Food is one of the best things about traveling. Different cultures offer a rich variety of various cuisines, tastes, and textures to explore. Here are some of the absolute best locations for trying some of the best local food in the entire world outside of the United States.
When it comes to European cuisine, it’s hard to beat Italy. While some places on the continent can offer choices that lean a bit bland (hello there, England), Italian food is world-renowned for a reason. It also happens to be quite far removed from cheaper American equivalents.
What makes Italian food shine is the freshness and quality of its ingredients. You’ll find pasta that’s been hand-stretched by a chef who’s been making it his whole life. You’ll find tomatoes, garlic, wine, and olive oil that’s produced locally and also happens to be some of the best in the world.
Mexican food is similar to Italian cuisine in the sense that the American version doesn’t hold a candle to the authentic, homegrown reality. Mexico offers an incredible variety of delicious foods. Even options that might sound familiar—burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and chimichangas–will often be radically different from what you’re used to seeing.
Other foods that aren’t as well known in the states merit a shoutout; chilaquiles, elotes, and mole definitely deserve your attention. Visit major cultural centers to get the very best options. Mexico City is a fantastic choice. Punta de Mita in Mexico has many great restaurants that serve great local cuisine. Make sure to try some local drinks as well!
From the American perspective, Japanese food might not always seem the most accessible. Common food like sushi or seaweed can sometimes be off putting to some of the pickier eaters in the west. But you will never regret trying to widen your culinary horizons in Japan. Why? Every region has unique, seasonal delights. Everywhere you go, the food is unusually high quality. The street vendors at festivals may have options that you find unfamiliar but you will never regret trying them at least once. Both the savory and the sweet are exemplary–and Japan has mastered the use of the elusive umami flavor.
The U.S. has great cuisine–there’s no doubt about it. We contain a wide variety of foods from a huge range of international countries. New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia–we could go on and on! But it simply is not the same as getting the authentic option on the shores of the country itself.
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