ADVERTISEMENT

Snap Guide: Honolulu

August 19, 2005
Honolulu hotels, Honolulu restaurants, Honolulu attractions

Just say the word "Honolulu" and immediately images of swaying palm trees on powdery white beaches come to mind. Honolulu has that and much more. Born of erupting volcanoes and sculpted by wind, rain, and waves, the magic of Hawaii calls to visitors from around the globe. Do tai chi at dawn, swim with rainbowed fish in the morning, buy a lei at lunch in Chinatown, kayak in the afternoon to an offshore bird sanctuary, and listen to the sweet sounds of Hawaiian slack-key guitar as the stars light up the night sky. Start here.

AIRPORTS

 

  • Honolulu International Airport
  • TRANSPORTATION TO/FROM AIRPORT

     

  • Airport Waikiki Express
  •  

  • TheBus
  • CITY LINKS

     

  • Hawaii's Official Visitors Guide
  •  

  • Oahu's Official Visitors Guide
  •  

  • City and County of Honolulu
  •  

  • Internet Hawaii Radio Hawaiian music, books, history, and culture
  •  

  • Hawaiian Language Language lessons and cultural calendar
  •  

  • Planet Hawaii Directory of accommodations, restaurants, and events
  •  

  • Bishop Museum Houses historical, biological, and geological artifacts
  •  

  • Waikiki Aquarium Honolulu's top aquarium
  •  

  • Honolulu.com What to see and do in the city
  •  

  • Pick a Restaurant Restaurant and nightlife guide
  •  

  • Hawaii Theatre Venue for theater, dance, concerts and more
  •  

  • Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Beaches, parks, and historical sites
  •  

  • PubClub.com Lists nightlife hot spots
  • EVENTS

     

  • PGA Tour Sony Open Early to mid-January
  •  

  • NFL Pro Bowl Second Sunday in February
  •  

  • Outrigger Canoe Season May to September
  •  

  • King Kamehameha Celebration June 10
  •  

  • Taste of Honolulu End of June
  •  

  • Hawaii International Jazz Festival Mid- to late July
  •  

  • Ukulele Festival Last Sunday in July
  •  

  • Aloha Festivals August to September
  •  

  • Waikiki Roughwater Swim Labor Day
  •  

  • Hawaii International Film Festival October
  •  

  • Triple Crown of Surfing Mid-November to mid-December
  •  

  • Honolulu Marathon Second Sunday in December
  • Keep reading

    Trip Coach: August 16, 2005

    Benjamin Sutherland: Hello everybody, thanks for tuning in. I'm Benjamin Sutherland and I'm looking forward to answering your questions, so bring them on! _______________________ St. Louis, MO: By mid to late March, how is the weather in Paris and Lyon? Would winter clothing still be needed or is it still unpredictable like St. Louis? Benjamin Sutherland: Unfortunately winter lingers, you really have to wait until mid- to late- April to get the sweaters off. You won't need a winter hat, but it will still be cool, especially evenings. In Paris, the coldest part of the city is along the Seine, so if you'll be walking along the river dress warmer. Lyon is better, but for warm weather at that time you need to get down to the coast... _______________________ Toronto, Ontario: What are your suggestions for casual dining restaurants in Paris? I am travelling with my husband and another couple in late October. We are staying near rue Moufftard. Thank you Benjamin Sutherland: Rue Moufftard is a student-y neighborhood, and the food there is oriented to students, so it might not be the cuisine you're looking for. I would try the Fumoir, it is casual dining (certainly no evening dress required) but there is an understated classy feel. The food is really good to, and the decor is nice with dark wood, leather chairs, with a colonial feel. Prices are mid-range. Call ahead to book, it gets packed. Also nice is La Fourmie Ailée, near Saint Michel. More on both of these cool restaurants in the Snap Guide. _______________________ Binghamton, New York: Where are the best places to hear Parisian or French music in Paris? Benjamin Sutherland: Hello, for solid deejay fare, I really like Sanz Sans, near the Bastille. Another very on-the-map hipster gig is the Batofar, a cool club in a barge on the Seine. Deejays here too, but also live acts, and even "siestes musicales" on Sundays, ie afternoon lower-key concerts. You can enjoy sun on the deck while you groove. _______________________ Miami Beach, FL: I am going to Paris Oct. 5-9th 2005 with my boyfriend. It is my birthday weekend and I would like to know if you could suggest any reasonably priced romantic French restaurants. Benjamin Sutherland: Au Bec Fin is a cosy charmer with the quintessential French dishes (yes, snails), but also small game. After (or before) dinner you can step upstairs for a small (50 seat) play, and some are in English. You just have to call ahead. _______________________ Indianapolis,in: I have a five hour layover in Paris. since I have never been to Paris I would like to at least ride through the city. What is the best way to do this..is it advisable? I arrive around noon and depart at 5 Benjamin Sutherland: That's tight, but there's a way to do it, it's just expensive. You'll never make it on public transport, that takes a moment to figure out, so that slows you down, and you can't risk your onward flight. So you should, meethinks, just bit the bullet and do the cush taxi tour. The taxi driver will be happy to take you into Paris, take you on a nice sightseeing loop, and will know when to make it back to the airport. That's really your only hope if you don't want to sip drinks in an airport lounge... _______________________ Annville, PA: Our family and friends (8 of us all over the age of 14) will be in Paris for 4 days between Christmas and New Year's. Are there any special things to see or do during this time? Will all the major attractions be open? Benjamin Sutherland: Yep, everything is open, no worries there, and the street lighting is excellent. The "Grands Boulevards" area, where some of the biggest department stores are (called "les grands magazins") is great to visit. The department stores set up amazing window displays, all themed and really works of art. People come from all over to see them, so you may have to wait in line to get a good gander. The set up stools for the kids so they can get a look over everybody else's shoulders. You can also ice skate on the Eiffel Tower (that's right, platform 1, rent your skates there) or at Hotel de Ville. _______________________ Dallas, TX: I'll be in Paris September 12-16 and would like to see any photography exhibitions. Any suggestions? Benjamin Sutherland: You're spoilt for choice, no matter when you visit. 2 of the most prestigious spots, all with rotation exhibitions, are> La Maison Europeenne de la Photographie L'Hotel Sully If you buy Pariscope (available at any newsstand) they have a whole section just for photography exhibitions. The list goes on for pages: the French love photography, and the government (ministry of culture) provides grants to promising shutterbugs. Oh, and I forgot to mention something important for everybody. To get address of places not mentioned in the Snap Guide, visit pagesjaunes.fr This is one of easiest online phone directories available to use (with English version, too) and you can click on a button next to each address to see a photo of the facade. High-tech cool, plus helps you find the place visually. _______________________ San Juan PR: We will be travelling to Europe (4 adults) to spend this Christmas Week in London and New Years Week in Paris and wish to know what suggestions you can offer in terms of what to do/eat/visit/how to spend those occasions (not looking for raucous/wild parties) Also, where to stay - active, yet safe areas. In London, Marriott Grosvenor Square vs. Renaissance Chancery Court? In Paris, Rivoli-Concorde area (Clarion St. James,Renaissance Vendome) or Champs Elysees area? Please offer any advice and will be greatly appreciated! Benjamin Sutherland: Paris is safe; the moderately sketchy areas are rare, and you have to go out of your way to end up in one. And even so, it's not nearly as dangerous as American cities. I don't know much about London, but in Paris you mention the Rivoli-Concorde area. That's an excellent zone, just stay more toward Concorde and the Louvre than in the other direction. The eastern part of la rue du Rivoli is not dangerous, it's just more commercial and less elegant. I would shun the Champs-Elysee area, just because it really shuts down at night, and doesn't seem very "French." It's more of an international tourist zone with inflated prices. Definately should be visited, but I w ould base camp between the Louvre and the Concorde. _______________________ Lakewood, CO: I've been to Paris a few times, and I'm always disappointed in the shopping. The Champs Elysee is very cool, but expensive and mostly haute couture. Are there any shopping districts like Oxford Street in London? Or cool designer department stores, like Selfridges or Havey Nichols, in Paris? I've recently heard about the Galleries Lafayette. Is this the holy grail of shopping that I've been searching for? Benjamin Sutherland: Yep, the Galleries Lafayette is cool, as is the Samaritaine. But for design stuff, visit Lafayette Maison; this is the Big New Thing (inaugurated less than a year ago). It's just opposite the Galleries Lafayette. La Samaritaine is shopping mecca in a cool art nouveau building, with a free obversatory on top. But for the street-stroll shopping, head to Saint Germain. Trendy pret-a-porter, not haute couture, cool bars and cafes for people watching breaks. _______________________ Los Angeles, CA: Hello, I am a teacher who will be traveling to Paris and Great Britian in August. I have been told to get a teacher discount card. However, when I contact museums and places to visit, they say they do not discount teachers, just students. Should I get the card anyway? Benjamin Sutherland: The teacher discount card won't do you any good in France. If it exists, and it may not, it is unknown, and shopkeepers and ticket people will not have heard of it. Discounts in France are for students, and, to a less degree, senior citizens. _______________________ Cincinnati, OH: Where in Paris can one hire a horse and tack to go riding English style without having to join a club? Benjamin Sutherland: I think the Engish-style riding might be hard to find, but French horseriding outfits abound at Fontainebleau, a short train ride for Paris (details in the Paris Snap Guide). And you don't have to join a club. If you are going to be in Paris for a while and want to get out to Fontainebleau, say, on weekends, some of the outfits will give you a deal if you pay in advance for a few outings. This is not official, just being friendly with them will generally do the trick. _______________________ houston tx: I will have only a few hours in the evening of Oct 3, before taking my plane home, staying at a CDG airport hotel and want to know if there is a place nearby where I can purchase my favorite Polaine bread to bring back with me to the states. Benjamin Sutherland: The hotels around CDG are self-contained pods, with no street life or little businesses, like bakeries, around them. So your best shot are the bakeries in the airport itself. The qualitiy is okay, not stunning. The trick is tell them them to not slice it (ne le tranchez pas, s'il vous plait). that will ruin it (air dries it out fast). In France, sliced bread is only if it is going to be eaten fast. _______________________ San Diego, California: My husband and me have been traveling to Europe for quite a while now, but we have'nt had the chance to go to Paris yet. Our main concern is we always have traveled with a group, we are not used to doing our trip on our own. Can you give us some tips on how to go about traveling on our own. We need more specifics if we would need a car, (we have never driven in Europe, but I think we manage it)where do we stay that is accesible to mostly evrything we need and at the same time affordable. One specific place we want to visit is "Lourdes". This is our main purpose why we want to go to Paris. Thanks in advance for any help you could extend to us in planning our tip, we really appreciate it. Benjamin Sutherland: I'm running over my time limit, so I'll try to be fast for the remaining questions... no worries that you are used to group tours. Paris is really well-designed for couples. The key is just to talk to people, at your hotel, restaurant. In spite of the rude rap something slapped on Parisians, people are helpful and are so proud of their city they will give you directions in the street or recommendations. The only problem you might have is in train stations when they are crowded. Line to buy tickets can be long, so there are inevitiably people behind you when you get to the window (gichet) that are about to miss their train that might ask you to speed it up,which isn't always easy when trying to sort out travel arrangements. But there is a solution. Most hotels will buy your tickets for you over the train company's website. You just belly-up to the reception desk with a map and your credit card, and talk through the trip options with the employee. Just don't do this during the morning, when everybody is checking in and out. _______________________ Rochester, NY: Do you have any special recommendations for a woman traveling alone in Paris? Benjamin Sutherland: Don't confuse Paris with southern Italy, where (harmless) catcalling still lives on. (Albeit much less today than even 20 years ago.) You're safer in Paris than in NYC, and it's very unlikely you will be bothered. But for extra fun, when you are in the metro you can don a stern face, just to blend in with the local women who enjoy acting / playing "je suis une femme sauvage faites attention." _______________________ Tulsa, OK: : I am staying near the Luxembourg Gardens (and LUX RER) in Paris in September and will need to do laundry while I am there. Do you have any suggestions for how and where to do laundry in Paris? Benjamin Sutherland: Laundramats are common. Here are a few near Luxembourg> Laverie Self-Service Monge 113 rue Monge La Pince à Linge 3, place Monge Jessi Blanc 14 rue Mayet and Blan Presse 4 rue Arras _______________________ Alexandria, VA : Hello! To celebrate my grad school graduation, my husband and I are going to spend a week in Paris right after Thanksgiving. We would like to go to one really special Parisian dinner that won't break the bank. Any suggestions? Also, since it will be a little chilly while we are there, what are the best indoor activities in and around Paris? Benjamin Sutherland: A fave restaurant in Chez Paul (address in the Snap Guide) near The Bastille. I love the rabbit there, and it's really not expensive at all, nor staid. Au contraire, the place is lively. The big indoor activities for visitors are centered around art, art, art and more art... _______________________ Montrose, Colorado: How do I find bus or train church pilgrimage tours from Paris to Lourdes with French speaking senior citizens? I could leave at almost anytime. Thank you. Benjamin Sutherland: I don't know of any specific ones, but there are 2 ways to go with groups to lourdes. One is thru a classic tour operator (voyagiste); the other, and probably more appropriate if you are going as a pilgrim and not a tourist, is to contact the American Church in Paris (get number at www.pagesjaunes.fr) and they will direct you to a French-speaking church that does trips to Lourdes. The people at the American Church are very helpful! _______________________ Tarzana, CA: We are going to Paris for 10 days in late September. What one restaurant would you suggest we splurge on and what more affordable restaurant would you back to again and again? Benjamin Sutherland: Great, a splurge cuisine experience. Go for the Tour d'Argent. Make reservations, and dress up to the nines! _______________________ Eugene, OR: Would you give some beautiful Paris neighborhood walking tours in out of the beaten path places-- perhaps in the suburbs? I want to find some hidden gems, hopefully in a quiet, atmospheric area. thanks. Benjamin Sutherland: The most romantic suburbs are west of the city, these are the old ones, leafy. (The working class quarters and projects are east of the city, since wind usually blows east, and the richer Parisians didn't want the factory smoke blowing over their houses.) I haven't taken any organized walking tours there, so I can't, unfortunately, give you the name of a good group. Versailles of course is nice (no need to stick to the old royal stomping grounds, wander into the beautiful city, too). Closer to Paris would be Saint Cloud and Malmaison. _______________________ Idaho Springs, Co: We are traveling to France next April with a long layover in Paris (CDG airport) - 5 hours 5 minutes. Do we have enough time for a brief visit to Notre Dame? If yes, what is the easiest/most economical way for us to get there? And, what do we do with our carry on bags? Thank you Benjamin Sutherland: Five hours is not very long to get into the city. See my earlier reply to a person also with five hours. Your only chance is to hire a taxi to take you in and then back out to CDG. _______________________ Benjamin Sutherland: Okay everybody, thanks so much for tuning in, I've gone well over my time limit, so I regret not being able to answer all of the (numerous!) questions. Paris is a city designed for visitors and is not a hard to "break into." I also hope that the Paris Snap Guide will help you navigate the world's most beautiful city. Thanks so much for visiting our site, and don't forget to keep checking back-new stuff is added all the time! Bon voyage! Benjamin Sutherland _______________________

    Where Foodies Love to Eat, Part 2

    MARIO BATALI Owner of seven New York City restaurants; author of the new book Molto Italiano; star of Molto Mario on the Food Network Rome The world's best cappuccino is at the Rome airport ($2.40). When you pass through customs, go to the bar on the left. Florence The best tripe sandwich is from a stand on the corner of Via de' Macci and Borgo la Croce at the Sant'Ambrogio Market ($3). The best porchetta sandwich is at a truck parked near the Calenzano-Sesto Fiorentino exit on Autostrada del Sole heading north ($4). COLMAN ANDREWS Editor of Saveur magazine Ireland In Cork City, there's a stylish new tapas bar, Boqueria, that manages to serve authentic Spanish food while using lots of Irish artisanal products. The charcuteria assortment, for example, has Spanish ham as well as assorted salamis from West Cork. They also serve non-Spanish breakfasts, with free-range farmhouse eggs and stone-cut oatmeal from nearby Macroom. In an unexpected way, this Spanish restaurant gives visitors more of a taste of Ireland than many Irish places. 6 Bridge St., 011-353/21-455-9049, charcuteria $20. ALICE WATERS Chef/owner of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif., and a champion of sustainable farming Italy Pietro Romanengo in Genoa has amazing candied fruit, almonds, and marzipan. The place has been family-owned since the 18th century (Via Soziglia 74r, 011-39/010-247-4574, marzipan $5). Nietzsche used to sip coffee at Caffè Al Bicerin in Turin. The special drink, called a Bicerin, is beautifully layered with chocolate, cream, and coffee (5 Piazza Della Consolata, 011-39/011-43-69-325, Bicerin $5). JACQUES TORRES Chef and owner of Jacques Torres Chocolate and Chocolate Haven in New York City France One of my favorite pastry shops is Pâtisserie Cottard in Antibes. He has gorgeous cakes and fabulous pastries. I always try to stop there on my way to or from the Nice airport. 49 rue République, 011-33/4-93-34-09-92, almond croissant $2. DAN PHILIPS Creator of The Grateful Palate, a gourmet catalog and website Spain Combarro, in Madrid, has a glass floor, so you can see all the seafood swimming beneath you (José Ortega y Gasset 40, 011-34/915-778-272, fillet of hake $20). The finest paella is at Paco Gandia in Pinoso. They put twigs in bundles in an open hearth and a gigantic paella pan, with rabbit and snails, over it (Calle San Francisco 2, 011-34/965-478-023, $22). JASPER WHITE Chef/owner of Jasper White's Summer Shack, four locations around New England Ireland I'm a seafood nut, and Ireland is one of the great seafood places of the world. Kinsale, in the south, has a beautiful harbor and a little bistro called Fishy Fishy Café. It's a little fish market--maybe 25 seats--with blue and red tiles. They fillet the fish right there. Oh, God, we ate so many things. Irish lobsters--they're as good as Maine lobsters. Fresh prawns that come right from the boats. Black sole, a beautiful fish. It's the restaurant I want to open someday. You know, you feel the love. Market Place, 011-353/21-477-4453, prawns $17. RICK BAYLESSChef and owner of Topolobampo and Frontera Grill, both based in Chicago Mexico City In Condesa, El Farolito has super-memorable steak tacos, grilled over charcoal. Incredibly delicious. But don't overlook their tacos al pastor, with pork and red chili sauce (Altata 19, Colonia Condesa, 011-52/55-5273-7297, taco al pastor $1). Churrería el Moro has the best churros in the world (Eje Central Lázaro Cardenas No. 42, Colonia Centro, 011-52/55-5518-4580, four churros and hot chocolate $3.50). GABRIEL KREUTHER Chef at The Modern, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City; he was raised in Alsace, France Strasbourg Chez Yvonne has the best presskopf ($11), a pâté made from a pig's head (10 rue du Sanglier, 011-33/3-88-32-84-15). And Munsterstuewel has marvelous choucroute with all the little things ($30)--pork shank, four types of sausage, bacon, sauerkraut, and house quenelles (8 place du Marché-aux-Cochons-de-Lait, 011-33/3-88-32-17-63). ROBERT STEINBERG Cofounder of the Scharffen Berger chocolate company Paris Du Pain et Des Idées boulangerie specializes in rustic bread with a perfectly crunchy crust. In addition to the bread, there are a few pastries, such as seasonal fruit tarts and pain au chocolat (34 rue Yves Toudic, 011-33/1-42-40-44-52, pain au chocolat $1.30). Pizza Grill Istanbul is suggestive of life at the eastern edge of Europe. Choices include tomato, lettuce, and feta cheese salads; tender lamb shish kebabs; and a salted yogurt drink called ayran that's quite refreshing (66 rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 011-33/1-48-00-98-10, lamb shish kebabs $11). Le Réveil du 10ème is something of a quartier secret (35 rue de Château d'Eau, 011-33/1-42-41-77-59, veal dinner $14). SAM HAYWARDCo-owner and chef of Fore Street in Portland, Maine Venice Everywhere my wife and I went in Venice we asked our servers where they eat. They all had the same answer: Al Nuovo Galeon, in the Castello neighborhood. There's a piazza outside, and Mom's running back and forth with mouth-fuls of scampi to watch the kids. They'll bring you a huge platter of seafood with spider crab, shrimp, octopus, squid, sea bass, and a couple other things. It's all glistening and served with mild olive oil. They'll give you a hard time if you order anything complex like risotto. 1308 Via Garibaldi, 011-39/041-520-4656, seafood platter $54. ROB KAUFELT Owner of Murray's Cheese Shop in New York City Barcelona I recently went to a little bar in Boqueria called Bar Pinocho and ate chungete, needle-thin deep-fried fish; prawns, cooked simply with olive oil; and clams with an egg broken onto them. But the best was the baby squid cooked with white beans and squid ink and finished in balsamic and grain salt. La Rambla 91, 011-34/93-317-17-31, baby squid $12. MIREILLE GUILIANO Author of the best-selling book French Women Don't Get Fat and president and CEO of the American arm of Veuve Clicquot Paris: There's a little pastry shop near where I live called Gerard Mulot. People from all over the world go there. You don't have to spend $30 to sit down at a table in a chichi place on the boulevard Saint-Germain. Spend $3 and take your pastry to Luxembourg Gardens, just up the street. 76 rue de Seine, 011-33/1-43-26-85-77. MARK BITTMAN Host of the PBS series How to Cook Everything: Bittman Takes on America's Chefs and food columnist for the New York Times Paris Les Fontaines is a relatively inexpensive, kid-friendly place near Luxembourg Gardens. This isn't haute cuisine--it's consistently good and affordable food, in a neighborhood where everybody happens to find themselves anyway. 9 rue Soufflot, 011-33/1-43-26-42-80, beef fillet $24. Rome At Da Franco, there's a menu, but no one ever uses it. 2 Via dei Falisci, 011-39/06-495-7675, dinner $20. CATHY STRANGECheese buyer for Whole Foods Paris Laurent DuBois (2 rue de Lourmel, 011-33/1-45-78-70-58) and Quatrehomme (62 rue de Sèvres, 011-33/1-47-34-33-45). London Neal's Yard Dairy. 6 Park St., Borough Market, 011-44/207-645-3554. Bordeaux Fromagerie Jean D'Alos. 4 rue Montesquieu, 011-33/5-56-44-29-66. Lyon: Fromagerie de Montbrison. 1 rue Grenette, Montbrison, 011-33/4-77-96-16-74. Venice: Latteria Moro. 10 via Savonarola Girolamo, Oderzo, 011-39/042-271-7895. GARRETT OLIVER Brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery, author of The Brewmaster's Table, a cookbook Paris Il Était une Oie dans le Sud-Ouest--an unassuming café near the Arc du Triomphe--specializes in foie gras. There's a toaster on every table. You toast your own bread and order duck foie gras any way you like it. No pretension or frills--it's all about the foie. 8 rue Gustave Flaubert, 011-33/1-43-80-18-30, foie gras $30. Italy In Brugnato, near La Spezia, the Taverna Dei Golosi (it means "The Glutton's Tavern") has magnificent Ligurian mountain cuisine. The Santamaria family will ply you with fresh vegetable terrines, and a dish I dream about--pork tenderloin in a Gorgonzola sauce (16 Via Borgo S. Bernardo, 011-39/018-789-5007, pork tenderloin $30). During warm months at Osteria Veglio in La Morra, you can sit outside on the balcony with the vineyards rolling out in front of you. The food is nothing short of spectacular. The raw milk panna cotta is so good that it may ruin you for any other--for life (9 Frazione Annunziata, 011-39/017-350-9341, panna cotta $7.75). MARCUS SAMUELSSON Chef at Aquavit in New York, author of Aquavit and the New Scandinavian Cuisine Stockholm Sturehof is a great brasserie where, at some point of the day, everybody in town seems to stop by. I always order the seafood platter, which comes with all sorts of Swedish seafood, and shellfish, lobster, and oysters, great herring, very traditional. Stureplan 2, 011-46/8-440-57-30, seafood platter $60. MARCELLA HAZANAuthor of six books on Italian food, including Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking and Marcella Cucina Venice In Venice, cicchetti are a little like tapas, but different. You can have small little sandwiches with a glass of wine. It makes a nice light lunch. They're served at casual cafés called bacari. There are two bacari near the fish market. One is Bancogiro (122 Campo San Giacometto, 011-39/041-523-2061, sandwich $1.20) and the other is Do Mori (429 Calle dei Do Mori, 011-39/041-522-5401, $1.50). They have plates of things out so you can point and say what you want.

    Travel Tips

    Where Foodies Love to Eat

    We pestered 33 experts until they shared every last tip from their recent trips. It's food for the soul, from people whose taste you can trust (and check back next week for more places where foodies love to eat). MARIO BATALIOwner of seven New York City restaurants; author of the new book Molto Italiano; star of Molto Mario on the Food Network San Francisco The best tacos in the world are at Taqueria San Jose. 2830 Mission St., 415/282-0203, $2. Miami Beach The best skirt steak with chimichurri is at Parrillada Las Vacas Gordas. 933 Normandy Dr., 305/867-1717, $16. New York City The best pork bao is at Momofuku. 163 First Ave., 212/475-7899, $7. ALICE WATERSChef/owner of Chez Panisse in Berkely, Calif., and a champion of sustainable farming San Francisco Cocina Primavera at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market serves great Mexican food on Saturday mornings: a delicious breakfast with handmade tortillas and tamales, and salsas using pure ingredients (ferrybuildingmarketplace.com, breakfast $8). At Pizzetta 211, the pizza with two eggs cracked in the middle is very good, especially with an organic-lettuce green salad and a glass of wine (211 23rd Ave., 415/379-9880, egg pizza $14). New York City Pearl Oyster Bar still makes the lobster roll by which others are judged. 18 Cornelia St., 212/691-8211, $22. ARI WEINZWEIG Cofounder of Zingerman's, an artisanal food emporium in Ann Arbor, Mich. Kalamazoo Julie Stanley, chef and owner at the Food Dance Café, puts great energy into sourcing quality ingredients, and her efforts show. 161 East Michigan Ave., 269/382-1888, calamari $9. Chicago Pastoral is a new little cheese shop with a beautiful selection and a nice variety of wines and breads. There are a few tables outside where you can eat one of their cheese sandwiches. 2945 N. Broadway, 773/472-4781, cheese sandwich $6. Milwaukee Cuban food isn't what comes to mind when you mention Milwaukee, but there are some great dishes on the menu at Cubanitas. It's authentic Cuban cooking in a spot you'd never expect. 728 N. Milwaukee St., 414/225-1760, roasted pork with rice $10. DAN BARBER Chef and co-owner of Blue Hill in New York City, and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, N.Y. Berkshires To shop for the perfect picnic, start at Berkshire Mountain Bakery in Housatonic; they use their own organic flours (367 Park St., Rte. 183, 413/274-3412, loaf of sourdough $4). This part of Massachusetts is famous for dairy. High Lawn Farm is the last dairy around that produces and bottles its own milk (535 Summer St., Lee, 413/243-0672, chocolate milk $3). Then head to Rubiner's, an upscale cheese shop, for Rawson Brook chèvre (264 Main St., Great Barrington, 413/528-0488, $8). On Saturday mornings, go to the Great Barrington Farmers' Market (Castle St., 413/528-0041). PATRIC KUH Restaurant critic for Los Angeles Magazine Los Angeles I like to go to Teresita's, a family-run restaurant in East L.A. The owner, Teresa Campos de Hernandez, opened the modest place in 1983. She's still cooking and greeting customers in the front, but her son Antonio runs the restaurant now. Their chilaquiles are great--fried corn tortillas drenched in homemade red or green salsa and strewn with cotija cheese. And on Wednesdays, they have costillas de puerco en chile negro, pork ribs cooked in a black chili sauce and finished with Ibarra chocolate. It's sort of like a braising juice. 3826 E. 1st St., 323/266-6045, chilaquiles $8. BILL NIMAN Founder and chairman of Niman Ranch, purveyors of hormone-free meats Philadelphia When I'm in Philadelphia, I love to go to the White Dog Cafe, a restaurant in a row of five 130-year-old houses. You feel right at home the moment you walk in. Their food is prepared from natural ingredients sourced directly from sustainable family farms. The best thing is the barbecued pork sandwich, served in the bar and grill part of the restaurant. 3420 Sansom St., 215/386-9224, pork sandwich $11. JOAN NATHANAuthor of The New American Cooking (out next month), host of PBS's Jewish Cooking in America Providence Whenever I go to my hometown, I make a trip to nearby Fall River for delicious Portuguese English muffins from Central Bakery. On the package, they call it a "Port." 711 Pleasant St., Fall River, Mass., 508/675-7620, English muffin $3. RICK BAYLESS Chef and owner of Topolobampo and Frontera Grill, both based in Chicago Oklahoma City For Oklahoma-style barbecue, I go to Van's Pig Stand in Shawnee, outside of town. Everything's made from scratch. The barbecue is dry-rubbed. It's mostly pork ribs with hickory smoke. Oh, you've got me all worked up now! 717 E. Highland St., Shawnee, 405/273-8704, ribs $11. BILL SAMUELS JR. President of the Maker's Mark bourbon company Kentucky People drive 70 miles to eat breakfast at Lynn's Paradise Café in Louisville. It's the most interesting place--not fancy, just weird. They give out an Ugly Lamp of the Year award (984 Barret Ave., 502/583-3447, bacon and eggs $5).The best fried chicken in Kentucky is at the Beaumont Inn in Harrodsburg. It's been open since 1919, and they age their own hams. Let's just say you would not be surprised to run into Robert E. Lee there (638 Beaumont Inn Dr., 800/352-3992, fried chicken lunch $9).Everyone wants a steak. At Pat's Steak House in Louisville, Pat butchers his own meat. My wife and I had our wedding reception there.... My mother was so mad that we didn't have it in the country club, she didn't come (2437 Brownsboro Rd., 502/893-2062, steak dinner $28). R. W. APPLE JR.New York Times associate editor and author of Apple's America Portland Jake's Famous Crawfish is a favorite with locals for its cedar-planked salmon ($20) and selection of Oregon wines (401 SW 12th Ave., 503/226-1419). At Mother's Bistro and Bar, Lisa Schroeder is the mom, and I'll bet she cooks better than your mother. The bill of fare features homey items like chicken and dumplings and pot roast (409 SW 2nd Ave., 503/464-1122, chicken $13). Seattle The country is full of faux bistros, but Le Pichet is the real thing, and a lot cheaper than a ticket to Paris. Try the charcuterie ($11), followed by one of the wines served in pitchers. 1933 First Ave., 206/256-1499. CHRIS BIANCO Owner of Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, where the pies have inspired many pilgrimages Phoenix Burros are a southwestern soul food--basically little tacos with meat and chilis. At Rito's, they come with either red or green chili sauce; I always get green ones. It's been around for 28 years. There's no sign, it's family-owned and cash only, and Grandma's in the kitchen. As far as the food goes, it's the real deal. The burros are really killer (907 N. 14th St., 602/262-9842, green chili burro $4). Also in Phoenix, there's a new place called Matt's Big Breakfast. They make traditional American breakfast, and almost everything is locally grown. I usually get either this really great oatmeal with bananas, or the pork chop and eggs. The building itself is brick, and inside it's a funky space--tiny, clean, deco, all white with orange tables and counters (801 N. First St., 602/254-1074, oatmeal $5). SHIRLEY CORRIHER Author of Cookwise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Cooking San Francisco In North Beach, there's Café Jacqueline. She only makes soufflés, soups, and salads. I still remember the endive tossed in olive oil and blue cheese. She said the secret is to find a white, white endive, so it's sweet. If there's any color at all, it'll be bitter. You can stop in and have a chat with her--she'll explain. 1454 Grant Ave., 415/981-5565, soufflé for two $25. RACHAEL RAY Host of three Food Network shows--30-Minute Meals, $40 a Day, and Inside Dish Austin The Salt Lick is my number-one, super-affordable go-to. It's in what looks like a huge barn with an open smoke pit. You can sit at community tables and get huge platters of sausage, brisket, and ribs. The whole barnyard is smoked and piled up on a platter--all things dead off the grill (18001 FM 1826, 512/894-3117, all-you-can-eat dinner $15). Taco Xpress--that place is crazy, too. It's this teeny, tiny shack not far from the San Jose Hotel and the tacos are awesome. It's run by a lady named Maria who put a papier-mâché bust of herself on the roof--a huge statue, like an Evita Perón sort of thing (2529 South Lamar Blvd., 512/444-0261, taco $1.75). JIM LEFF Cofounder of the cult favorite website Chowhound and producer of two new books, The Chowhound's Guide to the New York Tristate Area and Guide to the San Francisco Bay Area San Francisco A small grocery store in the Mission District, La Palma Mexicatessen is filled with a phalanx of women who are diligently pounding out various grades of masa, which is corn dough. They make the best potato chips anywhere in the continental U.S.--fried up in yummy corn oil. They also have great tamales, chicharrones (fried pork rinds), and taquitos de cabeza (beef head tacos), too. 2884 24th St., 415/647-1500, soft tacos $2.45. New Orleans Touristy though it is, I can't resist Mother's Restaurant. Debris--the stuff that falls off roast beef while it cooks--on a biscuit is a diabolical flavor bomb, the po'boys kill, and lots of other things are mega-soulful. I often eat there twice per trip, for both breakfast and lunch. 401 Poydras St., 504/523-9656, debris on a biscuit $4. DAVIA NELSON & NIKKI SILVA Known as the Kitchen Sisters, Nelson and Silva have an NPR show called Hidden Kitchens; their new book of the same name comes out next month Austin Barton Springs public pool, in South Austin, is a liquid town square where all of Austin goes to swim, barbecue, and play soccer. The snack shack there has catfish fry, burgers, and Coke floats, not to mention pigeon and duck food (2201 Barton Springs Rd., Zilker Park, 512/474-9895, burger $3). Artz Ribhouse is a roadhouse, with cacti out front that are taller than the building. You can get a half-rack of ribs with potato salad or coleslaw for $9. Carolyn Wonderland and Shelley King were playing when we were there--imagine eating baby backs while Janis Joplin serenaded you (2330 South Lamar St., 512/442-8283). "A day without goat is a day without sunshine" was the motto on the Friday we went to Ranch 616. We watched them barbecue a baby goat in the parking lot, and ate their "pulled pie"--a lemon-meringue-pecan creation with hand-pulled peaks (616 Nueces St., 512/479-7616, pulled pie $6). SUZANNE GOIN Chef at A.O.C. Wine Bar and Lucques, both in Los Angeles, and author of Sunday Suppers at Lucques, to be published in November Los Angeles There's a Thai place called Ruen Pair on Hollywood Boulevard. It's in this minimall that's famous for having three Thai restaurants. One, named Palms, has a Thai Elvis impersonator. Put your name down at Ruen Pair, then go have a beer at Palms and watch Thai Elvis sing his songs, then go back and your table will be ready. It's a lot of soupy noodle things, fried noodle, meats over rice. We never remember what we ordered. We just look at what other people are eating and we point. 5257 Hollywood Blvd., 323/466-0153, papaya salad $6. MARK BITTMAN Host of the PBS series How to Cook Everything: Bittman Takes on America's Chefs and food columnist for the New York Times New York City I've been going to Menchanko-Tei for 20 years, and I always get the same thing: Hakata Ramen ($8). It's a milky white broth with vegetables, meat, and delicious noodles. Craig Claiborne turned me on to it. 43-45 W. 55th St., 212/247-1585. Los Angeles Dumpling 10053 has dumplings with this amazing chili sauce. It's like an Asian-Mexican fusion, but there's nothing pretentious about it. The thing to order is the pork or the shrimp. 10053 Valley Blvd., 626/350-0188, shrimp dumplings $6. PHYLLIS RICHMAN Former critic for the Washington Post and culinary mystery writer; her latest book is Who's Afraid of Virginia Ham? Washington, D.C. One of the most upscale restaurants in town, Galileo, has a bargain lunch in the lounge. If you see the charcoal grill out front, it means that they're grilling sandwiches in the back. The best is the pork sandwich. It's $5 for a huge one with a green sauce and fried onions. Also, they have the best cannoli on the East Coast for $2.50. You'll see limousines sitting outside waiting for someone who's gone in to get his lunch. 1110 21st St. NW, 202/293-7191. FRANK STITT Author of Frank Stitt's Southern Table and chef/owner of three restaurants in Birmingham, Ala.: Bottega, Highlands Bar and Grill, and Chez Fonfon Charleston An out-of-the-way place for an oyster roast in the winter is Bowens Island, on James Island, outside of town. It's a cinder-block shack overlooking the water on a bend in the river on the way to Folley Beach. They'll roast the oysters, then shovel them onto these big wooden tables. If you're at all cool you know to bring your own oyster knife (1870 Bowens Island Rd., 843/795-2757, oyster roast $19). In Mount Pleasant, on Shem Creek right across the river from Charleston, where the shrimp boats come in, there's the Wreck, a hole in the wall. It's a reeeal dive. It's a little bit sleazy and a little bit shady, and cheap, but you get shrimp that are right off the boat, either boiled or fried (106 Haddrell St., 843/884-0052, fried shrimp dinner $15). New Orleans At Acme Oyster House the guys stand at this marble oyster bar, shucking oysters that came out of the water the day before. You drink your beer. (Wine, no way.) The guys are shucking oysters as fast as you can eat them. There's a bit of an honor code about how many you've eaten, which I think is charming. 7204 Iberville St., 504/522-5973, half-dozen oysters $4. San Francisco: Swan Oyster Depot has the most beautiful seafood on crushed ice. 1517 Polk St., 415/673-1101, seafood salad $15. CHRIS KIMBALL Founder, editor, and publisher of Cook's Illustrated Vermont At the Creamery, in northeastern Vermont, the woman who makes the pies still melts and renders leaf lard--the fat around the kidneys in the pig. It's mild and makes it taste much better than butter crust. They are delicious! There are maple cream and chocolate cream pies--stuff you usually don't see anymore. 46 Hill St., Danville, 802/684-3616, slice of maple cream pie $5.

    ADVERTISEMENT