7 DESTINATIONS FOR FOOD & FOODIES

We love to eat food and our guess is that you probably do too.

In fact, food and travel go together so well, that people are starting to go on holiday specifically to try the local cuisine!

We can’t blame them, a quick google of some of the dishes listed below made our mouths start to water – and we had to take an early lunch!

So, here’s some ‘foodspiration’ for when you’re picking out your next gourmet getaway.

1) Italy

Number one on our list had to be Italy, because most of us probably don’t realise how many Italian inspired foods we eat (and love) in our daily lives already!

Pasta, pizza, and risotto are all popular in Ireland, and can be enjoyed in a variety of different ways – spag bol, lasagna, macaroni cheese, pepperoni, margarita, Hawaiian, the list goes on!

Gelato, Parmesan cheese, tiramisu and minestrone soup are also Italian dishes – and what about the drinks? Cappuccino, espresso, Pinot Grigio and Chianti are all thanks to the Italians.

But trust us when we say, Italian food eaten in Italy is very different from here. They eat pasta as a starter, and their pizzas are baked in stone ovens, with a lot less cheese than we are used to. The pizza was invented in Naples, so this is THE place to go to tuck in – although, don’t just pick up a giant slice with your fingers and scoff (that’s the American way), eat your pizza with a knife and fork to make like the natives.

PIZZA ITALY

2) Japan

When a lot of people think of Japanese food they picture raw fish and start to turn green. Hold your hungry horses! There’s a lot more to this famous cuisine, and sushi is really good!

Visit the Ramen Museum in Yokohama for life-affirming noodles and broth. You can tailor-make your bowl depending on how thick you like your noodles and how rich or light you prefer your broth. Tsukiji Fish Market has become a tourist attraction for good reason, not only is the fresh sushi some of the best you will ever try, the Tokyo fishmongers at work in the early hours are truly something to behold.

3) New Orleans, USA

One of the most exciting culinary cities in the USA at the moment is New Orleans. The soulful south is home to rich Louisiana cuisine with a jazz backing track.

Devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, New Orleans has risen from the floodwaters and now has 75% more restaurants than there were before the natural disaster. Rich seafood dishes with Creole influences are a must, along with the quintessential gumbo stew, New Orleans will surprise you with its diverse menu.

4) Barcelona, Spain

From Michelin-starred restaurants to family-run tapas bars, Barcelona offers a metropolitan mix of Catalonian cuisine. A good rule in Spain is, if you’re on the coast then try the seafood, and paella is a popular favourite with huge prawns and mussels fresh from the Balaeric Sea. Thought of as the national dish, paella was actually first invented in Valencia, and while you can see some regional variations for sure, Barcelona does it proud we think.

Can’t decide on one dish? Then tapas is the answer, with hundreds of mini-meals available throughout the city, washed down with a glass of cava or a cold beer. We’re starting to get hungry again, are you?

5) Vietnam

We’re heading back to Asia, but for totally different flavours. Vietnam offers a vibrant cuisine often much lighter than its neighbours, though dishes might look similar. Visit the Old Quarter of Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital, and eat like a local with freshly prepared street food. Noodles, pâté-filled baguettes and skewers of grilled meat or seafood are a few of the things you might find.

6) Mexico

Mexico might not initially spring to mind for food lovers – but it should! Mexican food has it all, from very spicy, to sweet and sour and all with a great mix of fantastic meats (especially beef) and fresh seafood in the coastal regions.

Probably the most famous two dishes associated with this fiery country are tacos and guacamole, but don’t forget about the quesadillas, enchiladas and fajitas. Also, we think you should know that chocolate originally came from Mexico, so no holiday is complete without a chocolate tasting tour!

MEXICO TACO

7) London

A city break to the iconic capital offers a chance to taste the food of the world, all within walking distance of the tube. Work your way through Camden Market for a contrast of flavours, with stalls selling Korean pork buns beside French-inspired duck fat chips, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

For a fantastic view over the city ascend to the 40th floor of the Heron Tower for a table at the highest restaurant in the UK, Duck & Waffle, which offers a 24/7 menu. Enjoy a house favourite, you guessed it, duck & waffle, carefully crafted with crispy leg confit, fried duck egg and mustard maple syrup.

Is that enough to whet your appetite? Are you hungry to travel to any of these fantastic foodie destinations?

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