Chrissy Teigen loves all things food, family, and travel. As a Chase Sapphire Reserve cardmember, she’s passionate about exploring the world like a traveler, not a tourist. In Talking Travel, we spoke with Teigen to uncover her top travel recommendations from some of her most memorable adventures.
Q: | What’s your favorite memory of a trip to Italy?
Lake Como will always have a special place in my heart. The very first time John (Legend) and I went, we were in our first year of dating and it was so magical. We say we fell in love there because it was such a beautiful place and the timing was perfect for us to take our relationship to the next level. I remember crying when it was over because I wondered if anything could be so perfect again. Luckily, we’ve gotten the chance to go back there many times since then. We shot the “All of Me” music video there, and got married there—we go every year, and every year I love it. Venice has so much charm, Florence has the best food, but Lake Como will always be my favorite place.
Q: | What’s the most romantic thing you experienced during a trip to Italy?
Last year, John surprised me and we went back to the house where “All of Me” was filmed… but this time with Luna! We had a chef come and cook us a beautiful lunch and enjoyed the house and the view with our friends and family. It was overwhelming to see everything come full circle and for our daughter to finally be part of a place that holds so many of our favorite memories.
Q: | If you had one hour in New York, what would be your top must-see or must-do activity to really feel the vibe of being a local in the city?
New York is where I feel a true sense of “home.” Yes, I live in Los Angeles now, but nothing will ever be the same as New York—I try and ignore the fact that we no longer have a home there.
As many may expect, eating at my favorite restaurants is a must-do for me. If it’s Thursday, you’ll almost always find me at Frank for lasagna verde Thursdays. Their lasagna is so perfect! So flavorful, with that crispy layer of cheese at the top. Frank is a small neighborhood Italian restaurant, right near where we used to live in the East Village. We always share the pastas family-style and have a great time. They also have an amazing brunch dish there called baked eggs ragu. It’s eggs with a hearty meat sauce, all topped with cheese. Mmm!
Another favorite spot is the oh-so-famous Japanese ramen spot, Ippudo. When John (Legend) and I went to Japan, we tried to do a daily ramen challenge—we failed by day three, but the tonkotsu pork broth at Ippudo is the closest I’ve ever tasted to the ramen in Japan.
If you’re like me and crave Asian foods, Kori Tribeca is another place I make sure to visit when in New York. They have these different rice bowls in a steaming hot pot (I get the bulgogi one). Make sure to press down the rice to the sides of the bowl for crispy amazingness.
Lastly, I cannot forget Momofuku. Everyone has heard of their pork buns and desserts, so I won’t go on and on, but they definitely don’t disappoint. John is obsessed with the smoky sweet chicken wings and I love the chilled spicy noodles with sausage and candied cashews. And the special order Korean fried chicken. Ok…maybe I could go on and on.
Q: | What are your three favorite classic New York foods?
From visiting Thailand, I’ve always been a fan of street meat. In New York, I love a good halal food truck. My favorite one is on 4th Street at Washington Square Park.
New York pizza slices are legendary, of course. My favorite thing is walking down St. Mark’s Place in the East Village and grabbing a slice at Stromboli. It’s not fancy, but it’s authentic and delicious.
New York also has really awesome pho. I love the quickness of walking into Pho Grand and grabbing a bowl of pho tai and chả giò – Vietnamese spring rolls. We even had a birthday party for my mom, Pepper, there. Big gold balloons, cake, the whole thing—everyone in the restaurant was looking at us, but I think it was one of Pepper’s favorite birthdays.
Q: | What are your must-pack items when traveling with a child?
First of all, you need the basics like a stroller and a diaper bag full of diapers, wipes, and bottles. But, for those long flights, you need distractions like toys (our daughter Luna loves Elmo) and books and food (green veggie pouches and lots of snacks).
Q: | What is one of your top travel tips for planning a family getaway?
Baby-proof the room. If you’re traveling with a baby, don’t be afraid to ask the hotel to baby-proof the room for you (from covering the outlets to removing dangerous objects). In addition to what you can do on your own, most times, the hotel will be happy to help you and you’ll be so glad that your baby can explore the room without you being in constant fear.