A (slightly) less touristy guide to Hoi An

It’s impossible not to be a total tourist in Hoi An, Vietnam. The streets are so pretty that you’ll find yourself snapping pictures every few steps. The high-end restaurants are a far cry from the street stalls of Hanoi (but still affordable by western standards). And the bars that come alive at night along the…

How to breathe in Hanoi

It took me all of a day to decide I didn’t like Hanoi. I arrived at night under a sky that was starless and rainy, air that felt cool and clammy—and in a taxi that cost me $15 more than I had anticipated. Come morning, a grey haze hung over the city, drizzly rain seeping…

It’s not all beef in Calgary

Pop quiz: You’re headed to Calgary for a culinary weekend. What are you going to eat? Beef, you say. Of course. Well, not exactly. Sure, the west is known as the beef headquarters of Canada, and the first time I visited Calgary, I ate so much of Alberta’s acclaimed AAA beef that I’m pretty sure…

Sunshine and gooseberry wine

It’s the little things in life that are the most wonderful. A small exchange with a kind stranger, a moment of laughter with a good friend, a taste of something homemade and pure. And when you can experience all that together under the warm sun on an August afternoon—like I did this past weekend at…

Throwing down the kimchi in Toronto

Up until this past weekend, I knew little about kimchi, except that it makes a tasty, spicy little side dish whenever I go for Korean barbecue. But a few days ago, I learned more than I ever thought I could know about this delicacy of pickled cabbage. Like, that it goes really well with cheese.…

Days of Wine and Chocolate, Niagara

It’s Valentine’s Day, so I’m getting drunk on wine

Okay, let me explain. I am not guzzling wine in some sort of pity party, lamenting my singleness and crying while watching Nicholas Sparks movies. No, far from mourning the romance of Valentine’s Day, I’m celebrating it. Or, more specifically, I’m celebrating the month of February. Because February means it’s time for the Niagara region’s…

Havana churros

Churros and daydreams

It was the scent that first caught my attention. The sweet smell of frying batter floated through the air, catching my nose and transporting me on a cloud of memories to funnel cakes and BeaverTails at amusement parks and carnivals back home. My interest—and nostrils—completely captured, I then noticed the line of people that snaked…