Foodies of the world, this one is for you. I’m talking hole-in-the-wall, fine dining, street cart food, and everything in between. Some countries just do it better than others. Here are the top-rated places to satisfy your cravings around the world.
Handmade pasta, pizza, and bread top the charts year after year. So where can you find the best of the best? The Italians have a good idea. Italy does a lot more than pasta and pizza, and the ingredient you can’t buy on shelves is their passion. Italians are known for putting their heart and soul into their cooking and the taste is a beautiful result. While you’re carb-loading in Italy, don’t forget dessert! There are few things more dreamy than grabbing an Italian gelato, canestrelli, cannoli, or a piece of tiramisu and people watching from the Trevi Fountain.
A UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage belongs to the cuisine of Mexico. Traditional Mexican cooking will blow any idea you have of basic Mexican food out of the water, and they have range. From soups to vegetable dishes to unique meats and of course tortillas and tamales. Mexican cuisine is largely part of their culture and identity. Something unique about Mexican food is that you don’t have to be in a high-end restaurant to experience incredible dishes, you can find some of the tastiest food comes from the neighborhood street carts hot and ready to serve you.
Japan cuisine joins Mexico as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. Food is an integral part of their heritage, and the Japanese have mastered their craft. You can find mouth-watering rice, noodle, and seafood dishes on every corner, especially in Tokyo. The Japanese are innovative about serving their food as well. Kaitenzushi, also known as Conveyor belt sushi is an experience you don’t want to miss. Something you’ll love about Japanese food is that it’s always fresh and prepared with seasonal ingredients. Japan is so good at food that even their convenience stores sell drool-worthy food, seriously, bento boxes from the 7-Eleven in Japan are no joke. A few notes on Japanese eating etiquette, do slurp your soups with noodles, don’t slurp rice dishes, and never stick your hashi (chopsticks) standing straight up in a bowl of rice.
Kalí órexi! If feta, olives, fresh vegetables, seafood, herbs, and spices call to you, look no further than Greece. Traditional Greek cooking is unique, flavor-packed, fresh, and should be on everybody’s bucket list. Greek families bond over cooking, and you’ll find many Greek restaurants that have been in the family for decades. Eating is a social experience in Greece, and you’ll often find the Greeks don’t eat dinner till after 10 PM. Don’t limit the Greek to just their salads, gyros, and cheeses, they make a plethora of mean hot dishes too. Try the Mousakka and thank me later.
Last, but certainly not least, the country that foodies will never stop flocking to. Carb lovers thrive in France, but their menus consist of so much more than a delicious morning pain au chocolat. The dish many foreigners know France for is truly worth the hype, the French have mastered duck confit. If you’ve noticed many of your wines are a product of France, that’s because they’ve also mastered the wine industry as one of the largest producers in the world. Snails and oysters are very popular in France so don’t hesitate to give them a try. Of course, you can’t think about French cuisine without remembering the French love their cheese, and over 365 types of it. Dive into the culture and cuisine by ordering a chariot de fromages for a true French experience.
Honorable mentions: India, Thailand, China, Turkey, Spain
A major tip for those looking to enjoy a true culinary experience, throw out everything you think you know about what is strange or unusual in food from your own culture. Missing out because of the limitations set in your head would be a shame. Don’t forget to research culinary etiquette before you go. Being open-minded and respectful to those who differ from us will ensure an incredible culinary adventure.