Nothing brings people together quite like food. It’s at the heart of so many cultures, and learning about the local cuisine is the perfect way to immerse yourself in a new environment. There are countless destinations across the globe that offer mouthwatering dishes and rich culinary diversity, but some countries reign supreme. Keep reading for the top culinary destinations around the world!
When deciding where to embark on a culinary adventure, Italy is an obvious choice. This beautiful country is known for many things—lively culture, breathtaking views, and above all else, delectable cuisine. Head on a tour of sprawling olive oil farms, fragrant lemon orchards, and scenic vineyards. The country’s regional diversity means there’s an endless variety of delicious specialties to indulge in. Dine of fresh seafood in Cinque Terre, succulent steak in Tuscany, and handmade pasta in Bologna.
Spain is known for its countless classic dishes influenced by a variety of cultures. Each region has its own specialties that are guaranteed to make your mouth water! Andalusian cuisine has rural and coastal influences, and the region is famous for its production of olive oil and sherry. While there, fill up on refreshing gazpacho and savory cured meats before heading to Valencia for its renowned paella. Other exciting culinary options include Basque Country’s hearty meat and fish dishes, Barcelona’s patatas bravas, and the sugary perfection that is Madrid’s beloved churros.
Vietnam is a foodie’s dream. It’s the ultimate destination for heavenly cuisine that won’t break the bank. Food is the focus of Vietnamese culture, especially when it comes to street food. Visit any major city and you’ll find an endless assortment of family-run single dish food stalls serving up some of the country’s most beloved offerings. Vietnamese cuisine is known for its use of fish oil and a wide selection of aromatic spices. Dine on goi cuon, bot chien, and the famous pho, along with many other yummy delicacies. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly gastronomical adventure, then look no further than Vietnam!
Japan is one of the most interesting places in the world. This fascinating country has a unique blend of old and new—Tokyo is a bustling hub of modern technology, while Kyoto has centuries-old temples and ancient traditions. Rich history and culture, an endless variety of experiences, and breathtaking views all make Japan a top travel destination, but it’s the country’s cuisine that attracts many travelers. Enroll in a sushi making class and dine on delicious rolls and sashimi. Other must-haves include ramen, soba and udon noodles, and tempura. This fabulous country is also a tea lover’s dream. Participate in a tea ceremony for an unforgettable way to experience local culture.
Food is a major part of social life in Thailand, and many get-togethers are simply an excuse to indulge with friends and family. When dining with a group, everyone shares all of the options instead of ordering solely for themselves. Thai cuisine is bursting with flavor, and many signature dishes incorporate salty, sweet, spicy, and sour seasonings. Fish and meat are very popular, along with noodle dishes and veggies. Throughout your travels, be sure to take advantage of the affordable marketplaces and street food stalls. Munch on delicious khao phat (fried rice), beef satay, and sweet snacks, known as khanom.
Australia is a bucket-list vacation for all wine connoisseurs! It’s the fifth largest wine exporter and is home to some of the world’s finest vineyards. The country’s cuisine is influenced by indigenous people and immigrants from countries such as Britain, Ireland, Greece, and Italy. There’s an incredible coffee culture thanks to the Greek and Italian immigrants in the early and mid-1900s. Australia is even the birth place of the flat white—a delicious coffee beverage that’s beloved across the globe. Seafood and meat are the main focus of many dishes, and you can even dine on kangaroo. Some iconic foods include Vegemite, a savory spread, and pavlova, a dreamy, meringue-based dessert names after the famous ballerina Anna Pavlova.
Peruvian cuisine has gained widespread recognition and acclaim, with Peru being crowned the top culinary destination for the past six years running. Food has always been an integral part of Peruvian culture, and with its bold flavors and liberal use of spices, it was only a matter of time before the rest of the world caught on. Key ingredients include quinoa, potatoes (of which the country has an abundance), corn, soups, rice, and various kinds of meat, from alpaca to pork. Sample ceviche, pachamanca, and cuy—guinea pig. Lima is considered the culinary capital of South America, but no matter where you go in Peru, your taste buds won’t be disappointed!
Mexico is one of the most popular travel destinations thanks to unparalleled scenery, exhilarating adventure, fascinating history, and of course, amazing food. Mayan, Aztec, and Spanish ingredients and cooking methods all play a part in Mexican cuisine. With so many influences, there’s great diversity and something for everyone to enjoy. Staple ingredients include corn, chili peppers, and plenty of veggies. While exploring Mexico, dine on tacos, chilaquiles, mole, tamales, and elote, the famed Mexican street corn! And if you’re a fan of tequila, then you simply must visit its birthplace—the town of Tequila in Jalisco. Hop on the Tequila Trail to tour some of the most renowned distilleries.