The Ultimate Bucket List for Foodie Travels

If, like me, you live to eat rather than eat to live…you’re probably on the hunt for some of the best things to eat around the world and adding to your food bucket list as we speak. Foodie travels are the best, right?

Do your travel plans revolve around which restaurants you want to eat at? Or what delicious delicacies you can dip into? Your daily itinerary takes food into account more than sightseeing?

Yes, yes, and yes?

Yep, you’re a foodie! I like you 🙂

After binge watching Netflix’s Somebody Feed Phil I became just a little bit more obsessed with food and how it fits in so well with my passion for travel. Eating in foreign destinations is one of my most favorite things to do. Some of my favorite food memories while traveling include a pulled pork sandwich in Edinburgh, seafood Pad Thai in Koh Phi Phi, butter chicken and garlic naan on a beach in Goa, and the most tender and delicious calamari in Cape Town.

Food is one of the greatest ways to get to know a destination. To delve into its culture, its people, its land, and to figure out what makes it tick. No matter where you go, you’ll likely find something delicious. Though, some places are better than others. And there are certain delicacies around the world that would appeal to more palettes than others. Then there are the foods that are just so damn delicious you won’t truly have lived until you’ve tried them.

These are the foods worth traveling for. The foods that are just so much better when enjoyed in their origin country. The foods that will leave you speechless.

So, for the foodie travelers out there. For the guys that dream about food in far flung destinations. Here is the ultimate food bucket list of things to eat around the world.

Side note: you may want to have a few snacks nearby as you’ll most definitely be salivating before the end of this post. I’ve already dipped into my stash…

Let’s dig in!

Related Read: Best Culinary Tours Around The World

Foodie travels: The ultimate food bucket list

Pizza in Italy

Yes, yes. It’s a bit cliché. But the best things are, aren’t they? That’s why everyone harps on about them. The original pizza originated in Naples, so if you’re the traditional type then that’s where you should head over to. Though, you’ll still find mouth-watering pizza’s all-around Italy – with Rome and Florence being other top spots.

Don’t expect all the toppings. Pizza in Italy is kept basic, as it should be, with the classic margherita being a favorite throughout the country.

While you’re here, you must of course indulge in every kind of pasta available, antipasti, gelato (here’s the best gelato in Rome), cheeses, Parma ham, desserts, Limoncello, and true Italian coffee.

Buon appetito!

Foodie travels: pizza in Italy
Pizza in Italy

Pastel de natas in Portugal

Pastel de natas are like little parcels of heaven, in the form of custard. Nowhere else in the world will you get a custard tart (pastel de natas) like you’ll get in Portugal. These simple tarts are best served fresh, warm, and sprinkled with a bit of sugar. And don’t make the mistake of ordering only one…

One of the most famous places to enjoy these heavenly treats is Pasteis de Belém in Lisbon. Queues often stretch out along the pavement – so go early.

While you’re in Lisbon, other foods to look out for include seafood, piri piri chicken, Bacalhau, and bifana (a beef sandwich).

You’ll want to pair your pastel de natas with a coffee – here’s how to order a coffee in Portugal.

Pastel de natas in Portugal
Pastel de natas in Portugal

Sushi and sashimi in Japan

Head to the source for some of the freshest sushi and sashimi that you’ll ever taste. Be sure to first learn what the difference between sushi and sashimi is before you go. Sushi is combined with other ingredients, namely rice, raw fish, seaweed, cucumber, soy paper, and avo. Sashimi on the other hand is thinly sliced raw fish, like tuna or salmon.

When in Japan, you can enjoy sushi and sashimi all over, from market stalls and simple take-away joints to fine-dining restaurants.

Other foods to try while in Japan include tempura, sukiyaki, ramen, karaage, okonomiyaki, udon, and dumplings.

We love Japanese food so much that we have a few posts about what to eat in Japan, check them out:

Food bucket list: Sashimi in Japan
Sashimi in Japan

Croissants in Paris

We’ve all had the day dream…sitting at a sidewalk cafe on a busy (though, not too busy) side street in Paris sipping on espresso and eating an endless supply of fresh croissants.

Yep, that’s the dream. It’s as simple as a fresh, flaky, buttery, and steaming croissant. We don’t ask for much, do we? Just keep ’em coming.

If you manage to pull yourself away from that quaint cafe, make sure to head to a bakery and pick up some of the other delicious pastries that the French love to produce (pop in a few macaroons while you’re there). Add your patisserie finds to a picnic basket filled with French wine, cheese, cold meats, a baguette, some Le Beurre Bordier butter, and a few chocolates and head to the Eiffel Tower for a picnic. You can’t get more bucket list than that now, can you?

For more Parisian delicacies, check out our guide to food in Paris.

Croissants in Paris for foodie travelers
Croissants in Paris

All the food in Mexico

It’s hard to choose one particular food that you absolutely have to eat in Mexico. Tacos, tortillas, carnitas, nachos, quesadillas, fajitas, and churros are the typical favorites. But then there’s also pambazo (a Mexican sandwich dipped in salsa), flautas, tlacoyos, tostados, and beef barbacoa. Everywhere you look will be something new and different.

It’s a definite food bucket list, that’s for sure. Even vegan travel in Mexico is possible!

Add some tequila, mezcal, margaritas, and a few local beers and you’ve got yourself a good time. And if you love cooking, then check out this culinary experience of learning how to make mole poblano sauce.

P.S – here’s how to avoid food poisoning in Mexico!

Tacos in Mexico
Tacos in Mexico

Bagels in New York

Visiting New York is on many a bucket list. It’s famous for its skyscrapers, Broadway theatres, cinemas, and electronic billboards. It’s also famous for its bagels – you can find them everywhere, from bagel shops and corner delis to street carts. 

You also get all kinds of flavors, like poppy seed, sesame, cinnamon raisin, garlic, dried onion, and salt. They can be eaten plain or smothered in butter and cream cheese. Some have fillings like smoked salmon, red onions, tomatoes, or meats.

Some other typical foods of the Big Apple include pizza, hot dogs, cheesecake, Manhattan clam chowder, pastrami, corned beef, and baked pretzels.

Foodie travels in New York
Foodie travels in New York

Street food in Bangkok

Walking through the streets of Bangkok is an assault on your senses, that’s for sure. The smells, sights, sounds, and tastes that waft through the streets is a unique experience all on its own. From fragrant curries, satay skewers, stir-fries, noodles, and fresh seafood to sweet desserts and a few surprises (hint: they have more than four legs!). 

The best part is that it’s cheap – so you can try a little bit of everything!

Some foods you absolutely must try in Bangkok include Pad Thai, anything that starts with crispy (chicken, pork, beef, duck), Tom Yam (soup), Yum Woon Sen (spicy Thai salad), and sticky mango rice.

Chatuchak market is one of the most popular markets in Bangkok – and you’ll find some great food there!

Add Bangkok to your food bucket list right now!

High Tea in London

Get your tea-drinking pinky finger and best High Tea outfit ready. The scones are waiting! For lovers of the finer things in life, experiencing a typical High Tea in London is top of the list. It can be pricey, but there are quite a few spots around the city offering their own version of this tea time tradition that you’ll likely find a place within your price range.

London’s food scene is buzzing, any foodie will be in gastronomy heaven in the city. Some of the world’s best restaurants are found here, with foods from around the world.

High Tea in London
High Tea in London

Tagine in Marrakech

Like Bangkok, walking through the markets of Marrakech is packed with colorful sights, sounds, and smells. Experience the elaborately poured mint tea in the traditional Riads and take in the colorful pyramids of spices at the markets. Then, when the sun sets, settle down and enjoy a traditional tagine at one of the local restaurants – saffron and lobster is a popular choice.

Full Scottish breakfast in Scotland

Learn to start your day off the hearty way with a traditional full Scottish breakfast. Like a typical British fry-up with eggs, sausages, bacon, beans, and toast, the Scots also add in tatties (potato scones) and a slice of black pudding.

Not everyone is a huge fan of black pudding, but it’s just one of those things that you must try at least once. Even if it’s just to confirm that you don’t like it :).

Check out these other regional British foods to try out and these places to find vegan Haggis in Edinburgh!

Here are a few more of our foodie travels posts:

Finland forest

Finland: Bucket List of the Most Beautiful Views in Ruka-Kuusamo

 

Kuusamo is a paradise for outdoor lovers and nature photographers. It is full of beautiful places in the national parks, on the Lappish fells and at the banks of the wildly roaring rivers.

Here is your bucket list to the prettiest spots!

Valtavaara fell

There are no real mountains in Finland, but it is still far from being flat either! Finnish mini mountains are called fells (“vaara” or “tunturi in Finnish). One of the highest fells in Kuusamo is Valtavaara, located near popular Ruka Ski Resort. An old fire guard’s hut on top of Valtavaara offers the most spectacular views to all directions.

One of the most popular long hiking trails in Finland, 80 km long Karhunkierros Trail, goes through the top of Valtavaara on its way to the ending point at Ruka. Every May thousands of trail runners rush through Valtavaara while competing in NUTS Karhunkierros Trail Run, running 30-160 km almost non-stop. Depending on the varying spring weather and snow conditions, their conquest is done in either warm sunshine with try feet or through piles of snow and puddles of swamp water. You just have to take your hat off to these adventurous athletes!

Valtavaara is a great place to visit around the year. There’s a 5 km snowshoe trail and a 6 km hike trail from the nearest parking lot to the top of Valtavaara and back. The hut at the top works as a shelter to hikers and there are also a couple of campfire sites along the trail. You may also spot rare birds such as Red-flanked Bluetrail along the trail to Valtavaara.

Konttainen fell

Konttainen fell is part of the fell range formed by Pyhävaara, Rukatunturi, Valtavaara, Konttainen and Kumpuvaara, remnants of the ancient Svekokarelid Mountains. Only the hardest rock types at the foot of the mountains have remained until this date. As the rock bed in the area is calciferous and the area’s microclimate is extremely damp, vegetation is surprisingly lush and versatile. The mix of northern and southern species is unique within Finland.

Konttainen is a popular spot for photographing sunrises and sunsets due to an easy and short 2 km hike to the top of the fell and of course due to the great views one can admire at the top towards Riisitunturi fell and Kitka lakes.

The parking spot at the foot of Konttainen is also a popular site for spotting and photographing Siberian Jays while handfeeding them.

Päähkänäkallio cliff at Oulanka National Park

Finns are usually very precise with names, but for some odd reason they do not seem to be able to decided how to call this cliff. Päähkänäkallio, Pähkänäkallio, Päähkänänkallio, Pähkänänkallio… Nonetheless, the view from the edge of the cliff is one of the most instagrammable spots in Lapland year round.  The winding river with lush, green banks and untouched forests charms during summer. The changing appearance of the trees along the river create a great mosaic if colors in autumn. Winter scenery along the river is a calming mix of the different shades of white and grey.

Päähkänäkallio area is somewhat difficult to access unless you are prepared to drive along small forest roads or hike along the 80 km long Karhunkierros Trail. But this place is definitely worth visiting! There are no railings at the edge of the cliff and visitors are advised to stay far away from the edge due to the crumbling rock bed, so be careful out there!

Pyhävaara fell

“Pyhä” means sacred or holy, and it is known that Pyhävaara has been a sacred place for Sami people, the indigenous people of the north. Until year 1830, a sacred stone called “seita” was located in the top of Pyhävaara. Pyhävaara consists of two peaks and due to the vulnerable nature and the ancient Sami sites access is only allowed to the lower Pikku-Pyhävaara peak.

Pyhävaara is located near Ruka Ski Resort and is a popular day trail hike spot for guests around the year. A popular ski trail goes through Pikku-Pyhävaara peak. Keep in mind though that Finns are born with skis (at least in Lapland) so we suggest giving a go for some easier trails before attempting to conquer Pyhävaara. You might also consider wheels over skis for admiring the snow crowned trees, since Pyhävaara can be accessed with electric fatbikes during winter.

Myllykoski rapid at Oulanka National Park

Kitka river in Oulanka National Park has several great location for admiring whitewaters. Myllykoski is one of the most popular places due an easy 1 km hike to the edge of the river near on old mill. Myllykoski is also located along Pieni Karhunkierros Trail, one of the most popular daytrip trails in Kuusamo. This place is so popular you don’t even need snowshoes to access the place during winter. And due to its popularity it tends to get a bit crowded during June-August.

Part of the popularity is the possibility to get very close to the water at the wooden deck next to the mill and on the hanging bridge leading hikers over the rapid. If you are aiming to hike the whole 12 km long Pieni Karhunkierros Trail, you must cross over four hanging bridges. The bridges are well-maintained and safe to cross, but they may cause some chills if you are suffering of fear of heights.

Värikallio rock paintings at Hossa National Park

Hossa is located in Southern Kuusamo, a bit over an hour’s drive from Ruka village. Värikallio consists of 60 different rock paintings and it is the biggest collection of prehistoric rock paintings in Finland. The cliff itself is a steep wall rising from Somerjärvi lake and the paintings must have been made either from a boat or by walking on ice during winter. Rock paintings are appr. 3500-4500 years old.

We can only guess the reasons the ancient people have had for creating Värikallio rock paintings. Hossa used to be a junction for water routes so the paintings may have been used for marking a route or describing events. The pictures in rock paintings can also be linked to hunting magic and the painted rock walls can also have functioned as cult places of shamanic worship. Pictures may also have been painted in order to guarantee fertility, since many of the human figures portrayed in Värikallio may be women, some of them in labor.

Värikallio rock paintings are different from the other prehistoric paintings in Finland since the small, stick-like elk figures are not actually known elsewhere, and the human figure with a triangle-shaped head, eyes and nose is unique. The lack of boat pictures is also exceptional. All of the pictures found in Finland dating from the Stone Age have been painted (there are no drawings engraved in rock). Red and yellow ochre – obtained by heating iron-bearing clay – were used as coloring agents, and blood, grease or egg yolk as the mixing agent.

Ikkunalampi pond at Riisitunturi National Park

One of the most enchanting summer views at Riisitunturi is Ikkunalampi pond that seems to be hanging on the edge of the hill. It is an infinite pool created by nature at the edge of a hanging bog. Usually bogs are formed in natural depressions where water gathers, providing a growth platform to peat moss. The abundant precipitation and thin soil of the Riisitunturi area enable bogs to appear even on steep slopes. Riisitunturi’s western slopes are covered by Finland’s most impressive and also some of the world’s steepest hanging bogs. In addition to its bogs, Riisitunturi is also a popular place for photographing slow-loaded trees during the winter.

Kiutaköngäs rapid

Kiutaköngäs is one of the most famous whitewaters in Finland mainly due to its size and length and the impressive red rock wall at the background of the rapid. Well-marked, short trail leads all the way to the roaring stream. The spring flooding of Oulanka river is a remarkable sight. During winter freezing temperatures create an incredible bridge of snow and ice on top of the rapid.