Insider's City Guide
(FORTUNE Magazine) – You're traveling on business this summer and find yourself with a few hours to kill. No client to satisfy. No kids to entertain. Just you--itching to fill your belly, slake your thirst, and relax in great spots that aren't packed with tourists. But where? We asked 13 business luminaries where they like to go in their own towns. Here are their picks.
Jeffrey Bleustein CEO, Harley-Davidson Has lived there for 29 years.
"I've got a favorite neighborhood restaurant called the RANGE LINE INN [2635 West Mequon Road, Mequon, 262-242-0530]. It is in an old house that's been there for more than 100 years. It is just a local eatery, a homey kind of place. I walk in there and know half the people. You get the same people over and over again. They make the best barbecued chicken in the world, and their Friday fish fry is fabulous. You know, the Friday fish fry is a Milwaukee thing. Everyone claims to be the best for Friday fish fry, but this is really good."
Herb Kelleher Chairman, Southwest Airlines Has lived in Texas since 1960.
"Go to NORTHWEST POINT [2053 West Northwest Highway, 972-869-2477]. It's a Cheers kind of place, a neighborhood hangout full of regulars. They make me my drink--a bloody bull--the minute they see me walking through the door. It's in North Dallas, in a fabulous shopping center where you can get anything--platinum jewelry, condoms, a tan."
Warren Buffett Chairman, Berkshire Hathaway Has lived there most of his life.
"The best place to have lunch is GORAT'S STEAK HOUSE [4917 Center Street, 402-551-3733]. I'd suggest the hot roast-beef sandwich, mashed potatoes, and extra gravy. The best place to have dinner? Gorat's. I don't get around much."
Michael Dell Chairman, Dell Has lived there for 21 years.
"For a run, the trail at Town Lake is best; if you stay at any downtown hotel you will be right nearby. It is perfect for just about any distance. If you run early, go to nearby MAGNOLIA CAFE [2304 Lake Austin Boulevard, 512-478-8645] after your run. Get the migas [an egg and tortilla dish].
"For great Tex-Mex food, go to CHUY'S [1728 Barton Springs Road, 512-474-4452]. There's lots of local color--it's an authentic Austin kind of place with pictures of Elvis, hubcaps, and lots of other 'art.' If you're not watching your cholesterol, go to THREADGILL'S [6416 North Lamar Boulevard, 512-451-5440]. Real Southern cooking. For 24-hour dining, try KERBEY LANE CAFe [four locations; the original is at 3704 Kerbey Lane, 512-451-1436].
"There are tons of live music acts just about every night. Try ANTONE'S [213 West Fifth Street, 512-320-8424] or LA ZONA ROSA [612 West Fourth Street, 512-263-4146]. If you have a tie on, you are way overdressed at any of these places! Which is why I like them all!"
"I like the PARTHENON RESTAURANT [314 South Halsted Street, 312-726-2407] in Greektown. I've been going there since the '60s. A very festive atmosphere and the best gyros in Chicago." John Madigan Former chairman, Tribune Co. Has lived in the area all his life.
Amy Pascal Chairman, Motion Picture Group, Sony Pictures Entertainment Has lived there all her life.
"The best roast chicken is at ZANKOU CHICKEN [5065 West Sunset Boulevard, 323-665-7842]. It's a little Armenian place in a strip mall in a really funky part of town--in deep, dark Hollywood, the part where most people don't roam. But it has the greatest chicken ever. And I've had roast chicken everywhere, including restaurants all over Paris. It's so spicy. Make sure you order it with extra garlic sauce--whipped sauce in those little paper cups. The chicken comes in a plastic basket with pita bread and the best hummus.
"The best coffee place around is URTH CAFE [8565 Melrose Avenue, 310-659-0628] in West Hollywood. They have the thickest, thickest, thickest milky foam on their cappuccino. It's the kind of place where you'll run into Kirsten Dunst and Jake Gyllenhaal and their dogs. It's really crowded, but you can sit outside for hours and read."
Richard Branson Founder, Virgin Group Has lived there since 1967.
"For coffee, go to the ELECTRIC BRASSERIE [191 Portobello Road, 020-7908-9696]. It's a great place for reading the morning newspaper and watching the Portobello Road Antiques Market come to life--one of the best markets in the whole of London.
"For lunch, go to THE CHURCHILL ARMS [119 Kensington Church Street, 020-7792-1246], a traditional English pub with a fantastic, amazing Thai restaurant attached. And it's cheap: None of the main courses costs more than £6 [$11].
"For dinner, there's a lovely place called HALEPI W2 [18 Leinster Terrace, Bayswater, 020-7262-1070]. It's a great, down-to-earth, family-run Greek restaurant. The food is fantastic. I once took Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson there for dinner, and it was all going extremely well until Goldie, who had this enormous ring on her finger, let me take it off and put it on my finger, and subsequently I couldn't get it off. I went home to my wife, Joan, that night with a big ring on my finger. (Thankfully, I'd told her who I was going to dinner with.) The next day I had to go to a jeweler to cut it off. Despite that, they loved the food.
"For a cocktail, go to THE BELVEDERE [off Abbotsbury Road in Holland Park, 020-7602-1238]. It's a really beautiful bar and restaurant, slap-bang in the middle of the park--a peaceful oasis right in the middle of West London, with great views. Nobody knows about it.
"Or there's JIMMY'S [18 Kensington Church Street, 020-7937-9988], a great bar that stays open till the wee small hours of the morning. Filled with good music and great laughs. But be careful when you try to find it--all it has is a tiny little sign above the door that says BAR."
Jack Welch Former CEO, General Electric Grew up in the area and now lives there.
"VIA MATTA [79 Park Plaza, Back Bay, 617-422-0008] has the best Italian, with a light, fresh atmosphere. B&G OYSTERS [550 Tremont Street, 617-423-0550] has an intimate scene, fish cooked behind the bar, and 20-plus choices of fresh oysters. Then there's the CAPITAL GRILLE [359 Newbury Street, Back Bay, 617-262-8900], for the best filet mignon in New England."
NEW YORK CITY
Dick Parsons CEO, Time Warner Has lived there all his life.
"The best place for breakfast is THE PINK TEACUP [42 Grove Street, West Village, 212-807-6755]. Where else can you get apple fritters, grits, a three-egg omelet, Smithfield ham, and biscuits all on the same plate?"
Howard Schultz Chairman, Starbucks Has lived there for 22 years.
"For breakfast, go to TOP POT [2124 Fifth Avenue, Belltown, 206-728-1966] and order the homemade doughnuts. For lunch, try SALUMI [309 Third Avenue South, 206-621-8772], a great, inexpensive place that cures its own meats and has a big communal table. My favorite unpretentious place to have dinner is SOSTANZA TRATTORIA [1927 43rd Avenue East, 206-324-9701], an Italian hideaway in the Madison Park neighborhood. If it's not raining, sit on the balcony overlooking Lake Washington and watch the sunset.
"If you like burgers, go to PALACE KITCHEN [2030 Fifth Avenue, 206-448-2001], an upscale saloon tucked under the monorail tracks. For fish, go to JACK'S FISH SPOT [1514 Pike Place, 206-467-0514]; you can get outstanding fish and chips at the standup bar. Or try NISHINO [3130 East Madison Street, 206-322-5800], which has amazing sushi. The best wine list is at CANLIS [2576 Aurora Avenue North, 206-283-3313], which has legendary service.
"For a beer, go to THE ATTIC [4226 East Madison Street, 206-323-3131] in Madison Park, a great divey little bar. If you want to hear live music, go to THE TRIPLE DOOR [216 Union Street, 206-838-4333], a former vaudeville house that hosts every kind of performer: jazz, blues, rock, Latin--you name it."
"Go to AFGHANI HOUSE [1103 East El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, 408-248-5087]. The lamb kebabs are amazing." Mike Splinter CEO, Applied Materials Has lived in Northern Calif. for more than 20 years.
Sallie Krawcheck CEO, Smith Barney Grew up there and still has a house in the area.
"My favorite place to eat in Charleston is MELVIN'S LEGENDARY BAR-B-QUE [538 Folly Road, 843-762-0511]. Somehow in the great barbecue debates, South Carolina barbecue is the undiscovered gem. It's more mustardy than North Carolina barbecue (but in a good way) and completely different from Texas barbecue. That being said, every time I go to Melvin's with the goal of getting barbecue, I remember that it has been voted as having the No. 1 cheeseburger in America. And it does. And so that's what I always order.
"But I don't really hang out there. Take the cheeseburger, fries, and onion rings, and head to nearby Sullivan's Island (just north of downtown Charleston). There you can enjoy the view of one of the South's nicest beaches with the country's best cheeseburger."
Bill Ford Chairman and CEO, Ford Motor Has lived in the area most of his life.
"The best place to eat lunch is LASHISH [22039 Michigan Avenue, Dearborn, 313-562-7200], a tasty and inexpensive Middle Eastern restaurant. It's great Arabic food. I like everything, especially the hummus and the chicken.
"The best unpretentious place to have dinner is THE TRAFFIC JAM AND SNUG [511 West Canfield Street, 313-831-9470], a brewpub downtown in the Wayne State University area. There's nothing spectacular about it, but it's very good food and a casual atmosphere.
"I also like sports bars like CHELI'S [21918 Michigan Avenue, Dearborn, 313-274-9700], owned by Detroit Red Wings player Chris Chelios, and BAILEY'S [22099 Michigan Avenue, Dearborn, 313-277-3212]. I play hockey once a week with a group of guys, and we like to go there afterward for a beer."