The Best Foodie Destinations in the World
It has been said that travellers are simply foodies looking for their next meal. As a bunch of foodies ourselves, we certainly agree with this statement, spending most of our days planning where we will chow down on our next dish. With much of cruising’s appeal laying in the ability to visit numerous places in a single holiday, there is simply no better time to eat your way around the world.
Here are our top holiday destinations for foodies, plus the cruise lines that will take you there.
Danish cuisine was once famed as somewhat unusual and often rather bland. Now though, this couldn’t be further from the truth, with the city having undergone a startling transformation to become one of the world’s best foodie destinations. Twenty-one Michelin stars are shared between 18 restaurants in Copenhagen and nearby Aarhus, cementing a culinary hotspot reputation.
The standout star of Copenhagen’s culinary show is undoubtedly noma, a restaurant crowned the best in the world in the 2014 World’s 50 Best Restaurants List. After relocating for a short but incredibly popular spell in Tokyo, noma is back in its rightful home of Copenhagen, continuing to set standards as one of the most influential restaurants of this century.
If you’re docking in New York as part of a world or transatlantic cruise, your taste buds are in for an almighty treat. The city is home to around 24,000 eateries, with everything from Michelin starred restaurants, all-American diners, food trucks, delis and foodie markets on offer across the districts. Spend a day tasting your way around the city, from boozy weekend brunches, tooth-ache inducing donuts (or the hipster invention, cronuts), food truck burritos, hefty steaks in iconic grill houses and more. If you’re bored or hungry in New York, you’ve nobody to blame but yourself!
Few foodies will be surprised to see Barcelona on this list, with many memories made while picking at tapas and drinking sweet wine in the Catalonian hotspot. Paella, tapas, fresh-as-it-comes seafood, baked eggs and traditional Catalan rice dishes fill seemingly never ending menus, with the best eateries often appearing the most unassuming. Eat your way around the world-famous La Boqueria Market and people spot from the tables that line Las Ramblas (though we recommend venturing away from the area to avoid the tourist trap of inflated food prices), before scoping out a restaurant of choice for dinner. Expect to eat at around 9-10pm, with meals lingering long into the night and almost always fuelled by local Catalan wines and Cava.
Head to the Big Easy for a big ol’ slice of southern hospitality, with a side of smoky BBQ everything. Eat a po’boy sandwich with all the fixins, get your hands dirty with sweet, saucy, sticky ribs, dig your spoon into the Cajun specialities of Gumbo and Jambalaya, finishing with beignets for desert in the French Quarter; don’t dare confuse these sugary sweet creations with your average donut, they’re an equally delicious but unique alternative of which New Orleanians are very proud.
Paris is the city of culinary sin, a place where it’s suddenly okay to eat all those things you’re not supposed to at home. Thick salty butter on crispy baguettes, chocolate pastries, crepes, crème brulee, endless cheese and those over-instagrammed Ladurée macarons; it really does make you wonder how the French stay so slim!
Take your pick from haute cuisine, bistros spilling onto cobbled streets, quaint chocolatiers and bustling cafes, or work your way around the bakeries, fromageries and patisseries, putting together one hell of a picnic as you go and enjoying it in the shadow of one of the city’s iconic landmarks.
Stock, beef, rice noodles and an often replicated but never bettered blend of spices provide the basis for Vietnam’s national dish, pho (pronounced ‘fuh’). Traditionally enjoyed at breakfast, though popular throughout the day thanks to the throngs of tourists desperate for a taste, pho is as delicious from street food carts as it is from Vietnam’s top-end restaurants.
Vietnamese cuisine extends far beyond pho, with a foodie tour of Ho Minh City up there on our list of must do’s. Make your way around the city’s lesser-known districts, heading away from the tourist trail in search of some great grub. Most tour operators provide unlimited food and drink along the way, which is never a bad thing in our eyes.
Looking for the foodie experience without stepping foot off the ship? These cruise lines have got foodie cruising nailed:
You set the bar high when you claim to serve the finest cuisine at sea, but this is the assertion made by Oceania Cruises. Thanks to the services of Michelin starred Master Chef Jacques Pepin in the position of Executive Culinary Director, the luxury operator has created something of a reputation as the foodie’s cruise line.
Cruises on Oceania’s Marina and Riviera ships offer the best foodie experience, with Jacques Pepin’s French bistro ‘Jacques’ dishing up his classic style, plus revered Asian cuisine available at Red Ginger. La Reserve by Wine Spectator is great for wine lovers too, with just 24 guests gathering for an evening of vintage wine and gourmet food pairings. Culinary Discovery Tours are another favourite, with a master chef taking guests on a culinary tour of their destination, before dishing up a hearty meal with ingredients gathered along the way.
French Master Chef Jean-Marie Meulien will be taking the knowledge gained over the course of earning three Michelin stars and bringing it to the guests aboard Star Clippers’ 7-night French Riviera sailing. Joining the Star Flyer as it travels around Corsica and the Côte d’Azur, Jean-Marie will hold lectures and cooking demonstrations, imparting his expertise on eager and hungry ears.
If you consider yourself more of a wine connoisseur than a foodie, AmaWaterways’ Taste of Bordeaux 2016 cruise will quench your thirst. You’ll start off with a two night stay in Paris, giving you plenty of time to eat and drink the city dry, before you depart on a journey to some of the world’s most distinguished wine regions including Côtes de Bourg and Medoc. Chateau visits and city tours fuel the imagination between glasses, whilst French breads and cheeses are the perfect accompaniment to all that grape juice.
Do you consider yourself a foodie cruiser? We would love to hear you recommendations!