Top 5 Restaurants in Maine

Maine is a great place to visit as it has lots of fabulous holiday lettings and there are so many fantastic things to do, from whale watching to skiing. You will also find lots of wonderful restaurants there. If you love your food, you will love Maine. It is a place synonymous with seafood, especially lobster, but you will find lots of cuisines to delight in, from traditional New England to Mexican fare. There is such a superb choice of restaurants it is hard to decide which to visit. The best barometer is often “Go where the locals eat”. Here are the five best places to eat if you want to hang out with the locals while gratifying your taste buds.

Portland Lobster Company
When in Maine you have to eat lobster and the best place to indulge your seafood fantasies is the Portland Lobster Company. This mecca for succulent lobster is as down-to-earth as it gets, but that’s its charm. You don’t come to this ocean front establishment for anything other than great lobster!

11:00 AM till 10 PM

180 Commercial Street
Portland, ME 04101

Five Fifty-Five
If you love your food classic and classy this is the award-winning restaurant for you. Five Fifty-Five prides itself on its seasonal menu and locally sourced ingredients. A local favourite is the truffled lobster “mac & cheese”, which you have to try! The restaurant has a fine tradition when it comes to serving great food.

5:00 PM till Close

555 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101

This is an acclaimed restaurant, consistently rated as one of America’s finest. Hugo’s has three creative menus “Forged & Farmed” “From The Sea”, “Forest & Field”. The food is sourced locally and representative of the seasons and landscape. If you want to fine dine you won’t go wrong dining here.

5:30 PM till Close

88 Middle Street
Portland, ME 04101

If you like Mexican food you will love Zapoteca. The food is a combination of traditional and modern Mexican dishes, fire-roasted in a method unique to the restaurant. It is also a tequileria and can claim to have over 100 of the finest tequilas. It’s the place to go for quality Mexican food and a fine shot of tequila.

Mon 4:00 PM till 10:00 PM
Tues – Thurs 11:30 AM till 10:00 PM
Fri – Sat 11:30 AM till 11:00 PM
Sun 4:00 PM till 10:00 PM

505 Fore Street
Portland, ME 04101

Fore Street
One of the finest restaurants in Maine, Fore Street has a wood-burning oven, made from Hardwood and apple wood, which cooks up a scrumptious menu, consisting of seafood, game, meats and vegetables. It was one of the first local restaurants to use this method and is THE place to enjoy traditional food.

Sun – Thurs 5:30 AM till 10:00 PM
Fri – Sat 5:30 AM till 10:30 PM

288 Fore Street
Portland, ME 04101

If this has your mouth watering, pack your bags, book into one of the many fabulous Maine vacation rentals and dine out in the Maine place for great food.

Oahu Eats!

Ask any Hawaii-born person what they miss when they’re away from home, and the answer you’ll probably get is, “The food.”

The islands may be far away from, well, everything, but they have an incredibly diverse local menu influenced by cultures from all over the world. Immigrant populations that arrived in Hawaii throughout the last 200 years brought their own cuisine and applied their techniques to indigenous culinary traditions, resulting in unique flavors and unusual combinations. Fresh local ingredients and some of the best seafood in the world provide special dining experiences that aren’t easily found elsewhere.

Here are some of Oahu’s best offerings:

Andy’s Sandwiches and Smoothies

2904 East Manoa Road, Honolulu

15 minutes from the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort

A fixture of Manoa Valley in Honolulu, Andy’s has long been a favorite of Honolulu residents, students, and tourists alike. Located only 10 minutes from Waikiki and just up the road from the University of Hawaii, this tiny sandwich shop often has a long (though fast-moving) line of devotees who love their mostly-vegetarian menu. Fresh ingredients, warm service, and their signature papaya seed dressing accompany the wide sandwich selection, all of which are served on their homemade, whole-wheat bread. Unchanged by years of popularity and heavy traffic, this is one of those local stops that still actually feels local.

Leonard’s Bakery

933 Kapahulu Avenue, Honolulu

10 minutes from the Aston Waikiki Circle Hotel

Located in the same building for over 60 years, Leonard’s made their name on Portugese sweets and baked goods, most notably the Malasada, a holeless doughnut that has become an icon of local cuisine. Covered in sugar, or filled with coconut, guava, or chocolate pudding, a malasada from Leonard’s is as much a part of modern Hawaiian culture as a day at the beach. Their menu offerings are largely unchanged since their beginning in 1952; when you make malasadas the way they do, you don’t need much else.

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Giovanni’s Aloha Shrimp

56-505 Kamehameha Highway, Kahuku

5 minutes from the Turtle Bay Resort

Kahuku, a community located on Oahu’s North Shore, is famous for sweet corn and shrimp.  Tourists may flock to the North Shore for its surf, beautiful views, and country-life pace, but locals know it’s worth the drive to get a plate (or two, or three) of shrimp scampi and rice at Giovanni’s. Their famous white truck is parked by the side of the road, and is covered with graffiti scrawled by grateful visitors from all over the world. The menu is simple and clear with just three varieties of shrimp: original scampi, lemon butter, and the notorious “no-refund” hot and spicy plate, which comes with a warning about spice levels that should be taken seriously. Though Giovanni’s wide exposure has inevitably led to a more commercial appearance (complete with souvenir kiosks), locals can’t deny that it’s still a favorite, and it’s a can’t-miss stop on any trip to the North Shore.

Waiola Shave Ice

3113 Mokihana Street, Honolulu

10 minutes from the Ambassador Hotel Waikiki

The best sweet treat in Hawaii, by far, is the famous Shave (not “shaved”!) Ice, which is, simply, a block of ice shaved into very thin flakes, collected in a cone and covered in sweet syrup. Modern incarnations include ice cream or azuki beans at the bottom with condensed milk on top, and Japanese rice balls (“mochi”), but in any form, shave ice is the best thing to have on a hot Hawaiian day. There are many fixtures on the shave ice scene, some of which have been around since the days of the pineapple and sugar plantations, but the best in Honolulu comes from Waiola Store. At two locations, including their original mom-and-pop store on Waiola Street, it’s also a convenient stop on a Hawaiian adventure.

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Diamond Head Market and Grill

3158 Monsarrat Avenue, Honolulu

10 minutes from Embassy Suites Hotel – Waikiki Beach Walk

A casual stop for the high-end palate, Diamond Head Market and Grill is a perfect place to grab lunch when exploring Oahu’s South Shore. With an award-winning market, bakery, and gourmet deli, they are most famous for their scones and grilled plates. The plate lunch, another Hawaii staple, is usually made up of a meat or fish main accompanied by rice and a pasta or tossed salad. The Grill takes the plate lunch to another level, with wonderfully seasoned charsiu pork, teriyaki beef, and miso ginger salmon featured on their menu. With a walk-up take-out window and outdoor picnic benches for seating, Diamond Head Market and Grill may look like a typical sandwich or burger stand, but every Styrofoam container holds a meal of exceptional quality—at a very reasonable price.

This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on August 23, 2015.

London’s Best Restaurants With a View

Like a silky bottle of wine, one of the perfect accompaniments to a great meal in London is a great view. Since there isn’t a glut of skyscrapers in London and even fewer restaurants situated in them, getting a table in one of the better high-flying restaurants can be a tall order. Of all the coveted tables, these are the best restaurants in London with views.

Angler – Angler is one of the finest seafood restaurants in the capital, situated on the seventh floor of the South Place Hotel with excellent vistas out onto Tower 42 and The Heron Tower. Tony Fleming’s Michelin-starred cuisine is nothing short of excellent.


Aqua Hutong – Stave off hunger with smouldering northern Chinese cuisine at Hutong, perched on the 33rd level of The Shard. If the Red Lantern, a crisp soft-shell crab immersed in a basket of eye-poppingly cerise Sichuan chillies, doesn’t put fire in your belly, you may want to check your pulse.


Babylon at The Roof Gardens – The West comes up short when it comes to skyscrapers, but Babylon at The Roof Gardens, a High Street Kensington stalwart, has attracted attractive groups of diners and dancers for over a decade. Nestled one hundred feet up in a verdant urban oasis, it does its name justice.


City Social – For an eclectic grill menu a cut above the rest, head to Jason Atherton’s restaurant on the 24th floor of the NatWest Tower. The dining room has been given a classic art deco treatment that would instantly put Don Draper at ease. The food, which earned a Michelin star, has Atherton’s special brand of perfectionism written all over it.

Galvin at Windows – Galvin at Windows offers Michelin-starred French cuisine in its dining room high above Park Lane, overlooking Hyde Park. It has been one of the most popular Mayfair dining destinations since it opened.

Searcys at The Gherkin – It’s hard to believe that the Gherkin was only completed a decade ago. The building was the harbinger on what was to come, with a thicket of viable high-rise options springing up around it. There’s nothing quite like sitting in the convex arc of glass at the 30 St Mary Axe’s peak, enjoying a flute of champagne and watching the world go by hundreds of feet below.

Sushisamba– Sushisamba has been known to throw one of the wildest rooftop parties in the capital, complete with samba dancers and drummers. Revellers can expect lashings of champagne and South American cocktails alongside their signature Peruvian/Brazilian/Japanese fusion cuisine.

Ting – The Hong Kong based Shangri-La Group scored an ace with its eponymous hotel, perched on the apex levels of The Shard. Diners will be treated to Modern British fare with Cantonese undertones and an overall experience that is deeply redolent of luxury.


If you’re looking to impress someone with views but don’t want to get saddled with a mediocre dinner, all of these restaurants will offer fine fare, if at a relatively steep price. You’ll need to book ahead to secure yourself a table, otherwise consider hiring a concierge service that can secure you late notice bookings with some of the best seats in the room.

The Great European Food Tour

If you are travelling to Europe anytime soon (or just dreaming) then check out this interactive guide to the foods and festivals of the countries of Europe, compiled by Travelex. Pick a country and it will display the national dish, types of street food available, cheapest meals, and luxury restaurants.

The Great European Food Tour

In addition to that it also lists upcoming food related festivals, just incase it has made you hungry to visit.

Check out The Great European Food Tour.

The Ultimate Food Tour of Vietnam

People seeking fulfilling and interesting Vietnam holidays should consider a food tour. They will be rewarded with an exciting and unique Southeast Asian cuisine that is delicious, healthy and colourful. An expansive food tour also offers a good reason to see the entire nation while eating your way across one of the most fascinating cultures in the world.

A common greeting in Vietnam is this: Have you eaten? It’s a polite greeting designed as an invitation to try Vietnam’s wide-ranging cuisine. The Vietnamese are rightfully proud of their food culture and want to share it with everyone. Eating food inserts itself into every corner and crevice of Vietnamese life. The people offer a wide range of Vietnamese delicacies on the streets, on corner stalls and in a vast number of tiny restaurants. 

Vietnamese local

Ho Chi Minh City

In Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), you can enjoy a bottle of beer surrounded in ice to maintain its chill and a spicy noodle dish in a street shop. The food here is influenced by the city’s cosmopolitan nature and its greater contact with the outside world. Seafood is a favourite here and the soft-shelled crab is amazing. 

Try the crab spring rolls fried to a delectable crisp. Crab meat fried up with Japanese noodles, Thai peppers and mushrooms is a dish that shouldn’t be missed. Saigon’s sidewalk cafes, with fruit dishes, pork plates and fresh smoothies, will keep you hopping from one scrumptious taste treat to another as you mentally plan your next Vietnam holidays for a stop in Hoi An.

Hoi An

This fishing village is a mecca for tourists who enjoy their catch fresh from the sea. Grilled squid or clams with mint, ginger and lemongrass are impressive. Barbecue restaurants have set up picnic tables on Cua Dai beach. Street vendors and bakers here sell the ubiquitous Vietnamese sandwich called bahn mi. It’s a baguette stuffed with barbecued pork, pickled carrots, cucumber and chillies and then topped with a measure of mayo. This treat will get you fuelled up for Vietnam holidays to Hanoi.



At Hanoi, you must eat the traditional dish called pho bo. Mainly a breakfast food, pho bo is a beef broth soup spiced with anise, ginger and cloves and then filled with cooked beef. If you desire a particular dish, you search among the thousands of street vendors to find it. The city is one vast buffet of flavours. You’ll find grilled pork, tangy fish, spring rolls and rice and vermicelli. This is the city where the Vietnamese while away hours at sidewalk cafes, sipping black and strong coffee.

A food lover’s guide to Pisa

After I’ve booked a holiday, I instantly start researching the local cuisine and start checking out restaurant reviews. I love sampling different dishes when I’m away and make it my mission to try something new every evening.

The Italian city of Pisa sounds like a foodie heaven. Enjoying fresh pasta, homemade pizzas and sumptuous desserts is a treat, so the thought of eating this type of food every night is amazing! The Pisa region as a whole offers mouth-watering dishes, so it can be worth picking up car hire from Pisa Airport if you fancy going on a culinary adventure.

Here is a guide to the food and drink I think you should definitely try when in Pisa.

Truffles (not the chocolate variety!) are definitely a delicacy and a food I’ve always wanted to try. Used by the best chefs across the globe, the province of Pisa boasts plentiful growth, particularly in the San Miniato hills, where the white truffle is found. This means you’ll spot truffle-infused dishes on many restaurant menus and I’d recommend you give it a go. Pisa isn’t just home to the white truffle, but also the black, scorzone and themarzuolo varieties. Hop in your car and head to the hamlets in the truffle-producing areas – you can check out market shows dedicated to the food.

Extra virgin olive oil
You’ll certainly taste the difference when your food is cooked in the extra virgin olive oil produced in Pisa. But before you try the oil as a base for other ingredients, make sure you order a tasty selection of breads and dip them straight into the oil – you will really be able to pick out its flavours. There are four production areas in the Pisa province, each producing a slightly different olive oil. For example, produce made in the Monti Pisani district is yellow with hints of green, with a little bit of spice in an overall fruity aroma.

Of course, a hearty Italian meal isn’t complete with a glass or two of local wine to wash it all down with. I love trying the wines of different regions and Pisa doesn’t disappoint. Whether your tipple of choice is red, white or rose, you’ll have fun trying to find your favourite one! Perhaps the most renowned wine in the Pisa province is Nettare di Bacco, so make sure you sample a glass or two. If you have a car, it’s the perfect excuse to visit some of the region’s vineyards, where a guide will go into detail as to the history and production process of the wine. The Cecina Valley is a good place to head to, where you’ll not only participate in tasting sessions, but also soak up beautiful scenery and architecture.

Pisa’s dishes
When dining in the city, you’ll notice the same dishes crop up at different restaurants as they’re popular with locals and tourists alike. With the sea nearby, seafood is a good choice, with marinated eels, clam risotto and salted cod with olives a great introduction. A personal favourite is chicken liver crostini, as well as the succulent Volterra ham.

Larded pheasant from San Rossore and veal cutlets will be high up the dining agenda for meat lovers, while vegetarians will no doubt enjoy the endless fresh pasta options, complete with those local truffles and the olive oil I mentioned.
To round off the perfect meal, try chestnut cake and Calcinaia nozza, which is a type of wafer.

I’m certainly hungry now – if you’ve been to Pisa, do you have any restaurant recommendations?

Where to find a good veggie meal in Oxford, Mississippi

Hi my name is Anna, a guest blogger posting on the best veggie spots in Oxford, MS.

We love eating meat here in Oxford Mississippi.  While most restaurant menus will prove that vegetarian options are limited, that doesn’t mean that herbivores shouldn’t bother to slow down and stop through for a meal. Here’s a rundown, albeit brief, of the tastiest meatless options Oxford eateries have to offer:

Newk’s Express Cafe
Newk’s has long been a favorite place to grab a good sandwich, pizza, or warm bowl of soup, and they have several sandwiches that are bursting with flavor. However, many of these are southern favorites such as the Shrimp Po’boy or the Pimiento Cheese. But just because meat dominates the menu doesn’t mean vegetarians should look elsewhere for another meal. The Vegetarian Club with grilled portabella mushrooms, bell peppers, and goat cheese is divine.

Spice & Rice Thai Kitchen
If you are looking for a vegetarian dish with a little extra bite, be sure to check out Spice & Rice Thai Kitchen. The restaurant can have nearly any dish become a vegetarian option with a few favorites including the red coconut curry and green curry. These dishes are creamy with big chunks of veggies and tofu mixed in, and have a great amount of heat.  Be forewarned, however, in addition to knowing how to make a dish flavorful, they know how to make it spicy as well!

Maharaja Indian Cuisine
Maharaja is another restaurant for those vegetarians looking to be a bit more daring. The food is spicy, but not in a heat way, just flavorful. Dishes like the vegetable khorma, which is a dish of vegetables cooked in a cashew gravy, or the channa masala, are always great, and they are a solid way of getting in adequate proteins. After eating at Maharaja, you can’t help but feel like you’ve had a great homecooked meal.  Prices can be a little high, however, so be careful when ordering.

A few other restaurants around the area also offer vegetarian dishes, but it is definitely harder to discover. If one of the aforementioned options don’t seem like something you are interested, peruse around to see if you can find other great vegetarian fare – then let us know about it!  

Anna is not a strict vegetarian, but likes to keep it meatless as much as possible. Her favorite topics to write about online are food, family, and Eco-friendly topics. I hope you enjoy my article and stumble upon at least one of these restaurants the next time you are in Oxford!

The Best Restaurants in Meribel

[Meribel by Leo-setä]

By many accounts, the French Alps ski resort of Meribel is the most popular place in Europe for Brits on a skiing holiday. As one of the world’s largest ski resort areas, Meribel and its surrounding villages of the Three Valleys are home to a wide range of dining options. From quick and cheap pizza to gourmet French cuisine, visitors have plenty to choose from among the 80 or so eateries in and around the village.

Many of the best restaurants in Meribel are found in the resort’s top hotels. With their luxurious atmosphere and stunning alpine views, places like the Allodis, the Grand Coeur and the Escale are hard to beat. You’ll pay dearly for the experience, but Meribel attracts some very skilled chefs in its finer restaurants. Chez Kiki is the resort’s most famous restaurant, especially for steaks, but similarly excellent menus can be found at Bistro du Praz and Le Plantain.

The quintessential Three Valleys meal centres around the traditional Savoyard cuisine of this region. There are several restaurants serving this rustic and delicious style of mountain fare, most notably Le Refuge, Cro Magnon, Galette and Oree du Bois. Cheese is another important commodity of the region, best enjoyed in its myriad incarnations such as fondue at the Fromagerie, situated right in the heart of the resort village.

Much of the dining in Meribel is on the expensive end of the scale, so budget accordingly if you plan to eat more than pasta and pub fare. The intimate and rustic interior of Kouisena is well worth a visit, especially for its quality cuts of meat cooked over open fires. Evolution is another newcomer to the resort, dishing out an international menu in its stylish, contemporary café. In Altiport, the popular Blanchot and the newly opened Zinc Brasserie are both great choices for lunch on the slopes.

Thankfully, Meribel has loads of mid-range restaurants with lively atmospheres and affordable menus. La Taverne, right in the centre of the village, is one of the most popular and busiest places. A dinner here will keep you close to the ensuing nightlife of the resort. Lodge de Village is also nearby and features a comprehensive menu catering to all walks of life. It is popular with families who want a quick walk home after dinner. La Tsaretta, however, is a true locals’ café; it is situated down the mountain, in the traditional village of Les Allues. Dine here to mingle with Meribel’s permanent residents.

Cheap meals are most easily found at places such as Pizza Express or the massive cafeteria-style restaurants on the slopes. The cafeterias are particularly popular since they are essentially ski-in, ski-out, so expect packed and chaotic conditions between noon and 13:00. The best advice is to have your lunch early or late to avoid the crowds.
Rhododendron is one such slopes-side cafeteria, with three separate restaurant areas serving a very diverse menu. Almost everything is available here, from a cheap sandwich or beverage to a three-course lunch. Trois Marches is another busy and affordable spot at the top of the Plattieres 3 gondola. Don’t expect much in the way of table service or staff attention in the cafeterias as it’s every person for them self.

The first thing to do when you arrive in Meribel is stop by the tourist office in the village centre and pick up a free copy of Le Guide des Restaurants. It covers the whole gambit, from the best restaurants in Meribel to the casual creperies and pizzerias. Another option for those lodging in a chalet with some kind of kitchen is to dine in. Meribel has 10 supermarkets, mini-marts, bakeries and butchers providing supplies for the local population and self-catering types.

John is a guest blogger from Alpine Action Meribel Chalets.

Visit Portimao – Home to some of the best Algarve Restaurants

No matter how hard you try, you will be powerless to resist the calls of the fisherman at Portimao who spend the afternoon’s barbequing their mornings catch and trying their best to out shout and outsell their neighbour. The freshly caught fish, most notably the sardines, is what keeps thousands of tourists and locals flocking to the town all planning to feast on fresh fish at some of the best Algarve restaurants.

The quay at Portimao is lined with atleast half a dozen restaurants all serving up the same food at roughly the same prices. It’s a favourite spot amongst tourists who are lured here from their Algarve hotels either by the smell of the barbequing food or on the recommendation of a friend who has experienced it for themselves and who has assured them that it is a spot not to be missed.

You know that you are on to something good when you find yourself seated next to a local family who are all tucking in to the same as you. This guarantees that your meal will be the tastiest on offer in the area and that it will be great value too.

Meals by the waterside in Portimao consist of freshly caught fish, perfectly buttered new potatoes and crisp salad. The only thing that you will have to choose is what type of fish you want and how you want it cooked. Our top tip: Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. You’ll notice the locals getting stuck in with their hands, you should do the same!

Portimao is a beautiful mixture of late 19th and early 20th century architecture and with a great waterfront location, the bustling beachside resort of Praia de Rocha and some of the best value accommodation in the Algarve, it is little wonder that summertime is a fun affair in this charming Portuguese tourist destination.

By Amy Baker