One of the best parts of traveling to new places is sampling new cuisines. Traveling to a place to eat something exotic is nothing new. Foodies from all over the world are flooding the feeds of Instagram and Anthony Bourdain has been living the dream of eating his way through country after country. Over the past ten years of really traveling, we have tasted things so exciting and delicious they are worthy of booking flights back to have seconds.
When we moved to Manchester, England, we missed many comforts of home including authentic Mexican food. After 2 years in the UK, a small burrito shop “Pancho’s Burritos”, opened in the nearby city mall offering authentic Mexican flavors. We quickly came to frequent this establishment and sampled burritos and daily specials alike. One late morning when we arrived, the lady behind the counter was eating something “from home” that wasn’t on the menu; Chilequiles. She threw a few tortillas in the fryer, cut them into chips, topped them with tomatillo salsa, cream and shredded chicken. Delicious.
We made sure to eat this dish as we traveled through Mexico and usually give it a try if we spot it on a menu back home.
While in this region, I also recommend: Limonada – Fresh lime, cane sugar, and ice, blended a satisfying cold drink that quenches your thirst.
Patacones with Black Beans
This smashed savory plantain dish can be found all over, but we first tried it when staying in Papagayo, Costa Rica. It was served with a small dish of black beans that we used as a topping much like bruschetta on crusty bread. This dish can be found in other Central and South American locations, but for some reason that first taste we had in Tico still holds it’s place as the best I’ve ever had. (I’d put Cuba 1940 in second place.)
Sesame Cold Noodles
I’ve already written a little bit about my favorite food in the whole entire world. But it’s so good I’d probably write about it ten more times. Sijie Sichuan in Hong Kong is in fact so travel worthy, we’ve booked layovers in Hong Kong just to eat there again. Once a private kitchen, Sijie now has two locations in HK and has no trouble filling up their dining room. The Sesame Cold Noodles on this menu are sweet and spicy in the most balanced way my tastebuds have ever experienced. I would make this appetizer a meal just so I don’t have to share with anyone. Anytime we find a restaurant with an authentic Sichuan menu, we seek out this dish and usually it’s a miss. Nothing I’ve come across has come close to this not so hidden anymore gem. I’m actively on the hunt.
The obvious is to eat Hong Kong Waffles through any street food tour and if you’re feeling trendy find yourself a Hong Kong Waffle cone to enjoy with ice cream. One stall offered different toppings that filled the inside of each bubble throughout the waffle – Lucy loved chocolate chips!
One more must for us: ShareTea
This particular chain is found all over Asia (It’s Taiwanese) and recently popping up in the U.S.! ShareTea offers the popular shaken, not stirred Boba Tea in a variety of flavors and toppings. However, I’m not much for tapioca in my drink, I just can’t get into the texture. Instead I order the Passion Fruit Green (or Black) Tea – hold the bubbles. The tart flavor of the fruit, floral taste of the tea and added sweetness, are a combination that can’t be beat.
Coca-Cola on Draft
Some might call me a Coke snob and not just for drinking water over Pepsi any day, but also not wasting the calories on a “bad Coke.” I prefer it from a fountain and I believe that McDonalds does have a consistently good fountain Coke. However, one time while wandering around Pisa with my mom and sister, we happened upon a small shop with Coca-Cola being slowly poured from an ice cold draft. So cold, that the lack of ice in Europe wasn’t even an issue. I have never found a Coke that has tasted that good since then. I’m trying to convince my husband, Kyle to install a Coke Keg in our kitchen. Wish me luck.
And for dessert…
It’s no surprise that anyone would recommend gelato in Italy, but Cioccolati Italiani right around the corner from the Park Hyatt in Milan takes their gelato to another level. Actually, this isn’t even so much about the creamy gelato itself but the pouring of warm, rich, chocolate into the bottom of your cone before topping it with the cream of your choosing. The result is “second dessert” and the most
gluttonous glorious way to end a morning, afternoon or evening… because you should try to eat it after every meal. It’s that good.
Others That Make The List
In an effort to remain brief, here are some others to add to the list:
Tom Yum Goong (Thai Shrimp Soup) and Crab Fried Rice, preferably with fish oil, fresh lime and if made seaside in Bangkok, bits of crunchy shells are no problem.
Boston Lobster Rolls with whole pieces of fresh lobster (not the mayo-mixed salad) and warm butter.
In Fort Myers. FL some of the best seafood is found at Skip One. The serve both a New England Clam Chowder and a spicy red Bahamian Conch; but the secret is mixing the two.
The Heidi Pie in Manchester, England’s perfectly named Pieminster is a blend of spinach, sweet potato and goat’s cheese inside of a perfect pastry over mashed potatoes, the whole dish covered in gravy. Pass on the mushy peas, because, come on.
The beef brisket at The Brisket House in Houston is home to slabs of perfect meat and irresistible sides. Ignore that this is in a strip mall, it’s excellent, consider to-go at lunch time, seating is limited and the parking is difficult.
Have you ever hopped on a plane to try (or return for) a particular food or drink? Share your favorite travel worthy eats in the comments below.