The Ultimate Travel Bucket List for Foodies

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Bucket List Worthy   Flight Network Foodie  

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From Michelin stars to market-fresh seafood and street-side tacos, the world is dotted with destinations that bring an entirely new excitement to eating. And every great foodie knows that travel is as much about the meals as it is the pristine beaches and historic sites where we enjoy them.  In fact, sometimes tasting delightful and distinctive foods is our sole ambition when visiting a new destination. And these 10 cities, big and small, are some of the best in the world for diving head-first into a culture through it’s culinary offerings.

#1. Barcelona, Spain

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One of the best parts of being a foodie in Barcelona is that you don’t have to fill up in one place. Enjoy a tapas crawl between top Barcelona restaurants like Bar Pinotxo, El Vaso de Oro and Paco Meralgo.

#2. New York City, United States

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The cultural melting pot of New York City provides incredibly diverse cuisine, but it’s the ambition and creativity of the chefs in the “City That Never Sleeps” that pushes the culinary scene above most other places in the world. And you don’t just have to hang out in high-end Manhattan to eat well, because the foodie scene has spilled into all of the boroughs in the form of food trucks and kitchens as unique as the Big Apple itself.

#3. Istanbul, Turkey

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Istanbul’s rich history and marketplaces make the food scene more majestic than most other cities in the world. And when that history is combined with hot, new approaches to cooking, you get an incredibly unique foodie scene. Hop around tasting mezes (small plates similar to appetizers or tapas), but don’t fill up before you try some of Istanbul’s signature grilled seafood.

#4. Oaxaca, Mexico

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The spicy flavors and complex moles in Mexican cuisine have become popular around the world, but there’s quite possibly no city that does them better than Oaxaca. Slow-cooked chicken soups, uniquely prepared chiles, carefully crafted moles and street-side tacos are just a handful of the timeless Mexican dishes to check off your bucket list.

#5. Galway, Ireland

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Irish food is known for being hearty, warm and comforting, but when you’re in the seaside city of Galway, you’ll find comfort in lighter dishes like oysters and expertly prepared fresh seafood. Although, you can always beef up your meal with a pint of Guinness and some Irish brown bread.

#6. Bangkok, Thailand

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Not all foodie destinations have to involve expensive, modern dishes cooked by world-renowned chefs. Bangkok offers a different, yet just as notable, foodie scene that can be found in the city’s many markets. Adventurous eaters know that street food is king in Bangkok, but the city’s indie food scene — with Michelin-starred chefs and top-notch ingredients — has grown drastically in recent years.

#7. Brussels, Belgium

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You may feel it necessary to indulge in Belgian chocolates before your meal, but don’t forget to leave plenty of room for this emerging foodie city’s premiere restaurants. Romantic bistros, mellow brasseries and weekend street markets display Brussels’ unique, ethnic diversity through mouthwatering dishes. And if you’re looking for a more upscale dining experience, the double Michelin-starred Le Chalet de la Foret is a must-visit.

#8. Tokyo, Japan

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A morning at the Tsukiji Fish Market with sushi for breakfast is a must, but Tokyo’s cuisine spans far beyond what we see here in North America. French culture has had a unique affect on Japanese cuisine, making French-Japanese fusion restaurants — like Waketokuyama and Mandaraya — some of the most mouthwatering in the city. But don’t leave without visiting a handful of Tokyo’s unmatchable, traditional Japanese establishments as well.

#9. Venice, Italy

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On the surface, Venice’s foodie scene leaves much to be desired, but when you step off the beaten path is where the City of Bridges really shines.  Whether you’re indulging in crudo (raw) seafood, polenta, rich sausages, grilled radicchio, bigoli in salsa or some of the world’s best wine, you’ll probably find yourself confirming that Venice is one of the top foodie destinations in the world.

#10. Montreal, Canada

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The moment Canada’s cool temperatures start to get you down, Montreal’s hearty, smoked meat sandwiches, dry-aged beef, world-famous bagels and undeniably hot food trucks (a ban on street food was just lifted after 66 years) will warm you back up in an instant.

About the Author: Courtney McCaffrey

Courtney McCaffrey is a travel writer and editor based in Wilmington, N.C. In addition to writing, she lives for travel - seeing new places, experiencing new cultures and surfing new waves.

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