Guide: Rachael Ray's Travel Notes

Browse Rachael's tastiest food picks, city by city.

Show: Rachael Ray's Tasty Travels
Anchorage 
  • Rachael recommends: Reindeer sausage at Gwennie's
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  • Did you know? An ulu is a cutting tool crafted by native Alaskans. Rachael likes to use the rocking blade to prep herbs and chop things into a very fine paste.
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  • Rachael's fast fact: Juneau is the capital of Alaska, but Anchorage is Alaska's biggest city.


Atlanta

  • Rachael's insider tip: Discover the distinct personalities of Atlanta's diverse neighborhoods. Rachael likes Inman Park, Decatur, Virginia Highlands, Sweet Auburn and Buckhead.
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  • Rachael says: "The DeKalb Marketplace takes up more than 140,000 square feet and has more than 300 varieties of vegetables and 150 varieties of fruit from all over the world on any given day."
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  • Did you know? Coca-Cola originated in Atlanta. For $9, you can take a self-guided tour of the World of Coca-Cola Museum and learn about the history of Coke.
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  • Rachael's fast fact: The Varsity is the world's largest drive-in restaurant.
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  • The Varsity serves up a ton of onions, 2,500 pounds of potatoes, 2 miles of hot dogs and 300 gallons of chili — DAILY.

Austin

  • Did you know? The largest urban bat colony in the world lives under the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin.
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  • Austin's nickname is "The Live Music Capital of the World."


Boston

  • Did you know? Rachael's favorite MLB team is the Boston Red Sox.
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  • The No Name Restaurant is Boston's oldest restaurant under the same management. It was opened by John Contos in 1917 to serve the workers and fishermen on the pier and his family still runs the no-frills seafood spot today.
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  • Rachael's hot list for Boston: 
    "Chowda," aka Chowder: Farragut House, Union Oyster House, Atlantic Fish Co. 
    Pizza: Santarpio's Pizza 
    Dumplings: Kung Fu Garden


Chicago

  • Rachael's fast facts: Chicago is the largest inland city in the nation, and the second-largest city in the nation (after New York), giving it the nickname "Second City."
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  • Rachael's travel tip: "When a big city has a wide variety of eclectic neighborhoods, plan out your trip so you can visit specific regions instead of criss-crossing the city."
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  • Rachael's insider tip: The area of Chicago known as Bucktown got its name from goats kept in the backyards of residents in the early 1880s.
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  • Rachael's hot list for Chicago: 
    Thin-crust pizza in the deep-dish capital: Piece 
    Authentic Cuban comida: Cafe Laguardia 
    Chocolate fix: Hot Chocolate


Las Vegas

  • Rachael's fast fact: 35 million people visit Las Vegas every year.
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  • Rachael's insider tip: Head to the Top of the World restaurant on the 106th floor of the Stratosphere Hotel for a magnificent 360-degree view of Las Vegas.
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  • Rachael says: "Look for restaurants a little ways away from the main drag. You'll save money by getting off the beaten path and get a little more sightseeing in along the way."
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  • If you need a break from the sights and sounds of the Strip, head over to The Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Cactus Garden. Take a tour of the factory, sample gourmet chocolate and then walk it off in the 2.5 acre cactus garden where there are 350 different species of cactus and desert plants to see.
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  • Rachael's budget tip: For a free "show," check out the erupting volcano at the Mirage, the musical water show at the Bellagio and the pirates battling the sirens in front of Treasure Island.


Los Angeles

  • Rachael says: "When you're in a new city, check out the local farmers' markets. It's a great way to get a snack, save some money and have a totally fresh food experience." While you're in L.A., don't miss the Hollywood Farmers' Market.
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  • Rachael's hot list for L.A. 
    NY-Style Pizza in L.A.: Mulberry Street Pizzeria 
    Organic and Vegan Restaurant: Real Food Daily 
    Happy Hour: Joseph's Cafe


Twin Cities – Minneapolis & St. Paul

  • Did you know? United Noodles is one of the largest Asian supermarkets in the Midwest, selling more than 8,000 food products from more than 15 countries.
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  • Rachael's tip: When visiting Minneapolis, head to a stretch of real estate unofficially called "Eat Street," a showcase of more than 50 ethnically diverse restaurants and food markets.
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  • Rachael's Minneapolis must-see: The Walker Art Museum
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  • Rachael's hot list for Minneapolis & St. Paul: 
    Food 24/7: Mickey's Diner 
    Sweet treats: Chocolate Celeste 
    Tasty tapas: Solera


New Orleans

  • Did you know? Cajun and Creole cuisines are influenced by European, African, Native American and French Acadian cultures.
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  • Rachael on Cajun vs. Creole: "Creole cooking is based on classic French traditions with influences from Spain, Africa, Italy and the West Indies. Cajun's roots are from more rural areas, where the Cajuns, also known as Acadians, developed a more pungent and peppery cuisine from their homes in the Louisiana swamplands."
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  • Rachael's travel tip: Travel by streetcar on the historic St. Charles line. For just $1.25, the streetcar ride is a fun and affordable way to see the beauty of the New Orleans Garden District, Loyola and Tulane Universities and Audubon Park.
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  • Legend has it that the popular New Orleans sandwich, po'boy, got its name during a transit strike in 1929. A pair of brothers took pity on the striking transit workers called "poor boys" and began offering sandwiches made from leftovers.
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  • The birth of the dessert Bananas Foster was at Brennan's Restaurant in 1951. Brennan's uses 35,000 pounds of bananas each year to make the original, tasty dessert.


New York City

  • Rachael's "must-see" museum is the Museum of Modern Art. Visit on a Friday night from 4pm-8pm and admission is free.
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  • Since eating out in New York City can get pricey, fondue restaurants offer a fun dining experience for less. Rachael thinks fondue is "very cute and sexy" because couples can feed one another. It's also great for low-carbers who can dip veggies and meat in the cheese and skip the bread.
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  • Rachael's best bet for one-stop shopping in NYC: Chelsea Market, a culinary mecca that offers some of the city's freshest seafood, meat, produce, breads, desserts and even flowers.
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  • Did you know? Before Chelsea Market became a wholesale retail food complex and also the home of Food Network, it was the Old New York Nabisco Factory where the Oreo cookie was invented.
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  • Budget tip: Chelsea Wine Vault in Chelsea Market offers free wine tastings on Saturdays from 1pm-5pm.


San Francisco

  • Did you know? Sourdough bread has been a staple in San Francisco since the gold-mining era.
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  • Rachael's insider tip: The Ferry Marketplace is a great spot to explore gourmet restaurants, cafes and food markets. Several days a week it is home to a huge farmers' market.
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  • Did you know? San Francisco has the largest Chinese community on the West Coast.


Seattle

  • Rachael's fast facts: "Seattle is the birthplace of the grunge music movement, the tech boom and the inspiration for the nation's gourmet coffee obsession."
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  • Rachael's best bet for java: Top Pot Coffee & Doughnuts
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  • Rachael's insider tip: "A great way to save money is by trying places that offer dinner and entertainment. It's like getting a two-for-one."
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  • Rachael's hot list for Seattle: 
    Burger joint: Dick's Drive-In 
    Live music: The Crocodile Cafe 
    Wine menu: Impromptu 
    Innovative Asian cuisine: Wild Ginger


Trinidad

  • Rachael's fast fact: Trinidad is the twin island republic of Trinidad & Tobago.
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  • Best on-the-go grub: A "doubles" is a sandwich that starts with a piece of fried, split-pea bread, called bara. Then it's topped with curried chick peas, or channa. You can spice it up with your choice of a specialty sauce, tasty chutney or sliced cucumbers in a pepper sauce. Then it's finished off with a second piece of bread. A "roti" is a burrito-like meal that is usually packed with curried goat, potato or chicken.
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  • Rachael's fast facts: Calypso music and pan music (aka steel drums) started in Trinidad. Steel-pan music took off in the late 1930s when oil drums were brought to Trinidad by U.S. troops.
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  • Trinidad food staples: 
    Pawpaw, an exotic fruit that has a mango banana flavor 
    Callaloo, a creamy Creole dish that is similar to spinach 
    Soursop, a tart fruit that makes up one of the island's most popular beverages
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  • Best bet for bird watchers: Because Trinidad is located on the migratory flight path of hundreds of species of birds, it is natural aviary and a great place to break out your binoculars.
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  • Talk like a Trinidadian: The expression, "liming" means hanging out, or chillin' out. Some say the term was coined when the British Navy would dock in Trinidad. The locals would hang out with the British, aka "the Limeys," and that's how the expression was created.
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  • Rachael's must-see: The botanical gardens in The Queen's Park Savannah are home to one of the oldest collections of exotic plants and trees in the Western Hemisphere.
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  • Best bet for beer: Carib
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  • Did you know? Angostura Bitters are native to Trinidad & Tobago, and the company has kept their legendary recipe a secret since 1824.


Vancouver

  • Rachael's fast facts: Vancouver is the biggest port city in Canada, with more than 200 parks, 11 miles of beaches and the third-largest urban park in North America, Stanley Park.
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  • Did you know? The Sequoia Grill was originally an officers' mess hall during WWII.
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