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Travel bucket list ideas:

23 Best foodie destinations

  • Multiple countries

Last updated: 12 April, 2024

Many places claim to be a culinary capital, but where are the world’s latest and greatest foodie hotspots? If you like to dine well on holiday – be it street food or Michelin star – you’re guaranteed great eats in one of these destinations.

Table of Contents

Bangkok

  • Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

  • Bucket List Experience

A plate of delicious fresh Thai food

Experience

The fiery and flavoursome tastes of Thai cuisine have long drawn visitors to the capital, which plays host to cuisine from each of Thailand’s four regions. From atmospheric markets to tower-top gourmet restaurants, Bangkok is a sophisticated gourmet destination, with European, Indian, Chinese and Japanese cuisine well represented too.

Good for age: 18+

Duration: -

Bologna

  • Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

  • Bucket List Experience

Bologna vista from Asinelli tower

Experience

Bologna is known as La Grassa (Fat Lady) for good reason: there’s no use watching the waistline in a place that spawned so many Italian classics, from the eponymous bolognese sauce, to tortellini and the world’s finest ice cream. Furthermore, there’s not a single tourist trap in town.

Good for age: 13+

Duration: -

Cape Town

  • Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

  • Bucket List Experience

Bobotie also spelt bobotjie, is a South African dish consisting of spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping

Experience

Cape Town’s ‘rainbow cuisine’ has diverse origins in indigenous cooking and settler cuisine, with influences from Portugal, the Netherlands, France, Germany, the UK and South East Asia. Cape Town distils this into a wonderful mix of casual and fine dining restaurants fuelled by a lively ‘eat out’ culture, and world-class wines from the nearby vineyards.

Good for age: 18+

Duration: -

Copenhagen

  • Copenhagen, Capital Region of Denmark, Denmark

  • Bucket List Experience

Scandinavian open sandwiches with salmon, mackerel and herrings

Experience

Now widely regarded as one of Europe’s gourmet stars, Copenhagen is home to Noma, crowned ‘Best Restaurant in the World’ three years on the trot at the San Pellegrino awards. Noma’s success has sparked a gourmet movement in a city whose culinary strong suit is locally caught fish and seafood.

Good for age: 13+

Duration: -

Istanbul

  • Marmara Region, Turkey

Large illuminated mosque at night with sea in background

Destination guide

A collision zone of cultures throughout its long history, Istanbul offers a rich and varied culinary scene, with the recent addition of international names and fusion restaurants adding even more variety to the mix. The quintessential Istanbul dining experience, though, remains Turkish mezze and street food in all its permutations.

Lima

  • Lima, Lima Region, Peru

  • Bucket List Experience

Close up of a ceviche dish

Experience

Peru gave the world the humble potato. Which may have blinded us to the charms and complexities of Peruvian cuisine. Word is now out: Lima has become a hotbed of culinary innovation, where Spanish, Caribbean, Chinese and Japanese influences are fused with earthy Andean cooking and Pacific seafood dishes.

Adult price 35

Good for age: 18+

London

  • London, United Kingdom (UK)

  • Bucket List Experience

Close up of an electronic fish and chip sign

Experience

In recent years Europe’s biggest metropolis, London, has gained momentum as a centre of world cuisine, with many fine restaurateurs setting up shop and wowing the critics. Modern British cuisine is also flourishing, with a generation of new chefs reinventing traditional dishes and rekindling a national love for local produce.

Good for age: 13+

Duration: -

Lyon

  • Lyon, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, France

  • Bucket List Experience

close up of a beautiful round tart with almonds on

Experience

Lyon is renowned as France’s foodie destination par excellence, and some would say, by extension, the capital of world gastronomy. Across town informal bouchons turn out simple yet exquisite French food, while haute cuisine establishments innovate within the bounds of tradition, drawing on the incredible wealth of locally sourced produce.

Good for age: 18+

Duration: Any

Marrakech

  • Marrakech, Marrakech-Safi, Morocco

  • Bucket List Experience

Two Moroccan tajines full of meat and vegetables

Experience

Long famed for its fragrant tagines and the aesthetics of the dining experience, Moroccan cuisine lends itself naturally to holiday dining. Marrakech is home to atmospheric street stalls and an increasing number of in-vogue restaurants, which show off Moroccan food at its best – spicy, tangy, slow cooked and luxuriant.

Good for age: 18+

Duration: Variable

Melbourne

  • Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

  • Bucket List Experience

Queen Victoria market organics in the city centre of Melbourne, Australia.

Experience

A sophisticated and cosmopolitan hub, Melbourne is a great place to sample a broad cross-section of world cuisines, with Thai, Vietnamese, Italian, Greek and Arabic particularly well represented. Buzzing cafés, well-stocked markets and an ever-growing list of top-class fine dining establishments make this southern city a relaxing place to eat well.

Good for age: 13+

Duration: -

Munich

  • Munich, Bavaria, Germany

  • Bucket List Experience

Bavarian fried sausages on sauerkraut

Experience

German food may be one of the least sought after in the European larder, but don’t pass by the opportunity of eating out in Munich. The cultured capital of southern Germany abounds in quality, local produce. Breads, beers and cold meats prevail, but there’s a variety of high-quality world cuisine on offer too.

Good for age: 13+

Duration: -

Naples

  • Naples, Campania, Italy

  • Bucket List Experience

Naples

Experience

The pizza phenomenon began in 1889, when visiting Queen Margherita was baked a pizza in the colours of the Italian flag: red (tomatoes), white (mozzarella), and green (basil leaves). It’s still the place for the best Margherita – made with tomatoes grown on Mount Versuvius and water buffalo mozzarella from Campania. Thegelato ain’t bad either.

Good for age: 13+

Duration: -

Palermo

  • Palermo, Sicily, Italy

  • Bucket List Experience

Street shop Sicilian cheeses with traditional Sicilian specialties, pasta, lemons and souvenirs.

Experience

Sicilian cuisine is one of the oldest in existence, combining meat, fruit, nuts and fish to tantalising effect. Sicilians even claim to have invented pasta. Food in Palermo is treated with almost religious fervour – every Sicilian is a gourmand – and ranks amongst the best in Italy, rivalled only, perhaps, by Bologna.

Good for age: 13+

Duration: -

Paris

  • Paris, Ile-de-France, France

  • Bucket List Experience

Plate of snails filled with green goo

Experience

France’s culinary elite may have their eyes on Lyon, but Paris will always be the sentimental capital of gastronomy. Parisians adore their food, and the sheer density of bistros and boulangeries, brasseries and cafés is enough to woo any food-lover. If you’re looking for gourmet heritage, Paris is your place.

Good for age: 18+

Duration: -

Portland

  • Portland, Oregon, United States of America (USA)

  • Bucket List Experience

Locals and tourists wait in line to order food from food trucks in downtown Portland during lunch time in Portland, Oregon

Experience

America’s current gourmet hotspot benefits from rich natural resources on its doorstep, from vineyards and well-stocked rivers, to organic farms and more breweries than any other city. The resulting blend of craft beers, fine dining and quality street food makes this a compelling destination for any foodie.

Good for age: 13+

Duration: -

San Francisco

  • San Francisco, California, United States of America (USA)

  • Bucket List Experience

Closeup of clam chowder bread bowl and carb eggs benedict in an outdoor cafe

Experience

Thanks to both the ocean and an abundance of farms on its doorstep, San Francisco is big on farm-to-table and sustainable cuisine. Green-leanings aside, culinary talent runs rampant in SF – in fact, the Bay Area is one of the three areas in the US that the Michelin Guide series rates. A long-standing immigrant community from the East translates to some of the best Asian food outside Asia.

Good for age: 13+

Duration: -

San Sebastian

  • San Sebastian, Basque Country, Spain

  • Bucket List Experience

three tasty tapas rolls filed with something

Experience

Right now San Sebastian is the focus of the biggest culinary buzz on the planet. A hotspot of New Basque cuisine, this in-vogue regional capital boasts a slew of Michelin-starred restaurants and a vibrant foodie scene focused as much on the incredible local pintxos (tapas) as the fine dining.

Good for age: 18+

Duration: Any

Singapore

  • Singapore

  • Bucket List Experience

Spicy crab in Singapore style

Experience

There is probably no better place in the world to explore Asian food than Singapore. The dominant cuisines are Chinese, Indian and Malay – or homebred combinations of the three (Peranakan cuisine). The best food is often found at hawker stalls, where each trader specialises in a single well-practised dish. Look out for chill crab, a local specialty.

Good for age: 13+

Duration: -

Stockholm

  • Stockholm, Uppland, Sweden

  • Bucket List Experience

Swedish meatballs in a creamy sauce in a black frying pan, gray background, close-up. Scandinavian food concept.

Experience

Caught up in the wave of New Nordic cuisine, Stockholm plays host to some exceptional restaurants, many of which riff on the theme of traditional country cooking. Berries and local meats (such as reindeer) feature heavily, alongside fish and seafood, including the famous Baltic herring. And the occasional meatball of course.

Good for age: 13+

Duration: -

Tel Aviv

  • Tel Aviv, Israel

  • Bucket List Experience

Sunflower halva (Oriental Sweets) with different flavors and fillings on Oriental Carmel Market, Tel Aviv, Israel

Experience

Tel Aviv’s creative, liberal identity within Israel has allowed for a fascinating food scene to evolve. Acceptance of Arabic influences and a growing interest in Palestinian cooking ensures a broad palate of taste experiences, with excellent Arabic grilled foods alongside Jewish East European cuisine. It’s also a hotspot for inventive (and delicious) vegan food.

Good for age: 13+

Duration: -

Tuscany

  • Tuscany, Italy

  • Bucket List Experience

Tuscany

Experience

Traditional Tuscan cuisine is based on the concept of cucina povera (humble cooking) and on modest ingredients. It’s hearty, rustic and based on simple ingredients like bread, pulses, meat and poultry, fresh veg and olive oil, all prepared with the minimum of fuss. Accompanying wine from Tuscany’s region is Italy’s best.

Good for age: 18+

Duration: -

Tokyo

  • Tokyo, Kanto, Japan

  • Bucket List Experience

Sushi roll with salmon and shrimp tempura

Experience

Tokyo has garnered plenty of press for superseding Paris as the city with the most Michelin stars. Given its obsessive food culture and massive wealth of eateries (160,000 at last count), this should come as no surprise. The nexus of Japanese cooking, from teppanyaki to izkayas, sushi to sumo-sized hotpots.

Good for age: 18+

Duration: -

When: March, May and Sept

Cornwall

  • Cornwall, United Kingdom (UK)

  • Bucket List Experience

side angle of a newly cooked traditional Cornish Pasty

Experience

Cornwall is renowned for fresh and locally sourced food – attracting foodies from the world over. Look out for award-winning, locally-made English wine, gin and cider, cornish pasties, delectable clotted cream and ice-cream, and sumptuous, fresh seafood.

Good for age: 13+

Duration: -

Frequently asked questions

What is a foodie destination?

A foodie destination refers to a place that is renowned and sought after for its exceptional culinary experiences. It offers a diverse array of high-quality, unique, and culturally significant food options, showcasing local ingredients and flavors. Food lovers and enthusiasts flock to these destinations to indulge in the rich gastronomic delights they have to offer.