When you arrive in India, whether it’s Mumbai or Delhi, you’ll think to yourself, “I better eat at the hotel, or the fancy TripAdvisor recommendation. Well that is WRONG. Embrace the streets! Indian street food is your most delicious, and in my opinion, safest path towards a wonderful culinary experience in the land of spices. Just think about it: at a street food stall you can see how everything is made, the cleanliness is clear and the popularity of the stand is obvious. Meanwhile, a fancy hotel has a hidden staff of young cooks that don’t care if you come back, and the kitchen and cooking conditions are hidden to the public. To me, the choice of popular public display of delicouness trumps the restaurant kitchen behind door number 4.
Some of our favorite street snacks include:
Vada pav: Spiced and fried potatoes in a soft bun with tamarind and cilantro chutneys.
Bhel Puri: Puffed rice...
Food I'd Travel For
I'll eat it all, from dumplings in Seoul to coffee in Istanbul, to booze in Chiapas.
The name “Nampou Coffee” is a relic of the previous shop and belies the deliciousness inside just as much as the overly typical entrance does. Nothing that you can see from the outside does justice for the restaurant in a way that I would like to do for it which is to scream, “You’ve GOT to come in and try these amazing noodles!!!”
The broth is pork-based, rich but not oily. You can choose “cow piek” a thick rice noodle, or “pho” thin rice noodles, or “mee” yellow egg noodles, along with pork, duck, or chicken. The best part and the thing that makes it so delectable is the healthy topping of fried shallots which adds a sweet roasted flavor that is so aromatic and addictive that I wish the after taste would stay on my palate for the rest of the day. The soup is served with iced chrysanthemum tea along with an array of chillies and sauces that I never use because the broth is really that...
Don't visit the Christian sites in Nazareth without popping into a local bakery. Try to buy it right out of the oven. Warm, melty cheese, sugar, pastry, pistachios-what's not to love. It melts in your mouth. We liked the knafeh in Nazareth better than any others that we sampled in Israel, and we sampled it everywhere we could.
Yoshi-Sushi is located in Osaka's Tsuruhashi neighborhood, adjacent to the wholesale fish market. It opens for business at 6am and caters mostly to fish buyers and sellers, who eat here before, during, or after work. Unlike Tokyo's Tsukiji, there are no tourists here. Pictured is tai served with lime juice and salt. This style of sushi, which is primarily flavored by salt, not soy sauce, is a distinctive category of sushi, called shiodae, meaning salt-flavored.
Every Saturday and Sunday on Via S. Teodoro, tucked just off Circus Maximus, Rome's best farmer's market takes place. It's run by Campagna Amica, an Italy-wide organization that promotes local, sustainable agriculture—so all of the products sold here, from jam to olive oil, bread to cheese, beer to wine, come from the Lazio region only, and are sold directly by the producers themselves. Tastings are a-plenty and the producers are more than happy to chitchat about their foodstuffs. If you come around lunchtime, you can buy a cheap lunch—maybe even including porchetta sliced right off the pig, like here—to eat on the picnic tables outside.
La Huella may be the world's best beach restaurant. Tucked amidst the dunes of Playa Brava, the laidback restaurant is one of the few that stays open year-round in Jose Ignacio. Since opening 11 years ago, La Huella has attracted both locals and travelers with its chill vibe and stellar food. I showed up for a late night meal with a crew of American and Argentinean chefs who'd heard rumors of how great the food was and our mission was well rewarded. The chef, Alejandro Morales, cooks exactly the type of food you want to eat when staring out at the crashing waves and dining in flip flops and a sun dress. We feasted on plancha-style shrimp, fried smelts, Peruvian-style shrimp and potatoes, and paccheri and clams. The perfect, crusty bread is from the famous recipe of San Francisco's Bar Tartine.
I think the highlight of my meal was the killer dessert. If you like dulce de leche then the...
This is one of my favourite recently opened restaurants (out of the seemingly 5000 that opened in Toronto circa 2011-12).
A casual, laid back vibe (no need to dress up if you don't want to) at this 35 seater gives you a choice of a reasonably priced (for Toronto), locally sourced prix fixe of either meat or veg.
The bonus here is that the chefs trained at some of the hottest spots in the world (i.e. Noma) therefore creativity is valued and for the most part very successful.
The meat pie is synonymous with Australia and no place is more iconic in Sydney than Woolloomooloo's Harry's Cafe de Wheels. What started out as a stand turned into one of the first food trucks when local ordinances dictated that mobile food carts had to move at least 12 inches every day. There are now dozens of Harry's around Sydney, each serving up their famous pies. "The Tiger" is the most well known: a pie topped with mashed potatoes, gravy and mushy peas. There are no tables to speak of, but rather a counter attached to the truck. Hundreds of celebrities, politicians and locals have flocked to Harry's for their pie fix. They're also open until 2 a.m., making this a great late-night spot.
Flora Farm looks like something right out of Northern California wine country, which is fitting as that's where the owners are from. Nestled in a canyon behind the city of San Jose Del Cabo, the farm can be hard to find, but it's worth the hunt.
We went for dinner and almost every ingredient we were served was straight from the farm, including the seriously delicious carrot margaritas. The food is a bit more farm-style and new American than Mexican-focused but still is respectful of local flavors.
In addition to the farm and restaurant, they have some galleries with local wares and are building out cottages for those who want to stay there on a more regular basis. If you're in Los Cabos and need to get away from the 'spring break style' of the rest of the area, this will be your haven.
A visit to Denmark must include trying the country's famous, impossible-to-pronounce open-faced sandwich, smørrebrød (I'm fairly certain that only native Danish speakers can pronounce it properly -"SMUHR-bruth"). Smørrebrød translates to "buttered bread"and a traditional smørrebrød lunch usually includes three or four small sandwiches ranging from potatoes and radish to egg salad.
The once working class lunch gets a chefy makeover at Aamanns where the smørrebrød is served on homemade rye bread. The restaurant design is charming, with big stencils of radishes and cows on the walls. Order the smørrebrød trio for lunch and ask to have it paired with a biodynamic wine.
A lot of the best places to eat on the cheap in Barcelona are a little out of the way. For a truly local experience, and the fastest tapas in town at ridiculously cheap prices, try on La Esquinica (the little corner) for size. Do as the Barcelonans do and drink vino turbio (house wine shaken until it's frothy) and sample a little bit of everything. Croquettes, bombas, patatas bravas (potatoes with garlic mayonnaise and hot sauce), stuffed mussels, and grilled Spanish meats, all prepared in house and served up in a matter of minutes.
Note: Like so much Spanish bar food, this is not light cuisine, or particularly vegan or vegetarian friendly. Also, if you go during typical Spanish meal times on a weekend (2-3pm, 8.30-10pm) expect to wait in line to be seated.
The nearest metro stops are Vilapicina and Virrei Amat, L5.
Throwing and eating yu sheng (or lo hei in Cantonese) is a Chinese New Year tradition unique to Singapore and Malaysia. This celebratory salad is piled up with shredded veggies, raw salmon and condiments like lime juice and crushed peanuts all topped with a sweet dressing. Each layer and ingredient symbolises prosperity in some way for the New Year. Eating it is only half the fun though - when the ingredients have been assembled everyone gathers around with chopsticks to help mix the salad, throwing it into the air. The higher it goes, the more prosperous the coming year will be. If you are in Singapore during Chinese New Year a banquet at a Chinese restaurant complete with yu sheng is a must. Don't forget to offer the traditional "happy new year" greeting to everyone you meet: Gong Xi Fa Cai! (pronounced gong see fa chai)
Whether you're in need of a quick snack or trying to grocery shop for a week, Borough Market has everything a London gourmand needs.
The capitol's oldest food market, Borough is open year round and features dozens of stalls hawking everything from fresh produce to cured meats, pressed ciders to just-baked bread. Just imagine the smells — if you weren't hungry when you got there, you will be soon.
The market is divided into four main areas: Crown Square, Green Market, Jubilee Market (where the annual Christmas market is held), and the shops and restaurants that surround the market on Stoney Street, Park Street, and Bedale Street. Leave enough time to wander through them all.
Borough is open just for lunch Monday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The full market is open on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday from noon to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It's an easy...
On arrival to Istanbul, many tourists order the chicken şiş (chicken kebab) for a meal because it's familiar and safe, but they're really missing out on some of the best food in the world!
I encourage anyone that visits Turkey to gastro-travel though the country's tasty cuisine - sampling the many Ottoman dishes and succulent regional kebabs on offer. My favourite place to take guests is Fuego Cafe & Restaurant in Sultanahmet.
Fuego opened in early 2012 and is fast becoming one the most reputable restaurants in the tourism precinct. The outstanding service by owner operators - Can, Ali, Mehmet and Salih - earnt the restaurant a Certificate of Excellence by Tripadvisor in 2013. With those accolades you're garenteed to experience genuine hospitality here.
Try the Ali Nazik (minced beef on yogurt, eggplant and tomato mash), Hünkar Beğendi (tender lamb on a bed of smoked eggplant puree)...
When I lived in Bangkok, I chose my apartment due to one important factor: it was close to a restaurant my friends affectionately dubbed "Pumpkin Lady" because of the stuffed pumpkin desserts. The dining experience is hyper-local; food is served in a makeshift living room of Pumpkin Lady's house and the wok is set up just outside the entrance under a green awning. The restaurant is well worth trekking to and it's an easy walk from Victory Monument BTS. Make sure you try their deliciously fiery tom yum soup, galam bee pad kai sai moo saap (fried cabbage, minced pork, egg) and pad pongali.
I've eaten all sorts of strange things on my travels: cockroaches, small crunchy sowbugs drenched in chili and fried in oil, sheep's testicles, you name it. But for some reason, people are most offput when I wax poetic about chicken pudding. Perhaps it has to do with the unexpected deliciousness; surely a dessert made of chicken cannot taste so good? But it does, and no visit to Istanbul is complete without sampling it from a tiny shop near the water, Kismet Muhallebecisi.
But don't limit yourself to the pudding. The menu is not in writing but it unfolds before you: tender white meat sautéed with vegetables and served with rice pilaf, chicken gizzards hot in the pan and brought to your table and to start off your meal, a light lentil soup.
On a pier that's over a century old, Elliott's Oyster House has been one of Seattle's best places for seafood for over three decades. All of the iconic tastes of the Pacific Northwest are here—Dungeness crab, wild salmon, and, of course, oysters. The varieties of the rocky bivalves are reliably fresh—all local and sustainably caught. And, if you don't like to slurp them au naturel, try the "Oysters Rockefeller," baked with spinach, Pernod, and bacon, and topped with hollandaise. With skyscrapers behind you, water below you, and mountains across the Sound, a meal on this pier is one of the highlights of any stay in Seattle.
While in Turkey I enjoyed traditional desserts like Baklava, but I learned to eat them in an nontraditional way. Did you know there was baklava etiquette in Istanbul?
My friend Fatih took me to Karaköy Güllüoğlu – the famous baklava sweet shop in Karaköy. There you’ll find cases and cases of freshly made trays of baklava in different sizes and flavors to temp your sweet tooth. My personal favorite I quickly became addicted to was the chocolate baklava.
Fatih and I got an assortment of baklava and I was poised to dig in when he said, “Do you know there is a proper way to eat baklava that brings out the most flavor of the dessert?” I hesitated and was torn with simply shoving it into my mouth and trying to slow down and learn about this intriguing fact that he dangled out in front of me. The dangling worked – I chose to put my fork down and learn more.
He told me to place the bottom side...
A great -- and pretty -- combination of flavors (try the salted mango and be happy) at Messina in Sydney.
La Locanda della Luna is owned and run by local Chef Daniele Luongo. The establishment overlooks the hills of Sannio in Benevento and offers a seasonal menu focused on local ingredients.
Chef Luongo’s menu is derived from traditional family recipes and dishes typical to the vicinity. Luongo leads the direction for local research and requires the use of the area’s ingredients as main components of each dish.
Each plate is a modern culinary stage that honors the flavors of the Sannio and Irpinia regions – as seen from his restaurant. In fact, the area’s seasonal offerings determine his menu, including the handmade pastas and baked breads; which he makes on site. In addition, Luongo uses the fruits, vegetables and herbs growing in the surrounding gardens of his establishment.
Locanda della Luna is a true hidden gem located in a small town called San Giorgio del Sannio in...
Despite its remote location, this is a culinary journey that any foodie should make every effort to make. The ultra local menu is designed and orchestrated by Blaine Wetzel, former sous-chef at Noma. Every course is a journey through the immediate San Juan Islands and no more than an hour from The Willows Inn on Lummi Island where chef Wetzel works his epicurean magic.
Of course there is no shortage of great food in Las Vegas, but this place is different. First of all it is not on The Strip, so it is not accessible unless you know about it. It's in a strip mall in an area with a lot of other Asian restaurants, including an exceptional noodle shop next door called Monta Ramen. You must make a reservation at Raku—walk-ins are impossible and I saw them turn countless people away. Every dish will blow you away. I have traveled a lot to Tokyo, and I love it, but this is the best Japanese food I have ever eaten, and is worth tearing yourself from The Strip to experience.
Any meal in the restaurant at Chateau Richeux is a culinary delight, but the real magic begins when they pull out the dessert cart.
Chef Olivier Roellinger feels that you should never stop being a kid and you can have whatever you want, as much as you want, as many times as you want from his fully loaded cart. The highlight being the millefeuille of the day made with vanilla from Madagascar, it will have you driving the three hours it takes to get there from Paris on a regular basis, or at least planning the trip!
A feast of enormous octopus tentacles, colossal lobster claws, and gaping fish are laid out on table after table every night in Stone Town's Forodhani Gardens. The names and origins of less recognizable treats, smashed together in generous portions on kebab sticks, will be (very) eagerly explained to you by the vendors at each table.
A kebab of tandoori lobster accompanied by fresh-pressed sugarcane juice is a quintessential treat, but if you feel iffy about sampling the seafood on the tables, there are alternatives: grilled sweet potatoes, savory bananas, and puffy coconut bread complete the Swahili suite of tastes. Negotiate your price and wait for the vendor to heat up your choice on an open fire stove in the middle of the gardens.
Last year the New York Time's named the Willows Inn on Lummi Island one of 10 restaurants in the world worth a plane ride. Suddenly, the tiny island with a population of just 816 became a mecca for the food obsessed. Chef Blaine Wetzel, an alum of Copenhagen’s famous restaurant Noma, uses the best local ingredients to create his tasting menus. Five courses are interspersed with a dozen “snacks” like homemade bread served with chicken drippings, sunflower roots baked in moss, and a grilled oyster with tequila and sage that smelled so good I wish I could have bottled the scent. My third course was almost too pretty to eat: a mix of Nettles Farm peas with mint, whey and lardo (photo). It tasted like spring in a bowl. I loved how the chef got creative with fruits, flowers, and herbs. One snack was a simple mix of locally foraged berries served over a green juice puree. While the wine list...
A seasonal delicacy, nama is best likened to seaweed caviar. The texture of the tiny brine-filled pearls is similar to salmon roe, clustered along a seaweed stalk. Eaten with sugar and chili, they make a tasty snack at the Suva market. Here they are selling for about US$1 per plate.
My best food tip? Ask your taxi driver for the best place to eat. You'll be pleasantly surprised. That's how I came to Lac Thien, a street cafe, for Banh Khoai--a savory crepe pan-fried to a golden crisp, stuffed with shrimp, bean sprouts and little mounds of pork. (Oh, trust me, you can't have just one.)
To eat, break a piece with chopsticks, add fresh herbs or wrap in lettuce, and dip in "tuong," a spicy garlic sauce.
Lac Thien is a tiny corner cafe at 6 Dinh Hoang, just off the Hue Trang Tien Bridge--perfect for people-watching.
P.S. Banh Khoai is a signature dish of the central region. In the States, you can find Banh Xeo (a larger variation) at most Vietnamese restaurants.