them over video. At the party, Kelly asked me the same questions and I had to guess what Travis’s answer was. Some of my answers were spot on, but others I guessed completely wrong, which resulted in a LOT of laughter. I guess even after 6+ years of dating you don’t always know what the other person is thinking!

After the games we got ready for dinner and hopped into Ubers for dinner at FLYTE restaurant.

Our dinner at FLYTE was incredible! We sat at a large table overlooking the kitchen, so we could see the chefs at work.

Because we were celebrating, the restaurant generously sent us a round of champagne and some delicious snacks for the table to kick off our meal.

We all ordered different entrées and each of us raved over the presentation and flavor of each dish. Kelly, who is extremely knowledgable about wine, put together some wine pairings for the table, which was awesome! FLYTE has an expansive wine list and two in-house wine directors, so they were also able to offer some fantastic recommendations.

Our meal at FLYTE was a true highlight of the weekend, and I want to give a BIG shoutout to our fantastic server Todd, manager Will, Chef Christopher, the rest of the FLYTE team for providing us with royal treatment that evening. If you’re in Nashville, RUN, don’t walk to FLYTE!

After a 3+ hour dinner (and basically shutting down the restaurant), we jumped in Ubers towards Music Row for some bar hopping. We popped into a few different places with live music and danced the night away. My phone stayed in my bag for the rest of the night, so I unfortunately don’t have any pictures to share, but we had a blast!

 

Saturday

Our late night on Friday resulted in a very slow Saturday morning. We had plans to drive around Nashville on a “party barge” at 11AM, but we woke up to a thunderstorm, so our tour was cancelled. It wasn’t the worst result in the world because most of us were exhausted from the night before and benefited from a couple additional hours of sleep.

Once everyone was up, we ate a late brunch at the house, and played some more games. We were supposed to wear our matching tank tops and sunglasses on the barge, so instead just wore them in the Airbnb that afternoon.

That night, we had an early dinner reservation at Urban Grub. I opted to share a couple of dishes with my friend Emily, which was definitely a good choice because the portions were big! We were seated at a large outdoor booth with a GIANT Lazy Susan in the middle. It made sharing appetizers among a large group and passing drinks around the table much easier. I want one in my future home!

After dinner most of us ended up at The Stage on Broadway and listened to The Matte Gray Band, who was FANTASTIC!! They performed a mix of current country hits and older classics, and the entire audience was singing along and dancing to every song. It was such a perfect way to end our weekend in Nashville!

Sunday

Most people had early morning flights on Sunday, so I set my alarm for 7AM to make sure I was able to say goodbye to all of my friends. I can’t wait to see them again in September at our wedding!

My flight wasn’t until 3PM, so my friend Liz and I swung by EIO and The Hive for a quick brunch before heading to the airport. It was recommended to us by my friend and Nashville native, Laura Lea from LL Balanced. A healthy meal was just what we needed after an indulgent weekend.

Luckily, my trip home went smoothly and I was back in my apartment in Los Angeles by 6:30PM. It felt so nice to be back home with Trav and Bessie!

If you’re planning a bachelor/bachelorette party (or just a weekend) in Nashville and have any questions, feel free to reach out! I am definitely not an expert, but I’m happy to share more information about our itinerary and what we loved.

Thank you again to my friends who traveled to Nashville to celebrate with me! I love you all so much!

Travel

Four Days in Copenhagen Through Photos

It’s Friday, woohoo! Hopefully you have some fun plans this weekend, whether it’s out and about or staying in and binging your favorite TV show. My weekend is looking pretty low-key, but I am excited for brunch with my girlfriends tomorrow!

I’m popping in today to share the final recap from our Europe trip we took earlier this year. I’m going to switch things up from my previous posts, though, and show you our four days in Copenhagen through photos. Here goes!

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Copenhagen was the sixth and final city we visited before heading back to the United States. We stayed at the Ibsens Hotel, which was perfectly located in Indre By, walkable from everything we wanted to do during our four days in the city.

At this point in our trip we were pretty exhausted, and I remember one afternoon we skipped sightseeing and took a three hour nap because we were just wiped. Luckily, we saved the best for last, and the bed and pillows at the Ibsens Hotel were by far the most comfortable of our trip. After weeks of sleeping on lumpy Airbnb mattresses, it was like a dream falling asleep in that bed every night.

The staff at the hotel were all so incredibly kind and accommodating. They went out of their way to make sure we were happy and had everything we needed. Even housekeeping left cute notes underneath the bed ;-)…

We started each morning with a delicious organic breakfast buffet in the hotel lobby. I loved that the hotel placed an emphasis on quality, local ingredients — just the way we like to eat! Every morning there was an abundance of freshly baked breads (including many whole grain varieties), gluten-free crackers, pastries, cheeses, hard-boiled eggs, homemade jams (even a sugar-free jam!), fresh fruits, deli meats, porridge, healthy granola, fresh-pressed juices, a tea bar, and more!

We went back for seconds each morning. I mean, can you blame us?

In the evening the hotel has “cozy hour” where you can enjoy a complimentary glass of wine or beer downstairs in the lobby. There is also a game room with many different board games that you can play while sipping on your drinks. Such a great way to relax!

The boats and colorful facades in Nyhavn were just as beautiful as I’d seen in pictures (even in the dead of winter). We loved wandering throughout the side streets and little shops in this area.

Copenhagen Street Food was SO much fun! It’s basically a big warehouse with all different style food vendors (Asian, Mediterranean, pizza, beer, etc.) This falafel and eggplant salad was one of my favorite dishes I tried.

If you visit Copenhagen Street Food at night, you can enjoy this view overlooking the river. I’m sure in the warmer months this is a fun place to sit outside and eat, but it was much too cold to do that when we visited.

Travis was really excited to try the beers at Mikkeller. They have locations all over the world, and they recently opened one near us in Downtown Los Angeles.

We made an obligatory stop at Christiania. If you’ve never heard of it, you can read about it here. It wasn’t exactly our scene, so we were in and out in under 5 minutes.

(And yes, I am wearing every layer possible under that coat. Did I mention that it was freezing!?)

Kalaset is a vegetarian-friendly restaurant that was located across the street from our hotel. We loved it so much that we went twice during our four days in Copenhagen.

Their chickpea burger is the best veggie burger I’ve ever had, hands down. It’s served with roasted vegetables and a delicious salsa on a seeded whole grain bun. I’ve tried recreating this burger at home, and I just can’t seem to master the texture. Guess I’ll have to go back to Copenhagen for another one!

The Rosenborg Castle was one of the many old castles we visited throughout our trip.

My favorite room was the Knights Hall, which had the most intricate tiling and decor. If you visit the Rosenborg Castle, make sure you go downstairs to the basement and see the Treasury. It contains marvelous old jewels, crowns, and weaponry.

We had our final meal in Copenhagen at The Union Kitchen. They’re known for their creative meatballs, and it is actually the same restaurant that inspired this Green Curry Chicken Meatballs recipe.

For brunch that afternoon we shared the shakshuka and this grain bowl with lentils, shaved broccoli, onion chutney, pistachios, and a poached egg. Both were delicious! I highly recommend this spot for both brunch and dinner.

We loved our time in Copenhagen, but by the end of our trip we were definitely ready to head back home, see Bessie, and sleep in our own bed. I definitely want to visit again when the weather is warmer so we can check out Tivoli Gardens, rent bikes, and go on a canal cruise. There is so much more to do there!

 

I received a discounted stay at the Ibsens Hotel, but all opinions are 100% my own. We would immediately return here on our next trip to Copenhagen.

Travel

Where to Eat and Drink in Berlin

Hey guys! I hope your week is going well! I am heading home to Boston later this week to do some wedding planning, and I can’t wait to be with my family and soak up some quality time with my one-year-old nephew, Oliver. He is the CUTEST.

I am back today sharing my list of where to eat and drink in Berlin! I’ve had a lot of fun writing these recaps from our EuroTrip for you, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them. Berlin was the second to last city on our trip. You can read about the other cities we visited here: Paris / Amsterdam / Vienna / Prague.

While in Berlin, we stayed in an Airbnb in Prenzlauer Berg, which is a very vibrant and gentrified neighborhood. The streets are filled with young families with strollers, healthy supermarkets, independent bakeries, and boutique shops. It was a fantastic place to stay in such a sprawling city, and I would highly recommend it to any first-time Berlin visitors.

In terms of dining out at restaurants in Berlin, I have two important tips:

  1. In most cafes and more casual restaurants you seat yourself. If you wait for a server to seat you, then you will likely end up standing at the front of the restaurant looking like a looney for 15 minutes. If you see an open table, most of the time, it’s fine to just go ahead and sit, and a server will then bring menus to your table.
  2. Unlike most Americans, Germans don’t drink tap water with their meals. In fact, most scoff at the idea. While drinking bottled water is common in many European cities, we found that in Germany we received strange looks or pushback upon request for tap water. If you’re not bothered by this, then just do your thing and order tap. If you want to do as the locals do, then go with bottled.

Alright, now let’s get to it! Keep reading for my list of where to eat and drink in Berlin.

Where to Eat and Drink in Berlin, Germany ll All the best restaurants and wine bars to fit your budget and dietary preferences! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Breakfast

Schlomo’s

(Image source)

On our first morning in Berlin, we woke up exhausted and starving after a long day of travel the day before. Schlomo’s was just what we needed. It was a quick ten minute walk from our Airbnb, and we were pleasantly surprised that the staff spoke perfect English. Schlomo’s makes real New York-style hand-rolled bagels, and the menu offers a wide variety of toppings including cheese, salmon, eggs, tofu, guacamole and more. They’re very accommodating to substitutions, so if you don’t see the perfect menu item, just ask!

What to Order:

Any of the egg breakfast sandwiches. And coffee — unlimited free refills…need I say more!?

 

Pasternak

Where to Eat and Drink in Berlin, Germany ll All the best restaurants and wine bars to fit your budget and dietary preferences! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I can’t say I am very familiar with Russian cuisine, but if Restaurant Pasternak was any indication, then I’m hooked! The restaurant has an old-time feel, with red checkered tablecloths and dark wooden furniture. We visited in the winter, so we sat inside, but there’s also a large outdoor seating area, which I’m sure would be fun in warmer months.

What to Order:

The Russian pancakes with homemade jam and fresh fruit. The homemade jam really stole the show. I wanted to bottle it up and bring it home with me. You also can’t go wrong with any of the egg dishes.

 

Barcomi’s

Where to Eat and Drink in Berlin, Germany ll All the best restaurants and wine bars to fit your budget and dietary preferences! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com Where to Eat and Drink in Berlin, Germany ll All the best restaurants and wine bars to fit your budget and dietary preferences! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Barcomi’s is tucked away from the main street, and the entrance looks out onto a quaint little courtyard. The cafe is known for their coffee, bagels, and baked goods — all perfect for breakfast. We started with cappuccinos and split a homemade bagel and gluten-free lemon waffles. Everything was delicious, and by the end we were licking our plates clean.

What to Order: 

Definitely the coffee — you can even buy a bag to bring home. The waffles were a special item, but if they’re on the menu don’t miss them!

 

 

Lunch

Lia’s Kitchen

Where to Eat and Drink in Berlin, Germany ll All the best restaurants and wine bars to fit your budget and dietary preferences! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Lia’s opened at the end of 2016 by a group of Israeli guys who noticed a need in the area for good vegan food. Everything on the menu is 100% vegan, and I am not exaggerating when I tell you that it was some of the most delicious vegan food we’ve ever had. I really appreciated that there was nothing processed about the ingredients in the salad and burger we tried, and there is a lot of attention put into the flavor and texture of each dish. The guys at Lia’s take no shortcuts in creating delicious meat-free meals. I even overheard a few customers inside say that they’re not vegan (like us), but just love the food at Lia’s.

What to Order:

Lia’s Salad and the Chili Bean Burger

 

Zweistrom

Where to Eat and Drink in Berlin, Germany ll All the best restaurants and wine bars to fit your budget and dietary preferences! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Zweistrom is the perfect lunch spot to grab a quick pita sandwich or falafel and hummus. There are about four tables in the restaurant, so it definitely caters more towards pick-up orders. We’ve had a lot of Mediterranean food, and we were genuinely surprised by how amazing this food was. For a tiny kitchen, Zweistrom knows how to pack a lot of flavor into each bite of food.

What to Order: 

The Mixteller platter allows you to try a little bit of everything: hummus, salads, schwarma, falafel, and a variety of dips.

 

Mogg

Where to Eat and Drink in Berlin, Germany ll All the best restaurants and wine bars to fit your budget and dietary preferences! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Mogg makes an incredible pastrami sandwich. It’s lean and juicy, just the way we like it. We didn’t try anything else on the menu, so it’s honestly all I can recommend. But if you’re looking for a delicious deli sandwich, go to Mogg.

 

Hummus & Friends

Where to Eat and Drink in Berlin, Germany ll All the best restaurants and wine bars to fit your budget and dietary preferences! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Hummus & Friends is a short walk from Museum Island, making it a great lunch spot to visit after a long day visiting the museums. Aside from a couple of dishes that contain eggs, everything on the menu is vegan, and many items are also gluten-free. We sampled a bit of everything, and there was nothing we didn’t like. The portions of hummus are large, and I would recommend sharing a few items among friends.

What to Order:

Three Potatoes in the Oven and the Friends Salad

 

 

Dinner

Standard Pizza

Where to Eat and Drink in Berlin, Germany ll All the best restaurants and wine bars to fit your budget and dietary preferences! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Standard Pizza in Prenzlauer Berg serves Neopolitan-style pizza. The dough is crunchy on the outside and soft and doughy on the inside. If you’re a crust-lover, this pizza is for you! We ordered two pizzas because that’s what we saw most other couples doing, but in reality we would have been fine splitting one pizza and a salad. Ask your server for a wine pairing suggestion. They have a unique selection of wines that we hadn’t seen anywhere else in Germany.

What to Order:

While it might sound boring, you really can’t go wrong with the Margherita pizza here.

 

Umami

Where to Eat and Drink in Berlin, Germany ll All the best restaurants and wine bars to fit your budget and dietary preferences! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

(Image Source)

We loved Umami so much that we went twice in our six day stay in Berlin. Both nights (a Tuesday and a Friday) the restaurant was packed and there was a bit of a wait for a table. Umami is incredibly popular with locals, and for good reason! The dishes are incredibly flavorful, the service is fast, and the prices are unbelievable. Entrée dishes that would be $15+ in Los Angeles, were only $7-$8 at Umami. The first night we had to get two orders of the Saigon Pancakes (crispy sweet potato pancakes) because we couldn’t get over how good they were!

What to Order:

The Saigon Pancakes, Deep Gold Beef Bowl, and Tongkin’s Roast Duck

 

 

Wine Bars

Weinschenke Weinstein

Where to Eat and Drink in Berlin, Germany ll All the best restaurants and wine bars to fit your budget and dietary preferences! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

(Image source)

Weinstein is a cozy neighborhood wine bar that serves a delicious selection of wines from around the globe. We were particularly interested in German wines, so that’s all we tried. You can sample a wide variety of wines in varying quantities, which is fun if you don’t want to stick to one thing. Weinstein also serves food, but we only ordered fresh bread, which was perfect to soak up all the wine!

 

Cordobar

Where to Eat and Drink in Berlin, Germany ll All the best restaurants and wine bars to fit your budget and dietary preferences! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

(Image source)

Cordobar is hip, trendy, and always busy. The bar opens at 7PM, but on the night we went a line formed outside the door as early as 6:30PM. You can grab a seat at the bar or sit at a table in the main dining area. Wines can be ordered by the glass or bottle. I’d suggest ordering by the glass because there are so many great wines to try! There’s also a small menu that changes regularly, and the items are perfect for pre-dinner or late-night snacking.

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If you have any questions about where to eat and drink in Berlin or need additional suggestions about your stay, feel free to leave a comment below or shoot me an email!

 

Disclosure: In some cases, I received a complimentary meal in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. I would never include any restaurant that I didn’t genuinely love. As always, thank you for your support!

 

Travel

Where to Eat and Drink in Prague

I am so glad we included Prague in our Eurotrip. It truly is a magical city, full of excitement, culture, nightlife, and so much rich history.

We stayed in an Airbnb in Old Town Square and everything that we wanted to see was in walking distance from our apartment. We only ended up using public transportation to get to and from the central train station on our first and last days. Most days we walked 20K+ steps, but we really didn’t mind because there was so much to see (and eat!) along the way.

Where to Eat and Drink in Prague ll Something for everyone: Fine-Dining, Healthy, Vegetarian, Cafes, Burgers & More! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

We had many delicious meals in Prague, and we were pleased by how inexpensive everything was compared to food and drinks in Los Angeles. As an example, a pint of beer in Prague was usually less than $2 and a glass of (good!) wine was only $3-4. Can’t complain about that!

Before I launch into my list of where to eat and drink in Prague, I wanted to share one more tip that became very useful to us. Smoking is still allowed in restaurants and bars in Prague, but these establishments are required to place a sticker on their door that states whether or not their restaurant/bar permits it. This is what the stickers look like. If you are sensitive to smoke like I am, then look for the stickers that have the cigarette crossed out in red and say kouření zakázánoThese places are completely smoke-free…and for the record, so is every place I am about to mention.

Alright, let’s get to it!

Where to Eat and Drink in Prague ll Something for everyone: Fine-Dining, Healthy, Vegetarian, Cafes, Burgers & More! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

 

For a healthy breakfast: Cacao

Where to Eat in Prague ll Something for everyone: Fine-Dining, Healthy, Vegetarian, Cafes, Burgers & More! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

We started nearly every morning at Cacao. It was a one minute walk from our Airbnb, and we really appreciated the plethora of healthy options on the menu. They have everything from fresh juices, acai bowls, eggs, whole-grain bread, avocado toast, and more. If you’re dairy-free, make sure to try their almond milk latte. It was one of the best I’ve ever had! Each morning nearly every table inside was filled, which showed how popular it is with both locals and tourists, like us.

 

For the best burger: Cafe Palanda

Where to Eat in Prague ll Something for everyone: Fine-Dining, Healthy, Vegetarian, Cafes, Burgers & More! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

All I can say is: get the Beef Reblochon Burger!! It comes with onion confit braised in beer, and HOLY MOLY I wanted to lick those onions off my plate. The burgers are substantial, so go hungry. Travis and I have had our fair share of burgers and we both agree that Cafe Palanda cannot be missed!

 

For seafood lovers: La Bottega Bistroteka

Where to Eat and Drink in Prague ll Something for everyone: Fine-Dining, Healthy, Vegetarian, Cafes, Burgers & More! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

We loved everything about our meal at La Bottega Bistroteka. Both the reviews we read online and the menu that was posted looked great, but it was the service and high-quality ingredients that really blew us away.

Alongside the tables there is a long deli-style counter displaying a variety of freshly prepared salads and desserts. If you’re looking for a quick bite to eat, these salads are a great option.

The restaurant also offers a daily selection of meat and fish. Our server brought a platter of the day’s offerings to our table (yes, the raw beef and whole fish), and explained the chef’s preparation for each piece. We ordered the Dover Sole and it was prepared in a lemon-butter sauce with garlic and chives. When it was ready, the server brought the fish to our table and deboned it for us tableside. If you’re a seafood lover the fresh fish at La Bottega Bistroteka is a must order!

Also, ask your server for a wine pairing suggestion. They have a fantastic selection.

 

For Czech wine tasting: Vinotéka u Mouřenína

Where to Eat and Drink in Prague ll Something for everyone: Fine-Dining, Healthy, Vegetarian, Cafes, Burgers & More! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

We had some time to kill before a reservation one afternoon and we just happened upon this fantastic wine bar. We were the only ones inside (it was 4PM on a weekday), so we received incredible attention from the sweet lady pouring the wines.

Travis and I both wanted to try local wines, so I chose a white wine and he selected a red. We both loved our choices, and the total bill was less than $5. Much cheaper than wine tasting in Napa, CA, let me tell you! To top it off, we were served a complimentary cheese platter to enjoy while we sipped our wines. A very nice touch!

 

For a Czech twist on Italian: Pastar

Where to Eat and Drink in Prague ll Something for everyone: Fine-Dining, Healthy, Vegetarian, Cafes, Burgers & More! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Where to Eat and Drink in Prague ll Something for everyone: Fine-Dining, Healthy, Vegetarian, Cafes, Burgers & More! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Pastar is both an Italian restaurant and delicatessen. The front portion is the delicatessen, which sells local cheeses, meats, wine and desserts. The next two rooms contain snuggly fit tables, perfect for a cozy Italian dinner with your loved one. We sampled a small portion from each section of the menu: salad, risotto, fish, meat and dessert. The real standouts were the ravioli with smoked chicken and the beef with cauliflower purée and rainbow carrots.

The staff spoke perfect English and were all incredibly knowledgeable about the menu and ingredients. It’s clear they all have a passion for food.

Pro Tip: If you visit during a warmer month, Pastar also offers picnic baskets! They provide the food, wine, blanket, and table, so you don’t have to pack a thing. Just pick up your basket and head off to Petrin park or wherever the day takes you. If you’re interested, you can reserve your picnic basket here.

 

For a vegan or vegetarian meal: Vegan’s Prague

Where to Eat in Prague ll Something for everyone: Fine-Dining, Healthy, Vegetarian, Cafes, Burgers & More! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

If you don’t eat meat, you will probably have some trouble at restaurants in Prague because most menus are geared towards carnivores. Vegan’s Prague was definitely a hike from where we were staying, but it was worth every step. We tried the Gluten-Free Burger with caramelized onions (shown above) and Indonesian Specialty with tempeh and fried rice. Both were so delicious, and honestly some of the best vegan food I’ve ever had (and there is a lot of vegan food in Los Angeles!). The best part was that the portions were incredibly generous, so you won’t leave the restaurant hungry.

 

For traditional Czech cuisine: Cafe Savoy

Where to Eat in Prague ll Something for everyone: Fine-Dining, Healthy, Vegetarian, Cafes, Burgers & More! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Cafe Savoy is a very popular Czech restaurant and bakery located in Prague 5. We had a light lunch of salad, soup, and house-made gluten-free bread (which was really good!), but they have items like beef goulash, rabbit, and boar if you’re looking for something more adventurous. Cafe Savoy also serves great coffee and tea if you need a break in between sight-seeing.

 

For a quick and inexpensive lunch: banh-mi-ba

Where to Eat and Drink in Prague ll Something for everyone: Fine-Dining, Healthy, Vegetarian, Cafes, Burgers & More! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Vietnamese pho and banh mi (sandwiches) seemed to be very popular in Europe, and we ended up eating a lot of Vietnamese cuisine during our trip. banh-mi-ba serves both meat and vegetarian pho, noodle bowls, and banh mi. Everything you see in the photo above plus a bottle of water cost us only $10, which we thought was a steal! Had we not discovered banh-mi-ba on our last day we would have gone back a second time to sample more of the menu. It was really good!

 

 

 

Disclosure: In some cases, I received a complimentary meal in exchange for an honest review. All photos and opinions are my own. I would never include any restaurant that I didn’t genuinely love. As always, thank you for your support!

Travel

Where to Eat Healthy in Vienna

We’re finally back in the U.S.! Travis and I arrived home to our apartment in Los Angeles exactly a week ago, and I’d say it’s taken us this full week to really adjust. I don’t know about you, but jet lag really affects me. Even at the beginning of our time in Europe, I was constantly tired and it took forever for my body to adjust to the nine-hour time difference. The same thing happened when we got back to LA, and the first few nights we were crawling into bed at 8PM exhausted. 

Now that we’re finally back to a routine, I am excited to talk about the next city on our trip: Vienna!

Where to Eat Healthy In Vienna ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Travis and I really didn’t know what to expect from Vienna, but we did have a feeling that the food was going to be much heavier than what we had in Amsterdam. Austria is known for their wiener schnitzel (fried, breaded veal) and pastries, specifically apfelstrudel (apple strudel)…so not exactly green, healthy salads that us spoiled Californians are used to ;-).

I won’t lie to you. If you’re a relatively healthy eater, eating at restaurants in Vienna isn’t that easy. It’s even harder if you’re vegetarian or vegan (beef, pork, and poultry dominate restaurant menus). The upside is that most restaurants offer an English version of their menu, so you don’t have to guess or rely on a translation app.

We did our best to scope out some of the “healthier” restaurants in the city, and I think we hit the jackpot. So without further ado, here’s my list of where to eat healthy in Vienna:

Where to Eat Healthy In Vienna ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

 

Naschmarket

Where to Eat Healthy In Vienna ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com Where to Eat Healthy In Vienna ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Naschmarket is the largest and most popular market in Vienna. Here you’ll find a variety of vendors selling everything from fruits, vegetables, nuts, prepared foods, pastries, olive oil, and handmade soaps. If you’re renting an apartment with a kitchen, this is a great place to pick up some healthy produce for your stay.

There are also many restaurants within Naschmarket. We loved the Naschmarket Deli for brunch on a Saturday morning. The atmosphere was very lively and fun, and there was a DJ playing music in the corner. The menu is expansive and I enjoyed a delicious falafel salad, while Travis loved his turkey kebabs. They have plenty of healthy options, including vegetarian and gluten-free choices.

 

Hungry Guy

Where to Eat Healthy In Vienna ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Where to Eat Healthy In Vienna ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Hungry Guy is on many of the top lists of Vienna restaurants…and deservingly so. It’s located right in the center of the city, and it’s constantly packed with locals. We went during the lunch rush and had to wait a bit for a seat, but it was definitely worth it.

The owner, Eyal Guy, moved to Vienna from Israel and brought with him some of the best-tasting Mediterranean food we’ve ever had. Travis and I tried the Fensenjen (Persian chicken stew) and the Chicken Schwarma Pita. Both knocked our socks off.

Holy moly, their pita is amaaaaazing! It’s thick, soft, and doughy…and we talked about it throughout the rest of our trip. They bake it in-house constantly throughout the day, so you know you’re always getting a fresh one. It was the perfect vehicle to hold the chicken schwarma, and we also used it to soak up all of the delicious sauce in the chicken stew. The pita sandwiches are hefty (I honestly would be fine splitting one), and we had some of the chicken stew leftover to take with us. You really get a great value here.

If we had more time, we would have gone back to Hungry Guy again to explore more of the menu. It was that good. Seriously, don’t skip this place.

 

Nguyen’s Pho House

Where to Eat Healthy In Vienna ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Vietnamese food can be a great option when you’re looking for a healthy meal. Traditional dishes usually contain lots of veggies and you can most often substitute tofu for chicken or beef in any dish. We loved the mango salad and pho at Nguyen’s. The salad was light and refreshing and the pho was perfect on a very chilly night. There are plenty of other healthy dishes on the menu for you to choose from.

Also, if you’re looking for a splurge, the house white wine was delicious and less than $3 USD a glass!

 

Swing Kitchen

Where to Eat Healthy In Vienna ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Swing Kitchen is 100% vegan fast food and the menu contains a variety of plant-based salads, wraps and burgers. There are three locations, we visited the one on Operngasse.

The restaurant is super popular with locals, who all came pouring in during their lunch break. The two ladies at the counter spoke great English and were extremely helpful in explaining the menu. I highly recommend the Swing Burger, which comes with a house-made BBQ sauce. Tip: if you want to skip the bread, you can ask for the patty on a salad instead.

Swing Kitchen also really cares about where they source their ingredients and their impact on the environment. They use renewable, raw materials instead of plastic packaging, and make an effort to use regional, fair-trade ingredients in their food.

 

Disclosure: In some cases, I received a complimentary meal in exchange for an honest review. All content and opinions are my own. I would never include any restaurant that I didn’t genuinely love. As always, thank you for your support!

Restaurant Review Travel

Where to Eat and Drink in Amsterdam

As I mentioned in my last post, I think that Amsterdam’s food scene is way underrated. It’s difficult to define the city’s cuisine in just a few words because they’ve gathered influence from many different countries, so I guess I’d just call it global.

From cheap eats to fine dining, we loved every meal we had in our four days there. If I really had to narrow it down, here is my top list of where to eat and drink in Amsterdam:

Know before you go: Where to Eat and Drink in Amsterdam. Including everything from cheap eats to fine dining, there is something on the list for everyone. // www.littlechefbigappetite.com // Amsterdam Travel Tips, Amsterdam Itinerary, What to do in Amsterdam, Amsterdam Restaurants, Amsterdam Eats, Amsterdam Food

 

De Biertuin

De Biertuin ll Where to Eat and Drink in Amsterdam ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

We found De Biertuin on a whim the day we arrived. Travis wanted a good beer and I was craving something relatively healthy…and luckily for us, De Biertuin had both. I can’t think of another beer garden that puts the same level of care into their vegetarian dishes as they do their burgers and beer selection. We went twice, and both times the restaurant was packed. It’s the perfect spot for a casual meal, and there is something on the menu for everyone (including wine for the non-beer drinkers like me!).

What to order:

The spit-roasted half chicken. It comes with a variety of delicious house-made sauces.

The Veggie Burger with Mango Chutney, which was without a doubt the best veggie burger I’ve ever had.

 

Restaurant De Kas

The One Restaurant You Must Visit in Amasterdam: Restaurant De Kas ll Amsterdam Restaurant Review on www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I wrote a full review here, so I won’t go into too much detail in this post. If you’re looking for a unique culinary experience in Amsterdam and appreciate farm-to-table dining, go to De Kas.

What to order: The menu is fixed, but the chef is able to accommodate food allergies and dietary preferences. Make sure to opt for the wine pairing, you won’t be disappointed.

 

Restaurant Blauw

Where to Eat and Drink in Amsterdam ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

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An Indonesian rijsttafel is a must in Amsterdam. The Dutch word literally translates to “rice table” and a traditional rijsttafel consists of many (in this case 16) small dishes accompanied with rice. Most restaurants will offer both a meat and vegetarian rijsttefel, and in some cases there is a fish option as well. Restaurant Blauw was our second rijsttafel experience, and while it provides a more high-end dining experience, the quality absolutely matches the price. One tip: go hungry! Each dish is remarkable in its own way and you won’t want to pass up on a single bite.

What to Order:

Soto Ayam: a soup with turmeric and lemongrass

Chicken Spring Rolls: NOT your average fried spring roll. These were so fresh and flavorful.

Selera Blauw Rijsttafel: includes 16 different small dishes with chicken, beef, and vegetables.

Foodhallen

Foodhallen ll Where to Eat and Drink in Amsterdam ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com
Foodhallen is an indoor food market located in De Hallen, which originally was where the first electric trams in Amsterdam were serviced. Today the building has been given new life, and now it’s a center of music, film, culture and food.

There are a wide variety of food exhibitors in Foodhallen. I’d recommend dedicating a couple of hours to your visit and splitting a few dishes among friends. That way you’re able to try more of what the food hall has to offer.

What to order:

Hanoi Chicken Banh Mi from Việt View

Foodhallen ll Where to Eat and Drink in Amsterdam ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Mezze Plate from Maza

Foodhallen ll Where to Eat and Drink in Amsterdam ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

The Dutch Ginger from The G&T bar.

Look at all these cool gin and tonic combinations!

Foodhallen ll Where to Eat and Drink in Amsterdam ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Ask for bartender, Sjo. He can tell you all about Amsterdam and the history of Foodhallen while mixing you a mean G&T.

Foodhallen ll Where to Eat and Drink in Amsterdam ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

 

 

 

Pho 91

Pho 91 ll Where to Eat and Drink in Amsterdam ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Pho 91 was recommended to us by a local and it really hit the spot on a rainy night. The restaurant is small, so get there early to avoid a wait. The staff is very friendly and the kitchen is fast, which is nice if you’re looking for a quick meal in between sightseeing.

What to order: The Grilled Aubergine Salad and Pho 91 with beef, chicken, and meatballs.

 

The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club ll Where to Eat and Drink in Amsterdam ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

The Breakfast Club has a couple locations, and we visited the one in Amsterdam east. The portions are large, which is great if you have a busy day ahead. We chose one sweet and one savory dish to share and loved both.

What to order: Buckwheat Pumpkin Pancakes with Pecans, Blueberries, and Blackberry-Sage Jam. Unlike American pancakes, these were not overly sweet, and with the delicious jam there was no need for maple syrup.

 

The Cold-Pressed Juicery

The Cold-Pressed Juicery ll Where to Eat and Drink in Amsterdam ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

After loading up on carbs and protein, you’ll begin craving something green. We came across The Cold-Pressed Juicery at the perfect time. Travis was trying to get over a cold, and he swore that the Reset Juice from the Cold-Pressed Juicery is what cured him.

What to Order: The Reset or The Pret a Protein. Both are easy drinking and perfectly balanced.

 

Up next: what to eat in Vienna! Stay tuned…and in the meantime, make sure to follow my latest travels on Instagram.

 

 

 

Disclosure: In some cases, I received a complimentary or discounted meal in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. These restaurants are all places I would immediately visit again in Amsterdam, and I hope you have the chance to visit them, too.

Restaurant Review Travel

The One Restaurant You Must Visit in Amsterdam: Restaurant De Kas

Amsterdam’s food scene is completely underrated. People rave about the incredible cuisine in cities like Paris and Tokyo, but you rarely hear the same praise for Amsterdam. After spending four days in this beautiful city, I became increasingly aware of this.

Since food is such a big part of both of our lives, Travis and I spend a good amount of time (okay, a lot of time) researching restaurants before each city we visit. After reading about Restaurant De Kas’s farm-to-table concept, it quickly became the first restaurant I wanted to try in Amsterdam.

The One Restaurant You Must Visit in Amasterdam: Restaurant De Kas ll Amsterdam Restaurant Review on www.littlechefbigappetite.com

The restaurant is attached to a greenhouse, where the staff grows a variety of lettuce and herbs. These are picked fresh every day and used in their daily fixed menus. Since the nursery isn’t large enough to grow everything needed, the chefs source additional produce from local farms.

The One Restaurant You Must Visit in Amasterdam: Restaurant De Kas ll Amsterdam Restaurant Review on www.littlechefbigappetite.com

The restaurant opened in 2001, and at the time there were very few restaurants placing such a strong emphasis on “farm-to-table” dining.

The One Restaurant You Must Visit in Amasterdam: Restaurant De Kas ll Amsterdam Restaurant Review on www.littlechefbigappetite.com

The lobby connects the greenhouse to the main dining room. As soon as we walked in, we were mesmerized by the gorgeous natural light coming in through the floor-to-ceiling glass panels.

The One Restaurant You Must Visit in Amasterdam: Restaurant De Kas ll Amsterdam Restaurant Review on www.littlechefbigappetite.com

We visited on a rainy, cloudy day and it was beautiful, so I can’t imagine how amazing it looks when the sun is shining.

The decor is clean, light, and airy. I wanted to pack up all of the tableware and bring it home with me. (Seriously, I was flipping over all of it to look for brand names…).

The One Restaurant You Must Visit in Amasterdam: Restaurant De Kas ll Amsterdam Restaurant Review on www.littlechefbigappetite.com

De Kas creates one daily fixed menu. The daily lunch menu consists of two courses for 39 Euros, and the dinner menu includes three courses for 49.50 Euros. You also have the option to supplement your meal with wine pairings. For the portion size, quality of ingredients and level of service you receive at De Kas, I believe these prices are extremely fair.

We visited for lunch, so we had the two-course fixed menu, which included three small starters and a main course (so it really felt like a four-course meal!). We also opted for the wine pairing, which I highly recommend you do.

The One Restaurant You Must Visit in Amasterdam: Restaurant De Kas ll Amsterdam Restaurant Review on www.littlechefbigappetite.com

The chef will do his best to accommodate for any food allergies you have, and if you are vegetarian he can also make a special menu for you. Travis and I do not eat pork and I am allergic to quinoa. Luckily for us, there was no pork on the menu that day, and the kitchen was easily able to leave out the quinoa from one of the dishes.

Before our meal, our server brought us freshly-made sourdough bread, green olives, and roasted, seasoned celeriac (celery root). I love celeriac, so this unusual preparation was a real treat for me.

The One Restaurant You Must Visit in Amasterdam: Restaurant De Kas ll Amsterdam Restaurant Review on www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I could go on and on about how delicious our meal was, but I thought I would let the photos show you instead.

First starter: Beetroot soup with duck, yogurt and quinoa

The One Restaurant You Must Visit in Amasterdam: Restaurant De Kas ll Amsterdam Restaurant Review on www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Second starter: Baked haddock with brussels sprouts and sweet and salty onions

The One Restaurant You Must Visit in Amasterdam: Restaurant De Kas ll Amsterdam Restaurant Review on www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Third starter (to share): Chicory tart with blood oranges and fresh herbs

The One Restaurant You Must Visit in Amasterdam: Restaurant De Kas ll Amsterdam Restaurant Review on www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Main course: Brill fish with little gem lettuce, potato gratin, chanterelle mushrooms, and carrot purée

The One Restaurant You Must Visit in Amasterdam: Restaurant De Kas ll Amsterdam Restaurant Review on www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Our main course was paired with a delicious Spanish Rioja. Other Riojas I have tried would be much too tannic and bold with white fish, but this wine was medium-bodied, and the perfect accompaniment to the brill fish.

The One Restaurant You Must Visit in Amasterdam: Restaurant De Kas ll Amsterdam Restaurant Review on www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Since we had an afternoon of sightseeing ahead of us, I ordered an espresso at the end of the meal. To my delight, it arrived with a small plate of bite-sized treats, which were just the right amount of sweetness I needed after a savory meal.

The One Restaurant You Must Visit in Amasterdam: Restaurant De Kas ll Amsterdam Restaurant Review on www.littlechefbigappetite.com

There isn’t enough praise in the world that would do our meal at Restaurant De Kas justice. We loved everything from the creative (but approachable) food preparations to the beautiful interior design.

And this review would be incomplete without mentioning the fantastic service. Our server, Benjamin, spoke perfect English and was very knowledgeable about the restaurant, its history, and each ingredient used in that day’s menu. Each course was paced perfectly, and we never felt rushed. In fact, we ended up having a two and a half hour lunch, but didn’t realize until we checked our phones upon leaving the restaurant.

The One Restaurant You Must Visit in Amasterdam: Restaurant De Kas ll Amsterdam Restaurant Review on www.littlechefbigappetite.com

If you are looking for a unique dining experience and appreciate farm-to-table cuisine, Restaurant De Kas is the one restaurant you must visit in Amsterdam. As we walked back to our hotel, Travis and I joked about stopping through Amsterdam at the end of our trip just so we can have another meal there!

The One Restaurant You Must Visit in Amasterdam: Restaurant De Kas ll Amsterdam Restaurant Review on www.littlechefbigappetite.com

 

 

I received a complimentary meal at Restaurant De Kas in exchange for an honest review. All opinions, photos and comments are my own. I absolutely loved my meal at Restaurant De Kas and highly recommend it to anyone visiting Amsterdam.

 

 

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