5 Countries To Visit This Year If Food's All You Think About

Delhi posted on 22 February

Food and tipples have always been intrinsic to any vacation, but we’re thrilled that travelling solely in search of good food is a legit thing now; the world has finally come to share our love for culinary couture. So whether you’re looking for a quick getaway or planning that annual vacay, we got you covered with these top foodcation destinations across the world.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

From hidden gem to rising stars, this capital city has the world waiting in line to get a bite from its culinary hot pot. Known for its balance of sweet, salty, bitter, spicy, and sour tastes, Vietnamese food is as charming made on the street as it’s inside a colonial mansion, like the restaurant Nhà Hàng Ngon.

Strutting around in the streets, look for the vendors’ open-grill seafood {think crab, oysters, mussels & more}, and if you’re bold enough for Balut, then send in your application for the DSSC Hall of Fame. Places like XU Restaurant and Lounge and Quan 94 are the perfect way to unwind after a heavy day of street food scouring.

In case you go down the dark path of believing you’ve overeaten, a creamy Vietnamese iced coffee will help clear that thought and make way for new binge sessions right away {find it at their go-to coffee chain Trung Nguyen}.

Bring back a bit of Vietnam with you by grabbing their single-origin cacao chocolate bars; Marou Faiseurs De Chocolat are one of our favourites.

Antalya, Turkey

Mediterranean Sea on one side and Taurus Mountains on the other, with cuisine influenced by Christian and Muslim traditions. Being the best of both worlds is serious business for this Turkish city. Traditional fare like kebabs, mezze platters, fried seafood, and hummus are done best by the seaside. Restaurant Iskele is a favourite among locals and tourists alike for these treats. Some tour companies also offer boat trips for you to catch your own seafood.

While you sip on the Turks’ most loved tipple, Raki {an anise-flavoured brandy}, enjoy their European-influenced food, such as pea risotto, tahini soup, and more. Your tummy may be full but your heart will want more, so pack some Baklava and sweet jam jars on your way back for those #TurkeyThrowback times.

Sicily, Italy

This island doesn’t just make it to our foodcations list; it’s also our ultimate wine destination. With wineries sprouting throughout the region, they offer vineyard tours and guided tastings of Sicilian wines such as Nero d’Avola and Nerello Mascalese.

The aromatic Marsala wine is a must try; it goes well as an aperitif as well as with main course. Along with their Pasta Con Le Sarde {thick spaghetti with sardines, fennel, pine nuts, and raisins}, nibble on their fried fare like arancini and sea fare such as cuttlefish, shrimp, and squid. End as many meals as you can with the original Cassata; a sponge cake base layered with ricotta, marzipan, white icing, and topped with candied fruit.

Exaggerated hand gestures isn’t the only souvenir you can carry back; get hold of Trapani city’s organic sea salt {one of Europe’s oldest salt harvesting coasts} and bake all the sea salt goodies you’d been dreaming of till now.

Tokyo, Japan

Japanese cuisine may have made inroads in Delhi, but a trip to Tokyo will tell you we’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg. Sushi, sashimi, ramen, tempura, onigiri and more is served as both fine-dine fare and fast food. If the fancy feels set in, visit Waketokuyama, which serves between 8 to 14 courses per meal. For some udon utopia go to Mentsu-Dan, and if you’re looking for some fried indulgence, Tempura Tsunahachi is the place.

Get to know Japanese food better by exploring their food markets {usually attached with departmental stores}, and interacting with chefs and food industry professionals, like Shinji Sakamoto, who offer tours of these food emporiums.

Try their whiskeys; Japanese whiskies are the underdog of world’s best whiskies already. Suntory and Nikka are the brands to look out for.

When it’s time to say adios to your Tokyo foodcation, pick up some Sake and rice wine, and don’t forget to send over a few bottles; we’re loyal fans!

Lima, Peru

Lima has had three restaurants {Central, Maido, and Astrid Y Gaston} feature in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list for three consecutive years; a clear indicator of its vibrant culinary landscape and why you should drop in for your next foodcation.

With Amazonian ingredients next door and Chinese influence left behind by Chinese contract labourers mixed in with traditional Peruvian dishes, the city offers much more than can fit on your plate. Start off with salmon and tuna ceviche and Lomo Saltado {a stir fry of marinated strips of steak mixed with onions, tomatoes, french fries, and other ingredients}, and graduate to Amazonian snails and fried guinea pig.

Wash it down with the go-to Peruvian beverage, Chicha Morada, made with pineapple, purple maize, sugar, and cinnamon. For that tipple fix, sip on their native brandy, Pisco, and bring back the amber-hued drink to boast to friends about your Peruvian escapades with.