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Shanghai
Auspicious Eating: Ringing in the Year of the Monkey

As the moon starts to wane each January, people throughout China frantically snatch up train and bus tickets, eager to start the return journey to their hometown to celebrate the Lunar New Year (春节, chūnjié) with their family. This year, revelers will make an estimated 2.5 billion journeys on the train system alone, up 100 million from last year; at least another billion bus, plane and car trips add to the travel chaos. One of the major draws for migrant workers heading home is the chance to eat traditional, home-cooked meals with relatives. Continue »

Athens
Loukoumades: An Ancient Doughnut Hole’s Revival

In the era of such food crazes as the “cronut,” it seems that every city has its own classic fried-dough treat that is now being reimagined, and in Athens, loukoumades (think of them as the Greek predecessor of doughnut holes) seem to be getting a major overhaul as of late. Why revamp such a perfect childhood classic, you might ask? Continue »

Tbilisi
Citron Plus: From Stage to Table

Tbilisi’s Vake Park district is an upscale neighborhood full of designer cafés and fancy-looking Georgian-European restaurants offering mediocre grub at prices that complement the black SUVs and silver Mercedes that crowd the streets. Sure, you can find a good place that serves up the typical tasty Georgian menu at a fair price. Continue »

Barcelona
La Cuina del Guinardó: Refinement, to Go

Up in the high streets of the Horta-Guinardó hills, not far from the old historic building of L’Hospital de La Santa Creu i Sant Pau, there is a restaurant with a big concentration of culinary talent but just eight tables. To make things worse, they are only available during two hours for lunch. Continue »

Istanbul
Korkmaz Büfe: Poetry in Rotation

Istanbul’s Kadıköy district on the city’s Asian side has long been billed as a calmer, more laid-back alternative to some of its swarming, chaotic European counterparts, and it seems everyone’s figured that out by now. Continue »

Lisbon
Reviravolta: Fernando’s Hideaway

A particularly eye-catching landmark in Lisbon’s Alfama district is the Casa dos Bicos (“House of the Spikes”), a 16th-century palace – once home to the Portuguese viceroy of India, and now housing the José Saramago Foundation – that has a bizarre façade of spiked stones and eclectic doors and windows. Just next to it is Reviravolta, a modest neighborhood tasca that serves up a dish with similarly iconic status: cozido a Portuguesa. Continue »

Rio
Zeca’s Restaurante: Eating on Rio’s Fantasy Island

Watching residents of Paquetá Island between the turnstiles and gate to get their ferryboat home from Rio’s central Praça XV port is like watching horses chomp at the bit before their stable doors are opened. The 5,000 proud homebodies of Rio’s little car-less island in the center of Guanabara Bay are anxious to get back to it, often pulling tall shopping carts stacked with beer and snacks. Continue »

Mexico City
CB on the Road: Striking Culinary Gold in Zacatecas

Although, thanks to its once flourishing silver and gold mines, the north-central Mexican state of Zacatecas was an economic powerhouse during the colonial period and the early years of the Mexican republic, its cuisine is not as well known in Mexico City as that of states such as Oaxaca and Michoacán. Continue »

Athens
Kali Parea: In Good Company

Settled by Greek refugees from Turkey after 1923, Nea Erythraia is a northern suburb of Athens that started off very low-key and has now evolved into a buzzing shopping and nightlife area, full of cafés, bars, restaurants and gelaterias. Despite the recent boom, many places that have been local favorites for over a decade now are still popular. Continue »

Shanghai
Top Buns: Shanghai’s Best Baozi

Bāozi (包子), or steamed buns, are a basic, on-the-go meal. It’s rare to come across a shop selling these buns for more than 1.5 RMB (US$0.25), and yet, the past five years have seen a dramatic rise in the stature of this humble dish – thanks mostly to celebrity chef David Chang, whose Momofuku pork bun has become world-famous. Continue »

The Global Guide To Local Eats
Food Walks! Explore with Culinary Backstreets
When it comes to exploring a city's authentic dining scene, while the stomach should ideally serve as the best compass, the truth is that it's hard to find your way without good local advice. That's where Culinary Backstreets' food walks come in.
Istanbul Eats: Exploring The Culinary Backstreets
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