Royal City Carlson Wagonlit Travel's Blog

A trip to Rome is a trip of a lifetime. In between visiting the great museums, posing in front of the fountains for pictures and admiring the many historical and cultural sites, you'll be doing one of my favorite activities: eating. And boy, is it good. 

It also can be expensive. Especially in the more touristy areas, the food you're served doesn't do justice to the true flavors of Italy, particularly if you're given an English menu and bad service.

For tips on the best places to eat in Rome, check out Gisella Deputato of CNN's article, An Insider's Tasty Tips for Rome. She has a lot of great info and ideas that will make you hungry and itching to start your trip to this incredible city (let us help!). 

Looking Looking for an amazing hot dog in South Florida? Arbetter Hot Dogs, located in the Westchester neighborhood of Miami, is the place to go.

With so many hoity-toity restaurants in Miami, it’s easy to forget that there are just as many regular, moderately-priced gems to be found. Arbetters Hot Dogs is most definitely one of those gems.

Located in the Westchester neighborhood, menu highlights include the amazing chili cheese fries, the absolutely delectable chili dog and the freakishly good corn dog. Be sure to tell the cashier that you "love Larry Byrd" for a free refill.

It's simple: if you're looking for great food on a budget, Arbetter Hot Dogs is the place to be. 

Let us know if you need help planning and booking your trip to South Florida! We can make it quick and easy, so no stress for you while you travel

We've put together a street food guide for Southeast Asia, one of our favorite travel destinations. This is a region where low prices do not mean low quality, and you can feast like a king or queen with a few dollars and some street smarts. 

Let's get started!

Temperature

Hot food should be served piping or steaming hot - not lukewarm. Fried is usually fine provided the oil looks like it has been recently changed.

As recommended by Phnomenon’s article, Food in Cambodia, stick to “drinking ice” - small, tubular pieces of ice - rather than the “cooling ice,” which comes in massive rectangular blocks that are then chipped down for your drink. The latter is where you’re more likely to pick up a microbe like Giardia.

Check to make sure your ice looks clean before drinking. In Cambodia, you can ask for anamay, which is “hygienic ice” that’s round with a hole in the center.

Avoid ice cream from street vendors, as it’s typically repeatedly unfrozen and re-frozen.

Another Cambodia recommendation (but probably true for most regions) is to go for food carts that are family-run. If more than one member of the same family works at the stall, likely the stall is lucrative enough to support the entire family - meaning it’s a top notch venue.

Spice
In Thailand, one dish you can’t miss is the Som Tam (papaya salad). It’s a sweet, sour, salty salad made from shredded green papayas, garlic, shrimp, tomatoes, peanuts and chili peppers.

As you can imagine, it’s super popular, and locals like it served spicy - and I meanspicy. Like many dishes you’ll try across Southeast Asia, the spice barometer is likely different than what you’re used to.

Play it safe. At least in the beginning, ask for your food served mild and work your way up.

Know When to Eat
Similar to the dining schedule in Mexico that's based on certain cultural nuances, in Southeast Asia there is a rhythm to how and when the food is served.

In Phnom Penh, the traditional rice and pork breakfast is served by 8:30am. Lunch starts at 12pm and runs until about 2pm. For both meals it’s a good idea to show up early, in order to eat fresh and avoid the dregs and rejects.

Once you’re there for a few days your tummy will sync up but until then, ask around and try to get a feel for the local schedule.

Take a Tour
Whether you’re still a little intimidated by all of the options, or just want some context for your food, a Walking Food Tour at the onset of your trip can set you up for successful food experiences for the rest of your stay.

Not only do you get to sample a wide array of food and drinks, both on the street and in restaurants, but you’ll learn some local history, food traditions, detailed dish descriptions, recommendations, and more.

You can find a Walking Food Tour in almost any major city. Here are some top picks:

Hoi An, Vietnam: The Last Great Taste of Hoi An: Understanding & Appreciating Vietnamese Foods in Hoi An

Bangkok, Thailand: Food Tasting & Cultural Walking Tours

Singapore: Joo Chiat / Katong Districts Food Walk

Jakarta, Indonesia: Culinary Food Tour of Traditional Street West Javanese Food

Culinary Tours by Globe Taste in Thailand, Cambodia & Laos

Know the Lingo
It’s common for food carts to serve only one dish, meaning that to order, all you’ll need to do is point and indicate how many servings you want.

Even if language isn’t your thing, a few words here and there will give you an edge when it comes to ordering, eating and enjoying the local fare. If you have food allergies or dietary preferences, this is a must.

For example, in Vietnam, any food with banh in the name means that it’s flour-based. And if you’re trying to order vegetarian, you’d say khong an thit - “don’t eat meat,” or, an chay - “vegetarian.”

Use Common Sense
We say this a lot, but that’s because ultimately it’s up to what you think is right and feel comfortable with.

Over the past couple of decades, there have been huge improvements in hygiene and sanitation standards across Southeast Asia.

Most of the street food comes from small stalls and vendors who have little space to refrigerate and little capital to invest, meaning they buy their ingredients fresh at the beginning of every day and serve until they run out.

These cooks have perfected their food and want it to be safe and delicious because that’s how they make their income. In places like Thailand, most people get at least one of their daily meals from a street cart, which creates competition among the vendors and a bigger, better selection for you.

Try to avoid carts stationed along the side of busy roads where traffic and wind can stir up dust. And consider using your own chopsticks - some vendors boil theirs to sterilize while others aren’t so hygienic.

More Resources
The Off Track Planet complete guide to Vietnamese Street Food

The Best of Singapore Street Food by Venere Travel Blog.

Q & A on Street Food in Hanoi, Vietnam by SavourAsia.

Guide to Eating Through Cambodia by Wanderfolly.

Thai Food Words.

 

For more information about food in Southeast Asia - or anything else - contact us at Royal City Travel!

But of course you will be sampling more sushi than you'd ever imagine while visiting Tokyo - it is as delicious as it is ubiquitous. However, even if you're on a budget, splurging at one of the city's top sushi restaurants is well worth the hit your wallet might take. Take a trip to the famous fish market Tsukiji in central Tokyo.

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Tsukiji’s restaurants can be found in alleys of Building 6, reached by walking in from the main entrance and turning right at the central square. These restaurants are stocked with fresh fish from the nearby fish market. After a long, jet-lagged night (or a night of partying) a sushi breakfast will do you right.

Arrive early!! Like 6am early. Get there on the first train or before to avoid waiting for up to 2 hours for a place at the sushi bar. Weekends are busier. Smaller groups are more quickly served. Lines are (surprisingly) very orderly, probably thanks to the appointed line monitors. If you’re with other people, have one person wait while the other does some exploring and/or shopping around the area.

Both of these restaurants serve fresh, never frozen, fish. Leave the soy sauce at home.

Daiwa Sushi 
This sushi spot is larger so you might get seated more quickly. Order the omakase (7 pieces & 1 roll) or the yummy, soft anago (conger eel). About $40 for 10 pieces of sushi. 
Hours: 5:30am-1:30pm 
Tel: 03-3547-6807

Sushidai 
The food here is so good. Try everything: octopus, tuna, baby squid, salmon, even a freshly cooked egg. Every piece of sushi is professionally served one by one, each with its own taste and texture. Chefs are super nice. Expect to pay upwards of $30 
Hours: 5am-2pm; Closed Wednesday if the market is closed 
Tel: 03-3547-6797

Bonus!

A trip to Tokyo is quite the adventure, and making the arrangements is much easier than you might think with our expert assistance. Just contact us for more information!

Public was awarded the 2011 Michelin Star for excellence. This Australian-Asian fusion restaurant manages to epitomize the NoLita dining experience while still evoking and innovating entirely creative, exotic and delicious food.

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Public is characterized by simple, industrial elegance. Sit outside on the elevated patio for some prime NYC people-watching. Perfect for a date or small group of friends. Service is wonderful and the crowd diverse. Even the bathrooms are lovely, the walls lined with complimentary bars of soap individually wrapped in Public wrapping.

The dinner menu by Chef Brad Farmerie seeks to “excite and challenge patrons by introducing new flavors and ingredients to their culinary vocabulary.” Just about all of the eclectic, global cuisine is absolutely delicious. In particular, try the Oxtail Snail Ravioli, the Pork Confit Belly, or for the more adventurous, the Grilled Kangaroo on coriander falafel. Finish your meal and cool your palate with a refreshing sorbet.

Don’t go expecting huge, generous portions but rather palate-satisfying, rich dishes, in appropriate portions. 

Full Bar. Pair your food with a Guava and Red Chili Margarita, refreshing with chili pepper kick, or the Pear and Lemongrass Fizz
PDF of Full Drink and Wine List

The Monday Room features 60 varieties of wine from Australia and New Zealand plus small plates to compliment them. Brunch at a $22 fixed price that includes cocktail, coffee/tea and meal. Try the coconut pancakes. Saturday & Sunday, 11am-3:30pm

Reservations Recommended 
Hours: Monday - Thursday 6pm-11pm; Friday & Saturday 6pm-12am; Sunday 6pm-10:30pm . Bar open late, 1am or 2am. 
Address: 210 Elizabeth Street between Spring St. & Prince St. 
Tel:             (212) 343-7011      

Alex Vallis, Senior Digital Editor of Food & Wine Magazine, posted an article in the “Mouthing Off” column of the blog: 5 Signs You’ve Picked a Bad Restaurant is intended to prep diners of a slightly higher budget for choosing the right spot as the Fall high season for restaurant openings returns.

The list applies more specifically to upscale eateries but is practical enough for all diners to learn a thing or two. After all, if you’re going to splurge on a nice meal, you certainly want to get your money’s worth.

5. You’ve been ushered in off the street. 
“It’s unlikely that one restaurant on a touristy strip will be any different from the others just because an animated host told you how great it is. A similar phenomenon occurs with online deals: Ryan Sutton, a Bloomberg critic and the blogger behind The Bad Deal, compared buying these deals to ordering products from infomercials. If someone who you don’t know, whose opinions you aren’t familiar with, and who has a 100-percent bias is trying to convince you to eat at a particular restaurant, you might want to do a little more research before committing to a meal.”