The best path to the heart of a country? Through the stomach. Eating your way through a new destination can be an eye-opening experience, culture wise. But which destinations have the culinary pedigree really worth exploring? Here are our four top picks for vacation destinations perfect for serious foodies:
1. France: The country that gave us the Michelin Star has long been considered the culinary capital of the world. Baguettes, croissants, macarons, soufflés, éclairs, tart au citron — and that’s just the pastries! In addition to being heaven on earth for sweet tooths, France also has an incredible reputation for saucy, meaty dishes, like the famed duck confit. To get the most out of a culinary vacation to France, be sure to get hands-on in your exploration — think French pastry classes, cheese tastings, and tours through France’s famed wine country. And remember, there’s so much to explore outside of Paris. For example, head to Brittany in the north for melt-in-your-mouth crepes, or head south to Provence for rich stews, sticky honey, and Mediterranean-styled seafood dishes.
2. Southeast Asia: Fiery street food, cackling pig’s ear, sticky sweet pad thai. The cuisine of Southeast Asia is packed with flavor, making a trip through this region a must for any major foodie. The cuisines of countries like Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos are gaining popularity stateside — how cool would it be to go straight to the source, for the freshest, most authentic versions imaginable? Adventurous eaters will especially love food tours through Southeast Asia. Many guided tours include stops at riverside markets and bustling city shops, where you can taste delicacies such as snake wine and ant egg soup. Do you think your stomach can handle it?
3. Ireland: No, Ireland isn’t quite as legendary as France when it comes to top destinations for foodies, but the Emerald Isle should definitely be on your list. The flavors of Ireland, however, are a little different — earthier, homier, and more comforting. Ireland is a land of skilled home cooks, not necessarily super star chefs. So journey here to experience culinary labors of love, like Irish soda bread, stew that’s been bubbling on the stovetop all day, and small-batch craft ciders. Of course, Ireland has a “naughtier” side of well. If you’re interested in the stronger stuff, be sure to visit the Guinness Storehouse and an Irish whiskey distillery.
4. Spain: Once the home of the best restaurant in the world (the top-rated elBulli has since closed), Spain is still a culinary powerhouse. You can blame the proximity to two different coastlines — the Atlantic and Mediterranean — for that. Super fresh seafood practically swims in Spanish dishes! If you’re interested in indulging in the classics, seafood paella is a must. But did you know that Spain is also known for its cured meats? From melt-in-your-mouth jambon to spicy chorizo sausage, you could do worse than nibbling on a plate of Spanish meats and soft cheeses, straight from the farm. In Spain, the surf and turf are equally delicious, so you can’t go wrong with any menu.
Want to start eating your way through your own culinary adventure? Get in touch with your preferred Elite Travel Journeys expert to start planning!