Foodie travellers believe that food is an important aspect of travel, and their itineraries would revolve around the things they love to eat. Most would stop at nothing to discover a place’s gastronomic offerings and are constantly searching for the best café, restaurant, or hole-in-the-wall.
For food lovers, being immersed in a city’s local culture means being able to taste the best it has to offer. As any food-minded traveller would tell you, learning about a country is not just about visiting tourist attractions and popular landmarks, or getting acquainted with the locals, it is also about sampling its cuisine.
If you love to indulge in sumptuous food or are constantly searching for the best eats during your travels, consider planning your next vacation around the world’s best foodie destinations. Here’s a list of the best cities for foodie travellers that you should consider. Don’t forget to add these cities to your travel bucket list!
Penang’s multicultural capital, George Town, is where you’ll find some of the best hawker or street food in the world. The hawkers, found mostly in Little India, Gurney Drive, Kimberly Street and Chulia Road, offer a mix of Indian, Malay, Peranakan, and Chinese traditional fare using well-kept family recipes.
A dish you’ll definitely come across in George Town is char kway teow, made from stir-frying flat rice noodles, prawns, cockles, eggs, lentils, fish cake, and seasoning it with shrimp paste, garlic, chili, and oyster sauce. It is highly popular in many countries including Brunei, Singapore, and Indonesia and is considered a national favourite and a street food sensation in Malaysia. Other must-try dishes in George Town are nasi kandar, asam laksa, lok lok, and oyster omelette.
A multicultural destination, Singapore is considered a melting pot of global flavours. Chinese, Malay, Peranakan, Indonesian, Indian – you will surely find something to delight your taste buds when in the city. For a true foodie adventure, head to Maxwell Road Hawker Centre and try the Hainanese chicken rice, wanton mee, char kway teow, nasi lemak, and laksa. Or better yet, head to Little India for a hefty serving of chicken biryani.
A breakfast staple in Singapore you wouldn’t want to miss is kaya toast with soft-boiled eggs and hot tea or coffee. Kaya toast is a slice of crunchy toasted bread slathered with a heavenly layer of butter and kaya, a traditional jam made from eggs, coconut milk, sugar, and pandan leaves. And don’t be surprised if the eggs are served runny, because that’s how the locals like it. Seasoned with soy sauce and pepper, the eggs perfectly complement the kaya toast’s sweetness.
In India, meals are always a celebration of the people’s love for food. And in Delhi, the capital city, for instance, the locals get to enjoy the best of North Indian and South Indian cuisine. Some of the street food you must try while in Delhi are aloo tiki, kachori aloo, parathas, rajma chawal, biryani, chaat, and curries.
Delhi is overflowing in high-end restaurants but the local eateries and food carts offer more exciting culinary treats.
Florence is famous worldwide for its artistic, historical, cultural, and architectural treasures but did you know that the capital of Tuscany is also known for its delectable cuisine? Its cuisine, cucina povera or “poor man’s kitchen,” is embodied by schiacciata, a crusty, bland flatbread, and a long list of hearty stews and pasta dishes made from leftover ingredients. The traditional peasant recipes and cooking methods that best represent Florence are handed down from generation to generation.
Florence is the birthplace of gelato and is home to the best gelaterias in the world. While there are thousands of gelaterias and gelato vendors in the city, you should head to Gelateria La Carraia and have Delizia Carraia – with its delightful mix of white chocolate, pistachio, coffee, and tiramisu – you will be in ice cream heaven.
If there’s one city that’s almost always on every foodie traveller’s bucket list, it has to be Bangkok. Home to affordable and tasty food, from tangy papaya salads to savoury pad thai, spicy tom yum goong, garlicky gai tod, and addictive mango sticky rice, you’ll never go hungry in Bangkok. Thai food is bold, complex, and bursting with flavour and Thailand’s capital is where you’ll have an unparalleled culinary experience.
Care for exotic food? Bangkok has a wide array of fried or barbecued critters to satisfy your cravings. When paired with an ice-cold drink, these creatures actually make for a tasty snack. So close your eyes, take a deep breath, and enjoy.
Considered the world’s top food destination, Paris is home to extra tasty cheeses, satisfying soups, mouthwatering mains, fantastic desserts, and breads that are crusty on the outside and fluffy on the inside – everything superb about French cuisine.
Paris also has a lively and sophisticated café culture and food markets that enthrall many. Finding excellent food is one of main pleasures when vacationing in Paris so consider veering off the tourist trail to discover little cafes and restaurants hidden in the most offbeat places.
When it comes to food, Taipei may not be as popular as other cities in Asia but did you know that it is considered a culinary gem in the continent? First-time visitors to Taipei are in for a surprise because the cuisine is extremely good.
Perhaps each and every enlightening food adventure in Taipei starts at Shilin Night Market, the city’s most popular night market. Brimming with street food vendors offering treats like stinky tofu, grilled seafood, thick noodle soups, skewered meats, sausages, and pork buns, the night market is a foodie’s happy place.
Taipei restaurants are also great and it is easy for travellers to find casual options serving good eats at reasonable prices. Standards are relatively high, even among Taipei’s budget dining places.
With its endless list of eateries and restaurants, Hong Kong is one of the most-visited food cities in the world. From Michelin-starred restaurants to noodle shops and traditional tea houses, the territory abounds in dining options for all budgets and tastes.
Ask anybody who has been to Hong Kong, and they would probably tell you that the food is cheap and to die for. So if ever you’re embarking on a food journey to the city, be prepared to binge-eat on dimsum, tender beef brisket, egg custard pudding, roast goose, pork buns, wonton noodle soup, and mouthwatering seafood.
Forget about your diet when vacationing in Hong Kong because once you discover its amazing cuisine, whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned foodie traveller, you are guaranteed to go home a few pounds heavier.
A word of advice to first-time tourists to Hong Kong, don’t expect much when it comes to décor or service especially when dining in hole-in-the-wall eateries or family-run noodle shops. Unlike Taipei where even budget restaurants offer impeccable service, you may have to deal with grumpy wait staff here but don’t let that mar your culinary experience. Just focus your attention on the superb food.
Ho Chi Minh City is a foodie traveller’s playground and is known for its lively street food and restaurant scene. Amidst the crazy traffic, bustling night markets, and busy streets, you’ll find hawkers, food carts, and nondescript eateries offering fresh Vietnamese dishes, some with distinct French influences.
The first thing you have to try when in Ho Chi Minh City is banh mi, or Vietnamese baguettes as they are known in other countries. Banh mi is a fusion dish made from combining French cooking styles and exotic Vietnamese flavours. It is made from filling a baguette with assorted meats, cold cuts, pate, sliced vegetables, and aromatic herbs. Although intended as a snack, the sandwich is big enough for a full-sized meal or two, depending on your appetite.
Another must-have in Ho Chi Minh City is pho, Vietnam’s iconic noodle dish. As ubiquitous as banh mi, pho is a clear noodle soup with meat and vegetables. A steaming bowl of pho will let you experience a delicate blend of exquisite textures and flavours.
For a full appreciation of Vietnamese cuisine, you can join a guided walking or motorbike food tour in Ho Chi Minh City. Your expert guide will bring you to the best eateries and restaurants frequented by locals.
Food is an obsession in Mexico City and the moment you set foot in the place, you will realize that street food is king. You’ll easily find yourself surrounded by food carts with skilled cooks whipping up delectable snacks and meals.
Must-haves for foodie travellers when in Mexico City are tamales, tlacoyo, and tacos. A Mexican tamale is a steamed pocket of corn dough stuffed with sweet or savoury fillings while tlacoyo is a crispy cake that’s similar to a tortilla and stuffed with beans, cheese, and a handful of other ingredients.
The tacos in Mexico are, hands down, the tastiest you’ll every try in your life. They use a variety of fresh fillings and quality tortilla, livening up an already impressive taco scene. Grab a bite of tacos al pastor, a pork-based dish similar to Lebanese shawarma, Turkish kebab, or the Greek gyro. Flavoured with juicy pineapple bits and sold in every street corner in Mexico City, tacos al pastor will delight the foodie traveller in you and change your life.
Getting ready for your next culinary journey? Check out these food and culinary tours on Travezl.com.
By: Brendelyn Balaga