Gay Bali – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Bali - The Nomadic Boys

“The Island of the Gods!” And in our humble opinion: “The Island of the Gays”!

Bali is the quintessential tropical island getaway high up on most travellers’ bucket lists, particularly amongst those of us inspired by the Julia Roberts movie, “Eat Pray Love”. Surprisingly, Bali is also a popular gay haven in Asia: remember this is part of Indonesia, a country which has over the years become increasingly more homophobic.

Gay Bali stands strong in the face of this rising tide of hatred towards our LGBTQ community in Indonesia thanks to its unique Hindu heritage and the diverse international community across the island.

For LGBTQ travellers, Bali offers a tropical paradise, gorgeous beaches, world-class restaurants, plenty of welcoming gay hotels and an entire strip of lively gay hangouts in Seminyak. We’ve put all of this right here in our lengthy gay travel guide to Bali based on our first-hand experience.

Why is gay Bali so gay friendly?

Before visiting Bali, we were wondering how such a gay haven can possibly exist in a country like Indonesia, where the Islamic government has been working ruthlessly to oppress its LGBTQ community. Over the years, more anti-LGBTQ laws are being passed in Indonesia. Whilst homosexuality wasn’t historically illegal in this former Dutch colony, the government has been ruthlessly trying to introduce laws that effectively criminalise consensual same-sex.

Despite what’s happening on the mainland, Bali continues to thrive, largely unaffected. Unlike the rest of the country, which has the largest Muslim population in the world, Bali is mainly Hindu – a religion which is more tolerant of our LGBTQ family! In addition, Bali is also very touristy, with a vast international community living/working here all year round. As a result, a gay scene has been able to thrive here for many years, along with several gay/male-only hotels.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Bali Gay Travel Resources

Queer Ashland and Southern Oregon

Central Point Sunset

In September, we drove up to Southern Oregon to visit some dear friends who live in Central Point – a little town just north of Medford. We spent a few days up there, and visited their town, a little bit of Medford, and the towns of Jacksonville and Ashland.

Read moreQueer Ashland and Southern Oregon

Queer Albuquerque

queer Albuquerque

We’re just back from the GRL (GayRomLit) con in Albuquerque – part of my “other” life as a queer writer.

We explored downtown and Old Town, and thought we’d share some of our favorite things about each. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency in the heart of the “new” downtown. Albuquerque is clean and quiet – at least in October. We were both surprised by the paucity of public art – there are very few murals or public statues and sculptures here.

Read moreQueer Albuquerque

Gay Friendly Montreal Restaurants – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Friendly Montreal Restaurants - The Nomadic Boys

Our chips-loving Frenchman Seby was dying to try the famous poutine when we visited Montreal. And he wasn’t disappointed. After a night out exploring the gay scene of Montreal, this gravy-cheese-curd-fries concoction is the perfect hangover food your body needs!

Read moreGay Friendly Montreal Restaurants – The Nomadic Boys

Berlin Street Food – Dream Euro Trip

Berlin Street Food - Pixabay

Other than different types of sausage Berlin is not really known for its food. This has changed over the last few years with street food now becoming a big tourist draw. In fact, you could say it is thriving and now cuisine from all around the world can be had in Berlin.

Read moreBerlin Street Food – Dream Euro Trip

Gay Taipei’s a Foodie Paradise – Mic.com

gay taipei - crab - pixabay

If your idea of vacation planning is obsessively researching every restaurant, bar, coffee shop and food stand, gay Taipei, Taiwan, belongs on your bucket list. Taiwan’s sprawling capital city is home to 2.7 million residents and what feels like just as many must-visit spots for food and drink.

The island has a contentious history, with bouts of Dutch, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese presence or rule, and Taipei’s rich culinary landscape includes nods to its diverse colonial past as well as the traditions of the indigenous population: fresh Japanese seafood at DOZO Izakaya Bar, superstar soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung, fine-dining French exports like L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, unbelievable street food like stinky tofu, innovative cocktails from the R&D Cocktail Lab, German beer halls like Buckskin Beerhouse, scenic tea houses atop Maokong mountain — and that barely scratches the surface.

There’s never been a better time to visit. In the first Michelin Guide Taipei, the city had 20 restaurants receive stars, with restaurants ranging from the three-star Le Palais, famous for its expertly executed Cantonese fare, to the one-star Taiwanese-meets-Nordic hit Mume.

Thirty-six joints made Michelin’s Bib Gourmand category, including 10 street food stalls scattered throughout the Taipei’s famous night markets, where tourists, locals and everyone in between sample piping-hot black pepper buns and pearl milk tea. You’ll also find plenty of excellent shops, hotels and tourist attractions — Taipei 101, once the world’s tallest building, is definitely worth braving the crowds for — to fill time between meals.

By Meredith Heil – Full Story at Mic.com

Eating Out: Austria – Passport Magazine

Austria - Pixabay

I ask an American what is considered quintessential Austrian cuisine, and you’re likely to get a furrowed brow. At roughly 32,000 square miles (think South Carolina, but landlocked), the country shares borders and cultural influences with the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, and Slovakia. In its heyday, the Austrian Empire was one of the most powerful in Europe, ruled by the Habsburgs for nearly six centuries. The declared war against Serbia marked the beginning of World War I, and by 1918 the dynasty was history. Nazi invasion followed and an eventual restoration of autonomy with the help of the Allied Forces.

Sitting at the epicenter of Europe’s evershifting alliances has tested Austria’s resiliency, but it has also laid the groundwork for culinary inspiration drawn from historical trade routes and centuries-old farming and agriculture industries. I recently visited the land of Wiener schnitzel and pumpkinseed oil in search of Austria’s best bites, and to taste how the country is keeping pace with 21stcentury gastronomy trends, while still maintaining its authentic traditions.

Vienna is Europe’s unsung hero for stunning Gothic, baroque, and modern architecture. It also boasts the Ringstrasse, a three-mile circular road where you can find the Vienna State Opera, the Museum of Fine Arts, and other Insta-worthy landmarks. Commissioned by Emperor Franz Joseph in 1857, it is the symbol of the city’s penchant for the finer things in life and still serves as an anchor for Vienna’s bustling and sophisticated lifestyle.

I begin my edible excursion by checking into the Grand Ferdinand (Schubertring 10-12. Tel: +43-1-91880. www.grandferdinand.com), hotelier Florian Weitzer’s opulent reimagining of several adjacent 1950’s office buildings. Its showcase restaurant, Meissl & Schadn (www.meisslundschadn.at), pays homage to the legendary namesake hotel and restaurant that opened in Vienna in 1896 but didn’t survive the city’s World War II bombing. History is reborn with classic recipes served in a dramatic setting featuring wicker chairs, tiled pillars, low-hanging chandeliers, and crisp white linens.

But it’s the sound of veal cutlets pounded into plate-size portions in the salon kitchen that gives Meissl & Schaden its signature Viennese flair. Dipped in free-range eggs then coated in breadcrumbs, the Wiener schnitzel sizzles away (in your choice of clarified butter, lard, or neutral vegetable oil) until crispy. Finished with a hearty squeeze of lemon, it embodies the essence of classic Austrian cuisine.

By Matthew Wexler – Full Story at Passport Magazine

LOCATION Gay Travel Resources

Queer Granada: Best Restaurants – The Globetrotter Guys

Queer Nicaragua - The Globetrotter Guys

We celebrated our first wedding anniversary this year in Granada. This was a great excuse to visit lots of incredible restaurants during the week and enjoy being wined and dined.

We are self-admitted food snobs. We rarely go to a restaurant unless we have scoured TripAdvisor first and it has highly rated feedback. Both of us love food, and if we are going to blow our travelling budget eating somewhere ‘fancy’, it better be worth it!

Luckily, Granada has a lot to offer, both in terms of budget and type of cuisine. If you visit Granada, be sure to visit the following restaurants that have made our list, you won’t be disappointed!

Ciudad Lounge

We ate here on our anniversary and had high expectations based on their TripAdvisor reviews. They took our expectations and went above and beyond!

Ciudad Lounge is run by a couple: Noemi, who runs front of house, and William, who is the chef. Located 5 minutes out of the centre of Granada, they class themselves as a ‘destination’ restaurant, somewhere people are recommended to visit, where you make the effort to go, rather than a restaurant you stumble across by chance. Here is a place where the focus is really on the ‘experience’ of dining, as well as the food and drink.

We did not quite understand what they meant by this until we tried it for ourselves, and we loved the concept.

Initially, you are taken to sit comfortably in the lounge area where you can enjoy some of the best cocktails we have had in a while, (see below what we tried). This is where you can also enjoy your appetisers, before being taken to your table in the main part of the restaurant just as your mains are ready. This felt seamless and we enjoyed breaking up the meal into different parts of the restaurant.

Full Story at The Globetrotter Guys

Nicaragua Gay Travel Resources

 

Eating Out: Sweden

Eating Out - Sweden

Some may think that Sweden goes into hibernation once the dark months hit, temperatures plummet below zero and crisp white snow blankets everything with absolute abandon.
They couldn’t be more wrong, Swedes like to eat and drink all year round, regardless of weather and as a result, there’s a long, awesome food culture that every LGBTI foodie must try. So we asked the globetrotting gourmets with a love of Sweden, the GastroGays about their favorite foodie experiences. This is what they had to say…

Dinner on Ice in Brändö, Swedish Lapland

‘Swedish Lapland is a true winter wonderland with incredible food experiences to be had in the colder months.

‘In Brändö, you can dine between the stars and sea, by eating on the ice itself. Dinner on Ice is just 30 minutes outside Luleå at Brändö Kvarnväg. Beneath a starry sky and above the water itself, leave the shore surrounded by darkness and walk towards the glow and warmth of fire and enticing smell of food.

‘The lávvu tent sent up on the ice offers a truly unique experience for all the senses that seems all kinds of wrong in theory but in practice works on every level.’

Full Story at Gay Star News

Sweden Gay Travel Resources

Eating Out: Montreal – Passport Magazine

Republique Restaurant - Montreal

Montréal has long offered delights to fans of gastronomy, but there’s a major difference between the culinary scene of today and even just a decade back. Whereas Montréal used to be chock-a-block with amazing, homey French-style bistros and holes in the wall, today’s Québecois chefs have truly embraced the region’s indigenous farm-to-table bounty and flavors, and married them with contemporary technique and innovation.

A substantial melting-pot population (including Latino and Vietnamese) has also spawned an impressive international variety of cuisines and ethnic specialties from Peruvian Nikkei fusion at Tiradito to authentic Salvadorian pupusas(a sort of corn tortilla pouch stuffed with savory fillings) at neighborhood fave, Los Planes.

The excellent “Beyond the Market” walking tour from gay-owned, decidedly nontouristy Spade & Palacio Tours (Tel: 1-514806-3263. www.spadeandpalacio.com), features a pupusa tasting stop at Los Planes, bites from other venues including Montréal’s famed Jean Talon Market, where vendor Fromage Fermier’s local goat cheese and Havre-aux-Galce’s seasonal ice cream and sorbets alone are worth a visit. The tour concludes with a picnic lunch and takeaway “cheat sheet” with a map of their favorite restaurants and cafés.

Of course, here we have a Montréal “cheat sheet” of our own, which runs the gamut from a game-changing restaurant that has since launched Montréal’s biggest new generation of kitchen talents to a lesbian-owned craft beer pub to a new, buzzy Japanese-fusion bistro. Bonus: those with a penchant for international fine dining can find Canada’s first L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, from French superstar chef Joel Robuchon, at Casino Montréal.

Brasserie Harricana

Montréal’s craft-beer scene easily warrants its own feature article: there are some 35plus-brew pubs within the city at present, and around 150 microbreweries throughout the Québec region. A lesbian-owned, threeyear-old brasserie and microbrewer, straddling the Mile Ex and Little Italy neighborhoods, Brasserie Harricana represents a fabulous spot to give some of these brews, ciders, liquors, and even local kombucha a whirl. As indicated on the drinks menu, some draughts are served at specific temperatures, with alcohol content indicated.

The Brasserie’s space is lovely, and be sure to crane your neck and glance upward at the ceiling’s enlarged images of women’s body parts, which are partially obscured by wooden panels resembling window shutters. I created my own flight with tastes of several Harricana brews, including a sourapricot wheat beer, a Berliner Weisse infused with coffee from artisanal local roasters Dispatch, and a raspberry milk stout, plus lip-smacking ice cider from rural Québec’s Cidrerie Milton. The food menu, meanwhile, encompasses gastropub fare: deviled eggs, ale-braised lamb shank, beerroasted chicken, and generous veggie options. Weekend brunch sees crêpés, stuffed French toast, a bacon and egg brekkie sandwich with potato latkes, and decadent ribeye eggs Benedict. 95 rue Jean Talon West. Tel: 514-303-3039.

By Lawrence Ferber – Full Story at Passport Magazine

Quebec Gay Travel Resources