Find The Best Food Tours Around The World

Where To Find The Best Food Tours Around The World

One of the greatest things about doing a Food Tour is getting to see all the ‘behind the scenes’ activity and preparation, that goes into producing the most amazing traditional meals from around the world. Food is an important aspect of lots of travel experiences and you can seriously explore some of the best food in the world, by doing a Food Tour.

Fortunately, Food Tours and Cooking Schools are becoming more and more popular around the world and we are able to experience authentic food and cooking experiences, while travelling.

Continue reading and live vicariously through these wonderful anecdotes of Food Tours around the world.

Food Tours in Europe

Bulgaria – Balkan Bites

Two years later, what stands out most about our month in Sofia, Bulgaria was the incredible food tour we took there from Balkan Bites. Even now, we often reminisce about some of the incredible foods we had during the experience! And, best of all, the whole thing was completely free (other than an optional-but-encouraged tip for the tour guide, of course).

The organizers at Balkan Bites have partnered with some incredible restaurants that offer truly memorable meals. The list of four restaurants was diverse, with the selections ranging from farm-to-table slow food to burgers. The tour even offered vegetarian-friendly alternatives.

Our guide did a fantastic job of combining history, culture, tradition, and – of course – food! As she led us through the back streets of Sofia, she gave us cultural insights that offered so much more context for what we were eating. It was clear that she was really passionate not only about the culinary world, but also about her city itself.

We went into the tour expecting to maybe find one or two restaurants we would come back to for a full meal later. We came away from the experience feeling like for the first time, we really got a glimpse at what makes Sofia the city that it is. (And yes, we did also go back to three out of the four restaurants we visited on the tour! The only one we skipped for a return visit was the burger place, because we were more interested in eating specifically local food.)

Reservations in advance are encouraged and appreciated. All of the food on the tour is free – but don’t forget to bring a tip for your guide. We expected a bite or two at each place, and came away pleasantly surprised by how full we were, so show up hungry! The tour officially includes four restaurants, but you may also get a snack or two along the way. 

Written by Gretchen Holm, from Three Big Bites

Spain – Vegan Cuisine Tour

As a vegan it isn’t always easy to find good food abroad, especially if you don’t know where to eat. Therefore, I’ve frequently turned to food tours to give me some suggestions of accommodating restaurants and what to order. One has particularly stood out: the Spanish Vegan Cuisine tour in Barcelona, which I found on Airbnb experiences.

The guide was lovely and gave me such great local information and history. I didn’t know that Barcelona was so encouraging of vegan options, but my guide told me that the government even offers tax incentives to restaurants if they offer something veggie.

Every eatery we visited was outstanding and I enjoyed all of the food immensely. On our specific tour we had appetizers (two dips and a tofu tartare) at Biocenter. Next at Vegetalia we tried a vegan paella along with Catalan tomato bread (a Barcelona specialty made with crushed tomatoes) and patatas bravas (potatoes). We finished at The Green Spot with a pesto pizza, and then Cava for dessert, along with lime and celery sorbet and strawberry rhubarb granola grumble.

I’m still dreaming about this food! It was also incredible to get to try veganized versions of traditional Spanish food. We were also given additional recommendations for the rest of our time in Barcelona. I highly recommend this tour and given the amount of food and drink we were given I think the price is very fair.

Written by Summer, from TravelingSummer.com

Italy – Roman feast and catacombs tour

In a city with so many wonderful food experiences to try, this Roman feast and catacombs tour is something very special. Join your host Debora for a walk through her neighbourhood on Giancolo Hill and discover the area’s ancient past. Starting in a local cafe, you’re introduced to the area and its history over coffee and pastries. You’ll hear stories of former inhabitants including saint San Pancrazio, who was executed by Emperor Diocletian for his faith in the 6th century AD. 

Next go underground to visit secret Roman catacombs which are part of a labyrinth of tunnels that weave for 15 kilometres under this area of the city. These were important hiding places for Christians during Roman times but are now mostly closed to the public except for special tours like this one.

Your experience culminates in an amazing ancient Roman feast in your host’s home. A family style lunch is served with dishes made from 2,000 year old recipes including wine and bread. Each of the plates is described in terms of its provenance and importance to the people of Rome at that time. You’ll even try cheese and olives cured using methods unused for centuries and stews made from ancient grains. So much meticulous research has gone into making this food tour as authentic as possible. They even have costumes for guests to wear so you really feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

Written by Katy Clarke, from Untold Travel

Italy, Sorrento – Gourmet Girls Italy

Southern Italy is famous for sun, incredible scenery and sapphire blue seas but it’s also known for legendary hospitality and delicious food. If you’re visiting Sorrento, make sure you book into a food tour with the fun team at Gourmet Girls Italy and get ready to discover why the Campania region is known as the kitchen of Italy.

Hosts Lee and Vanessa have lived in Sorrento for over 50 years between them and have learnt everything they know about Italian food (which is a lot!) from their mother-in-laws and extended family. You feel right at home as you visit venues throughout the city discovering the unique regional cuisine. Being so close to Naples, pizza is always on the menu and you’ll usually taste the buffalo mozzarella that this region is famous for. 

Italian cuisine is regional and reliant on seasonal produce and your hosts are committed to this philosophy. On their Taste of Sorrento tour you have a truly authentic experience trying dishes made from the freshest local ingredients. For example, they explain why you won’t be trying pasta with ragu in the height of summer. At that time of year the dishes are lighter and look to the sea for inspiration. Grilled calamari is fresh off the boat and delicious. 

Being surrounded by lemon groves you also taste delicious lemon gelato and, if you’re keen, the limoncello liqueur Sorrento is famous for. Of course the dishes at each stop on the tour are accompanied by matching local wines, and huge helping of fun and  laughter which makes this experience a must do when you visit Southern Italy.

Written by Katy Clarke, from Untold Travel

Italy, Rome – Testaccio Food Tour

When in Rome, do as the locals do and mangia! In a city as storied as the Eternal City, there is certainly no shortage of fine meals to enjoy and savor. The choices are overwhelming, which is why the quest to find the most delicious and iconic Roman cuisine should begin with a food tour in the neighborhood of Testaccio.

Located to the south of the ancient city across the Tiber River, Testaccio is a traditional working-class neighborhood that was once a major meat-packing district. Today, the community has the most Roman inhabitants living and working in it, which means its authenticity and attention to good local cuisine make it the perfect place for a leisurely food tour.

Our Eating Europe food tour showcased a vibrant district filled with small restaurants and businesses that have been serving locals and lucky tourists in the know for decades.

Our food tour of Testaccio began with aperitivos of refreshing aperol spritz and tarallini crackers in the wine cave at Enoteca Palombi, also known as L’Oasi della Birra for its impressive selection of imported beer. At nearby Masto Restaurant, we sampled a delicious plate of local mortadella, prosciutto, cheeses and honey.

We enjoyed an al fresco pasta dinner with coda alla vaccinara – a traditional Roman oxtail stew braised with tomatoes in a slow simmer for five hours. Paired with a local Cab Franc wine, this main meal at family-run Ristorante Angelina was heavenly, and the highlight of our tour which also included a stop at the famous Trapizzino for its iconic stuffed pizza pockets.

Somehow, we managed to find room to squeeze in a zabaglione gelato topped with a dollop of freshly whipped cream at Giolitti, which has been operating since 1914. It was a fine ending to a truly scrumptious tour of Rome’s most up-and-coming neighborhood.

Written by Claudia Laroye, from The Travelling Mom

Italy, Sicily, Palermo – StEAT

We took a street food tour in Palermo, Sicily which was a fascinating look at the city’s history. We visited 2 of the 3 oldest street markets in Palermo with StEAT Palermo in a group of 10 people. The oldest one street market, The Capo, has been in operation for 1200 years on the same streets that it still occupies now!  
Sicily was one of the main granaries for the Roman Empire because the land is so fertile. You could definitely see the variety of vegetables and fish and seafood on offer. For example, there were so many varieties of tomatoes on offer that we stopped counting and I’m sure that some of the zucchini we saw were longer than our children were tall.

We tried various foods in the markets which are popular with the locals such as, frittolas (veal offal boiled and fried), babbaluci (snails cooked in garlic), arancina (deep fried balls of risotto), panelle (deep fried chickpeas) crocche (deep fried potato). You get the general theme – lots of food is deep fried and the Sicilians are adventurous eaters.

The most famous dish in Palermo is the pani ca musa, a spleen sandwich. The spleen sandwich is an acquired taste in my opinion but if you like eating offal, you will love it. 

The guide was terrific with my children. My son tried everything but my daughter was more squeamish. They had little stamps they got for trying each of the dishes. My daughter would eat almost anything for a stamp but she stopped short of the spleen sandwich. 

We were really glad we took the food tour because he took us all around the  markets. We learned more than we would have with a simple stroll by ourselves. We definitely ate more than we would have on our own because some of the foods were outside our comfort zone. 

Written by Shobha George, from Just Go Places

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Italian Food Tours

Food Tours in the America’s

USA – Downtown Los Angeles walking food tour

Not that long time ago I took a Downtown Los Angeles walking food tour with Sidewalk Tours.  This company offers food tours in San Francisco, New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Paris, and New Orleans.  They cover different neighborhoods in each city.  Therefore, food lovers can get a good grasp of the culinary scene of a city (if desired).

Sidewalk Tours specializes in providing generous samples, a knowledgeable (and fun) guide, and superior customer service.  The company is open to arranging private tours and catering to dietary restrictions.

I am continually looking for ways to get to know Los Angeles, the city I have called home for more than 15 years, better.  After the tour, I felt like my knowledge of Downtown LA increased threefold.  I discover so many places serving delicious food!

The tour started with an almond croissant piece from Pitchoun Bakery!  This French boulangerie prepares eclairs, macarons, tarts, and much more.  Then, we continued to take a look at the glamorous Biltmore Hotel.

The second and third tastings took place at one of the coolest spots in Downtown LA, the Grand Central Market.  This historic space can be seen as a food hall serving dishes from a wide array of cuisines.  We got to try the brisket from Horse Thief BBQ and a grilled cheese sandwich bite from DTLA Cheese.

At the next stop, Spread Mediterranean Kitchen, we had falafel, hummus, and tabbouleh salad.  A short walk took us to the Spring Street Arcade, another foodie hot spot.  During the walk, I knew we were going to have tacos at Guisados.  We sure did! Tacos are the real deal in this Boyle Heights born institution.  I recommend trying the horchata (not included on the tour but worth trying).

In addition, we had a slice of pizza from Pizza Napolita, a new establishment bringing Neopolitan tradition to Los Angeles.  The eating frenzy ended at Bottega Louie with a Berliner, a type of German stuffed donut.

 If you are interested in exploring the dynamic gastronomic offerings Los Angeles,  give Sidewalk Tours a try.

Written by Ruth, from Tanama Tales

Mexico City – Vegan Street Food

Mexico City prides itself in its culture and its cooking. When I first arrived in Mexico City, the street market scene was mesmerising with versatile taco vendors lining every corner. Initially I was worried that their focus on meat would mean that veggies (like myself), would be kept at the wayside. Fortunately, the Vegan Street Food Experience through AirBnB offered a delicious look at the blossoming meat-free Mexico City scene.

Andrey our tour guide from Columbia, promised tired feet and full bellies and he was right. At £34 per person, you’ll be getting both a local city tour as well as 6 to 7 food stops.

On the 4-hour walk, we were introduced to unbelievable vegetarian and vegan alternatives to Mexico City’s well-known dishes including delectable tacos al pastor, mouth-watering tortas, unbeatable gorditas, burritos as well as traditional drinks and desert stops to cool you down during noon heat. The dishes are packed with an abundance of flavour with the options to eat more at each stop.

The real-stand out for this tour is the knowledge of the guides. There is a story told for each vendor and dish we ate. In something as simple as a taco carries a history which is fascinating to learn. Do not expect the walk to take you to the generic Condesa and Roma tourist hubs. What you’ll see here is the real Mexico City from the real locals. Enjoy!

Written by Akid Zolkifli, from Asian Boy Astray

Mexico City – Aura Cocina

If you visit Mexico City, a place with an incredibly rich and fascinating food culture, you’re going to want to dive deep into the history and context behind all the delicious food surrounding you. There’s no better way to explore the local food culture than a cooking class in Mexico City with Aura Cocina, which if you take the morning class, includes a tour of the local market.

How did shawarma come from Turkey and become the beloved tacos al pastor? Did you know that poblano peppers and ancho chiles are the same pepper, but anchos are the name for the dried version? Get ready to learn all sorts of new and exciting things about food in Mexico City.

You’ll start at Aura’s bright and airy space in Mexico City’s hip Roma Norte neighborhood, meet the chef that will lead your class, and start with a tour of nearby Mercado Medellín. Along the way, you’ll learn about (and taste) some classic street food, like blue corn quesadillas filled with Oaxaca cheese and squash blossoms and sweet tamales, learn about some of the different varieties of produce that Mexico grows, and purchase ingredients that you’ll be using for your authentic Mexican cooking class. Then, you and the group will take those ingredients and, with the help of your instructor, transform them into an incredible four course meal complete with appetizers, a unique white mole, and dessert.

If you’re in Mexico City and you love food and connecting with like-minded locals and travelers, then a cooking class with Aura Cocina is a must-do in Mexico City. They also have a variety of other classes that explore different aspects of Mexican cuisine, like street tacos, vegan tacos al pastor, and traditional salsas. 

Written by Matt, from Wheatless Wanderlust

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Food Tours in Asia

Japan – Nagoya Food Tour

I love Japanese food, and especially exploring the local cuisine all over the country. In Nagoya, you can do that by joining a Nagoya Meshi Food Tour.

The tour introduces you to the local Nagoya cuisine which is called Nagoya Meshi. I tried the most delicious dishes I had never even heard of before, like Miso Nikomi Udon (thick white noodles in a dark brown flavorful broth), shrimp rice crackers which were more delicious than I expected, and Japanese style chicken wings. But the absolute highlight was Hitsumabushi (grilled eel on rice) which is a real luxury food in Nagoya.

Aside from tasting the dishes, learning about the food, food culture, and Nagoya, in general, is also a big part of the tour. Did you know for example that the white towels you get at restaurants are for cleaning your hands before eating?

The tour is in small groups of up to 6 people and usually private. After the 3,5 hour long tour you will be full to the bursting and won’t need anything to eat for the next couple of hours. Guaranteed!

Written by Lena Yamaguchi, from Nagoya Foodie

Vietnam, Hanoi – Street Food Tour

If you are planning to visit Vietnam, one of the best things to do when you first arrive is to take a food tour. Not only do you get to taste a wide range of tasty foods and drinks, you also learn how to eat it and where to find it.

One of the best food tours in Vietnam is in the north of the country. Organised by Hanoi Street Food Tours, they take you on a culinary adventure through the chaotic old quarter of Hanoi.  As Vietnamese cuisine varies a lot by region, a food tour in in each city is a great way to discover the local specialties.

As you dodge scooters and admire the charming alleyways. the fun and knowledgeable guides teach you a little about Vietnamese history and a lot about their food. It is a fantastic way to explore the historic area of this city while snacking on some of the best food in the country.

You’ll try eight different street foods from different vendors during the tour. Enjoy bun cha, watch in awe as they make fresh rice rolls for Banh Cuon and snack on Nom Bo Kho (a delicious dried beef salad) before trying other treats such as Lau (hot pot) and the local Vietnamese coffee recipe (with condensed milk) and Ca Phe Trung (egg coffee).

One of the reasons food tours are such a great experience when traveling is the chance to get off the tourist track and discover the local cuisine. You eat at restaurants you may never have found on your own and this is never more so than in a country like Vietnam. 

Written by Rachel Rodda at Coffee Wise

Philippines – Chinatown Food and Heritage Tour

Manila Chinatown, being the first chinatown in the world, is located in the heart of Manila, Philippines.  I expect to indulge on Chinese food on this Chinatown Food and Heritage Tour.  

Entering the Filipino-Chinese Friendship arch symbolized that you are already in Manila Chinatown.  Here, it made my nose sensed spices which smells like from their stir-fries.  And my eyes kept skipping from store to eateries, wondering what each one offers.

The food tour includes Estero foods where several Chinese fast foods are just beside the creek.  Squid stuffed with chives are eye-catching.  The squid is then cooked to its perfection with all the juiciness, blended with its tasty sauce.  Oh, such a refreshing food, a good start for the whole day walking tour. 

We dropped by to Sincerity Cafe Restaurant to taste the best fried chicken served dated from 1956 and still the same recipe used until now. And I cannot forget their oyster cake, a little bit oil yet very tasty.

We cannot help but to purchase more than what we want on the Hopia stores, there are assorted flavours to choose from. 

A long line awaits a customer for her turn to buy Fried Siopao – that soft white dough wherein you bury your teeth and then taste the unique filling inside, wonderful!

We chose to stop at Quick Snack for lunch.  Here you can taste authentic Chinese dishes that are worth to try.  We ordered for tauhu and tenderloin steak, all cooked with the touch of Chinese secret spices. And it turns out real great.

We visited the New Pou Heng Lumpia House wherein they actually do the spring roll in front of you. 

And you would marvel on the vegetables on it, blended with crushed peanuts that added texture and some tasty ingredients on its dark sauce.  All of these complete this refreshingly lumpia.

This Chinatown Food Tour opens my eyes how exciting to try new food and how happy to share it with new found friends.

Written by Elsa, from Travelling Quote

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Japanese food tours

Thai food tours

Vietnamese Food Tours

Food Tours in Africa

Morocco – Marrakech Food Tour

My favorite food tour was in Marrakech, Morocco.  It had a nice mix of adventurous vs. less adventurous (but totally delicious) foods; places to sit down vs. street food to eat on the go; and food vs. drinks.  

We started the Marrakech food tour in the main square of the old town before heading to a meat restaurant with a traditional ‘oven’.  Historically, huge pits deep underground were used to roast whole sheep.  These days, there are only a few left and are also used to slow cook tangias – meat stews cooked in earthenware pots.  This was also the most adventurous stop.  In addition to the delicious tangia stew, there was a head of a sheep, complete with the eyeball.  I dug it out of the socket and popped it into my mouth – surprisingly delicious.

From there, something more familiar – different olives sampled directly from tiny stalls in the market.  Other street food we tried included a savoury crepe made in front of us, a spicy snail stew (also delicious, though the nearby plastic tubs filled with crawling live snails was a little off-putting) and freshly-dried donuts, served on a palm frond string and dipped in orange blossom syrup. 

Sit-down stops included sardine burgers, couscous (of course) and Moroccan pastries served with a date or avocado smoothie. In between we wandered through the narrow streets of the souk (market), stopping off to see bread baked in a communal oven, more tangias being slow-cooked over the fire that heated a hammam (public bath) above, and piles of mint used to make the ubiquitous sweet mint tea. 

The tour was the perfect introduction to Moroccan foods I wouldn’t haven’t otherwise even known to try and foods not available in most restaurants, as well as fascinating insights into Moroccan culture.

Written by James Ian, from Travel Collecting

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The Best Cooking Schools Around The World

Where Are The Best Cooking Schools Around The World?

There really is nothing quite like a great traditional food experience when exploring the world – always in search of the best food in the world! Who doesn’t love to try new foods when they travel? Who isn’t so curiously minded that you wonder what on this earth have they put in a meal to make it taste so good? What better way to find out but to go to a Cooking School, take a class and do a food tour!

Why Should I Attend A Cooking School and Take Cooking Classes?

Not only are cooking classes fun, they teach you new things and they allow you to try new foods. You learn about cultures, cuisines, how foods are harvested and prepared for meals.

Going to Cooking School makes a unique date night and an awesome travel experience. A cooking class will teach you to perfect a dish and they will teach you to cook like a real chef!

Cooking Schools and Cooking Classes in Asia Pacific

Vietnam – Vy’s Market Restaurant & Cooking School

I have a confession: before we went to Vietnam, I wasn’t too excited about Vietnamese food. Despite having tried pho several times at various restaurants at home in California, I found it bland and overrated. Imagine my delight at discovering just how delicious Vietnamese food really is! Of course, that meant immediately booking the most highly recommended cooking class we could find.

Vy’s Market Restaurant & Cooking School came up in several people’s recommendations, so off we went! It was easy to book a class for the next day, even in peak tourist season. And we were lucky enough that our group of four was the entire class.

We realized we had made the right choice as soon as we set foot in the door. In Hoi An’s packed Old Town area, starting a cooking class with a street food tour wouldn’t be practical. Instead, Vy’s Market brings the street food to you! The class takes place in a large covered courtyard market surrounded by stations making various traditional foods.

During the class, we spent some time at each of those stations. One or more people at each would demonstrate how to make traditional Vietnamese food, showing us the techniques for everything from pressed noodles to grilled rice crackers. And at each station, we were warmly invited to jump in and try for ourselves. While our folded dumplings and banh mi buns weren’t as pretty as those made by the professionals, it was so much fun to eat our own creations.

We came away from the class knowing not only how to cook several local dishes (including Hoi An’s famous cao lau), but also with a deeper understanding of Vietnamese ingredients and techniques. My very favorite part was at the end, when we were invited to try a wide range of “weird” foods ranging from jellyfish salad to steamed pig’s brain. It was definitely a memorable ending to an incredible class! Plus you’ll get some printed recipes and even a seasoning pack to take with you so you can recreate Vietnam’s amazing food at home.

Written by Gretchen Holm, from Three Big Bites

Japan, Kamakura – airKitchen

Towards the end of our month-long journey around Japan, my husband and I booked a cooking class in Kamakura with airKitchen. For me, the biggest appeal of the airKitchen classes is that they are offered by locals in their own homes. This makes it a much more personal experience than attending a group class in a restaurant or some other professional space.

To be honest, even though I’m a huge foodie, I’m not really into cooking food. What I really wanted was to be invited into a local’s home and have the chance to chat with Japanese people and learn about their cuisine. And with this class in Kamakura, that’s exactly what I got. When I explained to our host Naoko that I wanted to learn from her about Japanese food but didn’t necessarily want a lot of hands-on practice, she adapted the class to suit my needs.

The fact that my husband and I are both vegans was no problem either, as many of the airKitchen classes have a vegan option. For our Japanese cooking class, the theme was ofukuro no aji, which translates literally as “mother’s flavor”. Basically, it’s the homecooked food that Japanese mothers prepare for their families.

And the best part was that Naoko’s 88-year-old mother was there to teach us as well! While her mother only spoke Japanese, Naoko was fluent in English (and French) so she was able to interpret for us. It was fascinating to hear her mother’s stories about when she worked as a tea ceremony host when she was younger. Even though it rained the whole time we were in Kamakura, I remember the town very fondly because of the wonderful experience we had at Naoko’s house.

Written by Wendy Werneth of The Nomadic Vegan

South Korea – Kimchi Making Class in Seoul 

Kimchi is one of the staples of Korean cuisine. Wherever you go in South Korea – whether you’re out at a restaurant or invited into a Korean friend’s home, you will always find a generous serving of kimchi at the table as a side dish. 

Kimchi is actually pickled, fermented vegetables. This dish is most commonly prepared with cabbage but there are actually more than 180 different types of kimchi! Radish kimchi and cucumber kimchi are also very popular. 

Eating something that has been fermented may sound questionable, but kimchi is a lot more appealing than it sounds. The vegetables are marinated in a flavourful blend of garlic, shallots, ginger, chili flakes and miso sauce. The vegetables are then tightly sealed and stored in a dark place to ferment for three days. 

There are several excellent places in Seoul where you can take a kimchi-making class. My friend and I participated in a class at the Seoul Kimchi Academy in Myeongdong. The teachers help make Korean cooking seem like a breeze! You can also wear hanbok (traditional Korean noble dress) and take photographs dressed as a Korean noble as part of the experience.   

Written by Melissa, from High Heels & a Backpack

Australia – Sydney Seafood School

The Sydney Seafood School based at the Sydney Fish Markets in Pyrmont, Sydney is the best place to learn seafood cooking in Sydney. If you are a tourist to Australia it is a great way to taste local flavours and learn more about Australian seafood.

Being based at the Sydney Fish Markets where the fish trawlers come in to unload their catch you know that the seafood used in the class will be the freshest seafood available in Sydney and also the best quality. The Sydney Seafood School have a wide variety of different seafood classes ranging from cooking seafood paella, Singapore chilli crab, Thai squid salad, barbecue seafood, preparing sushi and lots more. Classes vary in length from 2 to 4 hours depending on the class you choose.

The classes start off with canapes and then a lecture theatre cooking demonstration often by a leading Australian chef, who teaches you how to cook the dish. You learn tips about choosing the best ingredients and seafood, preparing the seafood and other tips to ensure you get the best flavours possible in your dish. 

One of the best tips I picked up in the seafood paella class was to NOT stir the pan after adding in the rice if you want that delicious crunchy carmelisation at the base of your paella pan, or socorrat as it is officially known as. 

After the demo you then move to a professional kitchen where everything is provided for you to recreate the dish yourself in a small group of 4-6 people. There is ample space, equipment and supplies for everyone, and assistance is available as required.

Once you’ve finished cooking you get to enter the nearby dining room to feast on your cooked seafood dishes whilst savouring a glass of wine. Takeaway containers are available for any leftovers. You also get to take home a Sydney Seafood School apron and recipe booklet.

I highly recommend the Sydney Seafood School especially if you are a keen foodie or cook. I may be biased but I truly believe these cooking classes are the best in the world.

Written by Ingrid, from Fabulous Fun Life

Vietnam – Old Hanoi Restaurant

Bánh xèo, Nem Cuôn tôm thịt, Gà nướng lá chan…Vietnamese food is a culinary tongue twister to an English-speaking tongue. But learning the tonal nuances is worth it to enjoy savory turmeric crepes dipped in a sweet chili fish sauce or prawn and pork eggrolls deep-fried to a crispy golden crust (the first two dishes listed). Just thinking about them makes my mouth water. 

My early retirement life in Manila, Philippines, gives me easy access to delicious and affordable international dining. But to satisfy my appetite for the authentic sweet, salty, and sour flavor profile of Vietnamese cooking, I headed to the source, Hanoi, Vietnam. 

Old Hanoi restaurant in the Ba Dinh neighborhood of Hanoi runs highly ranked private cooking classes. Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey has an affiliation here. With Ramsey’s reputation for exacting standards, this place was my first choice for a Vietnamese cooking class. 

Classes start with a trip to the local market to shop for fresh ingredients. For those that have never been to a wet market in SE Asia, your senses can easily get overwhelmed: the colorful fruits and vegetables, the loud haggling of prices in Vietnamese, and the unavoidable odor of butchered animals. My mom, with prodding and translation help from our guide, joined in on the action to negotiate for our shrimp.

Then it’s back to the restaurant to pep all the ingredients. Our chef breaks down the process and provides help, while the students prepare a 4-course meal. Ours included skewered grilled chicken and lemon leaves (Gà nướng lá chanh), sticky caramelized clay pot pork (Lợn kho tộ đât), and the ubiquitous Vietnamese spring rolls (Nem Cuôn tôm thịt). After cooking, we dined on our hard work in the nicely appointed dining room of the restaurant. Even at $80 per person, this was an experience well spent. 

Written by Marco Sison, from Nomadic FIRE

Vietnam, Hoi An – Tribee Bana Heritage Hostel

The Vietnamese food is very delicious and no wonder it is trendy all over the world. Joining a cooking class at Hoi An, was one of the memorable experiences of backpacking Vietnam for me, along with trying out local street food in all the towns I traveled.

Tribee Bana Heritage Hostel, the place where I stayed in Hoi An in the old quarters organize cooking class once a week, which is super fun to participate. The best things about this cooking tour are it is free for all to join, you will get to meet and socialize with fellow travellers, and the cooking is easy to learn.

It is a traditional Vietnamese dish consisting of rice vermicelli(bún) that is usually topped with prawns, pork, and other vegetables, all wrapped in bánh tráng or rice paper, which is also called cold roll. 

The spring roll has its origin in China and was introduced to Vietnam through Chinese immigrants during the early 15th century. Since then, Gỏi cuốn has become to be a very popular appetizer consumed all across Vietnam that is also an integral part of street food.

The hosts were amiable and hilarious as they instructed us on how to make Gỏi cuốn or Vietnamese spring rolls. We were given bánh tráng or rice paper, which is readily available in all shops. After dipping the paper in water, it is allowed to cool down and become soft for some time. It is filled first with a few strips of rice vermicelli. Then, you need to apply the sauces(sour, hot and sweet) on the paper. Then top with chopped pork/prawns/vegetables, and roll gently, folding at the edges. The Vietnamese spring roll is usually consumed cold or at room temperature. We savoured the delicious rolls along with Bia Hoi.

Don’t miss joining a cooking class in Vietnam on your trip!

Written by Reshma Narasing, from The Solo Globetrotter

Nepal

When heading to Nepal, you will soon enough fall in love with MoMo – and, if you are like me, develop a hate-love relationship with the sometimes bland but always comforting Dahl Bhat. Instead of buying souvenirs nobody likes and I won’t even look at twice when I’m home, I like to take cooking classes. That way I learn new skills (I learned how to temper spices for instance) and I get to impress friends and family with my exotic cooking and dishes.

One of the best cooking classes I have taken so far was a very simple, very personal class in Kathmandu. We were picked up by a 4X4 early in the morning and driven to Kirtipur – a historic city just outside Kathmandu. Here we were to take a cooking class with a local family. We learned how to make MoMo, Dahl Bhat, Curried Chicken and Chutney. It was such a lovely experience, not only because we were alone in this local lady’s small kitchen, but also because of the love our host had for food and cooking. We got to know her family and her husband who used to be a Sherpa but now takes tourists onto hikes.

First we were welcomed with a glass of amazing masala tea – some call it milk tea, which she showed us how to make. Then we went onto making curry chicken, greens, dahl bhat and other accompaniments. After everything was ready we ate out ‘creations’ as lunch with the family. In the afternoon we made cheese and meat MoMo. Our host was incredibly patient and helpful.

Another detail I remember as clear as day is the amazing view we had over the Kathmandu Valley from her house. We saw onto Swayambunath over green paddies and fields. Overall, this was one of the best, most personal cooking classes I have experienced and I loved every single minute of it!

Written by Lieze Neven, from Glitter Rebel

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Italy, Tuscany – Chicca

Bolgheri and Castagneto Carducci are at the heart of the area’s “Oil and Wine Road” (La Strada del Vino) along Tuscany, Italy’s Etruscan Coast. This is one of the best regions to dive deeper into the top quality ingredients and food heritage of Italy. To do just that, we highly recommend the cooking classes and food tours by Chicca Maione of Cooking In Tuscany. Her collaborative home-cooked meal experiences are sure to delight your taste buds. 

The owner of Casa Toscana, Chicca, is a charismatic host and fantastic home cook. She lives on the main floor of her Tuscan farm house, where she hosts cooking classes from her self-designed kitchen, and she rents out two self-contained apartments above. Cooking with Chicca is an interactive cultural experience ending in a feast for the whole family. A short but vigorous hike up the hill from the house is a charming little village with cafes where you can truly experience Tuscany off the beaten path. This is a great area to relax a bit, enjoy great food, and make lasting memories.

My husband and I had the opportunity to stay with Chicca and take part in a number of her cooking classes and tours. The delicious dishes we made ranged from hand-rolled pasta to chocolate almond cake. The recipes come from past generations in Chicca’s family, and the ingredients come from the garden or local Italian producers. This is truly a food experience we’ll never forget!

Written by Michelle, from Intentional Travelers

England, London – Sauce

I recently did a cooking class at Sauce by The Langham Hotel, in Marylebone, London. Sauce is a cookery school in the centre of London where you can master your knife, baking or pasta making skills. They have lots of different classes so you can learn more about the different types of food in England. This time though, I was learning how to make Canadian lobster poutine. 

Classes include all the equipment and ingredients, and a glass of wine or two, too. You’ll be in a group of no more than 10. The class I joined was great. We were taught by one of the most famous TV chefs in Canada, Chuck Hughes. He was fun and taught us so much about what goes into a true Canadian lobster poutine.

With stories of his cooking skills, life and kitchens he entertained us for hours. And then it was our turn. I really enjoyed cooking the food, and of course, eating it afterwards. So tasty and the quality of the ingredients shined through. 
Chuck was great, the food was fab, it was really interesting and we didn’t even have to clean up after ourselves – dreams. I laughed, I ate, and I drank lots of wine. Dream day!

Sauce regularly run classes with celebrity chefs, so if you want to make your cultural immersion into England even deeper, then splash out on a foodie experience for a day out in London!

Written by Vicky, from Flip Flop Travels

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Peru – Choco Museo

You probably know that chocolate comes from cacao beans, but did you know that the cacao probably started growing in the foothills of the Andean mountains 100 million years ago. (Yes, that’s in the time of the dinosaurs)

That’s the kind of fun Peru fact you learn during the totally awesome chocolate making tours offered at the Choco Museo (Chocolate Museum) in Cusco, Peru.  We did a super fun workshop called ‘From bean to bar’, which as the name indicates, you follow the process of changing a simple cacao bean through to a delicious moulded chocolate.

Our bubbly instructor started out by showing us which varieties of the cacao bean are in Peru, to roasting the beans (we all got to stir the pot).  After that we shelled the beans, then ground them up (it was hard work) before making a chocolate paste.  Finally we poured our own chocolates…!  And do you know what the “icing on the cake” of this tour was – we came back a couple hours later and got to pick up the chocolates to take home! 

These Choco Museo tours are an awesome way for kids to learn about the world, and of course about the simple cocoa bean that becomes the chocolate that is such a big part of our (Western diets.) this is totally my kind of ‘worldschool’ tour and it is recommended for all families visiting Cusco with Kids, and especially for Chocoholics!

The Choco Museo in Cusco was so popular it has since expanded across Latin America, and there are similar museums and chocolate making tours in places like Lima, Antigua Guatemala, and Granada Nicaragua.  

Written by Ariana, from World of Travels with Kids

Peru, Lima – Cusco

Peru has recently become one the leading culinary destinations in South America, if not the world.  With the popularity of ceviche and the superstar status of Peruvian chefs like Gaston Acurio one thing you must do while in Peru is take part in a cooking class.

Lima is the heart of the Peruvian culinary revolution, and there are a lot of great food tours and cooking classes in Lima Peru.  In my case I did a food tour and cooking class in the stunning and cultural city of Cusco while spending a few days acclimatising before a trek. 

While some Cusco cooking classes have a well-stocked pantry on the premises, our class started in the wonderful San Pedro market, in the historical centre of Cusco.  Having a food tour at the beginning of the class was just awesome! The range of foods in the market were amazing, from jungle fruits, to salted high mountain cheeses, right through a range of different ‘exotic’ foods like frogs legs and various cuts of meat.

From the San Pedro market we travelled to a Cusco residential area to the “Rooftop Kitchen” on the 11th story of an apartment block – the kitchen had stunning views over Cusco, especially as the sun set.

We prepared a series of fusion gourmet dishes using regional products, and as someone who is not a “foodie”, much less competent in the kitchen I felt both competent and enthusiastic.  

First up on the menu were Pisco Sours, which were made with great gusto, and helped the group bond a little sipping them out watching sunset.  From here we made a Fennel and Olive trout Tiradito, with red quinoa and red wine glazed turnips.   A tiradito is a Peruvian dish of raw fish (like ceviche) but cut in the shape of sashimi.  The main course was Red Quinoa “quinotto” (Quinua Risotto) with wild mushrooms and blue cheese. It was simple to make, and yet appeared so fancy when finished.

If you are not a great home cook, I want to assure you that these Peru cooking classes will be fine for you and  you should totally give it a go while in Peru!  You will not regret it.

Written by Ariana, from Apus Peru

Cuba, Trinidad – Milagro Tamayo

One of the best food experiences I’ve had is cooking in Trinidad Cuba. Milagro Tamayo has a casa particular here with rooms to rent and she teaches people how to cook out of her family kitchen below. 

The family often joins in if they are around and so you get a great experience of being in a local home, learning how to cook local food and talking to them about their life in the city.

As it was low season I was the only person in the class and was able to request what I wanted to make, subject to availability as supply in Cuba is not always steady. I chose fufu for the appetizer, ropa vieja as the main course and flan for dessert. 

When I arrived they greeted me with a classic Cuban drink from Trinidad called a canchanchara, which they later showed me how to make later on.  We also made several other bonus dishes like traditional corn fritters.

The class was 3 hours long and only $30 before tip. Family came in and out, each sharing their favourite foods or giving me advice on where to eat in Trinidad and Havana. It was really nice to visit a home and learn from people. Afterwards we all sat down to a fantastic meal. Thankfully I have the recipes now to recreate this at home.

Written by Ayngelina, from Bacon Is Magic

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The Best Traditional Meals Around The World

A great food experience when you’re travelling, can easily become the one thing you remember a country for. Perhaps it was a fabulous location, or the textures of the food? Maybe it was the way it was cooked and the incredible aromas that came from your plate? Or perhaps it was a food tour or cooking school you attended.

Would you travel to a country, just to eat their food? Live vicariously through this compilation of amazing culinary experiences from across the globe.

Which Country Has The Best Traditional Meal?

The Best Traditional Meals in Asia

China – Baozi

My absolute favorite food (that you can’t find just anywhere) is baozi, or Chinese steamed buns. Made with soft bread and different types of fillings, these are a popular food for any time of day.

When I spent a summer abroad in China, I ordered some every single morning for breakfast! Fortunately Dalian, where I studied in Liaoning province, had a little restaurant a couple blocks away from my apartment that specialised in this delicious food. Another bonus is that a full order of 8 buns only cost about $1 USD and I could cut the price by ordering half an order!

My two favourite options were the baozi with pork filling and the baozi with egg and chive filling. Good Chinese food is hard to find in the US and this particular dish isn’t easily found outside of big cities. I’ve tried to make it at home, but still haven’t gotten the hang of it. Therefore, I definitely want to return to China for these delicious buns (and because I love the culture, scenery and people, as well)!

Written by Raquel, from Meals and Mile Markers

Singapore – Laksa

Every local resident in Singapore, mentioned that we must must try the local Laksa. Laksa is a soup based dish which is made substantially filing with noodles inside. They are usually wheat based, but a gluten free rice vermicelli noodle is often available too. The soup is infused with  a very rich curried coconut milk to really fill up the stomach!

We had it in the infamous Little India, Singapore and it was a true delight. The bursting flavours will not be forgotten and you could almost taste the centuries of hard work that had gone into perfecting the balance of spices. Worried about getting a balanced diet? There is nothing to worry about with the Laksa soup, it is traditionally loaded with an array of vegetables, including coriander, lemongrass, shallots, onions, chillies, ginger and garlic.

In all honesty, we have struggled to find such great Laksa outside of Singapore!

Written by Manpreet, HelloManpreet.com

Japan – Shojin Ryori

As a vegan, I was worried about finding food when I travelled to Tokyo. Little did I know the Buddhist culture there caters well for us and it is not hard to find variations of vegan temple food around Japan.

The official name for this Japanese Buddhist cuisine is shojin ryori and the meals often come in a few different dishes so you get to try a variety of tastes. While you can head to vegan Michelan-star establishment Itosho to get a taste, you can find this cuisine in very unassuming places. I used the HappyCow app to try and track them down, and often found myself down unassuming, residential alleyways or climbing up fire escapes.

I always loved eating at these establishments, which grew out of Zen Buddhism and felt welcomed when I entered the premises. Usually, it was shoes off and traditional, sit down seating arrangements.

Far from bland, they usually consist of all five flavours: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami. They generally consisting of a variety of soy meats, tofu vegetables, plus side dishes of pickles and miso soup. Two years have past and I still long for another hearty Japanese meal like this!  

Written by Cassie, from Cassie The Hag

Malaysia cuisine

If this was a competition, I would boldly claim that Malaysia has the best cuisine in the world. As the literal melting pot of three distinct cultures of Chinese, Malay and Indian, these cultures are represented wholeheartedly in Malaysia’s incredible versatile and variety of dishes. It is challenging to pin-point one dish to represent the whole country, as it would potentially be doing a disservice to one of the cultures.

It could be the uniquely sour Asam Laksa or the humble roadside Nasi Lemak, but then we must also consider the wok-fried Kweay Teow and the fond memories of Roti Canai. Then again, the internationally renowned Satay, or the simplicity of the sweet Cendol would go amiss.

From the myriad of favourites, I might have to cheat my way out of this internal debate and settle for the simple Nasi Campur (pronounced Cham-Pur). The literal translation means Rice (Nasi), Mixed (Campur). The dish popularised in Penang, on the west coast of Malaysia is essentially plain white rice with whatever dishes are on offer on the day. If you head to a Nasi Campur stand, you will be greeted with possibly 20 different curries, vegetables, fish and side dishes that the vendor has prepared on the day to complement your rice.

It is always a surprise and allows you to sample the very best of the cultures – the best aspect is you can try a variety of completely new dishes the next day too!

Written by Akid Zolkifli, from Asian Boy Astray

Indonesia, Bali – Gado Gado

My most memorable traditional dish has got to be Gado Gado in Bali. The first time I ever tried it was from a street vendor at the beach on my first ever trip their and it instantly became my favourite Balinese dish.

The moment was made even more memorable by the fact that my partner had been telling me about it and I thought he was talking about “gateaux” so I was expecting a cake or dessert. Imagine my surprise when I actually got stir fried vegetables, spicy peanut sauce, crispy tofu, fried egg and of course shrimp crackers.

I look back now and not only laugh at my naivety but remember how much that experience changed my life forever. It was one of many firsts for me on that trip and Bali has become a place that is very dear to my heart with the food being one of my favourite things about it.

Written by Sophie Marie – Australian Coffee Lovers

Udaipur, Rajasthani Thali

A trip to any place in Rajasthan, India is never complete without eating an authentic traditional Rajasthani meal. A couple of years ago, on our trip to Udaipur, we enjoyed this extravagant eating experience too. But instead of visiting a restaurant popular among tourists, we chose one which the locals love. 

Once inside, we had to sit cross-legged on the floor. A turban was placed on our head just like the locals wear it. Waiters greeted us with a smile and placed a large plate (called thali) before us neatly lined with small bowls called katoris. Each katori was then filled with typical Rajasthani lentils, curries, vegetable preparations, sweets, buttermilk, etc. 

All of these preparations cooked in ghee (clarified butter) taste heavenly. In addition to that, the bread also called as the roti made out of locally sourced grains such as jowar, bajra, makka etc. is placed in the centre of the plate. The most popular items on the plate are the dal bati choorma, pyaz di kachori and the ghevar. 

There are no screens distracting you here and there is no fancy menu. You eat with your hands. The waiters urge you to eat to your heart’s content. Ultimately, the experience of eating a meal cooked with a lot of warmth and love is so enriching that it forces you to stop counting calories when you eat but instead teaches you to count your blessings! 

Written by Vrushali, from Couple of Journeys

The Best Traditional Meals in Europe

Italy – Tigelle e crescentine

The medieval town of Bologna, located in Northern Italy, is quite a hidden gem compared to Venice, Florence and Milan. The traditional dishes of Bologna that come to mind are tortellini, lasagne or pasta with bolognese sauce (in Italian “ragú”). However, the most unusual and memorable traditional meal we enjoyed in Bologna was “tigelle e crescentine”. 

Let’s start with the basics: “tigelle” bread are flat and round, the size of the palm of your hand. “Crescentine” bread instead are fried, bigger than a fist, crunchy outside but soft and empty inside. These types of bread come warm in baskets, ready to be filled with all the most delicious products of Bologna and of the region of Emilia-Romagna. Usually, a platter will include local cured meats (“salumi” in Italian) such as mortadella and prosciutto crudo; typical soft cheeses like stracchino or squaquerone, light and easy to spread; and lots of pickled vegetables, from mushrooms, to onions and peppers. Each restaurant may have their own secret recipes of spreads and extra delicacies. 

We loved tigelle and crescentine because of the possibility to mix and match flavours and textures: it felt like exploring the whole city and its culinary tradition.

Don’t forget to ask for some local wine! The typical Bologna house wine is a red called Sangiovese. Enjoy!

Written by Giulia and Darek, from Travelling Sunglasses

Italy – Puglian Cuisine

We all think we know Italian food, but the fact is that there are many different cuisines throughout the 20 different regions of Italy. Puglia, the heel of the boot in Italy’s far south, is home to a cuisine that’s rather different from anything you’ve ever tasted in Rome, Florence or Venice, and certainly different from anything you’ve eaten at an Italian restaurant outside Italy.

Long considered to be the poor part of Italy, the style of cooking here is known as “cucina povera”, or “poor man’s cuisine”. Stale bread is moistened and reused in soups and salads, ingredients are used only when they’re in season, and nothing goes to waste. Since the land here is not suitable for grazing cattle, most of the dishes are based on vegetables, grains and legumes rather than animal products. Indeed, Puglia’s cuisine is probably the most vegan-friendly cuisine in Italy.

As a vegan foodie traveler and Italophile, I’m in heaven whenever I go to Puglia! My favorite local dish is orecchiette cime di rapa, which is made with Puglia’s most popular pasta shape, orecchiette or “little ears”. While most other types of fresh pasta contain eggs, orecchiette are made just with durum wheat flour (semolina) mixed with water. When tossed with sautéed broccoli rabe, they made a nutritious and delicious meal!

Written by Wendy Werneth of The Nomadic Vegan

Italy, Sardinia

Think about food, and the first country that comes to mind is most likely Italy. But contrary to what many think, there isn’t just one traditional Italian food, but many regional cuisines – each of them unique, delicious and offering a fantastic culinary experience. 

Come to the lesser known island of Sardinia, for example, and a traditional meal is most likely a feast that will have you seated for a minimum of 3 hours and trying a variety of appetizers which usually include vegetables cooked in about a million ways, cheese, meats, pasta (malloreddus and culurgiones are usually on the table) and the real king of traditional Sardinian cuisine: “porceddu” – a suckling pig slow roasted on the fire until the meat melts in your mouth and the skin becomes crispy. A meal won’t end without Sardinian sweets – usually a mix of dry cookies made with almonds, and “sebadas,” a light pastry filled with a mild cheese mix with lemon grind and fried until golden and crispy and served with honey. Meals are usually accompanied with Sardinian wine – the most popular is Cannonau – and concluded with traditional liquors such as mirto. 

The best places to try a typical Sardinian meal are agriturismi. Keep in mind that if you want to taste the suckling pig you do need to make reservations in advance, because it can take up to 5 hours to cook!

Written by Claudia Tavani, from Strictly Sardinia

Italy, Florence – Wild Boar Ragu with Pappardelle

Eating a rich, delicious wild boar ragu with pappardelle in the dish’s native Tuscany is an experience all visitors should indulge in while on vacation.

Whether you’re just touring the Tuscan countryside or visiting popular cities such as Siena, Florence or Pisa, you’ll find a wild boar ragu with pappardelle just about anywhere.

Wild boar (‘Cinghiale’ in Italian) features in several Tuscan dishes as they roam wild across the Tuscany region and when slow cooked, it’s as tender as fish and is especially tasty with a local Tuscan red wine.

I enjoyed my first wild boar ragu with pappardelle in Florence where I have now lived for a year. In fact, it’s probably my favourite meal when I dine out.

The combination of the tender wild boar, amazing home-made pasta and rich sauce is something to savour. And of course, with a glass of red, it becomes not just a meal but an experience.

It makes you feel like you’re really immersed in the Tuscan environment.

So if you’re planning a Tuscan vacation, add wild boar ragu with pappardelle to your to-eat-list!

Buon appetite!

Written by Matt, from It’s All In Italy

Greece – Lentil Soup “Fakes” 

Greek cuisine is renowned for its marinated meats and street food dishes like souvlaki and gyros. However, Greek food is so much more than that. Contrary to popular assumption, there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options in Greece. Fakes (pronounced Fah-kes) is one such example. 

Fakes is the Greek answer to lentil soup. The dish is quite simple yet incredibly flavourful. It is made up of tender lentils drizzled in extra virgin olive oil and cooked with red wine vinegar and onions. 

You can find fakes in tavernas and restaurants across Greece all year round, but this soup is especially popular during the winter months when people want something to warm themselves up. A huge portion of fakes at an Athenian taverna will usually cost you no more than €4-5 including a side order of bread. You can get a pot of soup to take away and eat at home if you wish and the portions are huge!

Written by Melissa, from High Heels & a Backpack

Greece – To steki tou Ilia

There are many foodie experiences in Athens that are worth writing home about, and one such experience is eating lamb chops in “To steki tou Ilia”. Located close to the Thissio metro station, “To steki tou Ilia” is a psistaria (grilled meat restaurant) that is famed for its tasty, succulent cuts of meat especially lamb that are grilled to perfection.

While the signage of “To steki tou Ilia” is barely noticeable from the side of the road, the delicious smells wafting through the street and the full tables of locals will let you know you’re in the right place! The wooden tables covered with gingham cloths and the low-key atmosphere all add to the charm of the place and in summer, when the restaurant expands into a hidden garden over the road, “To steki tou Ilia” is the place to be.

The menu here at “To steki tou Ilia” is simple and traditional but this just goes to show that these guys stick to what they know best. The best way to enjoy a meal at “To steki tou Ilia” is to visit with friends and order a collection of lamb and pork chops along with dips, chips and salad and let everyone dig into their heart’s content.

Written by Chrysoula, from Athens and Beyond

Poland – Pierogi

There is one thing I crave as soon as I land in Poland and that is Pierogi. Pierogi is a traditional Polish style dumpling that is just the most divine food that fills you and makes you feel warm on the coldest of nights.

There are so many different types that you can try from meat and cabbage even a vegetarian style in some areas, either steamed or fried. Some will have them as an entree to a larger meal and some places will have servings large enough for an entire meal. Whatever you chose you will love them either way.

For us, we have been lucky enough to have them homemade in a tiny kitchen from a friends mother. This is an amazing way to try a favourite Polish meal. For others not so lucky you can head to a local restaurant to try them. In most of the places you will stay in Poland they will have a favourite place that prepares them, normally by a local lady.

If you are in a larger city you can head to a Restauracja Zapiecek for a serving as they make a very good one here.

Written by Bec Wyld, from Poland Travel Expert

The Best Traditional Meals in the America’s

Costa Rica – Rondon

Although many travellers come to Costa Rica for its stunning views, eco tourism experiences and the pura vida lifestyle, you cannot overlook the incredible Costa Rican food.

The country has delicious fruit, vegetables and fantastic seafood opportunities.  Food here is influenced by the Caribbean, especially Jamaican immigrants who arrived to work on the railroad.

In southern Costa Rica one of the popular dishes is called rondón. The name comes from a Spanish take on the English phrase “run down” as it is a versatile dish based on whatever the home cook could acquire or run down.

It is a spicy coconut fish soup that uses Panamanian pepper, a spicy but fruity chile pepper in the scotch bonnet family. The soup often includes whatever fish is available and sometimes lobster or crabs. It is given a bit of heartiness with large chunks of root vegetables, which may include plantains, taro root or cassava.

Written by Ayngelina Brogan, from Bacon Is Magic

Costa Rico – Gallo Pinto

Since creating a home-base in Costa Rica, Gallo Pinto has become one of our favourite dishes. In fact, we like it so much it ends up on our plates even while we are abroad. 

Gallo Pinto is the national dish of Costa Rica. It is a traditional Costa Rican breakfast food that consists of rice and beans served with egg, sausage and slathered with Lizano sauce (a Costa Rican local’s favourite).

Some foreigners liken Gallo Pinto to just “rice and beans” but we would contest it is much more than that! It is a delicious mix of white rice, black beans, fresh red bell peppers, cilantro, and onion.

Gallo Pinto is a staple of every Costa Rican household and shared amongst family and friends. Its ingredients go a long way in creating other dishes and often leftovers are cooked up into another favourite Costa Rican dish – Casados. Zero waste is a win in our books!

Written by Oksana & Max from Drink Tea & Travel.

Argentina, Buenos Aires – Asado

Argentina is world-famous for its meat so of course my most memorable traditional meal involves eating the best steak in Buenos Aires. But not in a steakhouse (or as the locals call it, a parilla), at an asado. Asados are events, barbeques with family and friends. They are drawn out affairs and can last the entire day.

Living here in Argentina, it’s how I spend most of my birthdays and special events. All my closest friends come over with a bottle of wine in hand, while we prepare the meat. Chorizo, sweetbreads, and blood sausage always make up the first course. They’re followed by massive hunks of beef, tenderloin, and ribeye, as well as racks of ribs, that have slowly cooked for hours over the fire. The meat, like the event, is communal. It’s sliced at the table to be shared.

To attend an asado is to experience a traditional aspect of Argentine culture.   

Written by Erin Mushaway, from Sol Salute

Mexico – Tacos

We loved visiting Mexico city for the tacos. Tacos al Pastor are the local Mexican taco variation.  It reminded us of a London kebab store because the meat is grilled similarly. Then we found out the reason! The Taco Al Pastor was started in Mexico by Lebanese immigrants. Instead of the usual lamb used in Shawarma wrapped in pita, they went with local ingredients – pork and tortillas. The pork is also marinated with a chili/vinegar sauce before it is grilled.  The taco filling is put into a taco shell and it’s super delicious.

You can also get tacos of other varieties as well. We love all sorts of tacos fillings from fish and meat to vegetables. We have frequented lots of places in the world where tacos have been brought by Mexican immigrants, including Paris and London. Our favourite fast casual taqueria in London is Benito’s Hat. They’ve put out a cookbook which also lets us make cool taco fillings at home. The great thing about tacos is their endless variety and they make great street food snacks. We even found a variation of French Tacos in Toulouse where they have a crepe wrap instead of the usual tortilla. 

Written by Shobha George, from Just Go Places

The Best Traditional Meals in the Middle East

Egypt – Koshary

Travelling to Egypt is almost guaranteed to encompass unique experiences, friendly locals, beautiful landscapes, and a good mix of cultures and languages.

Known for its ancient monuments and Pharaonic civilisation, however not much is known about the food of Egypt that includes delicious dishes such as koshary, ful, and fiteer. Egyptian food makes heavy use of legumes, vegetables and fruit from the region’s rich Nile Valley and shares similarities with the food of the Mediterranean region.

The national dish of the country would be koshary, served in virtually every restaurant and in every home. Originating in the early 19th century, koshary is made of rice, macaroni, and lentils mixed together, topped with a spiced tomato sauce and garlic vinegar. It is then garnished with chickpeas and crispy fried onions with sprinklings of garlic juice, garlic vinegar and hot sauce. This cheap and simple dish is easy to find and is a must try dish when in the country.

Written by Rai, from A Rai of Light