When we learned about Time’s "10 Best Travel Destinations This Summer", we thought we’d send out a few LocalEats dining suggestions. These places will certainly serve up a memorable meal, and they’ll give you a taste of the local culture as well. btw - LocalEats is proud to be named one of "Departures" magazine’s Top Travel Apps.
New York City
Katz’s Delicatessen $$
The best deli in a city known for delis, this pastrami lover’s paradise is a timeless NYC institution and a great place to experience the energy that the city is known for.
Di Fara Pizza $$
Though it’s a bit of a hike out to Midwood, it’s well-worth a pizza pilgrimage to sample the outstanding, old-school pies crafted painstakingly by the legendary Domenico De Marco. Note that Di Fara is usually closed from about 4:30 pm-6 pm, when Mr. De Marco takes a nap. Every genius needs his sleep.
Grand Central Station Oyster Bar $$$
The freshest seafood you’ve ever eaten is guaranteed in this magnificent old-school oyster shrine.
Chinatown Ice Cream Factory $
Expand your culinary horizons when you sample the delicious ice creams offered at this family-run, unofficial Chinatown landmark that offers mint chip, lychee, dragon fruit, and red bean flavors.
Manny’s Coffee Shop & Deli $$
One of Chicago's most iconic restaurants, Manny's is legendary for its corned beef, brisket and pastrami, accompanied with sides of crisp potato pancakes and served cafeteria-style. They do a solid breakfast business as well with thick challah French toast, matzo brei, buttermilk pancakes and three-egg omelets.
Al's No 1 Italian Beef $
The little stand on Taylor Street serves up the definitive rendition of the Italian beef sandwich, one of Chicago's most iconic foods.
The Purple Pig $$$
Celebrated Magnificent Mile masterstroke The Purple Pig, a collaboration of chefs Scott Harris of Mia Francesca, Tony Mantuano of Spiaggia,and Jimmy Bannos and Jimmy Bannos Jr. of Heaven on Seven, features house-made charcuterie, cheeses and innovative Mediterranean fare.
Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria $$
Perhaps the greatest cultural contribution of the city is Chicago-style deep dish pizza. Lou Malnati, using the family recipe dating from the '40s, opened his flagship restaurant in 1971.
Florida Ave Grill $$
If you're looking to start your day with granola and Greek yogurt, this landmark Washington, DC soul food spot, open since 1944, is probably not your kind of place. The rest of us will gladly wait in line for a red stool at the counter for heapin’ helpings of hot cakes, biscuits and sausage gravy, three-egg omelets, and spicy half smoke and eggs.
Ben’s Chili Bowl $
A Washington, DC landmark since 1958, Ben's Chili Bowl has been known locally and nationally for its chili half-smokes, chili dogs, chili and milkshakes even before President Obama became a regular.
Tabard Inn $$$
The stellar weekend brunch features freshly fried doughnuts, oysters on the half shell, pancakes, French toast, eggs Benedict and jumbo lump crab cakes among the extensive a la carte offerings.
Hank’s Oyster Bar $$$
Chef-owner Jamie Leeds serves some of the area's finest oysters on the half shell, fried oysters, shrimp and oyster po-boys and crab cake dinner's at Hank's Oyster Bar, a local favorite since 2005.
La Bonne Crepe $
The delicious and reasonably priced breakfast dishes, including a variety of fresh fruit crepes, can be enjoyed indoors or out at this local favorite.
Southport Raw Bar $$
A Fort Lauderdale staple since the early 1970s, Southport's character is as much a star attraction as its classic seafood and drink specials.
Café Seville $$$
Run by a congenial husband-and-wife team, this quaint but colorful little eatery maintains a neighborhood, off-the-beaten-path feel. When in doubt, go with the signature seafood paella for two, loaded with fresh red snapper, shrimp, scallops, calamari, mussels, clams and Spanish saffron rice.
Coconuts Waterside Grill $$
At this high-energy intracoastal waterway spot everything draws raves, from the coconut shrimp and the ribs to the brunch specialties.
Black Bean Deli, a Cuban Cafe $
One of Orlando's worst-kept secrets, Black Bean Deli has been bringing its down-home island fare to the Winter Park neighborhood for more than two decades.
Hot Dog Heaven $
Presenting celestial wonders in the form of near foot-long, naturally cased beef franks, Hot Dog Heaven on Colonial Drive has been serving authentic Chicago-style dogs in Orlando since 1987.
Highly acclaimed seafood spot FishBones features fresh fish that can include red snapper, domestic black grouper, wild Scottish salmon and Chilean sea bass.
Citrus Restaurant $$$
For a contemporary take on Central Florida’s culinary heritage, visit this beautiful dining room.
In case you thought Orlando is just for the kiddies, check out the Sunday Gospel Drag Queen Brunch at Bananas. Live a little. You’re on vacation.