Our friends and families live throughout the world, which can be a bummer in the sense that we can go long periods of time without seeing our loved ones. However, when it comes time to travel to one of the places our families or friends call home, we have the opportunity to tap into their knowledge and explore with a local’s perspective. It doesn’t hurt that many of the people in our lives love to travel, so definitely works to our advantage when we’re gearing up to travel somewhere that falls a little off the grid.
That said, I’m excited to introduce the Weekend Roundup, which will highlight suggestions of things to see and do around the world. So, even if you don’t know someone located in a place you’re planning to travel, you’ll have the opportunity to add a bit of a local’s touch to your itinerary or experience a place someone has already scoped out.
In this week’s Weekend Roundup, friends from NYC and Nashville give you the lowdown on restaurants to add to your travel plans, plus a San Francisco suggestion from yours truly.
New York City, Jacob’s Pickles:
“As southerners, this is one of our favorite spots in the city. Of course, it helps that the restaurant is located only a few blocks from our apartment. Their tagline is “Beer. Biscuits. Pickles.” and that’s exactly what you’ll get. Now, you are probably thinking southern comfort food in the Big Apple? Trust us, it’s worth the trip to the Upper West Side of Manhattan to experience these massive portions of down home southern goodness. We recommend starting with fried pickles and then ordering one of their chicken biscuit sandwiches (don’t think you are picking it up, though— IT’S HUGE), which comes with a side of the most amazing cheddar grits. They are also known for brunch, but get there close to when they open or you’ll be waiting upwards of 1.5 hours for a table. The Bloody Mary (dressed with a pickled egg and bacon) and coop platter are the way to go for brunch. The restaurant has a rustic feel and fairly hopping bar scene at night with craft beers, cocktails, and wine on tap.” – Amanda and Jeremy Davis, NYC locals for 7 years
Nashville, Margot Cafe and Marché Artisan Foods:
“Margot McCormick is the brilliant chef behind two of my absolute favorite east side restaurants, Margot Cafe and Marché Artisan Foods. She opened Margot long before East Nashville was such a desirable food destination and was literally one of the first chefs to bring sustainable, farm-to-table dining into the Nashville culinary scene. Margot’s menu changes daily and is known for its delicious European-inspired fare that is perfect for an intimate meal. Their wine selection is reason enough to pay them a visit! Marché, on the other hand, is a fabulous brunch spot with a bright and airy atmosphere. You could spend all afternoon there munching on their cheese plate, delicious omelets, and crepes. The coffee is strong too, which for me is a big win!” -Olivia Sullivan, Nashville local for 6 years
San Francisco, Bistro Central Parc:
A few weeks ago, Jake and I stayed at our friends’ apartment in the NOPA neighborhood of San Francisco to dog sit and they suggested we check out one of their favorite neighborhood restaurants, Bistro Central Parc. From the outside, the restaurant looks unassuming, but boy, were we in for a treat. The vibe was homey (the picture at the top of this post is the ceiling in the restaurant) and reminded me of some of the off the beaten path restaurants I would stumble upon when I lived in NYC. San Francisco’s restaurant scene can overdo it sometimes, but Bistro Central Parc did a fantastic job of sticking to classic French culinary roots. Kick your meal off with the Moules Marinieres or the Baked Brie (holy cow…literally) and round the meal out with the filet topped with foie gras (not on the menu). Our friend came with us the next week (yes, we were that hooked!) and she exclaimed that it was the best meal she’s had since she moved to San Francisco. Quite a statement, but we were echoing similar sentiments.
Want to shed your local or travel knowledge in the next Weekend Roundup? Submit here or shoot me a note at LSquaredSF(at)gmail(dot)com.