Best Culinary Travel Vacations For Food Lovers

Best Culinary Travel Vacations For Food Lovers

Some people travel for great adventures, for amazing art and architecture, or for picture-perfect beaches. But if you’re anything like me, you travel for the food.

Which is why I’m always interested in hearing about the most delicious vacation destinations. So I browsed the subreddit r/travel, rounded up responses from the Community, and even added a few of my own ideas. Here are some must-visit places for food-lovers, according to people who travel to eat.


“Tbilisi, Georgia. If you eat like a local you can go home with a full stomach and a full wallet. Make sure to try phkali (walnut and spinach paté) with lobiani (bean filled pastry). The flavors are brilliant.”


“Malaysia. This country stands out for me the most when it comes to food destinations. There are amazing hawker centers and street food, which is an interesting blend of southeast Asian cuisine, Chinese, and Indian cuisine.”


“Brussels, Belgium. Belgian cuisine is as good as (and maybe even better than) French food. And there’s way more to it than beer and waffles. Carbonades a la Flamande (a sweet and tangy dish of braised beef and onions slow cooked in dark beer and served over fries) is an incredible comfort food experience that will blow you away if you like beef. Every region or town in Belgium has its own little twist on the dish and I have yet to find a version I didn’t love. For the best foodie experience, seek out Rue des Bouchers. It’s very commercial but a feast for the eyes.”


“Hanoi, Vietnam. The Old Quarter is so compact and full of stalls and restaurants, many of which specialize in a single dish. I discovered so many favorite places for iconic dishes like bun bo, banh cuon, pho and kem xoi (sticky rice and ice cream).”


“Croatia had the most incredible seafood I’ve ever eaten and just wonderful, fresh cuisine in general. I wouldn’t have pegged it as a ‘foodie’ destination, but it was a fantastic surprise.”


“New Orleans. The food in this city has been influenced by several immigrant populations. The result is lots of amazing Italian and Vietnamese options, plenty of sushi, BBQ, Mexican, Cuban, and of course French & Creole. There are also great French-inspired bakeries. This place is a melting pot of good food.”


“Cambodia. So lovely, so inexpensive, and so delicious that I decided to stay for a full month. I ate mostly noodle dishes and veggie stir-fry served fresh from street carts, and I picked up loads of fruit (I was lucky to visit during mango season 🥭), but the cost of delicious food in general was wildly affordable.”


“Lebanon. I think Lebanon is where you’ll find some of the best native food in the region like falafel and hummus. There’s also a strong local tradition of Armenian food (similar to the cuisine of the Levant but different) and a strong showing of French food and influences. And since the Lebanese love food, their restaurants are generally super high quality. Even the street food is super fresh. And then add extreme hospitality into the mix.”


“Boston, Massachusetts. All of New England has amazing food, but Boston in particular has some of the best Italian food you can find in the US. Their little Italy, called the North End, is beautiful and full of delicious local restaurants. There are also delicious pastries like cannoli, lobster claws, and whoopie pies. The seafood is, of course, incredible. You can find lobster rolls, chowder, whole steamed lobster, and crab just about everyone. I would revisit Boston just to eat.”


“Mexico City. “From cheap street eats to fine dining and everything in between, all the food is amazing. The tacos were probably my all-time favorite thing to eat there, but you can get find everything including lots of good international cuisine. There’s also good coffee, beer, and excellent cocktails. Plus it’s just a really fun city with lots to see and do, and it’s a good solo destination.”


“Tokyo. If I could only eat in one city for the rest of my life, I can say without hesitation it would be Tokyo. The city is teeming with incredible food. Of course, there’s sushi (and I could have survived solely on pieces of fatty tuna served over perfectly seasoned rice alone), but their eats go way beyond raw fish. There are amazing steakhouses, tiny restaurants serving crispy pork katsu, slurpable ramen and soba, izakayas where the sake and Japanese-style tapas flow, tempura bars, where everything from prawns, to sweet potato are delicately fried to crispy perfection, and yakitori counters where chefs cook chicken over a charcoal fire. Tokyo also excels in international food. In fact, I had some of the best pizza of my life there.”


“Portland, Maine. Yes, it’s a small city, but I was super impressed with the food variety in this New England locale. I’m from California, and I would100% travel back to Portland just for the food.”


“San Sebastian, Spain. I visited San Sebastian with one main intention: to eat. This city in Spanish Basque country is known not only for its tapas bars (they’re called pintxos here), but also for its Michelin-starred dining scene. San Sebastian has something for everyone — whether you’re trying to eat well on a budget, or splurge on a once-in-a-lifetime tasting menu at a fine dining destination. Personally, I spent my days filling up on as many pintxos as possible, all washed down with Txakoli, a locally made crisp, super refreshing, and almost effervescent white wine. I would seriously consider booking a flight back to San Sebastina for another day of Pintxo bar-hopping.”


“Seoul, South Korea. I had loads of fresh vegetables, meats, and rice. Everything I ate just felt lighter (so that I never felt bloated after a meal) but still filling. What I loved most is that you can get a nice meal for the equivalent of $7-$10. And with every meal you get lots of side dishes like kimchi, potato salad, and more. There are also so many interesting places for street food in Seoul.”


“Bologna, Italy. I was shocked by the consistency and sheer quality of every single restaurant and cafe I visited in this capital of Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region. I can’t really compare it to any other city I’ve visited. It’s always my top recommendation for culinary-minded travel.”


“Portugal. I ate like a damn queen there. The wine was cheaper than water and I tried some of the best meats I have ever tasted. To this day I really miss Portuguese food.”


“Taipei, Taiwan. There’s an entire culture that revolves around night markets with fantastically delicious, cheap food. Just about every neighborhood has its own night (or day) market, and you can find a unique style and flavor of food at each one.”


“Bangkok. Not only do you have delicious, fresh Thai food on every street block, but Bangkok also has incredible international cuisine and world class chefs. I spent a year there and I still seriously miss the food. 🤤”


“New York City. I might be biased because I live here, but I truly don’t think there’s another city in the world where you can eat so many diverse cuisines from every continent, all done so well. You’ll find sushi that rivals anything in Tokyo, pizza on par with that of Naples, and literally everything in between. Then factor in neighborhoods like Flushing for Chinese food, Elmhurst for Thai, Jackson Heights for Tibetan and Nepalese food, and so much more. New York is truly a melting pot, and with it comes the greatest food on earth.”


“Tel Aviv, Israel. It has an amazing culinary culture that you might not expect.”


“Cape Town. It’s a smaller culinary circle than what you might find in other major cities, but the quality of food and value for money is amazing. You can dine at some of the best restaurants with some of the best chefs in the world and enjoy a 15+ course tasting menus for ~$50. There’s incredible wine as well from nearby Stellenbosch and Franschhoek.”


“Oaxaca, Mexico. Every single meal I ate in Oaxava knocked it out of the park, from the tlayudas and the Oaxaca Quesillo to the moles and the tetelas. I also ate the best tacos I’ve had anywhere.”


“Houston. It’s one place I really didn’t expect to have much of an international food scene, but I was so wrong. Houston is known to have great Barbecue and Mexican/Tex-Mex, but there is also a huge market for other cuisines, especially Middle Eastern and South Asian.”

What’s the most delicious place you’ve ever traveled, or an amazing culinary destination that other food-lovers should visit? Tell us all about it (including what you loved eating there) in the comments!