Top 10 destinations for foodies

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Where is the best culinary destination in the world? From Paris to Tokyo, there are so many amazing places to choose from, so Indico Travels has put together our definitive top ten foodie destinations :

1) Paris


Parisian breakfast. Source: Canva

There’s a general consensus that Paris is one of the top ten destinations for foodies. The culinary capital is renowned for its pastries, cheeses and fine dining – to say nothing of marvellous regional French wines. If you’re headed to the City of Lights for a special occasion, some of the best views are to be found at Le Jules Verne on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower. Paris has something for every budget – why not try the countless cafés and bistros in the 18th arrondissement near the Moulin Rouge, or a traditional or modern Michelin restaurant such as L’Ambroise or the Guy Savoy? And for artisanal boulangeries, head to the Canal Saint Martin in the trendy 10th arrondissement. To make the most of your trip to Paris, why not also visit a couple of wine districts? Rheims, the capital of the Champagne district, is only one-and-a-half hours northeast of Paris by train, and the Loire valley is a similar distance to the southwest.


2) Tokyo


Kaiseki. Source: Canva

Tokyo, with its fascinating and diverse food culture, is arguably the best destination for foodies in the world. It has more Michelin star-rated restaurants than anywhere else – over 200 as of 2023. And there are also countless restaurants with ‘Bib Gourmand’ status for their 'exceptionally good food at moderate prices'. Japanese cuisine is sophisticated and diverse, with a wide range of regional specialties and cooking styles. One of the most refined and sophisticated dining experiences in Japan is Kaiseki. This traditional, multi-course experience typically consists of a sequence of miniature, artfully prepared bites served in a specific order. Kaiseki is not just about the food but about the whole dining experience, which includes the presentation, the atmosphere and the host. In Japan, sushi is typically prepared right in front of the customer by a skilled sushi chef who has years of experience and training, and it is often served in small, intimate settings such as at a counter in a small, traditional restaurant. Ramen is another popular comfort food in Japan – and abroad! It consists of wheat noodles served in savoury broth often served in specialised restaurants called “ramen-ya”. Believed to have originated in China, there are many regional varieties, each with its own distinctive flavour. And there’s Yakitori too – a popular must-try Japanese street food that consists of skewered and grilled chicken pieces, often seasoned with a sweet and savoury soy sauce-based glaze. To travel to the food-lover’s paradise of Tokyo and discover the best culinary and cultural experiences in Japan first-hand, take a ten-day trip to the land of the rising sun.


3) Barcelona

crema catalana

Crema catalana. Source: Canva

With its tapas bars, seafood dishes, Catalan cuisine, and some of the world’s best-rated Michelin star restaurants, Barcelona is a must-visit for foodies As well as fresh fish from the nearby coast, the surrounding Catalan region has some delicious traditions of its own, for example, pa amb tomàquet (bread with tomato), escudella i carn d'olla (a hearty meat and vegetable stew), and crema catalana (a sweet custard dessert). Spain is known for its excellent wine, and Barcelona is no exception. You can find a wide variety of local and international wines in Barcelona's bars and restaurants, as well as in wine shops and markets. It’s always terrace and rooftop season here, so you can enjoy your meal in the open air under crisp blue skies, with panoramic views of the city.


4) Greece


Spanakopita. Source: Canva

Known for its Mediterranean influences, Greece is one of our favourite foodies destinations. To sample the best fresh fish, moussaka, spanakopita (a savoury pie made with spinach and feta cheese) souvlaki (grilled meat skewers typically served with pita bread and tzatziki sauce) and baklava, enjoy island-hopping in search of the best cuisine and local bakeries. And don’t forget  the ouzo!


5) Portugal


Bacalahu. Source: Canva

Famous for its salted cod (bacalhau) and hearty stew (cozido), Portugal is another top European foodie destination. Portuguese cuisine is hearty and flavorful, celebrating fresh ingredients and rustic cooking methods. Seafood forms a major part of Portuguese cuisine, with dishes like grilled sardines, octopus stew, and seafood rice being popular choices. There are also some great cheeses, such as Queijo da Serra made from sheep's milk, and many sweet treats, such as pastéis de nata, a delicious custard tart with a crispy pastry shell that originates from Lisbon.


6) Peru


Picarones. Source: Canva

Peru. Peruvian cuisine is one of the most diverse and unique in the world, with a rich history that incorporates indigenous, Spanish, African, and Asian influences. It’s known for its fresh, bold flavours, and the creative use of ingredients that are native to the country. Quinoa is now a popular grain worldwide, but other ingredients used in Peruvian cuisine may seem more surprising, for example guinea pig and alpaca. Peru is also famous for its fresh fish ceviche, pisco sours and its delicious, sweet treats, including picarones (sweet potato and pumpkin doughnuts) and alfajores (shortbread cookies filled with dulce de leche). To experience the fascinating history of the people, culture and cuisine of Peru close up, hike the Inca Trail on a two-week trip.


7) Vietnam


Pho. Source: Canva

The idea of balance is central to Vietnamese cuisine, in which salty, sweet, sour, spicy and bitter flavours are all combined to mouthwatering effect. Many modest street eateries specialise in just one excellent dish, such as noodle-based pho or baguette-based banh mi (a Chinese legacy and a French one respectively). Ideally, the way to find the best street food is with a local guide who can take you there by motorbike.


8) Morocco


Tagine. Source: Canva

Moroccan cuisine is a vibrant and flavorful blend of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences, known for its bold spices, complex flavours, and slow-cooking techniques. Tagine, a stew made with meat (usually chicken or lamb), vegetables, and spices, is named after the traditional clay pot in which it is cooked and often spiced with Ras el hanout, a popular Moroccan seasoning blend that can contain up to 30 different spices and is used in many savoury Moroccan dishes. Moroccan sweets and desserts are also a highlight, with treats like chebakia, a sesame and honey cookie, and pastilla, a sweet and savoury pastry filled with chicken or pigeon meat and almonds. If you’re keen to discover our favourite eateries in Marrakesh and beyond, why not join a small group of like-minded people for a tour of Morocco’s finest sights and flavours.


9) Colombia

Bandeja paisa

Bandeja paisa. Source: Canva

Colombia, the coffee capital of the world, also offers a rich and diverse cuisine, reflecting the country's many cultural influences and ingredients, from indigenous and African to Spanish and Caribbean. Bandeja paisa is a traditional dish from the Paisa region of Colombia consisting of a hearty platter of beans, rice, avocado, plantains, chorizo sausage, ground beef, and a fried egg on top. There are also hearty soups and stews, most notably posta negra, which is a slow-cooked beef dish marinated in a dark sauce made from cola, coffee, and spices and crispy pork, not to mention tamales, which are steamed dough envelopes filled with meat.


10) Bangkok, Thailand

Rod Fai Night Market

Rod Fai Night Market. Source: Canva

No top ten destinations for foodies would be complete without mentioning Bangkok, where the cuisine has a diverse range of flavours and ingredients due to its rich cultural heritage. Bangkok's night markets are a foodie's paradise, with vendors selling everything from grilled meats and seafood to tropical fruits and Thai desserts. Some of the most famous night markets include the Chatuchak Weekend Market and the Rod Fai Night Market.


Then of course, there are the major metropoles of the world, such as London and New York, which are cultural melting pots of culinary delights. And Italy! Where every state seems to have its own unique cuisine. Ten top culinary destinations just isn’t enough! Have we left any of your favourites out? Let us know, or take a look at Indico Travels to find your next culinary adventure.


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