7 Places to travel as a Foodie
Whenever I get asked how I like to spend my free time, the first things that come to mind are eating and travelling – preferably combined and in excess. I don’t recall when and how this started but it has reached a point where I usually skip visiting sights in favour of eating my way through a city’s most original food spots. In my opinion, food is a great way to experience another culture and to learn more about their customs and traditions – or maybe this is just an excuse for buying yet another stuffed pastry.
So brace yourself for my personal top seven foodie places:
Well, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Israeli food is just outstanding as it is versatile, fresh and full of flavours: Falafel, Shakshuka and Hummus all the way! With the highest number of vegans per capita in the world, Israel caters to all kinds of diets, from meat to plant-based. If you travel to Tel Aviv, make sure to research the private dinner parties hosted by locals who love cooking and invite you to enjoy a meal in their own home.
Porto is slowly emerging from Lisbon’s shadow – and rightly so! The city is located in a beautiful location on the Douro river which invites you to enjoy a Galão and the obligatory Pastel de Nata at the waterfront. What you should definitely not miss out on, is a port wine tasting (or two…) in one of the many local wine cellars. For a small fee, you usually get to go on a tour and try a few different wines afterwards. Saùde!
Oh Bologna – you hold a special place in my heart. When I think of Bologna, I think of fresh tagliatelle al ragù made by Italian Nonnas, aromatic pizza, delicious pastries, loads of artisan gelato, and strong espresso to wash it all down. As soon as you set foot in the northern Italian city, you understand why it is called “the fat one”: there are endless possibilities for eating out and surrendering to your sugar cravings. Which is why visits should be limited to one per year.
Belgrade is a cool city in many regards and it’s food scene is definitely way more exciting than one would think. You can find lots of hip coffee shops and bars throughout the city and along the waterfront, while many restaurants offer a surprisingly vegetarian-friendly selection (it’s Serbia after all). Funnily, restaurants are often located in normal apartments without any obvious signage so they are difficult to spot.
No matter in what kind of “food mood” you are – Berlin can provide. From Korean BBQ to Canadian pizza with maple syrup, from Middle Eastern meze to what vegan dreams are made of. There are 546 locations to eat ice cream, a park where elderly Thai ladies cook up street food on weekends, 14 market halls, various food festivals and pop-up eateries. Need I say more?
Why pick a single city when you can pick an entire country? Vietnam can be separated in three food regions, each with their own array of dishes and delicious specialties. The Vietnamese cuisine is known for dishes boasting lots of different flavours, combining sour, salty, tangy, sweet and spicy nuances as well as fresh ingredients to create an outstanding taste experience. The unique flavour derives from the various influences – mostly Thai, Chinese and French – resulting in a distinct style that will make you crave more.
How to sum up Tokyo in only a short paragraph… After all, the city has more than 30 Michelin-starred sushi restaurants but also a lively street food culture. And a loooot in between. Ramen, Soba, Okonomiyaki (savoury pancakes), Gyoza, red bean paste cakes, and sake have found their way to the Western countries by now – but there is much more to discover. Also in terms of plating, which is often a highly codified process, turning dishes in little pieces of art. So work your chopstick skills, immerse yourself in the Japanese food culture and you surely won’t be disappointed.