It’s far from an exaggeration that our global tally of Spotters is in the hundreds and of our articles in the thousands. That means that at HQ we get to read a lot of quality, memorable articles. With the unique privilege of panoramic view we have – being able to look at so many different spots – we often get the urge to get the word out, say “look what great beauty, innovation, mastery of tradition, goodwill, respect and/or everyday poetry actually exists out there!”
But we know that attention spans are a valuable resource and that too much information usually ends up being overwhelming; often just a single city and all of its secret treasures and hidden gems (wait, aren’t those the same thing? Hm…) can be way too much to process, let alone the 67 that are currently part of the Spotted by Locals network. So, let’s stick to one thing at a time: here’s just a little sample of the diversity of memorable spots one can expect to discover by visiting any of the Spotted by Locals cities around the world.
Taste Persian ice cream in Krakow
Krakow Spotter Kalina plays with our expectations of where good ice cream is supposed to come from:
“With Poland being famous for dairy-based food, I could bet we’re really good at making ice-cream. We are indeed, but there’s a nation, which name starts with I, that’s even better at it. And this time I don’t mean Italians. Iranians running Tiffany, a teeny-tiny place on Plac Szczepański, have absolutely redefined ice-cream for me.”
“I love going there to try these unusual Persian flavours they make. Ever tried saffron ice-cream? This is the place to go for it. The taste is unlike anything else.”
Some more of Kalina’s favourites include rose, pistachio and sunflower.
Enjoy a moment of sweet relief in Toronto
There seems to be a growing trend of toilet-themed cafés opening in East Asia and Russia – from the shape, colour and consistency of the desserts served, to the form of the seats, the decoration and the actual cups you drink out of (pictured above), there are few aspects of everyone’s secretly favourite activity that aren’t covered. This strange yet entertaining concept recently hit Toronto as well, further drawing inspiration (and its name) from this po(o)pular emoji. Thus Poop Café was born. Spotter Kaye Ann was there to capture the flush – her verdict?
“It’s far from a stinker”.
Discover this huge 50-year-old landmark of a neon sign in Cologne
This animated neon sign in Cologne “is an advertisement for one of the biggest Kölsch beer brands, Reissdorf, and has been there since 1968 – meanwhile gaining official landmark status.”
Spotter Rabea says that “there was a public outcry when some of the neon tubes were broken in 2013 – that’s how much people in Cologne care about their Reissdorf-Männchen. It clearly always brings a smile to my face when I see it!” She concludes that it’s nice to look at during the day, but if you want to actually see it come to life and change from male to female and back as it does, you should visit after sunset.
We were tempted to include an animation of the actual neon advertisement… but we’ll let you spot that for yourself, whether online or off!
Tickle your palette in Ljubljana
Burgers, burgers, burgers: their average overall quality has risen in the last few years, but novelty has fallen sharply with this global trend. Even vegetarian and vegan patties, though always welcome for a change of pace and caloric intake, are becoming easier to find. Is there any room for innovation left in this popular domain of fast food? Apparently so: Organic Garden, an ex-food truck and current brick & mortar restaurant spotted by Mankica in Ljubljana, thinks outside the box by playing around with the color of the buns themselves:
“This is definitely my preferred place for a nice vegan soup or yummy veggie burger with a great atmosphere. […] You can order red, black or yellow – my all-time favorite. The crispy organic durum bun with black sesame is filled with red kidney bean patty with oats and herbs, chili sauce, homemade BBQ and mustard sauce, red cabbage and seasonal salad. I am sure you will lick your fingers, I always do! 😉”
Hang out with the paragons of humanity in Budapest
Filling our bellies in style is fine and good, but what about feeding the soul? If you follow Budapest Spotter Julianna‘s advice, you’ll end up among some of the greatest “cooks” who ever lived: “There are times in life when you just need to get away from the city to be alone and think. If you have only a few hours to do so, consider going to the Philosopher’s Garden (Filozófusok kertje) on Gellérthegy.”
“Not a huge hike, only a couple minutes walk uphill from Döbrentei tér, and you arrive at a beautiful field with a little surprise: statues of people who’ve changed the world. Who are they? Buddha, Bodhidharma, Jesus, Lao-ce, Ehnaton; and beside them Abraham, Gandhi and Francis of Assisi.”