3 days in Hanoi

Hello! Its been already a month ago since I visited Vietnam but I didn’t find any time earlier to tell you about my trip. Let’s start with Hanoi, which was almost similar to how I imagined it. Full of lantern, motobikes, street vendors, eateries and most of all chaos. Traffic rules don’t exist here, traffic rules don’t have any function and transporting the whole family on one motorcycle (without wearing a helmet) is the most ordinary thing in the world.

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Cafe Nola

CAFE NOLA (89 Ma May, Old Quarter Hanoi). $$

Hi Folks!

Just a quick update of my life lately. I am currently road tripping in Vietnam and wanted to share this lovely cafe I visited during my stay in Hanoi (pictures snapped in IPhone). 

Cafe Nola Hanoi Vietnam

Cafe Nola Hanoi Vietnam

Located in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, Cafe Nola is basically a 3 floor) house with many homey rooms turned into cafe. I loved the variety of rooms to relax and the quirky retro style decor in every room. 

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10 Cupcakes to try

In part I of the sweetness galore, I shared my favorite Ice Cream spots with you. But I had more guilty pleasures, not just ice cream but also cakes, donuts, cookies, chocolate martini’s, candy bars…. Basically everything sweet and unhealthy. Now the last sweet thing I’d like to share with you are cupcakes. I cannot imagine that there’s a less cupcake minded city than New York City. Besides the big M sign, there’s not just a coffee shop on every corner. Also a cupcake place. There’s no way that I will be able to try them all out, but here are my 10 favorites so far (in random order):

 1. A Coconut Cupcake @ DC Cupcakes 

(111 Mercer street, between Spring and Prince street. Soho)

DC Cupcakes New York

 2. Mini Cupcakes  @ Baked By Melissa (various locations all over)

Baked By Melissa New York

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My 10 favorite sweet treats (except from ice cream)

I am not just an ice cream addict. I am having a weakness for all kinds of sweets. Besides ice cream, here are ten of my all time favorite sweet treats I could eat every day at any time (in random order):

1. A Cheesecake @ Eileen’s Special Cheesecake 

(17 Cleveland Place at Kenmare street. Soho)

For light, airy and super delicious New York Cheesecake. 

Eileen's Special Cheesecake New York

2. A Classic Cheesecake @ Junior’s (various locations

For a fabulous heavy classic cheesecake at New York’s most iconic cheesecake spot. 

Juniors new York

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Chinese on the cheap

Tomorrow is Chinese New Year, the day that we scare off the ghosts and celebrate luck, welfare and success. In my family we always exchange red envelopes with yellow coins inside. Red is supposed to scare the ghosts away and yellow brings luck. We celebrate this with a big Chinese dinner party at my parent’s home or in a restaurant. With lots of Chinese food off course. Are you celebrating Chinese New Year? And if so, do you eat Chinese on Chinese New Year? If yes, here are some of my favorite no frills Chinese spots on the cheap that you might consider: 

Cafe China New York

1. Cafe China (13 East 37th street, between 5th avenue and Madisson avenue. Midtown East). $$

To my knowledge, this authentic Sichuan restaurant is the only Michelin-star restaurant where you can have a two course meal for less than $10 (11.30 am -3 pm Monday- Friday). If you like spicy, order the Tree pepper chicken, Spicy Cumin Lamb or Ma Po Tofu and Pork Dumplings on the side. If you’re not into spicy, have some Tea Smoked Duck, Kung Pao Chicken or Chinese Broccoli. 

Cafe China New York

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10 places in Korea Town

Like an abundance of noodle bars, there is also an abundance of Korean (BBQ) restaurants in New York City. A lot of them are located in Korea Town, centered around 32nd street between 5th and 6th avenue. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much Korean restaurants concentrated in one area outside Korea. If you are in Koreatown and don’t have a clue which one to visit, here are some places you might consider:

1. New Wonjo (23 West 32nd street, between 5th and 6th Avenue). $$

My favorite for Korean BBQ. Order: Scallion Pancake, A BBQ- Combo.

KoreaTown New York

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20 Big Apple Sandwiches worth eating

Sandwiches New York

One thing I noticed immediately the first time I visited New York, was the habit to buy sandwiches every morning for breakfast or afternoon for brunch. From plumber to  policemen to businessmen, I noticed that basically everyone was buying their sandwich. Not a very common thing (yet) in Amsterdam, where I used to make my own sandwich every morning and take them to the office in a plastic lunchbox.

Anyway, since I think that most Big Apple sandwiches from the sandwich place (with multiple thick layers of cheese or meat) are way better than my own-homemade (single layer of cheese or meat) sandwich I took over this habit and stared buying my sandwich outside instead of making my own homemade sandwich. Consequently, I tried out many different sandwiches from various places in Manhattan. I am mostly familiar with the sandwiches available in the Lower East Side, West Village and Midtown West/ Hell’s Kitchen. Because that’s the area where I had most of my breakfast- and lunch breaks.

I did not discover that many yummy sandwich places in other neigbourhoods yet and there are still an uncountable number of sandwiches still to discover yet. That’s right, I am reaaaallly interested in more insider tips :). 

But here some sandwich places that I think are worth a visit during breakfast time or at your daily lunch break: 

Lower East Side

1. Tiny’s little giant sandwich shop

(129 Rivington  street, between Essex and Norfolk street. Lower East Side)

For indeed. Giant Sandwiches in a small cozy cafe. Check out more of my Lower East Side Favorites here

Tiny's Giant Sandwich Shop New York Lower East Side

Tiny's Giant Sandwich Shop New York Lower East Side

2. Cheeky Sandwiches 

(35 Orchard street., between Canal street and Hester street. Lower East Side)

 A cute little sandwich shop serving the best fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits in town.

Cheeky Sandwiches Lower East Side New York

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DE YSBREKER

DE YSBREKER (Weesperzijde 23. Amsterdam-Oost). €€

Ysbreker is one of those large restaurants that despite it’s space still manages to create a cozy feel. This modern restaurant is good for basically all kinds or occasions; breakfast, brunch, dinner, after work drinks, cocktails nights, little bites, birthday parties, family dinners, date nights and more. 

Ysbreker Amsterdam

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