World’s best foodie destinations

Food is an important part of any culture and can offer a unique way to experience a destination and in recent years, food tourism has become increasingly popular. Trying local dishes and ingredients can provide insight into the history, traditions ad lifestyle of the place and there are many countries around the world that are known for being foodie destinations, where travellers can indulge in delicious local cuisine and experience unique flavours and culinary traditions. So read ahead for some foodie inspiration!

Puglia, Italy

Known for its beautiful beaches, ancient architecture and more importantly – delicious fresh food, Puglia is one of the best destinations to visit for foodies. The region’s cuisine is influenced by its location and history with a mix of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavours which includes fresh seafood, pasta dishes and local specialities like burrata cheese and orecchiette pasta. Read ahead for some of the must-try dishes:

  • Orecchiette – A type of pasta that is shaped like small ears, orecchiette is a staple of Pugliese cuisine. It is often served with a sauce made from tomatoes, garlic and olive oil.
  • Cime di Rapa: Also known as broccoli rabe, cime de rapa is a leafy green vegetable that is often sauteed with garlic and chilli flakes.
  • Polpo alla Pignata – Octopus that is cooked in a clay pot with potatoes, tomatoes, and herbs, it’s a traditional dish for the region’s fishermen.
  • Zuppa di Pesce: A hearty seafood stew made with various types of fish, shellfish and vegetables.
  • Primitivo wine – Puglia is known for its excellent wines and Primitivo is one of the most famous. It is a rich, full-bodied red wine that pairs well with the region’s hearty cuisine.

In addition to traditional dishes, Puglia is also known for its street food and snacks, such as taralli, a simple dough snack and focaccia bread. And of course, no visit to Puglia would be complete without trying its famous burrata cheese. Overall Puglia is a great place to visit for food lovers, with a variety of delicious and unique dishes waiting to be tasted! Taste your way around Puglia on our 4-Night Dolce Vita Experience!

Sarajevo, Bosnia

The ultimate cultural crossroads in the Balkans, Sarajevo, is a vibrant blend of East and West. This is a place where you can find a Catholic church, Orthodox church, synagogue, and mosque all within the same neighbourhood. It’s this mix of cultures that produces delicious cuisine packed with flavour. Here are some typical Sarajevo dishes that you must try:

  • Cevapi: Cevapi are small, grilled sausages made from minced beef and lamb, and are often served with onions, flatbread and a side of sour cream.
  • Burek: Made with layers of phyllo dough and filled with meat, cheese, or spinach, this savoury pastry is a popular breakfast food in Sarajevo and can be found in bakeries and street vendours throughout the city.
  • Klepe: Klepe are tasty small dumplings filled with minced meat and onions and are usually served in a rich broth or topped with sour cream.
  • Baklava: This sweet pastry is made with layers of phyllo dough and filled with nuts and honey syrup and is a popular dessert in Sarajevo and throughout the Balkans.

These are just a few of the delicious and diverse cuisines that you can enjoy in Sarajevo! The city’s culinary tradition reflects its rich history and cultural heritage and offers a unique and memorable culinary experience for foodies visiting the region. Join us on our 4-Night Mini Bosnia Experience and come taste for yourself!

Oaxaca, Mexico

Oaxaca is considered to be one of – If not THE culinary centre of Mexico. Pronounced wa-ha-ka, its cuisine has been recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO and is known for its diverse range of ingredients, unique cooking techniques and complex flavours.

  • Mole: One of the most famous dishes in Oaxaca is mole, a rich sauce made from more than 20 different ingredients including chilli peppers, nuts,, seeds, spices, and chocolate! There are many varieties of mole such as mole negro, mole amarillo and mole coloradito, and is often served with chicken. Oaxaca is often referred to as ‘the land of the seven moles’ and is a staple in Oaxacan cuisine.
  • Tlayudas – I first visited Oaxaca back in 2016 and let me tell you, in the seven years that have gone by I have not stopped thinking about tlayudas. These large crispy tortillas are topped with beans, meats, avocado, salsa, and the holy grail – Oaxacan cheese. When it comes to Oaxacan street food, nothing compares to these Mexican-style ‘pizzas’. My mouth is watering just thinking about them.
  • Chapulines: Otherwise known as grasshoppers are definitely not for everyone but are a traditional snack in Oaxaca They are usually seasoned with chilli and lime and are said to be a good source of protein. You’ll find mound upon mound of these throughout the food markets which is a little daunting but definitely try at least one!
  • Tamales: This traditional Mexican dish is made of masa, a corn dough filled with meat, vegetables or cheese. You’ll often find them wrapped in banana leaves and steamed and are absolutely delicious and cheap!
  • Chocolate: Oaxaca is known for its chocolate which is made from locally grown cacao beans. It is often used in Mole as mentioned earlier but is also enjoyed as a hot beverage. I found it to be much more bitter than your usual Cadburys hot chocolate, but tasty non the less!

Oaxacan’s vibrant and colourful food scene is a reflection of the region’s rich culinary heritage. Wether you’re exploring the many street food stalls, exploring the bustling markets or dining in a high-end restaurant, you’re sure to find something delicious to try!

Istanbul, Turkey

A city that straddles both Europe and Asia, Istanbul’s cuisine is a reflection of its location and history. The food scene in Istanbul is vibrant and diverse, with a mix of traditional Turkish dishes and modern culinary creations! Make sure you try some – if not all of these delicious traditional dishes when you visit:

  • Meze – Small plates of appetizers that are meant to be shared. Meze can include dishes like stuffed grape leaves, hummus, grilled octopus, and fried aubergine
  • Baklava – A sweet pastry made with layers of phyllo dough, honey and chopped nuts
  • Turkish coffee – A strong and rich coffee that is brewed in a traditional pot and served in small cups
  • Lahmacun – A thin, crispy flatbread topped with minced meat, vegetables and herbs
  • Kebabs – Turkey is famous for its kebabs and Istanbul is no exception. Some of the most popular varieties include doner, shish and Adana kebab.
  • Balik Ekmek – A traditional fish sandwich made with grilled or fried fish, veggies and a squeeze of lemon juice

In addition to these traditional dishes, Istanbul also has a thriving modern food scene, with innovative chefs creating new twists on classic Turkish flavours. The city is also known for its street food, with vendors selling everything simit (sesame-coated bread), to my favourite – stuffed mussels! Overall Istanbul is a foodie’s paradise with something to satisfy every palate. Why not try for yourself on our 4-night Hot Air Ballooning Experience that stops off in Istanbul!

Hanoi, Vietnam

Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi is a paradise for foodies. Its cuisine is influenced by both Chinese and French culinary traditions and has its own distinct flavours and ingredients. Here are some of the highlights of Hanoi’s cuisine:

  • Pho: You can’t think of Vietnam without thinking of Pho. This traditional Vietnamese soup is made with beef or chicken broth, rice noodles, and meat or tofu. It is often served with herbs, lime, and chilli sauce and is an absolute must-try dish in Hanoi.
  • Cha Ca: Cha Ca is a grilled fish dish that is typically made with firm white fish marinated in turmeric and served with rice noodles, herbs and peanuts.
  • Banh Mi: My second favourite Vietnamese dish after Pho, Banh Mi is a Vietnamese sandwich made with a French-style baguette, pickled vegetables, and either meat or tofu accompanied with a variety of sauces and condiments. It is a popular street food in Hanoi and is available in many variations.
  • Egg Coffee: This strange but tasty drink is uniquely made in Hanoi and is made with egg yolks, condensed milk, and Vietnamese coffee. It is rich and creamy and is often served as a dessert or afternoon treat.

Hanoi’s cuisine is diverse, flavourful and offers a unique blend of cultural influences. Its street food scene is particularly vibrant and offers an excellent opportunity to experience the city’s culinary delights! Whether you’re a foodie looking for authentic Vietnamese dishes or simply looking to explore the local cuisine, Hanoi is a must-visit destination.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen has become a foodie destination in recent years, with its innovative and creative culinary scene. Many of the city’s top restaurants focus on ‘New Nordic Cuisine’ style cooking, which often incorporates foraging seasonal ingredients and traditional Nordic techniques. It’s also home to a vibrant street food scene, with several outdoor markets offering a wide range of delicious international cuisines. The most famous and my favourite of these markets is Torvehallerne, which hosts over 60 food stalls selling everything from sushi to tacos! Here are some traditional Danish dishes that you must try when visiting –

  • Smorrebrod: Smorrebrod is a traditional Danish open-faced sandwich, typically served on rye bread with toppings such as pickled herring, smoked salmon, or roast beef. Many restaurants in Copenhagen offer their own creative takes on this classic dish.
  • Frikadeller: These Danish meatballs are usually made from ground pork, beef, and breadcrumbs and are typically served with boiled potatoes, red cabbage, and creamy gravy.
  • Fiskefrikadeller: Tasty Danish fish cakes made with minced fish (usually cod or haddock), potatoes and spices that are typically served with a side of remoulade sauce and lemon wedges.
  • Pastries: Copenhagen is well known for its excellent pastries, try a flaky, buttery Danish pastry known as a ‘Wienerbrod’ or a cinnamon bun, known as a ‘Kanelbullar’ at one of the city’s many bakeries.

Overall, Copenhagen’s food scene is diverse and exciting, with something for every type of foodie. Whether you’re looking for traditional Danish cuisine or cutting-edge culinary experimentation, you’re sure to find it in Copenhagen!

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Lovely Ljubljana – Thanks to its country’s geographic location and cultural influences from neighbouring regions, Slovenia’s capital has a thriving food scene that offers a mix of traditional Slovenian dishes mixed with international flavours. Here are some of the must-try food and dishes in Ljubljana:

  • Idrijski Zlikrofi: Hard to pronounce, but easy to eat! These traditional Slovenian dumplings are filled with potatoes, onions and bacon and are typically served with a sauce made from caramelized onions and smoked bacon, yum!
  • Kranjska Klobasa: Kranjska Klobasa is a Slovenian sausage made with pork, bacon and a blend of spices, it’s typically served boiled or grilled and is a popular street food in Ljubljana.
  • Potica: A traditional dessert bread that is usually made with sweet yeast and filled with nuts, honey and dried through. It’s a popular holiday dessert and can be found in bakeries throughout Ljubljana.
  • Burek: This savoury pastry is normally filled with either meat, cheese or vegetables. It’s a popular snack in Slovenia and is often served with yoghurt or ajvar, a roasted red pepper spread.

In recent years, Slovenia cuisine has undergone a revival, with chefs and food producers focusing on using local, seasonal ingredients and traditional cooking methods. This renewed interest in Slovenian cuisine has helped to showcase the country’s rich culinary heritage and unique flavours to the rest of the world. Why not try it for yourself on either our 4-night Mini Slovenian Experience or our 7-night Slovenia Experience!

Seville, Spain

Seville’s cuisine is deeply rooted in Andalusian culinary traditions, which are known for their use of fresh, seasonal ingredients and a mix of Moorish, Jewish and Roman influences, The cuisine of Seville is characterized by its bold flavours, colourful presentation and a wide variety of tapas dishes, perfect for sharing! Here are some traditional dishes to try during your time in Seville:

  • Gazpacho: Made from tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, onion, garlic and olive oil, this cold soup is the perfect refreshing dish to have on a hot Andalusian summer’s day!
  • Huevos a la Flamenca: This popular baked dish is made up of eggs, chorizo, peppers and tomatoes and is often served at breakfast or brunch.
  • Pescaito Frito: Pascaito Frito is a dish of fried fish that is typically made with small, local fish such as anchovies, sardines and squid. It’s a popular tapa that is often served with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of sea salt.
  • Tosta con Tomate: This simple yet delicious breakfast dish is made up of toasted bread that is rubbed with garlic and tomato and drizzled with olive oil.
  • Carrillada: Carrillada is a stew made with pork cheeks that are slowly cooked with red win, garlic and spices. The meat becomes incredibly tender and is often served with mashed potatoes or rice, making it a hearty meal!

Whether you’re looking for seafood, meat or vegetarian dishes, there are plenty of options to explore and enjoy in this vibrant city! Join us on our 4-night Andalusia Experience and enjoy a mix of history, rich culture and mouth-watering Andalusian cuisine!

Hungry yet? Food tourism is a great way to connect with a destination on a deeper level and experience its culture and traditions through food. We offer a variety of foodie tours and experiences that suits everyone’s tastes. For more information contact info@untravelledpaths.com.

Written by Lucy Kaufmann