It’s pretty obvious that we really like two things on this blog – food and travel. We dream of good meals in beautiful places, washed down with a tipple of choice.
Eating local cuisine is one of the highlights of travelling. It helps you appreciate the culture, gets you out of your comfort zone, helps you meet people and is just a key component of the whole experience of travel.
For some tourists, none of that is true. I once met a girl who had travelled around Europe for 2 months eating nothing but MacDonalds because she ‘didn’t like foreign food’. The conversation ended there.
But I think most people skirting the globe love nothing more than to immerse themselves in local cuisine. For some travellers, it can be a whole reason to visit a country. We have friends who took a spontaneous trip to France because they wanted to spend their holiday eating cheese and drinking wine.
For us, local food has certainly been a deciding factor in choosing destinations. So here are some of the places we do – and indeed don’t go – for the food.
Countries we’d visit for the food – in no particular order
So flavoursome! Such incredible street food! Culinary joy.
I can’t get enough Vietnamese at home in Brisbane and while the food is a little different in Vietnam, I happily ate it for weeks and still craved it when I came home.
Tapas. Sure, Brisbane restaurants can make good tapas and sometimes better than village bars in Spain. Mostly it doesn’t come close to the simple perfection and quality of the small plates of perfectly prepared fish, mushrooms or olives washed down with a local red that you’ll find around Salamanca.
Japanese cuisine can be challenging for western palates. Even people who enjoy Japanese cuisine at home can struggle with traditional fish-heavy Japanese breakfasts. Nevertheless, the food is a major draw card for visitors to Japan.
I in particular adore German food, having briefly grown up there and spent many Christmases eating goose and Weihnachtsplaetzchen. German portion sizes are huge and always delicious. The richness and flavours may not be to everyone’s taste, but this is my list and I miss real Germany food when I am away too long.
A flavour-rich, beautifully aromatic cuisine that is so hard to find here in Australia. Tagines fill your house with beautiful spicy smells.
Countries we don’t go to for the food
I adore Italian food and while I have eaten delicious Italian in Italy, generally speaking, I find it overpriced and not well-made. When you can make a cuisine well at home, you have higher expectations of ‘the real thing’. Italians out of Italy do it better.
NYC excepted. The food can be tasty but a problem is that it is rather limited. As much as you may love ‘American’ food (and we do!), the richness and lack of variety can become taxing on the palate after a while.
Yes, you can get wonderful food in England and while their national reputation is improving, most food you will buy as a visitor is stodgy pub grub or generic high street fast-food that is the same every town.
- New Zealand
New Zealand is a country I love to visit. It has some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world, enchanting wildlife, good wines and everyone you meet is charming and friendly. Can’t wait to go back. However, while there is no problem with the food, it isn’t a reason you visit the Land of the Long White Cloud.
Perhaps due to lack of agriculture, having to have almost all of their food imported, but food in Iceland is not outstanding and is very expensive. But no one ever went to Iceland for the food. You visit for the breathtaking scenery.
Where do you go for the food? Is there a country whose cuisine you would love to visit and try? I’m keen to sample South American flavours.