The world is full of flavors. No matter where you go, food is always at the center, and what better way to take your taste buds on an adventure than by visiting the best culinary cities in the world. From Asia to Europe and the Middle East, here are our favorite destinations for a local, culinary experience we know you’ll love.
Tokyo has won our hearts when it comes to delicious local cuisine. The city boasts more restaurants than you can try, in fact, Toyko has more than 160,000 restaurants (four times the amount in Paris). The best part is that you don’t have to spend a fortune or dine at white-tablecloth restaurants in order to eat good food. If you happen to head to Tokyo, we recommend checking out the restaurants located in the following districts: Tsukishima for monjayaki (pan-fried batter pancake with toppings), Ginza for soba (buckwheat noodles) and Tsukiji for the seafood.
Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City is one of our favorite culinary destinations in Vietnam, where dishes have been influenced by France, China and Cambodia. Aside from restaurants, street food is a must to really get a sense of the local cuisine in the city. Our favorite neighborhoods for a culinary delight are District 4 for authentic Vietnamese dishes with seafood, Binh Thanh for vegan and vegetarian dishes, Pham Ngu Lao for pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) and District 1 for banh mi, a meat-stuffed sandwich with herbs topped with a few veggies as a garnish.
Tel Aviv offers locals and visitors unique Middle Eastern flavors with Asian, African and European influences. Regardless of where you go, you can find exquisite dishes to satisfy your taste buds, from falafel and börek (filled pastry) to tabbouleh (vegetarian salad) and krembo (chocolate-covered marshmallow), Tel Aviv is another culinary delight to add to your list. Some of our go-to neighborhoods for food are Neve Tzedek for the best-baked goods for breakfast, Old Jaffa for hummus and Sarona for local cheeses and cured meats.
Sicily’s capital, Palermo, is said to be one of the best cities in Italy for a culinary experience (some may argue otherwise). Although places such as Rome, Milan, Florence and Venice have tremendously good restaurants to choose from, Palermo has that little extra oomph we look for in a local culinary experience. The best neighborhoods we recommend are Noto for arancini (deep-fried creamy risotto rice), Borgo Vecchio for caponata (cooked eggplant with vinegar and sweet and sour sauce) and Monte di Pieta for cannoli (creamy ricotta inside a deep-fried pastry).
Bordeaux may be known for its delectable wine, but there’s more to this city than just the drinks. Some of the best local cuisine you can devour and where, is downtown near the water for plateau de fruits de mer (an array of shellfish or seafood served cold), Quartier du Grand Parc for roasted pigeon with foie gras, downtown for Noisettines du Medoc (sugar-coated roasted hazelnuts) and Capucins – Victoire for andouillette (tripe sausage).
All adventures come down to food, so why not just make an entire getaway centered around it?
If these or any other destinations speak to you, we’d love to help you get there in comfort and save you up to 70% off. Submit a flight request or contact your agent and we’ll find the best dates to travel there!