Travel Diaries 011: Top 5 Food Destinations Around The World
Tuesday, January 27
For many people, the best part of travel is the new food that you get to try along the way. At least, that's definitely one of the main reasons I love to travel! It's one of the best ways to experience a new culture and to challenge yourself. Or, in my case, eat pizza every day straight for the three weeks you're in Italy. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Anyway, trying new and local cuisines is something that always stays with me when I return home from a holiday, and often harbours some of my fondest memories of a location. And while there have been many, many incredible cities around the world who's food I have fallen in love with, here are my top five:
5. Munich, Germany
My mother's side of the family is German, so I grew up eating all manner of delicious German food. When I returned to Germany after a good 15 year absence, I rediscovered my love all all things potato and meat. In a big way. While I ate extremely well during the month I spent around the country, Munich stands out as the highlight. Part of this could well be because I was there during summer, and was able to enjoy Munich's beautiful (and plentiful) beer gardens. There is literally nothing better than enjoying a litre of beer under a huge tree on a sunny day, with an enormous plate full of schnitzel, bratkartoffeln, and weißwurst in front of you. Not to mention my one true love, döner kebab, after a night on the tiles. While I'm sure Munich would be pretty awful during Oktoberfest, it's one of the best places to be in the summer months.
4. New York City, USA
I spent two weeks living in Brooklyn a couple of years ago, and the entire experience was one of the culinary highlights of my life. Granted, I'm basing most of this of the food offerings in Brooklyn (specifically Greenpoint and Williamsburg), but I was amazed at the sheer size and variety of New York City's food scene. Perhaps the most memorable experience was at a Polish restaurant in Brooklyn, with the best Polish food I have ever eaten. However, this was slightly hampered by the fact that it was insanely hot inside. I was sweating my way through several plates of delicious potato and meat dishes, and could best liken the experience to bikram eating. But the food was just so good! I ate incredible pizza at Grimaldi's and took advantage of the enormous range of Ben & Jerry's available in the States (I'm so jealous you guys). And I can't forget to mention the beautiful bars I visited: PDT was a cute novelty and The Standard hotel's bar was just incredible. I'll definitely be back one day!
3. Melbourne, Australia
I don't think it's really cheating to put my home city on this list, because Melbourne truly is one of the most unique food destination in the world. Pizza as good as it is in Italy, Pho as good as you'd find on the streets of Vietnam, and burgers...so many good burger places. Not to mention we have the Queen Victoria Market, which has the most incredible selection of food that you could ever hope for. I'm really lucky in that I live extremely close to a number of my favourite restaurants in Melbourne: Laksa King, Chef Lagenda, I Love Dumplings, Green Tea Vietnamese...it's a struggle to not eat out every night!
2. San Sebastian, Spain
I dream about San Sebastian, and I need to get back there ASAP. The whole town is stunning: gorgeous beaches and Pintxos bars lining the streets, overflowing with tasty and fresh produce from the area. I could talk nonstop about the incredible food, from the delicately sliced jamón ibérico, to marinated octopus, to the best damn cheesecake I've ever had (no, seriously), but no words can truly capture how amazing the food culture is there. Walking through the old town into one of the many, many bars that have the pintxos ready for the taking on the bar, plate in one hand, glass of sangria in the other, is an experience like no other.
1. Tokyo, Japan
Oh Tokyo, how I adore you. I feel like I could write a top 5 list on any topic and land with Tokyo at number 1 every time. The food available to you there is just incredible, truly. No matter what your budget, there will always be tasty options. And every experience is so unique! I've ordered ramen from a vending machine, then had it delivered to me steaming hot as I sat around the bar; winded my way through the alleys of Shibuya and ate a restaurant that cooked my fish in front of me; and on many, many occasions I frequented the crepe shops throughout Harajuku. It's no surprise that Japanese is my favourite cuisine, and there's so many amazing restaurants in Tokyo it's hard not to feel overwhelmed by the choice. I cannot recommend visiting Tokyo enough, it's a vibrant and beautiful city that is a must for any food lover.
Well, there you have it. Salivating yet? Where are your favourite food destinations?