Stephen Travels

And he's ready to take you with him.


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Gorgin’ on Georgian

Veal stew, Old Tbilisi Garden, New York, New YorkExactly one week after watching a television show about traveling to Georgia (the ancient land tucked into the Caucasus region, not the Peach State), I stumbled upon a Georgian restaurant in New York. With fresh mental images of this intriguing foreign land, I knew I had to take advantage of this fortuitous coincidence and stop here for lunch to sample the flavors of this faraway nation. Read about Old Tbilisi Garden >


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A Memorable Moroccan Meal in Toronto

As one of the most multicultural cities in the world, Toronto, Ontario, is home to people from nearly every country around the globe. From excellent cafés to ethnic eateries, Toronto and its residents, representing more than 230 nationalities, offer up just about every cuisine you can think of. One restaurant that rises to the top is The Sultan’s Tent & Café Maroc, where the compelling décor goes hand in hand with the exceptional menu. Read about it >


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Mangia in One of Little Italy’s Best Restaurants

Tables at Da Nico Ristorante, New York CityNew York’s Little Italy needs help. Slammed by COVID-19 travel restrictions that clobbered its all-critical tourist trade, as well as by neighboring Chinatown’s typhonic expansionism, Little Italy has been shrinking for decades. Now concentrated along Mulberry, Mott, and Grand streets, Little Italy gets littler by the year. But you can still find the oldest cheese shop in the United States (opened in 1892 and now co-owned by actor Tony Danza), the oldest souvenir and gift store in the neighborhood (since 1910), gelato shops and bakeries, a ravioli and pasta store that’s been around since 1920, and a good number of restaurants. I decided to show some love, and financial support, to Da Nico Ristorante, a family business that owns and operates a kitchen where your nonna would be completely comfortable. Read more about it >


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Ties to Thais

Thai Farm Kitchen, New York CityNew York’s South Street Seaport used to teem with the arrival of imports from faraway nations and of immigrants ready to start a new life in the New World. Hammered by the collapse of New York’s shipping industry starting in the 1950s, the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and the economic devastation wreaked by COVID-19 in 2020–21, the Seaport has seen its fortunes rise and fall. This resilient district is now rising again, and it still attracts international crowds, especially in its food scene, ranging from Irish pubs to Japanese sushi restaurants. One such standout is Thai Farm Kitchen, which sources its flavorful ingredients not only from new organic farmers in the United States, but from its old partners in Thailand. Read about it >


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Unforgettable Café Culture Experiences

Cafe Tortoni, Buenos Aires, ArgentinaYou’re ready to start your day with a light breakfast. Or you’ve been working your way through the morning sights and need a little midday nourishment. Or you’re up for a late evening cup of coffee and something sweet. No matter what time of day, a welcoming café invites you in with a tempting menu and a closer look at local customs, and the best ones do it in fine style. Read about the top five cafés >


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Delicacies and History at Píwníca Rajców in Gdansk, Poland

Píwníca Rajców, Gdansk, PolandNight was already falling when I arrived in Gdansk, Poland, so further exploration of the city would have to wait until the next day. For now, I settled at an outdoor table at Píwníca Rajców, the first of many excellent restaurants throughout Poland (although Gdansk remained the best). Eating al fresco became the norm, a wonderful opportunity to enjoy outstanding meals while watching the daily life of local Poles unfold before me. And I enjoyed it all while listening to the sputtering water of the Neptune Fountain and the sounds of some very talented street musicians. Read more>


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Dining at an Old Favorite in Wichita’s Old Town

Within a couple of blocks from the wonderful Hotel at Old Town in Wichita, Kansas, I found a terrific place for breakfast (Egg Cetera) to start my day, and an equally terrific place for dinner — Larkspur Bistro & Bar — to finish off the day of exploring this historic district with a dinner distinguished by a remarkable fusion of flavors and textures in a warm and friendly setting. Read more >


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Classic Polish Cuisine in a Favorite Polish City

An evening of music from Poland’s greatest composer. A massive square bordered by beautiful buildings with colorful façades. A seat beside arguably the country’s most striking Town Hall. Street performers who provide a lively backdrop. It all melded together seamlessly when I enjoyed a traditional Polish dinner at Pod Fredra in the wonderful city of Wrocław, Poland. Read more >


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Big Flavors in Little Italy in Providence, Rhode Island

My plan for an afternoon in Providence, Rhode Island, was to explore Federal Hill, home of the city’s Little Italy, capping it off with dinner in one of the Italian restaurants there. Along the neighborhood’s main strip, Atwells Avenue, my appetite increased every time I passed by a tempting menu or the opportunity to indulge in some gelato, and inhaled the aromas of pastry or cheese emanating from the grocery stores. Perfectly primed for something extraordinary, I took a seat in Ristorante Il Massimo for a meal at Rhode Island’s best restaurant of 2019. Read more >


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Glory Days Restored at The Boiler Room in Tulsa, Oklahoma

The Boiler Room, Tulsa, OklahomaDowntown Tulsa, Oklahoma, was quiet on a Monday evening. Only a couple of restaurants were open for dinner — an improvement over Sunday evening, when even Arby’s closed at six. The closest of these to my hotel was located inside the historic Mayo Hotel, which I had visited earlier in the day at the start of my tour of the city’s art deco treasures. That short-lived but long-enduring style flows into The Boiler Room, where you can enjoy a contemporary meal and still party like it’s 1929. Read more >