I love to eat. Whether on the road, or at home, finding good food is top priority. And in my opinion, one of the best parts of travel is discovering delicious food and cuisines, and sharing it with new friends around the world. So where in the world is the best place to get some delicious eats?
The world of travel blogging is full of great tips, information and inspiration. So what better people to ask for foodie travel inspiration than bloggers. Here is what they had to share:
Great Foodie Cities Around The World
New York City, USA
Carole – Travels With Carole
I love to eat myself silly in NYC. My adult daughter lives there, so she gives me a head start with hitting great places. I love walking around with her because she leads me to places like Magnolia Bakery for divine cupcakes and to the Max Brenner Chocolate Bar for the world’s best hot chocolate. But that isn’t enough. I have also taken some great foodie tours that have allowed me to graze delightfully–a pizza tour where the guide actually tests the temperatures of the various ovens and a Jewish nosh food tour where we watched matzos being made are among my favorites.
Savannah, Georgia, USA
Karen – Family Travels on a Budget
Savannah, oh, how we love her! Stately homes. Wide boulevards. Mighty oaks. Southern cooking and pralines. Savannah defines southern charm. Lunch at Mrs. Wiles’ Dining Room is Savannah’s history. Yes, we understand — reservations are not accepted, but that all-you-can-eat family style southern dinner is worth the wait! So delicious. So very, very southern. Of course, the Pirates’ House award winning pecan fried chicken is fabulous too. Besides, it’s hard to beat the location — the oldest building in the city, full of piratical secrets. Ayyy! Sure, Savannah offers great shrimp and grits, but no visit is complete without lunch at Zunzi’s — a hole in the wall near the historic district! The owners pull from their Swiss, Italian, Dutch and South African heritage to offer the best sandwiches anywhere. Visit Savannah. Delight in her tradition, but embrace the new… Your taste buds will thank you!
New Orleans, USA
Lauren – The Life That Broke
I’ve been to New Orleans three times and am scheduled to go again next month for Jazz Fest. Every time I go, I am at my most gluttonous. From the beignets (try them at Cafe Du Monde) to the po’ boys (fried seafood on a roll) to other Southern, Creole and Cajun fare like catfish, Gulf oysters, fried chicken and muffulettas, New Orleans is a prime destination for foodies. Some places to try: Brennan’s, a 69-year-old French Quarter staple where you can order gumbo, frog legs, turtle soup and banana’s foster cooked table-side; The Commander’s Palace in the Garden District is home to beef and seafood dishes considered “haute” Creole cuisine, in addition to specialties like crawfish gnocchi, seared foie gras and chicory coffee quail; and in the Uptown District on Freret Street is the more casual The High Hat Cafe known for its catfish, local Gulf fish and Delta tamales.
Old Delhi, India
Prachi – Delicously Directionless
Old Delhi, also known as Dilli 6 (after its pin code) is as different from the capital city of New Delhi as chalk and cheese. No wide roads and pavements, no massive parks and certainly no political bigwigs driving around. But what Old Delhi has in spades is character – a history that stretches back over centuries, monuments and architecture from a bygone era, and more food than you could possibly eat on a day out! There’s all kinds of street food to feast on – from sweet & tangy chaat to ghee-laden parathas, from sweet, crunchy jalebis to thick lassi, not to mention soft morsels of meat kebabs and mutton korma. And if it’s winter, it’s time for the ephemeral pleasures of daulat ki chaat – a light-as-air mixture of whipped milk and cream, tinged with saffron and lightly dusted with sugar.
Zara – Backpack Me
If you’re a seafood lover, not many destinations will manage to keep you as happy as Portugal. I think foodie cravings are a very good excuse for a trip to Lisbon anytime of the year. Blend Portuguese people’s love for food, culinary traditions influenced by the Portuguese voyages 500 years ago and the fact that Lisbon luckily faces the sea, and you end up with a welcoming temple for seafood lovers!
Seafood doesn’t have to be expensive in Portugal. Affordable traditional staples in the Lisbon area include sardines and other freshly caught grilled fishes. As “snacks” or appetizers, Portuguese people often order small plates called “petiscos” (similar to “tapas’ in Spain). Popular petiscos may include octopus salad drenched in olive oil and herbs or clams in buttery wine sauce.
For those special days, feasts with a variety of seafood are in order. If you’d like to enjoy seafood Portuguese style, head to a typical “cervejaria”, that is, beer shop. Here, beer somehow becomes secondary when the goal really is to feast on lobster, crab, shrimps, clams and a variety of other sea creatures. For dessert, order a steak sandwich. Yes, a steak sandwich! That’s how we do it in Portugal and, trust me, it feels good!
Vancouver is my favourite foodie city in Canada. This coastal city embraces the cultures of all who have taken up residence there, and you can find cuisines of pretty much every culture in Vancouver. Vancouver is also home to Canada’s largest Asian population, making it the best place in Canada for Asian cuisine.
British Columbia is also home to the annual salmon run, making it one of the best places to get fresh, delicious smoked salmon. Salmon features on the menu in many restaurants, and the quality can not be beat.
Vancouver has also benefited from it’s close proximity to Portland, it’s large hipster population, and the recent craze for craft beer. There are several incredible craft breweries inside the city, and most pubs and bars have a massive selection of craft beers to try.
We just moved to Melbourne in Australia so I had to make sure our new adopted city made it to the list. After living for a few years in boring Brisbane, Melbourne is like a foodie paradise for me. The Melbourne food scene is so massive here, that it’s difficult to keep up. It seems like down every street, alley and back lane there is some sort of amazing cafe, restaurant, or bar just waiting to be discovered.
Melbournites like to hide their amazing spots in alleys, so do your research or chat up some locals to find the best places. Melbourne is also home to Australia’s largest China town. Head here for all sorts of authentic Asian cuisine.
One day I will write some food guides to Melbourne… but it will take me a while to sample everything on offer! If you have a restaurant to recommend in Melbourne, let me know in the comments!
Noumea, New Caledonia
Noumea is a really interesting place for foodies to visit. This Pacific Island is a French protectorate, meaning the culture and cuisine has now become an interesting blend of Pacific and French influences. There are three main areas of the city of Noumea that foodies will want to visit; the city centre, Anse Vata, and Baie des Citrons.
The city centre is a great place if you want traditional French restaurants. Some of the places here can get pricey, so we recommend going at lunch where you can get a three course meal for a fraction of the normal price. Anse Vata and Baie des Citrons are very popular areas near the cities main beaches. In these areas you can find a little bit of everything, including a few wine bars and even a micro brewery.
Laura – Eat Your World
With its unique mix of traditional and cutting-edge cuisine, Copenhagen is one of the most exciting food cities we’ve traveled to of late. In our eight days there, we developed something of a routine that revolved around food. Mornings began with a stop for wienerbrød, Danish pastry, such as the beloved snegle or “snail” pastries, spirals of cinnamon, butter, and iced sugar. Lunch was usually something very traditional, most often one of the many creative varieties of smørrebrød, the quintessential Danish open-faced-sandwich lunch (pictured); sometimes a late-afternoon snack came into play, like a hot dog on the street (pølse), paired with a chocolate milk (per the local way). Come dinner, we would either go for old-school meat-and-potatoes Danish fare (say, flæskesteg, roast pork, or frikadeller, pork meatballs), or we made reservations for multicourse, innovative “New Nordic” meals from some of the city’s top restaurants, like Relæ and Geist (we did require a babysitter those nights!). In between food stops, we sampled the area’s wide range of delicious local beers (isn’t that what a toddler’s naptime is for?) and walked for hours among the city’s picturesque canals, parks, and kid-friendly museums.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Ben – Ashmole Photography
Buenos Aires is renowned for its Mediterranean climate, colourful Latin culture and it’s obsession with red meat. Argentinians eat significantly more red meat per person than any other country, and proudly identify themselves as the meat capital of the world. If you love a good steak, then there is no place better.
There are a few ways to best have the Buenos Aires steak experience. The first is to head to any one of the hundreds of beef-only restaurants throughout the city. Every single part of the animal will be available on the menu, although for the uninitiated it is recommended to stick to the main cuts like rump of fillet. Bear in mind that in most cases the average steak portion is a gigantic 500g, so make sure you arrive with an empty stomach!
The second way, and the one I highly recommend, is to experience the legendary Carne Asado (Argentinian meat barbeque). You can find Asado restaurants all over Buenos Aires, and they are usually ‘all you can eat’. A gigantic barbeque grill is covered in all kinds of meat in a dizzying array of styles and cuts, and is carefully tended to by highly skilled barbeque chefs. Part of the chef’s job is to help you select the best meat for your tastes, and to get the most from the experience I highly recommend you use their help!
Amazing Foodie Regions Around The World
Annabel – Get In The Hot Spot
Italy has a reputation for fabulous food but I’ve heard stories from people going there and having terrible eating experiences. I guess they got stuck in touristy cafes, didn’t know what to order or were just unlucky. So I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went to Puglia last year. All the more so because it was February when I visited so most of the ingredients I’d consider to be typically Italian, like fresh tomatoes, aubergine and basil weren’t in season.
Sardinia – Italy
Claudia – My Adventures Across The World
Fine, I’ll admit I am not really much of a foodie and I am always reluctant to try “weird” dishes, whether in my beloved Sardinia or while travelling to some exotic destination. But I know for a fact that food shows such a huge part of the culture of a country and that if I really want to get to know a place, I will literally have to eat it.
That’s how people travelling to Sardinia learn that the traditional occupation here used to be (and to a great extent still is) shepardy. They may think that since we live on an island, we eat fish and seafood all the time. But when they actually get here, sit at a restaurant or local “agriturismo” (a farm tourism where all the dishes are prepared with produce grown at the farm) they will be served all our traditional dishes, based on cheese, lamb, pork and locally grown vegetables. We take the concept of slow food to extremes here, and on one of our many special occasions we’ll sit for up to 4 ours to gorge down a number of specialties which include malloreddus (a Sardinian type of gnocchi that doesn’t even remotely resemble Italian gnocchi), culurgiones (a ravioli style pasta, filled with cheese, mint and potatoes), lamb on a spit, and sebadas (sweets made of a thin pastry and filled with a local cheese, then fried and served hot, topped with honey).
Now, say “pecorino cheese”!
We knew that no matter where we travelled in Malaysia that we would be eating well. Malaysia is known as a major foodie destination after all. But what we didn’t expect was that in Borneo we would experience a unique blend of Malaysian delicacies blended with the cuisine of the existing tribal cultures of the region.
We found some of the best places to try tribal cuisine in Kuching, the capitol of Sarawak. Here there are several restaurants that only serve tribal foods, and some of them are so popular that you need to make a reservation. Tribal foods in Borneo consist of a few core ingredients cooked very well, and blended with herbs and spices that grow naturally in the tribal lands. For example, cuisine from the hill tribes of Sarawak feature a lot of ginger and cinnamon, both which grow wild in the area.
Borneo is also a fantastic place to get delicious and extremely fresh seafood, and we had our best seafood experience of all time while in Sandakan in the state of Sabah.
Chris – Aussie On The Road
You’d be forgiven for not ever having heard of Xinjiang. China’s westernmost province doesn’t get a lot of tourism press in the country of the Terra Cotta Warriors, Forbidden City, and Great Wall. It’s a real shame too, as Xinjiang is a province of stunning natural beauty and a unique culture that is vastly different than global perceptions of China.
It distinct Central Asian culture has given rise to cuisine not at all like the fried rice, duck, dumplings, and chicken that dominates most Chinese palates. Xinjiang cuisine is heavy in mutton, from richly seasoned skewers sold on the street to chunks of meat sitting atop a fluffy cloud of pilaf. It’s in Xinjiang that the spaghetti noodle was born, and the locals take great pride in inventing new ways to make use of the versatile noodle. Lengmen, noodles served with stir fried meat and vegetables, is a popular local dinner.
Perhaps the most famous Xinjiang dish is dapanji which translates into “Big Plate Chicken”. Liberal servings of chicken, potato, and pepper are served up on a (you guessed it) big plate in a rich, spicy Sichuan inspired sauce that is just to die for.
Xinjiang is a destination that any self-respecting foodie should include on their itinerary, but it’s far more than just a place for great food. The stunning Karakorum Highway that stretches from Kashgar to the Sino-Pakistani border is one of the most picturesque drives in the world, and the local Uighur culture needs to be seen while it still retains its heritage. With the way China is expanding and industrialising, it won’t be around forever.
The Best Countries To Eat In The World
Justin – True Nomads
Istanbul is not only a melting pot of traditional food from the different regions of the country, it has many new and exciting restaurants that offer modern interpretations of turkish food.
Chris – The World & His Tuk Tuk
Thai cuisine is famous the world over, but eating it on the streets of Thailand reveals far more tempting dishes, exciting flavours, personality and complexity than you’ll ever get a taste for at a Thai restaurant overseas. At the centre of Thai food is a desire for balance and harmony between the five flavours of sweet, sour, salty and course spicy – and, while internationally favoured dishes like green curry and pad thai have their place in the hearts of Thais in Bangkok and beyond, in truth the population is fuelled by a seemingly endless spread of stir-fries, salads, soups, curries, noodles and more, ranging from simple plates thrown together in seconds, through complex, slow-cooked vats of goodness left to simmer away for hours, to intricately prepared high-end cuisine where presentation plays as much of a role as flavour.
Don’t visit Thailand without making an effort to sample the regional variations in cuisine, from Chiang Mai’s khao soi curried chicken noodles and Burmese influenced gaeng hunglay ginger-loaded pork curry in the north to the fiery somtum salad of unripe green papaya in the northeastern Isaan region, to dishes hailing from the country’s Muslim majority deep south and displaying Indian and Malaysian influences, like the deeply flavoursome, dry spice loaded massuman curry, skewers of peanutty beef satay, and a chicken biryani that the Thais have made their own.
Most important of all – don’t come to Thailand and miss out on the best of the country’s gastronomy by hiding behind a well tended hotel restaurant table – get out onto the street, elbow-to-elbow with local diners at makeshift eateries’ fold-away tables and plastic tools. The food you’ll devour in settings like this will wipe the floor with any five-star tasting menu – that’s a promise.