5 x The Best Breakfast Spots in West Village, New York

In a completely food-obsessed city, the West Village seems to be a breakfast focal point. Not only is the food incredible, but the environment of that particular neighborhood gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling to kick off the start of your day. Instead of skyscrapers, you’ll find brownstone, pre-war buildings complete with classic New York fire escapes and every tree-lined, cobblestone street seems to be the home of some cozy, quaint restaurant packed with people looking for a delicious meal and good coffee. Although I’m sure there are dozens of fabulous options to choose from, here are five of my favorite Breakfast Spots In West Village.

Hundred Acres – 38 Macdougal St
Located right on the borderline of the West Village, SoHo and Greenwich Village, Hundred Acres is a Mediterranean style restaurant that never disappoints at breakfast time. Unlike a lot of other typical NYC breakfast spots, Hundred Acres is spacious so a good choice is you have a large party – and they have a backyard garden area! They also take reservations on OpenTable which is super convenient when looking for the right place to eat. The lemon ricotta pancakes and the cinnamon rolls are both superb! www.hundredacresnyc.com

Hundred Acres, best breakfast spots in West Village

hundred-acres4

West Village draws fashionable crowds to its designer boutiques and trendy restaurants

Monument Lane – 103 Greenwich Ave
Any place with chicken & waffles on the menu gets an automatic thumbs up in my book. With outside seating during the warmer seasons, Monument Lane is a great place to people watch. Good food, friendly staff and a varying menu with plenty of different options to choose from – what more could you ask for?! They also give you an adorable little notebook to sign when you get the bill – it’s all about the little details and one of the reasons why it’s one of my favorite breakfast spots in West Village. www.monumentlane.com

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Waffles & Chicken at Monument Lane

Bluestone Lane – 30 Carmine St (*multiple locations)
A casual, Australian cafe that serves great coffee and simple brunch items. One of my favorite things about it – the staff are all Aussies! I like that this cafe gives me a taste of a different part of the world, all the way down to the carefully chosen decor. The avocado smash and the berry bowl are both delicious! www.bluestonelaneny.com

Bluestone Lane, Breakfast Spots in West Village
Love the interior!

Bluestone Lane breakfast NY

The Wild Son – 53 Little W 12th St
This restaurant is located on the border of the West Village and The Meatpacking District right next to the Hudson River. It’s small, so not ideal for large parties, but if you’re looking for a place to grab a coffee and some breakfast with a friend, this adorable restaurant is a great choice. They don’t take reservations, but stop in to put your name down and take a stroll along The High Line while you wait. You can’t go wrong with the blueberry corn waffles! www.thewildsonnyc.com


The Wild Son, Breakfast Spots in West Village
Always busy and cozy!

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Their signature dark lemon soda. Source

Cafe Cluny – 284 W 12th St
A trendy, upscale West Village brunch spot that you go to when you want to be seen. Covered in charming and tasteful decor, this modern French restaurant is a complete embodiment of the vibes of the village and could be a good location for a celebrity sighting. www.cafecluny.com

Cafe Clunsy, best breakfast spots in West Village

cafe-cluny-Breakfast Spots in West Village
Delicious and healthy! Source

Love,

Casey

*Casey is one of our guest bloggers from New York. She’s a 25 year old that grew up in Long Island NY. After graduating college, she moved into NYC and took a job in marketing. She and her large friend group of about 9 girls are all about trying out trendy restaurants and keeping busy with all this amazing city has to offer. She also has her own personal blog, Adolescent Adulthood. She will publish an article in the beginning of each month.

TIP: Traveling to the USA and you are in need of an ESTA

6 x Amazing Lunch Spots in Los Angeles

Sarah enjoyed a week of sunshine in Los Angeles recently. Before heading to Coachella, she had some time to wander around and find the best lunch spots. (wandering for hours in the streets of LA makes you hungry!) I found some very nice ones that are worth sharing.
Have a look to our Top 6 lunch spots in Los Angeles!

1. The Butchers Daughter

You must visit this spot when you’re in LA. The interior, the food, it’s a dream. Min you, it can get pretty busy so you might have to wait to be seated. They have one location in New York and one in Venice California. But during the busy months, they also have a food truck driving around Los Angeles to easy your hunger. They serve the perfect brunch meals like avocado on toast, poached eggs, pizza’s to die for, Acai bowls and lot’s of veggie options. Come here for breakfast, brunch or cocktails.

FOOD, COFFEE, COCKTAILS
1205 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice
Website (photo source)
2. Kreation
My friend told me to go to this juicery place on trendy Abbot Kinney boulevard. ‘This juicery really provides healthy and delicious drinks designed to invigorate the body and mind! Kreation only uses 100% certified products, which include natural protein, vitamins and trace minerals.’ What? Yes very healthy juices and they all looked so dam good! That’s not all, they make their own cold-pressed raw almond and coconut milk with no added sweeteners and also serve tasty sandwiches and salads. You feel incredible when you walk outside, Health boost to the max! They also do delivery and take away, but the seats inside are very pleasant.

Kreation Los Angeles
FOOD & COFFEE & HEALTY JUICES
1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice
176 S Lake Avvenue, Pasedena
3. Joan’s On Third

This is one of the places that I will always remember; I love these kind of shops where you can get high quality charcuterie, french cheese & excellent wines, my favorites!  Joan’s on third is a market place where you can stroll around for hours. Once you have your perfect food they offer seating inside & outside and take away. Next to cheese etc. they also have healthy tasteful sandwiches, crunchy bread, sweet cupcakes and they also sell cook books & coffee mugs. I really enjoyed being here, everyone was very friendly and the food is amazing! What do you think we ordered?

 

top 5 lunch spots in Los Angeles
FOOD & DRINKS
8350 W 3rd St
 Los Angeles
Gjelina Take Away puts you smack in the middle of one of the hippest shopping streets in Los Angeles, Abbot Kinney Boulevard
4. Gjelina
A few local people mentioned this place, the restaurant & take away around the corner on Abbot Kinney is one of the trendy places on Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Impressive from the inside & outside. Immediately when you open the wooden doors you feel at home. If you normally can’t choose your dish directly, to many options are mentioned, you are at the right place! Gjelina has a seasonal menu with small plates, cheese and charcuterie, pastas, and pizza. Try the pizza, really!


FOOD & DRINKS
1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
http://www.gjelina.com/

5. The Sycamore Kitchen
One of the places that I wanted to visit but didn’t had the time for is this bakery close to Beverly Boulevard.
The passionate couple Karen and Quinn, also owners of Michelin star restaurant Hatfield’s, started this urban bakery-eatery in 2012 where they serve wholesome pastries (daily homemade), delicious lunch, or simply a great cup of coffee. The rustic and industrial space & apparently very nice people makes this place even more special! My friend told me that I should try the Mediterranean Chicken Salad; made with kale, dates, hazelnuts, radicchio, blue cheese and red wine vinaigrette. This makes my mouth water.…. First thing what I will do next time is visit this impressive spot! It has everything that I want for breakfast and lunch!

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source: http://thesycamorekitchen.com/

BAKERY; BREAKFAST, LUNCH & BRUNCH
143 South La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036
6. Rosaliné
Located in one of the most high end streets in Los Angeles, expect to pay a little more. Good thing is, you are going to get worth for your money. Rosaliné is a contemporary Peruvian restaurant. The place looks amazing because of the hanging plants from the glass ceiling, white floors and modern use of space. Chef calls it the “next phase of Peruvian dining”. You better go check it out. 
BRUNCH & DINNER
8479 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood
www.rosalinela.com (photo source)

Enjoy!

Love,

Wander-Lust

» Check Elke’s post for our top 5 best Coffee Bars in the world

Night + Market Sahm » A little Thailand in LA

Since its grand opening in February, Night + Market Sahm (which means number three in Thai) has West LA bubbling with excitement. LA residents no longer have to make the trek east to its predecessors Night + Market WeHo and Night + Market Song to enjoy chef Kris Yenbamroong’s Thai-inspired dishes.

The 70-seat restaurant, almost two months later, still regularly boasts quite the line for a table, but worry not; I was pleasantly surprised with an offer from the host to stand in their adjoining “lounge” with a pre-dinner drink until our table was ready. I went for a Thai beer, Singha, as I was feeling a growing nostalgia for my travels through Thailand two years ago.. Without having tasted the food yet, I had time to take in the look and vibe of Night + Market Sahm. Plastic hanging beads separated the entryway from the dining area, brightly colored table clothes covered the surfaces, fluorescent signs dotted the walls, and tropical party décor dangled from the ceilings. Reminiscent of a child’s backyard jungle-themed birthday party, Sahm’s interior is not ostentatious, though it’s undeniably eye-catching.


Photo by wonhophoto.com

The Food
One of the reasons west-siders were so excited for this eatery’s opening, was the prospect of easy access to traditional larb and – my personal Thai favorite — khao soi. Larb originates from Laos but is also found in the Isaan region of Thailand, home to many of Lao ethnicity, and it’s best described as a meat salad. With its roots in Northern Thailand, khao soi is a soup-like curry dish traditionally made with a mix of deep-fried crispy egg noodles and boiled egg noodles, pickled mustard greens, shallots, lime, ground chilies, and a choice of meat (oftentimes duck or pork).


Photo courtesy of www.hannaharista.com

Night + Market Sahm turn LALALand into ThaiLand

If you can wrestle the crowds, let yourself enjoy the wait, and get situated with a table at Night + Market Sahm — and, once you’ve ordered a cocktail or a beer and decided on your larb and khao soi selections — be sure to ask your server for the list of nightly specials. Sure, we devoured our first two dishes (warning: if you’re not adept to serious spice, be sure to request that your larb be made very mild — Thai-level spicy, and even medium, is no joke!); but, our order from the Specials menu, we found, was where the magic really was. As our luck had it, this particular night’s special was a duck “pizza”. Though we were almost (…don’t worry, I said almost) too full from our papaya salad, larb, and khao soi to eat it by the time it arrived, it was no question that our final selection stole the show. With a crusty base yet chewy top, juicy pieces of duck with the crispy, salty skin still on, crisp green onions, and a tangy yet sweet plum sauce drizzled on top, we weren’t about to let any of our last dish go to waste.

Night + Market Sahm
Courtesy of Night + Market Sahm

Lincoln Boulevard, the popular through-way from Santa Monica to the South Bay, is no stranger to restaurants and bars that come and go. And, with so much competition, it’s easy to see why a new establishment vying for the label of a “hotspot” might flounder. But, with two successful restaurants at its base and Venice’s nightlife reinvigorating, bets are on the Night + Market Sahm is here to stay.

Love,

Shae

Night + Market Sahm
2533 Lincoln Blvd, Venice

Website

*Header photo courtesy of wonhophoto.com

*Shae is our guest blogger from Los Angeles. An educator whose lust for experience influences her teaching, she travels with the desire to immerse herself in diverse cultures, seeking new adventure and inspiring others to engage with compassion and expand their world view. Follow Shae on Instagram! @seekvantage

Deep Creek Hot Springs » Southern California’s Best Kept Secret

While I am totally in love with the beach-living set-up in West LA, sometimes it just feels necessary to hit the road for a weekend away. Luckily, Southern California is one of those rare regions offering almost any landscape imaginable within a reasonable radius.

In the Northern Mojave Desert – and only a two-hour drive from Los Angeles – is the San Bernardino National Forest. Home to Lake Arrowhead, a year-round vacation spot for locals and tourists alike, the Mojave Desert can get up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit in Death Valley. But, if you’re traveling for the holidays, pack a heavy coat; areas of this same desert can plummet down to below freezing in the winter. I had the chance to visit this National Forest for the first time last fall (I know, I know, I’ve lived here almost seven years!) This turned out to be the perfect time of year to go – temperate, with just enough sunshine and breeze to keep us comfortable. We had a mission: Wander our way through the Mojave and find the Deep Creek Hot Springs, a secret swimming hole, right here and basically in our ‘back yards’.

The Northern Mojave Desert is the driest in all of North America!

After staying the night in a vacation rental near Lake Arrowhead, my friends and I woke up before the sun to hit the road…if you could call it that. We quickly noticed the winding mountain roads turn to craggy desert paths, and our monster-of-a-truck barely handled the roller-coaster-like terrain. In fact, we almost rolled it twice!

We knew we were looking for a trail head, but it turned out to be quite the feat to find it. After hopping in and out of the truck to attempt to get it over hill after bumpy hill, we decided we’d be better off – and safer! – to go the rest of the way on foot. Leaving our trusty stead behind, we embarked on a quest for any semblance of the start of a trail. After a number of false alarms, we began our two-and-a-half-mile hike through the desert.

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The coolest part was traversing both pointed ridges and deep, shaded valleys, all along the same path.

We were grateful to have worn sturdy hiking shoes, as we were getting a bit fatigued from the already adventure-filled day; but, after spotting an Arroyo desert toad and a variety of desert birds (plus, drinking lots of water and re-applying plenty of sunscreen), we could feel we were about to be rewarded for our efforts. Rounding our last corner on the edge of the dusty cliff, we began to hear water flowing. With sudden bursts of energy, we picked up our pace and were greeted by a sprawling, clear, still-water pool. Heading down into the ravine, we could hardly get into our bathing suits quickly enough.

Deep Creek Hot Springs, entering-ravine
We were so excited to dive in!

The first pool we saw – and plunged haphazardly into – gave us quite the surprise at a chilling 60 degrees Fahrenheit (so, when your long hike is through, if you’re feeling a bit tired, you can be sure that this swimming hole will perk you right up!) As we gazed up the other side of the ravine, however, we noticed a series of smaller pools cascading down into one another. Making our way up each pool, the water grew warmer and warmer, until we made it to the hottest of the bunch. Heated by geothermal springs from deep in the earth’s crust, the hottest pool maintains its 105-degree Fahrenheit water temperature, the perfect contrast to the refreshing dip from the start of your afternoon.

Deep Creek Hot Springs, in-the-ravine
We found out much later that, for a fee, you can park on local ranchers’ land, closer to the springs…

These hot springs are technically “clothing optional”

If you tire of simply lounging in the springs, you can try your hand at slacklining, a popular sport that entails balancing along the suspended length of a flat rope, tensioned between two anchors, much like tightrope walking. Or, for the more daring, cliff jumping is safe into the 10-feet-deep main pool. Fortunate enough to show up on a day with no other people around (or if you’re comfortable in your skin no matter the company)? These hot springs are technically “clothing optional”, so enjoy a dip in your birthday suit for an even more all-encompassing experience!

Deep Creek Hot Springs, slacklining
Slacklining over a beautiful natural pool may just become your next favorite hobby!

Deep Creek Hot Springs
Spending the whole afternoon with nothing to do but enjoy the increasingly hot springs.

Deep Creek Hot Springs, pool

Though I’m a huge fan of all-things LA, I think I’m expanding my mantra: Southern California truly has it all. So, if you’re in the neighborhood of San Bernardino, strap on your best hiking boots and a bathing suit, and venture out into the desert to find nature’s spa. The Deep Creek Hot Springs are surely this National Park’s hidden treasure. 

Love,

Shae

For more info about the Deep Creek Hot Springs, check the website.
*All photos were shot by Enoch Kim

*Shae is our guest blogger from Los Angeles. An educator whose lust for experience influences her teaching, she travels with the desire to immerse herself in diverse cultures, seeking new adventure and inspiring others to engage with compassion and expand their world view. Follow Shae on Instagram! @seekvantage

The Arts District: Downtown LA’s Neighborhood-on-the-Rise

Upon first glance, it may not look like much, but take a closer look and you’ll see Downtown LA’s Arts District is more than just early 20th century warehouses and abandoned factories. Must-see galleries, socially-conscious eateries, stylish coffee shops, and trendy blocks are popping up more and more, and Angelinos seeking novel streets to meander and new backdrops for their photos are starting to flock as they catch wind of this hip neighborhood.

Having lived in LA for more than half a decade, I revel in any opportunity to explore places I don’t usually frequent. So, with a fairly open weekend on my hands, I made the drive downtown. With the sun deciding to greet me after a week of Southern California’s infamous “June Gloom”, it was hard to leave my beach town. But, I’m so glad I did.

Zinc Café
Fourth-generation vegetarian, John Secretan attended school in Berkeley, California and dreamed of bringing the vibe of the area down to LA. Opening his first Zinc Café in Laguna Beach almost 30 years ago, Secretan lived behind his first ever food industry venture in a small wooden shack to ensure he’d always have a close hand in the business. 

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Choose to eat indoors or out; either way, the dining areas are a welcome respite from the busy city

After years of renovating and expanding, a new branch of Zinc opened in Downtown Los Angeles, boasting the franchise’s first full service restaurant and bar. With three years under its belt now, my brunch experience was a success and filled with creamy lattes, fresh dishes, and creative cocktails. www.zinccafe.com

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Zinc’s Asparagus Sandwich with a poached egg on top

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Zinc offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, cocktails, and desserts

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Bar Mateo is the newest addition to Zinc, with a craft cocktail bar set in a 1914-built barn

Street Art at Every Corner
Cities around the world are seeing a sprouting cultural wave involving Street Art, and the artists behind the paint are turning into household names. The Downtown Arts District is no stranger to this popular movement. In wandering the streets, you can find hand-painted murals, airbrushed stencils, or thought-provoking proverbs to fit your day’s mood.

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street-art-2
I was so excited to see work by Wrdsmth, currently my favorite street artist!

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Art everywhere!

Pit Stop at Resident
Perhaps one of the coolest places I’ve discovered in a while is Resident, tucked away only blocks from the popular Arts District Co-op and other chic shops. What began as a studio for the artist-owners, this is “not-your-grandmother’s” backyard, as it has been transformed into a hybrid of a bar, beer garden, and music venue. With beer, wine, and cocktails on tap, drinks are served out of an Airstream, and semi-permanent food trucks are carted in to help you beat those mid-day cravings. At night, the inside opens up as a hip bar, as well. Bonus: The owners, Tim and Bridget Vagedes, still live there, as they’ve secured an RV on the roof of the three-story former metal shop and warehouse, decked out with string lights, yard decorations, and plenty of greenery. www.residentdtla.com

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Resident’s Airstream: an innovative bar

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A peek at Resident’s eclectic outdoor seating

The Arts District Co-op is a landmark not to be missed. Picture a 15,000-square foot indoor flea market, but with nothing but the most up-to-date fashions and desirable trinkets. Over two dozen vendors offer jewelry, apparel, home goods, and, if you’re in the market, art of all mediums. Plus, there’s a permanent stage set up in the back for live music featured on the third Saturday of every month!

As the sun set, I didn’t want to admit that the day was coming to a close. I had only scratched the surface of this neighborhood-on-the-rise and hungered for more. For example, the Arts District Brewing Company has finishing tanks stationed behind each bar to serve tap beer straight from the source; and, while sipping your suds, you can play Skee-Ball or try your hand at table hockey. Westbound, unobtrusively set along the perimeter of a mixed-use walk street (both residences and storefronts share this stretch), features craft cocktails, seasonal small bites, and even boozy milkshakes.

It’s not hard to see why this area is becoming so popular, as the Arts District has a little bit of something for everyone. With so many more to streets explore, shops to peruse, and bites to nibble, I’ll certainly be making my way downtown more often.

Love,

Shae

*Shae is our guest blogger from Los Angeles. An educator whose lust for experience influences her teaching, she travels with the desire to immerse herself in diverse cultures, seeking new adventure and inspiring others to engage with compassion and expand their world view. Follow Shae on Instagram! @seekvantage

The BEST Breakfast Sandwich You’ll Ever Have in LA

Los Angeles is a city of transplants, as many of us have uprooted ourselves from where we were born and bred to create lives in the Southern California sun. We come together to share traditions from our pasts, form new ones of our own, and are lucky enough to sincerely call this City of Angels home.

With the influx of people from all over bringing with them their unique backgrounds and cultural flavors, it’s no wonder the restaurant and bar scene has such an improvisational air to it. New hot-spots pop up almost daily; and, if you ask anyone for their advice on the U.S. cities with the most dynamic food, it’s no doubt that Los Angeles ranks high. But, what better to help a new place begin to feel like home than a dependable and familiar neighborhood go-to? I recently sung the praises of one of my top-choice beachy eateries, Playa Provisions (see the post here!) Still, with so many options right outside my doorstep, my list inevitably continues. Another contender for my favorite menu is nestled comfortably on Abbott Kinney Boulevard in Venice, and it’s a perfect reminder of the melting-pot that L.A. truly is.

Gjelina Take Away
Together forming a foodie trifecta in Venice are three restaurants, Gjelina, Gjelina Take Away, and Gjusta (the latter is the youngest addition to the family – a bakery inspired by an east-coast Jewish/Italian deli). Co-owned by Shelley Kleyn, Travis Lett, and Fran Camaj (Gjelina is named after Camaj’s mother, and Gjusta, after his aunt!), this trio of restaurants seamlessly combines traditional Italian cuisine with the contemporary farm-to-table California taste. The little sister to its neighboring restaurant, Gjelina, Gjelina Take Away (affectionately known as GTA) serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week. Offering a quicker experience than dining-in next door, GTA has all the perks of this popular establishment without the wait.

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GTA’s interior

Walking into GTA in the morning never fails to intrigue me, as the eclectic mix of patrons is rarely repeated. And, those who stumble upon this hidden spot find themselves faced with a gorgeous spread of daily items displayed to entice each passerby, and all made from seasonal, local ingredients.

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Behind the counter

In my quest to find the best breakfast sandwich in LA, GTA caught – and kept – my attention. Braised kale, melted gruyere, a crisp, yet runny, fried egg, thick-cut bacon, and hot sauce (if you want it!) on a grilled English muffin…this sandwich may look small, but it’s packed with mighty flavor. And, when I decide to give-in to my need for a treat, GTA’s version of the popular granola and yogurt option beats out its competition. Served with honey and seasonal fresh fruit, the granola is made in-house and is perfectly chewy, sweet, and salty.

Gjelina Take Away-breakfast-sandwich
THE Breakfast Sandwich — so good.

Gjelina Take Away-yogurt
Satisfying house made granola, fresh fruit, and creamy yogurt.

So, if you’re planning a trip to L.A., you’ll be able to find authentic food from all over the world, no matter your taste. But, if a reliably-delicious breakfast is what you’re after, with market-driven ingredients and beautifully delivered dishes, this eatery has everything you’d hope to experience during a treat-yourself morning out.

Travelers’ Bonus: Gjelina Take Away puts you smack in the middle of one of the hippest shopping streets in Los Angeles, Abbot Kinney Boulevard. After you clean the butter and egg yolk off your face and fingers, pop into the boutiques and art galleries for trendsetting fashion, clever gifts, and musings of all sorts. You could easily spend a couple hours taking it all in as you digest your mouthwatering morning meal.

Gjelina Take Away (GTA)
1427 Abbot Kinney Blvd. (two blocks north of Venice Blvd.)
Website

Love,

Shae

*Shae is our guest blogger from Los Angeles. An educator whose lust for experience influences her teaching, she travels with the desire to immerse herself in diverse cultures, seeking new adventure and inspiring others to engage with compassion and expand their world view. Follow Shae on Instagram! @seekvantage

NYC Hot Spot »The Standard Biergarten, High Line

Once the long winter comes to an end and we get into the early days of Spring, New Yorkers have one mission: to drink outside! The Standard Biergarten – located on the street level of the trendy Standard Hotel and directly under The High Line, is an unexpected outdoor oasis in the midst of the Meatpacking District. This area (typically known for its boujee nightlife scene) plays host to a relatable clientele of young business professionals, college students, and tourists. If you’re looking for a relaxed place to grab a beer, chat with old friends, and hopefully meet new ones – this is a great place to do it!

standard biergarten
Busy and buzzing!

The Standard Hotel has really added a touch of Europe with their Biergarten

After lining up at the door to buy food and drink tickets, $9 each, and settle in for a German brew and tasty snacks (bratwurst, currywurst or pretzels!), bar-goers enter an open brick-walled space filled with picnic tables and benches. Groups gather for fun-spirited conversation as a festive staff, dressed in festive T-shirts and Oktoberfest-inspired dirndls, serves rounds of beer. The communal tables add to the room’s chipper vibe and make mingling and flirting that much easier, while two free games provide a great ice breaker for meeting other trendy but laid-back neighborhood regulars.

standardbiergarten2

Although the place gets packed wall to wall and can be extremely noisy, the ambiance remains more playful and carefree rather than rowdy. Combined with the sociable crowd, open-air space, and casual atmosphere – makes The Standard Biergarten a solid, upbeat hangout for those looking to waste away the hours over a favorite brew.

High Line Walk
If the weather is particularly nice, make sure to take a walk along the High Line while you’re there! This 1.5 mile long, elevated park was built on an old NYC railroad line and is the perfect portrayal of urbanization. Since opening in 2009, the High Line has become one of Manhattan’s most talked about attractions and possibly the best location for sunset viewing since it’s located on the West side and overlooking the Hudson River!

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From The Standard Biergarten to the Highline

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The View from the High Line

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Enjoy a bit of European fun in the middle of New York!

The Standard Biergarten
848 Washington St, New York, NY 10014, USA
Website

Love,

Casey

*Casey is one of our guest bloggers from New York. She’s a 25 year old that grew up in Long Island NY. After graduating college, she moved into NYC and took a job in marketing. She and her large friend group of about 9 girls are all about trying out trendy restaurants and keeping busy with all this amazing city has to offer. She also has her own personal blog, Adolescent Adulthood. She will publish an article in the beginning of each month.

Playa Provisions » The Must Try Breakfast Spot in LA

As Los Angeles continues to grow and evolve, it seems that around every corner, a new restaurateur is aiming to fulfill his or her dream of owning a successful haven for the SoCal foodie. And sometimes, whether you’re a settled local or an eager traveler, it’s a challenge to keep up with each innovative establishment. Some things, though, are unwavering…like the occasional need for an amazing breakfast experience!

I’ve had my share of Los Angeles breakfasts out (it’s hard to pass up the opportunity with almost 300 sunny days a year; who can blame you for not wanting to stay inside to cook?) And, while I may be biased toward the leisure of the beachy west-side life, I have solidified my choices for the TOP BREAKFAST SPOTS, and here’s my first!

Playa Provisions
With the picture-perfect Playa del Rey Beach as its backdrop, Playa Provisions is one of my favorite places to enjoy a sunshine-filled breakfast or brunch. Executive Chef, Brooke Williamson, of Top Chef, alongside her equally-as-talented Chef husband, Nick Roberts, opened this multi-concept space a couple years back, after seeing huge success with their other two gastro pubs, The Tripel and Hudson House. A restaurant, bar, café, and even creamery, Playa Provisions never fails to have just what you’re looking for, whatever the occasion.

Playa Provisions interior
This modern, yet beachy interior makes Playa Provisions a fun place. (Photo by playaprovisions.com)

Playa Provisions
“Dockside”, Playa Provisions’s restaurant, allows a panoramic view of the beach.
(Photo by playaprovisions.com)

While Dockside, Playa Provisions’s seafood-based restaurant, is an ideal dinner spot, Grain, the back bar, offers a variety of whiskeys and other signature cocktails, and Small Batch, a creamery with myriad homemade dessert options, reminds you what it’s like to be a kid in a candy store. But, it’s King Beach, Williamson’s and Roberts’s café, that puts this eatery at the top of my LA Breakfasts list. 

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Impressive latte art!

The King Beach’s Breakfast Sandwich at Playa Provisions is mouthwatering..

When I find myself frequenting the same local spots to get my fill, I like to make my way around the menu to discover my favorites. At Playa Provisions, my top picks have never let me down; first up is the Breakfast Sandwich… King Beach’s Breakfast Sandwich is mouthwatering. A masterfully-cooked egg, turkey and bacon sausages, melted Gruyere, vinegar-cooked collards, avocado, and house-pickled habanero hot sauce on a precisely-toasted ciabatta roll; this is surely the sandwich from which cravings are made.

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Coconut Chia Seed Pudding and coffee for two? Yes, please!

Looking for something a bit lighter? The Coconut Chia Seed Pudding, topped with fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, in-season kiwi, a bit of ripe mango, and sprinkled with Hemp Seeds, is surprisingly filling, totally satisfying, and just sweet enough to feel indulgent.
And, for those moments when that sugar-yearning really takes over, the homemade Cinnamon Rolls and the Dulce de Leche Biscuits are made fresh and are undeniably delicious. 

Okay, so Playa Provisions sure knows how to deliver. Still, there are top contenders for the best breakfast place, and a few are nestled comfortably on Abbott Kinney Boulevard in Venice… More on this soon!

Playa Provisions
119 Culver Blvd, Playa Del Rey, CA 90293, USA
Website

Love,

Shae

*Shae is our guest blogger from Los Angeles. An educator whose lust for experience influences her teaching, she travels with the desire to immerse herself in diverse cultures, seeking new adventure and inspiring others to engage with compassion and expand their world view. Follow Shae on Instagram! @seekvantage

Malibu: The California Dreamer’s Paradise

There’s a 27-mile stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway that dips and rises, drops then peaks, allowing its riders both the feeling of being enveloped in the coastal cliffs and the exhilaration of cruising above the endlessly blue and shimmering Pacific. Malibu, California is only 30 miles from the bustling downtown LA, and myriad movie stars, Hollywood elites, and affluent Angelinos are lucky enough to call its beaches and bluffs home. With a Mediterranean climate and breathtaking estates sprinkled across its hills, Malibu manages to make an average day feel like a holiday.

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So, when you wake up early on a day off in Los Angeles and are wondering over your morning coffee how to best soak up your daily dose of Vitamin D, why not head to “The ‘Bu”?

Kickstart your morning with a healthy sweat
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or more of a nature-walker, the hills of Malibu provide a medley of trails to suit your style. Each hike has its draws, but when I want a moderate challenge and impressive panoramas, the Los Leones Trail is my top pick. This 7.2-mile hike starts in the Pacific Palisades and winds through Topanga State Park. Relatively graded, judiciously shaded, and beautifully lush, the coastal-canyon trek summits at 1,525 feet, and the ultimate view of the sprawling coast makes it so worth the sweat. You’ll know you’ve reached the top when you find a lone bench; sit, stretch, meditate, or just absorb the awe-inspiring vista. You’ve earned it!

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Stunning views on top of the Los Leones Trail

Reward yourself
Malibu Farm is a full-service restaurant and bar at the start of the iconic Malibu Pier. To best appreciate its prime real-estate, I opt to sit outside on the patio, stilted above the waves as they crash on the sandy shore. With something for everyone’s taste, the menu takes advantage of local, fresh produce, and each item comes out of the kitchen impeccably presented and reliably delicious.

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Contently taking in the view chardonnay in hand

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One of my favorites on the menu is the Cauliflower-Crust “Pizza” – it has just the right amount of pesto and mozzarella spread atop a perfectly crispy crust. The Chicken-Broccoli Quesadilla and Raw Brussels Sprouts Salad are two other must-orders if you’re looking for shareable starters. Or, if you want something a bit more substantial after burning calories on your morning hike, the Breaded Mustard Chicken Sandwich offers juicy chicken breast breaded ever-so-lightly in a hint-of-mustard breadcrumb mix, topped with tomato, arugula, red onion, and tomato aioli.

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Care to imbibe? The General Manager, David Shoham, is also the Bar Manager and has crafted some signature cocktails just for this ocean-side eatery. Leading my list are the “Watermelon” – mixing cucumber-infused vodka, watermelon and lime juices, and organic agave; the “Coconut” – featuring toasted coconut-infused rum, coconut agave, and fresh pineapple juice; the “Smoke” – blending mescal, shishito peppers, chipotle agave, and freshly squeezed lime juice; and the “Jalapeno” – balancing Uno Dos Tres organic tequila blanco, jalapeño agave, and lime juice. Special shout-out to the Jalapeno cocktail, as it allows for the awesome flavor of this popular pepper without too much of the heat. And the best part? The agave syrup used in these masterpieces is made in-house! Or, maybe you’re feeling like a chilled glass of wine, instead; I recommend the crisp and dry Sonoma-Cutrer Russian River Valley Chardonnay. Yum! www.malibu-farm.com

Inside-restaurant Malibu Farm
Pop inside for a Malibu Farm Cookbook or gourmet gifts to bring home.

Taster’s Tip: The Malibu Farm Café, a sister site to the restaurant and bar, is located at the opposite end of the same pier!

Catch the sunset
If you’re looking for a change of scenery after your meal (although, you’ll probably never want to leave your cozy, ocean-front seat!) and a taste of the grapes of the coast, Malibu Wines is an ideal final destination from which to watch the sun go down over the Pacific.

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Wine with this view: What more could you ask for?

The Malibu Wines Tasting Room is nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains and offers two labels of wines: Semler and Saddlerock. Choose whether to take part in a tasting flight or indulge in a full bottle; either way, sip your wine on this estate’s vast lawn or at one of the rustic tables provided. Outside food is allowed, so if you’re still peckish after your bite at the Farm, stop by the Malibu Country Mart on your way for some snacks to graze on while you drink.

As you soak up the last moments of daylight, drinking your fermented grape of choice and listening to the rocking live music (it never disappoints!), you’ll wonder why you didn’t find a way to make all those other ordinary days before into extraordinary ones; and, you’ll already be planning your next unforgettable day spent in Malibu.

Love,

Shae

*Shae is our guest blogger from Los Angeles. An educator whose lust for experience influences her teaching, she travels with the desire to immerse herself in diverse cultures, seeking new adventure and inspiring others to engage with compassion and expand their world view. Follow Shae on Instagram! @seekvantage

More about California? Read Shea’s tips about hidden gem Marina Del Rey:

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The First Ever Vegan Food Court Will Open in New York

We love New York because it’s constantly evolving and discovering new trends. Food is a big thing over there and even though New York is a big city with lot’s of pollution, it’s also becoming more conscious about sustainability, health and animal welfare. We were happy to hear that the big apple will open the world’s first vegan food court!

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Unfortunately we need to wait a while before we can all enjoy this vegan walhalla because they are planning to open in early 2019. The food court will be named Home Food Hall and will be the first permanent food hall serving totally plant-based foods. They are now looking for 15+ vendors from all over the world to take part in the first vegan food court. Some of the vendors are already signed up and among these are the popular Beyond Sushi and Cinnamon Snail, both based in New York.

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Beyond sushi will be one of the vendors in the first ever Vegan Food court.

Besides the food they will also open a boutique fitness space hosting yoga, pilates, dance, meditation, kickboxing classes and more. They will also rent spaces where you can host get-togethers, events or private screenings. Home Food Hall will be established in Midtown East.

Follow The Home Food Hall on Instagram or Facebook to follow the updates.

Love,

Wander-Lust