Serving up Culture at the Taste of Chicago Festival

Foodies from all over the world unite each year at the variety of Taste Festivals held in celebration of dining at some of the world’s most popular destinations. From Sydney to Hong Kong, these festivals highlight restaurants who serve up delicious bites that represent the best of their culture. Taste of Chicago is one of the largest in the world, and is set to dish out a good time for those attending the event this July.

Photo: Taste of Chicago


The History

When traveling to a new city, getting a grasp on the local food and culture can involve weeks or even months worth of sampling the variety of local restaurants. At Taste Festivals, attendees can dig in by trying out the diversity of food options in one fun-filled week. The original Taste of London in 2004 helped ignite the now world-renowned Taste Festival series. Spreading to the rest of the UK and eventually to fifteen different cities worldwide, the Taste of Chicago event stands out as one of the favorites, and has grown to be the world’s largest food festival.


Photo: Taste of London

Taste of Chicago

The five-day event taking place in Grant Park from July 11th-15th boasts free admission for guests to indulge in Chicago favorites, specialty diverse dishes and creative plates from local chefs. Experts in the culinary field also host cooking demos to enlighten crowds about their tips and tricks of the trade. Attendees are welcome to try out each booth as they dish out unique flavors for crowds to enjoy. Drinks are also a highlight of the event with tents for Anheuser-Busch beer, signature drinks and wine to add a buzz to the excitement.


Photo: Taste of Chicago

Performances & Activities

Taste of Chicago visitors are sure to be impressed by Lake Michigan’s picturesque scenery during the week of food and activities. The lakefront location makes for a pleasant skyline view to complement the warm July weather as attendees also get to experience Taste of Chicago’s many performances and exhibits. The Street Art & Graffiti Alley will feature artists producing live paintings. The Stomping Grounds Chicago area will be dedicated to dance performances featuring acts by local companies. With music performers like The Flaming Lips, George Clinton and Brandi Carlile, crowds are sure to jam out to this quintessential summertime event.


Photo: Taste of Chiago

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10 of the Best NYC Rooftop Bars

There’s no better way to spend the breezy days of summer than by enjoying a cocktail with a rooftop view. Head to New York City to take in the sights and sounds atop one of the city’s many sky-high buildings. Toast to the sunny days of summer as you grab a drink at these go-to NYC rooftop destinations.

Photo: Zocha Group


Gallow Green at The McKittrick Hotel

This stylish garden escape lets you get lost in the lush greenery as you sip your drink in the midst of an abandoned train car. The surrealism of the space lends a magical element that will have you cozying up to enjoy the whimsical rooftop garden party.


Photo: Gallow Green

Photo: Gallow Green at the McKittrick Hotel

Mr. Purple at The Hotel Indigo

Head to the 15th floor to take in the scene at this Lower East Side spot with a 360-degree view. You’ll come for the drinks but stay for the fish tacos at this eclectic hangout spot perfect for watching the sunset.


Photo: Mr. Purple at The Hotel Indigo

Photo: Mr. Purple at The Hotel Indigo

Jimmy at the James New York

Manhattan never looked better from atop the glamorous James New York hotel, where you can lounge by the pool with a craft cocktail in hand. Bring a swimsuit to cool off along with a glass of frosé to make the most of the summer heat.


Photo: Jimmy at the James New York

Photo: Jimmy at the James New York

The Jane Hotel Rooftop

This West village hideaway provides an elegant rooftop escape with its vintage feel taking you back to its 20th Century luxury train and ship inspiration. The indoor bar and outdoor terrace evoke feelings of nostalgia as you sip your drink overlooking the Hudson River.


Photo: The Jane Hotel Rooftop

Photo: The Jane Hotel Rooftop

The Ides at the Wythe Hotel

You’ll find plenty of patrons lined up for this sleek hot spot that boasts one-of-a-kind views of the East River and Manhattan. The classic cocktails will complement the summer sunsets as you mix and mingle with the stylish crowd.


Photo: The Ides at the Wythe Hotel

Photo: The Ides at the Wythe Hotel

Westlight at The William Vale Hotel

With an atrium-style glass enclosure on the panoramic rooftop, Westlight is a quality destination perched at the top of the 22-story, tallest building in Greenpoint. Unobstructed views of Manhattan’s skyline make the elegant, industrial space worth a visit.


Photo: Westlight at The William Vale Hotel

Photo: Westlight at The William Vale Hotel

Azul at Hotel Hugo

Escape to Cuba at this Old Havana-inspired rooftop oasis perfect for a night out under the stars. Live music and rustic décor will keep you entertained as you toast to the colorful environment.


Photo: Azul at Hotel Hugo

Photo: Azul at Hotel Hugo

The Roof at the PUBLIC Hotel

The breathtaking NYC view is all yours when you visit this sleek rooftop lounge. Sip your Manhattan cocktail from a bottle with plenty of creative touches making the open terrace space a relaxing sky-high getaway.


Photo: The Roof at the PUBLIC Hotel

Photo: The Roof at the PUBLIC Hotel


The Roaring Twenties are back in action with Ophelia’s speakeasy atmosphere transporting you to a modern version of a vintage feel. Atop the 26th floor, the decadent space puts you inside a jewelry box capping the Midtown East’s historical Beekman Tower.


Photo: Ophelia Bar NYC

Photo: Ophelia Bar NYC

The Crown at Hotel 50 Bowery

Head to Chinatown to enjoy this modern rooftop bar that offers up unrivaled views of Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. With a cocktail menu inspired by Asian influences, this intimate hot spot gives you a sip of something tasty at either of their two 21st floor patios.


Photo: The Crown at Hotel 50 Bowery

Photo: The Crown at Hotel 50 Bowery

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Take the Scenic Route at these California Road Trip Destinations

California has always been the pinnacle of United States travel with its sandy beaches, expansive deserts, snowy mountains and lush forests. People flock from all over the world to experience the diversity of landscapes available for exploring during every season. For those that live in California and want to escape for a long weekend, or travelers looking to take the scenic route through The Golden State, a road trip is one of the best ways to appreciate the beautiful variety of surroundings that California has to offer.

Photo: Zocha Group


Santa Barbara

Just a few hours outside of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara makes for an effortless weekend escape. The fresh air is easy to get used to as you picnic at Arroyo Burro Beach or take a walk through Stearns Wharf, a historical pier with calming ocean views. You’ll also get a dose of California history by visiting Mission Santa Barbara, a Spanish mission built with colonial architecture. Spend the night at the Belmond El Encanto Resort for a private, luxury experience with picturesque views of the city. Stop in to Yoichi’s for a Japanese, seafood dinner or The Lark if you’re craving artisanal, American eats.


Photo: Santa Barbara / Zocha Group

Photo: Belmond El Encanto Santa Barbara

Big Sur

Make your way up to this Central Coast destination to get in touch with Mother Earth. Go for a hike at the Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park which has plenty of trails and local wildlife to see along the way. Stop off at McWay Falls to witness the 80-foot waterfall that’s sure to make for an iconic photo op. You can also head to the Carmel River Sate Beach to soak up the sun and scuba dive in the natural lagoon. As for your stay, you’ll feel on top of the world if you book at the Post Ranch Inn, which features dramatic views of the endless ocean horizon. Dine at their award-winning Sierra Mar restaurant, or reserve a table at Nepenthe for relaxing, oceanside cuisine.


Photo: Big Sur / Zocha Group

Photo: Post Ranch Inn

San Francisco

A bustling tech hub in Northern California, San Francisco is a destination worth visiting for its food, activities, and culture as one of the state’s biggest landmarks. Head to the Conservatory of Flowers to see the thousands of blossoms in the museum-like greenhouse. Haight-Ashbury is the perfect shopping destination for vintage finds, while Mission Dolores Park gives you a destination to enjoy the breezy weather with the locals. Retreat to Nob Hill and try the Scarlet Huntington hotel for an eclectic stay, or the Fairmont for an elegant experience. If Italian food is on your mind, SPQR will hit the spot with handmade pastas that will astound your senses.


Photo: San Francisco / Zocha Group

Photo: Fairmont San Francisco


Just over six hours from Los Angeles, and one hour North of San Francisco, Napa is world-renowned for its wine country as hundreds of vineyards populate the city’s rolling hills. Since the 1970s, countless wineries have sprouted up throughout the area with the region providing the perfect soil and climate for rich, quality flavors. Wineries all over the city offer tours and tastings for you to sip from your new favorite label. You won’t be able to leave Napa Valley without experiencing the tasting menu at legendary restaurant The French Laundry. But if you have a taste for classic Japanese dishes, Miminashi might be a hot spot worth trying.


Photo: Napa / Zocha Group

Photo: The French Laundry

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Toast to the 2018 Time Out LA Bar Awards

The Los Angeles bar scene has established a name for itself with talented teams creating innovative concoctions in one-of-a-kind spaces throughout the city. From craft cocktails to finely-curated beer and wine lists, each bar contributes its own identity to help build a colorful spectrum of options for LA citizens and visitors alike. Time Out helps to recognize achievements in the bar industry with their 3rd Annual LA Bar Awards, where nominees impress the masses through service, ambiance and taste.

Photo: Time Out


Time Out

Time Out makes it their mission to educate their thrill-seeking audience about how to live it up in cities across the world. For their US divisions in New York, Chicago, LA, Austin, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Miami, this includes an annual Bar Awards event that recognizes the scope of talent making strides in the industry. This year’s nominees range from favored neighborhood watering holes to expansive hot spots. A panel of respected industry experts gather to decide who will come out on top in categories of Best New Bar, Most Stylish, Bar of the Year and more.


Photo: Time Out Bar Awards

LA Bar Awards Nominees

NYC favorites arriving to LA to add a dash of East Coast flare has become a trend in the LA bar scene, as well as this year’s nominees. In West Hollywood, Employees Only opened with a buzz as the world-renowned brand finally spread its talents to Southern California, earning a nomination for Best New Bar. The Nomad Hotel’s Giannini Bar has four nominations, boasting a quality cocktail program on the level of its award-winning New York relative, The Nomad Bar. Miami’s acclaimed Broken Shaker brand, now with an NYC location, was welcomed with open arms to Downtown LA and snagged two nominations.

Newcomers aren’t the only ones being lauded as a number of veteran destinations also made the cut for this year’s list. The Roosevelt Hotel’s beloved bowling alley-bar hybrid The Spare Room received two nominations. Revered Los Feliz neighborhood spot Big Bar is acknowledged with three nominations including Bar of the Year. The category created for thriving classic favorites, Best Legacy Bar, includes famed whiskey bar Seven Grand and cherished Cole’s speakeasy-style hideaway The Varnish.


Photo: Employees Only LA

Photo: Giannini Bar NoMad Los Angeles

Photo: Broken Shaker LA

Photo: The Spare Room

Photo: Big Bar

Photo: The Varnish

OUE Skyspace

Nominees, press, and friends of the industry will all assemble for the invite-only event at OUE Skyspace in Downtown LA to hear the announcement of the winners on Monday, June 25th. For the second year in a row, the sky-high locale will give attendees a panoramic view of Los Angeles as they sip on handcrafted drinks and taste delicious passed appetizers. The event’s sponsors, William Grant & Sons, Hendrick’s Gin, Flor de Caña, and Segura Viudas IO, will lend their spirits to the bar for a night that’s sure to impress the seasoned industry guests. No matter the champions of this year’s event, each bar continues to make a quality contribution to Los Angeles’ reputation as a haven for creativity and style.


Photo: OUE Skyspace

Post-Event Update

The event was a success as the industry crowd mixed and mingled atop OUE Skyspace with panoramic views of Los Angeles. With many bar teams familiar with each other’s venues through industry connections, guests cheered each winner as if it were a win for themselves. Apotheke took home the award for Most Stylish and The Normandie Club was awarded Best Crew. The biggest title of the night, Bar of the Year, went to Accomplice. The night was full of drinks, bites, and good vibes as creativity in the LA bar industry was celebrated.

Check out the full list of nominees and winners:

Bar of the Year sponsored by Hendricks Gin: Accomplice

Big Bar
NoMad (Giannini Bar)
The Normandie Club
Pacific Seas

Photo: Accomplice Bar

Best Legacy Bar sponsored by Flor de Caña: The Spare Room

Musso and Frank Grill
Seven Grand
The Varnish

Photo: The Spare Room

Best Wine Bar sponsored by Segura Viudas IO: Bar Covell

Bar Bandini
Esters Wine Shop & Bar

Photo: Bar Covell

Best New Bar: NoMad (Giannini Bar)

Bibo Ergo Sum
Broken Shaker
Employees Only

Photo: Giannini Bar

Best Bar-Restaurant Program: The Ponte

The Hearth and Hound

Photo: The Ponte

Best Crew: The Normandie Club

Big Bar
Harvard & Stone
The Spare Room
The Walker Inn

Photo: The Normandie Club

Most Stylish: Apothéke LA

Bibo Ergo Sum
Broken Shaker
NoMad (Giannini Bar)

Photo: Apothéke LA

Best Cocktail in the City: Cold Hollow at Bibo Ergo Sum

Yo LA Tengo at Everson Royce Bar
Mezcali Me Banana at Melrose Umbrella Co.
Sazerac at The Normandie Club
Russian Tea G&T at Rudolph’s Bar & Tea

Photo: Cold Hollow at Bibo Ergo Sum

Most-Instagrammable Cocktail: Cola at The Walker Inn

Pearl Diver at Accomplice
Banana Wintour at Big Bar
Cocktail Explosion at NoMad (Giannini Bar)
Donga Punch at Pacific Seas

Photo: Cola at The Walker Inn

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Check back on June 26th for a recap of the event and an updated list of the 2018 winners.

For information on reservations and accommodations in Los Angeles, please contact

From Imagination to Reality at Goya Studios

With a prime Hollywood location, Goya Studios has established itself as an expansive space to accommodate a range of Los Angeles events and productions. Their quality sound stages attract world-renowned clientele who have embraced the venue for red carpet events, corporate celebrations and unique, promotional productions. Goya Studios has positioned itself for success in becoming an essential in the event and entertainment production industries.

It takes much more than an idea to see a fully-immersive event experience come to life. The team behind Goya Studios, Nina Moayer and Joey Jenson, have embraced what it means to imagine by executing stunning productions in their Hollywood space. The word Goya, an Urdu word for “the act of disbelief through storytelling,” becomes an integral part of the team’s mission in orchestrating spectacular productions through creativity and technology.


Photo: The Copper Key Catering



Concepts are transformed into dreamlike realities during the process of putting together an event at Goya Studios. With three genuine, Hollywood sound stages that each boasts its own offerings, clients have no problem finding the right fit to house their production, performance or attraction. The industrial brick walls and concrete floors serve up stylized, textured options in Stage A. The intimate Stage B is fit to snap a winning photo with its industry-standard cyc wall for a pure, white backdrop. Stage C offers the largest square footage where music video, television and film productions have plenty of space to create a masterpiece.


Photo: Stage A Goya Studios

Photo: Stage B Goya Studios

Photo: Stage C Goya Studios


Putting together an event or production always involves a spectrum of moving parts, and Goya Studios has thought of everything. A private parking lot makes for easy access to each of the three stages. Technologies around the facility allow brands limitless innovation in lighting, sound and even special effects to be integrated into their event’s design. Any and all equipment needed is also offered to provide a full-service and convenient experience. The in-house catering, provided by The Copper Key and led by Michelin-starred Chef Guus Wickenhagen, is also a one-of-a-kind service that will keep both guests and crew satisfied with delicious eats.


Photo: The Copper Key Catering


With a space that can house up to 1,200 people, the massive campus has been used for state-of-the-art events that could only be conceived in the creative capital of Los Angeles. Puma partnered with rapper Big Sean to launch their joint collection at Goya Studios where a pop up shop, food truck, and barbershop were featured for guests to enjoy. Netflix’s Stranger Things celebrated its season two debut by hosting a binge-watching party with ‘80s arcade games, couches and a theatrically designed setting reflecting the beloved show. Freeform and POPSUGAR used the studio for their pop-up Mermaid Museum in promoting the premiere of Freeform’s Siren. The photographable scenery, 3D underwater room and eerie mermaid tank made for an interactive event that utilized the versatility of the expansive Goya Studios space.


Photo: Big Sean Goya Studios

Photo: Goya Studios / The Copper Key Catering

Photo: Goya Studios

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Summer Destinations for a Greek Holiday Getaway

Your dream vacation awaits in a country of picturesque waterfront hideaways, bright white architecture, and clear blue skies to match your view of the Mediterranean Seas. Greece is an ideal getaway made up of thousands of islands that come together to create a summer in paradise. No matter your city of choice, you’re bound to wine and dine without a care in this beloved Southern European locale.

Photo: Zocha Group



This island in the Aegean Sea is one of Greece’s most popular destinations—a seaside oasis perfect for a luxurious escape. Sandy beaches and tantalizing nightlife help to draw in visitors looking for a lavish place to spend the summer. Make yourself at home in the lap of luxury by booking at the famous Belvedere Hotel, or stay at Mykonos Blu for a five-star experience. Mykonos dining proves to be some of the greatest in the country with talented chefs plating signature Greek cuisine. Scorpios boasts gourmet Mediterranean dishes with an open-air space and communal seating fit for socializing. Integrate a bit of revelry into your meal with Nammos’ dazzling day parties and concerts to complement their exquisite seafood dining.


Photo: Mykonos Blu

Photo: Nammos Mykonos


Head to the Cyclades island of Santorini to see Greece’s iconic, whitewashed buildings that sit perched cliffside above the sparkling ocean. Indulge in a romantic stay at Mystique to rejuvenate your mind, body and soul with ultimate relaxation, or book at the exclusive Grace Hotel to lose yourself in the breathtaking views and buzzed about luxury stay. The local cuisine will have you savoring each bite with authentic dishes featuring unmatched, quality ingredients. Head to Pyrgos Village to enjoy the intimate terrace dining at Selene and take in an award-winning, gastronomic experience. The cozy balcony of Koukoumavlos in Fira is also an option that will have you enjoying gourmet cuisine overlooking a stunning landscape view. End your night with a celebration at the famous Koo Club where you’ll be able to dance your heart out indoors and party beneath the night sky on the open lounge.


Photo: Mystique Santorini

Photo: Grace Hotel


The capital might be your new favorite Greek destination with its numerous ancient landmarks and beloved cultural attractions. Dive into Athenian history by staying at the Hotel Grande Bretagne in Syntagma Square for unparalleled views of classical architecture in the heart of the city. The Electra Palace in Plaka also has an ideal location with a beautiful design that’s sure to impress. Being the largest city in Greece, there are plenty of diverse dining options that are sure to leave you satisfied. If taking a cable car to dine atop the highest point in the city is your style, try Orizontes for an outdoor terrace view to remember. Stop by the one-of-a-kind Spondi to taste from a world-renowned menu boasting two Michelin stars and a unique, fine dining experience. As the sun goes down, you’ll want to visit Island nightclub on the Athens Riviera for an entertaining party destination with delicious cocktails.


Photo: GB Rooftop Garden at Hotel Grande Bretagne Athens

Photo: Island Nightclub Athens

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Explore Your World with a New Experience

Adventure is just around the corner when you invest in learning, tasting and feeling your way through life by way of taking in new experiences. Thrill-seekers across the globe are taking trips to unseen places and living like a local rather than submitting to typical tourist itineraries. If you’re looking to try something new on your next vacation, think outside of the box and open yourself up to encounter the extraordinary.

Photo: Zocha Group


Helicopter Ride

See the city from great heights when you take a helicopter ride for a bird’s eye view. The private and intimate journey will give you new perspective as you rise above the terrain with the freedom to go where you please. Whether you’re seeing the New York City skyline or floating above the Grand Canyon, a helicopter ride may be just what you and your group needs to add an exciting touch to your trip.


Photo: Zocha Group

Brew Your Own Beer

The modern craft beer scene is thriving with a culture of unique tastes and flavors that keep its fans coming back for more. You too can be an expert brewer when you sign on to create your own craft beer flavor. Whether you’re a fan of a rich IPA or a softer pale ale, you’ll be the one with the stamp of approval and get your own pack to take home and share.


Photo: Zocha Group

Scuba Diving

The only thing more mysterious than outer space is what lies beneath the sea—signing up for an ocean dive may help enlighten you to another world right here on Earth. Bond with friends or family as you’re given a guided underwater tour of all the plants, animals, and landscapes that lie on the ocean floor.


Photo: Zocha Group

Cocktail Class

Ever wanted to be a master mixologist? The experience can be yours when you sign up for a cocktail class taught by a knowledgeable bartender. Learn the ropes of measuring, mixing and a dose of flair so that you’ll be able to impress your loved ones with your new skills. Learn to understand cocktails through the eyes of a professional while developing an appreciation for the historical craft.


Photo: Zocha Group

Private Chefs Dinner

Having a private chef all to yourself may just be a dream, but that dream can come true when you plan a dinner party with a menu prepared by a culinary expert. Invite your favorite people to mix and mingle while they feast on delicious cuisine in the privacy of your own home. You’ll be the star host when you give your friends a dinner to remember with the talent of an experienced chef creating the perfect night.


Photo: Zocha Group

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