Established in 2007 in Santa Cruz, Verve Coffee Roasters is a trendy coffee shop with seven locations in California and one in Shinjuku Station in Tokyo. My visit to the Melrose Ave location was a delightful one; an open, yet quiet cafe, friendly baristas, and multiple options of not just coffee and pastries, but also fresh, cold-pressed juice.
It’s no secret that I love lavender. The smell. The taste. It’s refreshing and calming at the same time. I personally use culinary lavender in tea, smoothies, and while baking pastries, so I was naturally excited when I found the Forbidden Lavender by No Label Brewing Company while I was in Texas.
A three-week work trip to Texas this past month wasn’t complete unless I sampled some of the many food trucks the city of Austin has to offer. Lining the streets of South Congress (aka SoCo) and 1st Street, the trucks and trailers offered a variety of snacks and meals ranging from sweet to savory, tacos to donuts, and ice cream to fresh, cold pressed juice.
There is nothing like a good beer after a long day of traveling and exploring. After sight seeing in Kyoto, jumping on and off trains to see the shrines and temples, and finally the Nishiki Market, we came across the Craft Man Beer House next door to a restaurant serving kobe beef.
The Aoyama Tea House is truly a hidden gem in Tokyo, Japan. Nestled in the back of the small Aoyama Flower Market, the Tea House provides a lovely and calming ambience. Fresh floral arrangements decorate the tables and line the walls while friendly staff busily wait on the guests ensuring that their stay is memorable.
A visit to Tokyo is not complete until you’ve set foot at the Tusujiki Fish Market. Established in 1923 and open daily, with the exception of Sundays and holidays, the Fish Market is one of the largest of its kind, if not the largest in the country of Japan. Known for fresh seafood and produce and the intense, early morning tuna auction, the market is bustling with locals and foreigners trying to buy groceries and to grab a quick meal at one of the local vendors.