Eat your way around the globe and discover the world’s gastronomic hot spots with our guide to the top holiday destinations for foodies…
Culinary travel is a trend on the rise with three-quarters of global travellers opting to visit places renowned for their exceptional food and drink. Millennials are the keenest when it comes to foodie travel. A whopping 89% of travellers between the ages of 18 and 34 now choose to head somewhere specifically known for its gastronomic delights. The joy of trying and eating delicious new dishes while travelling can make a trip to remember. Leading travel company, Booking.com, has uncovered the best foodie destinations around the world. Read on to discover the top five, plus where to dine while you’re there.
HONG KONG, CHINA
Taking the top spot is Hong Kong, famous for its vibrant urban centre and skyscraper-studded skyline. Travellers will be in awe of the variety of dishes available. Go all out on dim sum, kau kee beef brisket, wonton noodles and poon choi (Chinese casserole). During your travels make sure you fully explore Hong Kong Island; Booking.com visitors endorsed this as the top neighbourhood in Hong Kong for food.
TRY: Lung King Heen
The world’s first Chinese restaurant to receive and retain three Michelin stars. Flavours, presentation, harbour views and impeccable service make this a truly memorable experience.
TRY: Yin Yang
Housed in a three-story 1930s heritage building, Yin Yang offers a delectable tasting menu that requires a booking relatively far in advance. And for very good reason. Former ad-agency owner and self-taught head chef, Margaret Xu helms Yin Yang with a contemporary twist on traditional flavours.
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL
The city of Sao Paulo is a world-renowned foodie haven, from smart bistros to gourmet restaurants, there is something for everyone. Sample the nation’s signature dish, the Brazilian feijoada (black bean and meat stew) and take a trip through Itaim Bibi.
TRY: Restaurante Figueira Rubaiyat
This large, inviting restaurants adds a touch of al fresco indoors. The room is formed around an enormous fig tree, cocooned in glass. The food is just as inventive as the architecture, with seafood at the forefront.
Since opening in 1999, D.O.M has become something of a pioneer in contemporary Brazilian cuisine. The menu boasts native ingredients from Brazil, such as Amazonian fruits with flavours, yam, manioc and cará roots.
The fusion of ultramodern and traditional is widely regarded as Tokyo’s focal point. Its top restaurants have accrued more Michelin stars than both Paris and New York combined and its signature cuisine of sushi continues to take the world by storm. Be sure to visit Chiyoda Ward, which is a favourite of Booking.com travellers.
TRY: Ginza Kojyu
Head to Ginza Kojyu for one of the best places in Tokyo to experience kaiseki dining. The interiors are cosy and the seasonal menu emphasises traditional Japanese cuisine. The intimate restaurant creates the feeling of dining in someone’s home, and diners can watch each dish as it is prepared at the counter.
Don’t be fooled by Kanda’s unassuming setting; the anonymous building gives nothing away. However chef Hiroyuki Kanda is a mastermind in contemporary Japanese cuisine. From the freshest sushi to mountain vegetables, dishes are seasonal and served with mind-blowingly beautiful presentation. With eight seats and three michelin stars, it’s best to reserve at least two months in advance.
Discover Greece’s culinary revolution and try Athens’ street food with a stop at Plaka. Don’t leave before sampling the capital’s signature dishes, Souvlaki (grilled meat and vegetable skewers) and Koulouri (tasty sesame bread rings).
TRY: Funky Gourmet
The two Michelin starred menu at funky gourmet boasts a refined selection of imaginatively presented Mediterranean cuisine. Delicacies include Greek botargo (salted and cured fish roe) with white chocolate and Lobster from Halkidiki.
Despite sitting within one of Athens’ most touristy areas, Psarras is constantly abuzz with locals on the hunt for authentic Greek cooking. And having satiated hungry Athenian appetites since 1898, Psarras is as good as it gets. Wooden table arranged on the whitewashed steps leading up to the Acropolis, make this one of Athen’s most romantic hotspots too.
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
Kuala Lumpur is famous for its modern skylines, glass and steel-clad skyscrapers, sandy white beaches, lush rainforests and colourful streets abundant in food stalls. Travellers will love the fusion of contemporary and traditional, and the beautiful mixture of Malay, Chinese, Indian and European cultures and cuisines. Booking.com travellers have endorsed Mid Valley as the top foodie neighbourhood in Kuala Lumpur.
From its prime position on the top deck of a multi-story car park, Rebung delivers a wonderfully excessive buffet spread of quintessential Malay cuisine. With views to KL’s botanical gardens and led by flamboyant celebrity chef, Ismail, this is one of the city’s best.
Typically regarded as the top fine dining experience in Kuala Lumpur, Chef Takashi Kimura serves sleek modern French cuisine with Japanese influences. On the menu you will find grain-fed lamb with houba miso and unagi paired with foie gras.