While Anthony Bourdain made himself abundantly and deliciously clear, travel and food go hand in hand. Indeed, there are some better ways to experience a destination than to immerse yourself in its unique and varied culinary offerings.
While many destinations around the world have a reputation as long-standing foodies, those same destinations have also become quite predictable, experts at Audley Travel, a company specializing in tailor-made holidays and private tours, say.
With this in mind, the company has recently contacted its various national specialists and product team members for insights into the latest foodie hotspots around the world, places that file and file travelers may not yet have discovered.
Here are the places to eat on your radar, according to field experts from Audley Travel.
While Naples could be the cradle of pizza, and Piedmont is famous for truffles, many travelers have yet to discover that Bologna is also home to fantastic and unexpected culinary experiences, says Audley Travel.
Capital of the northern region of Italy, Bologna was given the unique and appropriate nickname "La grassa", which translates to "the fat", a reference to the rich culture of food.
Some of the traditional recipes of Bologna include the famous tagliatelle al ragu, which is the ancestor of westernologized spaghetti and tortellini in brodo. Some of the best food choices to try in this region are the beloved ham and Parmigiano-Reggiano from nearby Parma, as well as the balsamic vinegar of Modena, said Cara Webster, a specialist in the Audley country in Italy.
"Visit the Michelin-starred restaurant" Ristorante Marconi ", the chef is a woman (cock)," said Webster. "Her name is Aurora Mazzucchelli and she is the only woman chef in the area! I recommend ordering tortelli with parmesan cheese with lavender, nutmeg and almonds, which are simply delicious".
Do you need even more inspiration? Discover the Culinary Highlights of Italy tour of the company here.
Lima, Peru, is the culinary capital of South America and rightly so. In addition to hosting one of the most important Latin American food fairs, its culinary variety excites both locals and visitors.
Famous for its iconic dishes such as ceviche and tiradito, Lima is a privileged destination for those who love good food and the city offers a wide variety of venues ranging from five-star hotels to local restaurants, ceviche shops, chicken shops and markets, says Katie Wolfe, Audley's Latin American specialist.
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"Visitors must make a reservation in Central, one of the best five best restaurants in the world, and try their ceviche, which some believe to have originated in Peru among the Moche civilization," said Wolfe. "If you are really hungry, opt for the 16 course tasting menu that mimics the dramatic changes in altitude from the coast to the high mountains, the first dish with clams found 10 meters above sea level and ending with a medicinal digestive made from medicinal plants growing at 3,600 meters above sea level in the Andes ".
Audley also offers a food-centered tour in Peru.
Bangkok is the final destination for food lovers. From the adjoining shop windows to Michelin-starred restaurants, Bangkok is home to a variety of bizarre and tasty gems including a 24-hour supermarket with its famous restaurant and a new shopping mall dedicated to all that is artisanal and fashionable says Lauren Coppola, Audley's Southeast Asian Product Manager.
Whether you're dining on the street or in a majestic dining room, Bangkok will offer a stellar dining experience.
"Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin is a must visit," says Coppola. "The Michelin-star restaurant serves a delicious red curry ice cream! Travelers should also go to one of the many street food stalls for a bowl of cheap duck soup, which is one of my favorites."
The Audley 16-day culinary tour in Thailand offers the chance to sample much of what the country has to offer.
Penang, Malaysia has often been referred to as the culinary capital of Asia, and for good reason.
After absorbing Indian, Sri Lankan, Chinese and Malay influences, the region is unique in its love for good food in all its forms. Combine this with the collection of historic buildings in the city in various styles, from old English colonial mansions to classic Chinese shops and Islamic mosques, and you have a city made for walking and eating, says Audley's Malaysia and Borneo Country Specialist, Becky Edwards.
"For an authentic Peranakan meal, I recommend visiting Kebaya for their four-course menu, housed in a converted Chinese house," said Edwards. "I could not visit without indulging in Tang Yuen for dessert, my favorite Malaysian dessert that is boiled in syrup sugar known as gula melaka."
Do you need even more inspiration for Malaysia? Check out the 16-day Audley culinary tour in the country here.