What's the most important thing for you when you're booking a vacation? Many people decide based on the scenary, others for the history or the culture. What if your next vacay was all about the food? Travel expert Rana Cavanaugh returned to The Social with the following destination ideas for globe-trotting food lovers.
For the seafood lover...
There are many places around the world for seafood lovers, but Rana recommends visiting Barcelona, Spain.
Photo courtesy: iStock
- Barcelona has wonderful seafood restaurants situated right along the boardwalk of the Mediterranean Sea
- If you want a less touristy spot, move a little inland to a restaurant called Can Sole—it's a fusion of rustic Spanish and Catalan dishes. You can get all kinds of fresh fish from Paella, to mussels, to fried calamari. They're brought straight from the sea so there's nothing quite like it!
- A lot of restaurants in Barcelona are closed on Monday's so the fisherman can go out and catch fish.
For the view...
If you love great food but also want to travel to beautiful and exotic places, you need to stop in Thailand.
Photo courtesy: Cat Vinton
Be sure to visit The Tree Pod at the Soneva Kiri resort, located on the quiet island of Koh Kod. Bamboo pods are hoisted 16 ft above the ground in trees and waiters serve your food and drinks via zip line. The pod sits up to four people and is wrapped around the tree without nuts or bolts to preserve the integrity of the tree.
If you want to keep it budget-friendly...
For cost-conscious food lovers, check out New Orleans, LA!
Photo courtesy: Eugenia Uhl
- New Orleans, LA is the home of Cajun and Creole cuisine.
- It has as much of a relationship with food as it does with music.
- The Central Buisness District is a great neighbourhood to dine in.
- “Friday Lunch” is very trendy and the best place to try it is at Galatoire's. You'll have to wait for a table—it's so popular that people are paid to stand in line starting early on Friday morning.
- The key to visiting the city without breaking the bank is to avoid Mardi Gras
For lovers of culture...
Photo courtesy: Artisans of Leisure
Culinary tours are great for people who want the full food experience. Artisans of Leisure does an 11-day food tour called Vietnam for Foodies private culinary tour. You get a private tour of the country's best food destinations and learn how to cook delicacies, experience the local farmers markets and sightsee the country's hottest destinations. They take care of everything from accommodations, restaurant reservations and transportation.
For those with a diverse palate, New York City is the place to go because you'll find pretty much every kind of authentic cuisine there.
Photo courtesy: iStock
Don't just stick to Manhattan—Brooklyn is becoming the hip place to be, which means the food choices keep expanding.
To make sure you're getting the most out of your eating experience, visit Smorgasburg (the “Woodstock of Eating”, according to the New York Times) in the trendy neighbourhood of Williamsburg, right in Brooklyn. It has over 100 local food vendors that serve anything from homemade donuts to beer to Thai food. It's every weekend from April to November.
Calgary has a wonderful food scene. One place in particular is called Market—it's a self-sustained restaurant that grows its own food, make their own cheese and bake their own breads. Their menu changes to sync with whatever crops are in season, so they're serious about freshness. They also cure all their own meats and do their own butchering.
Canada's steakhouse capital is also known for its burger bars, particularly Naina's Kitchen
Ufficio Stampa Eurochocolate
Perugia, Italy is home to a huge chocolate festival (it's the biggest in Europe) every year. EuroChocolate takes place every fall. You can get plenty of free samples and explore the incredible chocolate sculptures artists create.