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Vanessa Van Edwards' Favorite Secret Spots!

by Robin mcgraw

Hello Secret Squad!


As I mentioned in this week’s podcast with Vanessa Van Edwards, I wanted to put together a list of all of the secret spots she shared with me during our game.  Below are some of her favorite spots from around the world! I can’t wait to visit some of these places myself! 


Nossa Familia Coffee! 

This is Vanessa’s favorite place to grab a cup of coffee when she’s in Portland which is where her lab, Science of People, is located!  Nossa Familia was founded in 2004 by Augusto Carneiro, who wanted to bring his family’s coffee from Brazil to the city of Portland. I know that if I ever find myself in Portland, this will be my first stop!


la Barbecue 

Since Vanessa lives in Austin, I had to ask her where her favorite place to get barbeque is! As a Texas girl myself, I knew this would be a tough question to answer because you can get good barbecue pretty much anywhere! She told me that her husband’s favorite, which was also her favorite, was a place called la Barbecue. Run by LeAnn Mueller and her wife Alison Clem, la Barbecue specializes in salty and savory rubs as well as dishes that honor LeAnn’s German relatives. I think you all know where you’ll find me next time I’m in Austin!


Beaches in Cartagena, Columbia

Vanessa has been all over the world, so I was really curious to hear where her favorite beach was. I was so surprised to hear that it was in Cartagena, Columbia! She described it as the most beautiful, amazing and incredible beach she has ever been to. Vanessa said that since Cartagena is a historical town, it looks like Europe yet you’re in South America! How cool is that!?


Dubai Mall

Vanessa’s favorite place to shop in Dubai was the Dubai Mall, which I learned is the second largest mall in the world! On top of being the largest mall in the world, it also has an indoor ski slope and aquarium. Vanessa joked that you can ski right into Chanel! Sign me up!

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The Coast of Chile

While being an urban nomad, one of her favorite things she got to do was travel up the coast of Chile. She told me about how most of the beaches have little bars and huts near the water where you can go and get a drink. When she said that there was nothing better than having an ice cold beer looking out at the coast of Chile, I believed her!

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Food Carts in China

Vanessa studied abroad in Shanghai, China, which is where she met her husband! She said that they fell in love over street food, so I just HAD to know where the best place to go was. She said there was no better place than the cart that was right outside of the university they attended because the food was cheap, hot, and would fill you up for days. I loved how something as simple as food was at the heart of her relationship with her husband!

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Belgian Waffles

This may seem a bit obvious but I just had to ask Vanessa what the best sweet treat in Belgium is, and of course she said the Belgian Waffle! A great tip that she shared was that you don’t need to go to a fancy place to get one, you can find a street cart while walking around which will be just as good! The crystallized sugar makes the waffles distinct from the ones we are familiar with in the United States. Just the thought of smelling them walking around the city makes my mouth water!

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J. Paul Getty Museum

Vanessa was born and raised in Los Angeles so I was eager to hear where her favorite place to watch a sunset is! I have so many favorite spots of my own but I am always looking for new ones. Vanessa said her favorite place to go is the J. Paul Getty Museum because it has the best view of the city. To get there, you take a tram up to the top of the hill where the museum is located. You can grab a cappuccino, look at some art, and then admire an amazing view of the city of Los Angeles. Sounds like the perfect afternoon to me!  

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Secret squad, I loved getting to hear about all of Vanessa’s favorite secret spots but now I want to hear about yours! Comment on my most recent Instagram post to tell me where I should go on my next trip!

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