Weekend Trips for the Chocolate Lover

Calling all chocoholics! Plan a cacao-inspired weekend with tours, festivals and chocolate shops.

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Invest in Foreign Markets

Invest in Foreign Markets

Research ahead of time if there’s going to be a farmers’ market near you. Use the website Local Harvest to find farmers' markets throughout the U.S. When traveling abroad, markets are the perfect way to really get to know an area, be it your own city or one in another country. It’s a great way to practice language skills and learn about local culture, meet people, find out about good restaurants and learn about what else is going on during your stay. There’s plenty available to snack on even if you’re not planning to cook during your visit. If you’d like to bring any produce home from other countries, check the federal customs regulations first.  960 1280

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Cart Smart

Cart Smart

Farmers markets can get crowded, and cumbersome wagons can become more of a burden than a help. Markets are often set up on dirt or gravel lots, which can be difficult with smaller wheels, too. Consider collapsible rolling carts or caddies with larger wheels that have a more manageable profile. Backpacks are also handy when traveling. 960 1280

Kelly Sillaste  

Cash is King

Cash is King

More and more vendors can accept credit cards via smart phone apps, but these frequently still have connection issues, and many vendors choose not to mess with credit cards at all. Small bills will always be greatly appreciated.     960 1280

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Talk to People

Talk to People

This simple outing can teach you so much about different cultures. Ask questions at every booth. Get to know fellow shoppers and learn what their favorite recipes are, what foods they eat the most, and what booths or vendors you can't miss at the market.  960 1280

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Made in the Shade

Made in the Shade

There’s often precious little shade at farmers markets, especially as the day wears on, so make sure to prepare with hats, sunscreen and water for everyone in your party. Comfortable shoes will be appreciated, too.     960 1280

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Paws Before Taking Fido

Paws Before Taking Fido

Farmer’s markets can be a great time to spend walking together with your best furry friend. But many markets have asked that dogs stay home, if not out-right banned canines. Check if the market is dog-friendly before going. Some markets may even have a dog park or area set up that has water and shade. If not, make sure to bring water for your dog, and consider the temperature before leaving your dog in a vehicle while you shop.     960 1280

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Keep It Cool

Keep It Cool

Bring reusable ice packs to keep your purchases cool as you peruse under the summer sun. You can also keep a cooler in your vehicle for storing purchases, if it’s convenient, so you don’t have to carry them around. Insulated lunch boxes can be carried in backpacks, bicycle panniers and other bags for ease. Often, you may want to go out to breakfast or lunch after the market, and a cooler with ice packs will keep your purchases fresh while you enjoy the rest of your day. 960 1280

  

Shop Talk

Shop Talk

When vendors aren’t busy ask about their farms and if they supply local restaurants, if they are online and if they invite the public to visit their farms and buy direct. Establishing a relationship with local food producers helps you get the best produce and creates closer ties with the local growers’ community.  960 1280

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Good Things to Come

Good Things to Come

If you're staying in a country for a semester or longer period of time, ask vendors what produce they’ll have later in the season, and start researching recipes. They may also recommend other vendors' produce and share recipes. Ask what they do during the winter months for fresh, local food. 960 1280

Slavina  

Get Involved

Get Involved

Consider volunteering at the local farmers’ market on your next trip. It's a great way to meet people. From setting up booths to engaging with social media, there are plenty of areas in which to help out. Booking live music, answering SNAP and EBT questions, setting up chairs, greeting visitors and answering general questions are all areas where volunteers are needed. Find the market’s information booth (staffed by volunteers) and ask about how to help.

 

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Steve Debenport  

Anella

Anella

Anella is well worth the hike from Manhattan into Brooklyn. This Greenpoint gem doesn’t try too hard with its relaxed vibe and no-frills decor, but it still meets perfection with dishes like ricotta gnocchi, pan-seared pork chops and steamed mussels. 960 1280

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Lexington Brass

Lexington Brass

A popular lunch and brunch spot in Midtown, Lexington Brass serves American bistro favorites with a twist of sophistication. You’ll feel right at home here with comfort foods like roasted chicken served in cast-iron pans. 960 1280

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Olives

Olives

Located in Union Square’s W Hotel, Olives is a swanky spot for a meal or a meetup, with an extensive small-plates menu and creative cocktails such as the Heart Beet -- vodka-infused beet lemonade. 960 1280

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Café de la Esquina

Café de la Esquina

Where else can you find a retro Mexico dinner that takes menu suggestions from neighborhood locals? Williamsburg, of course. The hip Brooklyn hood’s Café de La Esquina dishes are a spicy spin on the classics, such as the hamburguesa, a burger topped with jalapenos, avocado and chipotle mayo. 960 1280

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Macelleria

Macelleria

This Italian steakhouse in the Meatpacking District is a carnivore’s dream, with dry-aged porterhouse, Tuscan sausage and chicken alla diavola. But fear not, vegetarians: There are plenty of meat-free pasta dishes, too. And tiramisu doesn’t always have to wait until dessert. 960 1280

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Má Pêche

Má Pêche

Midtown’s modern American restaurant Má Pêche's menu changes daily, but the extensive raw bar is always a perfect starter. On the way out pick up dessert -- an addictive slice of Crack Pie or Compost Cookie -- at the sister bakery, Momofuku’s Milk Bar. 960 1280

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Amali

Amali

Amali, a Mediteranean eatery on the Upper East Side, adheres to a strict farm-to-table dining experience -- using local vegetables, grains and dairy products -- and only buying whole animals. Greek-infused specialities like the lamb porterhouse and Kataifi cannoli are not to be missed. 960 1280

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Masak

Masak

Sweet and spicy street foods from Singapore are given a sophisticated touch at East Village’s Masak. Start off dinner with the signature dish Quih Pie Tee (pictured), fried rice cracker cups filled with seasonal flavors like foie gras, sweetcorn and strawberries. 960 1280

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Aroma Kitchen and Winebar

Aroma Kitchen and Winebar

Aroma, an East Village Italian restaurant and wine bar, focuses on regional Italian dishes and seasonal specialties, such as the risotto del giorno. And you’ll feel like royalty with the service; Chef Vito is known to personally deliver his signature dishes to your table. 960 1280

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‘Cesca Enoteca and Trattoria

‘Cesca Enoteca and Trattoria

Friendly and rustic, this southern Italian spot is a welcome culinary spot on the Upper West Side. Authentic Italian dishes like linguine alla vongole, are best paired with an Italian varietal on the extensive award-wining wine list. 960 1280

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Surf ‘n California burrito

Surf ‘n California burrito

Did You Know? While popular for years in the north-Atlantic states, legend has it that the term "surf and turf" was first used at the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair.

Dish 1: Surf n’ Turf Burrito
Where: Lucha Libre, 1810 W Washington St, San Diego, CA 92103
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BBQ Shrimp from Deanie's

BBQ Shrimp from Deanie's

Did You Know? In Louisiana they’ve been harvesting shrimp for 400 years. In the 17th century local fishermen cast their nets into the Gulf to catch the first batch of prized prawns.

Dish 2: BBQ Shrimp
Where: Deanie’s, 1713 Lake Ave, Metairie, LA 70005
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Killer Hogfish Sandwich

Killer Hogfish Sandwich

Did You Know? In 2009, 283,015 lbs. of hogfish were caught in Florida.

Dish 3: Killer Hogfish Sandwich
Where: Hogfish Bar and Grill, 6810 Front St, Stock Island, FL
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Fresh Fish

Fresh Fish

Did You Know? In 2009, the average American ate 15.8 lbs. of fish and shellfish.

Dish 4: Super Fresh Fish
Where: Reel Inn, 18661 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265
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Alligator Ribs

Alligator Ribs

Did You Know? Alligator meat is similar to pork in texture, lower in fat than chicken, and tastes amazing!

Dish 5: Alligator Ribs
Where: Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Rd, Tampa, FL 33613
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