Must-visit local restaurants

In search of the best neighbourhood eateries we asked our own travel experts at American Express for their favourites across the globe

New York: Highlands

Located in the heart of the West Village in downtown New York, this contemporary authentic gastro pub has an amazing list of Scotches and the best Scotch egg in the city.

At the weekends it can get busy, so get there early to avoid disappointment. The atmosphere is great, with ambient lighting, making it cosy in the autumn and winter months. In the summer the doors are thrown wide open, so any time of year is good to visit.

Tucked away on a secluded West Village cobblestone street, it’s a popular spot for couples, lending itself perfectly to a romantic evening. While there’s not a bad table in the house, try to get a window seat or even one at the bar where you can listen to the Scottish accents of the jovial bartenders while you sip your favourite Scotch.

150 West 10th St (at the corner of Waverly), New York, NY 10014

+1 212-229-2670

Hong Kong: Aberdeen Street Social

Step inside the revamped Police Married Quarters (PMQ) through a dimly lit courtyard and you will find the newly opened Aberdeen Street Social, the third collaboration between acclaimed British chef Jason Atherton and Hong Kong entrepreneur Yenn Wong. The quaint two-storey space was decorated by leading Chinese designers Neri & Hu, their signature style shows through details such as the teal blue framed floor-to-ceiling windows and doors, which allow the space to flow seamlessly between indoors and out.

The bar is on the first floor, with brass and copper fixtures setting the tone for the modern yet uniquely antiquated space, topped off by a hypnotic installation by Sovereign Art Prize winner Adrian Wong. Little knick-knacks and curiosities, as well as an excellent collection of small works of art, line the walls and shelves at every turn. Rustic wooden floors create a warm dining space and the semi-open kitchen allows you a glimpse into the action.

Try the amuse bouche of roasted garlic rosemary bread and buttermilk fried chicken with a pine nut crust. Both whet the appetite for starters. We recommend the slow-cooked hen’s egg with black pudding, crispy pig’s ear and pickled king oyster mushrooms, the restaurant’s signature “C.L.T.”, as well as the steak tartare with pickled onion, fresh cheese and sourdough croutons.

Great for a get together with a good bunch of friends or brunch with the family, Aberdeen Street Social combines relaxed dining with cool contemporary design.

PMQ, G/Floor JPC Building, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong (enter from gate closest to Hollywood Rd. intersection at Aberdeen St.)

+852 2866 0300

Rome: Tramjazz

This quirky restaurant is a historic cable car that has been restored and converted into a travelling restaurant and concert hall. Take an alternative tour of the centre of Rome by night while enjoying good food and music.

Great for those with a head for heights and suitable for families and groups, it is also perfect for jazz lovers, with talented musicians accompanying your meal. The menu uses exclusively regional food and wine to give you an authentic taste of Rome.

Its best feature? Everyone gets a window seat.

Departs from Piazza di Porta Maggiore at 21:00 and returns at 24:00

+39 339 633 4700

Amsterdam: Mana Mana

With a relaxed yet hip atmosphere Mana Mana, is popular with young creative professionals. The restaurant is quite small, so may not be suitable for large groups, but ideal for hanging out with a couple of friends or family. Don’t be misled by the simple décor, the investment is in the food, not the interior.

This trattoria in Amsterdam serves delicious vegetable dishes similar to the Mediterranean fusion cooking of Yotam Ottolenghi. There are some meat dishes on the menu for carnivores, but veggies are their specialty.

The chef is justifiably proud of his dishes, his enthusiasm encouraging you to be adventurous and try dishes you otherwise wouldn’t have chosen, so let him be your guide. Otherwise, we recommend the aubergine with pomegranate – a delicious balance of sweet and salty flavours – and their signature hummus, without doubt the best in town.

Truly for those in the know, Mana Mana is yet to set up their website, but you can find them in a quiet street in the trendy part of the city called “de Pijp”.

Eerste Jan Steenstraat 85hs 1074 CM, Amsterdam

+31 0641 631098

Looking for more dining inspiration? The American Express Taste program offers Cardmembers exclusive offers at restaurants around the world that feature on the locals’ hot list.

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