For many travelers, food is an essential part of the travel experience. From street food to fine dining, discovering new cuisines and flavors can be one of the most exciting and rewarding parts of a trip. That’s why culinary tours have become increasingly popular, offering travelers the chance to explore a new destination through its food and drink. Here are some of the best destinations for culinary tours.
- Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo is a culinary wonderland, known for its world-class sushi, ramen, and izakaya (Japanese-style pubs). From Michelin-starred restaurants to tiny street vendors, Tokyo has something to offer every food lover.
A food tour of Tokyo might include a visit to the Tsukiji fish market, where you can sample some of the freshest sushi in the world, as well as a ramen crawl through the city’s many ramen shops. You might also explore the city’s izakaya scene, trying local dishes like yakitori (grilled chicken skewers) and kushikatsu (deep-fried skewers).
2. Paris, France
Paris is known as the culinary capital of the world, and for good reason. The city is home to some of the best restaurants, bakeries, and markets in the world, serving up classic French dishes like coq au vin, escargots, and croissants.
A culinary tour of Paris might include a visit to a traditional boulangerie (bakery) to sample fresh-baked baguettes, a cheese tasting at a fromagerie (cheese shop), and a visit to a local market to sample fresh produce and meats. You might also indulge in a decadent multi-course meal at a Michelin-starred restaurant.
3. Oaxaca, Mexico
Oaxaca is a vibrant city in southern Mexico, known for its rich culinary heritage and colorful markets. The region is famous for its mole sauce, a complex and flavorful sauce made with chili peppers, nuts, and spices.
A culinary tour of Oaxaca might include a visit to a local market to sample traditional dishes like tlayudas (large tortillas topped with beans, meat, and cheese), a cooking class where you learn to make mole sauce, and a mezcal tasting, the smoky and flavorful spirit that is a specialty of the region.
4. Tuscany, Italy
Tuscany is a beautiful region in central Italy, known for its rolling hills, olive groves, and vineyards. The region is famous for its simple and delicious cuisine, featuring fresh ingredients like tomatoes, basil, and olive oil.
A culinary tour of Tuscany might include a visit to a local farm to learn about olive oil production, a wine tasting at a local vineyard, and a cooking class where you learn to make pasta from scratch. You might also indulge in classic Tuscan dishes like bistecca alla fiorentina (Florentine-style steak) and ribollita (a hearty vegetable soup).
5. Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok is a vibrant and chaotic city, known for its street food and bustling markets. The city is home to some of the best Thai cuisine in the world, with flavors ranging from spicy to sweet to sour.
A culinary tour of Bangkok might include a visit to a night market to sample street food like pad thai, som tam (papaya salad), and mango sticky rice. You might also explore the city’s floating markets, taking a boat ride down the canals and trying local snacks and drinks.
6. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is a beautiful and historic city on the Mediterranean coast, known for its fresh seafood and innovative cuisine. The region is famous for its tapas, small plates of food that are perfect for sharing and sampling.