Even entry-level foodies know that if the world’s finest chocolates and cheeses is what you’re craving, you should head to Switzerland. If a multitude of top-shelf eateries is what you want to conquer, Tokyo, Japan has got you covered with the most Michelin stars of any city in the world. For all things pasta and meat, Bologna, Italy is your new best friend.
But what happens when you have visited all the most popular food destinations and you want a more intrepid dining crusade?
To help you tap into the adventurous side of your palate, Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travellers with the over a million incredible places to stay, has found some of the world’s best kept gastronomic secrets.
Here is are the top six destinations every foodie needs to add to their travels.
Umbria is heaven for foodies and the medieval hill town of Todi is a shining example of what the region has to offer. Umbrian food puts an emphasis on fresh, high quality ingredients used in simple recipes and with a lot of good meat. A classic dish is palomba alla ghiotta, spit-roasted wild pigeon with sage, rosemary and garlic. Expect out-of-this-world local olive oil, foraged greens and mushrooms and juicy fat figs warmed by the Umbrian sun.
Istria is known as the land of truffles, and Motovun is the jewel in its crown – which Booking.com’s Passion Search would attest to, naming it one of the top-rated destinations for food in Croatia. This pretty hilltop village with extensive views is surrounded by woods perfect for foraging and hunting. Looking out over them while sipping a crisp local wine and tucking into fine cheeses and hams in the charming main square is a must.
Sayulita is a treasure trove for tasty street food, as well as having a huge range of restaurants to choose from. Take in the colourful atmosphere and relaxed vibes of this lazy jungle beach town while enjoying a Margarita in one of the brightly-decorated cafes. Expect affordable, filling fare, with every kind of taco under the sun, from coconut shrimp to organic steak.
Kagoshima’s unique cuisine makes it a key destination for true foodies. Varied, interesting local dishes include ‘black pork’, ‘Satsumaage’ (fried fish cakes) and tempura sweet potato. Shabu Shabu, a hotpot dish of thinly sliced meat and vegetables boiled in water is a must-try – think flavourful meat and delicious vegetables boiled to perfection and then dipped in aromatic sauces.
Tanunda is at the heart of the Barossa Valley wine region of South Australia, a gorgeous landscape of rolling hills and vineyards as far as the eye can see. You can feel the influence of the 19th-century German settlers here, with lots of German bakeries and sausage shops. There’s also a variety of fine dining options that have cropped up to cater to the wine connoisseur crowd and most of the local wineries are open seven days a week for tastings and sales.
Rockport’s quaint, laid-back atmosphere has lured visitors for some time but it’s not just lobster rolls with lighthouse views. This mid-coast haven is big on slow food and offers some blissful waterfront dining options. Look out for sustainable local produce and an impressive assortment of food trucks offering high quality goodies.