Do you have a to-do list? I do. Mine gets longer by the day. It’s written neatly (shout out to Mrs. Mitchell for perfecting my penmanship) but its contents stir untold anxiety as they become more numerous by the day. For no fewer than 2 years, “Create Greece, Bangkok, and other city guide pages” has been at the top of this litany and in spite of the best intentions, I haven’t gotten around to crafting detailed and SEO-rich pages dedicated to these cities. I hope some day I will, but in the meantime, I will use this page to collect my favorite places to eat and drink across the globe. Be sure to visit my City Guides main page for advice on where to dine and drink in Rome, Istanbul, Tokyo, NYC, and more. And of course, take a spin on my clips page for recent articles and guides published in English language publications in the US, UK, and Australia.
My Barcelona page has moved! You can find it here.
My Bologna page has moved! You can find it here.
My Lisbon page has moved! You can find it here.
Matera in Basilicata is awesome. The restaurant food, not so much. Silver lining: Stano is one of the best trattorias in the region, Il Forno di Gennaro does amazing focaccia, I Vizi degli Angeli‘s gelato rules, and La Bottega del Vicinato‘s selection of cheese is magic. You can find these and other tip in my Matera guide for Australian Gourmet Traveller here.
One of the many perks of a 35-city book tour includes never being hungry. As I criss-crossed the United States and Canada in support of Tasting Rome, I got to explore all sorts of incredible regional North American cuisine, cocktails, and craft brewing. Aside from a few sad airport breakfasts, I loved the food on the road and am excited to share my favorites with other hungry travelers so I made a goofy Google map featuring some highlights for dining and drinking–there are a few book stores in the mix, too! Check out this page for more.
Go to Jareon Saeng for braised pork knuckle and be sure to get there before 9 or 10. Klong Teoy Market was fun to see but messy so wear shoes you don’t mind trashing. For the best experience, visit in the early morning. Such a rad market. Check out one of the spots in chinatown like Tang Jai Yoo or T&K. I enjoyed the drinks at Q&A and Teens of Thailand. Boonsap is super central and a great choice for mango sticky rice.
I recently stayed in Kreuzberg (aka x-berg) while working on a book project and loved having the neighborhood as a base. The Bread Station was cool for traditional breads made with freshly milled flour–peep the mill through the window that faces onto the canal. Konditorei Damaskus a 15-minute walk away sells Syrian pastries.
Tadim Ocakbasi in x-berg is a really solid grill house specializing in charcoal-roasted meats. They serve alcohol. Doyum, which does not, is good for a quick lahmacun and Adana Kebab.
If there is another city with more third wave coffee shops I would be shocked. Lots of coffee places also roast their own. I enjoyed Five Elephant in Mitte (there’s another in x-berg), and Ben Rahim (also in Mitte) but there are 1 zillion others. Here’s a nice round-up of top spots from the Barista Institute.
Markethalle Neun (you guessed it, in x-berg) is a fun market hall with a cool butcher, a nice regional cheese shop, produce, and a wine and oyster bar, among other treats.
Getting around town was super easy with the NextBike bikeshare app and Soul Cycle-inspired BeCycle was a decent place for burning off all the sausage and bread and offers a good 2 for 1 class pass for first timers.
Greece (Athens and Beyond)
Italy and Greece are practically neighbors but for some inexplicable reason, I only started really exploring the vast and varied Greek islands and mainland a few years ago. I always start my trips to Greece with a night or two in Athens. I am obsessed with the city’s energy and the sun-bleached hills around the Acropolis are some of my favorite places to run (9/10 doctors recommend little physical fitness before hitting the taverna). In Athens, I love seafood at Kollias, Cretan cuisine at Kriti off Kanigos Square and Katsourbos aka Katsoúrmpos, and yogurt and other dairy classics at Stani.
In spite of its hectic atmosphere and toxic air quality, the port of Piraeus (a 20-minute drive from central Athens) is one of my favorite places on earth because its many ferries whisk passengers away to a zillions kinds of paradise. Lately, my voyages have been to the Cycladic Islands. I steer clear of tourist havens and head to remote places like Iraklia (Population: 141) where the scarce accommodations keep the crowds way down in the summer. The simple accommodations at Villa Zografos offer great views and it’s a short if steep walk down to the beach. For around €80 a day, the proprietor can set you up with a private boat for exploring the island. There are a few tavernas in the main town serving salads, grilled and fried fish, and braised vegetables. Smyrna in the port is my fave.