Down the Street, A World Away

Down the Street, A World Away

Have you sampled the international cuisine in your neck of the woods? Most big cities are bursting with hidden cultural gems.

German settlements in the U.S. are well-marked with beer steins and quality meat markets, but the Austrians' are a little harder to pinpoint. Pittsburgh still has a sizable population of Austrians, who maintain the Austrian Nationality Room at the University of Pittsburgh and put on an annual Viennese Ball patterned after the Weiner Opernball, or Vienna State Opera Ball. Order the strudel at Priority Fine Pastries in Allegheny City (once the district of Deutschtown). The bakery launched in 2004 in an effort to reinvigorate the area's heritage of authentic Swiss, German, and Austrian baked goods.

It's no secret Houston speaks Espanol, but tacos are a dime a dozen. Tap into the Salvadoran community instead. Peruse the Museum of Fine Arts' galleries of Mayan artifacts from modern-day El Salvador, and try the pupusas (a thick corn tortilla with a savory filling) and curtido (lightly fermented cabbage relish) at an El Pupusdromo location. 

At 19th and Larimer in Denver, a small Cherry Blossom festival pops up every June, and locals pay tribute to Governor Lawrence Carr, who famously apologized to Japanese-Americans for their internment during World War II. 

In Little Ethiopia, a neighborhood concentrated near 9th Street NW in Washington, D.C.'s, Shaw neighborhood, you can find doro wat (spicy chicken stew) as well as a traditional coffee ceremony on the right day. 

Everyone knows the history of the Irish in Boston. Less well-known are the city's slowly disappearing Polish roots. Stop by Cafe Polonia for a taste of what was - and maybe an earful of the old world, too.

Everything, from storefronts to the fire hydrants, is green, white, and red in St. Louis' the Hill neighborhood, an Italian enclave and the famed home of Yogi Berra and Joe Garagiola. Sample the local favorites: cannoli or a slice of gooey butter cake from Missouri Baking Co.


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