Five top holiday destinations for foodies
As many of you will agree, one of the most memorable things about overseas travel is often what you eat. Delicious, flavoursome and unfamiliar dishes punctuate busy days abroad, and will often be the focal point of lunchtimes and evenings.
Seeking out the next meal and tasting local dishes often becomes an activity in itself, and without a cupboard full of snacks and a kitchen in which to cook, meal times when travelling become all the more significant.
So if it’s food you’re into, here are five places you need to travel to; where a full belly, some serious recipe inspiration, and a renewed love for cooking and eating is guaranteed. Check out the videos to get a sense of what you’re in for.
1 – Hong Kong
Hong Kong is renowned for its cuisine, and is awash with aromatic street food and busy restaurants which serve a staggering variety of dishes. There’s something for even the fussiest of eaters, but the city is also an absolute mecca for adventurous diners looking to try some interesting local delicacies.
Dim sum, served with hot tea, is difficult to avoid and is fairly standard fare if you’re still acclimatising to the Hong Kong diet but are looking for something traditional and tasty. Roast goose is also a Cantonese speciality and is widely available – it’s served with the skin on and usually eaten with a plum sauce.
Snake soup is considered a delicacy in the city, so if you’re feeling brave I’d recommend heading to Ser Wong Fun to sample it, as this place has been serving it for over 100 years. Clay rice pots and milk tea are also two essentials to add to your Hong Kong ‘to eat’ list.
To get a taste of Hong Kong, check out this video
2 – Greece
Greece– and its islands in particular – is renowned for its fresh and beautiful food, characterised by mediterranean vegetables, cheeses and plenty of olive oil. Greek salad is an obvious favourite and is a simple yet delicious combination of cucumber, tomatoes, olives and feta cheese, which makes a great side or standalone lunch.
Halloumi – although technically Cypriot – is widely available on most Greek islands and is served grilled either alone or with fresh tomatoes. Rich meat and fish dishes cooked in clay pots are also on most menus and are really worth sampling. Things such as mussels saganaki, beef stifado, lamb kleftico and moussaka, as well as fresh grilled fish dishes, are healthy, traditional and full of flavour.
Greek food is well accompanied by a traditional Mythos beer or some red wine. Take a closer look at Greece in this video, shot on the island of Crete.
3 – Bangkok
If travelling to Thailand, chances are you’ll fly in to Bangkok; and visits are often fleeting as travellers quickly head South to the islands. However, there’s always enough time to sample some of the city’s famous street food in one of its many districts – it really would be criminal not to!
In Chinatown, satay cooked over a flaming grill and served with peanut sauce is tender, charred, cheap and delicious. In the Old Town, Khao gang (curry rice) is also popular, and comes in various flavours and combinations depending on the vendor’s taste of the day.
But essentially, in Bangkok, flavoursome food is everywhere and there’s something to suit all palettes and budgets – so no matter how long you’re there for, be sure to grab a bite.
Catch a glimpse of Bangkok’s street food scene in this video
4 – Mexico City
Mexican food is a feast of freshness and spice, and there’s no better place to go for a good meal than the capital city. Look out for tortas (Mexican sandwiches filled with refried beans, lettuce, tomato avocado and a variety of meats), delicious savoury bone broths called caldo, tacos, and corn on the cob doused in lime and chilli and then rolled in cheese.
Traditional Mexican tacos are soft rather than hard shelled – and I’d recommend trying your sauces before they’re put on your dish, as they can come spicy!
Street food also abounds in Mexico City, so be sure to check it out whilst you’re there. To get a flavour of Mexico City’s food scene, give this video a watch.
5 – India
Everyone knows that Indian food is aromatic, creative, colourful and distinct; and any trip to India is guaranteed to be an absolute treat for foodies looking to sample the real deal.
The popular and traditional dishes vary massively from region to region, so what you get will vary depending on where you’re headed. In Mumbai, vada pav is a popular street food snack that you’ll find it difficult to miss: it’s essentially the tastiest vegetarian burger you’ll ever eat, smothered in delicious chutney and chillies for extra heat and flavour.
Bhel puri is also a classic all day snack, and consists of a crunchy, sweet-and-sour mix of puffed rice, sev, chopped onion and potato, and chutney, with variations depending on the vendor.
Wherever you head in India, prepare to be overwhelmed by flavour! Take a closer look at what’s going on in Mumbai in this video