It's a Big, Delicious World Out There

During my years living in Melbourne, Australia, Eat With Me was very important to me. The small start-up aimed to connect people around the world through experiences centred around food; its events were how I met many of my closest friends in Melbourne. Although Eat With Me recently ceased operations, I was honoured to have the opportunity to write their blog for over a year, concepting, researching and writing posts related to food and community. Below is one of those posts.

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When I started travelling as a wide-eyed (and broke) 19-year-old, food wasn’t exactly a central part of the experience. Of course, in Italy I ate pizza and gelato daily (or thrice daily), and in France I consumed vast amounts of pungent cheese on baguettes. But my travel style was mostly about getting as far as I could on my meager budget.  

That’s changed in recent years. After eating my way through Southeast Asia a few years ago, I realised how much better travelling is when you’re well-fed. As Don George points out in Lonely Planet's A Moveable Feast,

Travel and food are inseparably intertwined…One truth is clear: wherever we go, we need to eat. As a result, when we travel, food inevitably becomes one of our prime fascinations–and pathways into a place. On the road, food nourishes us not only physically, but intellectually, emotionally and spiritually too. I’ve learned this countless times all around the globe. In fact, many of my finest travel memories revolve around food.

I couldn’t agree more. And it would seem that Melbourne filmmaker Rick Mereki agrees too.


But as we all know, not all food destinations are created equal. So what are the best places to travel if food is a priority?

Huffington Post, which has a whole section for the Foodie Traveller, recommends the following spots for 2013:

  • San Sebastian, Spain - “the world’s ultimate foodie destination, with more Michelin stars per capita than anywhere else on Earth."

  • Tbilisi, Georgia - "one of the world’s most fascinating up-and-coming culinary destinations.”

  • Osaka, Japan - “the culinary capital of Japan, famous for its foodie philosophy of kuidaore, literally "eat until you drop.”

  • Lima, Peru -  "considered South America’s culinary star, Lima’s cuisine shines even at its most modest".

  • Kiev, Ukraine - “the food lover’s Wild, Wild East with its wide boulevards, gold-domed churches, all-night parties, vodka, caviar, and ruby-colored borscht.”

  • Palermo, Sicily - “Sicily’s cultural history is reflected in its cuisine, with Italian, Greek and North African influences.”

  • Antigua, Guatemala - “Mayan culture is at the heart of the cuisine with recipes dating back thousands of years."

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For more foodie travel inspiration, check out Lonely Planet’s new Food Lover’s Guide to the World, but don’t read it on an empty stomach. Trust me.

Or if food festivals are your scene, here’s a list of the world’s ten best food festivals.

So what are your favourite food/travel destinations? Or where are you dying to go?

Bon voyage, et bon appetit!

Images from Sydney International Food Festival’s terrific ad campaign, found on Eat Me Daily.