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good local and caucasian: ukraine/moldova/romania/poland

Hi,

We're two New Yorkers (one first generation Ukrainian-American) coming to Eastern Europe for a week in May/June.

We're looking for good, authentic non-touristy local restaurants in the following cities:

Ukraine: Kyiv, Odesa, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk,

Moldova: Chisinau

Romania: Gura Humorului area; Maramures area around Sighet (heard that the best food is at
village homestays?; please advise)

Poland: Zamosc

We both enjoy skillfully prepared Slavic and Romanian cuisine at reasonable prices.

Also interested in Georgian, Uzbek, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Turkish, Tajik and other Caucasian/Central Asian cuisines. Even Korean.

NOT interested in Italian or Chinese or Mexican or the kind of ethnic food you can find in the States.

One of our grandfathers worked as a cook/butcher in Ukraine, so we're familiar with Slavic home cooking (we love lamb, roast pork, varenyky, stews, wild game, meatballs, soups, and good sausages, but we don't really like "chicken kiev," smoked fish, or anything with too much smetana or mayo). Pelmeni are also delicious.

We don't care if the restaurant is rustic or refined or a humble café, as long as it's not a tourist trap or an overpriced place with crazy decor and a floor show (although if the food is outstanding and the prices are ok, we can sometimes deal with crazy decor).

But basically, we want to eat where local people who appreciate good food would go. Eating and drinking are a big part of our vacation.

Please advise.

athens, sifnos, delphi, kastraki, monodendri

Now THAT, sir/ma'am, sounds like a find. Will do during our time in Sifnos. Thanks much for the recommendation. I think I saw one of your posts stating that the fish was priced quite reasonably, as well. Even better.

Really hoping to find some good eateries in Kastraki/Kalambaka and in Delphi that won't be lazily cooked tourist sludge...

Apr 09, 2008
chuletitas in Europe

athens, sifnos, delphi, kastraki, monodendri

We will arrive in the afternoon. Maybe 2pm at the airport if our flight is on time. So maybe we will eat at 4 or 5pm or later, after we check into our hotel and arrive in the city.

We will be in Athens for three days, May 26-29. We leave for Sifnos on the morning of the 29. And then we will return to Athens for another three days at the end of May.
So six days total.

Maximum euros per person? Don't know exactly, hard to say. (Exchange rate for dollars is terrible now.)

Price depends on the food. Typically 12-25 euros/person for dinner. Less for lunch (less for dinner is also ok!), we will need some cheaper suggestions. We could spend 40 euros/person or more for something really, really memorable... but we can only afford to do this a couple of times. Obviously, something rare or special is worth more money, but cheaper places are better for us. We love basic taverna food...

Apr 08, 2008
chuletitas in Europe

albania, macedonia, bulgaria

Hi,

We are looking for authentic, excellent, possibly regional cuisine at a reasonable price.

We're budget travelers, but we have more cash than backpackers. We need to reach everyplace by public transport, as we won't be driving. We're not interested in tourist restaurants (don't care about an English menu), trendy places (unless they're totally amazing and they merit the extra money) or fusion food. Lamb, goat, mezedes, seafood (nothing fancy), all good... Serious Chowhound food, Balkan-style. We've been to the general area before, but only to Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Greece.

Please share your recommendations for the following places:

1. Saranda (Albania), also around Butrint and the seaside.

2. Berati (Albania), and possibly Gjirokaster where we change buses

3. Ohrid (Macedonia), maybe also Sveti Naum

4. Skopje (Macedonia)

5. Sofia (Bulgaria)

6. Koprivshtitsa (Bulgaria)

Note: we also have a post on the Greece/Turkey board for that leg of the trip. Please check if you can help.

Thanks!

Apr 08, 2008
chuletitas in Europe

athens, sifnos, delphi, kastraki, monodendri

Hi,

We are looking for authentic, excellent, possibly regional Greek cuisine at a reasonable price.

We're budget travelers, but we have more cash than backpackers. We need to reach everyplace by public transport, as we won't be driving. We're not interested in tourist restaurants (don't care about an English menu), trendy places (unless they're totally amazing and they merit the extra money) or fusion food. Lamb, goat, mezedes, seafood (nothing fancy), all good... Serious Chowhound food, Greek-style. We've been to Greece before, but only to the Dodecanese.

Please share your recommendations for the following places:

1. Athens (we will arrive on Easter Sunday; any recommendations for roast lamb?--add Turkish food and souvlaki to the usual list of tavernas and ouzerias)

2. Sifnos (staying in Apollonia, but it's not a very large island)

3. Delphi

4. Kastraki (or Kalambaka)

5. Monodendri (bus stops off in Ioannina, anyone been to Es Aei there?)

Thanks!

Apr 08, 2008
chuletitas in Europe

Suggestions for N. Portugal, Galicia, & Barcelona?

Two New Yorkers seeking some outstanding, non-touristy restaurant recommendations for a month in in northern Portugal and Galicia, Spain. Also, Barcelona.

We won't have a car, so places that are easy via public transport are appreciated.

No tourist traps (unless they're absolutely delicious) and no overly expensive scene restaurants (is John Malkovich's place in Lisbon really worth our time?) unless they're worth the hype.... Looking for hole-in-the-wall cheap to the upper range of moderate in terms of price.

PORTUGAL:
We seek: good value traditional and regional Portuguese; simple seafood lunches; worthwhile (but not prohibitively expensive) modern and upscale Portuguese; food from former colonies Mozambique/Cape Verde/Angola/Sri Lanka/Goa in the following cities. Good, local, cheapish wine and beer bars are also a plus. :

CITIES: Lisbon, Peniche, Obidos, Coimbra, Porto, Guimarães, Amarante

SPAIN:
We seek: good value traditional Gallego; simple seafood lunches; pintxos/tapas; worthwhile (but not prohibitively expensive) modern and upscale Gallego; Basque food. Good, local, cheapish wine and beer bars are also a plus. :

CITIES: Vigo, Santiago..., A Coruña, Cambados, Betanzos, surrounding fishing villages worth seeing

BARCELONA only: We seek: good value traditional Catalan; paella, tapas, simple seafood lunches; worthwhile (but not prohibitively expensive) modern and upscale Catalan; molecular gastronomy joints worth splurging on (obviously, El Bulli is too booked/expensive/hard to get to for us...). Good, local, cheapish wine and beer bars are also a plus.

Thanks!

May 11, 2007
chuletitas in Spain/Portugal