After a busy day in Durham, N.C., on $40 a Day, Rachael thought Caffe Driade would be a great place to sit down and unwind, and she couldn't wait to try the shop's award-winning coffee. She quickly fell in love with the iced cappuccino, calling it ''a thing of beauty.''
Housed in a revamped 1950s' ice cream stand, this charming roadside spot now turns out "flawlessly fried seafood," Rhode Island-style clam chowder and lobster rolls. Rachael tried the hand-battered crispy cod with house-made tartar sauce and asked, "What could be more perfect?"
After hitting the slopes in Sun Valley, Idaho, head to this 1936 Rocky Mountain hideaway named after Newport heiress Marjorie Oelrichs Duchin (late mother of bandleader Peter Duchin). Listen to live music as you sip a seasonal cocktail like Hot Buttered Rum, which Rachael terms "so spicy and good."
Hiking the mountains of Jackson Hole takes fuel, so the Bunnery Bakery & Restaurant has developed a clever OSM blend - oats, sunflower seeds and millet - that power-packs a fresh assortment of baked and griddled sweets. Dine (and save) like Rachael with a kick-start from the crispy O.S.M. waffle.
For Rachael, "walking into this place is like walking onto the set of Happy Days." Though she stopped in for breakfast, you can eat around the clock at Miss Katie's Diner. Its huge omelet selection and diner favorites make this '50s throwback a huge score. Did we mention breakfast's served all da
For a hearty meal and delicious breakfast to start the day, head to Guelaguetza, located in Los Angeles. This restaurant is known for its authentic Oaxacan dishes. Rachael ordered tamales with the specialty mole negro--a complex near-black sauce with more than 20 ingredients, including chocolate.
Rachael's search for Miami nightlife led her to Tapas y Tintos where diners revel in live music and Flamenco dancing. For an authentic Spanish meal, order a small plate like shrimp sauteed in garlic or Rachael's pick of Tortilla Espanola, a traditional Spanish omelet made with potatoes and chorizo.
Fresh, seasonal fare is served on the Willamette campus at this cafe that Rachael called "one of the best-kept secrets in town." You don't have to be a student to enjoy the variety of culinary options, including pizza, deli sandwiches, Chinese dishes and local meats sliced hot off the grill.
Check out new American and classic Chinese dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner at this casual spot. Rachael loved the "tangy" goat cheese-topped breakfast bruschetta and called it "a work of art." Look for weekday dinner specials featuring regional dishes such as cioppino and Maine lobster rolls.
Seafood is in the blood of the Sancimino brothers' Swan Oyster Depot. The century-old wholesale fish market and restaurant pushes tons of daily fresh catch through its out-of-the-way store - all the more value when you belly up to the bustling counter for oysters, chowder or cracked crab.
Make a pit stop at R.P.'s to pick up an energizing smoothie, salad or sandwich before hiking the Grand Canyon. Stop along the way for an impromptu picnic, which Rachael terms easy on the budget (and it comes with a spectacular view). R.P.'s also has art and gifts to remember your trip by.
Little Rooster Cafe takes the farm motif to another level: they've even got seats painted to look like birds' nests. Rachael loves this spot for their savory omelets and other breakfast foods.
The Big Wrap is a favorite among Aspen's local working crowd. Named one of the area's top affordable lunch spots, The Big Wrap has a monster menu for all tastes, with wraps, salads, tacos, smoothies and zesty citrus corn chips. Seating is limited, so enjoy it alfresco or call for midday delivery.
Reigning as one of central Maui's most popular Asian restaurants, A Saigon Cafe serves authentic Vietnamese cuisine with fresh, local ingredients. Some are even grown in the garden of Jennifer, the owner. Try building your own Vietnamese-Style Burrito, the house specialty.