20 Best Culinary Destinations In The World for Scrumptious Adventures

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Food is invariably the best part of traveling. You learn the culture and food history by sampling new and exciting authentic local dishes.

This list of the best culinary destinations in the world is designed to enthrall travelers and food lovers.

We’ve curated this list of the best foodie destinations based on our culinary travels worldwide to learn about authentic food specialties.

As you consider your upcoming travel plans, consider going on an exciting culinary adventure to any of these food destinations.

Immerse yourself into a fun and colorful world of new flavors

Go ahead and dig into these top 20 foodie destinations and plan your ultimate culinary vacation.

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1. Izmir Turkey

Izmir Turkey Best Food Vacations by AuthenticFoodQuest
Fish and seafood dishes fresh off the boat

As a popular tourist destination, Turkey has much to offer regarding history, culture, and culinary experiences

Whether you’re exploring Istanbul, Cappadocia, or Izmir, great food beckons you everywhere.

Stunning Izmir, with its mix of traditions and modernity, makes for a memorable vacation for foodies. 

Izmir, considered the capital of Aegean cuisine, offers unique tastes with Ottoman, Greek, Jewish, Italian, and French influences.

We loved the cuisine in Izmir that we discovered on an Izmir food tour. In particular, the local Mediterranean diet with fresh salads, vegetables, and seafood.

Meat and seafood lovers will enjoy specialties like Kokorec and Midye or stuffed mussels.

Street food delicacies like Gevrek, Boyoz, Kumru, Söğüş, and others will soon become favorites.

Of course, no culinary adventure is complete without sampling the local sweet specialties. Izmir Bombas or filled pastries will delight you. 

Some of our other favorite Izmir sweets worth seeking are Shambali cake, Subye sherbet, and much more.

Take an Izmir city gourmet tour for an authentic taste of the local dishes. With a local guide, you’ll discover new flavors and faces of the city you’d never find on your own.

As one of the best food vacations, sun-kissed Izmir offers a rich history and cuisine shaped over the millennia by several cultures.

Other Turkey Culinary Tours You May Enjoy

7-Day Cooking Vacation Bodrum Turkish Culinary Retreat

A Taste of Turkey – From Istanbul to Cappadocia – 10 Days

Turkey Real Food Adventure – 11 Days

RELATED: 17 Most Popular Turkish Desserts You Can’t Wait To Try

2. Tuscany, Italy

Tuscany Italy for best food vacations by Authentic Food Quest
Scenic countryside and delicious local cuisine

If you love Italian food, then a trip to Italy is necessary to taste the classic and authentic dishes firsthand. 

Italy, consistently ranked as one of the best countries for foodies, is home to different regional cuisines, including Tuscan foods.

Tuscany is not just stunning coastlines, scenic countryside, fascinating history, or fine wines. It is all this and more. 

On our visits to Tuscany, we were spoilt for choice. From simple meals to home cooking and gourmet dishes, the simple and fresh flavors are endless.

What is the best way to indulge in Tuscan cuisine based on fresh, local produce, hearty meats, and delightful wines? 

Visit local food markets with a local guide, join a food or wine tour, or sign up for a cooking class.

Tuscan specialties like bistecca alla Fiorentina, pappa al pomodoro ribollita, coccoli or cantucci for dessert are to be savored bite-by-bite.

When the conversation turns to Tuscany wines, Chianti, Montepulciano, and other vibrant reds come to mind. But don’t forget the tasty whites like Vernaccia di San Gimignano.

With Itay ranked as one of the best countries for food, the simple and rustic flavors of Tuscan cooking are a must for foodies.

Other Tuscany Culinary Tours You May Enjoy

8 Days All Inclusive Cooking & Wine Tours Tuscany – Lucca

6 Day Cooking With Passion and Market Visit – Pomarance, Tuscany

8 Day Cooking & Wine Holiday in Tuscany

RELATED: 9 of the Best Cooking Vacations in Tuscany You Should Consider

3. Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo Japan Chef cooking street food by Authentic Food Quest
One of the best culinary destinations in the world we can’t wait to go back to

Do you love sushi, ramen, tempura, and gyoza? And would you have it every day, given the choice?

Ethnic restaurants outside of Japan barely scratch the surface regarding the local cuisine. 

We visited Tokyo on a brief layover and were quickly immersed in the local food scene. 

The exciting foods with no translations left us curious and eager to go deeper into this fascinating culinary destination. 

Tokyo is a gastronomic powerhouse where you find the freshest sushi, the city’s most iconic food.

A top foodie destination, Tokyo has fantastic food at every price level, including more than 200 restaurants with Michelin stars.

Did you know about the underground secret Tokyo food spots? Luxury department stores have lavish basement halls known as depachika where vendors sell food. 

Tokyo is as delicious underground as it is above ground. Taking a walking food tour of one of the most popular food districts in Tokyo takes you right to the regional cuisine.

Not to be forgotten are a traditional tea ceremony, pub crawls, and visits to izakaya or backstreet eateries frequented by locals.

As a culinary capital, eating in Tokyo is an experience of a lifetime.

Other Japan Culinary Tours You May Enjoy

Tsukiji Fish Market Food and Culture Walking Tour

12 Days of Japan Real Food Adventure

RELATED: The 8 Best Japanese Snacks Box To Taste Japan

4. San Sebastian, Spain

Pintxos Crawl San Sebastian Food by Authentic Food Quest
Pintxos crawl, an unmissable Basque experience

San Sebastian in northern Spain is considered one of the country’s culinary capitals.

Even though it is most famous for Basque tapas, known as pintxos, there are many more amazing local culinary foods and drinks to indulge in.

Eating at pintxos bars is a delicious and unmissable activity in San Sebastian, also known as Donostia. 

And the must-eat pintxos is known as “Gilda,” which was the first official Basque pintxo. 

In addition to the pintxos, you’ll also find many Michelin-starred restaurants. For the ultimate fine dining experience, it is worth treating yourself to an outstanding meal.

During our visit to the Basque Country, we were impressed by the quality of the food and the exceptional wines and local cider. 

In addition to taking San Sebastian food tours, we also learned to make amazing Basque traditional dishes.

In addition to the exceptional culinary scene, San Sebastian also has a long history as a royal summer destination. 

In fact, the beach La Concha in Donostia San Sebastian is one of the top beaches in Europe and the world.

A culinary gem, San Sebastian is one of the best places to visit for food lovers. There are amazing pintxos bars, exceptional restaurants, and wineries and cider houses around San Sebastian.

San Sebastian is one of our favorite foodie destinations and one we highly recommend visiting.

Other Basque Culinary Tours You May Enjoy

Ultimate San Sebastian Pintxos & Wine Tour (Evening)

Getaria Txakoli Wine Tour with Hotel Pick-up from San Sebastian

8 Day The Ultimate Luxury Private Culinary Tour of Northern Spain

RELATED: San Sebastian Food Guide: 12 Must-Try Basque Dishes And Culinary Experiences

5. Crete, Greece

Crete One of our best Culinary destination in the world by Authentic Food Quest
Enjoy the Cretan way of life

Not only travelers but even Greeks admit that the island of Crete offers the best foodie vacations in all of Greece. 

We spent five months on the island and were amazed by the local cuisine, regional wines, and the best olive oil and honey.

Cretan cuisine is a gastronomic treasure born from centuries-old traditions. 

The food is 100% seasonal, incorporating fresh seafood, locally grown vegetables, and fruits, all doused in extra-virgin olive oil.

Simple in preparation and one of the healthiest Mediterranean diets, foodies will savor the pleasure of good food.

While in Crete, eat like a Cretan and indulge in local dishes. Start out with Cretan dakos or the addictive kalitsounia cheese pies.

Your seafood or lamb stews like tsigariastó are best accompanied with horta or wild greens endemic to the island.

Cretan wedding rice or gamopilafo is an integral part of local culture and one of the most celebrated Cretan dishes. 

It’s eaten at weddings and family festivities and is not to be missed on your Cretan foodie vacation.

Meals begin and end with Cretan liquor, known as tsikoudia or raki offered as part of Crete or Greek hospitality.

A foodie vacation on Greece’s largest island is also the perfect opportunity to discover the local Cretan wines

Taste interesting local varieties like red Kostifali or Mandilari Thrapsathiri, or the celebrated white Vidiano wine.

If learning how to cook local Cretan specialties is your agenda, this real Cretan cooking experience invites you into a local’s home.

In Chania, most famous for its Venetian Harbor, you can take a wine and food walking tour and learn the history while indulging in local eats.

Greece is one of the top food destinations in the world, and the island of Crete is the place to go for food lovers.

Other Crete Culinary Tours You May Enjoy

The Ultimate 10 Day Culture & Gastronomy Tour in Crete

7 Day Private Olive Oil and Culinary Vacation in Crete

2 Day Food Culture and Culinary Vacation in Heraklion, Crete

RELATED: Food in Crete – Your Guide To The  Best Authentic Food on the Island

6. Jaipur, India

Jaipur One of the best culinary Destinations in the world by Authentic Food Quest
In Jaipur, find delectable food everywhere

Rajasthan takes you back to the time of Kings and Royalty. Jaipur, the Pink City, is no different with its historic forts, palaces, and of course, mouthwatering dishes.

You’ll find an extensive array of north Indian foods and unique Rajasthani recipes with ingredients that only grow in the desert state. 

From street food, to hole-in-the-wall eateries and palaces converted into gourmet hotels, food lovers will find delectable food everywhere.

Only in Jaipur is where you can taste authentic local dishes like dal baati churma, laal maas, gatte, and more. 

Jaipur’s specialty dessert known as ghewar, is one of the favorite foods and one not to miss while there.

While we have yet to travel to India, we can’t wait to wander the streets and enjoy traditional foods and beverages. 

This is one food tour that we’d love to take and experience the sheer variety of Jaipuri culinary treasures combined with local culture.

Rajasthani’s mouthwatering cuisine is a paradise for foodies and is one of the most renowned foodie destinations in India.

Other India Culinary Tours You May Enjoy

12 Days Holi Festival and Culinary Tours – The Colors of Rajasthan

12 Days Kerala Flavors Culinary Tour of India

6 Day Cooking & Culinary Tour in Delhi, Agra and Jaipur

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: Make your culinary travels worry-free! With the right travel insurance, you’ll enjoy a delicious experience. From medical emergencies, flight cancelations, car rental protection, or tour cancelations, a good travel insurance has got you covered. Check out our travel insurance review for food lovers to get started.

7. Lyon, France

Typical Meal in Lyon with Quenelle by Authentic Food Quest
Quenelle, an iconic dish in this French gastronomic city

Imagine a trip to a historical city with a rich history, delicious wine tours in Rhone Valley, and gourmet French cuisine. You have a foodie vacation worthy of salivating about. 

A visit to Lyon, a UNESCO world heritage site, fulfills all your food and travel aspirations.

Lyon’s breathtaking scenery, sites steeped in history, vineyards, food markets, and culinary adventures make it one of the top foodie destinations.

Referred to as the “Gastronomic Capital of the World” since 1935, Lyon has over 20 Michelin-starred restaurants.

Claire studied in Lyon and knows the local culinary scene well. The cuisine du terroir, as she describes it, is filled with unique traditional dishes not commonly found in other parts of the country.

While the most famous restaurant is Paul Bocuse, there are several traditional eateries where you can try local foods.

Known as “Bouchons Lyonnais” you’ll enjoy, as we did, scrumptious regional fare that should be part of your foodie vacation.

If exploring wine from the nearby Rhone Valley is your agenda, definitely make Lyon your base. 

Explore the famous wine routes of Hermitage, Côte-Rôtie, Beaumes-de-Venise nestled within the fields of lavender and olive trees.

What can we say about the food in Lyon? A mouthwatering indulgence.

The best way to explore local flavors is to eat in the old city, Vieux Lyon. On a Lyon Old Town walking tour and with local specialties, you’ll discover the city’s hidden gems with a local guide.

For a unique experience, take a dinner cruise on the Hermès restaurant boat and feast on local specialties as you admire Lyon by night.

Other Lyon Culinary Tours You May Enjoy

Secret Food Tour with Private Option – Lyon

Wine Tasting and Meal Cheese Pairing in Lyon

Lyon Electric Bike Tour With Food Tastings and Local Guide

RELATED: 9 of The Best Cooking Vacations in France To Explore The Local Cuisine

8. Lima, Peru

Ceviche Lima Peru One of the Best Foodie Destinations by Authentic Food Quest
Don’t miss out on eating fresh ceviche in Lima

Lima, Peru, the gastronomic capital of South America, has been awarded Best Culinary Destination for several years in a row.

It’s a country we visited and fell in love with the food. So much so, that we wrote a book Authentic Food Quest Peru about the outstanding flavors and culinary gems.

Home to prestigious restaurants and local eateries, the culinary fusion keeps the cuisine in the spotlight and a favorite foodie destination.

What is so special about the food?  The multicultural population and regional influences have created vibrant food flavors and unique recipe variations leaving an indelible mark on the cuisine.

No journey to Lima is complete without indulging in fresh ceviche, considered the dish of Lima. 

The cevicherias offer the best mixto or thinly sliced cuts of squid, fish, scallops, and octopus, washed down with Peruvian pisco sour.

With internationally renowned chefs interpreting traditional recipes in contemporary ways, Lima’s identity as a top food destination is only getting secured. 

Restaurants like Central, Maido, and Astrid y Gastón are just some of the names consistently elevating Peruvian cuisine to new heights.

One of the best ways to taste world-renowned Peruvian food is to take food tours while exploring the capital city. 

Taking cooking classes in Lima also takes you behind the scenes to the markets and ingredients that make up this celebrated cuisine. 

Other Lima Culinary Tours You May Enjoy

Gastronomy Journey in Lima

Lima Gourmet Food Tour Evening Experience

10 Days Real Food Adventure from Lima to Cusco

RELATED: Peru Foods: 20 Must-Try Authentic Dishes

9. Girona, Spain

Girona Spain Best Culinary Destination in The World by Authentic Food Quest
Girona is a culinary gem in Spain

A beautiful and culturally rich country, Spain offers diverse cuisine in its different regions.

While food is an important part of the people’s identity, this is nowhere as evident as in Catalonia.

Catalonian food culture is unique even by Spanish standards. Born from a rich history of influences, the flavors capture tastes from the mountains to the sea.

Girona, the culinary gem, is well known among discerning food travelers for its gastronomic delights and Michelin-starred restaurants.   

Beyond fine dining at Michelin restaurants like El Celler de Can Roca or Massana, you’ll find creative Catalan cuisine throughout Girona.   

Indulge in suquet de peix or Catalan fish stew. Order black rice with squid made with locally grown rice from Pals. And complete the meal with outstanding Empordà wines.

Enjoy wine tastings of some of the finest local Empordà wines, lunch, and an olive oil tasting.  

A delicious region of Spain and a foodie’s dream destination, Girona has a wealth of amazing food and traditions worth discovering.

Curious about the food in Girona and Costa Brava? Download the free e-book about Catalan food we wrote after visiting the region.

Other Catalonia Culinary Tours You May Enjoy

2 Day Escape Best of Penedès and Priorat Wine Tour in Catalonia

3 Day Gourmet Wine and Culinary Vacation in Siurana, Catalonia

RELATED: Girona Food Tour – How To Taste The Best of Girona 

10. Bologna, Italy

Bolognese Pasta Served by Authentic Food Quest
The famous Bolognese pasta

Bologna is regarded as the culinary capital of Italy. One of its nicknames, “La Grassa” or “The Fat,” speaks to Bologna’s good food and rich culinary heritage. 

Unlike other famous Italian cities, Bologna is less touristy and yet offers just as much in food, history, and culture.

Some of Bologna’s famous foods worth savoring are Mortadella, Tagliatelle al Ragù, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and much more.  

We loved exploring Bolognese specialties, and one of the best ways was on food tours in Bologna. 

Learning to make authentic Bolognese pasta is another top food activity for food lovers interested in improving their culinary skills.

Discovering the regional wines was another highlight of our Bologna authentic culinary travels.

Lambrusco wine, Pignoletto sparkling wines, and Romagna wines are local wines worth seeking.

In addition to its rich culinary history, Bologna is a UNESCO town with one of the oldest universities and unique portico architecture.

Taking a Bologna city walking tour is a great way to learn about the city’s culture and heritage.

An amazing city, Bologna is one of the best foodie destinations in Italy.

Other Bologna Culinary Tours You May Enjoy

8 Day Culinary Treasures of Bologna, Venice, Michelin Stars, and Exotic Cars

8 Day Truffles, Mushrooms, Chestnuts Culinary and Cooking Holiday in Bologna

7 Day Wellness, Culture, and Food Holiday in the Hidden Emilia Romagna, Bologna

RELATED: 12 Reasons Why Is Bologna Worth Visiting (Food & Travel Guide)

11. Hoi An, Vietnam

Claire and Rosemary in Hoi An by Authentic Food Quest and I Travel Because
Claire and Rosemary eating street food in Hoi An

Hoi An isn’t simply a port town in Southeast Asia whose streets and buildings offer an enticing glimpse of its ancient history. 

A trip to Hoi An is considered one of the best vacations for foodies, and we can attest to that.

The authentic cuisine draws tourists from all over the world. And as culinary explorers, we also visited this ancient port and melting pot of cultures and cuisines.

While Vietnam has many culinary centers, the food in Hoi An is unique, with its own local food culture.

For starters, you get to explore Central Vietnamese cuisine. The recipes are created with locally sourced ingredients from the nearby village and use water from the ancient wells.

Iconic dishes like Cao Lau, White Rose Dumplings, Com Ga, Banh Mi, and others are famous worldwide and exquisite in Hoi An.

The market stalls and street foods take you to the heart of the amazing local food culture. 

Navigating the bustling markets and narrow alleys can be intimidating, but it is made much easier with a local guide. 

A Hoi An food tour by night offers an immersive food adventure and a treat for the taste buds.

If you want to learn how to make traditional Central Vietnamese dishes, take a fun Hoi An cooking class.

Other Vietnam Culinary Tours You May Enjoy

7 Day Real Local Experience and Cooking Vacation in Hoi An, Quang Nam

8 Days Culture and Food Tour with Halong Bay Cruise Trip in Northern Vietnam

14 Day Private Vietnam Culinary Tour in Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Hoi An, Hue, and Ho Chi Minh City

RELATED: Guide to The Best Food and Authentic Restaurants in Hoi An

12. Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech Food Market by Authentic Food Quest
Experience classic Moroccan cuisine at the open-air markets

You may already be familiar with Marrakech, the Red City. This historic city is known for its colorful markets, immense gardens, and culinary delights.

What makes Marrakech a culinary capital is the aromatic and intriguing North African cuisine infused with subtle spices. 

The best places to enjoy classic Moroccan dishes are the open-air markets at Djemaa El Fna square.

On a food and market tour experience, you’ll taste Marrakech at its best with an expert guide.  

Dig into juicy kebabs, tanjia marrakchia, briouats, bestilla, hariri soup, and other delectable dishes. 

Wash it all down with a cup of refreshing Moroccan mint tea, with fragrances you’ll remember forever.

Sweet lovers cannot miss chebakia, a sweet pastry coated with syrup and sesame seeds, as well as phyllo tartlets with dried fruit to savor.

A guided tour of Marrakech’s popular souks, food markets, and street vendors is not to be missed. 

Rich in history and filled with different authentic products, this is one of the best ways to bring home delicious Moroccan foods and souvenirs.

Other Morocco Culinary Tours You May Enjoy

11 Days Fabulous Culinary Holiday in Marrakech

12 Day Exotic and Mystical Morocco​ Gourmet Immersion Tour

7 Day Culinary Adventure and Cooking Holiday in Fes

13. Charleston, USA

Shrimps and Grits at Hominy's Grill the Best Breakfast Restaurant for Southern Foods in Charleston South Carolina by Authentic Food Quest. Find the some of the best food in South Carolina at Hominy Grill, Charleston.
Shrimp & Grits, a Charleston classic

Southern cuisine is the food icon of modern America, and no place serves it better than Charleston. 

Replete with antebellum architecture and home to award-winning restaurants, the city’s layered past has shaped its food culture.

The food in Charleston, as described by Nathalie Dupree, a culinary legend and local chef whom we met, is chiefly about seafood and rice.

Southern classics like shrimp and grits, Carolina Gold Rice, and Southern comfort desserts are not to be missed.

The charming French Quarter and historic landmarks are best explored on a small group food tour

As you delve into the years of culinary history, you’ll savor the diverse flavors and rich culture.

And, for those who love their craft beer, Charleston has an exploding brewery scene, easily accessible on this Hops and History tour.

Other Charleston Culinary Tours You May Enjoy

Undiscovered Charleston – Half Day Food, Wine & History Tour with Cooking Class

Charleston to Savannah – Exploring Gullah Geechee Culture

Charleston’s Old South Carriage Historic Horse & Carriage Tour

RELATED: What Food Is South Carolina Known For: 20 Must-Have Foods And Where To Eat It

14. Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok Floating Markets by Authentic Food Quest
Floating markets, an experience to have in Bangkok

There is a reason Bangkok is considered the street food capital of the world. While Thai food is a universal favorite, nothing screams authentic like the food you’ll sample on a bustling Bangkok street market.

On the streets of Bangkok, the scents of freshly grilled food and quintessential Thai flavors greet you at every corner. 

Market visits to explore the diverse cuisine and unique ingredients were some of our highlights in Bangkok.

To get the most out of your food experience, we recommend taking a Bangkok food tour with a local guide.

Be sure to indulge in Chinese dumplings or crab noodles and fried oyster omelets in Chinatown Market, Chatuchak weekend market, or Wang Lang Market.

If an immersive food experience and exploring new tastes like mangosteen is what you’re after, nothing beats visiting the floating markets. 

Lest you think Bangkok is all street food, the city boasts Michelin-Star restaurants like R-Haan,  providing fine-dine Thai style.

If you want to learn about Thai cooking methods, taking a cooking class immerses you even deeper into the local culture. 

This hands on Thai cooking class, with a market tour, takes to the street vendors and hawker stalls for for the necessary ingredients to make four traditional Thai dishes.

Other Bangkok Culinary Tours You May Enjoy

2 Days Hands-on Authentic Thai Cooking Holiday in Bangkok, Thailand

3 Day Highlights of Bangkok and Beyond Culinary Holiday in Bangkok

4 Day Fun Home-style Thai Cooking and Culture Holidays in Nonthaburi, Bangkok

RELATED: Bangkok Food Guide: What and Where to Eat Like a Local in Bangkok

15. Oaxaca, México

Molein Oaxaca Mexico One of the best countries for foodies by Authentic Food Quest
Traditional Oaxacan cuisine with strong indigenous roots

Mexico is considered one of the best countries for food. And even though Mexico City is celebrated for its street food and world-class restaurants, Oaxaca food is renowned.

Oaxaca, consistently ranked as a top city for food, offers traditional cuisine with strong indigenous roots.

Its gastronomic wealth comes from the microclimates found within the eight regions in the state. Over our six-month stay in Oaxaca, we explored the colorful and traditional cuisine. 

As the birthplace of corn, chocolate, and Mezcal, the distilled liquor made from the Agave plant, Oaxaca is a culinary destination for foodies.

The food markets, street vendor stalls, and excellent restaurants are wonderful places to sample authentic Oaxacan food. 

Explore the variety of Mole sauces, including some made with more than 30 ingredients. 

Tlayuda, the Oaxacan tortilla pizza, stone soup or caldo de piedra, among others, are some of the delicious foods to try.

Adventurous foodies can opt for chapulines or grasshoppers, a popular snack and regional specialty.

We recommend a food tour and a cooking class where you get to make tortillas by hand, mole, and tasty desserts.

If visiting the local markets and learning about street food is more your preference, this Oaxaca food and walking tour is for you.

Food lovers seeking to broaden their knowledge of Mexican cuisine should make Oaxaca one of the top foodie destinations not to miss.

Other Mexico Culinary Tours You May Enjoy

7 Day Journey into The Heart & Soul of Mexican Cooking in Oaxaca

6 Day Layer by Layer Culinary Adventure in Mexico City

Local Coffee Tasting and Cultural Experience

RELATED: 20+ Must-Try Oaxaca Foods That Will Leave You Craving More

16. Penang, Malaysia 

Laksa Soup in Penang Malaysia by AuthenticFoodQuest
Penang Asam Laksa, one of the best foods in the world

Malay food, like the country, represents the diverse communities that have made Malaysia their home. 

The culinary food traditions of the Malay, Chinese, and Indians come together to create a wonderful collision of flavors.

The country is one the best food destinations in the world, and Penang is the food capital.

A top foodie destination, we relished our time in Penang exploring the local food specialties.

Penang’s Asam Laksa is an experience to have been ranked by CNN as one of the world’s 50 best foods.

Penang’s rich and fascinating history has produced other delectable dishes like our favorite, char kway teow or stir fry flat rice noodles. 

Nasi lemak, a popular dish in the country consisting of fragrant rice, eggs, anchovies, and sambal sauce, is worth traveling for. 

And sweets like cendol, tambun biscuits, and unique juices are all part of the Penang foodie experience.

With its blend of cuisines, celebrated street food vendors, hawker centers, and home to the world’s first food museum, Penang takes food seriously.

A half day culinary tour of Georgetown, the historic center of Penang, is a great way to visit and taste the local culture. 

In the company of a local guide, you’ll explore food and dining spots you wouldn’t find on your own. 

As a cultural and heritage tour, you’ll visit key tourist attraction spots as you get to know Penang as a local.

Food is the main reason to visit Penang. It’s one of the best foodie destinations with diverse mouthwatering foods.

Other Malaysia Culinary Tours You May Enjoy

3-Hour Heritage on a Plate Dinner Hop in George Town Penang

Kuala Lumpur food tour

Malaysia and Singapore Highlights

RELATED: The Best of Penang Food: Our 9 Most Beloved Authentic Dishes 

17. Sicily, Italy

Taormina and Etna Sicily Italy by Authentic Food Quest
Taormina, one of the most charming villages in Sicily

Sicily, Italy’s Mediterranean gem, has a fascinating history and food culture based on the different civilizations that once ruled it.

Having spent several months on the island exploring local food specialties, the food and history on this intriguing island is worth knowing.

Sicilian food is loaded with history and culinary influences from Arab, Spanish and Greek settlers. Some of this region’s iconic dishes are gems you won’t find anywhere else in Italy. 

Your taste buds will relish the southern Italy island’s iconic dishes like pasta alla norma, caponata, arancini rice balls, and frozen treats like granita.

As you explore the region and its charms, load up on the most famous dessert, cannoli, stuffed with whipped ricotta.

Chocolate from Modica, sfincione, a focaccia-like bread with condiments, and pane e panelle pancakes are typical of Sicilian gastronomy to be experienced.

To immerse yourself in the local food culture, spend time at the food markets of Palermo. 

Meander the streets with a local guide, learning about the history, food traditions, and unique architecture.

Explore Mount Etna from Catania and get to know Etna wines over lunch and wine visits.

Nothing completes a foodie vacation like learning to make traditional food specialties. In a local Sicilian family home, take cooking classes and learn the secrets of the best Italian food.

While Italy is one of the best countries for food, the island of Sicily is one of those destinations worthy of spending weeks and months savoring.

Other Sicily Culinary Tours You May Enjoy

14 Day Savour Sicily – Gastronomic, Food, Wine, and Culture Tour in Italy

8 Day Culinary Adventure at the Old Winery in Catania, Sicily

8 Day Unexplored Sicily: Authentic Gastronomic Tour in Ragusa, Etna and Caltagirone

READ MORE: The Best Sicilian Food: 25 Authentic Dishes in Sicily You Must Eat

18. Porto Portugal

Porto Wines Portugal Best Vacations for Foodies by Authentic Food Quest
The diversity of food and wines in Porto blew us away

Another one of the best vacations for foodies, Porto, Portugal’s second city, is a vibrant place to explore local food.

A UNESCO Heritage Site and laid-back port city, the culinary scene juxtaposes fine dining with home-style cooking.

Porto food draws on influences from the Trás-os-Montes mountains and hillsides of Douro Valley. 

A culinaryly exciting city, we only began to peel away during our five-week stay in the country, and the diversity of food and wines blew us away.

The Francesinha sandwich is arguably the city’s most famous dish. An adaptation of the French croque monsieur sandwich, you can easily recreate it at home with this Francesinha recipe before visiting Porto.

Porto’s traditional tripe dish, pasteis de chaves or puff pastries and desserts like tarte de amêndoa are to be savored.

At Mercado do Bolhão, you can sample meats and cheeses and traditional desserts. This Porto 3-hour food and wine tasting tour takes you through the quaint roads with food and wine tastings, including cultural stops.

The Douro Valley, home to Port wines and exceptional table wines, is a must-visit for food and wine lovers. 

As the first demarcated and regulated wine region in the world, a tour of three wineries on a Portuguese Rabelo boat is an experience of a lifetime.

Porto is one of the best culinary destinations in Portugal. With amazing local foods and wines make Porto your next best culinary destination on your next trip.

Other Porto Culinary Tours You May Enjoy

Porto: 3-Hour Port Wine Walking Tour with Tastings

Porto Progressive Dinner Tour with Eating Europe

The Award-Winning Private Food Tour of Porto: The 10 Tastings

READ MORE: Top 10 Authentic Foods You Want to Delight in Porto

19. Tbilisi, Georgia

Khachapuri dish from Tbilisi Georgia by AuthenticFoodQuest
The tantalizing Georgian Khachapuri

What makes Georgian cuisine so appealing? Traditional Georgian dishes reflect the contrasting features of the ethnic and regional diversity of this region.

Tbilisi is rightly seen as the culinary capital with a dazzling range of foods enriched with spices, herbs, cheese, nuts, and dry fruits. 

The city is home to an eclectic mix of traditional and modern eateries serving khinkali, khachapuri, dishes bathed in walnuts, churchkhela confections, and more.

After being introduced to Georgian wines and captivated by khachapuri, we believe Georgia should be on any food lover’s list.

With influences from Asia and Europe, the widest expression of Georgian food is best expressed through Supra. 

This is a traditional feast featuring an assortment of dishes accompanied by copious amounts of Georgian wine.

A Tbilisi walking tour through the scenic streets offers you a taste of culture and Georgian wines steeped in history.

Kakheti, Georgia’s wine-producing area, is one of the oldest in the world. Discovering Georgian wines at the largest winery and oldest winery is an experience for wine lovers.

As one of the best countries for food in the South Caucasian region, Georgia’s world-class food and wine await your discovery.

Other Georgia Culinary Tours You May Enjoy

7 Day Harvest Time Wine and Culinary Holiday in Tbilisi

8 Days Tour in Georgia

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20. Mendoza, Argentina

Winery Foodie Vacation in Mendoza Argentina by Authentic Food Quest
Mendoza wineries have some of the most striking landscapes

Mendoza is the heart of the Argentinean wine country and is famous for outstanding Malbec wines. 

With proximity to the stunning Andes mountain range, it’s the perfect foodie vacation to combine adventure with outstanding food.

A perfect destination for foodies and wine lovers, Mendoza boasts over 1500 wineries spread out within Mendoza regions.

Tour prestigious wineries in the wine valleys as you savor Malbec wine and other high altitude wines. 

Pair your wines with a delicious multi-course gourmet lunch in this all day Mendoza wine tasting experience with lunch.

When not visiting vineyards, enjoy Argentine local specialties like empanadas, grilled meats, and the iconic dulce le leche alfajor cookies.

During our visit to Mendoza, we enjoyed discovering the local food specialties and writing about them in our book Authentic Food Quest Argentina.

Mendoza has outstanding views of the  Andes wines, and it’s one of the best culinary destinations for authentic Argentine fare and unique wine experiences.

In Mendoza, you’ll find various dining options to sample iconic Argentine dishes. Wash everything down with Malbec and other local grape varieties.

One of the top culinary destinations in South America, a trip to Mendoza needs to be on every food lovers vacation list.

Other Mendoza Culinary Tours You May Enjoy

Maipú Wine -Tasting Tour from Mendoza Including Trapiche Winery

Horseback Riding and Asado in the Mountains of Mendoza

RELATED: Argentina Food Guide – Top 15 Authentic Food You Must Try

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If unique culinary experiences are what you seek, these best culinary destinations in the world have a lot to offer. Where will your food travels take you next? 

Please let us know in the comments below which foodie destination is on your holiday wishlist.

Savor the Adventure!

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