Osaka’s Foodie Destinations

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Foodies will fall in love with Japan’s city of Osaka. Nestled in the Kansai region of Japan, visitors to Osaka will find plenty of variety to choose from when deciding on where to eat. Popular dishes include ramen, Japanese pancake omelets called Okonomiyaki, sushi made from just caught fish, and a local delicacy called Takoyaki and nicknamed Octopus Balls.

Entrance to Ichiran - Osaka, Japan

Entrance to Ichiran

Ramen preference form at Ichiran - Osaka, Japan

Ramen preference form at Ichiran

Ramen at Ichiran

The restaurant chain of Ichiran is known for producing high quality delicious bowls of ramen. Osaka’s district of Dotonbori has two Ichiran restaurants. Opt for the original location right by the canal. If the original location is busy, with a line of people waiting, do not be dissuaded as the line moves fast.

Ichiran makes ramen made to order. If you’re waiting in line, a server may hand you a form. This form, available in English, lists preferences for selecting your ramen. Fill this form out so you will be ready to order once you reach the front of the line. The form will have you select strength of flavor and level of richness for your bowl. You can select toppings such as garlic, green onion, or sliced pork. If you opt to add Ichiran’s original hot sauce to the ramen check the box for the level of spiciness you prefer.

You’ve made it to the front of the line when you reach a vending style machine. Don’t worry though, your food won’t dispense from this machine. You will use the machine to place your food order. You will select the ramen you want which will set the base price of your meal. Besides the ramen select items such as an egg, seaweed, and drinks, including beer. You will pay through the machine and be given tickets printed with various parts of your order.

Private booth inside Ichiran - Osaka, Japan

Private booth inside Ichiran

Ramen at Ichiran - Osaka, Japan

Ramen at Ichiran

From the machine you will sit at a private booth. Designed for one person, partitions between each booth move to the side if you are eating with someone else. Once in your booth layout the form you filled out, along with the printed tickets from the vending machine, at the front of your table. These tickets signify what extras you bought and the form you filled out tells the servers and chefs how to prepare your ramen.

As you sit in your private booth, you will see only your server’s legs. You won’t speak to the server but you will hear their voice letting you know what they are delivering to your table. After you have received your food, a lowered blind gives you privacy. You won’t even see the legs of the server anymore. Just sit and enjoy your ramen in blissful foodie solitude.

Sign for the entrance to Kiji - Osaka, Japan

Sign for the entrance to Kiji

Plate found at Kiji - Osaka, Japan

Plate found at Kiji

Okonomiyaki at Kiji - Osaka, Japan

Okonomiyaki at Kiji

Okonomiyaki in Osaka

Okonomiyaki is a Japanese style savory dish similar in texture to an omelet and similar in shape to a pancake. Associated with the areas of Hiroshima and the Kansai region of Osaka, the Okonomiyaki dish comes in two different styles. Cooking Okonomiyaki in Hiroshima involves the ingredients being layered to form the omelet pancake. In Kansai, Osaka chefs mix the ingredients before using them to form the omelet pancake. The Osaka style of Okonomiyaki is what you will find in other parts of Japan.

Head to the Umeda Sky Building’s Takimi Koji Alley for a fantastic Okonomiyaki experience. Here you will find Kiji, with its friendly staff and owner. Although you won’t find an English menu, the staff knows enough English to ask you if you want your Okonomiyaki made with seafood, chicken, beef, or pork. The chefs will create as many omelet pancakes as you want. In the center of the table is a hot plate that will keep your Okonomiyaki warm while you eat. Enjoy the fantastic flavors the chefs bring together to make the exquisite Okonomiyaki.

Entrance to Endo - Osaka, Japan

Entrance to Endo

Menu for Endo Sushi - Osaka, Japan

Menu for Endo Sushi

Fish Market Sushi

Sushi in Japan is way and above fresher, compared to sushi served in other parts of the world. It doesn’t matter if you eat sushi at a high-end restaurant or from a subway stall vendor. Even so, levels of sushi quality exist within the various Japan eateries. For the freshest spots for sushi aim to eat near fish markets, such as those next to the Osaka Central Fish Market.

Ginger and soy sauce at Endo - Osaka, Japan

Ginger and soy sauce at Endo

Sake (salmon) and Toro (fatty tuna) sushi at Endo - Osaka, Japan

Sake (salmon) and Toro (fatty tuna)

Ikura (salmon roe), Ika (calamari), and Sayori (halfbeak) sushi at Endo - Osaka, Japan

Ikura (salmon roe), Ika (calamari), and Sayori (halfbeak)

Toro (fatty tuna) and Hamo (sharp toothed eel) sushi at Endo - Osaka, Japan

Toro (fatty tuna) and Hamo (sharp toothed eel)

One such restaurant is Endo Sushi. Here you order sushi made of fresh fish pulled out of the water by fisherman that morning and sold at the nearby fish market to the restaurant. You’ll sit either at a table or the counter and can ask for an English menu. The simple menu has just four different plate options. Each plate comes with five different pieces of sushi. Besides sushi you can order miso soup made with small clams. If you’re there when the friendly owner is working he may even come over and help you brush soy sauce on to your sushi.

Waiting in line for Octopus Balls - Osaka, Japan

Waiting in line for Octopus Balls

Batter being poured for the Octopus Balls - Osaka, Japan

Batter being poured for the Octopus Balls

Warming up the Octopus Balls before serving - Osaka, Japan

Warming up the Octopus Balls before serving

Final product, Octopus Balls with toppings - Osaka, Japan

Final product, Octopus Balls with toppings

Osaka’s Octopus Balls

You will find plenty of options to try the local delicacy of Takoyaki, or Octopus Balls, if you are by the canal walkway of Osaka. These bite size-fried goodness consist of batter mixed with bits of octopus and cost five US Dollars. You will order the Octopus Balls flavored in either soy sauce or soy sauce and mayonnaise. You can ask the vendors to add onions and other toppings on top of the Octopus Balls. Enjoy the show by watching the vendors prepare the Octopus Balls right in front of you. Eat the Octopus Balls on the spot before continuing on to your next destination.

 

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Osaka Eats

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Ichiran: 34.669210, 135.503039
Kiji: 34.704728, 135.490601
Endo Sushi: 34.684256, 135.479588
Takoyaki (Octopus Balls): 34.668515, 135.502552
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Ichiran
Osaka’s Foodie Destinations
Ichiran Dotonbori shop, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
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Kiji
Osaka’s Foodie Destinations
Kiji Umeda Sky Bldg., Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
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Endo Sushi
Osaka’s Foodie Destinations
Endo Sushi, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
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Takoyaki (Octopus Balls)
Osaka’s Foodie Destinations
Dotonbori, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan

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Spending the Day in Victoria, Canada

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Canada’s city of Victoria makes for a wonderful day trip with multiple daily sailings by ferry from Vancouver and Seattle, Washington. Tourists can board a ferry in the morning, enjoy the majority of the day exploring Victoria, and sail back in the evening. Spend your day wandering the streets of Victoria, taking in sights such as the Fairmont Empress, Chinatown, and BC Legislature. Visit Victoria for yet another slice of what British Columbia has to offer visitors.

The Start of Your Day in Victoria

A good spot to begin your day at in Victoria is at the British Columbia Legislature. These impressive buildings house the Parliament for this region of Canada. The buildings are open to the public during the weekday. Walk into the building to admire the ornate stained glass windows and colorful murals adorning the inner lining of the rotunda. Inside the building you will see artifacts such as the Coat of Arms of British Columbia and a portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Once back outside walk around the grounds in front of the BC Legislature for various statues and a Totem Pole.

From the BC Legislature, museum and history buffs will want to visit the Royal BC Museum. This museum is known for its extensive collection of artifacts from the First People of Canada. Behind the main building for the Royal BC Museum you will find a grove of Totem Poles. Near the Totem Poles are the historic sites of Helmcken House and St. Ann’s Schoolhouse, both managed by the Royal BC Museum. Helmcken House was home to a prominent politician in Canadian history, Dr. John Sebastian Helmcken. Within the Helmcken House you’ll see colonial age furniture. Next-door to Helmcken House is St. Ann’s Schoolhouse, one of the oldest log cabins in western Canada.

After visiting BC Legislature, the Royal BC Museum, and the other historical sites nearby, walk three minutes on Government Street to the Fairmont Empress. Ever since opening in 1908 this fancy hotel has welcomed guests to stay in their ornate rooms or spend time enjoying afternoon tea. Across from the Fairmont Empress you will find the official tourism office for Victoria. The Victoria Visitor Centre is a good place to pick up maps and specific information on sights found in Victoria.

Downtown Victoria

The Fairmont Empress is next to the Downtown district of Victoria. You’ll reach the main section of Downtown by staying on Government Street. Around Government Street and the surrounding streets you will find different types of artwork, statues, and historical buildings such as St. Andrew’s Cathedral. Besides the sights Downtown is home to many restaurants and shops and is a great place for souvenir shopping. Among the shops and restaurants you’ll find Canadian specific brands, such as the clothing store Roots and the fast food restaurant Tim Hortons.

When you’re ready for a food break if you are by the water head to Red Fish Blue Fish. Fans of seafood will find this shack off Wharf Street a great place to eat. Order from a menu that includes fish and chips, fish sandwiches, and tacones. For the uninitiated tacones are hand rolled tacos made with fresh tortilla and your choice of seafood such as salmon or tuna. The fish sandwiches center around a bread roll reminiscent of a hot dog bun, filled with your choice of salmon, fried oysters, tempura cod, or tempura salmon. While you eat your scrumptious meal enjoy the view of the water, boats, and wharf.

Chinatown

Stretching back as far as 1858, Victoria is home to Canada’s oldest Chinatown. Located north of the Fairmont Empress, Chinatown centers on Fisgard Street. Here you will find more shops and restaurants to explore. A popular tourist sight in Chinatown is Fan Tan Alley. Between Fisgard Street and Pandora Avenue, Fan Tan Alley is the narrowest street in Canada. Tourists enjoy walking through Fan Tan Alley and taking photos of themselves and others touching both sides of the Alley’s walls. Besides shops and restaurants you’ll find many coffee and tea houses to choose from if you’re ready for a drink and a break.

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Victoria - Canada

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BC Legislature: 48.419617, -123.370285
Royal BC Museum: 48.419811, -123.367450
Helmcken House: 48.419630, -123.367024
St. Ann’s Schoolhouse: 48.419952, -123.366691
Fairmont Empress: 48.421667, -123.367847
Victoria Visitor Centre: 48.422834, -123.368810
St. Andrew’s Cathedral: 48.425384, -123.363310
Red Fish Blue Fish: 48.424363, -123.370325
Fan Tan Alley: 48.428543, -123.367918
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BC Legislature
Spending the Day in Victoria, Canada
British Columbia Legislature, Belleville Street, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
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Royal BC Museum
Spending the Day in Victoria, Canada
Royal BC Museum, Belleville Street, Victoria, BC, Canada
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Helmcken House
Spending the Day in Victoria, Canada
Helmcken House Pioneer Doctor's Residence, Victoria, BC, Canada
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St. Ann’s Schoolhouse
Spending the Day in Victoria, Canada
Helmcken House Pioneer Doctor's Residence, Victoria, BC, Canada
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Fairmont Empress
Spending the Day in Victoria, Canada
Fairmont Empress, Government Street, Victoria, BC, Canada
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Victoria Visitor Centre
Spending the Day in Victoria, Canada
Visitor Centre - Tourism Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada
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St. Andrew’s Cathedral
Spending the Day in Victoria, Canada
St. Andrew's Cathedral, View Street, Victoria, BC, Canada
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Red Fish Blue Fish
Spending the Day in Victoria, Canada
Red Fish Blue Fish, Wharf Street, Victoria, BC, Canada
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Fan Tan Alley
Spending the Day in Victoria, Canada
Fan-Tan Alley, Victoria, BC, Canada
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Vancouver’s Granville Island

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Granville Island in Vancouver is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Set along the waters of False Creek, Granville Island offers visitors scenic views. Spend the day shopping or eating at the various stalls within the Public Market or in the surrounding buildings. Unwind while perusing galleries or drinking beer at the Granville Island Brewery. Enjoy the waterfront while strolling along nearby Island Park Walk. Granville Island has so much to offer that tourists will find it one of the top highlights of their trip.

Getting to Granville Island

Tourists planning to visit Granville Island will arrive either by car, bus, or boat. Granville Island is accessible by car but you will be fighting with other drivers for the few parking spots available. The better plan is to arrive at Granville Island by bus or by boat. To get from Downtown to Granville Island you will board the #50 bus. The route for bus #50 runs through various Vancouver districts. Visitors staying in and around Gastown, Chinatown, Downtown, or Yaletown will take bus #50 southbound. Hop on the #50 bus labeled False Creek via Granville Island and exit at the W 2 Ave at Anderson Street stop. From the bus stop it will be a four-minute stroll to Granville Island via Old Bridge Walk.

A unique way to reach Granville Island is via boat on the waters of False Creek. Two boat companies sail along False Creek, Aquabus and False Creek Ferry. Both boat companies have eight docking locations along the waters of False Creek. You can catch one of the boats in popular tourist locations such as Yaletown or near BC Place at the Plaza of Nations. Boats land at each of the docks every 15 minutes so you won’t have to wait very long to catch the next boat. The simplest thing to do is arrive at the dock and hop on to whichever boat company arrives first.

Once on board you’ll pay the driver the fare to ride the boat. The boats hold between twelve and twenty passengers at a time. Passengers sit on benches next to windows so everyone has a view during the ride. The boats sail quietly along the waters of False Creek and offer a relaxing journey while sailing past the buildings of Vancouver. Exit the boat at the Granville Island dock. From the dock you are steps away from the main building for the Granville Island Public Market.

Granville Island Public Market

The most popular place to visit on Granville Island is the Public Market. Inside this building you will find a vast array of vendors. You can buy baskets of various fruits or bouquets of flowers. Other vendors sell pastries and bread still warm from the oven. Locals decide between fresh pasta and ravioli to bring home to cook later. It’s easy to check off your grocery list at the Public Market.

A few vendors at the Public Market sell food products you can eat on site. Lee’s Donuts is a must for those with an inclination towards fried dough. The Honey Dip Donut is a popular choice and tastes delicious. Enjoy your food with a cup of coffee from either JJ Bean or Petit Ami. If you are in the mood for more pastries and heartier fare stop at Laurelle’s Fine Foods. Laurelle’s is a bakery deli that sells meat pies and muffins. The dough on the meat pies flake right off and melt in your mouth.

Next to the Public Market are more buildings full of shops, galleries, and other food options. Those who wish to sample a local beer will want to swing by Granville Island Brewing. To maximize your tasting opportunity order a flight which allows you to sample up to four different beers. The Island Lager is their original beer and a fan favorite. For a true Canadian experience be sure to sample the Maple Shack Cream Ale. In addition to beer Granville Island Brewing offers a food menu with dishes such as poutine.

Island Park Walk

After you’re finished with Granville Island head to nearby Island Park Walk. This path just on the other side of Granville Island offers views of Granville Island plus residential homes and boats docked at the harbor. The path is especially stunning in the fall time when the leaves have changed colors. Here along the path visitors can dream of living next to Granville Island. Imagine waking up on a weekend morning and heading over to pick up items for brunch at the Public Market.

If daydreaming leaves you famished, at the end of Island Park Walk you will find Go Fish. This popular eatery sells quality seafood dishes from a simple shack. For fried golden perfection order the classic fish and chips. Or try the fish sandwich with either seared ahi tuna or salmon. Afterwards take Island Park Walk back the way you came towards either the #50 bus or to the Ferry Creek docks to catch the next boat home.

 

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Granville Island

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Granville Island 49.270622, -123.134741 Overview of Vancouver, Canada and Vancouver’s Granville Island

 

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Vancouver Dining

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Vancouver dining reflects the diversity that embodies the city. Within the various neighborhoods that make up Vancouver visitors will find every cuisine imaginable. This article aims to help travelers in choosing which restaurants to visit. Listed below are six of the best eateries in Vancouver. Each of these Vancouver dining options in this article embodies a different eating experience. From fine dining to food trucks, no one will ever leave Vancouver hungry.

Blue Water Cafe – Fine Dining in Vancouver

Being next to the Pacific Ocean means any Vancouver dining list must include at least one restaurant that serves high quality seafood. For the freshest seafood and a fine dining experience look no further than Blue Water Cafe. Here you will experience top-notch service from a knowledgeable wait staff. The menu includes a plethora of seafood caught in local waters. The chefs create each dish with extreme care. These chefs understand that eating is more than sustenance. For those that enjoy oysters Blue Water Cafe’s extensive menu won’t disappoint. The seafood tasting for two is a perfect way to sample four different seafood dishes. Although not a traditional Japanese restaurant, the sushi rolls and sashimi are delicious. The main course seafood selections range from scallops to lobster to local fish such as the sablefish. Other than seafood Blue Water Cafe’s menu includes steak and chicken options.

Chatime – For When You Need a Drink Break

Walk the many streets of Vancouver and you’re bound to get thirsty. When it’s time for a drink break stop by one of Chatime’s two Vancouver locations. Chatime proclaims itself as being the world’s number one place to get bubble tea. Although the title for world’s number one is always up for debate, Chatime is in the discussion for a good reason. Bubble tea originated in Taiwan and is a tea based drink served with milk and either tapioca balls or fruit jellies. Chatime brews their tea fresh in store and that freshness is found in every sip you take. Natural ingredients and natural flavors combine to make sure that your drink will be delicious. Besides Vancouver Chatime has a store in the nearby cities of Richmond, Burnaby, and Surrey. Other than Canada, Chatime is available in ten other countries such as Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, and the United States.

Dinesty Dumpling House – A Chinese Restaurant Beyond Chinatown

To search for a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown is akin to searching for hay in a haystack. The trick is finding a good Chinese restaurant in parts of the city not designated a part of Chinatown. When the craving for Chinese food hits you and you’re on Vancouver’s busy Robson street head to Dinesty Dumpling House. Dinesty specializes in Shanghai style Chinese dishes. One of the more popular dishes is their Xiao Long Bao, dumplings filled with soup and meat. Diners can watch employees of Dinesty through large glass windows as they wrap the dumplings for each Xiao Long Bao order. Dinesty’s menu features traditional Chinese dishes and snacks. Other dishes worth ordering include spicy wontons, string beans with pork, and deep-fried prawns. Keep in mind that besides the Robson location Dinesty has three restaurants in Richmond and one in Burnaby.

Guu – Japanese Izakaya

With six locations in Vancouver, Guu has cornered the market on Japanese izakaya dining. Izakaya’s are Japanese pub style restaurants where diners order a variety of small plates. This tapas style dining experience makes Guu a great place for dining with a group. The more people in your party the more dishes you can order and try out. With Guu’s extensive menu making selections will be a difficult task. A refreshing seafood choice is the Tuna Tataki. The chefs sear the fish in this dish and serve it with a ponzu sauce and garlic chips. Another popular dish is the melt in your mouth Kakuni, known as pork belly. For noodles order the Yaki Udon. Those that enjoy beer will find Guuud Ale intriguing. This beer is a joint venture between Guu and the Russell Brewing Company. This beer is a perfect pairing fit with any dish you order.

Japadog – Street Food

Vancouver dining isn’t regulated to just restaurants. Along the streets of Vancouver you will find various food trucks. Before today’s food obsessed culture only the bravest of travelers dared to order food from a food truck. Times have changed and now food trucks lead the way in innovative cooking. Culinary fusion is at the forefront of many street food chefs. Japadog is no exception, serving Japanese style hot dogs. Each menu item is a twist on a traditional Japanese dish joined with a hot dog. A first reaction upon seeing the creations at Japadog might be curiosity. The moment you take your first bite any worry you might have had vanishes. The various flavors blend to form one perfect bite after another. Within Vancouver Japadog operates four stands, a truck, a trailer, and one store. Visit any location for a great food truck culinary experience.

Tim Hortons – Canadian’s Popular Restaurant Chain

For a Vancouver dining experience that screams Canada visit Tim Hortons. Tim Hortons is one restaurant chain you won’t be able to avoid while visiting British Columbia.   In Vancouver alone you will find twenty Tim Hortons stores. Even those that have never been to Canada might have seen a Tim Hortons add while watching a hockey game. Tim Hortons may well be as synonymous with Canada these days as the maple leaf. You’ll even find two Tim Hortons at the Vancouver International Airport. Tim Hortons sells coffee, pastries, sandwiches, salads, and wraps. Lovers of donuts will enjoy Tim Hortons bakery selections. Their donuts are soft and fluffy, regardless of which chain you visit. Since you’re in Canada, be sure to try one of the maple-flavored donuts.

 

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Vancouver Dining

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Blue Water Cafe: 49.276155, -123.121129
Chatime: 49.286649, -123.128278
Dinesty Dumpling House: 49.290780, -123.134073
Guu: 49.284008, -123.125433
Japadog: 49.280244, -123.118355
Tim Hortons: 49.193316, -123.181198
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Blue Water Cafe
Vancouver Dining
Blue Water Cafe, Hamilton Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Chatime
Vancouver Dining
Chatime Robson, Robson Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Dinesty Dumpling House
Vancouver Dining
Dinesty Dumpling House, Robson Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Guu
Vancouver Dining
Kitanoya Guu Original Thurlow, Thurlow Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Japadog
Vancouver Dining
JAPADOG, Robson Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Tim Hortons
Vancouver Dining
Tim Hortons, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) Domestic and International Terminals, Grant McConachie Way, Richmond, BC, Canada

 

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Other Eats on Big Island’s Western Coast

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With so many dining options in Kailua-Kona and Kawaihae one may never eat a meal beyond those regions. Yet the Big Island of Hawaii has much to offer food lovers. Chances are during your time on the Big Island’s western coast you may venture into areas beyond Kailua-Kona and Kawaihae. Below we offer four restaurants sprinkled throughout the Big Island’s western coast to try out if you’re in the neighborhood.

The Coffee Shack

Tourist that are spending the day visiting coffee farms will find the Coffee Shack a great place for breakfast or lunch. In addition, the Coffee Shack is a great pit stop for those heading from the Big Island’s western coast out to the Volcanoes National Park. Even if you aren’t touring coffee farms or volcanoes Coffee Shack’s view alone makes it a worthwhile eatery. Enjoy the views of the ocean while sipping coffee and eating your meal. One of the best dishes off the breakfast menu is the French toast, made with their homemade Luau Bread. The Coffee Shack serves its own coffee, made from coffee beans from their own coffee farm. You can order a cup with your meal and buy a bag to take with you if you wish. For lunch choose from a variety of sandwich or pizza options. Homemade dessert is available for those with room to spare in their stomachs after their meal.

Manago Hotel Restaurant

Three miles away from the historic Kainaliu district in Captain Cook you will find the Manago Hotel. The Manago Hotel has on site a Hawaiian-American restaurant. This Big Island’s western coast restaurant is known for their famous pork chops. Grilled to perfection, the pork chops are tender in the inside and seared on the outside to ideal specifications. This attention to detail carries over to grilling other items on the menu such as the New York Steak and Mahi Mahi. Each entrée comes with a bowl of rice and three sides. Sides rotate daily and might include string beans, tofu, or macaroni salad.

Merriman’s

For a fine dining experience on the Big Island’s western coast dine at Merriman’s in Waimea. This region of the Big Island is cooler than the rest of the west coast. Contrary to other parts of the island if you are dining at Merriman’s for dinner bring a jacket or sweater to combat the cool breeze. Open for brunch Saturday and Sunday, and lunch and dinner daily once inside Merriman’s you will receive top-notch service. The staff is attentive and dedicated to providing you a wonderful dining experience. Menus change but always include cuts of meat from local ranches. The fish Merriman’s serves is straight from the nearby ocean. Those that enjoy a glass of wine with dinner will find Merriman’s wine list exhaustive with great selections from California and Europe.

Monstera

Four miles from the Waikoloa Beach Resorts and within the Shops at Mauna Lani is Monstera. This Big Island’s western coast restaurant specializes in Japanese-Hawaiian cuisine. Anyone who craves fresh served sushi will enjoy dining at Monstera. Select from a variety of sushi rolls or sashimi options. For those wishing to augment their sushi selections the menu includes small plates and noodle dishes. The head chef of Monstera trained in Tokyo and has worked at hotels such as the Ritz-Carlton. Having such a skilled chef at the helm means that the meal you consume is a feast for your mouth.

 

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Big Island West Coast Eats

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The Coffee Shack: 19.475276, -155.892291
Manago Hotel Restaurant: 19.489198, -155.910803
Merriman’s: 20.023014, -155.676598
Monstera: 19.941275, -155.857801
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The Coffee Shack
Other Eats on Big Island’s Western Coast
The Coffee Shack, Honaunau-Napoopoo, HI, United States
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Manago Hotel Restaurant
Other Eats on Big Island’s Western Coast
Manago Hotel, Mamalahoa Highway, Captain Cook, HI, United States
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Merriman’s
Other Eats on Big Island’s Western Coast
Merriman's Big Island, Opelo Road, Waimea, HI, United States
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Monstera
Other Eats on Big Island’s Western Coast
Monstera, Mauna Lani Drive, Puako, HI, United States

 

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Big Island Eats in Kawaihae

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Kawaihae is a tiny port town on the Big Island of Hawaii. Located thirty-five miles north of Kailua-Kona, Kawaihae is known for surfing, art galleries, and restaurants. This small town boasts four of the best eateries on the entire island. Café Pesto, Kawaihae Kitchen, and Kohala Burger & Taco are in the Kawaihae Shopping Center. Original Big Island Shave Ice is less than half a mile away from the Kawaihae Shopping Center. With so many wonderful eateries within reach of one another it’ll be hard not to eat at each of them in the same day.

Café Pesto

On the first floor of the Kawaihae Shopping Center, Café Pesto serves up what they refer to as “creative island cuisine”. This sit-down restaurant can get busy but takes reservations. Café Pesto is open every day for lunch and dinner. Their menu includes soups, pastas, pizzas, and island inspired dishes. Those struggling to decide what to order should try the Crispy Coconut Crusted Calamari. This appetizer comes with a honey mustard-mango dipping sauce that balances well with the squid. For your main course the Pacific Island Seafood Risotto is an opportunity to sample a variety of fresh local seafood. If your stomach has any room left at the end of the meal for dessert you can’t go wrong with the Macadamia Nut Cookie.

Kawaihae Kitchen

Those with a craving for Hawaiian style lunch plates just have to go to Kawaihae Kitchen. The easiest way to approach Kawaihae Kitchen’s menu is to focus on the three main parts of the menu. Choose from a category marked either plate lunch, rice bowls, or bentos boxed lunch items. For the plate lunch you have options such as chicken katsu or shrimp tempura. Each plate lunch comes with rice and Hawaiian macaroni salad. The rice bowls include the same options as the plate lunch as well as an ahi bowl. With the ahi bowl you get fresh local ahi fish piled on top of rice, along with avocado, cucumber, and lettuce. The ahi bowl is refreshing and delicious. Whichever choice you go with your order will be to go. Kawaihae Kitchen is a takeout eatery with only seating for a couple of people inside their tiny establishment. For those needing to eat on site the Kawaihae Shopping Center has a few benches available on which you can sit and eat your meal.

Kohala Burger & Taco

When dining in Hawaii you tend to notice that many meals are fusion style dishes. These dishes pick from a few different cuisines to create a tasty blend. That’s why a fish taco joint in Hawaii isn’t so far-fetched of an idea. With the fresh caught seafood available daily fish tacos on the island are fantastic. What you don’t expect to find in the Hawaiian Islands is a good burger. Kohala Burger & Taco is a great place for both fish tacos and burgers using local grass-fed beef. When eating the burger the grass-fed beef dissolves in your mouth. The burgers come with a ¼lb patty on a brioche bun. Their famous fish tacos are made with local fish and wrapped in warm tortillas. Cap off your meal with a Dole Pineapple Whip for dessert.

Original Big Island Shave Ice

For the best shaved ice on the Big Island head to Original Big Island Shave Ice. This stationary food truck is family owned and operated. Begin your order by selecting either the small or regular sized cup. Once you’ve decided on the size you will choose which ice cream you want in the center of the ice. You can pick up to three flavors of syrup to pour over the ice. The syrups contain natural ingredients using recipes passed down within the family from generation to generation. The syrups and the ice melt in your mouth, causing a burst of deliciousness for your taste buds. You can even add toppings such as gummy bears or mochi. Enjoy your shave ice cone while sitting on the benches next to the food truck.

 

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Kawaihae Eats

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Cafe Pesto: 20.038872, -155.829890
Kawaihae Kitchen: 20.038968, -155.829971
Kohala Burger and Taco: 20.039083, -155.829863
Original Big Island Shave Ice: 20.037341, -155.826791
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Cafe Pesto
Big Island Eats in Kawaihae
Cafe Pesto, Hawaii 270, Kawaihae, HI, United States
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Kawaihae Kitchen
Big Island Eats in Kawaihae
Kawaihae Kitchen, Akoni Pule Highway, Waimea, HI, United States
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Kohala Burger and Taco
Big Island Eats in Kawaihae
Kohala Burger & Taco, Kawaihae, HI, United States
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Original Big Island Shave Ice
Big Island Eats in Kawaihae
Original Big Island Shave Ice Co, Inc, Kawaihae Road, Waimea, HI, United States

 

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Dining in Kailua-Kona Hawaii

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Visitors that arrive to the Big Island of Hawaii by way of Kona International Airport will have their first look at Hawaiian city life in nearby Kailua-Kona. This quintessential beach town thrives off locals and tourists alike. Kailua-Kona has many restaurants so you know you will eat well whether you are in town to shop or sight see. There’s food to satisfy every craving from hearty breakfasts to fresh poke to delicious lunch plates to sweet shave ice. Below you will find listed in alphabetical order seven of the best Kailua-Kona eateries.

Mural inside 808 Grindz Cafe - Kailua-Kona, HI

Mural inside 808 Grindz Cafe

Loco Moco at 808 Grindz Cafe - Kailua-Kona, HI

Loco Moco at 808 Grindz Cafe

808 Grindz Cafe

808 Grindz Cafe is in a strip mall in Kailua-Kona. As you enter the restaurant the first thing you see is a huge mural on a wall depicting beachgoers relaxing. The mural emanates good vibes making you think you too are beachgoer just taking a food break. 808 Grindz Cafe might be a small restaurant with a tiny kitchen but it dishes out big plates of food. Order from a variety of classic Hawaiian favorites made with a special chef’s twist. Favorites include the kalua pork hash, the 808 Combo, and the loco moco.

If you’ve never had loco moco be sure to order it at 808 Grindz Cafe. A loco moco begins with rice as the base of the dish and a hamburger patty on top of the rice. Poured over the hamburger patty and rice is brown gravy. An egg placed on top of everything completes the dish. The 808 Grindz Cafe is open daily, except Mondays, for breakfast and lunch only.

Banana macadamia nut pancakes at Big Island Grill - Kailua-Kona, HI

Banana macadamia nut pancakes at Big Island Grill

Sign for Big Island Grill - Kailua-Kona, HI

Sign for Big Island Grill

Big Island Grill

The moment you enter the Big Island Grill you know you’ve stepped into a classic diner. Sit amongst the many locals and enjoy a great meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Take a moment and explore the menu at Big Island Grill. Their menus are full of traditional Hawaiian dishes. Choose from favorites such as the saimin, loco moco, katsu, or kalua pork. The Big Island Grill serves one of the best banana macadamia nut pancakes, not just in Kailua-Kona but the entire state of Hawaii. Order the short or full stack and remember to pour as much of the coconut syrup as your heart desires. A cup of the Kona coffee or guava juice will help you finish up those pancakes.

Garlic butter jumbo shrimp plate at Broke Da Mouth - Kailua-Kona, HI

Garlic butter jumbo shrimp plate at Broke Da Mouth

Spam musubi at Broke Da Mouth - Kailua-Kona, HI

Spam musubi at Broke Da Mouth

Broke Da Mouth

Broke Da Mouth is one of the most unassuming eateries in the world. Next to a laundry mat in an out-of-the-way strip mall you’ll find a foodie’s paradise. Chefs at this Kailua-Kona eatery cook up pile high food plates for starving customers. The portions are dense so bring your appetite. The best food options are those from the Grindz section of the Broke Da Mouth menu. Select from such savory options as shoyu butterfish, braised boneless kalbi, furikake chicken, or jumbo shrimp. Each plate comes with two scoops of white rice and your choice of macaroni or green salad. If you’ve never had Hawaiian macaroni salad try that island favorite.

For those still hungry add a foot long musubi roll. A musubi roll is rice and a filling, such as spam and egg, wrapped in seaweed. The musubi roll might just come in handy and tide you over if you’re waiting for a load of laundry to finish next door.

Entrance to Da Poke Shack - Kailua-Kona, HI

Entrance to Da Poke Shack

Poke Plate at Da Poke Shack - Kailua-Kona, HI

Poke Plate at Da Poke Shack

Da Poke Shack

A popular dish to come out of Hawaii is poke. Poke is raw sushi grade fish sliced into cubes and marinated in sauces such as shoyu (soy sauce). Often mixed with the fish are onions and furikake. A dry Japanese seasoning, furikake includes sesame seeds and seaweed flakes. Da Poke Shack is one of the go to places for poke on the Big Island for both locals and visitors.

A great choice from the menu for those getting poke from Da Poke Shack is their Poke Plate. The Poke Plate includes two scoops of rice and your choice of poke. You get to choose two sides, such as edamame or seaweed salad.  Da Poke Shack has two locations on the Big Island.  The Kailua-Kona location has a few seats available for those that wish to eat on site. A second Da Poke Shack location is in Captain Cook, off Mamalahoa Highway at Mile Marker 106.

Breakfast sandwich at Green Flash Coffee - Kailua-Kona, HI

Breakfast sandwich at Green Flash Coffee

Entrance to Green Flash Coffee - Kailua-Kona, HI

Entrance to Green Flash Coffee

Green Flash Coffee

A great spot for breakfast or lunch in Kailua-Kona is Green Flash Coffee. This small coffee shop serves Kona coffee and Hawaiian inspired espresso drinks. The Haupia Latte and the Mauna Kea Mocha will satisfy the sweetest of teeth. Items on the breakfast and lunch menu are served throughout the day. The breakfast sandwiches Croque Madam/Monsieur and the French toast are delicious. The bread for the French toast, both the breakfast sandwich and the regular French toast, is Punalu’u sweetbread. Punalu’u sweetbread is fresh from the Punalu`u Bake Shop in the city of Naalehu. The lunch menu options include sandwiches made with their Panini grill. For those not craving a sandwich Green Flash Coffee sells smoothies made with fresh fruit.

Moo Bettah sign - Kailua-Kona, HI

Moo Bettah sign

Shave Ice at Moo Bettah - Kailua-Kona, HI

Shave Ice at Moo Bettah

Moo Bettah

When you crave dessert swing by Moo Bettah in Kailua-Kona. Perfect for those warm Hawaiian days choose from milk shakes, scoops of ice cream, or frozen yogurt. If those options aren’t enough you can pick from a list of smoothies, floats, and shave ice. Don’t confuse shave ice with a snow cone. Snow cones have crushed ice as opposed to shaved ice. With the shaved ice in a plastic bowl flavored syrups poured over the ice give the ice a sweet taste. To experience a real Hawaiian style shave ice add a scoop of macadamia nut ice cream at the bottom of the shave ice.

Poke and sides on display at Umekes - Kailua-Kona, HI

Poke and sides on display at Umekes

Poke from Umekes - Kailua-Kona, HI

Poke from Umekes

Umeke’s

For many foodies poke is a religious experience. These foodies believe that their sworn duty is to eat the best poke from every region of the world. The Hawaiian Islands are full of places selling poke and Umeke’s is a front-runner for one of the best on the Big Island. The fish sold at Umeke’s in Kailua-Kona is fresh and delicious.

Umeke’s has two locations on the Big Island.  Depending on what time you visit the Umeke’s at Ali’i Plaza, you might see the staff working on large cuts of fish and preparing the poke. The various poke Umeke’s offers is on display in a glass case. Umeke’s sells poke by the pound or in a local style lunch bowl or plate. The lunch specials include poke, rice, and your choice from a variety of sides. One side dish you can buy is the Hawaiian favorite lomi lomi, a tomato and salmon salad. For dessert Umeke’s sells a Hawaiian favorite, the coconut-based Haupia.

The Umeke’s at Ali’i Plaza is a takeout establishment but if you want a more traditional sit-down experience, visit Umeke’s Fish Market Bar and Grill.  Located in Kailua-Kona, here you will find a full-service restaurant that has food and a bar that serves wine, beer, and cocktails.  Umeke’s Fish Market Bar and Grill has won awards for the food it serves and has appeared on the Cooking Channel.  Be sure while visiting the Big Island to visit either of Umeke’s locations for a poke feast you won’t soon forget.

 

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Kailua-Kona Dining

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808 Grindz Cafe: 19.642470, -155.994061
Big Island Grill: 19.640135, -155.992239
Broke Da Mouth: 19.648566, -156.000360
Da Poke Shack: 19.607898, -155.977167
Green Flash Coffee: 19.622141, -155.985421
Moo Bettah: 19.570480, -155.962074
Umeke\'s: 19.638445, -155.991071
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808 Grindz Cafe
Dining in Kailua-Kona Hawaii
808 Grindz Cafe, Kopiko Street, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Big Island Grill
Dining in Kailua-Kona Hawaii
Big Island Grill, Kuakini Highway, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Broke Da Mouth
Dining in Kailua-Kona Hawaii
Broke Da Mouth Grindz & Catering, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Da Poke Shack
Dining in Kailua-Kona Hawaii
Da Poke Shack, Ali'i Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Green Flash Coffee
Dining in Kailua-Kona Hawaii
Green Flash Coffee, Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Moo Bettah
Dining in Kailua-Kona Hawaii
Moo Bettah Frozen Fun, Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Umeke's
Dining in Kailua-Kona Hawaii
Umeke's Poke Bowls And Local Lunch Plates, Hualalai Road, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States

 

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Cheung Chau: A Hong Kong Island

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Cheung Chau - Hong Kong, China

Cheung Chau

 

Cheung Chau is part of Hong Kong’s Island Districts. Located less than an hour away from Hong Kong Island, Cheung Chau allows visitors a chance to glimpse a different side of Hong Kong.   Here in Cheung Chau is a bustling fishing village. The harbor is full of fisherman working on their boats. At the waterfront vendors sell fish at markets while restaurants serve up fresh seafood dishes. Besides seafood tourists will enjoy Cheung Chau’s narrow streets with their shops, bakeries, and food stalls. Cheung Chau may translate from Cantonese into “Long Island” yet the island itself is small enough to entice visitors for a few hours. This makes Cheung Chau a perfect island for those tourists on a time crunch but still wanting to explore one of Hong Kong’s outlying islands.

Central Ferry Pier 5 - Hong Kong, China

Central Ferry Pier 5 – Hong Kong Island

Cheung Chau Ferry Pier - Hong Kong, China

Cheung Chau Ferry Pier

 

The Ferry to Cheung Chau

Ferries to Cheung Chau leave from Hong Kong Island’s Central Ferry Pier 5. Departures are daily and either on the ordinary or fast service ferry. Ordinary service will get you to Cheung Chau in an hour while fast service will get you there in half an hour. Ticket prices vary depending on which ferry you board and if you travel Mondays to Saturdays or Sundays and public holidays. The most expensive fare is the adult fare on the fast ferry on Sundays and public holidays at $37.20 HKD ($4.80 USD). Ferries that leave from Hong Kong Island’s Central Ferry Pier 5 sail direct to Cheung Chau Ferry Pier.

Boats in Cheung Chau's harbor - Hong Kong, China

Boats in Cheung Chau’s harbor

Fisherman heading to his boat - Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, China

Fisherman heading to his boat

Bicycles along Cheung Chau's waterfront - Hong Kong, China

Bicycles along Cheung Chau’s waterfront

Dried Seafood - Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, China

Dried seafood for sale

Egg custard from a food vendor in Cheung Chau - Hong Kong, China

Egg custard from a food vendor

San Hing Praya Street - Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, China

San Hing Praya Street

 

Arrival in Cheung Chau

The moment you disembark the ferry on Cheung Chau the famous golden arches of McDonald’s will greet you. This fast-food restaurant is on the main road called San Hing Praya Street. If possible resist this American temptation and look back towards the water where you will see an overabundance of boats and fisherman. There aren’t many docks along the waterfront and fisherman make their way back to land on floating platforms attached to shore by ropes. Cheung Chau is an active fishing village and if you are a fan of seafood you will want to save your appetite for dining options other than McDonald’s. Along San Hing Praya you’ll notice rows of bicycles belonging to the hard-working people of Cheung Chau. Cars are not allowed on Cheung Chau so locals use bicycles or small-motorized carts to travel around the island. Continue your introduction to Cheung Chau by exploring San Hing Praya Street. Here you will find shops with souvenirs and food stalls where you can buy dried seafood or desserts such as mochi or egg custard. At the end of San Hing Praya Street is Pak She Praya Road. This road is full of restaurants selling seafood and this section of town is a great place to eat a meal at if you are hungry.

Pak Tai Temple - Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, China

Pak Tai Temple

An altar inside the Pak Tai Temple - Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, China

An altar inside the Pak Tai Temple

 

Cheung Chau Temple

From the Cheung Chau Ferry Pier turn left on San Hing Praya Street. Turn right past the playground at Pak She Third Lane. This street will take you to one of the main temples on the island, Pak Tai Temple. Walk Pak She Third Lane until you reach Pak Tai Temple on the right-hand side. The temple is open to the public but remember, be respectful inside this holy place of worship. Dedicated to the Taoist God of the Sea the temple has four stone lions that great you as you ascend the steps to the shrine. Before entering the temple notice the ornate statues of dragons at the top of the temple. Throughout the temple you will see various figurines and murals such as that of a tiger and their cub.

Steamed buns sold by a street vendor in Hong Kong, China

Steamed buns sold by a street vendor

Tung Wan Beach - Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, China

Tung Wan Beach

 

Tung Wan Beach

From Pak Tai Temple you will walk towards the direction you came, but this time on Pak She Street and San Hing Street. These streets include bakeries selling various steamed buns and food stalls selling different flavored fish balls. From the food stalls and stores take either Kwok Man Road or Tung Wan Road towards Tung Wan Beach. This beach is popular with tourists and locals alike on hot days.   After you’ve enjoyed the sun, water, and sand continue exploring the various streets around Tung Wan Beach. Along these streets are stores used by locals such as apothecaries, grocery stores, and stores selling household goods. As you walk among the streets notice the small altars dedicated to various deities.

A street in Cheung Chau - Hong Kong, China

A street in Cheung Chau

An altar in the streets of Cheung Chau - Hong Kong, China

An altar in the streets of Cheung Chau

 

Tai Hing Tai Road

Make your way through the various streets, heading past the Cheung Chau Ferry Pier and on to Tai Hing Tai Road. On Tai Hing Tai Road is Cheung Chau Market. Inside are various vendors selling meats, seafood, and fruits to locals. Around the market are hawker style food stalls and restaurants. Pick any of the restaurants to eat at and enjoy fresh seafood dishes such as salt and pepper crab or seafood combination fried rice.

Cheung Chau Market - Hong Kong, China

Cheung Chau Market

Salt and pepper crab - Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, China

Salt and pepper crab

Seafood combination fried rice - Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, China

Seafood combination fried rice

After your delicious seafood meal continue to explore the various streets before heading back to Cheung Chau Ferry Pier. Here at Cheung Chau Ferry Pier you will catch your boat ride back to Hong Kong Island.

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Cheung Chau

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Cheung Chau Ferry Pier: 22.208517, 114.028364
San Hing Praya Street: 22.209453, 114.028527
Pak Tai Temple: 22.212387, 114.027883
Tung Wan Beach: 22.210419, 114.029939
Tai Hing Tai Road: 22.205559, 114.026941
Cheung Chau Market: 22.206856, 114.028119
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Cheung Chau Ferry Pier
Cheung Chau: A Hong Kong Island
Cheung Chau Ferry Pier, Hong Kong
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San Hing Praya Street
Cheung Chau: A Hong Kong Island
San Hing Praya Street, Hong Kong
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Pak Tai Temple
Cheung Chau: A Hong Kong Island
Pak Tai Temple, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong
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Tung Wan Beach
Cheung Chau: A Hong Kong Island
Tung Wan Beach, Hong Kong
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Tai Hing Tai Road
Cheung Chau: A Hong Kong Island
Tai Hing Tai Road, Hong Kong
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Cheung Chau Market
Cheung Chau: A Hong Kong Island
Cheung Chau Market, Hong Kong

 

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Hong Kong’s Lamma Island

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Lamma Island is one of Hong Kong’s largest islands and one of the closest to Hong Kong Island. Its proximity and size is why Lamma Island is a perfect day trip for those visiting Hong Kong. Lamma Island is what you get if you cross California’s Catalina Island with Italy’s Cinque Terre. Similar to Catalina Island, Lamma Island has no cars, which makes Lamma Island a peaceful change of pace from Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. Lamma Island is comparable to Cinque Terre in that both have villages you reach by foot using trails. On Lamma Island a concrete trail that takes 1-1/2 hours to walk separates the two main villages, Sok Kwu Wan and Yung Shue Wan. This trail takes you through lush hills with amazing views of the island and the surrounding waters. Besides the trail, Lamma Island has beaches that are great for hot days and restaurants that serve delicious seafood.

Central Ferry Piers - Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong, China

Central Ferry Piers on Hong Kong Island

Ferry to Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Ferry to Lamma Island

The Ferry to Lamma Island

Visitors reach Lamma Island by ferry in under an hour on direct sailings from Hong Kong Island’s Central Ferry Pier 4. Depending on which ferry you board, ordinary or fast, your journey will take anywhere from 30-minutes to an hour. Upon arriving at Central Ferry Pier 4 you will buy your ticket for the ferry from the ticket booth. Fares vary for adults, children, and those over the age of 65. Besides age the cost of the fare depends on whether you travel Mondays to Saturdays or Sundays and public holidays. The most expensive ticket is the adult Sundays and public holidays fare from Central to Sok Kwu Wan at HKD $29.80 (USD $3.84). If your travel plans are flexible aim to visit Lamma Island during the weekday. On weekends Lamma Island is a popular place for locals looking to exercise on the trail or lounge on the beach.

One may explore Lamma Island starting at either of the main villages, Sok Kwu Wan or Yung Shue Wan. Separate ferries from Central Ferry Pier 4 can take you to either location. More ferries run between Central and Yung Shue Wan so we recommended you end your day at Yung Shue Wan. This way you won’t have to wait too long for a return ferry back to Hong Kong Island. Once aboard the ferry try to sit at a window seat so you can enjoy the view of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon while sailing through Victoria Harbour.

Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Sok Kwu Wan village

The Village of Sok Kwu Wan

As your ferry approaches Sok Kwu Wan you’ll realize how you are in a place much different from Hong Kong Island or Kowloon. Underneath the shadow of a small green hill lies a short row of two-story buildings. In front of these buildings various awnings nestle up along side the waterfront. These awnings belong to open-air seafood restaurants. You will exit the ferry at the Sok Kwu Wan Pier and turn right, on to Sok Kwu Wan First Street. Here you will find yourself in the midst of the buildings you saw upon your approach on the ferry. The two-story buildings house the working part of the restaurants, such as the kitchens and aquariums. Besides restaurants you will find convenience stores and shopkeepers selling dried fish. There aren’t any souvenir stores or homes in this section of Lamma Island. This village is just for seafood eating. If you are hungry be sure to eat at a restaurant and enjoy the waterfront view. Before embarking on the trail consider buying snacks and a bottle of water from one of the convenience stores for your trek.

Street in Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Street in Sok Kwu Wan

Restaurant with waterfront seating in Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Restaurant with waterfront seating in Sok Kwu Wan

Lamma Island’s Trail

With the hill on your left and the water on your right you’ll walk along the street through Sok Kwu Wan. As you reach the end of this street and Sok Kwu Wan’s seafood row you will come upon a temple. This is a Tin Hau temple, one of three on the island. Tin Hau is the Goddess of the Sea and of Fishermen, a helpful deity for locals given Lamma Island’s proximity to the water. From the temple you will continue on the main trail, known as Lamma Island Family Walk. Abundant signs throughout the trail keep you heading in the right direction, towards the village of Yung Shue Wan.

Tin Hau Temple in Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Tin Hau Temple in Sok Kwu Wan

Walking uphill on the Lamma Island Famly Walk Trail - Hong Kong, China

Walking uphill on the Lamma Island Famly Walk Trail

Kamikaze Grottos

The entire Lamma Island Family Walk trail is concrete. The trail goes up and over a hill and takes 1-1/2 hours to complete. After leaving Sok Kwu Wan you will pass a few dwellings but the majority of housing on Lamma Island is in the other main village, Yung Shue Wan. Just continue to follow the signs to Yung Shue Wan so you don’t wind up in someone’s backyard or off the beaten path. After you’ve walked 8-minutes from the Tin Hau Temple you will see one of several small caves on the island. Locals call these caves Kamikaze Grottos. During World War II the Japanese army had troops stationed on the island and were planning on using the caves to hide speedboats. Those boats were for future suicide attacks on Allies’ warships. Before the Japanese carved out the caves large enough to hold boats the war ended. The caves have remained untouched ever since and serve as a reminder as to Lamma Island’s status during the war.

Part of the Lamma Island Famly Walk Trail - Hong Kong, China

Part of the Lamma Island Famly Walk Trail

Kamikaze Grottos, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Kamikaze Grottos

Hilltop Pavilion

From the Kamikaze Grottos you will ascend the hill and reach a scenic point with a view of Sok Kwu Wan and the Lo So Shing Port. The viewpoint with its hilltop pavilion offers benches for those looking to rest before continuing on the trail. As you continue on the trail you will soon reach the top of the hill. It is at this point you will see off the coast a massive building with three tall pillars. This building is the Lamma Power Station. The Lamma Power Station provides power to Lamma Island and Hong Kong Island. The Lamma Island Family Walk trail won’t lead you to the Lamma Power Station. During the rest of your walk you will continue to see the building until you reach Hung Shing Yeh Beach and Yung Shue Wan.

View of Pichic Bay and Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

View of Pichic Bay and Sok Kwu Wan

Hilltop Pavilion over looking Pichic Bay and Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Hilltop Pavilion over looking Pichic Bay and Sok Kwu Wan

Lamma Power Station, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Lamma Power Station

Hung Shing Yeh Beach

Hung Shing Yeh Beach is a sandy beach marred only by the garish view of the Lamma Power Station as you gaze out into water. The beach itself is popular with tourists and locals alike on hot days. There are public toilets next to the beach, ideal if you need a restroom or a place to change into your swimming suit. On one end of the beach you will find benches underneath large trees that offer generous amounts of shade. These benches make for a great escape from the sun and a nice picnic spot. After you leave Hung Shing Yeh Beach you will reach the village of Yung Shue Wan in 25-minutes.

Hung Shing Yeh Beach, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Hung Shing Yeh Beach

Trees with benches at Hung Shing Yeh Beach, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Trees with benches at Hung Shing Yeh Beach

View from Hung Shing Yeh Beach, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

View from Hung Shing Yeh Beach

View of Power Station from Hung Shing Yeh Beach, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

View of Power Station from Hung Shing Yeh Beach

The Village of Yung Shue Wan

As you leave Hung Shing Yeh Beach behind you will continue on the trail and walk past homes, both old dwellings and newer apartment buildings. This section of Yung Shue Wan is home to many foreigners. Yung Shue Wan has a much more relaxed vibe than the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. You’ll know you’re in the heart of Yung Shue Wan when you pass shops selling bakery items such as pineapple buns. There are more convenience stores in Yung Shue Wan than in Sok Kwu Wan so you can restock your water or snack supply if need be. Along with the stores you will once again find seafood restaurants, such as Lung Wah, along Yung Shue Wan Main Street. Enjoy a plate of clams in black bean sauce or salt and pepper squid to rejuvenate after walking the trail.

Buildings in Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Buildings in Yung Shue Wan

Housing in Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Housing in Yung Shue Wan

Bakery in Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Bakery in Yung Shue Wan

Clams in black bean sauce at Lung Wah Seafood Restaurant in Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Clams in black bean sauce at Lung Wah Seafood Restaurant in Yung Shue Wan

Salt and pepper squid at Lung Wah Seafood Restaurant in Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Salt and pepper squid at Lung Wah Seafood Restaurant in Yung Shue Wan

Once you reach the end of Yung Shue Main Street you may continue on the Lamma Island Family Walk trail. A 10-minute walk will take you to the Tai Peng San Cheun viewpoint. Or you can walk the rest of the Lamma Island Family Walk, which includes the Pak Kok Tsuen Pier to Aberdeen. This trail circles around back to Yung Shue and is another 50-minutes of walking. When you are ready to leave Lamma Island head to the Yung Shue Wan Pier to catch your ferry back to Central Ferry Piers in Hong Kong Island.

View of Lamma Power Station from Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

View of Lamma Power Station from Yung Shue Wan

Street with shops in Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Street with shops in Yung Shue Wan

Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Yung Shue Wan village

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Lamma Island

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Sok Kwu Wan Ferry Pier: 22.205580, 114.131170
Tin Hau Temple: 22.203795, 114.130942
Kamikaze Grottos : 22.204247, 114.127530
Hilltop Pavilion: 22.204378, 114.126472
Lamma Power Station: 22.217979, 114.107147
Hung Shing Yeh Beach: 22.218653, 114.119803
Lung Wah Seafood Restaurant: 22.226601, 114.111669
Yung Shue Wan Ferry Pier: 22.225002, 114.110643
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Sok Kwu Wan Ferry Pier
Hong Kong’s Lamma Island
Sok Kwu Wan Ferry Pier, Lamma Island, Hong Kong
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Tin Hau Temple
Hong Kong’s Lamma Island
Tin Hau Temple, Lamma Island, Hong Kong
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Kamikaze Grottos
Hong Kong’s Lamma Island
Cave Kamikaze, Lamma Island, Hong Kong
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Hilltop Pavilion
Hong Kong’s Lamma Island
Lo So Shing Sitting-out Area, Lamma Island, Hong Kong
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Lamma Power Station
Hong Kong’s Lamma Island
Lamma Power Station, Lamma Island, Hong Kong
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Hung Shing Yeh Beach
Hong Kong’s Lamma Island
Hung Shing Yeh Beach, Hong Kong
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Lung Wah Seafood Restaurant
Hong Kong’s Lamma Island
Lung Wah Seafood Restaurant, Lamma Island, Hong Kong
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Yung Shue Wan Ferry Pier
Hong Kong’s Lamma Island
Yung Shue Wan Development Pier, Lamma Island, Hong Kong

 

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Dining in Windsor and Eton

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Windsor and Eton makes for an ideal home base for those looking to stay somewhere other than London. By staying in Windsor and Eton one has the luxury of experiencing a different side of England and still be near London. Windsor and Eton has two train stations within walking distance of one another allowing you to reach London by train within thirty to sixty minutes. Besides London, Windsor and Eton as a home base allows for visitors to reach other cities in the South West region of England. Places such as Bath, Oxford, Reading, Salisbury, and Winchester are close train rides away.

A few factors make staying in Windsor and Eton appealing to tourists. Neither town is too large, and you can easily get around both by foot. Although Windsor and Eton are separated by the River Thames a bridge connects the two towns. Windsor receives a fair number of tourists because of Windsor Castle. While Eton is busiest when their boys’ boarding school, Eton College, is in session. After the boys are in their dorms and the tourists have gone back to London, Windsor and Eton are quiet towns. The English charm of Windsor and Eton are not the only appeal to these towns. Several dining options are available, covering a wide variety of cuisines. Listed below are a few of the best restaurants in Windsor and Eton.

Castle Cod

Surrounding Windsor Castle are restaurants that reek of tourist traps. Castle Cod is smack dab in the middle of this row of restaurants but it’d be a mistake to lump it in the tourist trap category. If you’re craving traditional British fish and chips you won’t want to ignore this restaurant. Service is fast and efficient and the fish and chips are classic. The fish is tender with the batter as crispy as the fries. Castle Cod is family friendly and a great place for a quick meal after your tour of Windsor Castle.

Back side of Castle Cod - Windsor, England

Back side of Castle Cod

Fish and Chips at Castle Cod - Windsor, England

Fish and Chips at Castle Cod

Chocolate Theatre Cafe Bar

Chocolate Theatre Cafe Bar offers classic English cuisine in a charming setting. A must on any trip to England is to have scones and Chocolate Theatre Cafe Bar serves scrumptious scones. The scones are served with Windsor Cream Tea, strawberry jam, and fresh clotted cream. Chocolate Theatre Cafe Bar’s menu includes a traditional English breakfast. The traditional English breakfast is a hearty meal of two sausages, ham, scrambled eggs and toast. Another satisfying and filling meal is the Jacket potatoes, served with your choice of toppings. For those with a sweet tooth order one of their specialty hot chocolates. The drink is so decadent you won’t want to reach the last drop.

Scones, strawberry jam, and clotted cream at Chocolate Theatre Cafe Bar - Windsor, England

Scones, strawberry jam, and clotted cream at Chocolate Theatre Cafe Bar

Full English breakfast at Chocolate Theatre Cafe Bar - Windsor, England

Full English breakfast at Chocolate Theatre Cafe Bar

 

Jacket potatoes at Chocolate Theatre Cafe Bar - Windsor, England

Jacket potatoes at Chocolate Theatre Cafe Bar

Specialty hot chocolate at Chocolate Theatre Cafe Bar - Windsor, England

Specialty hot chocolate at Chocolate Theatre Cafe Bar

 

Cote Brasserie

For fine French dining head to Cote Brasserie. Cote Brasserie is ideal for couples as this restaurant exudes a romantic setting. The restaurant is in a two-story building next to the River Thames. You may sit inside or outside, with or without a view of the river. Begin your meal with a bowl of French Onion soup. Main courses include traditional dishes such as Beef Bourguignon, Breton Fish Stew, and Steak Frites. End your satisfying meal with dessert such as Crème Caramel, a silky smooth flan. If you are at Cote Brasserie for dinner enjoy the view of Windsor Castle lit up at night.

Cote Brasserie - Windsor, England

Cote Brasserie

French Onion Soup at Cote Brasserie - Windsor, England

French Onion Soup at Cote Brasserie

 

Flaming Cow

If you have a hankering for grub that will remind you of being back in America head to the restaurant Flaming Cow. The Flaming Cow cooks up mouth-watering hamburgers made with 6oz beef patties and various toppings. You can order hot dogs that are as large as the hamburgers and just as tasty. Compliment your meal with fries and a milkshake. The Flaming Cow’s relaxed atmosphere is magnified with a mural painting of a large cow scaling a building, a la King Kong, with planes buzzing around the cow.

Brunch Burger at Flaming Cow - Windsor and Eton, England

Brunch Burger at Flaming Cow

Cuban Hot Dog at Flaming Cow - Windsor and Eton, England

Cuban Hot Dog at Flaming Cow

Viva L’Italia

A drawback to visiting Italy is that it ruins Italian food for you in your home country. Nothing compares to how Italian food is prepared and how it tastes in Italy. Viva L’Italia is an exception to the rule. When you eat at Viva L’Italia you might forget you’re in Windsor and think you’re in Rome. Viva L’Italia is a family run business and the staff make you feel at home the moment you enter the restaurant. For starters select one of the various pizza breads. The pizza bread is the size of a personal pizza and baked to perfection. Fans of pasta need to order the spaghetti alla Bolognese. The Bolognese is a homemade recipe that takes up to eight hours to prepare, but arrives at your table after you order it. Another delicious dish is the Penne al pesto alla Genovese. You won’t go wrong with any dish you order. In every mouthful you can tell that the chef uses the freshest ingredients to prepare the dishes.

Spaghetti alla Bolognese at Viva L'Italia - Windsor, England

Spaghetti alla Bolognese at Viva L’Italia

Penne al pesto alla Genovese at Viva L'Italia - Windsor, England

Penne al pesto alla Genovese at Viva L’Italia

 

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Windsor and Eton Dining

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Castle Cod: 51.482139, -0.606466
Chocolate Theatre Cafe Bar: 51.485531, -0.607787
Cote Brasserie: 51.486554, -0.608648
Flaming Cow: 51.486169, -0.608652
Viva L\'Italia: 51.483463, -0.608641
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Castle Cod
Dining in Windsor and Eton
Church Street, Windsor, UK
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Chocolate Theatre Cafe Bar
Dining in Windsor and Eton
The Chocolate Theatre Co Ltd, Thames Street, Windsor, United Kingdom
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Cote Brasserie
Dining in Windsor and Eton
Côte Brasserie - Windsor, High Street, Windsor, United Kingdom
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Flaming Cow
Dining in Windsor and Eton
Flaming Cow, Eton, United Kingdom
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Viva L'Italia
Dining in Windsor and Eton
Viva L'Italia, Thames Street, Windsor, United Kingdom

 

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