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    5 Delicious Foods to Eat in Southern California

    Los Angeles is no stranger to the food scene. You can find a ton of unique eats there, but LA isn’t the only place in Southern California to eat delicious food. Below are some of the best things I ate during a recent SoCal trip (Ventura, Anaheim, Irvine, & Orange). Enjoy!

    1. Golden Latte + Green Dream Smoothie Bowl Harvest Cafe

    I had just finished a run on Ventura Beach and was super hungry, but I didn’t want to eat something that would undo my workout. It was also kind of early so I had to find a place that was open. Harvest Cafe in downtown Ventura checked all of those boxes. Their golden latte is made with homemade cashew milk and turmeric. No coffee! Turmeric can have a strong flavor, but this tasted creamy and slightly sweet. The green dream smoothie bowl was a nice addition to the latte. It was light yet hearty. I felt satisfied and healthy after I finished eating here.

    2. Goat Cheese Naan ADYA

    Adya can be found in the Anaheim Packing House. If you are looking for something non-Disney related to do around Disneyland, definitely check this food hall out. Adya has a traditional oven to make naan in, and I saw this naan made right in front of me. It was the perfect size as well, probably as big as my hand. The naan part was fluffy and warm and was stuffed with the perfect amount of goat cheese- not too much or too little. This was one of my favorite eats at the Anaheim Packing House.

    3. Sweet Potato + Cheese Pretzel Coffee Tomo

    If I told you this was a pretzel, would you believe me? It is stuffed with sweet potato and cheese, which seems like an interesting combination but it was really yummy! The pretzel was freshly baked and the bread part was still warm from being in the oven when I got it. It wasn’t too sweet or too savory. If sweet potato and cheese isn’t your thing, Coffee Tomo has other kinds of pretzels on their menu that I’m sure you’ll enjoy.

    4. Green Chilaquiles Anepalco

    The first time I had chilaquiles was at my friend’s house. His grandmother is Mexican, and she would make this dish for parties. Years later, I have not been able to find chilaquiles that taste as good as hers, until I went to Anepalco. Located in Orange, CA, Anepalco is known for their chilaquiles. They have a red and green version. Both are amazing, but the green one was my favorite. The tortilla had absorbed the flavors in the green sauce and the pumpkin seeds added a nice crunchy texture that complimented the rest of the dish. Also, my mouth is watering right now.

    5. Grilled Cheese Animal Style In-N-Out Burger

    Believe it or not, this was my first time having In-N-Out. My friend knew that I was an In-N-Out virgin and said that she would order for me. She literally told me not to say anything at the register. She ordered an off the menu item for me: a grilled cheese, animal style. A grilled cheese here is just like a regular burger minus the bun. I don’t think I have had anything that tastes so good. It’s probably a good thing we don’t have any of these here, or else I would be 20 pounds heavier.

    6 of the Most Delicious Foods I Ate in Manhattan, New York

    The food scene in New York rivals that of other big cities. Almost every major and micro cuisine is represented in the Big Apple. Here are some of the best things I ate during my trip to New York. This list is based on no particular criteria whatsoever, and the list goes in no particular order. And, seriously, you have to try the cronut when you’re there. You just gotta. You can thank me later.

     

    1. Blood Orange Almond Cronut Dominique Ansel Bakery

    Dominique Ansel Bakery, in SoHo, is the original NYC spot where the cronut was invented. Yes, there was a line out the door. Yes, I woke up early on a Saturday morning in New York to stand in line (alone) so I could get my friends and I some cronuts. Yes, it was totally worth it, and, yes, I would definitely do it again. Ever since they started selling cronuts, they have changed their cronut flavor every month, and a flavor has never been repeated!

     

    2. Butter Roasted Monkfish Union Square Cafe

    Union Square Cafe can be found in the Gramercy/Flatiron district. The monkfish came in a mushroom broth with turnips, napa cabbage, and toasted croutons. The fish was cooked perfectly. The mushroom broth brought all the components of the dish together. The broth had a strong, yet not overpowering, mushroom flavor, which I appreciated since sometimes vegetable broths can be a bit bland. Also, fun fact about this restaurant- you don’t tip here! The tipping costs are included in the food prices on the menu.

     

    3. Hot Stone Bowl Bibimbap BCD Tofu House

    Bibimbap is one of my comfort foods. At BCD Tofu House in Koreatown, I ordered just that. My favorite part about this dish is the layer of crunchy rice that forms at the bottom of the bowl. It adds a nice texture and complements the rest of the components in the dish. There are many BCD Tofu House locations on the east and west coasts. If you’re in the New York or Los Angeles area, you should check this place out!

     

    4. Smoked Salmon Tartine Bar A Vin

    My friends and I found this Financial District restaurant by accident and during their happy hour nonetheless. It was meant to be. The smoked salmon was super fresh, and the capers added the perfect tartness to the overall flavor of the tartine. We also had some amazingly delicious oysters, which were only $1 each since it was part of their happy hour deal. They weren’t too briny, they were big, and they had a lot of meat in them. It was my first time eating oysters from the east coast actually on the east coast!

     

    5. Dumplings Buddha Bodai

    I was so excited to stumble across Buddha Bodai, a vegan restaurant in Chinatown, since I don’t eat meat and most dumplings have meat in them. I finally got to try soup dumplings, or xiao long bao. You have to eat them fast or else the hot soup inside will overcook the dumpling wrapper. The cha siu bao was wrapped in this really fluffy, slightly sweet bao bread, and the filling inside was savory with an umami flavor. Needless to say, I was pretty satisfied after I ate here.

     

    6. Shrimp Ceviche Los Mariscos

    This little pocket of sunshine hidden inside Chelsea Market only does Mexican, street style seafood. Tacos AND fish? It was like a pescatarian dream come true. They had small plates of different kinds of ceviches, seafood tacos, etc. The shrimp ceviche was packed with flavor. It was spicy, citrusy, and the shrimp was not overcooked. The portion size was not too big, which is ideal since, if you’re in Chelsea Market, chances are that you want to try more than one thing.

     

     

    5 Coffee Shops to Visit When You Travel to San Francisco

    There are many differences and similarities between Chicago and San Francisco. One thing I always notice right away when I get to San Francisco is the lack of Starbucks cafes at every corner, which is a nice reprieve from all of the ones in Chicago, especially in the downtown area. While there are fewer Starbucks’ in San Francisco, there is no shortage of excellent coffee shops in SF. Here are a few that I always try to go to whenever I visit (in no particular order).

    1. Hollow 1435 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

    If you’re looking to get some work done on a weekend afternoon, Hollow is definitely the place to go. It is quaint and not rowdy, so you will be able to focus. Although this Inner Sunset coffee house seems small from the outside, there is a lot of seating on the inside. The matcha tea latte that I got was perfect too. It was full bodied, wasn’t overly sweet, and did not taste bitter. Also, that latte art though!

    2. Royal Ground Coffee 2342 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94121

    Royal Ground Coffee has many locations. I went to the Outer Richmond coffee shop because it was the closest one to where I was staying. I have been to other locations before, but the staff here are SUPER nice. They were so welcoming, that you couldn’t help but smile while ordering your drink or food. I ordered the lox bagel and it was delicious. The ingredients, especially the salmon, tasted very fresh. It was the perfect reward after completing the Land’s End hike.

    3. Trouble Coffee Company 4033 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122

    You can find Trouble Coffee Company in Outer Sunset, not too far from Ocean Beach (one of my go to spots in SF). This place is probably my all time favorite coffee shop in San Francisco. You can get a whole young coconut here! What other coffee shop do you know of that has coconut on their menu?? They also have different kinds of thick toast that you can get topped with cinnamon sugar, peanut butter, honey, or homemade jam. Yum! (Also, that sign says, “Sk8 or Die”)

    4. Devil’s Teeth Baking Company 387 Noriega St, San Francisco, 94122

    Devil’s Teeth is also located in Outer Sunset, and it is only a short walk from Trouble Coffee Co. They have amazingly delicious breakfast sandwiches. The buttermilk biscuit they use as the sandwich bread is baked fresh daily, in-house. I ordered the special breakfast sandwich, sans bacon. The biscuit is so fresh that it melts in your mouth and the lemon-garlic aioli brings all of the ingredients together…and my mouth is watering now…

    5. Blue Bottle Coffee Co  1 Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA 94111

    Technically, Blue Bottle is not unique to San Francisco, as it has cafes located in Los Angeles, New York City, and even Tokyo. However, the original Blue Bottle cafe originated in Oakland, CA. This coffee house focuses on freshness to bring out the best flavor from the coffee bean. I ordered a good ol’, normal latte Honestly, I am not the biggest fan of coffee. Caffeine has a strong affect on me and I prefer the taste of tea over coffee instead. However, I loved the way this latte tasted. It was rich, creamy, and very smooth.