Your Guide to the Top 10 Food Destinations in the World 

Embark on a culinary sojourn that will most certainly tantalize your tastebuds! Our curated list of destinations will provide a truly mouthwatering vacation.

Traditional Vietnamese food

There are some cities that have food steeped in their DNA and that is what makes them part of our top 10 food destinations in the world. Foodie cities that are so fantastic that they warrant making a trip just to sample what is available! Whether it is Morocco’s flavorful stew or  tagine , the comforting  phð  (noodle soup) in Hanoi, the crisp wines of Cape Town or the fresh  ceviche ( fresh seafood dish )  in Lima, a trip to any of these destinations will ensure that the foodie in you is completely sated.

Japan's vibrant food culture makes it to our Top 10 food destinations

1 Tokyo, Japan | ASIA

There’s a reason why  Japan  consistently makes it to the list of the 10 best global food destinations – the uniqueness of its food culture. In 2013, traditional Japanese cuisine, or “ washoku ” was added by  UNESCO  into its Intangible Cultural Heritage list, the second cuisine to be conferred this honor. For the Japanese, food is a means to establish bonds between friends and family and is viewed as one of the pillars of society. And the sheer variety in the cuisine – from sushi, ramen and  Yakitori  (grilled chicken skewers) to the highly coveted Japanese  Wagyu  beef and the ubiquitous sticky rice – is truly mind boggling. In fact, Tokyo has more places to eat per square mile than New York and more Michelin stars than any other city in the world. And this is why Japan should definitely be on your list of top food destinations to visit!

Expert Tip:  “Discover the best sushi in Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market, which is also the world’s largest wholesale market for fresh, frozen, and processed seafood.”  – Brenda O’Connor, Travel Consultant, Japan

Thai Street Food culture makes it to our Top 10 food destinations

2 Bangkok, Thailand | ASIA

Such is the fame of the city’s street food establishments that they are a tourist attraction in themselves. At street corners to rows and rows of stalls (some have been awarded Michelin stars as well!) spread across neighborhoods, vendors with their large sizzling woks and pans are a ubiquitous sight. Dishes such as the instantly recognisable  Pad Thai  noodles and fragrant Thai curries to fried insects and more unusual offerings like  Baak Bpet  (Fried Duck Beaks) are churned out with conveyor belt regularity. At the other end of the culinary spectrum, you have fine dining establishments such as the globally renowned Gaggan, Suhring with its German food and Bunker serving contemporary American dishes. So whatever your choice of food, be rest assured that  Bangkok  will not disappoint!

Expert tip: “Head to a local market like the vibrant Damnoen Saduak floating market, where you can buy the freshest local produce.” – Kalani Stephens, Travel Consultant, Thailand

Hong Kong Food culture makes it to our Top 10 food destinations

3 Hong Kong  | ASIA

With over 11,000 restaurants,  Hong Kong  could well stake its claim to be declared the culinary capital of Asia! What gives the city’s food its unique character and makes it part of our top 10 food destinations is the confluence of several influences – from Cantonese and other Chinese cuisines such as Peking, Shanghainese and Szechuan, to colonial (largely British), Japanese, Korean and Southeast Asian food traditions. The city’s most popular dish is its dimsums, or steamed and savory dumplings, which have been elevated into an art form with variations like black truffle  har gau  (shrimp dumplings). Equally popular are the egg tarts and Hong Kong style milk tea, with their roots in British cuisine. So if you want to spend a few days eating dishes that perfectly exemplify the East-meets-West tradition, Hong Kong is the food destination you must visit!

Expert Tip: “Visit a traditional Hong Kong Tea House for “yum cha” in which Chinese tea is served with dim sum: dumplings, steamed buns, pastries among other traditional items usually served from morning to afternoon.” – Devika Ray, Travel Consultant, Asia

Things to do in Vietnam - Sample Vietnamese Pho in Hanoi - Top 10 food destinations

4 Hanoi | ASIA

‘Low plastic stool, cheap but delicious noodles, cold Hanoi beer’ – this tweet from former US President Barack Obama fondly looks back at his meal with the late celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain at an unassuming restaurant in Hanoi. It also encapsulates why this city features in our list of top 10 food destinations – simple, spectacular flavors served in a no-frills ambiance. Dishes such as  Pho  (Noodle Soup),  Bun Cha  (Grilled Pork & Noodles) and  Pho Cuon  (Rice Noodle Rolls) typify how the cuisine is all about creating a balance between the five flavor elements – sweet, sour, salty, bitter and spicy – thanks to its Chinese roots. Meanwhile, the cuisine further south in the capital Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, shows strong French influences, thanks to its erstwhile colonial past. This seen in staples such as the  Banh M i – a baguette with a stuffing such as pate, fried egg, barbecued pork, herbs and vegetables. Much like France, Saigon enjoys a vibrant coffee culture, with cafes dotting its streets. 

Expert Tip:  “Zipping through the streets, on the back of a vintage Vespa scooter, as you are ferried from one famous eatery or street art to another, is one of the best ways to enjoy the vibrant street food scene.”  – Walter Kealey, Travel Consultant, Vietnam


5 Mumbai | ASIA

Much like the city brings together people from across the country, Mumbai’s cuisine too is a delightful amalgamation of several influences. This includes the food of the Koli fisher folks, the original inhabitants of the city, the Christian East Indian community whose food is replete with Portuguese influences, the Parsis who migrated from Persia and the large Gujarati Bohra Muslim community. One of its most iconic dishes is the Bombay duck fry, ironically a fish with a pungent smell, much loved by the British during their time in the city. Another popular dish, a favorite with office goers, is the  vada pav , a deep-fried potato dumpling, slathered in spicy sauce and crammed in a bun. You will be hard-pressed to find a street that doesn’t feature a makeshift stall selling  vada pavs,  or other tangy and savory snacks, collectively known as  chaat,  part of Mumbai’s vibrant street food culture.

Expert tip:  “Sign up for a cooking class with a local chef in to truly understand the rich, diverse flavors of its cuisine.”  – Gunjan Bhatnagar, Travel Consultant, India

Enchanting-Travels-Argentina-Tours-The beautiful snow capped Andes mountains and vineyard growing malbec grapes in the Mendoza wine country of Argentina

6 Cape Winelands | AFRICA

The vast vineyards of the Western Cape’s Stellenbosch region draw thousands of visitors every year, keen to sip its world-famous pinotage and be part of wine-centric adventures. What makes this region part of our top 10 food destinations is not just its spectacular wine produce, but the several ways you can enjoy them, in its rolling valleys, modern tasting rooms, and charming manor houses. Whether it is through tram rides in the sprawling estates, wine experiences hosted by a professional winemaker or wine tastings paired with some of the best local produce and insights into viticulture, a vacation in the Cape Winelands will truly be a feast for your senses. You can also dine in the slew of high-end fine dining restaurants in Stellenbosch, such as Foliage, Overture in the Hidden Valley Wine Estate and Jordan among others, making your culinary sojourn truly special!

Expert tip: “Walk through the streets of Stellenbosch and immerse yourself in the art and culture of the region, as you sample its exquisite wines.” – Danielle Cicci, Travel Consultant, South Africa

Traditional tajine pot in Morocco - makes it to our Top 10 food destinations

7 Marrakech | AFRICA

Arabic, Mediterranean, and Andalusian with a bit of European flair thrown in – the subtle, uniquely flavorful cuisine of Morocco finds true representation in its western city of Marrakech. The city boasts an abundance of local produce, which are combined with seasonings such as saffron or the  ras el hanout  (made up of 27 spices) to create dishes with unique flavor combinations, which make it part of our top 10 food destinations! This is best captured in the  tagine , a slow cooked stew of meats, vegetables and spices, arguably the country’s most popular dish. The best food in Marrakech is found at makeshift stalls in the vibrant  souks  or marketplaces. As you sample crusty breads baked in communal wood fires, crumbed liver, stuffed aubergines and wash it down with sweet Moroccon tea, you will be surrounded by dancers, snake charmers and storytellers, making for a singular eating experience.

Expert tip: “Enjoying a camel ride in the desert and as the sun sets, sit around a campfire and savor a sumptuous spread of traditional Berber dishes under the stars.” – Anita Sahi, Travel Consultant, Moroc

Tortas - A bun stuffed with meat and vegetables and topped with shredded cabbage, cheese, and sour cream. - makes it to our Top 10 food destinations


An ancient cuisine, Mexican food today is a blend of Spanish colonial influences and age-old traditions stretching back to the Aztech Empire and earlier. In 2010, UNESCO named traditional Mexican cuisine an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. So what makes the city’s food unmissable and part of our top 10 food destinations? The focus on farm-to-table dishes, unique combinations such as crickets and tacos, and fresh flavors. Locals say that regional food eaten in Mexico is very different in terms of depth of flavor as compared to what is available at restaurants the world over, which veer more towards Tex-Mex cuisine. The explosion of flavors and textures when you bite into a  taco , a folded or rolled tortilla stuffed with seasoned mince, chicken, or beans, perhaps the best known of the city’s street foods, is a gastronomic delight!

Expert tip: “Head to the picturesque borough of Xochimilco and  sample on various local delicacies such as tacos, quesadillas (a tortilla primarily filled with cheese) and tamales (a corn-based dish steamed in a corn husk).” – Bo Crew, Travel Consultant, Mexico

Street view of Cartagena, Colombia after sunset with cathedral visible in the background

9 Cartagena | SOUTH AMERICA

What is putting Cartagena firmly on the map of the top 10 food destinations in the world is the manner in which the city’s chefs and street carts are effortlessly combining local flavors in delicious ways. Cartagena’s cuisine is a true melting pot – it features an abundance of fresh seafood and tropical fruits, melded with Spanish, African, Caribbean and local food influences, resulting in a unique culinary tradition. This incredible array of textures and flavors is perhaps best exemplified in the beloved breakfast of the city, the Arepas or cornmeal cakes. They are grilled and stuffed with cheese, or deep-fried – owing to the African influence – and bursting with beef. While colonial influences abound in the Old Walled City, the beachside neighborhood of Bocagrande boasts a vibrant nightlife with its bars and trendy restaurants. There is also a bevy of coffee shops, from quaint local shops to chic cafes, celebrating the best of Colombian coffee. 

Expert tip:  “A seven-course meal at one of the city’s fine dining restaurants will give you a great idea about the culinary wealth of Cartagena!”  – Nick Gardner, Travel Consultant, Colombia

Peruvian cuisine makes it to our Top 10 food destinations


Fringed by the waters of the Pacific, the coastal city of Lima does justice to the abundance of marine life at its disposal – most famously in its iconic  ceviche  – raw fish, cured in lime juice, with a smattering of chillies, served with raw onions and fresh coriander, bursting with flavors of the sea. If that isn’t reason enough to visit the city, consider this: Lima has had among the highest number of restaurant entries in the prestigious  Best Restaurants list  consistently over the last few years. While Lima’s seafood continues to be its mainstay, the produce of the Andes and Amazon, such as  paiche  (an Amazonian catfish) and  tumbo  (a rainforest fruit) are being incorporated in the cuisine as well. Another popular culinary tradition is Chifa, the fusion of Chinese Cantonese food with Peruvian ingredients, originating in Lima’s Chinatown. The result? Dishes like Tallarin Saltado (Cantonese-Peruvian Chow Mein) and Lomo Saltado (Beef and vegetable stir-fry), diverse strands of a truly eclectic cuisine.  

Expert tip: “A meal at Astrid y Gaston, whose Peruvian food, helped put the country on the global culinary map in the 1990s is a must! ” – Lisa Fox, Travel Consultant, Peru

With a mix of flavors, textures, resulting in truly eclectic tastes, get ready to take your tastebuds of a truly delectable ride with our top 10 food destinations!

We look forward to creating a delectable vacation tailored to your interests and preferences.

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21 Top Foodie Destinations Around the World

If you love food and want to explore some really fantastic foodie destinations, we’ve got the list for you! Adding culinary activities to your vacation itinerary is one of the best ways to experience the culture of the destination you’re in. 

This list contains 21 of the best places to go for foodie vacations. If there’s one thing we truly believe here at Savored Journeys, it’s that eating well and traveling well go together like… well, you can’t have one with the other, as they say.

» Looking for awesome dining experiences to travel for? Try these 10 Most Remote Dining Locations . You might like How to Recreate International Dishes at Home.

Pizzeria Da Attilio

For us, it’s part of the experience to taste the  tapas in Barcelona , the sushi in Tokyo , chocolate in Switzerland, and that incredibly delicious sauerkraut soup in Prague . That’s why we make it a priority to visit top foodie destinations around the world. If you agree, then you’re probably a foodie traveler, just like we are.

We make food a priority during our travels, in order to experience the culture, learn about the people, and immerse ourselves in what makes this place unique. Yes, we believe you can do all of that through food.

Read more about our favorite foodie cities: Paris | London | Bologna

Table of Contents

Why We Travel For Food And So Should You

Culinary vacations are becoming more popular now than ever before. We’ve all started to realize that many of our favorite things to do on vacation and the strongest memories we take back home with us have to do with food.

Maybe you took a really great food tour , or you learned to make pasta in Italy, or you ate at a particularly amazing fine dining restaurant. Those are all cherished memories now.

Have you ever noticed how even the faint aroma of something you ate on vacation instantly takes you back to when you experienced it? Tasting an Argentinian Malbec transports me to a tasting room in Mendoza . The smell of galangal and lime instantly brings to mind the Thai cooking class we took in Chiang Mai.

Ho Chi Minh Cooking class

Even the sight of choclo (really large corn) gets me excited for the intense flavors of Peruvian food . Just ask Nick – “big corn”, makes me unreasonably excited. Food is powerful. It’s what makes us who we are as a people. It is an essential part of life and community.

In fact, I seriously question whether you can experience the real, authentic side of a culture without experiencing the food.

After all, what is Thailand without a plate of Pad Thai, China without Dim Sum, Canada without poutine, Mexico without street tacos?

Indulging in Michelin starred restaurants , veering off the beaten path to where they make the best fried noodles, immersing yourself in pasta making in Chianti, or even accepting a dare to eat balut in the Philippines – these are the things vibrant memories are made of. Check out these vegetarian food experiences too!

Gnocchi-making workshop led by Oli

Top Foodie Vacations Around the World

We are always searching for culinary vacations that promise incredible dining options, fun food-inspired experiences and some really good wine to wash it all down with.

And while there are so many great locations around the world that satisfy that craving, some stand out more than others in the culinary department. I have to admit, even picking only 21 destinations that we think are foodie heaven is hard – there are so many!

When it comes to foodie destinations, the best ones have irresistible food that’s you can’t find anywhere else. Some will immediately come to mind, like Italy and Spain. Others you have to search a little for.

1. Mendoza, Argentina

Restaurant at Bodega Ruca Malen

Some of the best wines come out of Mendoza, but did you know about its culinary scene? Mendoza is a perfect spot for foodies who want to enjoy all three of pillars of good travel in one destination: good food, wine and adventures.

Many of the top wineries in the region serve impressive multi-course wine lunches from their winery restaurants that have often have breathtaking views of the Andes from every seat and include as much wine as you want to drink.

Visit these wineries and restaurants for a complete foodie experience in Mendoza:

  • Bodega Ruca Malen (lunch and wine tasting)
  • Andeluna Cellars (lunch and wine tasting)
  • The Vines of Mendoza (for a comprehensive tasting)
  • Siete Fuegos (Fine dining on an open fire — and stay at The Vines Resort & Spa – check prices and read reviews )

Tours you may enjoy:

  • All day, small group, luxury wine tour with gourmet lunch
  • Maipú Wine-Tasting Tour from Mendoza Including Trapiche Winery

2. Paris, France

Escargot in France

When people plan their trips to Paris, they tend to forget that the city is a foodie paradise, even though it’s in France. There are so many fun food things to do in Paris that will enhance your sightseeing, help you build lasting memories, and create a diverse and interesting itinerary. 

With so many delicious French foods to try, croissants and Croque Monsieurs belong right there alongside the Eiffel Tower and Sacre-Coeur. No vacation to the French capital is complete without trying the foods that make the country so unique – yes, escargot and frog’s legs included!

Whether that’s a stop off one of Paris’ many street food markets to check out the products, at a local crepe stand, or on a full-day food tour , there are many ways to taste and enjoy Paris.

If you have extra time, you can also get outside of the city to either the Bordeaux wine regio n or Champagne wine region . Reims and Epernay are two of the main Champagne cities to visit to learn more about French wines .

Tours you might enjoy:

  • Montmartre Hill Sweet & Savory French Gourmet Food & Wine Tasting Tour
  • Bateaux Parisiens Seine River Gourmet Dinner & Sightseeing Cruise

3. Tuscany, Italy

Pici pasta

One of the top things on most foodie’s bucket lists is to take cooking classes in Italy . We dream of making tender, homemade pasta and rich meaty tomato sauces, drinking wine in Tuscany and eating briny olives and antipasto on the terrace overlooking the vineyards.

This experience can be found all over Italy — there’s no shortage of cooking schools and wine tasting tours.

One of our favorite areas in Tuscany is Chianti. Not only is it absolutely gorgeous and easy to get around (see our self-guided Chianti tour ideas), there are dozens of amazing Chianti Classico wines to try. Here are some of our favorite places to stay in Tuscany for wine tasting.

I’ve always been enchanted with Montepulciano, as well.

Montepulciano is a charming hilltop town in the heart of Tuscany, Italy, known for its picturesque streets, historic architecture, and world-class wineries. The town is surrounded by rolling hills covered in vineyards, and the local wine industry is a major part of the economy and culture.

There are several wineries in and around Montepulciano that offer tours and tastings, like Avignonesi, Poliziano, and Boscarelli.

  • Small-Group Wine Tasting Experience in the Tuscan Countryside
  • Cooking Class and Lunch at a Tuscan Farmhouse with Local Market Tour from Florence

4. San Sebastian, Spain


It might not be a major cosmopolitan city like Paris or London , but San Sebastian is perhaps the greatest food destination in the world, with more Michelin stars per capita than any other city and a thriving pintxos scene that you won’t believe until you see it.

It makes the list not only because of the overabundance of haute cuisine, but because it is literally paradise, with its incredible view over the crescent bay and the beautiful La Concha Beach. There are three 3-star restaurants, among a handful of 1- and 2-starred places, plus a plethora of pintxos bars serving gourmet-style bites that are just as good as any fancy meal you’ve ever had.

Gandarias Bar

  • Here’s a great evening pintxos tour in San Sebastian that you’ll love.
  • Arzak – 3-stars — one of the top restaurants in the world — not to be missed.

Just an hour or so from San Sebastian is the Rioja wine region of Spain, where you’ll also find some really incredible food from Michelin star chefs and formidable home-style restaurants. One of the funnest foodie things we’ve ever done was a pinchos crawl down the tiny streets of Logrono, Spain. It’s a foodie’s dream!

  • Evening Pintxo-Tapas Tour with a Local Expert
  • PINTXOS in San Sebastian – Private Gastronomic and Cultural Adventure

5. Bordeaux, France

Duck Confit

Combine the delicious wines of Bordeaux with the gorgeous scenery and you have the vacation every foodie has been dreaming about in France. You should plan for at least a week in Bordeaux to give it justice. You can spend two days in the Left Bank and two days in the Right Bank , and still only scratch the surface of the wine and food possibilities.

Also, be sure to spend time in the center of Bordeaux, where we found some really incredible food options, from wine bars to street food markets. The newly opened wine museum is also very much worth a visit.

A bike tour through Bordeaux is perfect for wine enthusiasts, foodies and really anyone who wants to enjoy the countryside while biking through some of the world’s most beautiful vineyards.


You can enjoy a winery biking tour through the Left Bank or the Right Bank. The area around Saint Emillion is my favorite, and it’s flat and easy to ride.

Imagine foie gras, duck confit, and black truffles paired with bold and complex Bordeaux wines. You’ll be having gourmet lunches and dinners paired with world-class wine every day. It doesn’t get any better than this.

Check out these guided foodie activities in Bordeaux:

  • Small-Group Saint-Emilion Day Trip from Bordeaux
  • Bordeaux Gourmet Food Walking Tour with Lunch

6. New York City, New York, USA

Katz Delicatessen

New York City is also a culinary capital of the world. Here you’ll find incredible food everywhere, from street vendors to Michelin-starred restaurants and even a few completely outrageous foods that you won’t find anywhere else.

Culinary trends seem to start and end in NYC. But one of the things that makes this city so great is the high number of really talented chefs that call it home. Most of them have restaurants there that aren’t insanely hard to get into, so you can eat dinner made by a master. Some to check out are Le Bernardin, Eleven Madison Park, and Cosme (by the legendary Mexico City chef of Pujol ).

Be sure to also make it to favorites like Katz Delicatessen, Momofuku Noodle Bar, and the Peter Luger steakhouse. You’ll also find huge, thin slices of New York Pizza, street hot dogs, Jewish delis, extravagant brunches. It’s all there waiting for you to discover.

  • Greenwich Village Walking and Food Tasting Tour
  • Chelsea Market and High Line Food Tour

7. Tokyo, Japan

Sushi Matsue in Tokyo

I’m a huge sushi fan. Who isn’t, right? In Tokyo, you will find the freshest, best, most amazing sushi in the world. If that’s not reason enough to head to Japan for your next foodie vacation, I don’t know what else I can say – WAIT, yes I do.

How about the really fun, totally cool izakayas you can find in all the back alleys and small crevices around the city. It sounds like dive bar quality, but it’s so not. In fact, it’s an adventurous foodie’s dream. Or the old Tsukiji outer market , which is an absolute must visit in Tokyo.

You’ll see foods you’ve never heard of before , even lots of unique Japanese drinks , and get to sample tons of things along the way. In Japan, you can eat the best of every type of food they make, from gyoza to okonomiyaki to ramen and takoyaki. Nearly every chef is a master at his cuisine.

Another great activity in Tokyo for food lovers is participating in a traditional tea ceremony. You can see what it’s all about and learn the proper manners in an informal ceremony in Hamarikyu Gardens . These things and more are part of our complete 3-day foodie guide to Tokyo.

  • Tsukiji Fish Market Food and Culture Walking Tour
  • Walking Food Tour of Shibuya at Night

8. Bangkok, Thailand

Thailand food

I think Thai food is very much a universally loved cuisine. Getting to try authentic Thai dishes the way they were meant to be eaten (at a night market or from a street vendor in Thailand ) is one of the best culinary experiences I’ve ever had.

In Bangkok, there are opportunities for cooking classes , food tours, street food for every meal, even Michelin star restaurants. For an even more unique experience, head out of town to the nearby floating markets to witness something you won’t see anywhere else. Make sure you try the mangosteens. Oh so good.

The best thing about Bangkok food is that there is a lot of it everywhere. There used to be street food vendors dispersed throughout the city, but now there are conglomerations of food stalls that you can find in the city. Some of our favorites are Bangkok’s Chinatown Market, Wang Lang Market, and the Chatuchak weekend market.

No matter where you’re staying, there is likely a street food market nearby. Be sure to keep your eyes open as you walk around. Street food is definitely the way to go in Bangkok. It’s so cheap and it’s delicious.

  • Bangkok Midnight Food Tour by Tuk Tuk
  • Chef designed Bangkok Food Tour for 8 Exclusive Guests

9. London, England

Afternoon tea at London Bridge Hotel

Another big city that is often overlooked as a food destination is London . But don’t make this mistake! London is the food capital of the world. No where will you find the array of international food choices , dining experiences , and foodie activities  that you will find in London.

People often think London doesn’t have good food – or that it consists merely of fish and chips and pub food. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, London is one of the biggest food cities in the world. You can find every type of cuisine imaginable in the city. Plus, where else in the world can you find nearly dozens of afternoon tea choices ?

You can browse around London’s many markets , including Camden Market and  Borough Market – which are two of our favorites, or you can stop for a street food break at the really cool and fun Boxpark in Shoreditch.

We absolutely love Soho for the dizzying array of food choices. You can’t walk three steps without coming up a different restaurant, wine bar, pub, waffle bar, gelateria – you name it.

  • London East End Food Tour
  • Secret Food Tour: London Bridge & Borough Market w/ Private Tour Option

10. Melbourne, Australia

Kingfish sashimi at Chin Chin in Melbourne

Melbourne, Australia, is a great food city, with many great restaurants to check out around the city. Some of our favorite restaurants in Melbourne are located on Flinders Lane. Two that I highly recommend are Chin Chin and Lucy Liu.

While staying in Melbourne, don’t miss the opportunity to get out to the wonderful Yarra Valley wine region. There are more than a dozen of wineries to visit. It’s a cool climate, so they produce a lot of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and some sparkling.

We love food and wine events, and Melbourne, Australia is home to one of the best, the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival . The festival extends for 17 days in March and features global culinary superstars who host events, create unforgettable dishes for participants to sample and draw crowds of over 250,000 each year.

  • Melbourne Foodie Discovery Walking Tour
  • Yarra Valley Wine & Food Day Tour from Melbourne with lunch at Yering Station

11. Stellenbosch, South Africa

Wine tasting at Spier

Only an hour outside of Cape Town is the Stellenbosch Wine Region of South Africa. Of all the places we’ve been to for wine tasting, Stellenbosch is my favorite. The winery experience is so much more inviting and relaxed here.

You can take a tour with a group, so you don’t have to drive yourself, or you can plan your own winery tour with a designated driver. When you arrive at a winery, you’ll be able to  relax at a table or on a comfy couch and have the wine samples brought to you.

The region also has a large number of top restaurants with chef’s who know the wine well and create masterpieces that live up to the wine.  Some of the best foodie things in Stellenbosch:

  • Rust en Vrede Restaurant
  • Overture at Hidden Valley Restaurant
  • Spier Winery and Eight at Spier Restaurant
  • Visit Stellenbrau Brewery

When you’re done eating your way through Stellenbosch, there’s another nearby wine region to explore: Franschhoek. Both areas are well known for their gourmet cuisine and fine wines.

  • Full Day Afrivista Wine Tours from Stellenbosch
  • Wine Tasting and cultural tour with a wine maker

12. Bologna, Italy

Food tour in Italy, parmigiano factory

While there are many touristy things to do in Bologna and the surrounding area, it truly is one of the best culinary vacation spots in the world.

There are so many food experiences to have in this area, from a full blown DOP food tour that takes you to a Parmigiano-Reggiano factory, a Parma ham production facility, and a home where traditional Balsamic vinegar is made, to a more intimate cooking class in the city, you simply will not run out of food-related things to do.

The Emilia-Romagna area (of which Bologna is the capital), is known for its wine, but you may think it’s only home to the sparkling semi-sweet Lambrusco wine. Lambrusco is found mostly in the northern part of the region, but Romagna makes mostly Sangiovese red wines, in a style not too different from neighboring Tuscany.

A wine-tasting trip to Romagna will reveal a whole new world of wine you didn’t know was out there.

  • Bologna Food Tour from a local perspective
  • Secret Food Tours Bologna w/ Private Tour Option

13. Mexico City, Mexico


When we were preparing to go to Mexico City , thoughts of indulging in real, authentic Mexican food were all I could think about. I could eat burritos, carnitas, enchiladas, tacos and guacamole all day, every day and be perfectly content.

If that sounds like something you might say, then a culinary trip to Mexico City should definitely be at the top of your list! There are a lot of great eating experiences to have around Mexico City. We found some really great restaurants , like Pujol and Maximo Bistrot. We tried many different mezcals and tequilas, and spent an entire day wandering around Mercado Roma, tasting awesome foods.

We also highly recommend taking a food tour – we like this historic center food tour . You may even want to try your hand at making some of these foods – if you’ve never handmade a tortilla, I think it might be time you tried!

Here’s a cooking class that includes a food market tour.

  • Colonia Roma Food Tour
  • A Night of Tacos and Mezcal in Mexico City

14. Dotonbori, Osaka, Japan

Okonomiyaki - an Osaka specialty

When it comes to food, Japan has more dishes to love than nearly anywhere. But for me, the star of the show is one single street in Osaka, called Dotonbori . And one of my favorite things to eat there is the famous Osaka dish, Okonomiyaki, pictured above. Dōtonbori is one of the principal tourist destinations in Osaka.

It runs along the Dōtonbori canal from Dōtonboribashi Bridge to Nipponbashi Bridge in the Namba district of the city. It’s not a huge area. It covers only about 8 blocks. But it is absolutely jam packed with restaurants, food stalls and street vendors selling every type of food specialty Japan is known for. I would make a special foodie trip to Japan, just to visit Dotonbori and eat my heart out.

Around 5pm, Dotonbori Osaka turns from a fairly quiet, mostly deserted street, into a bustling and utterly jam-packed food metropolis with lines of hungry people queued up to buy trays of hot-off-the-grill gyoza , yakisoba, takoyaki, okonomiyaki, sukiyaki! If you can eat it, they are selling it. On Dotonbori food is king!

  • Eat, Drink, Cycle: Osaka Food and Bike Tour
  • Sushi Cooking Class in Osaka
  • Osaka Local Foodie Walking Tour in Dotonbori and Shinsekai

15. Lima, Peru

Peruvian Chicharones

You wouldn’t think it, would you? But Peru was named the top South America Food & Drink Destination by Frommer’s and for very good reason. Peru has a multicultural population that includes immigrants from Spain , China, Japan and more, and that helps to create a thriving food scene with regional variations that are unique and unexplored. 

Lima’s signature dishes, like ceviche and chicharones, are becoming favorites around the world and opening people’s eyes to the flavors of Peru. (Read our guide on foods you must try in Peru.) Restaurants like Astrid & Gaston have been delighting foodies for many years in Lima.

Superchef Gaston Acurio of La Mar and many others are priming the city with a modern take on traditional favorites. Now is the time to experience Peru’s food scene, before it is fully discovered.

⇒ Where to stay in Lima, Peru: Hilton Lima Miraflores ( see prices and read reviews )

  • Lima Gourmet Food Tour: Evening Experience
  • Peruvian Cooking Class Including Local Market Tour and Exotic Fruit Tasting

16. New Orleans, Louisiana

Lobster PoBoy

New Orleans food expands way past typical American food. It has a style and culture all its own, with Creole and French influences. It’s an amazing place to explore if you’re a foodie who likes to try new things.

Not only does New Orleans have an abundance of great chefs and dining experiences , it also boasts a rather sophisticated cocktail scene. Many of the cocktails served in New Orleans are routed in the city’s eclectic past, and come not only with a swizzle stick, but a long history that you’ll want to hear all about.

  • Unique foods you’ll want to try in New Orleans
  • Shortcut Guide to the best restaurants, cocktail bars and things to do in New Orleans
  • Click to see the best hotels on and near Bourbon Street .
  • New Orleans Food Walking Tour of the French Quarter with Small-Group Option
  • New Orleans Cooking Class

17. Copenhagen, Denmark

Ceviche of trout with cucumbers

A must-do on many foodie’s list is Copenhagen , Denmark, to eat at  Noma , a highly acclaimed restaurant that’s spent many years at the top of the  The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.

Chef/owner Rene Redzepi knows how to delight diners with his ultra-modern menu, now in a new location on the edge of Christiania. However, Noma remains very difficult to get into, not to mention expensive.

Even if you can’t make it to Noma, Copenhagen is blessed with chefs who came out of the Noma kitchen to build their own restaurants like 108, Amass, and Sanchez.

A few of our favorite options in Copenhagen are 1 Michelin star Relae, the first all-organic restaurant to make the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, Baest (from the same owners), and 2 Michelin starred AOC.

For a more laid back food experience, head to the trendy food-filled Reffen on Copenhagen’s industrial Refshaleøen, where food trucks and stalls sell high quality International dishes.

Where to stay in Copenhagen: 71 Nyhavn Hotel ( see prices and read reviews .)

  • The Copenhagen Culinary Experience Food Tour
  • The Art of Baking Danish Pastry

18. Hong Kong

Roast Goose

Hong Kong a wonderful food city, with all kinds of great food stalls, restaurants, and dishes with many cultural influences to try. One of the best ways to acquaint yourself with the food and to discover some of the best places to eat and drink in Hong Kong is by taking a food tour.

There are a dizzying number of restaurants in the city, not to mention foods that many Western travelers haven’t even heard of before. Let an expert guide you through the experience. Probably the most iconic food in Hong Kong is dim sum. There are even a few super affordable dim sum restaurants in Hong Kong with Michelin stars.

You must go to one of these top-rated restaurants to order a full meal of dim sum. For a Michelin-star meal, head to Tim Ho Wan. Another one to try is One Dim Sum . Roast goose is the dish I will never forget. It’s an iconic Hong Kong dish that you absolutely must try. The crunchy skin and layer of rendered fat over tender meat. It’s a thing of true joy.

We ordered roast goose in a tiny restaurant called Yat Lok Roast Goose in the Central neighborhood on Hong Kong Island.

  • Hong Kong Food Tour: Central and Sheung Wan Districts
  • Hong Kong Markets Private Walking Tour with Local Guide

19. Istanbul, Turkey

Turkish meze

One of the best places you can travel to for an amazing foodie trip is Turkey . As one of the most visited countries in the world, Turkey has a lot to offer visitors. From seaside resorts on the Mediterranean Sea, historical sites, welcoming people, rich culture, amazing museums and delicious Turkish dishes, a trip to this county will be quite memorable.

Whether you’re spending time in Istanbul, Capadoccia, or one of the other popular cities in Turkey, you’ll be able to try great food everywhere you turn. Each area has a spin on the dishes they serve, but look out for things like Doner Kebab, Meze, Pide, and Baklava.

  • Taste of Two Continents Food Tour
  • The 10 Tastings of Istanbul With Locals: Private Street Food Tour

20. Naples, Italy

Each region of Italy has its own unique list of specialty foods you must try, and Naples is no different. From the iconic Neopolitan pizza, to deep fried macaroni, to rum-soaked sponge cakes, you really must spend some time eating your way through Naples to fully discover the city and all its charms.

Be prepared. There are a LOT of great things to eat in this city.  If you’re looking for a way to experience the best Italian food in Naples, there’s really no better way to do it than to go on a food tour with Eating Europe . We spent a week venturing around the city to find the best pizza.

Our favorite pizza in the city was at Pizzeria Da Attilio, but there are memorable pizzas at 50 Kalo and Antico Borgo Ai Vergini . These are just a few of the top of their game. Other foods to try include Pizza Fritta, Cuoppo and Pasta Frittatine.

  • Naples Street Food Tour With Local Expert
  • Street Food Tour of Naples with City Sightseeing and Top-Rated Local Guide

21. Catalunya, Spain

Nick & Laura in Girona, Spain

If you’ve been to  Spain , you already know that the entire country is vastly rich in culture, heritage, and especially  products and foods  that are specific to each micro region. Catalunya is one of those regions, and the amount of unique products, recipes and foods you can find there is astounding.

Catalunya has a very complex food culture. Not only does it have specific products that you don’t find in other parts of Spain, each of the smaller areas of Catalunya also have their own unique dishes that other areas of Catalunya don’t have. As a foodie in that area, you really will become immersed in a rich food culture. Even if you wanted to avoid it, you couldn’t. Food is so much a part of who they are.

While there, we discovered a plethora of products and foods you must try. You can visit wineries (there are many different wine regions – including Priorat and Emporda , plus they make Cava in Catalunya.)

With all of these great culinary destinations, you’ll never run out of food-centric vacations to take. We’ve been to each one of these and have loved them all. The variety of food around the world is just astounding.

Why not visit some of your favorites and find new dishes to love!

Be Prepared For Travel Planning is the most important part of any successful trip. Do it the easy way:

🧳 Travel Packing List | ✔️ Why You Need Travel Insurance | ✈️ What to Do Before You Leave Home

  • Find and book the best hotel (our favorite booking site is Expedia)
  • Research flight options (our favorite tool is Skyscanner )
  • Book a tour (we always use Viator to find the best tours)
  • Rent a car through Discover Cars (they search the best deals for you!)

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Top Foodie Destinations

Laura Lynch, creator and writer of Savored Journeys, is an avid world traveler, certified wine expert, and international food specialist. She has written about travel and food for over 20 years and has visited over 75 countries. Her work has been published in numerous guidebooks, websites, and magazines.

48 thoughts on “ 21 Top Foodie Destinations Around the World ”

Nice list! I have been to a Lima, New Orleans, Tuscany, Switzerland, & Bordeaux and definitely agree! I turn every trip into a foodie destination, and while some places are better than others I have yet to be disappointed by the overall food anywhere. Right now I’m parked in South Korea and finding this food to be some of my favorite in the world!

Thanks for posting your thoughts, Katie. With so many awesome food destinations around the world, it’s hard to narrow it down, but I think most foodies would agree that these are some of the very best. I loved South Korea too. So much good food. I look forward to reading more about your adventures there.

Have you never been to Turkey?

oh my goodness! I have a lot of traveling and eating to do! I have been to Spain twice but not San Sebastián but love the food there! And Tuscany-so good! I went to a South African wine tasting recently so can’t wait to get there in person to drink the wine! And hardly a Better place in the US like NOLA!

Right? It’s hard to beat any of these places for good food. That’s what I love so much about traveling for food – there’s always more to discover!

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Well I thought reading the article would help me choose a foodie destination for our 10th anniversary but now I’m famished and I can’t pick one location!!!so im going to ask as a foodie who’s travelled on a foodie vacation, where would you go?!? Ok let me rephrase that if you had to choose 1 place that’s amazing and you could visit again where would it be? Suggestions greatly appreciated!

I know, food overload! Where you go depends greatly on the type of food you like and whether you want to do mostly food things, or historical things too. If I had to pick one, is go with Bologna Italy. You can do so many different food activities there, plus extend down into Florence and Tuscany. My second choice would be Tokyo. If you like Japanese food, you will be in foodie heaven there.

Have you been to Bilbao, Spain?

Yes and we love the food in that region!

always malaysia is a food paradise

Hi, Great list. Thank you for your post. I have a passion for travel and food as well and I gained a lot of information from your post. It creates motivation for me a lot. I hope that in the near future, you will have other posts like this. Best regards

Glad you enjoyed it!

nice post thanks

Left out Istanbul, Turkey. Best food ever!

You’re right, Carolyn. I love Turkish food too.

Wonderful blog! Thanks for sharing!

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Great blog. Thanks for sharing..

You left out Vietnamese street foods in Ho Chi Minh city . Also street foods in Hong Kong.

Absolutely! We’ll be sure to add those to the list in the future.

You are missing Ho Chi Minh City.

Thank you! This list is really helpful. Our website is also about foods to eat in different cities.

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i’m gonna cry..where is malaysia….it’s country with the food paradise???uwahhhh

So sorry! I agree that Malaysia is a fantastic foodie paradise.

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I’m a merchant mariner and I’ve traveled my whole adult life going all over the world trying good eats. I just came back from SE Asia and I’m pretty astounded that you would include Manila on this list. If there is a great Philippino dish to try it’s certainly the Sinigang not street squid (which I do love). However, the food game in PI isn’t on par with the rest of Asia. Have you been to Borneo? I’m in San Diego right now and I can honestly say that the food game here is better than half of these cities listed.

Part of the fun of traveling for food is to try these different cuisines and decide which ones you like the most. 🙂

Hi..I think you forgot India here ….I assume you never been to India.

We have, in fact, been to India and are headed back in January. This list can’t possibly be all inclusive. It’s just a taster of options for people looking to do culinary vacations. Thanks for adding India.

Missed Chengdu, China in the heart of Sichuan cuisine!

Worth a visit if you get a chance! The food, people and city are lovely!

Thanks Patrick!

Southern Italy (especially Naples and Sicily) is never mentioned in these rankings but it’s probably the best foodie region in Europe, easily topping Central and Northern Italy (Rome, Tuscany, Bologna, Venice and so on).

Thanks Christian. We visited Naples and Puglia this year and loved the food. It’s definitely a good addition to the list.

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Hey Laura, just finished reading the article, and god I’m so craving for that Neopolitan Pizza and a glass of wine imported from Italy only!!!!

Sounds amazing, right?!

Awesome write-up! Food tours are an amazing experience not only for foodies but for travelers who are interested in the culture of the destination as we all know that cuisine and food culture of any destination is based on historical influences and the uniqueness of the environment. For my tour, Delicious Kyiv: Ukrainian Wine & Appetizers Tasting Tour all wines and specialties of Ukrainian cuisine are prepared with ingredients from local wineries and farms.

I’m disappointed with the list. You missed Charleston, SC big time. It is a foodie destination and the best vacation destination.

We love Charleston too, but we wanted to keep the list short and not focused only on the U.S.

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Best of the Best Destinations 2024

Best of the Best Destinations

If your itinerary is centered around breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with plenty of stops for snacks in between, these destinations will keep you busy (and full). 

The Travelers’ Choice Awards Best of the Best title celebrates the highest level of excellence in travel. It’s awarded to those who receive a high volume of above-and-beyond reviews and opinions from the Tripadvisor community over a 12-month period. Out of our 8 million listings, fewer than 1% achieve this milestone.


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23 Best foodie destinations

Multiple countries

Many places claim to be a culinary capital, but where are the world’s latest and greatest foodie hotspots? If you like to dine well on holiday – be it street food or Michelin star – you’re guaranteed great eats in one of these destinations.

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

Bucket List Experience

A plate of delicious fresh Thai food

The fiery and flavoursome tastes of Thai cuisine have long drawn visitors to the capital, which plays host to cuisine from each of Thailand’s four regions. From atmospheric markets to tower-top gourmet restaurants, Bangkok is a sophisticated gourmet destination, with European, Indian, Chinese and Japanese cuisine well represented too.

Good for age: 18+

Duration: -

Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Bologna vista from Asinelli tower

Bologna is known as La Grassa (Fat Lady) for good reason: there’s no use watching the waistline in a place that spawned so many Italian classics, from the eponymous bolognese sauce, to tortellini and the world’s finest ice cream. Furthermore, there’s not a single tourist trap in town.

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Bobotie also spelt bobotjie, is a South African dish consisting of spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping

Cape Town’s ‘rainbow cuisine’ has diverse origins in indigenous cooking and settler cuisine, with influences from Portugal, the Netherlands, France, Germany, the UK and South East Asia. Cape Town distils this into a wonderful mix of casual and fine dining restaurants fuelled by a lively ‘eat out’ culture, and world-class wines from the nearby vineyards .

Copenhagen, Capital Region of Denmark, Denmark

Scandinavian open sandwiches with salmon, mackerel and herrings

Now widely regarded as one of Europe’s gourmet stars, Copenhagen is home to Noma, crowned ‘Best Restaurant in the World’ three years on the trot at the San Pellegrino awards. Noma ’s success has sparked a gourmet movement in a city whose culinary strong suit is locally caught fish and seafood.

Marmara Region, Turkey

Large illuminated mosque at night with sea in background

Destination guide

A collision zone of cultures throughout its long history, Istanbul offers a rich and varied culinary scene, with the recent addition of international names and fusion restaurants adding even more variety to the mix. The quintessential Istanbul dining experience, though, remains Turkish mezze and street food in all its permutations.

Lima, Lima Region, Peru

Close up of a ceviche dish

Peru gave the world the humble potato. Which may have blinded us to the charms and complexities of Peruvian cuisine. Word is now out: Lima has become a hotbed of culinary innovation, where Spanish, Caribbean, Chinese and Japanese influences are fused with earthy Andean cooking and Pacific seafood dishes.

Adult price: 35

London, United Kingdom (UK)

Close up of an electronic fish and chip sign

In recent years Europe’s biggest metropolis, London , has gained momentum as a centre of world cuisine, with many fine restaurateurs setting up shop and wowing the critics. Modern British cuisine is also flourishing, with a generation of new chefs reinventing traditional dishes and rekindling a national love for local produce.

Good for age: 13+

Lyon, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, France

close up of a beautiful round tart with almonds on

Lyon is renowned as France’s foodie destination par excellence, and some would say, by extension, the capital of world gastronomy. Across town informal bouchons turn out simple yet exquisite French food , while haute cuisine establishments innovate within the bounds of tradition, drawing on the incredible wealth of locally sourced produce.

Duration: Any

Madrid, Community of Madrid, Spain

Seafood paella in a large frying pan at a street food festival. Whole shrimps and mussels are arranged in a circle on top of the rice dish.

Barcelona may be the tourist favourite and San Sebastian the place-of-the-moment, but Madrid remains one of the greatest cities in the world to eat out. The scope and quality of Spain’s finest export, tapas, is unbeatable in Madrid , while regional specialities from across Spain are represented in its many restaurants.

Marrakech, Marrakech-Safi, Morocco

Two Moroccan tajines full of meat and vegetables

Long famed for its fragrant tagines and the aesthetics of the dining experience, Moroccan cuisine lends itself naturally to holiday dining. Marrakech is home to atmospheric street stalls and an increasing number of in-vogue restaurants, which show off Moroccan food at its best – spicy, tangy, slow cooked and luxuriant.

Duration: Variable

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Queen Victoria market organics in the city centre of Melbourne, Australia.

A sophisticated and cosmopolitan hub, Melbourne is a great place to sample a broad cross-section of world cuisines, with Thai, Vietnamese, Italian, Greek and Arabic particularly well represented. Buzzing cafés, well-stocked markets and an ever-growing list of top-class fine dining establishments make this southern city a relaxing place to eat well.

Munich, Bavaria, Germany

Bavarian fried sausages on sauerkraut

German food may be one of the least sought after in the European larder, but don’t pass by the opportunity of eating out in Munich. The cultured capital of southern Germany abounds in quality, local produce. Breads, beers and cold meats prevail, but there’s a variety of high-quality world cuisine on offer too.

Naples, Campania, Italy


The pizza phenomenon began in 1889, when visiting Queen Margherita was baked a pizza in the colours of the Italian flag: red (tomatoes), white (mozzarella), and green (basil leaves). It’s still the place for the best Margherita – made with tomatoes grown on Mount Versuvius and water buffalo mozzarella from Campania. Thegelato ain’t bad either.

Palermo, Sicily, Italy

Street shop Sicilian cheeses with traditional Sicilian specialties, pasta, lemons and souvenirs.

Sicilian cuisine is one of the oldest in existence, combining meat, fruit, nuts and fish to tantalising effect. Sicilians even claim to have invented pasta. Food in Palermo is treated with almost religious fervour – every Sicilian is a gourmand – and ranks amongst the best in Italy, rivalled only, perhaps, by Bologna.

Paris, Ile-de-France, France

Plate of snails filled with green goo

France’s culinary elite may have their eyes on Lyon , but Paris will always be the sentimental capital of gastronomy. Parisians adore their food, and the sheer density of bistros and boulangeries, brasseries and cafés is enough to woo any food-lover. If you’re looking for gourmet heritage, Paris is your place.

Portland, Oregon, United States of America (USA)

Locals and tourists wait in line to order food from food trucks in downtown Portland during lunch time in Portland, Oregon

America’s current gourmet hotspot benefits from rich natural resources on its doorstep, from vineyards and well-stocked rivers, to organic farms and more breweries than any other city. The resulting blend of craft beers, fine dining and quality street food makes this a compelling destination for any foodie.

San Francisco

San Francisco, California, United States of America (USA)

Closeup of clam chowder bread bowl and carb eggs benedict in an outdoor cafe

Thanks to both the ocean and an abundance of farms on its doorstep, San Francisco is big on farm-to-table and sustainable cuisine. Green-leanings aside, culinary talent runs rampant in SF – in fact, the Bay Area is one of the three areas in the US that the Michelin Guide series rates. A long-standing immigrant community from the East translates to some of the best Asian food outside Asia.

San Sebastian

San Sebastian, Basque Country, Spain

three tasty tapas rolls filed with something

Right now San Sebastian is the focus of the biggest culinary buzz on the planet. A hotspot of New Basque cuisine, this in-vogue regional capital boasts a slew of Michelin-starred restaurants and a vibrant foodie scene focused as much on the incredible local pintxos (tapas) as the fine dining.

Spicy crab in Singapore style

There is probably no better place in the world to explore Asian food than Singapore. The dominant cuisines are Chinese, Indian and Malay – or homebred combinations of the three (Peranakan cuisine). The best food is often found at hawker stalls, where each trader specialises in a single well-practised dish. Look out for chill crab, a local specialty.

Stockholm, Uppland, Sweden

Swedish meatballs in a creamy sauce in a black frying pan, gray background, close-up. Scandinavian food concept.

Caught up in the wave of New Nordic cuisine, Stockholm plays host to some exceptional restaurants, many of which riff on the theme of traditional country cooking. Berries and local meats (such as reindeer) feature heavily, alongside fish and seafood, including the famous Baltic herring. And the occasional meatball of course.

Tel Aviv, Israel

Sunflower halva (Oriental Sweets) with different flavors and fillings on Oriental Carmel Market, Tel Aviv, Israel

Tel Aviv’s creative, liberal identity within Israel has allowed for a fascinating food scene to evolve. Acceptance of Arabic influences and a growing interest in Palestinian cooking ensures a broad palate of taste experiences, with excellent Arabic grilled foods alongside Jewish East European cuisine. It’s also a hotspot for inventive (and delicious) vegan food.

Tuscany, Italy


Traditional Tuscan cuisine is based on the concept of cucina povera (humble cooking) and on modest ingredients. It’s hearty, rustic and based on simple ingredients like bread, pulses, meat and poultry, fresh veg and olive oil, all prepared with the minimum of fuss. Accompanying wine from Tuscany’s region is Italy’s best.

Tokyo, Kanto, Japan

Sushi roll with salmon and shrimp tempura

Tokyo has garnered plenty of press for superseding Paris as the city with the most Michelin stars. Given its obsessive food culture and massive wealth of eateries (160,000 at last count), this should come as no surprise. The nexus of Japanese cooking, from teppanyaki to izkayas , sushi to sumo-sized hotpots.

When: March, May and Sept

Cornwall, United Kingdom (UK)

side angle of a newly cooked traditional Cornish Pasty

Cornwall is renowned for fresh and locally sourced food – attracting foodies from the world over. Look out for award-winning, locally-made English wine, gin and cider, cornish pasties, delectable clotted cream and ice-cream, and sumptuous, fresh seafood.

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Frequently asked questions, what is a foodie destination.

A foodie destination refers to a place that is renowned and sought after for its exceptional culinary experiences. It offers a diverse array of high-quality, unique, and culturally significant food options, showcasing local ingredients and flavors. Food lovers and enthusiasts flock to these destinations to indulge in the rich gastronomic delights they have to offer.

top 10 travel for food

10 world food experiences deserving of any bucket list


Recently updated on April 30th, 2024 at 05:50 pm

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.

BE INSPIRED: 6 local and immersive food experiences you can do with Trafalgar in China

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

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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

Chilaquiles: Mexico

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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

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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.

Cheeseburger: USA

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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

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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!

BE INSPIRED: 7 unusual places to visit in Australia

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 !


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top 10 travel for food

These are the world’s 20 best cities for foodies, according to Time Out

E ditor’s Note: Sign up for  Unlocking the World , CNN Travel’s weekly newsletter. Get the latest news in aviation, food and drink, where to stay and other travel developments.

Some travelers pick a city break based on the destination’s cultural offerings – shortlisting the best museums and galleries to visit. Others eye up cities with buzzy nightlife or opt for a destination hosting a festival or event.

But for many vacationers, the most exciting part of any trip is the food. These are the travelers that wake up on the first day of the trip excited for all the culinary delights awaiting them: from sprawling markets offering local delicacies, to late-night street food, to independent restaurants serving distinctive dishes you won’t forget any time soon.

It’s these gourmand travelers Time Out had in mind when the global media organization put together a new ranking of the world’s best foodie cities.

“Food is everything when traveling,” Grace Beard, Time Out’s travel editor told CNN Travel . “A good (or bad) meal can make or break a trip – it’s usually one of the things we remember most.”

Coming in at number one on Time Out’s list is the Italian city of Naples, the oft-rumored birthplace of pizza. Unsurprisingly, the cheesy delights of pizza margherita gets a shout out in Time Out’s list as the city’s “must-eat dish” – but sumptuous pasta dish Neapolitan ragù and sweet sfogliatella are also namechecked.

To compile the round-up, Time Out surveyed thousands of citydwellers across the globe, quizzing these locals on the food options in their city, with a focus on quality and affordability. Time Out editors sifted through the results, including the highest-scoring city for each country in the resulting ranking.

Pizza and more

For travelers keen to sample authentic pizza in Naples, Time Out suggests heading to pizzeria Santa Maradona , located in the city’s Spanish quarter.

Santa Maradona’s owner Andrea Viviani told CNN Travel it was a “pleasure” to be spotlighted by Time Out, although he added that “considering Naples only as a food destination is truly a waste.”

“Food is certainly an important part of our culture, but Naples is much, much more,” said Viviani. “The idea of Santa Maradona is precisely this: to convey all the facets of Naples.”

Viviani’s restaurant, he explained, is a celebration not just of pizza – but also football. It’s named in honor of Argentinian soccer player Diego Armando Maradona, who played for the Naples team in the 1980s.

While Viviani hopes travelers coming to Naples will enjoy more than just the food, he added that it’s exciting that many travelers come to the city with “a great desire to learn about our tradition and taste our fantastic pizzas.”

At number two on Time Out’s list is the South African city of Johannesburg, with Time Out quoting Johannesburg food writer Thando Moleketi-Williams, who recommends the central neighborhood of Braamfontein and spots including wine bar Mamakashaka and Friends on De Beer Street, and restaurant and gallery space Artivist . Time Out declares the city’s must-eat dish is kota sandwich, a stuffed bread featuring tasty ingredients such as potato chips, sausage, egg or cheese, and also spotlights bunny chow, a South African street food featuring curry, meat or beans stuffed inside bread.

And rounding out Time Out’s top three is Lima, Peru, where Time Out recommends visitors try signature dishes ceviche and arroz con pollo (chicken and rice). The city’s Central restaurant, recently named as number one in the 2023 World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards , naturally gets a mention too.

Prioritizing affordability

Other cities on the list include Ho Chi Minh City (number four), Beijing (number five) and Bangkok (number six).

The commonality between all the cities on the list is they’re “undergoing a culinary renaissance” or they’re “particularly buzzing right now, according to Time Out’s Grace Beard.

Beard told CNN Travel that “affordability played as much a role as quality in creating this ranking” and the editors were looking for cities “where good-quality meals are accessible to travelers on every budget.”

The top US city on Time Out’s ranking was Portland, Oregon – at number 10. According to Time Out, Portland is another must-visit spot for pizza lovers, with Mexican pizza – a pizza topped with taco ingredients – was named by locals as the city’s best-value dish.

In the UK, the city of Liverpool just missed out on a spot on Time Out’s top 10, coming in at number 11. Time Out shouted out the city’s signature city dish of Scouse – a rich stew usually comprised of beef or lamb – and what Liverpool-based writer Alice Porter calls a “clutch of brand new foodie ventures,” such as Manifest , a restaurant named in the Michelin Guide.

Time Out’s Best Cities for Food 2024

1. Naples , Italy

2. Johannesburg , South Africa

3. Lima , Peru

4. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

5. Beijing , China

6. Bangkok , Thailand

7. Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia

8. Mumbai , India

9. Dubai , UAE

10. Portland , USA

11. Liverpool , UK

12. Medellín , Colombia

13. Seville , Spain

14. Porto , Portugal

15. Marrakech , Morocco

16. Lyon , France

17. Sydney , Australia

18. Montreal , Canada

19. Osaka , Japan

20. Copenhagen , Denmark

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At number three on Time Out's list is Lima, Peru, where visitors are encouraged to try ceviche. Pictured here: a traditional sea bass ceviche dish cooked by Peruvian chef Roberto Madrid at his restaurant Aroma de Mar in Lima. - Cris Bouroncle/AFP/Getty Images

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Families eat noodles outside a restaurant in China's capital city.

The world’s 20 best cities for food right now

We asked thousands of locals all about eating out in their cities to rank the world’s culinary capitals in 2024

Grace Beard

To really know a city is to eat its food. But what makes a great food city? It isn’t its number of plaudits and Michelin stars, but something a bit more simple: options. Good quality meals at reasonable prices. So we asked thousands of city-dwellers to tell us exactly how good – and how affordable – it is to eat out in their hometown right now. 

Locals were quizzed on their city’s must-visit restaurants, must-eat dishes and best-value bites, and were also asked to rate their city’s food scene on both its quality and affordability. To create and rank the final list, we narrowed down the selection by excluding cities with lower overall scores, and including only the highest-scoring city for each country. We then asked our global network of Time Out editors and writers to give us the lowdown on what makes their city an exciting dining destination in 2024, and to recommend their favourite places to eat right now.

Of course, Time Out knows food. We’ve been eating our way around the world’s best cities for decades, reviewing and ranking restaurants to keep our best-of lists as fresh as can be. And that world-class curation has since been transformed into bricks-and-mortar spaces: our Time Out Markets , where the best food, drink and cultural experiences all come together under one roof. So for this feature, we turned to the experts – our Time Out Market chefs – to nominate three culinary capitals that deserve a spotlight for their food scenes. 

This list is a celebration of culinary culture the world over. Whether for high-end fine dining or affordable street eats, these are the very best cities for eating and drinking right now. Ready to tuck in? Stay in the loop: sign up to our free Time Out Travel newsletter for the latest travel news and the best stuff happening across the world.

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The world’s best cities for food


1.  Naples

Must-eat dish: Pizza margherita

You can’t talk food in Italy without talking Naples – and you can’t talk food in Naples without talking pizza. A’ pizz was born in Naples in the nineteenth century as a quick, affordable meal for the city’s working classes, and old-school pizzerias (mostly centred around  Via  dei  Tribunali , aka Pizza Street) continue to feed hungry Neapolitans today. While there are certainly elevated iterations around the city, it’s still the cheapest bite in Naples – locals named pizza a portafoglio the city’s best-value dish, a grab-and-go folded slice that costs around €1 a pop. And the proof is in the pie: Naples ranked as the most affordable city to eat out in our survey.

Why visit now ‘Neapolitan cuisine celebrates diversity, simplicity and the marriage between land, sea and history,’ says writer and Naples local Gabriela Proietti. ‘This rich food culture can be found everywhere in the city: it’s in the piping hot plates of pasta alla genovese and Neapolitan ragù, the morning sugar rush from ricotta-filled sfogliatella or rum-soaked babà , a stroll through the sixteenth-century Mercato della Pignasecca.

‘The energetic Quartieri Spagnoli district is erupting as the place to be for food right now, but don’t settle for any open-air trattoria. For the city’s crowning dish, pizza margherita, head to Santa Maradona , where owner Andrea Viviani honours Naples’ most prized possessions: pizza, football, and Diego Armando Maradona. And for Neapolitan culinary classics with a creative bistrot twist, pay a visit to CU.QU. / cucinadiquartiere .’

🍕 Discover the best restaurants in Naples


2.  Johannesburg

Must-eat dish: Kota sandwich

Cape Town might steal the limelight for its international cuisine (and our newly opened Time Out Market , on the V&A Waterfront, is testament to the culinary talent in the Mother City), but Jo’burg is a worthy rival for the title of South Africa’s food capital. From Ethiopian cafes in Little Addis to Nigerian and West African eats in the south of the city, you can eat your way across the continent here – though the majority of locals we surveyed recommended the city’s traditional South African delicacies, like the Sowetan kota sandwich, bunny chow and mala mogodu. 

Why visit now   ‘If Jo’burg is the soul of South Africa, Braamfontein is the pulse of the city. This central neighbourhood is home to some of my favourite places to eat, people-watch and dance, with some of the most innovative ventures combining the forces of food and culture,’ says Johannesburg food writer Thando Moleketi-Williams. ‘Head to Mamakashaka and Friends on De Beer Street for weekends of wine and hip hop, cocktails and playlists, a monthly book club and an exciting rotation of food collabs. A few blocks up on Reserve Street, Artivist is a restaurant and gallery space that’s recently launched a monthly fine dining Sunday brunch club residency by award-winning chef Katlego Mlambo . While you’re there, don’t miss speakeasy and live music space Untitled Basement .’

📍 Discover the best things to do in Johannesburg


3.  Lima

Must-east dish: Ceviche 

Lima is not only the culinary capital of Peru , but of the entire South American continent. It’s home to the ‘world’s best restaurant’ in Central , but you can sample the Peruvian flavours on Central’s ten-course tasting menu everywhere across the city (and for a fraction of the price). Tangy pisco sours, citrusy ceviche and lomo saltado (Peruvian beef stir fry) all got the nod from locals in our survey, but when it came to value, the simple, hearty arroz con pollo (chicken and rice) was named the city’s most affordable dish.

Why visit now   ‘Lima’s meteoric rise to leading culinary city was cemented last year when Central topped the world’s best restaurant list, throwing light on a country where ancient grains meet the fish-rich Humboldt Current and the culinary influences of Chinese and Japanese immigrant communities,’ says travel writer and Lima expert Steph Dyson. ‘The latter shaped Lima’s emblematic marinated fish dish, ceviche; you can sample it everywhere from five-star restaurants to portside markets, although my preference is at unpretentious Punto Azul . Limeño gastronomy is constantly evolving, too. Don’t miss Mérito , a lauded Venezuelan-Peruvian fusion restaurant where high Andean tubers and Venezuelan arepas meet.’

📍 Discover the best things to do in Peru

Ho Chi Minh City

4.  Ho Chi Minh City

Must-eat dish: Pho Saigon

Sweet, spicy, fragrant, fishy – however you’d describe it, Vietnamese cuisine never compromises on flavour, and you can sample the very best of it in Ho Chi Minh. Beyond the streetside food stalls and bustling markets hawking banh mi, snails, broken rice and offal stew are a clutch of Bib Gourmand and Michelin-starred restaurants serving up creative renditions of classic dishes. But by far the most mentioned dish in our survey was pho. The warming noodle soup – in the south typically heavily garnished with basil, coriander, chilli and hoisin sauce – is a Vietnamese staple, ubiquitous across the city. 

Why visit now   ‘Though Hanoi might be the birthplace of Vietnamese cuisine and culture, Ho Chi Minh has emerged as the country's most exciting dining destination,’ says Ho Chi Minh writer Dan Q Dao. ‘In District 1, the central downtown hub, there's Ănăn Saigon , chef Peter Cuong Franklin's ‘new Vietnamese’ restaurant that nabbed the city's sole Michelin star in last year's inaugural guide to Vietnam. It's within walking distance of Bánh Mì Huỳnh Hoa , a 30-year-old street food institution specialising in French-influenced Vietnamese baguette sandwiches, which originated in the city. Across the river in District 2 is a burgeoning modern restaurant landscape – the tasting menu concept Tre Dining and gastro-focused wine bar Little Bear stand out for their interpretation of Vietnamese ingredients and flavours through Western culinary techniques.’

📍 Discover the best things to do in Vietnam


5.  Beijing

Must-eat dish: Peking duck

Beijing is a city for carnivores. Asked which dish everyone should try when visiting their city, locals overwhelmingly put meat on the menu: gongbao chicken, hot pot, and (of course) peking duck were the most common answers. But veggies won’t be disappointed, either – stir-fried, steamed, spiced or parcelled in a dumpling, you can find the good stuff all over the Chinese capital. And while Beijing has its share of gourmet restaurants, the city’s many snack streets and night markets ensure eating out won’t cost a fortune – grab a jian bing (a Chinese savoury crepe) and a local beer and you’re set. 

Why visit now   ‘Peking duck is the quintessential Beijing cuisine, and my go-to spot is Siji Minfu ,’ says Wendy Xu, editor at Time Out Beijing. ‘It's not unheard of to wait more than an hour to be seated here, even when you book ahead, but their perfectly roasted ducks with crispy skin make waiting in line so worth it. If I'm looking for something a bit more fancy, I head to Qu Lang Yuan , where French-Chinese fusion cuisine shines with fresh local ingredients. For a true hole-in-the-wall experience, there's no better place than Yudefu 's lamb hotpot. For something new and delicious in the Jing, don't miss Puzzles and Greek Freak. Puzzles is a perfect sunshine brunch spot, featuring a European-inspired brunch menu, while Greek Freak is a go-to for authentic gyros and hummus.’


6.  Bangkok

Must-eat dish: Som tum

Street food capital of the world, Bangkok unsurprisingly ranked as the third-most affordable city to eat out in. Sizzling in streetside woks or served up from a boat in a floating market, street eats are the lifeblood of the city; locals named som tum, a sweet and slightly spicy papaya salad found in many a sidewalk stall and rickety pushcart, as the Thai capital’s must-eat dish. Beyond the markets and no-frills food joints is a city flush with gourmet accolades: Bangkok has 34 Michelin-starred restaurants under its belt, and won big in the recent Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards.

Why visit now   ‘We’re never surprised when Bangkok receives another accolade as one of the best food destinations in the world,’ says Top Koaysomboon, editor of Time Out Bangkok . ‘Street food is the heart of Bangkok's food scene and it’s only becoming more exciting, with emerging foodie hub Ban Tad Thong rivalling the classic street food hotspot of Yaowarat Road. On the fine dining side, there are more restaurants with Michelin stars and 50 Best accolades than ever, which have given a much-deserved spotlight to beloved female chefs like Tam Debakham of Baan Tepa , Pam Soontornyanakij of Potong , and Garima Arora of Gaa . And any trip to Bangkok won’t be complete without a visit to Jay Fai’s . The queue is long, but you definitely have to go.’

🥗 Discover the best restaurants in Bangkok

Kuala Lumpur

7.  Kuala Lumpur

Must-eat dish : Nasi lemak

The Malaysian capital is a big, delicious melting pot, with a food scene influenced by Malay, Chinese and Indian culture and reflective of centuries of migration. Nasi lemak, an aromatic dish of coconut milk rice, crispy anchovies, cucumber and boiled egg, was named the city’s must-eat meal, followed by Thai tom yam soup and roti canai, a crispy pan-fried flatbread. 

Why visit now   ‘Kuala Lumpur punches well above its weight with some of the most sought-after food in all of Asia,’ says Kuala Lumpur writer Ng Su Ann. ‘Make time for our many kopitiams, mamak and hawker stalls, and neon-lit night markets to sample our world-famous street fare, like laksa, roti canai, and nasi lemak. From cafés to omakases, from supper clubs to bars with skyline views, the city’s food scene has more to offer than ever. Over the past few months, we’ve welcomed a number of notable new restaurants well worth the reservation: there’s Pickle Dining , where fermentation and pickling is all the rage, and the new nusantara eatery Kai spotlights flavours from across the Malay Archipelago. My go-to when friends visit? APW in Bangsar has 103 Coffee (maybe the best coffee in the city), and Olivia Deli for tapas and sangria, a sushiya, wood-fired sourdough pizzas, natural wines and more.’

🍜 Discover the best restaurants in Kuala Lumpur


8.  Mumbai

Must-eat dish: Vada pav

Mumbaikars are rightly proud of their city’s food scene, scoring it the highest for quality of all cities surveyed. Locals’ favourite dishes are proof that this city is full of explosive flavour: fiery manchurian (roughly chopped vegetables or meat, fried and smothered in a sticky sauce), creamy butter chicken, and street food staple vada pav (a deep-fried potato dumpling stuffed into a bread roll, accompanied by red and green chutneys) were named Mumbai’s must-eats.

Why visit now   ‘Mumbai’s food scene is reflective of the city’s diversity, with ingredients and flavours from across India and the world,’ says Mumbai writer Kunal Bhatia. ‘Everyone has a favourite find here, from a street vendor for a quick bite to rooftop bars with sweeping views. New restaurants are always opening in the lively neighbourhoods of Bandra and Lower Parel, but my favourite places to eat are in my home turf of Versova. Goan food at the newly opened Sorozai is delectable, but I find myself equally drawn to old favourite Tanjore Tiffin Room – its sampling platter of 16 rice and curries is always an instant hit.’

🌶️ Discover the best restaurants in Mumbai


9.  Dubai

Must-eat dish: Mandi 

With its man-made islands and vertiginous skyscrapers, we all know Dubai isn’t afraid to innovate. In recent years, the city’s propensity for pushing boundaries has extended to the city’s food scene, with new-wave dining experiences and emerging local chefs scooping up awards left, right and centre. The emirate, home to the world’s largest expat community, is a magnet for international culinary talent, attracting some of the world’s best chefs at the helm of some of the world’s best restaurants. But while it’s possible to sample cuisine from almost anywhere on earth here, locals named traditional Middle Eastern dishes – namely mandi rice, shawarma and charcoal-grilled chicken – as their must-eats.

Why visit now   ‘Growing up in Dubai, I’ve seen the food landscape evolve enormously over the past 30 years,’ says Yousra Zaki, food editor at Time Out Dubai . ‘Right now, the city’s culinary landscape is more diverse and creative than it’s ever been. We’ve seen a rise in incredible chef-led dining experiences that break all the rules; Moonrise , for example, has created its own version of ‘Dubai cuisine’ with a 12-course omakase menu (one of the dishes is inspired by – of all things – food court alfredo pasta). Another home-grown concept, Jun’s (Time Out Dubai’s Best Asian Restaurant 2024) is all about third-culture cooking, with dishes influenced by Chinese, Indian and North American cuisine; an approach that really reflects Dubai’s multicultural population. It’s such a vibrant industry, one where chefs and restaurateurs stand with and support each other, matching healthy competition with interesting collaborations. We can’t wait to see what the next five years bring.’

🥙Discover the best restaurants in Dubai

Portland, OR

10.  Portland, OR

Must-eat dish: P izza

New Orleans has gumbo, Boston has clam chowder; Portland, on the other hand, isn’t known for just one iconic dish, but rather for its food scene at large. The laidback Oregon city has made headlines for being one of America’s most exciting food and drink destinations, where the city’s best plates can be found not only in restaurants but at food carts, farmers markets and breweries. While locals shouted about restaurants flush with plaudits like Gado Gado , Portland’s pizza scene got the biggest nod in our survey, with a slice of Mexican pizza (essentially a pizza topped with typical taco ingredients) named the city’s best-value bite.  

Why visit now   ‘Portland’s reputation has graduated from Portlandia and peanut-butter-bacon Voodoo Doughnuts,’ says Portland writer Alice Wolfe. ‘What I love about the Portland food scene is that high calibre doesn’t mean high prices. Of course, if you want fine dining there’s no shortage – Haitian restaurant Kann and Korean Han Oak come to mind. But what makes this city’s food stand out is affordability, which Portlanders unwaveringly prioritise. Consider Ki’ikibáa , opened last year by Manny Lopez and Suny Parra Castillo, serving affordable Yucatecan food (the panuchos are my favourite). Southeast Belmont restaurant Annam VL also opened in 2023, and offers a small selection of Vietnamese dishes that change each day of the week, all for under $20 per person.’

🦐 Discover the best restaurants in Portland


11.  Liverpool

Must-eat dish: Scouse

If recent rankings are anything to go by, Liverpool is hot on London’s heels. We named it the seventh-best city in the world this year , a recognition seconded by a recent Which? survey naming Liverpool the best large city in the UK. And now, according to our survey of UK locals, Liverpool can claim the   title of the country’s best place to eat out. With everything from cult street food vendors to contemporary small plates, it’s no wonder locals were full of praise for their city’s food scene. Their go-to dish? Scouse, of course. This meaty stew is so beloved in Liverpool, it gave the city’s inhabitants the ‘Scouser’ nickname. 

Why visit now   ‘Liverpool is perhaps better known for its nightlife than its food, but a clutch of brand-new foodie ventures have earned the city a newfound rep for its dining scene,’ says Liverpool-based writer Alice Porter. ‘This is largely down to homegrown talent: local chefs like Paul Durand, who opened Michelin-mentioned Manifest in 2022, and Sam Grainger who owns small-plates spot Belzan and Mexican taqueria Madre . All are well worth making the journey to Liverpool for.’ 

🍲 Discover the best restaurants in Liverpool


12.  Medellín

Must-eat dish : Bandeja paisa

Whether biting into a hot, cheesy arepa or slurping up the hearty broth of a sancocho (a type of stew made with corn, vegetables and meat), eating out in Medellín is a lesson in simplicity and flavour. Take the bandeja paisa: named the city’s must-eat dish by locals, Colombia’s answer to the fry-up makes a hearty meal out of local ingredients and Colombian staples, including rice, red or black beans, avocado, pork rind, arepas, plantain, hagao and chorizo. Medellín’s influential chefs and restaurants like Carmen and El Cielo keep the city on the map for high-end dining. 

Why visit now   ‘Medellín offers culinary delights for every budget,’ says Medellín writer Maggie Clark. ‘Backpacking? Explore sumptuous fruits at Central Mayorista . Want a great view while sampling local flavours with an international spin? Check out the Mediterranean-inspired Cannario Rooftop . Or for a splurge that keeps you ahead of the curve, Mal de Ojo is months on the scene with a stunning nightlife vibe and the fusion cuisine to match. You’ll find can't-miss staples like cazuela, sancocho, and bandeja paisa in every barrio, but for an elevated experience, Alambique offers a price-conscious twist on the classics, while El Cielo is a top-tier modernist delight. For Amazonian flair, try La Chagra – and don’t leave without drinking antioqueño, which is to Colombia what mezcal is to Mexico.’

🌽 Discover the best restaurants in Colombia


13.  Seville

Must-eat dish: Serranito

There are over 3,000 tapas bars in Seville , and the best way to get a taste of the Andalusian capital is by hopping from one to the next, chowing down on one delightful savoury bite at a time. Local specialties include jamón ibérico, solomillo al whisky (pork loin in whisky sauce) and salmorejo, a silky Andalusian tomato soup. But it was the humble serranito, Seville’s favourite sandwich made with pork, Serrano ham, green pepper and tomato, that was crowned the city’s most-loved and best-value bite.

Why visit now   ‘Seville’s dining scene has been among the most exciting in Spain for years,’ says Seville writer Anna Kaminski. ‘I love wandering the streets of Triana, shopping for fresh produce at the Mercado de Triana, and reassuring myself that classic trianero tapas bars such as Bodeguita el 24 and Bar Casa Ruperto are still going strong. In Centro, my favourite recent find has been Manzil – opened in 2023 by stellar granadino chef Juan Andres Morilla – which has already earned a Michelin star for its imaginative Andalucian small plates, crafted in the open kitchen.’ 

🍅 Discover the best things to do in Seville


14.  Porto

Must-eat dish: Francesinha 

Move over, Lisbon: Portugal’s second city, the capital of canned fish, is the country’s best place to eat right now. On the menu: shellfish, port wine from the Douro Valley, and the gargantuan francesinha , an absolutely stacked sandwich of thick white bread, Portuguese sausage, ham and roast beef or steak, served with a fried egg and smothered in beer and cheese sauce. It’s without a doubt the city’s must-try dish, and you can find the best one at Brasão Cervejaria .

Why visit now   ‘When it comes to food, Porto is a city of two halves,’ says Mariana Morais Pinheiro, editor of Time Out Porto . ‘ On one side, we have the quaint taverns and traditional restaurants still cooking food in the old-fashioned way; on the other we have avant-garde cuisine with young chefs at the helm. Cervejaria Gazela with its hot dogs, Casa dos Presuntos ’Xico’ with its tasty sandwiches, or Cozinha da Amélia with classic Portuguese dishes are some of the places I like to go when I want food made the old-fashioned way.

For fine dining, Euskalduna , The Yeatman, or Casa de Chá da Boa Nova are some beautiful examples. But when there ’ s not enough time for everything, there's one place that brings together the best of the city under one roof: the brand-new Time Out Market Porto . There, you can find Michelin-starred chefs working side by side with cooks from well-known restaurants in the city.’

🐟 Discover the best restaurants in Porto


15.  Marrakech

Must-eat dish: Tagine

Eating in Marrakech is a treat for the senses. There are the cafés, where sweet Maghrebi mint tea is poured from a height into fist-sized glasses. There’s the rowdy central square of Jemaa el-Fnaa, where vendors compete to sell freshly squeezed orange juice and skewers of grilled meat. There’s roasted lamb on Mechoui Alley and fragrant tagine in palatial courtyards – and, relatively new to the city’s food scene, a new generation of innovative Moroccan chefs and international restaurants, serving everything from sushi to vegan eats. Needless to say, there’s no better time than now to make the trip to North Africa’s food capital. 

Why visit now   ‘Marrakech's food scene has grown beyond its Moroccan roots of earthy tagines into a global culinary offering that includes Nobu, with its iconic Japanese menu and 360-degree rooftop views, and Plus 61 , where Australian owner brings Sydney-style ambience, creativity and freshness to the city,’ says Marrakech-based writer Sally Kirby. ‘Last year, Rivayat , an exquisite Indian culinary experience, opened under Michelin-starred chef Rohit Ghai; it’s been enchanting diners with its innovative menu and opulent heritage palace setting. Meanwhile, Le Trou au Mur, a Medina favourite, ensures that otherwise forgotten Moroccan dishes, such as camel tangia and tride, are kept alive and enjoyed in style. ’  

🧆 Discover the best restaurants in Marrakech


16.  Lyon

Must-eat dish: Saucisson brioché

The hometown of legendary chef Paul Bocuse, succulent Bresse chicken and the Mères Lyonnaises (‘mothers of Lyon’, a group of celebrated female chefs), it’s no wonder Lyon is the so-called ‘stomach of France’. Sausage is a staple on Lyonnaise menus, with locals recommending saucisson brioché – a pistachio-crusted sausage baked in a brioche – as the city’s must-try dish. And Lyon’s best-value bite? Tacos Lyonnais, a tortilla stuffed with French fries, cheese and meat. 

Why visit now   ‘Lyon’s reputation for great cuisine stands – but not for the reasons you’d expect,’ says Lyon writer Anna Richards. ‘Out are the tourist-trap, meat-heavy ‘bouchons’ of Vieux Lyon. In, fusion and vegetarian cuisine, by pioneering young chefs. I particularly love Franco-Lebanese kitchen Ayla in the 6ème, and Franco-Mexican fusion Alebrije in Croix-Rousse. Even fine dining has evolved. Lyon is still heavily decorated (18 restaurants with one or more Michelin stars), but I’d choose innovative Jérémy Galvan ’s multi-sensory dining experience over yet another Bresse chicken any day.’

🍖 Discover the best restaurants in Lyon


17.  Sydney

Must-eat dish: Australian steak

Sydney is easily one of the world’s great brunch cities. Before becoming a worldwide breakfast phenomenon, avocado on toast was created here in the ‘90s, and purportedly the flat white (though New Zealand would argue otherwise). But,  from cheap ‘eat streets’ to world-class fine dining, the food scene of this harbourside city goes well beyond avo toast.   Locals’ recommended eats are testament to this variety, from Australian T-bone steak and Sydney rock oysters to sushi, seafood and pad thai.  Sydney could also lay claim to being one of the best cities for steak, if the city’s recent success in the World’s Best Steak awards is anything to go by. 

Why visit now  ‘ Sydney’s got the golden beaches , the babes and the famous white-sails of the Opera House, but it ’ s our multicultural dining scene that really has me smitten,’ says Avril Treasure, food and drink editor at Time Out Sydney . ‘For a fiery curry with as much depth as the Pacific Ocean, make a beeline to Little India . For Thai , try hole-in-the-wall Porkfat .  Sean’s is perfect for a long lunch with a side of Bondi Beach views, while Quay , overlooking the harbour, is a go-to for a fancy meal. And for seafood, Josh Niland has you covered. Sydney may first capture you with her good looks, but her diverse, joyous and delicious eats and drinks will keep you coming back for more.’

🥩 Discover the best restaurants in Sydney


18.  Montreal

Must-eat dish:  Poutine

Think of food in Montreal, and you’ll likely think of poutine, bagels and smoked meat. It’s not hard to see (and taste) French influence on the city’s culinary culture, from Breton crepes at Jean-Talon public market to patisseries stacked with macarons and pastries. But as one of the most restaurant-dense cities in North America, Montreal has cuisine from all over the world. One in four Montrealers come from outside the country, and this convergence of cultures has made an indelible mark on the city’s food scene. 

Why visit now  ‘When the only Canadian restaurant to make the World’s 50 Best hottest global restaurant openings list for 2024 is in Montreal, and the city’s classic eateries are elevating their culinary game in the face of staffing shortages and rising costs, you know you’re in the right place to eat your heart out,' says Laura Osborne, editor of Time Out Canada . ‘And with forward-thinking chefs like Derek Dammann and Liam Hopkins involved in one of the most high-profile restaurant openings Montreal has ever seen (hello, Île de France ) now is the time to dig in.’

🍟 Discover the best restaurants in Montreal


19.  Osaka

Must-eat dish: Takoyaki

Much like Lyon for France, Osaka is known as the belly of Japan. From conveyor belt sushi to mouthwatering street food at Kuromon Ichiba – a huge covered market dubbed the kitchen of Osaka – you’ll need to come hungry; the culture of ‘kuidaore’ (which roughly translates to ‘eat until you drop’) is strong here. Takoyaki (fried octopus balls) and okonimiyaki (a savoury pancake cooked with cabbage, seafood or meat, smothered in different sauces and toppings) were named the city’s must-eats. And while your stomach might be full, your wallet needn’t be; Osaka ranked as the second-most affordable city to eat out in on our survey.

Why visit now   ‘Home of tentacle-filled takoyaki and okonomiyaki, Osaka is all about the snacks (try the blowtorched tuna at Izakaya Toyo), but Japan’s third biggest city is a culinary giant in every department, with more Michelin stars than London or New York,’ says writer and Osaka food expert Thomas O’Malley. ‘Trailblazing chefs include Akemi Nakamura, who apprenticed for 22 years before opening Nishitemma Nakamura with its all-female crew, and Yusuke Takada, whose two-starred La Cime combines French and Japanese cooking with playful nods to Osakan culture.’

🍣 Discover the best dishes in Osaka


20.  Copenhagen

Must-eat dish: Smørrebrød

High-end dining is the name of the game in Copenhagen. It’s a hub for New Nordic cuisine, where sustainability is key: the best restaurants here have a laser-sharp focus on seasonal, local produce. Though Noma – a restaurant that influenced fine dining tables around the world with its pioneering New Nordic ethos – is sadly soon to close , there are plenty more gourmet restaurants where that came from. But locals’ go-to dish, according to our survey, is the smørrebrød. This classic Danish lunch is a showcase of Scandinavian simplicity; an open sandwich of sour Danish rye bread topped with anything from smoked fish and pickled herring to eggs and meat. You’ll find them at lunch restaurants across the city, with elevated versions served up at Bib Gourmand-awarded Selma .

Why visit now   ‘Copenhagen is a city where chefs come to play – even in corner bakeries and ice cream shops, there’s a sense of innovation and experimentation,’ says Copenhagen writer Laura Hall. ‘It is rightly famed for its fine dining options – this year’s El Bulli x Alchemist collaboration redefined just how mind-bendingly brilliant it can be – but we’re also seeing more restaurants at lower price levels delivering inventive food in cosier settings, like in Italian trattorias such as Paesano , Asian-inspired kitchens like Goldfinch , and vegan hotspots Ark and Baka d’Busk . It’s vibrant, dynamic and always changing.’ 

🥪 Discover the best restaurants in Copenhagen

Chef’s picks

Los Angeles

Picked by chef Tim Cushman of Ms. Clucks Deluxe at Time Out Market Boston  

‘LA and the surrounding cities and neighbourhoods are full of flavour. The sheer variety of cuisines is always exciting to explore; there’s an incredible mix of traditional family-run restaurants and new, up-and-coming chefs and restaurateurs doing interesting twists and takes on the traditional. These are some of my favourite spots – most are off the beaten path, but I think each is worth the trip. 

At Smorgasburg LA, try Miya Miya for amazing Jordanian shawarma and Glad for light, airy, bubbly focaccia from Liguria. The original is fantastic, but do try the beef or caprese versions, too. In Silver Lake, Azizam is a go-to for homestyle Persian cuisine; in Studio City, the weekend pop up Smogen serves up interesting open-faced bagels – the hamachi, wasabi cream cheese and shiso bagel sells out regularly. Danny Boy's Famous Original Pizza does crave-worthy New York and Sicilian-style pizzas by the slice or by the pie in an office building in the Bunker Hill area Downtown LA. Chef Chris Yang of Yang’s Kitchen in Alhambra does a Californian take on traditional Chinese, while Sea Harbour Seafood in Rosemead is dim sum heaven. The chilled chicken, truffle and cilantro dish is a highlight. Ercoles is a wonderfully divey local bar that's been open since 1929 in Manhattan Beach. Go here for excellent bar cheeseburgers. Finally, Aghoo’s Kitchen, a Taiwanese restaurant in Temple City, serves a delicious beef roll and green onion pancake.

If you’re into cooking, there’s a very special bookstore in Chinatown called Now Serving . Husband and wife owners Ken and Michelle curate an amazing collection of cookbooks and artisan smallwares in an intimate space and host cookbook author events. And for Japanese kitchenware and ceramics, go to Hitachiya in Torrance and Toiro in West Hollywood.’ 

🍔 Discover the best restaurants in LA


Picked by Chef Reif Othman of REIF at Time Out Market Dubai

‘Seoul is well-known for its numerous Michelin-starred restaurants and upscale dining experiences, but it’s also home to true hidden gems, tucked away in neighbourhoods like Myeong-dong and Hongdae. It’s the best city for elevated Korean cuisine, with notable establishments like Jungsik , Mingles , and Gaon consistently delivering exceptional contemporary Korean cuisine with innovative takes on classic dishes. You also have iconic street food destinations like Myeongdong and Gwangjang Market, plus food-focused events and festivals – the Seoul Food Festival is a major showcase of culinary talent from all over the world, with world-class local and international chefs creating unforgettable foodie experiences. Notably, the recent gathering of Asia ’ s 50 Best in Seoul serves as a testament to the city's rising prominence on the global culinary stage and goes to show that the city has really become a culinary powerhouse.’

🍳 Discover the best restaurants in Seoul


Picked by Chef Michael Ayoub of Fornino at Time Out Market New York

‘The selection of Serrano and Iberico ham in Madrid is unparalleled; it's something I've never encountered elsewhere. Save for paella, Iberico ham is a delightful surprise in almost every dish. It's no wonder that Madrid is home to what is often considered the best restaurant in Spain, Diverxo . Dining there was an experience of a lifetime. Chef Dabiz Muñoz is one of the most creative culinary minds on the planet, delivering dishes that are both innovative and deeply rooted in Spanish tradition. Beyond its diverse cuisine, Madrid is a treasure trove of cultural wonders, with a rich culture and profound historical heritage. It’s no doubt one of the world’s best cities – for food and everything else.’

🍤 Discover the best restaurants in Madrid

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Live A Wilder Life

THE ULTIMATE ROAD TRIP FOOD LIST: 50 Scrumptious Travel Snacks

Post Summary: The definitive road trip food list with 50 snack ideas and meals to keep you happy the entire car ride. Plus, tips for what else to bring and recommendations for the best road trip coolers.

Road trips are the classic adventure that everyone needs to do at least once in their life, whether you’re traveling solo, with your best buds, or packing in the whole family. What’s the secret to a great road trip? Besides having your maps already downloaded to your phone (travel must #1), it’s to have a collection of the best road trip food at your disposal. Being prepared with good travel food will ensure you don’t:

  • Kill your travel mates because you’re hangry.
  • Get killed by your travel mates because they’re hangry.
  • Get lured in by every gasoline stop and somehow end up with bright orange Cheetos and Slim Jims.
  • Waste your travel budget dining on Subway and Wendys road trip meals.

After road tripping with a toddler for half a year around the US, we’ve figured out the ultimate road trip food list so we can enjoy the journey together feeling nourished and happy. Our list includes road trip food ideas for adults and kids as well as healthy car snacks.

After the road trip food list, we’ve included non-food items you’ll want to bring and some tips on choosing the best road trip cooler.

Need More Road Trip Tips? Check out our other articles below:

The Ultimate Road Trip Packing List: 41 Essentials For The Road 160 Fun, Deep, and Sometimes Silly Road Trip Questions 41 Fun and Challenging Road Trip Trivia Questions 17+ Fun Things To Do On A Road Trip How To Survive A Road Trip With A Toddler 40 Must Have Items To Have In Your Camper

*This road trip food list post may contain affiliate links, which means we might earn a small commission if you purchase from them. This is at no extra cost to you! We only recommend products and services we genuinely think are helpful.

The Ultimate Road Trip Food List

prepared food on top of a map

Healthy snacks for a road trip

We’ll start with healthy snacks for the road. I don’t know about you, but when we go on road trips, we tend to fall back on fast food and junk food. In an effort to have a quasi healthy road trip we make sure to include some healthy options so we can at least feel like we’ve balanced out all our snickers bars and Wendy’s frosties. Here’s our list of the best road trip foods that won’t leave you feeling sluggish at the end of the day. We also added in a few recommendations of some of our favorite brands.

Healthy Snacks For Car Rides 1. Fruit: Bananas, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, grapes, apples, oranges 2. Sliced veggies: carrots, cucumbers, celery, bell peppers, pickles, radishes 3. Cherry tomatoes 4. Olives (buy the pitted kinds) 5. Salsa 6. Deli sandwiches or wraps (already made from home or pre-purchased) 7. A simple charcuterie spread (summer sausage, pepperoni, sliced cheese, dried apricots, olives, crackers, etc.) 8. Popcorn 9. Yellow corn chips, blue corn chips, kale chips 10. Granola Bars and Energy Bars ( Munk Bars are our favorite! ) 11. Dried Fruit 12. Crackers (cheese crackers, saltines, whole wheat crackers, these almond crackers are my favorite!) 13. Pretzels 14. Nuts (almonds, peanuts, cashews, macadamia, walnuts, pecans) 15. Trail mix 16. Tuna (Get the kind that doesn’t need to be refrigerated! It can become a snack on crackers, a sandwich, or added to a salad) 17. Coconut chips ( Dang chips are our favorite. ) 18. Dark chocolate 19. Wasabi peas 20. Fruit leather 21. Whole-grain muffins 22. Bread (pretzel rolls, pita bread) 23. Water (Preferably in a water bottle like a Hydro Flask that will keep your water cold for hours.) *The following are all still healthy snacks for a road trip but will require a cooler. Skip them if you are going sans cooler. Further down, we’ll talk about the best road trip coolers. 23. Hard-boiled eggs 24. Small yogurt containers or drinkable yogurts 25. Humus 26. Guacamole 27. Pasta salad 28. Lentil salad 29. Grocery store salad kits (Can be eaten out of the bag! Just cut the top, pour in the salad dressing, and shake it away. You can also opt to do salads in a jar) 30. Cheese

Essential Road Trip Snacks

Pile of potato chips for a road trip

These road trip snacks might not be the healthiest, but look…you can’t always be perfect!

Road Trip Snack List 32. Beef Jerky 33. Chips 34. Fun candy (Any kind of candy that brings you joy for your road trip. Gummy bears, reeses pieces, airheads) 35. Ranch dip to go with your healthy veggies 36. Fun drinks (Just make sure the drink is able to be resealed or small enough that you’ll drink it all quickly. My favorite road trip drink is coconut water!) 37. Cookies

Road Trip Snacks For Kids And Toddlers

While we don’t put a distinction between road trip food for the adults and road trip food for kids, here are some fun ideas you can add in addition to the travel food listed above. We found that allowing for leniency with what we let our kid snack on will mean a more fun time for everyone in the car.

Road Trip Snacks For Toddlers and Kids 38. String Cheese or Babybels 39. Peanut butter pretzels 40. Clementines 41. Squeezable applesauce 42. Squeezable nut butters (peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter) 43. Graham crackers 44. Goldfish 45. Fruit snacks 46. Fruit roll ups 47. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich 48. Dry cereal 49. Nutella 50. Snap pea crisps ( I love the wasabi ones from Harvest Snaps . I can only get them online because my grocery store never has them!)

Essential Non Food Items

Utensils and napkins for a road trip

Now that you’ve got your travel food and made your road trip food list, let’s talk about non food items to have on your road trip packing list. We are both advocates for minimal waste living so we do advise using reusable items like real utensils, glass containers, and reusable straws rather than single-use items. I know it can feel like a nuisance, but once you get used to doing it, it’s easy to integrate it into your habits. We’ve provided links to different products, so you can check out some good options.

-Trash bags (old shopping bags work well) – Stackable glass or plastic containers (While glass may feel like a hazard, I find that most of them are built for endurance and would require some extreme throwing around to actually break. Either way, bringing containers rather than an entire bag of snacks is a great space saver.) -Reusable straws (we like this multipack option here ) -Bento boxes (another option is to make individual bento boxes with everyone’s preferred snacks put in. It’s essentially a healthier version of a Lunchable. Great option if you’re traveling with kids.) Check out these cute bento boxes here . -Utensils -Plates -Paper towels -Hand sanitizer -Ziplock bags -Wipes -Cups if you want to share drinks -Ice packs for the cooler (We prefer to use reusable ice packs like these , but frozen water bottles or ice cubes in a ziplock back will do the job as well.) -Reusable grocery bag to carry your non-perishable stuff -Plastic tub (If you’re going on a long road trip and will have lots of snacks, a good option is to pack all your non-perishable items in a tub like this .) -Cooler

Related : A Comprehensive Guide To the Best Toddler Carriers For Traveling

Best Road Trip Coolers

top 10 travel for food

If you’re going on a long road trip, you’ll definitely want to bring a cooler so you can have more options for the journey. Things to consider when deciding what kind of road trip cooler to bring.

  • How much space will you have in your car?
  • How many days will you be driving and subsequently how much food will you need?
  • Cost of the cooler
  • If you road trip or camp a lot and will use a cooler several times a year.

Yeti Roadi 24 Cooler

YETI Roadie 24 Cooler, Tan

Our choice for the best road trip cooler is the Yeti Roadi 24 Cooler . It’s a mid-sized cooler that can fit a bottle of wine standing upright. We like its lightweight design and that its compact size can fit on the ground behind the passenger seat.

It has a mid-range price point, so if you are wanting something more economical, you’ll probably want our next pick.

Igloo MaxCold Cooler

Igloo Maxcold 40-100 Qt Commercially Insulated Coolers

If all you need is a no-frills cooler to keep your food cold, the Igloo Maxcold Cooler is a great option. The thin design also makes it a great choice for someone wanting to save room in the car.

Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze

Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Cooler - 30 Can Zipperless Hardbody Cooler - Navy Blue with Deep Freeze Insulation, HardBody Liner, and SmartShelf

If you like a soft cooler, the Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze consistently offers the best bang for your buck.

Yeti Tundra 45

YETI Tundra 45 Cooler, Navy

Lastly, if you are wanting a high-end cooler that will be great for camping and can take the wear and tear of consistent use, the Yeti Tundra 45 is your best bet. Yeti is the reigning champion of coolers and you can’t go wrong with anything you purchase from them.

Before you head out on your epic road trip, we suggest packing the night before. Alleviating as much stress as possible on the day you leave, especially when you’re doing a road trip with a toddler , is key to enjoying the road trip journey. We find that the night before, it’s best to:

  • Wash, cut, and peel all vegetables and fruit.
  • Pack up all non perishable food and supplies.
  • Prepare any road trip sandwiches you plan to eat.

Lastly, don’t forget to make sure all your tasty road trip snacks are within reaching distance in the car.

We hope you enjoyed our complete road trip food list. Happy road tripping!

** For more road trip inspiration follow us on Instagram . We travel… a lot.

NEED SOME TRAVEL INSPIRATION? A Complete Guide To A Utah National Parks Road Trip How To Plan A Cross Country Road Trip + Fun Routes To Take 10 National Parks To Visit In The East 50 Family Bucket List Experiences In The US


top 10 travel for food

Hi, we’re Christina and Brad, Idaho based writers and photographers who live to explore. We did a short stint of traveling full time with our two year old and discovered we're much happier as part time nomads. What does that mean? We travel a lot! And then we go home. We love helping fellow parents and everyday adventurers discover new places and experiences.

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10 Top Cruises for Food and Drinks, According to the Experts

Dining at sea is more adventurous than ever with highly curated cruise ship concepts and menus, onboard culinary classes, and shore excursions.

top 10 travel for food

Dining while cruising has never tasted better. Onboard restaurants can match land-based eateries in sophistication and style, with chefs as driven by seasonal ingredients as their peers ashore. The 2024 Global Tastemakers, selected by food and travel journalists this year, favor luxury ocean lines, which invest heavily in food and wine, yet also embrace expedition ships and riverboats. All operate small vessels by today’s standards; kitchen crews can more readily cook with artistry and ingenuity for fewer passengers. 

These Tastemakers share passion and vision; they’re reshaping shipboard norms by introducing dining venues and cuisines rarely spotlighted at sea, such as Virgin Voyages, with a Korean barbecue restaurant among 20 complimentary eateries. Global Tastemakers are also offering more adventurous culinary classes and shore excursions. Silversea, the winner, scores for its multifaceted S.A.L.T. (Sea and Land Taste) program, devoted to the sailing region’s food and beverages. Crystal (formerly Crystal Cruises) reclaims its stellar reputation from its prior incarnation, including a renewed partnership with iconic chef Nobu Matsuhisa. Regent Seven Seas Cruises debuted a glam new ship and elevated menus fleetwide, with novel dishes inspired by the culinary team’s extensive research trips. As this year unfolds, expect even more allures: On HX (formerly Hurtigruten Expeditions), local chefs on some itineraries may hop onboard to cook regional specialties. Oceania Cruises debuts both a Culinary Masters Cruise hosted by two Master Chefs of France, and the highly anticipated Editor’s Cruise, with Hunter Lewis, Food + Wine ’s editor-in-chief. These are the best cruises for food and drinks.

Winner: Silversea

Silversea’s impactful S.A.L.T. (Sea and Land Taste) program secures the luxury line’s winning spot. S.A.L.T. Kitchen devotes an entire ever-changing menu to reflect sailing itineraries. S.A.L.T. Lab’s cooking instructors share regional cultural and culinary history with passengers during hands-on classes. In S.A.L.T. Bar, passengers sip locally inspired mixologists’ cocktails. S.A.L.T. shore excursions range from foraging in Puglia to lunching at a hyper-local Lisbon tinned-fish eatery and exploring a Patagonian organic farm. S.A.L.T. outings have proven so successful, Silversea is adding selections.

Crystal Cruises

The brand relaunch of luxurious Crystal Cruises (acquired by A&K Travel Group) now sails as Crystal , with two beautifully remodeled ships, Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony. Eight distinctive restaurants include Umi Uma, showcasing the inimitable Peruvian-Japanese fusion cuisine of Crystal partner, legendary chef Nobu Matsuhisa . Osteria d’Ovidio, named for Crystal’s Italian owner Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, presents poetic plates anchored in simplicity and  primo ingredients, such as lobster in tomato essence with basil olive oil.

Oceania Cruises

This line pursues compelling culinary exploits onboard and ashore, like cooking demonstrations at a Venetian master chef’s private villa or a Latvian “farm to table” experience in which guests shop at a market with the Culinary Center chef before cooking and consuming a Latvian lunch on board. Shipboard chefs are so ingredient-obsessed, they even order custom-milled French flour. Among updates, Oceania has reimagined numerous dishes, highlighting local sourcing. On Marina, Riviera, and Vista, a must-try six-course menu with a Dom Pérignon pairing perpetually marvels.

This luxe line debuted modern Mediterranean restaurant Solis on Seabourn Quest as an inspired replacement to Thomas Keller’s Grill, before Seabourn Encore, Ovation, and Sojourn rollouts. Seabourn restaurants may differ stylistically fleetwide, yet never vary in quality. Exemplary venues include Sushi for primo fish; the Restaurant with intricate entrees like carved lamb loin with crisp lamb spring roll; and Earth & Ocean for fine dining al fresco. Consider complimentary caviar and 24-hour in-suite service as bonuses.



Hurtigruten (formerly Norwegian Coastal) and HX (formerly Hurtigruten Expeditions) ships explore the world, including polar regions, the Galápagos, the Caribbean, and of course, Norway. Both HX and Hurtigruten aim to serve cuisine as compelling as adventures ashore and feature menus reflecting their Norwegian heritage. Supporting local communities, Hurtigruten relies on some 50 suppliers along the Coastal Express route for about 80% of ingredients, while more than 75% of HX’s ingredients used on Antarctica and Alaska routes are local.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

This luxury line’s six ships deliver exemplary dining, with its three newest ships (Seven Seas Grandeur, Splendor, and Explorer) exhibiting boundless flair. Among venues, Prime 7’s juicy steaks, Chartreuse’s French plates, and Pacific Rim’s pan-Asian dishes particularly dazzle. Beyond dining, the hands-on cooking school and Regent’s chef-led Epicurean Explorer Tours are part of the draw. Passengers may market-shop for a paella cooking class and feast on the famed rice-based dish at a seaside eatery in Valencia, Spain.

Windstar Cruises

Windstar’s six small ships possess yacht-like vibes, with a culinary direction to match. Chefs eagerly source fresh sustainable ingredients in ports to prepare imaginative dishes. On Star Plus class all-suite ships, Cuadro 44 by Anthony Sasso packs a modern Spanish punch while Star Grill by Steven Raichlen dishes up aromatic barbecue deckside. Windstar’s James Beard Foundation partnership ensures guest chefs board for demonstrations and dinners; the line also features their recipes on fleet eateries.

Viking Cruises

Viking commands attention on all waters, with riverboats, ocean liners, and expedition ships plying every continent. So many touches sum up Viking’s willingness for menus to reflect itineraries, and regional dishes and wines are a given. Flourishing herb gardens allow riverboat chefs to pluck the freshest herbs to grace dishes daily. On ocean-going vessels, specialty restaurant Manfredi’s excels in Italian cuisine (bistecca alla Fiorentina is legendary), and Mamsen’s triumphs the line’s Nordic heritage — all bow to the signature waffles.

Virgin Voyages

With 20 complimentary eateries, Virgin Voyages allows a younger, perhaps less-traveled, cruiser to sample so many cuisines. This line eschews food halls and buffets, preferring to showcase intimate boîtes, instead. Each possesses an oversized personality and emboldened plates, such as Razzle Dazzle for dishes like black garlic bowtie pasta with fennel braised pork and chanterelles, and Gunbae, knocking it out of the foodpark with complimentary soju shots and Korean barbecue.


AmaWaterways has taken food and wine seriously since its 2002 inception. The line, inducted into La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, finds its culinary cues in its riverboats’ itineraries, selecting local ingredients and intriguing wines like Rieslings from Austria’s Wachau Valley. AmaWaterways ’ wine-themed voyages, like Flavors of Burgundy with excursions to Beaune and Mâcon, win consistent praise. Onboard gastronomic pinnacles include the Chef’s Table, a small-group dining adventure where a chef prepares wine-paired multi-course meals before passengers.

Plus one: The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection

Exuding an exclusive boutique hotel aura, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection consists of superyacht Evrima, and in September, Ilma debuts, with Luminara arriving in 2025. This line lavishes passengers with attention, elegant design, and superb dining with an international spin. Each yacht offers five restaurants, 24-hour in-suite dining, and six lounges. The wine vault features more than 200 wine labels, with many exclusive red wines and vintages on a private reserve list.

Global Tastemakers is a celebration of the best culinary destinations in the U.S. and abroad. We asked more than 180 food and travel journalists to vote on their favorites, including restaurants and bars, cities, hotels, airports, airlines, and cruises. We then entrusted those results to an expert panel of judges to determine each category’s winners. In many categories, we’ve included a Plus One, hand-selected by our expert panel, to shout out more culinary destinations we don’t want our readers to miss. See all the winners at .

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Road Trip Food List: Easy to Pack Meals & Snacks

This post may contain affiliate links, view our disclosure policy .

Are you looking for a road trip food list that includes the best road trip snacks and other food to bring on a road trip?

Road trips can range from being budget-friendly to out-of-this-world expensive if you do not plan ahead, especially when it comes to eating food.

The temptation to grab a snack at every gas station, as well as to eat out at restaurants or gorge on fast food, can really start to add up in terms of money and wasted time.

One way to save money and time while road tripping, however, is to bring your own food!

By making a road trip food list and packing fun road trip snacks, you’ll avoid having to stop and spend as much.

Our road trip food list includes easy road trip snacks, as well as portable breakfast, lunch, and dinner options – plus, a FREE Road Trip Food List printable to take with you to the grocery store.

The links on this page are Amazon affiliate links. If you click on the links and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Road trip foods, yogurt parfait

Table of Contents

Road Trip Food List: Breakfast

One of our absolute best family road trip tips is to leave bright and early in the morning when starting a long road trip.

As the most important meal of the day, luckily, having breakfast on the road is the easiest meal to eat cold and on the go.

If you decide to hit the road early, or if your hotel en route doesn’t offer a free breakfast, plan ahead by bringing along these simple road trip breakfast foods.

Our tried-and-true road trip food list awaits!

Road Trip Breakfast Ideas

  • Yogurt tubes and granola bars
  • Muffins, donuts, and scones
  • Bagels and cream cheese
  • Squeezable applesauce
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Peanut butter, banana, and granola wrapped up in a tortilla
  • Make-Ahead Fruit & Yogurt Breakfast Parfaits

Additional planning tip: For added morning fun, use the category “breakfast foods”, “brands or cereal”, or “types of fruit” while you play a road trip word game .

Road trip food, colorful sandwich

Road Trip Food List: Lunch

When it comes to planning for lunch and beyond, your road trip packing list should always include a reliable portable cooler .

Whether you chill made-ahead sandwiches, salami & cheese, fruits, or veggies, there are so many awesome road trip food ideas when it comes to having lunch on the go.

What we love about these road tip lunch ideas is that they keep us out of congested cities and fast-food drive-thrus during the busy noon hour.

Road Trip Lunch Ideas

  • Premade sandwiches with deli meat and cheese (make them extra fun by using shaped sandwich cutters !)
  • Peanut butter sandwiches (skip the jelly to avoid sogginess)
  • Pita pocket with mozzarella, tomato, basil, turkey, cheese, hummus, cucumber, and/or tuna salad
  • Home-ade Lunchables with summer sausage, cheese, and crackers
  • Tortilla with cream cheese, sliced olives, and pepperoni
  • Veggies and single-serve packs of ranch dressing, hummus, or guacamole
  • Pre-assembled Salad In A Jar

Road Trip Food List: Dinner

If there is one meal that you choose to splurge on, I recommend stopping to have dinner at a roadside restaurant or cafe.

Though this may not be your final destination, experiencing another city in this way will help you check more places off of your family travel bucket list !

If you’re not keen on stopping, however, here are the road trip foods we enjoy that are tasty and hearty enough to serve as dinner.

Road trip salad

Road Trip Dinner Ideas

  • Cold rotisserie chicken, chunked and served with a garden salad (package in a disposable salad container )
  • Pre-made pasta salad, such as Pizza Pasta Salad
  • StarKist ready-to-eat tuna salad in an avocado half or on a bun
  • Chicken and pickled veggies in pitas
  • Hummus veggie wrap

Additional planning tip: If you’re road tripping in the winter when driving conditions are much more unpredictable, packing extra road trip food is an essential component of your winter road trip packing list .

The best Road Trip Food List from Top U.S. family travel blog, Travel With A Plan!

Road Trip Food List: Snacks

In my opinion, snacks   are the No. 1 way to keep everyone (including you!) happy on a family road trip.

Homemade snack mixes and individual pre-purchased snacks are also a great way to help cut costs associated with buying food on the road.

For this reason, I suggest assembling an entire tub filled with fun and appetizing snacks and surprises that you know your kids will love.

We use these  16-quart storage tubs from Sterilite  that are the perfect size, price, and durability!

Road Trip Snacks Ideas

  • Chips and pretzels
  • Animal crackers (Suprise them with Barnum’s Originals !)
  • Filled crackers (peanut butter, cheese)
  • Nuts (cashews, almonds, peanuts)
  • String cheese, Babybel, Laughing Cow cheese wedges
  • Fresh or dried fruit
  • Healthy no-bake cookies
  • Candy and gummy candy

Be extra organized for your family road trip by clicking the following image to get your FREE family vacation packing list that is both customizable and printable!

Road Trip Food

Travel Snacks for Toddlers

Road tripping with toddlers presents its own set of challenges and requires additional thought when it comes to toddler-friendly road trip activities and food.

(It’s much harder to keep a close eye on them when they’re in the backseat, and you’re in the front.)

When considering toddler road trip foods, the most important thing is to avoid giving them anything to eat that could be deemed a choking hazard.

In addition, opt for healthy versus overly sweet options that may give them a tummy ache.

Our favorite healthy toddler car snacks and road trip foods include:

  • Graham crackers
  • Snap pea crisps
  • Applesauce and/or yogurt pouches
  • Cheese sticks
  • Soft mini muffins
  • Whole-grain crackers
  • Bananas and/or this apple slices

Road trip sick bag essentials

9 Essential Tips For Traveling With Food

As seasoned travelers, we’ve assembled a list of tips for traveling with road trip foods and make-ahead hotel room meals.

  • Use up your most delicate fruit first when on long-haul road trips.

In other words, start by eating bananas and berries, then move on to more sturdy produce such as apples and oranges that don’t spoil as easily.

2. Every family needs an organized packing strategy !

When it comes to road trip food, tortillas, pitas, or other sturdy flatbreads work better to bring along than do loaves of bread. They take up a lot less room and do not risk getting smashed.

3. When packing a cooler with items that need to stay chilled, be sure to lay the ice on the top, versus the bottom of the cooler.

This is because cold air sinks and will, therefore, disperse itself more evenly if laid on top of the food.

4. Aim to open the cooler only 1 or 2 times a day in order to maintain its refrigeration and keep the ice from thawing.

5. Also, make all food, including snacks, easily accessible throughout the duration of your family road trip.

This prevents someone (likely mom or dad!) from having to constantly bend over the back seat or stop to open the trunk every time hunger or boredom hits.

6. Avoid bringing anything made of glass on your road trip, including glass food containers. Glass is heavy, bulky, and very dangerous when broken within the confines of your family vehicle.

7. Assemble and bring along a road trip kit with the following road trip essentials for spills, clean-ups, and car sickness:

  • Anti-bacterial wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Garbage bags
  • Ziplock bags
  • Napkins/paper towels
  • Saltine crackers and motion sickness medicine

8. Each time you stop while on a road trip, don’t forget to pitch any garbage that has accumulated.

This prevents build-up and smelliness.

9. Head to the grocery store with our FREE printable checklist and purchase all of your road trip food in one shopping trip!

Road tripping is one of our favorite family vacations!  Get our awesome road trip food list that includes ideas for meals and snacks on-the-go and a printable checklist to take to the grocery store!  #roadtripfoodlist #bestroadtripfoods #roadtripsnackideas #toddlerroadtripsnacks #healthyroadtripsnacks #roadtripmeals

If you enjoyed reading our best Road Trip Food List , click here to check out our Related Posts:

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  • 18 Amazing “Are We There Yet” Road Trip Activity Bags
  • Top 16 Tips for Flying With Kids & Ways to Keep them Calm
  • The Ultimate Guide for International Travel with Kids
  • 8 (Unexpected) Benefits of Traveling With Kids

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Jen Brommer is a family travel expert. She has been featured as an authority on several notable travel websites and is a member of the Family Travel Association (FTA), Midwest Travel Network, and TravMedia global media network.

A prominent content creator and influencer on Instagram, Jen has over 150K unique monthly blog readers from countries all over the world. She has spent the last 16 years planning fun, and hassle-free family vacations for her family of 5.

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Thank you for the road trip food list and travel tips.

You’re welcome! Was there something you saw that you hadn’t thought of before? Happy travels!!

This is a great list as we also big in road trip. Snacks is so important especially to keep them from asking are we there yet. Haha… I myself like peanuts to keep me awake when it’s my turn to drive.

Thanks for reading and for sharing your favorite road trip snack!!

This is such a comprehensive list and it is so helpful as I predict a lot of us will be going on more road trips once we can. Prepping these meals will definitely save some money and help the kids feel less bored. I know that my kids are usually pleased munching stuffs during road trips. I also like that it is more likely for the road trip snack to be more healthier than what you’ll buy elsewhere.

Thank you! Yes, the health factor of pre-packing is a big one, as is the enormous cost savings 🙂

I like to have a good mix of healthy (kids like apples, those are easy to eat) and snacky/salty. I am also very particular. about road trip drinks. Big coffees, la croix, iced tea!

I like your ideas! We’d be good road trip buddies!

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top 10 travel for food

10 of the best things to do in New Zealand

Oct 4, 2023 • 8 min read

top 10 travel for food

These are New Zealand's unmissable activities © Nicram Sabod / Shutterstock

Spectacular and diverse, New Zealand (also known as Aotearoa) is one of the world's most memorable destinations.

From its inspirational Indigenous Māori cultural experiences to its epic and otherworldly national parks , it can be hard to narrow down what to do. You can spend your days soaking in the urban energy of Auckland and Wellington, challenging yourself on outdoor adventures around Queenstown, cycling through Central Otago’s historic towns and big-sky landscapes or trying to spot the country’s iconic kiwi bird on Stewart Island/Rakiura.

Craft your own southern hemisphere adventure from this list of the best things to do in New Zealand.

A Tamaki Maori leader dancing in traditional dress.

1. Experience vibrant Māori culture

There are countless ways to engage with New Zealand’s Indigenous Māori culture while exploring the country. You can expect to hear greetings in te reo Māori (the Māori language) frequently, but for a deeper dive, the Auckland Museum and Waikato Museum both have displays of centuries-old Māori taonga (treasures). Around Rotorua , families from the local Te Arawa iwi (tribe) entertain and energize visitors with cultural performances and experiences, including the opportunity to take part in a haka (a ceremonial war dance made famous by the country’s All Blacks rugby team) or experience a hāngī (a Māori feast cooked in the ground). 

Detour: From Rotorua, travel 61km (38 miles) southeast to the isolated logging town of Murupara. Stays at the family-owned Kohutapu Lodge include excursions to catch tuna (endemic longfin eels), visits to historic Māori rock art sites and hiking through the Whirinaki Te Pua-a-Tāne Conservation Park, a spiritually significant site said to be one of the world’s last prehistoric forests.

A woman sits on a bench at a viewpoint looking across a body of water towards a city skyline

2. Be immersed in Auckland’s diversity

Framed by two harbors and built on the sprawling remnants of more than 50 long-inactive volcanoes, Auckland is New Zealand's most diverse and cosmopolitan city. Visit the weekly Otara and Avondale markets to taste Pacific and Asian cuisine from communities drawn to Tāmaki Makaurau (the Māori name for Auckland). Or time your visit to experience popular cultural events including Pasifika , Diwali and the Lantern Festival. Good beaches, nearby wine regions, and a dynamic dining scene are other reasons why Auckland is consistently rated one of the world's most liveable cities.

Planning tip: Join Auckland’s most passionate fans while taking in a match featuring the New Zealand Warriors (a rugby league team) or the Auckland Blues (a rugby union team).

Female hiker looking at a map on a mountainous section of a hiking trail.

3. Hike one of New Zealand’s Great Walks

Hiking (known as “tramping”) is one of New Zealand’s most popular pastimes, with well-established wilderness tracks, shelters (called “huts”) and campsites throughout the country. Highlights include the meandering forest trails of the Rakiura Track on compact Stewart Island/Rakiura and the beach-fringed Abel Tasman Coast Track in the Nelson/Tasman region. Anchoring the rugged geothermal heart of the North Island, Tongariro National Park's most popular trail is the Tongariro Alpine Crossing , a single-day wilderness experience skirting two volcanoes and taking in views of craters, iridescent lakes and the sprawling Central Plateau.

Planning tip: All of New Zealand's  10 (soon to be 11) Great Walks are very popular, and New Zealand's Department of Conservation (DOC) caps visitor numbers at a safe and sustainable level. To secure your spot, you’ll need to book in advance when the Great Walks booking system opens , usually from around May. The Great Walks season runs from late October to April, and the most popular experiences like the Milford and Routeburn Tracks often sell out in minutes. If you miss out; don’t worry. There are hundreds of other trails throughout the country to explore. 

4. Negotiate a two-wheeled adventure in Central Otago

New Zealand's first – and arguably best – multi-day cycling experience is the Otago Central Rail Trail . An undulating ride through sunbaked southern landscapes and the heritage streetscapes of former gold-mining towns, it takes four to six days to complete. Along the way, you can feast on locally grown summer stonefruit, visit contemporary vineyards known for world-class pinot noir, and toast the end of each day with a well-earned beer at historic pubs. E-bikes are a convenient option to maximize your enjoyment of this classic South Island experience, with operators throughout the region offering rentals and guided tours.

Detour: Linking the towns of Cromwell and Clyde, the 55km (34-mile)  Lake Dunstan Cycle Trail traverses the spectacular Cromwell Gorge via an 85m-long (279ft) suspension bridge and a spectacular cantilevered wooden biking track.

Fern trees near a lush coastline

5. Seek out kiwis on Stewart Island/Rakiura

At the southern tip of the South Island, Stewart Island/Rakiura is New Zealand's third-largest island, home to a rugged community of around 400 hardy souls, where 85% of the land is protected by Rakiura National Park . Birdlife around Stewart Island/Raikura and the adjacent islet of Ulva Island includes rare hoiho (yellow-eyed penguins), raucous kākā (a type of parrot) and mellifluous bellbirds. However, the undoubted avian highlight is viewing tokoeka (Southern brown kiwi) in the wild. Join a twilight expedition with local operators including Beaks & Feathers and Ruggedy Range Wilderness Experiences to see Aotearoa's beloved national bird snuffling about on beaches and in the forest. Visit from March to September to also potentially glimpse the aurora australis (southern lights), the inspiration for Stewart Island's Māori name: Rakiura, which means “glowing skies.”

Planning tip: Ferries take one hour to cross the Foveaux Strait from Bluff on the mainland to Stewart Island/Rakiura. The crossing can sometimes be rough, so an alternative is a 20-minute flight from Invercargill.

6. Commune with marine mammals around Kaikōura 

Attracted by the nutrient-rich waters of the Kaikōura Canyon – a submarine valley just 800m (2624ft) off the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island – the coastal town of Kaikōura is visited by various whale species throughout the year. Join a boat trip with Whale Watch Kaikōura , owned and operated by the local Ngāti Kuri iwi (Māori tribe), to see visiting humpback, orca, southern right and pilot whales. Resident marine mammals include sperm whales, dolphins and kekeno (New Zealand fur seals). The pelagic birdwatching here is also some of the best on the planet.

Planning tip: Kaikōura translates from te reo Māori as "eat crayfish". The spiny crustacean is a popular item on pub menus and roadside food caravans around the region. Try one at Nin’s Bin or Kaikōura Seafood BBQ .

A red cable car rises above a cityscape.

7. Have a capital time in Wellington

Compact and walkable, New Zealand’s harbor capital of Wellington is the ideal urban destination to balance and complement adventures in Aotearoa’s great outdoors. Explore the city’s pioneering craft beer heritage at local breweries including Garage Project, Heyday and Parrotdog, before learning about the movie-making magic of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings franchises at Wētā Workshop . The nation’s capital also boasts a vibrant arts and live music scene, with free events hosted throughout the year.

Planning tip: Visit (and book accommodation well ahead) for the Beervana craft beer festival in August. Also popular is Wellington on a Plate (WOAP), an annual celebration of the city’s dynamic culinary scene.

8. Explore architectural history in Hawke’s Bay

Rocked by an earthquake in 1931, the Hawke’s Bay cities of Napier and Hastings were rebuilt in the popular architectural styles of the day, and now the region boasts some of the world’s best-preserved art deco and Spanish Mission architectural precincts. From Napier’s Norfolk pine-trimmed Marine Parade, join a walking tour of the city’s cavalcade of art deco buildings, some also decorated with the cross-cultural influence of traditional Māori design motifs.

Detour: New Zealand winemaking began in Hawke’s Bay in the 1850s, and the region’s well-established vineyards and excellent winery restaurants are best explored on two wheels. See On Yer Bike online for details of bike hire and recommended wine trails.

Bungy jumper plunges off a bridge towards an alpine river that flows below

9. Get active around Queenstown

Nowhere else in New Zealand reinforces the country’s reputation for adrenaline-fuelled adventure activities like Queenstown . Amid beautiful lake and sub-alpine scenery, definitely sign up for a bungy jump . (It’s almost mandatory – the breathtaking leap of faith was invented in New Zealand, after all.) You can also consider other thrill rides like  Oxbow Adventures ’ exciting combo of jet sprint boats (which can reach up to 100km/h, or 62mph, in just 2.5 seconds) and extreme 4WD offroading. After all the action, adjourn to Altitude Brewing ’s ​lakeside location for great beers and tasty visits from local food trucks.

Detour: Reached via a scenic road over the Crown Range, Wānaka is Queenstown’s less manic Southern Lakes sibling. Catch a boat on Lake Wānaka to explore the island bird sanctuary of Mou Waho .

10. Kayak in pristine Fiordland

Cruising through Milford Sound /Piopiotahi on a day trip is popular, but a better strategy for experiencing the scale, spectacle and stillness of Fiordland ’s most famous sheltered anchorage is to explore it by kayak. Hook up with Roscoe’s Milford Kayaks for the ultimate on-the-water views of the fiord’s cascading quicksilver waterfalls and massive forest-covered cliffs. Sunriser classic tours loop for 10km (6 miles) around Milford Sound and depart well before the inevitable arrival of daytrippers visiting from Te Anau or Queenstown.

Detour: Fiordland’s Doubtful Sound/Patea (meaning "place of silence" in te reo Māori ) is even quieter and less visited than Milford Sound/Piopiotahi. Join a guided kayak tour with Te Anau-based Doubtful Sound Kayak or stay overnight on the MV Fiordland Jewel with Fiordland Discovery .

This article was first published Apr 22, 2021 and updated Oct 4, 2023.

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These Are the Top 10 Food Tours in the U.S.

A Cuban food tour in Miami tops the list of Viator's tastiest experiences.

top 10 travel for food

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Food and travel are intrinsically linked, so one of the best ways to truly understand the flavors of a city is by getting a local’s insight into the culinary scene through a food tour. As part of the 2023 Viator Experience Awards , the experiences booking platform spotlighted the top 10 U.S. food tours of the year.

Topping the list is Miami Culinary Tours ’ Little Havana Food and Walking Tour with a whopping 4,494 five-star reviews. The half-mile route stops at some of Magic City’s most renowned family-owned Cuban eateries. Guests will have the chance to taste treats like empanadas, flan ice cream, croquetas , and guava pastelitos from mainstays like Party Cake Bakery and El Pub . Along the way, there are also stops at the Havana Classic Cigar factory, Domino Park, and the Bay of Pigs Monument.

One traveler called it a “phenomenal food tour” with “nicely seasoned” empanadas and mango juice that tasted “like drinking nectar.” The 2.5-hour tour, which is offered daily, has also been awarded the Tripadvisor Traveler's Choice Award for the last 10 years in a row.

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The runner-up is Food Tour Corporation’s Taste of Little Italy in San Diego , which is also one of Viator’s fastest-growing experiences this year. The 3.5-hour tour has earned 222 five-star reviews, with guests enjoying “learning about the history” and the “excellent” food. Reviewers especially loved that the guide was “so personable and connected with every participant” and the “food choices were unique and not ordinary.”

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The other top tours represent the range of flavors from coast to coast, from California to Florida. Both Seattle and New Orleans had a strong presence, with two tours from each city making the top 10.

The complete list includes Seattle's Chef Guided Food Tour of Pike Place Market ; New Orleans Food Walking Tour of the French Quarter ; Feast of Saint Augustine Walking Tour in St. Augustine, Florida; Pike Place Market Food Tour ; the New Orleans Cocktail and Food History Tour ; Best Bites on The Las Vegas Strip: A Traveler's Guide to Sin City ; Chicago in a Day: Food, History and Architecture Walking Tour ; and Carlsbad Food Tour and Wine Tasting in California.

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To come up with the Viator Experience Awards winners, the company looked at the average ratings, the share of bookings with a review, and the number of bookings on the platform during a one-year period. 

Related Articles

The Best Packing Cubes for Travel, Editor-Tested

Organize and optimize your space.

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Our Top Picks

Compression Packing Cubes for Travel (Set of 6)

Best on Amazon

Bagsmart compression packing cubes for travel (set of 6).

Packing Cubes (Set of 5)

Best for Families

Calpak packing cubes (set of 5).

Insider Packing Cubes (Set of 4)

Away Insider Packing Cubes (Set of 4)

Compression Packing Cubes (Set of 6)

Best Compression

Quince compression packing cubes (set of 6).

Packing Cube Quads (Set of 4)

Best Water-Resistant

Paravel packing cube quads (set of 4), what to look for with packing cubes.

Size: You'll find that most packing cubes arrive in sets ranging from two to six+ cubes in each. From long, narrow styles ideal for storing socks and underwear to larger packs for sweaters and shoes, there's a range of sizes to fit every category. We've noted the dimensions for each individual cube for your reference.

Compression: While all packing cubes are essentially offering compression, there are some options that are designed with specific compression capabilities. These styles have a second zipper that allows you to trim down on space to create more room in your carry-on or luggage.

Material: From soft mesh to more structured nylon styles, different fabrics will indicate durability as well as affect the overall look and feel of each cube.

From breezy mesh styles to structured options and Amazon gems, the best packing cubes for travel make prepping for your next trip a breeze. Below are the best packing cube sets we recommend.

Bagsmart's compression packing cube set is not only affordable but also high-quality and durable. When it came time to pack our own suitcases, we opted for these. The nylon keeps a soft structure that makes the most of your available packing space while holding the overall shape. We found the medium-size bags to be particularly useful for the bulk of our clothes ranging from tees to trousers and swim cover-ups.

Editor's Review

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How satisfying is this to look at? We appreciated the unwavering structure and versatile sizes of these Bagsmart packing cubes.

Calpak's packing cube set is made from high-quality, durable nylon and mesh materials that hold their soft structure when testing. We like that you can personalize each bag—making these ideal for families who need to keep things organized and perhaps separate for different members. This set of five packing cubes also includes a water-resistant pouch to protect your most delicate belongings.

calpak packing cubes

Calpak's softly structured packing cubes allow you to see the inside components while optimizing space.

calpak packing cubes

Two of Calpak's larger cubes are enough to hold a weekend's worth of outfits while making the most of your storage space.

Crafted from a premium nylon mesh, Away's packing cubes are unique from the others that we tested in that they lie completely flat when empty. The material is silky and lightweight but also offers the durability you'd expect from the trusted travel brand. They're already spacious but will effortlessly expand as you fill them.

away packing cubes

Whether you're organizing your favorite weekender or carry-on suitcase, Away's packing cubes will keep your space optimized for maximum space.

away packing cubes

Away's soft mesh packing cubes are surprisingly spacious and can expand while holding a weekend or week's worth of clothes.

Quince's packing cube set offers the greatest range in terms of the different size offerings. The two larger cubes are ideal for packing ready-to-wear like tops, pants, and sweaters, while the smaller options help bathing suits, socks, and underwear. These also feature a second zipped compression layer to take your space optimization to the next level.

quince packing cubes

Quince's recycled nylon cubes come in an array of sizes that you can rearrange for a personalized packing experience.

Paravel has graced Oprah's Favorite Things list over the years—including its fold-up backpack in 2022 that can be easily stored in your luggage. The beloved travel brand's packing cubes are made from the same sturdy, water-resistant nylon that comes from upcycled water bottles. The made-t0-fit system ensures that each of the four packing cubes fits perfectly inside your carry-on luggage. Pro tip: A monogrammed set makes a thoughtful personalized gift for your favorite traveler and is available only through the Paravel site.

How We Chose the Best Packing Cubes

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Our fashion and commerce team is dedicated to finding you the best of travel accessories. We researched and tested top-rated and brand-new packing cubes that hit the market to help you find the best products out there.

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With a pair of long chopsticks, an older chef in a brown apron adjusts pieces of raw fish on a ceramic serving plate.

Where to Eat

The 25 Best Restaurants in Los Angeles Right Now

Our current favorites in one of the greatest food cities in the world.

The chef Morihiro Onodera at Morihiro. Credit... Rozette Rago for The New York Times

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By Tejal Rao

Tejal Rao is critic at large for The New York Times’s Food section. She lives in Los Angeles.

  • Published Sept. 26, 2023 Updated Feb. 22, 2024

In the Where to Eat: 25 Best series, we’re highlighting our favorite restaurants in cities across the United States. These lists will be updated as restaurants close and open, and as we find new gems to recommend. As always, we pay for all of our meals and don’t accept free items.

Anajak Thai

On a brightly patterned tablecloth, an array of dishes, including a whole fish blanketed with herbs, and a plate of fried chicken.

This family-run Thai restaurant in Sherman Oaks has a superpower: shape-shifting. Tuesdays are for Thai-inspired tacos and tostadas, which make sense the second you taste them, or for cheffy, one-off collaborations, while the last weekend of each month means it’s time for Justin Pichetrungsi’s freestyle tasting menu. But what some might consider the ordinary days in between are a joy, too, with dishes like the mouthwatering fish custard haw mok or Southern Thai fried chicken. That’s when the restaurant plays the part of neighborhood gem and you can see all the loving updates that Mr. Pichetrungsi made after he took over from his parents and bulked up the wine program.

14704 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks ; 818-501-4201;

Antico Nuovo

Italian country cooking is an endlessly replicated genre in Southern California, but a visit to Chad Colby’s open kitchen and glowing, grown-up dining room is an energizing reminder of how irresistible it can be when handled with focus and skill. Go for the slightly esoteric, perfectly made pastas, like dimpled foglie d’ulivo, perky malloreddus and slippery, thin-skinned plin dell’ alta langa, but don’t let it be at the expense of the olive oil-soaked focaccia, the beans baked with bread over a wood fire or the intensely flavored ice creams.

4653 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles ; 323-510-3093;

The chef Kwang Uh built his reputation at this highly experimental and weirdly affordable gem of a lunch spot, where tubs of fruits and vegetables labeled with blue tape were always fermenting away on the open shelving. The new Baroo, run with his partner and wife, Mina Park, might share a name with its predecessor, but it leaps forward in a beautifully designed dining room with an elegant tasting menu that moves quickly and lightly. Look on the underside of the menu for the names of everyone who labored over the meal: Now it’s not just a couple of cooks on a shoestring budget doing the most with the least, but a whole team at work behind the scenes, paying attention to every detail.

905 E 2nd St #109, Los Angeles ; 213-221-7967;

North African, Middle Eastern

Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis built their reputations on rigorous Italian fare at their downtown ace Bestia , but this is the restaurant that showed us what they could really do. Bavel is a roaring, pleasure-driven powerhouse of North African and Middle Eastern cooking, and even dishes that were on its opening menu five years ago, like the laminated strips of malawach with crème fraîche and strawberry zhoug, feel fresh, fundamental and totally uninhibited.

500 Mateo Street No. 102, Los Angeles ; 213-232-4966;

Jewish, New American

The steaks at Birdie G’s may be impeccable, but some of the restaurant’s most exciting maneuvers are often vegetarian, or almost vegetarian, or entirely vegan. (The chef, Jeremy Fox, did write a cookbook called “On Vegetables,” after all.) The kitchen seems to delight in sneaking cheeky, technical marvels and from-scratch fermentations, pickles and preserves into the most casual of dishes, without drawing too much attention to them. And the kids’ menu, with its matzo margherita pizza and fresh pasta with butter, is one of the most charming in the city, if you’re keeping up with that sort of thing.

2421 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica ; 310-310-3616;

Found Oyster

Seafood, Raw bar

There aren’t many places I’d rather be in the late afternoon when it’s time for a drink and a bite than Found Oyster’s narrow bar, or its cluster of sidewalk seating. The no-reservations policy is only a tiny nuisance — you can wait around with a glass of wine until you’re sitting down happily with some head-on prawns, a crab cocktail and a dozen just-shucked oysters. Considering that seafood is the point here, the bar steak and fries are far better than they ought to be, as is the weekend schnitzel hidden under a big salad draped with white anchovies. And while the restaurant doesn’t make dessert, it’s hard to complain when they sell slices from Nicole Rucker’s pie shop Fat + Flour .

4880 Fountain Avenue, Los Angeles ; 323-486-7920;

Seafood, Mexican

Bay scallops and chocolate clams from Baja. Line-caught tuna from around the Channel Islands. Spot prawns from Santa Barbara. Gilberto Cetina runs a mariscos stand inside Mercado La Paloma that seems fairly unbuttoned, but don’t be fooled: He’s serving some of the highest quality and most beautifully prepared seafood in Los Angeles. Order these not just in sunny ceviches, cocteles and tostadas, but also grilled, fried, roasted and stewed with stacks of hot tortillas on the side — Fátimah Juárez nixtamalizes and mills the corn in-house. Once you understand the draw of Mr. Cetina’s counter, you’ll want to reserve a seat for the eight-course tasting menu he serves two nights a week.

3655 South Grand Avenue No. C9, Los Angeles ; 213-986-9972;

Wedchayan Arpapornnopparat and Tongkamal Yuon first got my attention during the pandemic with their sai oua, each link of the Northern Thai-style sausage holding more deep and vivid flavor than seemed actually possible, packed for easy pickup and cooking at home. Though their space has grown to include a fuller menu, and tables, the best part of Holy Basil is that it still treats simple kra pow, that habit-forming Bangkok street-style stir-fry seasoned with red chiles and herbs, with all of the care and attention it deserves (and makes the unusual addition of juicy snap peas seem essential). Most of the dishes come with a heap of purple riceberry, dark and pleasingly chewy. Just because you can swap it out for white rice doesn’t mean that you should.

718 South Los Angeles Street, Space A, Los Angeles ; 213-559-4994;

Ipoh Kopitiam

The wait outside Kenji Tang’s Malaysian coffee shop starts at the beginning of breakfast service and goes on throughout the day, as locals pop in to chat over cups of white coffee and dark heaps of sticky rice, ripping through layers of roti to scoop up shimmering beef rendang, or sharing kaya toasts stuffed with delightfully thick slices of butter, dripping with homemade, caramel-colored coconut jam. The place isn’t built for lingering — tables are crunched together and someone is always waiting for yours, usually right in view — but it’s hard to resist staying for one more egg tart, or one more cup of frothy milk tea.

1411 South Garfield Avenue No. 104, Alhambra ; 626-703-4198;

Taiwanese American

You don’t have to know Jon Yao’s story to enjoy his restaurant. You could be oblivious to his journey from a scrappy, ambitious Taiwanese-leaning restaurant in a strip mall to this chic, decidedly luxurious space downtown, complete with all the bells and whistles required of a serious, big-budget fine-dining restaurant. You could simply go, sit down for the $275 tasting menu, and let it work its magic — revealing to you, moment by carefully choreographed moment, exactly what this format is capable of and why submitting yourself to it can be such a worthwhile pleasure.

777 South Alameda Street, Building 1, Suite 114, Los Angeles ; 213-797-5770;

Lasita bills itself as a Filipino rotisserie and natural-wine bar, but in addition to the beautiful chicken Inasal, marinated in vinegar and calamansi juice, served crisp and practically hairy with the fibers of so many crushed aromatics and spices, there’s a whole menu to fall for here. Swirls of fatty lechon, whole fish, lumpia, pancit and all sorts of stylish and surprising specials that come and go quickly.

727 North Broadway No. 120, Los Angeles ; 213-443-6163;

One of the many joys of living in Los Angeles is that a quick breakfast around the corner might involve tacos — specifically soft, hot, housemade corn tortillas piled with daikon pickles and thinly sliced, grilled rib-eye, dripping with lime juice or sweet, smoky beets al pastor. Macheen, an energetic taco pop-up with a residency inside Milpa Grille in Boyle Heights and regular appearances at Smorgasburg and Distrito Catorce , continues to expand on the form with equal parts finesse and playfulness (and isn’t above adding an egg to a taco, if that’s what your heart desires).

2633 East Cesar E. Chavez Avenue, Los Angeles ; 323-269-2995;

Moo’s Craft Barbecue

Andrew and Michelle Muñoz started out hosting pop-ups out of their home in Los Angeles, inspired by the style and flavor of Central Texas barbecue, getting better and better with each time. Wobbly, still-steamy slices of brisket, housemade sausages and ribs (with excellent sides and soft slices of potato bread) are still the touchstones of the menu at their busy brick-and-mortar restaurant. But it’s also fun to enjoy Moo’s smoked meats in the form of single-subject sandwiches, whether the juicy, smoky pulled pork, the chopped brisket or the excellent smoked burgers — specials that developed such an intensely loyal fan base, they became a permanent fixture.

2118 North Broadway, Los Angeles ; 323-686-4133;

Sushi, Japanese

The first bite at Morihiro tends to be a creamy, bite-size piece of homemade tofu, an awfully quiet start at a luxurious sushi restaurant, but one that’s startlingly rich and unexpectedly satisfying. Pay attention and you might notice the rice mill in the dining room — it’s where Morihiro Onodera, a chef and potter who made many of the ceramics in the restaurant’s collection, and a star in the Los Angeles sushi scene, spends each morning polishing the rice he imports from Japan. If you’re lucky enough to sit at the counter, you’ll be able to measure the evening in clusters of that warm rice as they move through his hands, one by one, tinting with vinegar before they’re finished with transcendent shivers of fish.

3133 Glendale Boulevard, Los Angeles ; 323-522-3993;

Let’s say you don’t have a soft spot for the gorgeous, grisly, Escoffier-era grandeur of canard à la presse, a specialty of Rouen in which the duck’s carcass is crushed in a wheezing, torturous contraption — bones crunching, blood rushing — to build a rich sauce. That’s all right. You can still have a very good time at Pasjoli. Plenty of other very French dishes at Dave Beran’s bistro are as meticulously calibrated for maximum flavor and interplay of textures, and they won’t cause as much of a scene.

2732 Main Street, Santa Monica ; 424-330-0020;

Perilla L.A .

The little banchan shop spills into a courtyard where you can feast on warm seasoned rice, sweet pepper muchim, marinated okra, perfect spirals of rolled omelets and more of whatever Jihee Kim has cooked in her tiny open kitchen that day. Ms. Kim, who started Perilla as a pop-up during the pandemic’s first wave of restaurant shutdowns, is guided by Korean cooking and fermentation techniques as much as by what excites her at the farmers’ market. The results are as unpredictable as they are delicious.

1027 Alpine Street, Building E, Los Angeles ; no phone;

Pine & Crane DTLA

Bowls of savory soy milk, doused with vinegar and chile oil, and pork-floss-filled fan tuan made with purple sticky rice are a small, essential part of breakfast at Vivian Ku’s Taiwanese restaurant. The downtown location is informal, but the menu is more expansive and ambitious than her first Pine & Crane, with breakfast now a permanent fixture, lots more dishes through lunch and dinner, a bigger tea program and a list of Taiwanese whiskeys that you can try neat or in chilled, fizzy highballs.

1120 South Grand Avenue, Unit 101, Los Angeles ; 213-536-5292;

Poncho’s Tlayudas

The grill in the garden outside the offices of the Comunidades Indígenas en Liderazgo (CIELO) has long been an oasis for those seeking thin, toasted tlayudas filled with gently steamed cabbage and golden dregs of lard, but it has recently transformed into something else, too. As word has spread, Poncho’s has become a destination for blood-sausage connoisseurs of all kinds who travel from every neighborhood in Los Angeles for a taste of Alfonso Martinez’s mastery of the form: dark, sweet, delicate loops, barely marked by the grill, flecked with onion, yerba buena and dried chiles.

4318 South Main Street, Los Angeles ; 213-359-0264;

Quarter Sheets

Aaron Lindell and Hannah Ziskin’s Echo Park pizzeria confidently shifts from thick, airy, crisp-edged Sicilian corners inspired by, say, California Pizza Kitchen’s barbecue chicken pizza one day, to cracker-thin bar pies jeweled with wrinkly, charred Jimmy Nardello peppers the next. Though Ms. Ziskin’s daily dessert specials and seasonal sheet cakes would be reason enough to join the loyal crowd that gathers outside as soon as the restaurant opens. Slices — both savory and sweet — are always worth the wait.

1305 Portia Street, Los Angeles ; 424-543-4970;

Walter and Margarita Manzke run several good restaurants here, but République is inseparable from the city and its rhythms — the efficient breakfast meetings, the working lunches, the birthdays and anniversaries and date nights. An important note: The breads and pastries aren’t just for looking at on the way in, and the baguette is excellent, even at dinnertime, when you can and should order it with both butter and pan drippings to start your meal.

624 South La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles ; 310-362-6115;

The Ruby Fruit

People told Emily Bielagus and Mara Herbkersman not to bother opening a queer bar in Los Angeles in the year 2023, particularly one for the sapphically inclined. Luckily, they didn’t listen. Happy crowds testify to the popularity of an inclusive queer and lesbian bar with good vibes, yes, but also to the easy warmth of the service and the skill and joyful spontaneity of the kitchen, where loaded hot dogs are always available (both meaty and vegan), along with the occasional savory fig galette, tomato and stone fruit salad and platter of fried smelt.

3510 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles ; 323-522-6323;

Japanese, Izakaya

Charles Namba’s nimble cooking and Courtney Kaplan’s sake expertise and knack for concise, clear tasting notes, make for a dreamy, welcoming neighborhood izakaya anchored by juicy, perfectly timed yakitori grilled over charcoal, and wobbles of chawanmushi. As summer turns to fall, kabocha squash, mushrooms and fattier fish will slowly make their way onto Mr. Namba’s menu, paired with Ms. Kaplan’s favorite autumnal, umami-rich sakes. If you forgot to make a reservation and the small room is already packed, head next door to Ototo , a fantastic sake bar run by the same team, where you can console yourself with the black-pepper tofu.

1356 Allison Avenue, Los Angeles ; 213-900-4900;

Korean American

John and Katianna Hong’s soaring downtown space started as a kind of market and deli inspired by both Korean and Ashkenazi Jewish traditions, where dishes like a juicy pea-shoot salad and golden-capped congee potpie always made perfect sense. Recently reimagined as a more formal restaurant, with a more polished and idiosyncratic menu, it’s even easier to love.

712 South Santa Fe Avenue, Los Angeles ; 213-866-1987;

Yang’s Kitchen

Asian, New American

Order a single, gigantic pancake and you’ll start to understand the magic of Chris Yang’s endearing all-day cafe in Alhambra, where even a pancake comes together with immense deliberation and care (and locally ground cornmeal and mochi rice and ripe, juicy fruit from the farmers’ market). But Yang’s really gets going at dinner, when you can build a feast of a meal and sip sake and wines from a short, unfussy list that somehow doesn’t look like every other restaurant’s short, unfussy list.

112 West Main Street, Alhambra ; 626-281-1035;

In such a peaceful dining room, surrounded by a suspiciously cheerful staff in all-white uniforms, it might seem as if Yess were the headquarters for an arcane Southern Californian cult. But no, this isn’t that kind of restaurant. Junya Yamasaki’s cooking is as precise and controlled as his menu is inviting and flexible: Put together exactly the dinner you feel like eating, whether that’s a long, luxurious sequence of dishes from one of the tasting menus, or simply a cold beer with a hot, crispy katsu doused in Worcestershire sauce that you order à la carte.

2001 East Seventh Street, Los Angeles ; no phone;

Follow New York Times Cooking on Instagram , Facebook , YouTube , TikTok and Pinterest . Get regular updates from New York Times Cooking, with recipe suggestions, cooking tips and shopping advice .

An earlier version of this article misidentified the organization Poncho’s Tlayudas is next to. It is the Comunidades Indígenas en Liderazgo, not the Binational Front of Indigenous Organizations.

An earlier version of this article misstated the neighborhood where Milpa Grille is located. It is Boyle Heights, not Lincoln Heights.

How we handle corrections

Tejal Rao is a critic at large. She writes about food and culture for The Times and contributes regularly to The New York Times Magazine. More about Tejal Rao



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    Fruit. Squeezable applesauce. Hard-boiled eggs. Peanut butter, banana, and granola wrapped up in a tortilla. Make-Ahead Fruit & Yogurt Breakfast Parfaits. Additional planning tip: For added morning fun, use the category "breakfast foods", "brands or cereal", or "types of fruit" while you play a road trip word game.

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    Plant Permits Team. Email: [email protected]. Phone: 877-770-5990. Animal Products. Animal products can include meat, milk, dairy, and eggs. If you have questions about whether a particular animal product can be brought into the United States, contact USDA's Animal Product Import and Export unit.

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