Most travellers follow their feet in search of exciting new adventures for the body and mind. But if summiting mountains or trudging through the trenches of history isn’t your style, how do you plan your travel? By seeking food experiences from around the world and following your stomach, of course!
Food is an essential part of every country’s culture and history. Sure you can get any number of foreign meals from the takeaway shops in your home city. But you’ll never know true euphoria until you try them the way they were meant to be eaten. In their country of origin, made and served the traditional way.
To help your taste buds sing, we’ve curated a guide to the best food experiences from around the world.
Sichuan Hotpot: China
Hotpot is top of the bucket list food experiences. This underrated Chinese dish is a numbingly hot mixture of simmering spices, broth and other fresh ingredients. Originally a fisherman’s meal, this spicy dish is loved for its complex flavours that dance across the tongue. For the best hotpot, travellers can’t go past its birthplace in the Sichuan region of China. Chengdu Huangcheng Laoma restaurant is described as the king of Sichuan hotpot by many full-bellied travellers.
Rogan Josh: India
Indian food is a favourite in Western culture. However, a trip to Delhi in the heart of India reveals how great this already exemplary cuisine can be. For food travel that unearths the ideal Indian curry experience, we recommend sampling rogan josh, a staple of Kashmiri dining. This mutton curry layers the warmth of Indian spices with meat that melts off the bone. Pair it with flakey roti and tender basmati rice for a food experience that nurtures the soul. Taste the perfect rogan josh at Chor Bizarre, an authentic Indian restaurant at the centre of Delhi’s buzzing metropolis.
Taste Indian flavours with Trafalgar on the Uncover India: Delhi to Kerala tour.
Hainanese Chicken Rice: Singapore
Singapore boasts some of the best street food experiences around the world. But what dish is considered the pinnacle of Singaporean street food? It’s none other than Hainanese Chicken Rice, which is widely considered the national dish of Singapore. The chicken achieves its unrivalled tenderness through a process of blanching and ice bathing. The rice component of this meal is no mere side dish. Cooked in chicken stock and fat with pandan leaf, ginger and garlic, the rice is mouth-wateringly aromatic and fluffy. Wee Nam Kee in central Singapore is a must-visit for the most succulent and fragrant Hainanese Chicken Rice.
Coq au Vin: France
You’ve never had a stew quite like this before. Coq au vin is quintessential French cuisine, deserving of its spot on your bucket list of food experiences. At its core is melt-in-your-mouth chicken which is slowly braised in red wine and brandy. In the rich, velvety sauce of coq au vin swims crisp pork lardons, garlicky mushrooms and pearl onions. To experience the flavours of coq au vin in true harmony, we recommend ordering the dish at Chez René. This utterly French establishment is critically acclaimed and known to have one of the best coq au vin in Paris.
Devour everything that France has to offer with Trafalgar on the Wonderful France tour.
Paella Valenciana: Spain
Simply saying the word “paella” evokes hunger-inducing images of crisp-bottomed rice laden with seafood and vegetables. But the original paella, Paella Valenciana, deviates from this image. In Valencia, the birthplace of this Spanish icon, paella is made with rabbit and snails instead of the typical seafood. You won’t find paella like this anywhere else, making it one of the most unique food experiences around the world. The airy La Pepica is a favourite for Paella Valenciana amongst locals. Located on the Malvarrosa beachfront, La Pepica is famous across Valencia as one of the city’s best and oldest paella restaurants.
Margherita Pizza: Italy
The Margherita pizza of Naples is the holy grail of Italian cuisine. Forget deep pan pizzas pooled with greasy cheese and chewy meats. Instead, think of a charred base bubbling with sweet San Marzano tomato and molten mozzarella topped with fresh basil. Every bite is a food experience that you will never want to end. This traditional pizza draws its roots from Queen Margherita of Savoy, who supposedly ate the first Margherita pizza in 1889. The one and a half hour wait to get into Sorbillo is worth it to taste the best Margherita pizza in Naples. This simple pizzeria is legendary for its wood-fired pizzas made with organic ingredients.
BE INSPIRED: Discover the best of Italy
To sample one of the more unusual foods around the world, ditch the pancakes and cereal for Mexico’s favourite breakfast, Chilaquiles. Never heard of them? Picture crisply fried tortilla triangles slathered in salsa and topped with fresh cream, onions and local cheese. The flavours of this dish are rich and tangy with a hint of sweet spice; they’re the perfect early morning pick-me-up. For the best chilaquiles in Mexico City, head to Lalo!, an acclaimed restaurant run by chef Eduardo García.
Dulce de leche: Argentina
Food travel is not complete without a visit to Argentina, the land of football – and tango – lovers. Argentina’s other claim to fame is dulce de leche, a deliciously sweet ‘milk jam’. It is essentially caramelised condensed milk made extra flavourful by vanilla bean. Though many other countries take their own spin on this dessert staple, Argentine dulce de leche is unmatched. Visitors to Argentina will find that dulce de leche is in everything from ice cream to cookies and all manner of other desserts. However, the best thing about dulce de leche is that it can be purchased by the kilogram from most Argentine food shops. It’s a food experience that never has to end!
Sink your teeth into the best of Argentina and beyond with Trafalgar on the Impressions of South America tour.
So you’ve had a cheeseburger before. We understand. But have you ever had a cheeseburger so good that your mind stops, and the rest of the world melts away? It’s just you and the perfect blend of meaty, cheesy, pickly goodness that is the original Pasadena cheeseburger. We thought not. For a Michelin starred cheeseburger in the heart of Old Pasadena, visit Parkway Grill. When considering food experiences from around the world, this underdog entry is not one to be missed.
Bush Tucker: Australia
Bush tucker is one of the more unusual foods from around the world. Intrinsically linked to the cultures of Australia‘s Indigenous peoples, bush tucker offers the diner a deep sense of connection to the land. Fervor is a pop-up dining experience in Western Australia that partners with Indigenous communities to celebrate the unique flavours of bush tucker. In the outback, beneath billions of scattered stars, eight courses are served featuring ingredients from the land. These include green honey ants, lemon myrtle, wattleseed and many more you’ve likely never heard of. An important part of the dining experience is learning where bush tucker comes from and the story behind it. It’s all about respect!
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Planning for an iconic 2022 bucket list trip? Request the latest Trafalgar brochure and start dreaming
Which food experience will you be adding to the top of your bucket list? Let us know in the comments below! Or, if you’re still looking for more travel inspiration, head to our website to read more about food experiences from around the world when you travel with Trafalgar!