Top 10 Foodie Destinations
Hungry? These destinations pack the plate with authentic and tasty culinary traditions. Some are known for ancient recipes and others are MVPs for bringing easy access to ethnic foods from all over the world. Let your taste buds guide your next travel journey with these top 10 foodie destinations.
Catalan cuisine takes over Barcelona in more ways than there are tapas on a table. From paella to pork stew to eggs, potatoes and ham, this coastal Spanish city serves up a diversity of tasty treats. Budget-minded travelers can steer away from La Rambla, where restaurants are more expensive and can be less authentic. Instead, try La Boqueria, which is the largest open-air market in the city, and sells fresh fruit, tapas, and bocadillos (sandwiches). Another option is La Barceloneta (Little Barcelona), which used to be a fishing district in the 18th century and now offers some of the city’s best seafood.
Think Morocco likes it hot? Think again. Tunis brings the heat more than any other North African city (and legend has it, the spicier a wife cooks a dish for her husband, the more she loves him). A blend of Mediterranean and desert cuisine, Tunis emphasizes olive oil, spices, tomatoes, seafood and lamb. While you’ll find perfectly concocted plates in restaurants throughout the Medina District, your best bet is to take to the streets for cheaper local chow.
Sure, San Francisco has its local stars – pungent sourdough, delectable Ghirardelli chocolate, and freshly grown Californian cuisine all make the Pacific Northwest city land high on our list. But what’s so much more enticing is its ability to bring two other countries to the table: China and Italy. Its version of Chinatown is one of the best and most comprehensive in the country, and its North Beach Little Italy neighborhood is enough to make you say mangia.
Unsurprisingly, Italy made the list. And instead of bigger-ticket locales like Rome or Florence, this Sicilian hot spot strikes us for its emphasis on quirky specialties like adding grapes to anchovies and sea salt to Pipittuni (a lemon-like fruit). Upscale restaurants on Viale della Liberta are bound to impress, but what’s even more tantalizing is the street food. At Bollaro, an 11th century market, you can find fruits, veggies, beans and local almonds. Try pane panelle (snacks made from chickpea flour), crocches (balls of potato, risotto, or rice usually breaded) or Scaccio, a salty mix of pumpkin seeds, pistachios and chick peas.
Paris and impeccable food are somewhat synonymous. While you could probably survive solely on the bread and cheese alone, its other gastronomic delights can’t be ignored. Paris goes whole hog with their animal products, so you’ll find every kind of meat and every part of an animal’s body to devour – from lamb shoulder to duck liver. Along with plenty of international fashion, The 8th Arrondissement also hosts impressively elegant restaurants.
Fresh is Tokyo’s thing. Fresh fish, tofu, hand-made noodles and local produce all go well into the city’s delicious sashimi, sushi and tempura. For a behind-the-scenes look at just how local it is, stroll through Tsukiji Market (one of the world’s largest fish markets) to see 3000 tons of fish get distributed. Take some for yourself to prepare, or let one of the city’s outstanding restaurants do it for you. Feel like washing that fish and rice down with sake? The Roppongi neighborhood is known equally for its food as it is for its nightlife.
Think outside the realm of feta and olives. Areas like Plaka and Monastiraki deliver Greek classics like moussaka and lamb, and while the typical stuffed grape leaves are available everywhere, it’s the seafood that stands out in this Greek metropolis. Enjoy Aegean oysters and other fresh fish on the waterfront of Mikrolimano harbor.
Colorful Istanbul takes flavor with a committed responsibility. Don’t be a tourist that sticks to hotel restaurants and alternatives, experiment with the local stuff and we promise you’ll be happily surprised. In Beyoglu’s mayhanes (traditional eating houses) you’ll find contemporary twists on platters of meze, grilled fish, and lamb. Pay attention especially to regional Ottoman recipes that highlight local seafood.
In terms of culinary specialty, Vancouver and San Francisco have quite a bit in common. Like its southern counterpart, Vancouver makes Asia proud with its Chinatown, bringing pork buns and dim sum to the streets. Its seafood selection sits on a pedestal, and it’s not uncommon to meander through Yaletown to find one restaurant after another that offers a seafood and wine pairing.
New York City
As the city constantly changes, so does its fare. Full of ethnic restaurants, celebrity chefs and boutique grocery markets, New York is a little microcosm of the globe when it comes to consumption. Chelsea Market is known for its gourmet food stores, and TriBeCa is home to some of the city’s trendiest restaurants. For thoughtful ingredients with a side of bohemian flair, head to Soho, and if all you really need is a heaping plate of pasta, you’ll find a remedy in Little Italy.