Last week, a rogue Egyptian Cobra, to be named by the public in upcoming weeks, escaped from New York City's Bronx Zoo. She was on the run for six days before being found in the Zoo's Reptile House! Zoo's are a favorite destination for all ages, but sometimes it's hard to find a satisfactory meal if you're not into animal shaped chicken nuggets or soggy French fries. Here's a list of recommended restaurants near some of the world's favorite zoos:
Bronx Zoo , New York * Home of a now entirely contained snake collection, this large zoo on the outskirts of New York City is free! Nearby Arthur Avenue in the Belmont neighborhood is home to a host of old-school Italian restaurants. Roberto's and Trattoria Zero Otto Nove are both solid choices for classic Italian-American favorites from calamari to thin-crust pizza.
San Diego Zoo, California * This zoo is known for its incredible variety of animals and the high standard of animal living. Meercats, pandas, baby gorillas, dozens of bird species - basically, you name it, and this zoo's got it. Located in the same park, Balboa Park, is the Prado, with a lively atmosphere and outrageously good twists on traditional American food. For a more eclectic menu, try the sustainability-oriented Cucina Urbana a few blocks away.
Atlanta Zoo, Georgia * Atlanta Zoo is home to panda cubs and much, much more! Nearby Six Feet Under is a place with unique local flavor, from the ambiance to the menu - they have great seafood and Tex-Mex options. If you're in the mood for some Southern culinary hospitality, try Ria's Bluebird for some of the best pancakes in the country and fantastic vegetarian options.
Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Washington D.C. * This zoo is known not only for its free admission and happy animals, but also for its spectacular views of the nation's capital. Nearby, Spices Asian Restaurant & Sushi Bar with both tasty sushi and Asian fusion options, something for everyone. For great service and charming modern American fare, try Ardeo.
Taronga Zoo, Mosman near Sydney, Australia * This adventure down under can even include a few hours behind the scenes with a zoo keeper. See where the animals' food is made and even help feed the animals in their enclosure among other daily zookeeper activities! Bathers' Pavillion has some of the best service, wine, and food around, and even epic views of nearby beaches. Another great local secret is The Tearoom Gunners' Barracks for an amazing selection of teas and teatime nibbles that draw from a range of cultures.
To read more about the cobra naming competition, go here.