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North America’s best bar for 2023 serves pizza cocktails

<i>Emmanuel Rosario/Courtesy Double Chicken Please</i><br/>North America's new best bar
Emmanuel Rosario/Courtesy Double Chicken Please
North America's new best bar

By Maureen O’Hare, CNN

This week in travel news: Crowns are handed out to pizza joints, bars and an English king. India and Italy are cooking up record-breaking engineering projects. And we reveal why going on a hiking trip might be one of the best ways to find love.

Award-winning bars and restaurants

Double Chicken Please, a cocktail bar-slash-chicken joint on New York’s Lower East Side, took the No.1 spot in North America’s 50 Best Bars 2023. The honors were announced Thursday. Its fun approach to libations includes meal-inspired cocktails such as the whiskey-based Waldorf Salad and rum-based Mango Sticky Rice.

Then there’s the wonderfully bizarre Cold Pizza cocktail, with the unlikely ingredients of Parmigiano Reggiano, tequila, tomato, basil, honey, egg white and burnt toast.

Italians, famously protective of their culinary heritage, might disapprove, but many are still happy to celebrate the dough-based achievements of other nations. A newly published Italian list names the Best Pizza in Europe 2023, all outside the home country. Pizzerias in Barcelona, Denmark and London jostle at the top.

Hiking gets the heart racing

It’s official: Exercise is good for the heart. Loni Philbrick-Linzmeyer and Kjarten Bergqvist were two strangers from opposite sides of the worlds who crossed paths while hiking Europe’s renowned Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail. Three weeks later, they were engaged.

Patricia Salazar and Aaron Toto met while running along the stunning Peekaboo Trail in Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park. His whole family was there on their first date later that night.

If you have adventures planned under the stars with your boo or with your buds, our partners at CNN Underscored, a product reviews and recommendations guide owned by CNN, have rounded up the best camping and backpacking pillows, according to experts.

Record-breaking bridges

The world’s tallest railway bridge is set to open in India at the end of this year. The Chenab Bridge sits some 1,180 feet (360 meters) above the Chenab River in the contentious Kashmir region and is nearly 100 feet taller than the Eiffel Tower. It’s been decades in the making and is part of a wider project to make the Kashmir Valley accessible by the Indian Railway network.

Meanwhile, Italy has dreams of building the world’s longest suspension bridge. The idea of a bridge connecting Sicily to the mainland has been floating around since Roman times, but a new government decree means the mammoth engineering project might now actually happen — although the Mafia and geography could make it tricky.

Destination inspiration

For urban adventure away from the traditional tourist mainstays, we have some fresh suggestions.

Nagoya, home to the much-raved-about new Ghibli Park, is shaking off its reputation as “Japan’s most boring city” and proving itself to be a worthy destination in its own right.

In Greece, Eleusis has in recent years been a declining industrial port, but this belies its 3,000-year-history as what was once among Europe’s most sacred cities, with marble temples overlooking the blue waters of the Saronic Gulf. Now, as a Cultural Capital of Europe for 2023, its renaissance is fully underway.

Now that entering the States as a non-US citizen has got a little more seamless with the lifting of the Covid vaccine requirement, international visitors might like to turn their attentions to Seattle. This “boom and bust town” has a ceaseless energy and a proud history of innovation.

Law and order

A man was arrested at a Boston airport last month for allegedly carrying a “vampire straw” in his luggage. It’s not actually designed for Dracula to slurp up his victims, but he could definitely give it a try. It’s a titanium straw with a pointed edge and is a multiuse, self-defense tool. Take a look here.

King Charles gets his crown

London airports were expected to greet more than 2 million arrivals this week, according to aviation analytics firm Cirium, as the country prepares for the coronation of King Charles III on Saturday.

Here’s a guide to all the action in the UK capital and, if you can’t make it for the crowning, here’s our perennial guide to London’s royal hangouts, from curry houses to gay bars to theme parks.

In case you missed it

A zoo in England is looking for people to dress up as birds to chase off seagulls.

But it’s bees you need to look out for in Texas: A swarm delayed a Delta flight for three hours.

Saudi Arabia says LGBTQ visitors are welcome.

But it might take more than an apparent website update for travelers to feel confident.

This theme park boasts the most roller coasters in the world.

There are an incredible 20 coasters to ride.

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