I am that annoying girl who takes photos of her food. That girl who never fails to Google Where To Eat, checks Yelp reviews before committing to dine anywhere, cyber stalks where Anthony Bourdain ate, and plans her day according to her meals. Always hungry, always curious, possibly obsessed. That’s me.
While on a crucial mission to find and, most importantly, binge on good food, I made a list of cities that excite my taste buds and will hopefully excite the foodie/traveler in you, too. Coincidentally, my list is somewhat partial to Asian food, street food, and those magical long, thin strips of dough we call pasta and noodles.
A Foodie’s Travel Bucket List
10. Taipei, Taiwan
Prepare to be highly-caffeinated and well-fed in the place that blessed us with pearl milk tea, shaved ice desserts, and Din Tai Fung. A place known for its street food and celebrates the sorcery we know as Beef Noodles (see: Beef Noodle Festival), Taipei should have a special spot in every foodie’s heart (and stomach).
Recommended: Sausage wrapped in sticky rice bun, pepper pork bun, oyster vermicelli soup, oyster omelette, papaya milk shake at Shilin Night Market. Beef Noodles at Yong Kang Beef Noodle. Taiwanese breakfast at Fu Hang Dou Jiang. Xiao Long Bao at Din Tai Fung.
9. Madrid, Spain
I don’t need to tell you how Madrid, or dare I say the whole of Spain, won my heart. I’ll just say random words like jamon, chorizos, paella or gambas ajillo, tapas, calamares or manchego, churros, sangria. Endless glasses of sangria. You get the picture.
Recommended: Churros at Chocolateria San Gines. Tapas, paellas, and more at Mercado de san Ildefonso and Mercado de San Miguel. Conchinillo asado (roast suckling pig) at Sobrino de Botin.
I always find myself at the crossroads when I’m in Singapore. Big, life-changing decisions needing to be made. Like, where to eat first? And, how to eat it all in one go? There’s too much of the good stuff that my gluttonous soul cannot keep still. Hawker centres seem to have that effect on me. However, a mainstay in my to-eat list is Ya Kun Kaya Toast for breakfast and Tian Tian Chicken Rice. No crossroads there.
Recommended: Chicken rice at Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice. Laksa at 328 Katong Laksa. Satay at Lau Pa Sat.
7. New York, USA
This city wouldn’t be dubbed as the food mecca for nothing. Everything your culinary imagination can probably come up with, New York got it. And they got it good. Being a melting pot of different cultures has its perks. It’s like going on a gastronomic trip around the world without the actual going around the world. In other words, New York might just be the promised land.
Recommended: Bagels at Russ and Daughter’s. Pastrami Sandwich at Kat’z Delicatessen. Oysters at Grand Central Oyster Bar. Pizza at Grimaldi’s. Cheesecake at Junior’s. Hotdogs at Gray’s Papaya.
6. Hong Kong
From the stubbornly traditional to the unpredictable fusion food, this culinary capital of Asia is a force to be reckoned with. That beef brisket soup is the very definition of perfection. And even if I had to wait again in line for an hour only to get yelled at by the staff at Kau Kee, I will be back. Like how I went back over and over again for that suckling pig at Dragon Restauraunt. Bourdain himself had it, and said, “This is as close to God as you’re gonna get.” The man is never wrong.
Recommended: Suckling pig at Dragon Restaurant, Central. Beef Brisket at Kau Kee. Pork buns at Tim Ho Wan. Wonton Noodles at Mak’s Noodles. Matcha Affogato at Via Tokyo.