17 great destinations for romance

Some say that romance is a lost art – but it’s not. It’s just hiding, waiting to be uncovered in some of the most beautiful places around the globe. Whether you are trying to show that special someone that they truly are special, making a proposal, or rekindling the flame you once had with your spouse, setting the stage is your first step to success. Whether you are searching for the perfect romantic spot close to home or halfway around the world, the following 17 destinations are sure to bring out the romantic in each of us.

Paris, France
Who could leave Paris off a list of romantic places? You simply can’t. Montmartre is the most romantic neighborhood in “the most romantic city in the world.” Begin your tour of this hilly district with a ride up the Montmartre funicular as it glides along on its heavenly ascent to the Basilica of Sacre-Cœur at the summit of the highest point in the city. From here a dazzling view of Paris unfolds before you. Amble slowly, hand in hand, and wind your way along romantic back alleys and cobblestone streets, taking in the magic of the artist’s corner of Place du Tertre, descending the stairs of Rue Foyatier. and concluding at 15 rue Lepic where Amelie Poulain immortalized romantic conjuring at Cafe des Deux Moulin.Rome, Italy
With more than 280 resplendent fountains, a “Rome-antic” tour of this city must undoubtedly center on a day of gastronomy. Enjoy a cafe latte near the Fountain of Triton followed by a tour of Palazzo Barberini. View the Barcaccia Fountain and make your way up (and down) the Spanish Steps for fantastic vistas of Rome and savour a calzone from an authentic Roman trattoria.

At Piazza Navona, view the Fountain of the Four Rivers and the Fountain of the Moor followed by an alfresco dinner and soak up the sights and smells. A bewitching time to enjoy the Trevi Fountain is late at night when mystical illumination cast spells and shadows. Before the effects of a day filled with romance takes over drop in to Il Gelato di San Crispino, reported to be the best in Rome.

Florence, Italy

In E.M Forster’s novel “A Room with a View,” Lucy Honeychurch found romance (and the view) in the orange and rose-scented hills of Fiesole overlooking Florence. Grab a table and soak up local flavor as art and culture surrounds you. Book your own room with a view at Hotel degli Orafi.

London, England

Place the sights of London at you feet aboard the London Eye, the largest ferris wheel in Europe rising 443 majestic feet above regal London. Pop the question in a private capsule kitted out with a bottle of Pommery champagne and decadent truffles. The 30 minute rotation of the capsule allows plenty of time to overcome any objections.

San Francisco, California

The “City by the Bay” is as photogenic as Grace Kelly. There’s something almost transcendental about Golden Gate Bridge, the cable cars, Coit Tower, Alamo Square, and Lombard Street that naturally stirs up salacious appetite. We’ve been smitten for years and the affair hasn’t seemed to ebb. The bar on the top floor of the Mark Hopkins Hotel offers stunning, 360-degree panoramic views.

Venice, Italy
A gondola ride in Venice has a heavenly price tag, but is a memory to last forever. There is simply nothing quite as romantic as settling into a red velvet-cushioned gondola as your gondolier paddles slowly through quiet canals and under historic bridges as you drift back into the 16th and 17th centuries. A bottle of Valpolicella beforehand at the Piazza San Marco and your gondolier could sound like Pavarotti.

Budapest, Hungary
Once considered the Paris of Central Europe, Budapest offers a heady blend of Eastern and Western European culture. Stroll over the Danube at Chain Bridge and take the funicular up to the Gothic Quarter with resplendent views over the city. Revel in centuries-old architecture and reasonably priced, hearty food and wine. Budapest is the only large city in the world with 118 natural thermal springs supplying nearly 20 million gallons of healing water every day. One of the most impressive is Gellert Spa.

Bruges, Belgium

Think Venice without the crowds. Medieval Bruges abounds with Gothic churches, 17th-century mansions, sparkling canals and flower markets. Most other European cities you’re looked at with disdain for eating on the street. Bruges responds with pedestrian-friendly pommes frites (fries in the US), stuffed into a paper cone, dusted with salt and slathered with mayonnaise. Go to the Louvre for art. Go to Bruges for chocolate. Consider the possibilities at the town’s official website.

San Diego, California
Can’t splurge on a romantic weekend in Paris? Budget-conscious Americans can retreat to a “staycation” in La Jolla, an affluent suburb of San Diego. San Diego can be your affordable base to tour this romantic getaway blessed with 366 days of warm sunshine, trendy boutiques, swanky restaurants and an active arts and cultural community. Toss in a few sumptous stretches of beach, ranging from quiet coves to heady surf, and you have a place that most closely resembles the French or Italian Riviera. Accommodation ranges from a Best Western to the opulent La Valencia, known as La Vie. La Dolce Vita, stateside.

Buenos Aires, Argentina
The South American capital of Buenos Aires breathes sensuality. Voyeuristic spectators can observe on city streets as couples maneuver between emotions of love and hate, contempt and passion, repulsion and desire, all within a 3 minute dance known as tango. Ditch the marriage counselor back home and take lessons at La Catedral in the microcentro.

— The above was written by BriBuenosAires, Seed contributor

Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Nestled amongst the Leeward group of the Society Islands of French Polynesia in the South Pacific, Bora Bora is still somewhat of a hidden gem. Many have heard of it, but few have actually experienced its beauty. The island itself is surrounded by a lagoon and a barrier reef and is home to an extinct volcano. The lagoon holds some of the most truly breathtaking water you will ever see.

With average water temperatures in the 80’s year around, there is never a lack of water activities available for couples to partake in. For the more adventurous at heart, take a trip inland to the massive peaks of Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu. Bora Bora may take a little longer to get to, but if you are looking for a not so well trodden path to romance, then it is well worth the trip.

San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan is the second oldest European-settled city in the Americas, giving it a rich cultural and archaeological history. With average daily temperatures in the 80’s all year around, the weather is perfect for strolling downtown along the old streets that are covered in cobblestones or lounging on the white sandy beach with the ocean breeze blowing by.

San Juan has somehow managed to blend a modern metropolitan city with the antiquities of the past in a way that offers something for everyone. The pace is slow in keeping with its Latin roots, but vibrant nonetheless. The island of Puerto Rico is only 100 miles wide and 40 miles across making day trips to the tropical rainforests that cover the interior or the less crowded beaches of Ponce an easy drive. Beautiful beaches, stunning history and warm tropical nights filled with the sounds of Latin music – a definite recipe for romance.

Savannah, Georgia
Savannah is for the hopeless romantic. Take a step back in time to an era where romance was still alive and well. Savannah sits along the Savannah River and is only about 20 minutes from the Atlantic. Some of America’s most treasured eighteenth and nineteenth century architecture can be found in Savannah’s large historic districts.

With warm summers and cool winters, the weather in Savannah is usually agreeable. It’s almost impossible to walk down the streets of old Savannah and not envision ladies in antebellum gowns riding alongside their beau in a horse-drawn carriage. If old fashioned romance is what you are looking for, then Savannah is your city.

Bali, Indonesia
The island paradise of Bali covers about 2,000 square miles and is located at the westernmost tip of the Lesser Sunda Islands. With a history that dates back to at least 2000 B.C., the Balinese people are an interesting mix of Chinese, Arab and Indian. While you can find modern conveniences on Bali, you may also encounter pockets of native people that are forbidden to have contact with outsiders. If seclusion and privacy are your ingredients for romance, then Bali is the spot for you.

With temperatures in the 80’s year around, you will definitely want to find your own slice of beach paradise while you are there. Bali has gorgeous white sand over much of its beaches, but if you want to see something unusual, check out the black sand found on the west coast. Bali is one of the few places left where you can still find a secluded little cove along the beach to make your own little romantic hideaway for the day.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Puerto Vallarta can be found along the Pacific Coast of Mexico, in some of the most crystal clear water on the planet. The city itself somehow manages to blend modern restaurants and shops with centuries old architecture and culture. With perfect weather year around and breathtaking sunsets daily, you are bound to feel romance in the air here.

While you will find American tourists in Puerto Vallarta, you will find a more sophisticated class of tourists – this is not Cancun’s party central. Just a short drive to the north or south and you will find lovely little towns for shopping or more private walks along the beach. Mayan ruins and tropical rainforest canopy trips are also perfect day trips from Puerto Vallarta. Grab a margarita, pull up a rock and watch the sun set over the Pacific Ocean.

New Orleans, Louisiana
The Big Easy. If you like music, culture or people then this is the romantic city for you. The French Quarter in New Orleans is a world unto itself. Definitely skip Mardi Gras, but any other time of the year it feels as though you have been transported to another time and place where music and love are perpetually in the air. The people (or more appropriately – characters) that you will encounter in the French Quarter just seem to exude fun, happiness and romance. If you want to spend some time alone, follow the ocean along Interstate 10 for a day trip and soak up some of the most beautiful scenery the south has to offer. If you aren’t in love when you get to New Orleans, you will be when you leave.

Santorini, Greek Islands
Imagine watching a breathtaking sunset from your Santorini villa perched on the side of a volcano overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. It’s like being inside a Hallmark card. The views are like nothing found elsewhere on the planet. Black sand beaches cover most of the island but a gorgeous and unique red sand beach can also be found on Santorini. If you are feeling adventurous, there a number of islands close by, all within an easy day trip and just waiting to be explored. Romance seems to be carried on the wind in the Mediterranean and Santorini is a perfect example

— The above was written by Leigia Rosales, Seed contributor

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The ten best cities for sunbathing

After you’ve been cooped-up inside all winter, that first day of nice weather at home feels like a gift from heaven. Clothes come off, frisbees start flying and the hardcore sunbathing begins. Even if it’s still cold where you live, the prospect of warmer days ahead looms large. In preparation for the endless days of spring and summer, here’s ten of our favorite spots for sunbathing around the world. Grab yourself a towel and some sunscreen and check it out.

10. Barcelona, Spain
Barceloneta Beach is ideally located at the water’s edge in Barcelona with fantastic restaurant and nightclub options at the nearby boardwalk. While the cleanliness of the sand has been an object of controversy in recent years, Barceloneta cannot be matched for its proximity to the many urban options that Barcelona affords. When you tire of the Mediterranean sun, there is Las Ramblas, La Sagrada Familia, Montjuic, Park Guell, and the smattering of architectural tributes to Gaudi.9. Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles offers a wide variety of beaches, from gritty Venice Beach to trendy, hip Malibu. For the best sunbathing, Zuma Beach in Malibu is the destination. A city surrounded by beach options, Zuma is one of the largest and most popular options in Los Angeles County; known for its long, wide stretches of sand and excellent surf. It consistently ranks among the healthiest beaches for clean water conditions in Los Angeles County. Grab a red one-piece and imagine yourself in a Baywatch episode.

8. New York, New York (tie)
Manhattanites know about Carl Schurz Park. This 15 acre parkland on the Upper East Side boasts a waterfront promenade built over FDR Drive. Sunbathing options abound with winding, shady paths, green lawns, waterfront views, a large playground for children, and two dog runs. Bring a towel and picnic basket, plug in your iPod to Astrud Gilberto and imagine you’re on Copacabana Beach.

8. Punta del Este, Uruguay (tie)
South Americans looking for an escape retreat to Punta del Este, an upscale resort town invaded by wealthy denizens of Buenos Aires and Montevideo from early November until late February. With a heady ancestral mix of Spanish and Italian descendants, this Southern Hemisphere destination is perfect for those seeking the “endless summer.” Punta has scenic coasts and beaches with the Rio de la Plata on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. All beaches on the peninsula have public access. Sunbathers have the option of choosing quiet and calm areas to others with strong waves and the requisite surfers, all with fine white or golden sand.

7. Bondi Beach, Sydney
Located 20 minutes from central Sydney, Bondi (pronounced “Bond-Eye”) is the quintessential beach abounding with sun, sand, and sensuality You’d be hard-pressed to find more heavenly bodies than on this half-mile stretch of paradise. Bondi is replete with a wide range of food, entertainment and accommodation options nearby. Here you’ll find fantastic waves, sunbathing models, year-round sun and the coolest beach-side vibe anywhere. And if you really want to blend in and look like an Australian, take a surfing class. Lets Go Surfing, conveniently located in Bondi, is one of the most professional surf schools in Australia.

6. Boston, Massachusetts
Boston is certainly not a beach, and not anywhere near a very good beach. However, the banks of the Charles River come alive (and shirts begin to peel off) the moment mercury rises above 68. With a population of 1 in 6 attending any one of the many institutions of higher learning, this hip town has a great deal of young eye candy to enjoy without wandering too far from the dignified boundaries of Beacon Hill or the Back Bay. The Esplanade has miles of jogging and rollerblade trails, and an abundance of manicured lawns to enjoy your choice of literature from Isabel Allende to Emile Zola. After the sun sets, you may be lucky to enjoy a concert at the Hatch Shell.

5. Miami South Beach, Florida

It wasn’t long ago that South Beach was nothing more than a tawdry, tacky strip of forgotten beach land. South Beach has experienced resurgence in the past 20 years to become one of the “hippest” beach destinations in the US. The famous strip affords more miles of undulating sand and perfectly sculpted bodies than seems mortally possible. Beautiful bodies can be found on the beaches, but more so in the hotel pools that line the coast. At the end of the day, head inland a few blocks to the stylish clubs, restaurants and shopping along Lincoln Road, Washington Avenue and Ocean Drive.

4. Paris, France
Though not anywhere near a beach, Paris tops our list of “urban” sunbathing options. In 2002, Paris introduced “Paris Plage,” (Paris Beach), a free summer event that transforms the banks of the Seine River into 3 distinct districts. Those in search of a “traditional” beach (as “traditional” as one might find in a city of 3 million) should head between the Pont Neuf and Pont de Sully bridges. With classic French panache, this location features sand and grass beaches, parasols and chaise lounges–all free! Even the obligatory Le Hot Dog is served in French fashion–stuffed inside a baguette.

Near Pompidou Center, the area takes on a tropical flair, while in the northern reaches of La Vilette boating and water sport options abound. When the sun sets, enjoy many of free concerts offered throughout the season. Considering Paris already has nearly everything a visitor could want, we can now add the “Best City for Sunbathing” to the list.

3. Honolulu, Hawaii
With Diamond Head as an impressive background, the beach at Waikiki is a slice of Hawaiian heaven, offering great weather, good restaurants, and a two-mile stretch of fantastic, sandy beaches. Though Waikiki can be particularly costly (parking and food) and overrun with tourists, nearby Kuhio Beach Park is a quieter, more affordable option. The warm, clear, shallow waters cannot be beat. You may be fortunate to be present during the many events the beach hosts throughout the year, including surf competitions, hula dancing, outrigger canoe racing and outdoor performances. Don’t be tempted to lift one of the grass skirts to see if there’s some sort of vibrating mechanism underneath. These movements should not be attempted at home unless a chiropractor is nearby.

2. San Diego, California
In San Diego, the beach is a way of life, a source of pride and a defining influence in people’s lives. San Diego comes in a strong second due to the sheer number of beaches that run the length of an entire county, from its northern extremity at Oceanside to its southern border with Mexico. Additionally, with 365 days of perfectly balanced sunshine per year, San Diego can’t be beat. La Jolla, an affluent neighborhood with several stunning beaches, tranquil coves and foamy surf, is ideal for families.

Heading north, the exclusive communities of Del Mar, Solana Beach and Leucadia have dramatic coastlines and vistas. Film buffs will recognize the Hotel del Coronado from “Some Like It Hot” on Coronado Island. Your sunbathing may (or may not be) interrupted by troops jogging by as the San Diego Naval Base is situated nearby. When the sun sets, the many activities and pleasures of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, Mission Bay, and Sea World are at your doorstep.

1. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio’s Ipanema Beach has long been considered one of the Sexiest Beaches in the World, Combining the very best any city has to offer with great restaurants, fashionable clubs, and world-class museums, the beach at Ipanema tops our list. Brash with Brazilian style, Ipanema sways to its own captivating rhythm. Somehow I must have gotten by the sensors on the beach which magically prevents anyone from entering with more than a single-digit body fat index. With bravado, the young, fit and beautiful Brazilians hold court one of the most enticing sunbathing destinations on earth.

The 20 greatest cities in the world for foodies

Once upon a time, the world’s food capitals were a mere few well-known locales like Paris, New York, and Bangkok. All the action (and the eyes, and the forks) were focused there.

Recently, though, many areas of the world have expanded and improved both their menus and their talents in the kitchen, resulting in far more places staking their claims in the classy world of quality dining. Similarly, other cities have quietly cultivated some of the most amazing farmer’s markets on the globe, and their passion for fresh food has spread throughout their communities. Taken together, the following are the crème de la crème — the Greatest Cities in the World for Foodies.

Sydney, Australia

Australia imports very little of its produce; the great majority is harvested from local fields and farms promising fresh, flavorful dishes with the very best of in-season fruits and vegetables. In addition, the open-air Sydney Fish Market showcases the best and freshest seafoods from both the local area and from around the world. The Fish Market is an excellent place to shop, to grab some of the world’s finest sushi, and even to take some cooking classes in their recently renovated facility. For those soon to visit, here’s a list of prizewinning eateries in the Sydney area.

Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China
China’s south coast is a celebration of amazing foods. If you’ve got a taste for Asian-fusion, or the best dim-sum on earth, this is your city. The amount and variety of dining options is stunning, and whether you’re interested in street-side vendors, feasting in Yung-Kee where as many as five-thousand guests dine on their roasted goose every day (!), or meals carefully prepared by five-star chefs, Hong Kong has it on the menu.San Francisco, California, USA
For many foodophiles, San Francisco is a potentially surprising pick. However, what most don’t know is that San Francisco actually has a strong culinary heritage that began largely as the coincidental landing pad for many immigrants arriving in the United States from Asia. The melting pot of different flavors, traditions, and recipes that cultivated there spawned dozens of powerful contenders in the culinary industry. Combine that with one of the worlds strongest and most vibrant wine cultures and it doesn’t seem surprising at all for San Fransisco to make this list.

Pro tip: The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is held Tuesday and Saturday offering produce from small regional farmers and ranchers, many of whom are certified organic. If you don’t feel like buying fruits and veggies, the market also offers sweets, cheeses, and wines.

Melbourne, Australia
The Botanical, the Koko, the Vue de Monde… some argue that Melbourne is the food capital of Australia, and for good reason. Melbourne is host to some of the most fantastic dining establishments in the world, and might just have more restaurants than any other city on the continent. Its strong fashion sense and sharp clientele demand a classy dining experience and only the tastiest cuisine can last in a city with such competition. Award winners abound in central Melbourne, so any visit here is unlikely to disappoint.

Rome, Italy
It’s been said that it’s hard to eat poorly in Rome (or even perhaps anywhere in Italy). Here, at the birthplace of our modern pastas, you can expect the well known tradition of Italian dining to be at its absolute best, and like San Fransisco: the wine culture is certainly at the top of its class. This doesn’t mean you have to spend a load of money, though. Both five star class and some enticing cheap eats are available on just about every corner of the old city.

Mumbai, India
Any foodie looking for a taste of truly authentic India will be satisfied (and stuffed!) here. No matter what variety you’re looking for, be it coastal cuisine or seafood, a good kebab, or just some hot tandoori, it doesn’t get any better than this. The unique spices and flavors native to India offer a festival for the palate you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. Stop in to any one of the “innumerable restaurants” in the area and be prepared for something spicy! You won’t be able to say “naan” to these choices!

Montreal, Canada

Fresh, hot breads, rich and bitey cheeses, smoked meats, and sweet wines… Montreal is a gift to the palette. It has a history rich in perhaps the most renowned culinary culture on earth: of course, we’re talking about the French. The selection of restaurants in Montreal, be they casual or upscale, will have something on the menu capable of teasing even the most fickle of palettes, and the ingredients are fresh, often grown locally and sometimes picked just that day.

Buenos Aires, Argentina
Argentina’s capital is awash with cafes and shops, many specializing in just a quick bite to eat and many others capable of bringing the full bodied Argentinian flair to your plate (a new experience for many, a regrettable one for none). What really makes Buenos Aires’ kitchens worthwhile is their infusion of Spanish and Italian influences that form unique nuances derived from both, but brought to full potency only here, in Argentina.

— The above was written by Caleb Roy, Seed contributor.

Chicago, Illinois, USA
Once you bite into a Chicago-style hotdog, you’ll wonder why you’ve ever eaten another type. A typical Chicago hot dog includes a pickle spear, relish, tomatoes, mustard, onion, and even a dash of celery salt. You can find hotdog stands and restaurants throughout Chicago so there is no need for extensive search. However, for a traditional experience, try the South side.

Stann Creek District, Belize
Local foods consist of surprisingly simple ingredients and include fried chicken, tamales, and rice and beans. Flavored with local spices and flavors, food lovers who enjoy the unusual will find common ground with those that love the familiar. There is something here for everyone.

To truly eat like a local, go into town (dubbed the “cultural capital of Belize”) instead of staying on the resorts. For an extra bit of pleasure, pair the food with a Belikin. It’s the national beer of Belize and worth every calorie.

Springfield, Illinois, USA
Not many people know Springfield, Illinois as a great food town, but let me tell you about something called the horseshoe. For those that love cheese and meat, you have found your heaven. It starts with a piece of Texas toast and is followed by any type of meat you want (although buffalo chicken is especially popular). Throw some french fries on top of the meat, and plaster cheese sauce on top of the fries. Restaurants throughout the town offer this staple of Springfield diets, but the West side is especially plentiful in horseshoe restaurants.

Avery Island is home to Tabasco, the greatest thing to happen to food since the plate. Factory tours run 7 days a week and cost $1.

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
If you love gumbo and jambalaya, take a trip to New Orleans for a traditional delight. In addition to the cajun food, make sure you try the fried pastries (beignets) paired with a cup of coffee while you’re in town. If you like to bar-hop and need a bit of liquor to cool your mouth from the jambalaya, try the French Quarter to move between establishments.

Pro tip: Nearby Avery Island is home to Tabasco, the greatest thing to happen to food since the plate. Factory tours run seven days a week, and cost a paltry $1.

Venice, Italy
Venice has been a traditional port city for centuries and chocolate helped make it rich. It’s a tradition that has never left this city on the water. Chocolate shops are located throughout the city. However, to visit the affordable shops, venture away from St. Mark’s and the tourist area; try Santa Croce and the San Polo areas instead.

To top it all off, try a sgroppino. It’s a traditional cocktail with vodka, sorbet, mint, and sparking white wine.

Edinburgh, Scotland
Haggis is only for the truly brave of heart. This traditional dish consists of sheep innards mixed with onion, spices, and even oatmeal. I’ve found that each haggis chef cooks it a bit differently, but all haggis reminds me of salisbury steak. Tourists flock to restaurants on the Royal Mile that offer it just for the experience. However, if you wish to taste a more traditional haggis, step off of the Royal Mile and into a small family run shop. It may be more traditional and not cater to sensitive tourist bellies.

— The above was written by Victoria Ross, Seed contributor.

London, England
As early as the 13th century a food market existed under London Bridge on the south side of the Thames. Today, Borough Market (pronounced Burrah) is one of the largest food markets in the world offering an impressive display of conventional and organic produce, cheese, meats, wild and exotic game, seafood, wine, and baked goods. There are also a number of stalls within the market that offer prepared food. Join the adventure and get into the longest line. Don’t worry about what’s being sold at the other end.

Of course, London has been for some time a major food destination. With tourism and travel booming, the restaurant industry has been able to flourish — producing such gems as triple Michelin Star winner The Fat Duck overseen by Heston Blumenthal and his 12-course menu; or the Tamarind, a classy, casual eatery serving Indian cuisine that often sees celebrities like Madonna popping in for a quick bite.

Barcelona, Spain
La Boqueria market dates back to 1217 and is one of the more charismatic and intimate food markets in the world, located just off La Rambla. In a city known for seductive architectural influences, La Boqueria stands out as a gem. Here you will find a wide variety of diverse and colorful foods (and characters).

Bologna, Italy
Everyone expects to find great food in Italy. If your travels do not include Bologna, you’ll miss out on one of Italy’s greatest masterpieces. Behind the grand arcades of Piazza Maggiore are cobblestone streets where greengrocers, fishmongers, cheese merchants, butchers and bakers have plied their fare since Caesar was in power. Here you will find Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, Balsamic vinegar from nearby Modena, Parma ham and bags of tortellini hanging in shop windows. Impatient? There are countless restaurants and cafes worthy of their presence in this area of gastronomic heaven.

St. Petersburg, Russia
Did you know that Russians spend more money on food than any other European nation? It’s no wonder with options as the Yeliseyevsky Gastronom Market, housed in an Art Nouveau mansion built in 1901.

This grand emporium showcases exquisite seafood, meat, cheese, and baked goods. You will be amazed at the impressive quality and quantity of caviar on offer and will be hard pressed to find more opulent surroundings to showcase luxury items from around the world.

Tokyo, Japan
The Tsukiji fish market handles more than 2000 tons of seafood per day. A highlight of any visit to Tokyo is a 5am tour of the market to observe the auction of the most exquisite fish and the transfer of more than $5 billion US in this massive market complex each year. The best catches routinely find themselves prepared as world-class courses at restaurants such as Waketokuyama and Tsujitome.

Not only is Tsukiji the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world, but it’s one of the largest wholesale food markets of any kind, employing nearly 65,000. Just outside Tsukiji is an outdoor market offering not only exquisite seafood, but also produce and food-related goods, including an impressive selection of kitchen knives.

Toronto, Canada
A farmer’s market has been in existence at Front and Jarvis Street since 1803. Today, the St. Lawrence Market encompasses two buildings: the South Market, open throughout the week with more than 100 food vendors on the upper level, and hard-to-find exotic and international items on the lower level.

Every Saturday the North Market hosts a farmer’s market starting at 5am. Need inspiration? Located on the west mezzanine of the South Market, The Market Kitchen is a 2,400 square foot cooking school with exposed brick, 20 foot-high ceilings, and soaring views of the Toronto skyline.

— The above was written by BriBuenosAires, Seed contributor.

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