People travel all over the world for a variety of reasons: some are looking for the adventure of a lifetime, while some are looking for a little rest and relaxation; some desire heat, while some desire the slopes; some want to discover their roots, while others want to learn a new culture.
However, a common denominator in most individuals when planning a vacation is booking a location with delicious food. After all, nearly all of us have an inner foodie somewhere within us. It is no secret that I like to experience what a culture has to offer by eating and drinking. Usually when someone asks me about a trip I took I usually start by talking about the food I eat and what I drank.
Culinary vacations are becoming more popular than ever; traditionally, this is no surprise. It has always been said that the heart of a home is the kitchen. Those ideals do not vanish when we travel, as food is an essential part of any community. Instead, often the most memorable moments of a vacation revolve around food and the people with whom you share the food.
The beauty of a culinary vacation is that you can be exposed to foods, food combinations and spices that you never knew existed. However, when you return home, a faint smell will transport you back to that experience. Below is a list of some of the best travel destinations in the world for our inner foodie.
Just north of the border lies Montreal, the largest city in Canada’s Quebec province. Montreal is a cultural melting pot, which is obvious in the food. Montreal’s culinary scene reflects influences from French, Carribean and American culture, making for a fun and delicious foodie adventure. While in Montreal, try classics such as poutine, fries with cheese and gravy; pea soup; smoked meats; and of course, a dessert made with delicious maple syrup.
Meanwhile south of the border to Mexico City is where you want to go if authentic tacos, burritos and guacamole would win over your heart. Mexico City offers a unique combination of great restaurants (that also serve great tequila), street food and fun, informative cooking courses.
Outside of Napa Valley or Tuscany, Mendoza, Argentina is commonly thought of as one of the best wine-producing cities in the world. However, Mendoza also offers a delectable food scene and a world of adventure. “Bodegas,” or wineries, often offer the best of all three: world-renowned wine, delicious food and unique events. Its rich culinary tradition includes Argentinian delicacies such as Choripan, a chorizo sandwich; Empanadas, meat and vegetable pastries; and Locro, a stew made with meat and vegetables.
Outside of Peru, the rest of the world is finally realizing the delicate art involved in Peruvian cooking. For a trip to the source, visit Cusco, Peru, also a common destination for adventure-seekers. Peruvian food is a delicious combination of Spanish and Incan influence, with popular dishes including Solterito, a salad of corn, fava beans and chili pepper; Anticuchos, beef skewers marinated in a chili sauce known as “aji”; and of course, Ceviche.
Known for its “tapas,” or small plates, Spanish cuisine has often been sought after by global travelers. San Sebastián, Spain is arguably the best foodie travel destination in the world. Similar to New York City, San Sebastián has a mix to Michelin Star restaurants (in fact, the most per capita of any city) and bars that serve exquisite food worth the plane ride alone. As an added bonus, San Sebastián is a short driving distance from some of the countries most visited vineyards.
In a continent full of popular food destinations, Copenhagen, Denmark often misses the list of possible foodie destinations. Yet, Copenhagen is home to several restaurants that people travel specifically to dine at. Both Noma, an upscale and modern restaurant, and Relae, a relaxed and organic dining experience, have gained recognition as one of the 50 Best Restaurants in the World. On top of that, Copenhagen has a vast, internationally-focused food truck scene that is alone worth the travel.
Bangkok, Thailand is the birth-place of a now world-renowned and loved cuisine. And while Thai food is both prevalent and delicious in the United States, the ability to eat authentic Thai dishes from a vendor in a night market is one of the most authentic food experiences in the world. Bangkok offers food tours, cooking classes and Michelin Star restaurants so that a traveler may experience the best Thai food in various settings.
Possibly the largest street food mecca of the world is Manila, Philippines, with an abundance of options that are sure to please every diner. The “king” of Manila street food is Barut, a fertilized duck egg. Barut, while appealing to only the most adventurous foodie, is the iconic delicacy in the country. For less adventurous eaters, however, there is a host of delicious cuisine, including Ihaw-ihaw, or barbequed meat; Turon, banana fried with a lumpia wrapper; and Chicharon, crispy pork rinds.
A popular travel destination for decades, South Africa is home to delicious food and a beautiful wine country. Approximately one hour from the commonly traveled Cape Town, lies the Stellenbosch Wine Region of South Africa. In Stellenbosch, the chefs build delicious dining experiences around the abundance of wine so that the food not only lives up to the wine, but compliments it.
In Melbourne, Australia you can find an abundance of delicious international cuisine throughout the city, but most notably along Flinders Lane. Also home to an over two-week long Food & Wine Festival, global chefs travel to Melbourne every March to show off their talents, unique perspective on food and unforgettable dishes.
A foodie vacation that will create memories that will last a lifetime should be on your list of vacations in the near future.
If you need assistance with the decision on where to travel, or how to book, contact the top travel agency in New York - Million Miles Travel Agency.
Lover of the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. Always looking for the best places to eat wherever I go.