Okay so I’m Asian and I love food, but that doesn’t mean I’m an expert on all Asian food. Of all the variety of Asian cuisine out there, I undoubtedly have strong opinions about Chinese food and Vietnamese food because that’s my heritage and that’s what I’ve been eating all my life. What I don’t know much about is Korean and Japanese cuisine. So when it comes to trying new Asian restaurants, it’s those that I’m going to go for because I want to continue broadening my experiences with each. Being in Atlanta, I have plenty to choose from! Last week I tried Yet Tuh, a small little spot off of Buford Highway. Thanks Instagram!
We got there extremely early so the place was completely empty. Its location is definitely off the beaten path but it’s well worth the trip. Again, I remind you that I know nothing about what good Korean food is supposed to be like. But I very much enjoyed most aspects of this dinner. It was tough to only be a two-person party because of how many items we ordered (we just had to try them), but that made for plenty of leftovers to carry me through the week. Of all the dishes, my favorite was
Yes, believe it – I have MORE photos from Charleston. The lighting was a bit weird for this one, but I have to share this little gem of a spot with you. A little bit more under the radar, and best of all was the bread flight. Three kinds of bread and three kinds of spread – I was there in a heartbeat. Everything was pretty tasty and it was a good spot for a low-key beer and shared meal; filled us up really fast!
Bear with me on all these Charleston pictures. I don’t get to travel much so when I do, I go just a little ham on the photography. Can you blame me? Charleston is a beautiful landscape of pastels that is easy to walk and easier to enjoy. We stayed a 15-min drive away from downtown so every day we just drove on over, parked, and took in the scenery on foot.
Earlier this week, I spent two-and-half days in Charleston. It doesn’t sound like a long time, but if you know me then you know that I can pack in a whole lot of sightseeing into one day. This was my summer mini holiday and so I wanted to go somewhere new and do all the things I love with the person I love. Those things include: eating, drinking, walking, marveling, and taking photos of it all. I’m breaking down my trip into categories so I can share every little bit of inspiration with you! And one of my new goals for the rest of this year is to make more time for short trips to nearby cities so that I can continue finding beautiful places and sharing them here.
Anywhere I travel, I have to visit coffee shops. Multiple coffee shops. Partially because I need coffee to function, but also because coffee shops are local cultural landmarks. No matter where I go, if I find the right coffee shop then I can get a glimpse into what it would be like for me to live in that city. So in a way they make me feel at home.
I would never consider myself a sophisticated coffee connoisseur, but I know what I like and what I don’t like. I visited a total of 4 coffee places in Charleston (narrowed down from many internet searches) and here’s what went down.
Black Tap Coffee
The vibe: quiet neighborhood, minimal interiors, a place to sit and work/read on your computer
What I got: black julep (a refreshing espresso, honey, mint concoction) & a blueberry lemon scone
How it made me feel: not cool enough. It was extremely quiet and anonymous inside; there were plenty of people around, but everyone was into their own space which is really good if you want to stay and linger for some peace. Great natural light coming in.
Would I go back again? Yes. I didn’t try their traditional coffee drinks because I had read about the Black Julep online prior to the visit. I would probably go back if I were alone and wanted to sit and think. They do play music so it’s not silent, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable having a private conversation in the shop.
The vibe: easy parking, more of a market/lunch place, meeting up with friends for a chat
What I got: cold brew and a cherry pistachio pastry… thing
How it made me feel: Casual. Definitely a great weekend spot or breakfast meeting place. They have a wide array of items for your pantry and dishes made to order, but it seemed bustling and perhaps a little more tourist-y. Loved the little patio seating area outside (but it was too hot to partake) and the decor shops right next door.
Would I go back again? Definitely. Delicious delicious pastry – which makes me think the rest of the food will probably done just as well. A place to go with family or friends to enjoy brunch and browsing.
The vibe: Accidentally happened upon this while walking around sightseeing. Found out it was actually a hotel cafe (there are many in Charleston), attached to The Restoration.
What I drank: another cold brew! it’s an easy go-to.
How it made me feel: I don’t know how I feel about hotel cafes. It was a lovely small space, completely empty and seemed like maybe only made for tourists or hotel guests.
Would I go back again? Probably not. My drink was sufficient due to my need for refueling, but it’s not a coffee destination for me. Totally acceptable though!
The vibe: Easygoing. It makes you want to stay a while, except there’s no wifi.
What I drank: vanilla latte
How it made me feel: really really good. As the last coffee visit in Charleston, it ended up being perhaps one of my favorites. The side patio is absolutely darling and this spot could easily become a staple in my life if I lived in Charleston.
Would I go back again? Definitely for sure. The patio was lush and serence, and my latte was just what I wanted.
That’s all I got! Did I hit all of the good spots? Probably not. But I think for two days, four coffee shops is definitely a good run. Next time I visit Charleston, I might find it hard not to go back to some of these!
I’m so happy that my good friend Kelly decided to unite her friends for a Bachelorette celebration in New Orleans! The weather was perfect and there just weren’t enough hours in the day to really soak all of it in. I’m convinced I need to go back for at least another long weekend for more long strolls and frozen Irish coffees (umm, DELISH).
NOLA is one of those cities that just looks unreal because it’s so adorable without being cheesy. There are different colors and wrought iron railings everywhere and I didn’t have the time to really capture everything that I was seeing around me.
The abundance of street musicians was also ridiculously charming. Yet another aspect I wish I had more time to enjoy.
PEDICAB!! If I could get everywhere via pedicab, I wouldn’t mind.
When I travel, I make it a point to find out where the locals have their coffee. Sometimes it’ll be a quaint little anonymous neighborhood cafe and other times it’ll be a nationally recognized coffee roaster. Of course with Chicago, it was the latter. I was lucky enough that Intelligentsia had a small locale nearby my downtown hotel, perfect for two visits in less than 24 hours.
I really enjoy the way Intelligentsia describes themselves and their various chosen headquarters:
Intelligentsia now has three cities it calls home: Chicago—a city that is brooding, practical and reluctantly beautiful; Los Angeles—a city that views creativity as a birthright, is immensely vast, decidedly impractical and equally messy and marvelous; and New York—a city of paradoxes, hulking but chock full of intimate corners, timeless but achingly current, polished but decaying, worldly yet oddly provincial, all crashing together in perfect cacophony (or is it harmony?).
Honestly, we love all of these places, but for very different reasons. Straight backed-Midwesterness gives us pragmatism and self-discipline, West Coast optimism leads us to believe anything is possible, and the dynamism of East Coast is an unending source of energy. This combination provides the fuel for what we love to do: sourcing, developing, roasting and delivering the best coffee in the world.
I’m far from being a coffee connoisseur, but I know what I like and what I don’t like. And if I were living in Chicago, I know that this would be one of my go-to spots. I had the chance to enjoy my two standards, latte in the morning and iced coffee in the afternoon. Also, croissant and an oatmeal raisin cookie – all good things in life, all good things from Intelligentsia.