Ready to taste your way around the world, dish by dish? If your favourite way to get to know a new place is by seeking out local cuisine - why not tailor your round the world trip around exploring different cuisines? The world is your oyster (so to speak).
Begin your trip with a stopover in Cape Town. Nestled between the iconic peak of Table Mountain and the crashing waves of the South Atlantic Ocean, the Mother City is South Africa’s culinary capital. From the boerewors stands (a type of sausage often grilled outdoors on a “braai”) of Long Street to sophisticated harbour side dining on the V&A Waterfront, you’ll discover a vibrant food scene as Susan discovered on her visit.
An hour’s drive from the city and you’ll be in the beautiful winelands surrounding Franschoek, with rolling vineyards, gourmet food and world-class wines (you’ll definitely need a designated driver). Drive the famous Garden Route towards Port Elizabeth and enjoy fresh oysters and lobster with views of the Indian Ocean along the way (you may even spot a pod of dolphins playing in the waves as you enjoy your meal!)
Your next destination is Sri Lanka, with a cuisine shaped by Dutch colonialists and foreign traders from Indonesia and Southern India. Its sun-drenched produce combines to create dishes like fragrant fish ambal thiyal (sour fish curry) with a complex blend of cinnamon, turmeric, garlic and curry leaves; comforting dhal made from red lentils and cooked in coconut milk and cardamom and lemongrass-infused lamprais (an all in one rice meal served in a banana leaf).
Enjoy locally caught, fresh fish in a candle lit restaurant on popular Mirissa Beach or satisfy your hunger by grabbing a cheap roti (parcelsof soft chapatti bread filled with vegetables, curry and meat). Read Adam’s Sri Lanka – rotis, railways and relaxation blog for a better understanding of one of Travel Nation’s favourite destinations.
Myanmar may not feature on your foodie bucket list yet, but this country packs a tasty punch. Rice is the mainstay of many Burmese meals, whilst the unofficial national dish is mohinga (a breakfast favourite); thin rice noodles in a thick fish broth with deep-fried fritters. You could uncover baked sweets and milky tea in local teahouses whilst discovering the crumbling temples of Bagan or the golden stupas of Yangon’s holy Shwedagon Pagoda. Expect eclectic salads like Lahpet Thoke (green tea salad) - a yummy mix of pickled tea leaves, beans and toasted sesame seeds.
Bangkok is a bustling city full of cheap street food vendors and top class restaurants so its a perfect stopover. Whether you’re racing through the city in a tuk-tuk or wandering the streets; in Thailand you’ll never be far from delicious treats. From Pad Thai (Thailand’s signature noodle dish) to spicy Papaya salads (Som Tam), banana pancakes and mango sticky rice (Khao Niew Ma Muang), Thailand’s food is jaw-droppingly tasty.
Head north to Chiang Mai and tuck into a bowl of khao soi – egg noodles with pickled cabbage, shallots, chillies and meat (usually chicken or pork) or make your way south to the palm-fringed southern islands where every dish is a little more spicy. Why not island hop through east coast Thailand?
You don’t need to worry about where to find the best food in Malaysia – it’ll find you and Penang is the renowned street food epicentre. Nasi Lemak could be considered the national dish and a classic comfort food – its protein boosted combination of coconut rice, spicy sambal, cucumber, dried anchovies and peanuts is eaten at breakfast or any time of the day!
The hawker markets are the place to be in Singapore (try Lao Sim – shredded chicken and fish dumpling noodles). From the spicy aromas of Little India to the obligatory colonial-era Singapore sling in Raffles– there is plenty of adventure for your palate here!
If you have time, why not explore further afield into Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos? Our 10 cheap but yummy street food eats blog will help you find the best food.
There’s more to New Zealand as a foodie hub than their famous lamb (although we must say the meat is magnificent!).
A few hours from Christchurch is laid back Kaikoura where you can feast on the finest, locally caught crayfish before heading out on a whale watching cruise. Rock up in hipster Wellington to explore craft beer breweries, coffee roasteries and trendy restaurants a plenty; whilst the Marlborough region town of Blenheim is surrounded by fine vineyards and cellar doors, with Sauvignon Blanc the wine of choice – as Jess discovered on her foodie tour of New Zealand.
Heading north, the steaming rocks and thermal landscape of geothermal Rotorua make for the perfect Maori cooking oven. Known as a ‘hangi’, food is wrapped in a wet cloth and placed on hot stones and covered by earth in a pit under the ground. Depending on what’s being cooked (traditionally fish, chicken and root vegetables), the food is left for up to 4 hours. A real social occasion, a Hangi feast is the perfect way to experience Maori culture – and one of the experiences we’ve included in our top things to do in NZ’s North Island.
Looking out over the snow-capped peaks of the Andes, a stopover in Santiago is the gateway to this fascinating continent and this part of trip is all about wine! The vineyards of western Argentina are best known for the Malbec grape which produces the deep-bodied and velvety red wine of the Mendoza region. With over 25,000 hectares planted, touring the vineyards is a great way to learn about pairing wine with food, like a juicy Argentine steak.
Argentinians have a reputation as food lovers and a visit to the grand European avenues and colourful barrios of Buenos Aires promises a real feast and Argentina is a carnivore’s dream! You’ll find traditional parrillas (steakhouses) offering every possible cut of juicy steak imaginable, but be sure to leave room for some helado (ice cream). Italian immigrants introduced the original creamy gelato and now dulce de leche and sabayon flavours are big favourites with the masses.
Sat on the banks of the Mississippi River, New Orleans serves up a hearty mix of Cajun, Creole and legendary southern crowd pleasers. A unique destination in the USA, you’ll be able to tuck into gumbo, catfish, fried beignets, shrimp or beef po-boys (a traditional Louisiana sandwich) as well as sumptuous mac and cheese. Throw in some southern hospitality and some jazz and you have a recipe for the perfect city stop - as Rowena discovered in 3 days in New Orleans for foodies.
If you like the look of these foodie destinations or it’s making you hungry – we can put together a round the world ticket or tailor-made round the world holiday similar to this, or with your own inclusions – anything is possible!
Call us on +44 1273320580 or request a quote by email to start planning your foodie bucket list trip today.