Songs, smells, pictures, textures, and flavors can take you to a time and a place that could have been your reality five, ten, twenty years ago. One way or another, we are all familiar with this sense of travel via our senses. If you caught up with our chat with Chef Ryan Ross, she talked about this nostalgia that flavors hold. With that said, there often comes a time when your taste buds and senses are ready for new experiences, new flavors. If this sounds like you, but you do not know where to start to treat-yo’-tastebuds, we are here to help.
While it is absolutely possible to find a flavor-filled experience in your backyard, we present to you these top 7 food destinations around the globe for the Foodies out there that have time to travel and are looking to expand their horizons.
7. Lyon, France
Since the 20th century, Lyon has been called the food capital of France. If you’ve eaten some delicious Lyonnaise potatoes state-side or followed the nouvelle-cuisine movement, you have celebrated Lyon. Home to 4,000 restaurants and 15 restaurants with Michelin stars, Lyon will satisfy any cravings for all sorts of pork, cheese, outdoor food markets, and gratins. If we haven’t convinced you, the Guardian has compiled an excellent guide to all things Lyon.
6. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, champions street food. While traditional Vietnamese dishes Pho (noodle soup) and Banh Mi (sandwiches) have made their way into American cuisine, be sure to try the lesser known com tam (broken rice) with a fried egg on top or bo la lot (beef wrapped in a leaf). Prepare your appetite, walk the streets to find where all the locals are eating, and get ready to have a great meal that barely touches your wallet. If we still haven’t convinced you, here are 25 dishes to try while in Ho Chi Minh City.
5. San Francisco, California
San Francisco Food Scene
Food trucks, craft beers and cocktails, farmers markets, and a ratio of restaurants to people in the people’s favor highlight some of San Francisco’s booming food scene. Magnificent seasonal produce and fresh seafood make San Francisco a place to treat your taste buds, and also keep your figure slender (as opposed to other culinary destinations). See what Anthony Bourdain’s trail of 30 hours in San Francisco looked like.
4. Barcelona, Spain
Jamon, Croquetas, and Rice with Squid Ink (left)
For people that have visited Barcelona, it is no surprise that this destination has made the list as a top food destination. Jamón Iberico (special cured ham), pulpo (octopus), and tapas (small appetizers) of all sorts inhabit the beautiful architecture of Barcelona. Explore La Boqueria, Barcelona’s famous outdoor market, midday, enjoy some tapas in the afternoon, and share a big paella with friends for dinner at 9:30 pm like the locals. New York Times talks about the accessibility of Barcelona’s gastronomy scene here.
3. Copenhagen, Denmark
Home to the recently-voted #3 restaurant in the world, Noma, and also to arguably the happiest citizens in the world, Copenhagen is a must-see. Known world-wide for their Danish pastries, foraging practices, hearty meat and seafood dishes to help bodies weather the cold, and open-faced sandwiches with any and every topping you’d ever want. From their fine-dining Michelin star restaurant scene to their developing street food scene, Copenhagen has delicious bites for all different styles of dining. See what the Guardian says about it.
2. Paris, France
Escargot, croissants, cheese of all sorts, duck confit, wine from Bordeaux, pain Au chocolat is what many people imagine when thinking of Paris, and they are not too far off. It is common to find bakeries, restaurants, or delis in Paris that have been owned by the same family for years. With this tradition of food and cooking, the product of Parisian preparation is always consistent, delicious, and decadent. Before leaving Paris, be sure to find the best baguette to enjoy in a park around the city, choose some macaroons for a midday snack to pair with your hot tea, and pick up a hot-fresh crepe from an outdoor market by the Seine river. Of course, Paris is great at more than just pastries.
1. San Sebastian, Spain
Last but certainly not least, we present to you, San Sebastian. Located in Northern Spain and home to the Basque people, San Sebastian is a small town with a large food culture. From exclusive gastronomic societies (think country club-like membership but strictly for food innovation and enjoyment) to streets lined with pintxo bars, one cannot avoid the lovely food culture in San Sebastian. Tour the streets of its old town Parte Vieja and enjoy its pintxos, Northern Spain’s exquisite version of tapas, with a glass of the young Basque sparkling white wine, Txakoli. Wave to the friendly locals “Agur!!” (Basque word for goodbye) as you enjoy a pintxo and move on to the next bar like the locals. If we haven’t convinced you yet, see what the Basques have to say for themselves.
Now, perhaps you agreed with us in our introduction – your tastes buds are ready for new experiences and new tastes, but you do not have the time to travel. Don’t fret, soon enough, we have some exciting new products to introduce to you that will transport you to a new place – just like Chef Ryan Ross was saying.
We want to know, where do you want to travel to next?