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Some of us follow our hearts when we travel, and others of us follow our taste buds! More than ever before, foodie destinations are topping travelers’ bucket lists giving adventurers another reason to see the world. Although many cities and villages specialize in certain kinds of foods, some places have actually gotten a boost on the travel circuit because of their top-notch culinary arts. So if tasting your way around the globe sounds like a fun way to travel, consider these top foodie destinations for your next trip!
Tapas are popular all around the world, but one of the best places to sample different ones is in Barcelona. And unlike tapas in many countries, many restaurants here offer high-quality small plates at very reasonable prices. Foodies love to “tapas hop” from one restaurant to the next to get the most variety and make a sightseeing event out of dinner. A few tapas spots to check out in Barcelona are La Cova Fumada, El Vaso de Oro, and Paco Meralgo. Whatever, you do, don’t miss the seafood paella!
San Francisco, California, USA
For many years now, San Francisco has been known for cutting-edge cuisine, so travelers have high expectations when visiting the city by the bay. This is an ideal place to experience local wines, farm-fresh produce, and organic…well, everything! San Francisco food stands out for its quality ingredients and creative vibe. Just keep in mind that many of these culinary delicacies come with a high price tag. One recommended hot spot is the Hog Island Oyster Bar in the Ferry Terminal Market.
Croatia is one of those lesser-known travel destinations, and it’s also a surprising top travel spot for food lovers! Croatia’s culinary scene is incredibly diverse, which shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the country’s varied history. Some favorite traditional foods in Croatia include cheese, meat, noodles, and fruity spirits. Istria lies on the border between Slovenia and Italy and has some excellent traditional offerings. Seafood is especially popular here because of the region’s geographical location.
Another somewhat unexpected foodie destination is the Caribbean island of Dominica. Although this island isn’t as popular as some others for beach culture, it is a truly beautiful and wild place, with volcanoes, sea caves, rivers, and cliffs. Lots of local dishes feature tropical fruits, like guava and pineapples, that grow on the island. Fresh fish lovers will fall in love with Dominica, and other local specialties include yams, plantains, and curries.
Tokyo is a bright and colorful city with a ton of amazing food options if you know where to look. Visitors can find wonderful high-end and casual culinary selections here, and highly-specific themed restaurants can be found too. Have you ever been to a restaurant that focuses on just one part of an animal or just one type of noodle?
Mexico City, Mexico
There are lots of amazing places to find authentic Mexican food dishes throughout the country, but one of the best destinations for true foodies is Mexico City. In the culinary world, this is a place where old meets new, traditional meets modern, and upscale dining meets street food. One of the most recommended restaurants in the city is Pujol because it takes traditional favorites, like tacos and tamales, and adds a creative twist.
Camden, Maine, USA
Take a breath of fresh air and focus on all things local when you visit Camden, Maine and begin to eat your way through this delightful American city. Some of the top local picks here are blueberries, farm-fresh eggs, home-baked bread, and homemade cheese. And no visit to Maine would be complete without trying some locally-caught lobster from the Atlantic coast! Portland, Maine is another great place for tourists traveling through the Northeast, especially for lovers of lobster and oysters.
Le Marche, Italy
Italy may not be a large country, but its food has become a classic favorite in countries all around the world. One of the best places to try authentic Italian food is around Le Marche…especially vincisgrassi, which is a decadent 12-layer lasagna. Le Marche is a small, picturesque village in the center of the country and favorite local ingredients are veal ragout, chicken livers, truffles, wild mushrooms, and Parmesan cheese.
While some travelers struggle to identify what Scandinavian food really is, the city of Copenhagen defines it quite well. Similar to San Francisco in some regards, Copenhagen food is known for being packed with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients that are brought in from the nearby forests and waterways. One of the most famous restaurants is Noma, which has been voted one of the best restaurants in the world.
Everybody knows Jamaican jerk chicken, but this country’s cuisine goes well beyond just that! Jamaican cuisine is reminiscent of sea breezes, reggae music, and plenty of rum to wash it all down. Some of the very best culinary delights in Negril and throughout Jamaica can be found cooked in open-air kitchens and served in street carts. There’s a relaxing and low-key vibe that travelers associate with Jamaican cuisine that really lets tasters savor every bite. When traveling in Jamaica, be sure to try some conch curry and peppered shrimp with a refreshing bottle of Red Stripe.
The Swiss are well-known for their cheese and chocolate, but there are lots of other wonderful Swiss dishes that travelers can try when they visit. Other local Swiss favorites include a minced meat dish called Züri-Geschnetzeltes, potato pancakes, torte cakes, raspberries, and plums. But of course, cheese and chocolate are a must as well. Consider taking a tour of the Lindt chocolate factory, indulging in a chocolate spa treatment, and visiting the Appenzellar region to sample local cheeses.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Thai food has become a staple in many people’s diets, but you might be surprised what culinary masterpieces actually look and taste like in Thailand! One of the best places in Thailand for foodies to visit is Chiang Mai, and hardcore foodies can actually take a cooking class at the Four Seasons to really learn about local market food and recipes. Some of the key ingredients that Thai chefs use in their culinary package offerings for visitors are turmeric, coconut milk, and lemongrass.
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
For true southern cooking, few places deliver like New Orleans. This is a place famous for po’ boy sandwiches, crawfish, gumbo, jambalaya, and muffuletta sandwiches. Creole and Cajun favorites are easy to find all over the city; however, you’ll need to sift your way through some tourist traps for the most authentic vibes and reasonable prices. Some of America’s best chefs are stationed here, and deserts like bananas foster and beignets are incredibly popular too.