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Gastronomically delightful travel destinations
Old 07-10-2014, 12:17 PM   #1
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Gastronomically delightful travel destinations

We’ve had pretty decent luck over the years finding good places to eat while traveling. It helps that we enjoy trying new food, and we aren’t tied to one type of restaurant. Street food and dives have proven to be just as rewarding as places with linen tablecloths. Some destinations are easier than others, however, when it comes to consistently finding “hard to go wrong” options for enjoyable meals for non-locals paying out of their own pocket. Not counting any of my business travel (because dining out on expense account is different) Cities we (or I) have traveled to and consistently eaten well:

- Maui: this was our honeymoon, (which coincided with our 15th anniversary), so that may have influenced our enjoyment.

- Flagstaff: the whole family went, including my parents, and we all ate very well the whole time.

- Montreal: a bit pricey, but a great variety, always satisfied, and the best Lebanese food we’ve had anywhere

- Rio de Janeiro: it’s been a while, and I admit it’s not the safest travel destination, but I sure did enjoy dining in that city.

- Mexico: (DF and Guadalajara) probably my favorite for street food, but sit-down was also fabulous. Finding a good place to eat has never been a challenge in either city.

- Buenos Aires: A beautiful city with delicious options, but mostly for meat lovers.

Many other delightful experiences, but none with the consistency of these. I’m looking forward to traveling to the US Southwest, Spain and Italy. Not because of the food, but I have no doubt all will be gastronomical delights.

Just wondering where others have found food-friendly destinations.
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Old 07-10-2014, 01:06 PM   #2
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I've been fortunate to have been able to travel a lot, most (but not all) of it by bicycle. Therefore I am often in small towns as well as some cities. I can think of half a dozen countries where I consistently ate extremely well, even in remote places. Alphabetically: France, Italy, Mexico, Singapore, Sri Lanka, & Thailand.

I was recently biking with a friend in France for a few weeks. We went by ferry to Guernsey & Jersey for 2 days, and the difference in how well we ate on those British islands compared to France was almost comical.
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Old 07-10-2014, 01:11 PM   #3
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I truly hated the food in Spain. It seemed like everything was a bland slab of meat with some halfhearted fries on the side. Or the old standby "sandwich mixte" which is ham and cheese on white.

I loved the food in Italy (gelato, pizza, pasta!).

And this isn't really a destination, but the food on board Crystal Cruises is consistently fantastic.
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:00 PM   #4
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I just start to stare off into space and drool as I think back on our meals in Paris.
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:12 PM   #5
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I've had fantastic meals in France. Spain has good meat. Loved the cold cuts and soft pretzel breakfast I had in Germany. NYC and San Francisco have some great eateries.
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:28 PM   #6
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There's good food to be had nearly anywhere, now that the world is a smaller place, and the regional cuisines are often tamed down a bit to accommodate the palate of the uninitiated tourists. I particularly like food in France, Italy, and Spain (tapas). And recently, I posted photos of our meal in Segovia with roasted suckling pig. Ah, and the paella we had in Valencia. And the seafood platter I had in Barcelona. I want to go back!
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:46 PM   #7
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Second for Singapore. With their food courts and hawker culture, they take food very seriously. Great Hakka Chinese, Malaysian and truly, truly outstanding Indian.
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Old 07-10-2014, 03:23 PM   #8
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Europe period.

I'm glad we do so much walking there, because we do a crazy amount of eating there!

Last trip discovered Dutch mussels (in Belgium). So fresh! Pretty much ruined me for US mussels - well, unless I have them near the source.

A Xmas spent in Oaxaca, MX was full of gastronomic delights. The land of the seven moles - no kidding!

When we travel the lovely states of WA and OR we are usually eating real good!!!
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Old 07-10-2014, 03:57 PM   #9
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We had bad luck with food in Paris many years ago. Same with Munich, but on a return visit the food was much improved. Excellent food in Austria. Czech Republic was also excellent.

Thailand and Japan didn't miss a beat. I don't think we ever had a bad meal.
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Old 07-10-2014, 05:09 PM   #10
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Tapas and sangria in Spain is my all-time favorite. The paella is pretty good too. We liked it better than anything we've had in France and Italy.

Main thing is to be adventurous... get out of the tourist areas and eat like a local. A smelly, open-air eatery, deep in the backstreets of Beijing, offered some of the most amazing food I've ever had. We had a private tour guide who insisted we eat at his favorite "neighborhood" place. So glad we agreed. His neighbors were pretty entertained with us as well.
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Old 07-10-2014, 05:38 PM   #11
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St. Thomas and the adjoining islands. I gained ten pounds in 7 days.
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:08 PM   #12
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Tapas and sangria in Spain is my all-time favorite. The paella is pretty good too. We liked it better than anything we've had in France and Italy.



Main thing is to be adventurous... get out of the tourist areas and eat like a local. A smelly, open-air eatery, deep in the backstreets of Beijing, offered some of the most amazing food I've ever had. We had a private tour guide who insisted we eat at his favorite "neighborhood" place. So glad we agreed. His neighbors were pretty entertained with us as well.

+1 on the recommendation to hit the local places.

My wife and I did this after a late arrival into Genoa and had a great meal. The atmosphere was wonderful, as was the food. Part of why I travel is to try new food and the best way is out if the tourist areas.

That also reminds me of local bakeries - which I always try to visit - in Puerto Rico. My daughter loved their donuts and a cubano always hit the spot.
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:10 PM   #13
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It's hard to beat the French countryside for good food. I will never forget the amazing pastries in Sarlat, or the truffles in Domme.
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:36 PM   #14
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It's hard to beat the French countryside for good food. I will never forget the amazing pastries in Sarlat, or the truffles in Domme.
That region of France, the Dordogne and Lot valleys, has some of the best food in all of France. The area also has a magnificent landscape, and of all of the places I've biked throughout the world, it's my absolute favorite region.
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:43 PM   #15
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That region of France, the Dordogne and Lot valleys, has some of the best food in all of France. The area also has a magnificent landscape, and of all of the places I've biked throughout the world, it's my absolute favorite region.
Mine too. It was a great idea to do a bike trip, because we could enjoy the food without having to worry about the calories!
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:47 PM   #16
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Loved the food in New Orleans and Paris. Also, I second the idea of trying the small, local eateries. We have found some of the best food that way.


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Old 07-10-2014, 08:20 PM   #17
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In the USA, I've eaten especially well in Santa Fe, New Orleans, Queens (NY), Philly, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Berkeley, and L.A.

Queens has huge immigrant populations from all around the world. The food there is outstanding and it is a bargain, especially compared to Manhattan. Take the subway to 74th St/Roosevelt Ave/Jackson Hts (lines E/F/M/R/7), a short ride from Midtown, and depending on the direction you walk, you will quickly find yourself in Mexico, India, Ecuador, or Colombia. I've also found good Indonesian and Bangladeshi food nearby.

I learned that Staten Island has a Sri Lankan immigrant community and there are several Sri Lankan restaurants there. I went to one recommended in posts on chowhound.com and had an excellent meal. It was near the ferry terminal.
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Old 07-11-2014, 05:16 AM   #18
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Thailand, Thailand, Thailand. Even the street vendor food was excellent.
Italy except for Venice is very good.
I generally had very good meals in Turkey, and Belgium especially sweets.

In the USA. I think San Francisco has excellent food. While I've only been to New Orleans twice the most recent time was about 1989, I do remember the food being really good. I love Cajun food and I got to believe that Cajun restaurant in Hawaii and the Bay Area aren't nearly as good as they are in the Big Easy.
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Old 07-11-2014, 10:58 AM   #19
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The frequent mention of European locations is not a surprise. The less frequent mention of US locations is. New York has some outstanding restaurant options, I didn't bring it up because we lived there and the best places we got to know as locals. As a travel destination I find it pricey. Same for San Francisco.

Cities with large diverse ethnic and immigrant populations offer amazing variety of tasty restaurants. Montreal and Toronto are good examples.

Getting back to US cities. New Orleans, mentioned twice, sounds very promising. The US Southwest must have some compelling options. In addition to Santa Fe, what other cities make up an ideal gastronomical tour route?
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:51 AM   #20
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I have not been to China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, or Singapore, but many Chinatowns in the West: SF, NYC, LA, Philadelphia, Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto, Sydney, Honolulu, etc... The larger the ethnic community, the more good food to be found. The dishes might be westernized, but I prefer them to be that way. I am not sure I can handle the really authentic stuff.

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...The US Southwest must have some compelling options. In addition to Santa Fe, what other cities make up an ideal gastronomical tour route?
I live here, but it beats me.

My favorite local restaurant is a bistro owned by a French. And I have my favorite Mexican place when I feel the craving for a chimichanga.
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