Food lovers should always prioritize holiday destinations with irresistible treats to tickle your tastebuds. Everything from seafood along the west coast of Ireland down to the spicy burritos and tacos in Mexico. Here are some of our favourite locations from across the globe where food is at the top of every itinerary.
1. Los Cabos — Mexico
Sharing its border with the infamous sunny shores of California, the beach-filled paradise that cascades along the Mexican peninsula has long been host to hundreds of Hollywood holidaymakers, but with more and more commercial and private jet charter flights from other places across the world seeing their destinations reach these pristine beaches, better food, and award-winning wineries are within reaching distance of travellers. Situated between the Pacific and the Gulf of California is the Mexican state of Baja California. With its extended mountainous region and turquoise-coloured bays filled with sealife of all different forms, if you have ever wanted to swim with turtles, this is the place for you.
Food lovers, you will be pleased to know you’ll never go hungry as you indulge in the freshest fish tacos available while sipping on the locally brewed beers or the fruits of one of the over 150 wineries that combine tasting with fine-dining for a heightened sense of class in your evening. Over the last few years, many upscale beach resorts have appeared across the southernmost tropical tip of Baja, where the main focus is food.
2. Lyon — France
There has never been a better excuse to visit the French de-facto culinary capital with the launch of the country’s first Cite Internationale de la Gastronomie. Four French gastronomy cities have been established since 2010, following UNESCO’s recognition of French gastronomy as an intangible world heritage. With its inception in 2019, Lyon debuted its permanent space, located in a 12th-century Hôtel-Dieu, a four-floor historic hospital that feels more of a cultural centre than a museum, filled with exhibits surrounding nutrition, interaction, show kitchens, demo-tasting, and even food-focused French cinema. Away from the venue, you will be delighted with the culinary choices on offer.
3. Ireland — Galway
Regarded as one of the most significant cultural destinations, Galway was once revered as Europe’s capital of culture, filled with close to 1,900 events each year. As a shining star in the ever-expanding culinary ceiling, every trip to Galway has food playing a huge part. Galway has even seen awards for its flourishing culinary credentials, earning Ireland’s first award for the European Region of Gastronomy. So, while scouring the city for the latest cultural delight, save some space for something delicious to eat in the stunning landscape surrounding every corner, a city in the centre of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. Here, you can feast on everything from heather-grazed lamb to shellfish caught along the coast of the adjacent 52 islands! If you’re into something a little more refined, such as the Michelin-starred Aniar, or yearning for a hearty fill, indulge in an Irish breakfast at The Quay House.
4. The Netherlands
Europe is one of the best places to visit if you want to fit a lot into a single trip. With many carbon-neutral transport links connecting cities, it’s the perfect way to experience a short city break. The Netherlands is famous for many things, with its 12 provinces boasting cities like Rotterdam, Utrecht, Hague, Delft, Maastricht, and the most famous of them all, Amsterdam. All these cities are reachable in less than four hours, less than an hour if you choose to fly, all with a blooming sustainable food culture. Restaurants such as Bolenius proudly comprise its menu with 80% native vegetables.
Similarly, De Kas, an eatery set in a greenhouse, celebrates its menu as being filled with produce grown on-site. For something a little cooler and more on-trend, take a trip to Rotterdam, the home of Fenix Food Factory and FG Food Labs, a few of the city’s most coveted restaurants. It’s no surprise that Rotterdam is home to eight Michelin-star venues.
Along the Mediterranean Sea’s sleep coastline, Malta is making a stir with its distinctive culinary attitudes and thriving restaurant scene. The island’s residents come from all over, making it the multicultural hotbed we know today. The nation’s cuisine has been influenced by cultures across the globe, ranging from British colonialists to Phoenicians, Moors to Arabs, and don’t forget those Italian influences! Classic dishes can be offered breakfast, noon, and night, with meals like breakfast pastizzi, a selection of small savoury pastries filled with mushy peas, ricotta, and more, or something a little heartier like Lampuki — a spiced fish pie with North African influences. While these are rustic and affordable options, you can turn your dining experience into something finer by taking a trip to the capital, Valletta, where you can find refined and reimagined ancient fish and rabbit stew recipes paired with full-bodied wines crafted from indigenous grapes like the Ghirghentina and Gellewza.
Here are just a few of the many countries that can be found across the world, each with its culinary excellence guaranteed to transport you into a fiesta of food frenzy. The aim of the game is to immerse yourself in everything local; don’t just go for the safe option in fast food. Explore each country you visit with your tastebuds instead of just your eyes.