Food and Travel Writers share foodie experiences to inspire your travels
Are you thinking (dreaming) about your travel plans for next year? If you’re looking for foodie travel inspiration around the world, you’re in the right spot. Check out what tops my list as well as the list of some of my favorite food and travel writers.
This is part three of my Epic Foodie Travel Bucket List Experiences series. Did you read my Epic foodie travel bucket list experiences in Central Florida and around the USA? Hope you check those out too.
My foodie travel bucket list – i.e. “someday list” – is never ending. Are you ready to add to yours? It’s time to plan, put in on the calendar and go Make Someday Happen one delicious bite, sip and trip at a time!
Bucket list experiences are not listed in any particular order. Let me know in the comments, which ones you’ll add to your list or if there are any I should add to mine.
1. Magical Christmas Dinner Experience in Potterverse – London, England
Bec Wyld and husband Mark are based in Australia and travel the world with their two daughters. They share their experiences and tips on affordable family travel on their blog wyldfamilytravel.com. I “met” them virtually through Travel Bloggers Influencers Network (#TBIN) and admire how they’re building stronger bonds as a family through travel.
When I posed the question about what foodie bucket list experience topped their list, I was reminded not everyone thinks of food the same way I do. (i.e. not everyone is obsessed!) And yet, I find many foodie experiences are more about the memories they create than the food itself.
If you’re a Harry Potter fan I bet The Making of Harry Potter experience in London is on your list. But, did you know they had special event dinners where you can dine in The Great Hall?
Here’s what Bec had to say:
“I have always been a picky eater, that was until I travelled. Smelling magnificent food coming from a kitchen can really make you rethink your plain choice and many times I have absolutely enjoyed what I chose. Because of this I never really had a bucket list of places or dishes I wanted to try. I thought having traditional foods wherever I travelled was pretty out there…until I saw that The Making of Harry Potter Studio’s did a full Christmas dinner. For me and my daughter’s snuggling up together watching the movies has been something we have all enjoyed, a time where it was just us. We have even started reading the books as well, after our visit to the studio in 2015.
As we walked the Great Hall on our visit we all drooled over the foods we could imagine they would serve us for dinner if we attended the school…having no idea they even did a dinner! Soon as both the girls found out they both wanted to go immediately. Not an easy trip with only 2 Christmas dinners per year and from Australia at that. So one day I hope to make someday happen for my daughter’s and take them there to eat in the Great Hall surrounded by the movie props. Props we have seen a hundred times in the movies, that look so grand and beautiful but never up close and personal. It will also be a beautiful way to celebrate my December birthday too.”Bec Wyld
Read more about the Harry Potter Christmas dinner here or plan your visit to the Making of Harry Potter Experience and simply go for the Butterbeer. Here’s How To Harry Potter London with Kids. For more family travel inspiration and tips, follow Mark and Bec Wyld.
2. Return To The Homeland – Gujarat, India
Faiyaz Kara, author of the cookbook Gourmet Breakfasts and Orlando Weekly’s resident food critic has acute taste buds and an even sharper tongue. He’s my go-to for local restaurant recommendations, especially when I’m looking for authentic ethnic eats in Orlando. At the top of his “someday list” was exploring his homeland’s cuisine in Gujarat, India.
“Being a part of the Indian diaspora (I was born in Tanzania before moving to Canada when I was 4 years old), I’ve always wanted to go back to the motherland and experience the food of Gujarat, the state from where my ancestors migrated to Africa in the 19th century. Gujarati cuisine is predominantly vegetarian (their thalis are renowned), but the meat-filled stalls and street fare in Bhatiyar Gali is where I’d spend a good chunk of my time eating kheema samosas, lamb paya, grilled chicken hearts and tandoori kebabs.”Faiyaz Kara
Just like Faiyaz, I’m ready to go explore all those homeland flavors myself. He’s inspired me to explore my own hometown cooking. Isn’t it interesting how sometimes the food we grow up eating becomes something worth exploring with a new set of eyes, and adult taste buds?
Check out Faiyaz Kara’s column at OrlandoWeekly.com . If you love to cook and are looking for over the top breakfast ideas, buy his cookbook “Gourmet Breakfasts” which features many of Orlando’s greatest chefs.
3. Cooking Class On Location – Bologna, Italy
Noel Morata of Travel Photo Discovery shared his experience taking a cooking class in Bologna and made me quite wistful. Is taking a cooking class in a foodie destination like Italy, Spain or France on your list? It’s on mine!
“One of my favorite culinary experiences was to travel to Bologna, the foodie capital of Italy to immerse myself with the wonderful foods, markets and eating some wonderful Italian food from the area. I went to visit a chef at a local agriturismo located just outside of the city on her farm called Podere San Guiliano to tour the vineyards and orchard and then do an Italian pasta centric cooking class.
Chef Federica Frattini led me on a wonderful tour of the farm, picking fresh fruits and vegetables that we would be using for the cooking class.
The entire cooking class was on a one on one basis so I had her full attention. Slicing, prepping and cooking some of the famous foods of the area. This included tortellini making for soup, meatballs for a tomato Bolognese sauce and a tagliattele pasta which were all perfectly done with her expert hands. So amazing to eat all this delicious food. You can check out more images and details of this experience for more inspiration.”Noel Morata
4. Elevated Ramen Experience – Tokyo, Japan
Andrew and Brenda Tolentino have traveled the world one dish at a time with their daughter Bailey. They share the delicious tales on their blog Dish Our Town. I loved following along as they spent time in the UK and Southeast Asia. When they returned to their hometown of New York, I had the pleasure of meeting “in real life.” Their foodie bucket list experience involved having authentic ramen in Tokyo. And coincidentally, I have them to thank for my love of ramen. I had my first traditional bowl of non-college ramen with them at Ippudo – one of their favorite restaurants and one of the best ramen spots in NYC. Follow The Tolentinos and get ready to be hungry for travel on Dish Our Town
“The “Bucket List” we have for Food, thankfully has shrunk throughout the years. For us, it’s not the cuisine itself that we crave, it’s where to have it. On our list of experiences that have yet to be met is to have one of our favorite dishes, a bowl of ramen, at one of the eateries in Tokyo’s Ramen Street, a street exclusively for ramen near Tokyo Station, which features a range of Tokyo’s most famous ramen restaurants. We would love to experience as many ramen offerings in as many ramen enclaves along this famous road. On top of our list are Rokurinsha Tokyo, Hirugao, Ramen Mutsumiya, and Keisuke Kitanosho, widely known as contenders for the crown of best ramen in Tokyo.
We look forward to spending hours deliberating between us as to the best. We may never arrive at a champ, but we sure will have fun trying. Prerequisite plans have already been made for this summer’s travel, and it is going to be Japan. We look forward to crossing off another experience on our food bucket list. Until then, the ramen noodle shops here in New York will have to do and keep us warm through the winter.”Andew Tolentino
5. Legendary Tuna Auction – Tokyo, Japan
Julius “Droolius” Mayo Jr. is the talented photographer behind pictures that make you drool of @Droolius. I met him at my first Orlando blogger meet up in 2014 and he’s been a great source of inspiration and friendship over the years. He is now based in Atlanta but still regularly makes trips to The City Beautiful. Follow him on Instagram to find some of the best places to eat in both these cities. Have you visited the Tuna Auction at Tsukiji Fish Market? It sounds like every sushi lovers dream!
“I do have an experience that I crossed off my bucket list. It was going to the Tsukiji Fish Market in Japan. While I didn’t get to go to the actual auction, I was still able to wander the surrounding areas and waited in line for 4 hours to have a sushi breakfast. It has inspired me to take that trip again and make the famous tuna auction before the fish market makes a move (which has been delayed) and now I have the knowledge to do it. Needless to say it was quite the experience and can be found at the end of this blog post which is a compilation of a trip to the Philippines and Japan.”Julius Mayo Jr.
6. “Kaiseki” Traditional Japanese Banquet – Japan
Marta Correale is the creator of Learning Escapes where she shares her family’s travels around the world. Based in Ireland, I “met” Marta via #TBIN, a group of Travel Bloggers and Influencers. I love tasting dinners and reading about Kaiseki makes me want to book a trip to Japan! Follow Marta on her latest travel adventure on LearningEscapes.Net
“I have read about kaiseki in guide books and blogs about Japan, where it is described as a ‘traditional Japanese banquet’ with a high number of courses going from 5 to well over 14. Kaiseki was born as a simple vegetarian affair, but now it includes all sorts of ingredients, selected for being locally sourced, seasonal and presented as several, carefully decorated dishes. This kind of meal is served mainly in ryokans and it is prepared by the hands of experienced chefs. I am told some dishes can be ‘challenging’ for a foreigner’s palate but I’d love to experience it nonetheless, as it seems the perfect way to get in touch with the more traditional side of Japan. Dinner in a ryokan is high on our priorities for that trip!”Marta Correale
7. Eating Jordanian Campfire Foods – Jordan Trail
Sally Prosser shares her wonderful recipes and travel experiences from Dubai and around the world on MyCustardPie.com. I “met” her on Instagram and have fallen in love with her rustic and moody food photos and dazzling destination photos. I admit Jordan was not on my list, that is until I read about it on Sally’s blog. Read all about her first visit to Jordan and learn more about the Jordan Trail then go Make Someday Happen.
“I crossed off eating bread cooked in the sand in the Libyan desert and drinking a cup of tea in Wadi Rum from my someday list. Now I’m looking forward to eating traditional Jordanian food cooked over a campfire on The Jordan Mountain Trail because of the generosity and welcome of the Jordanian people. They have accommodated refugees from so many nations over the decades and their country truly should be at the top of everyone’s bucket list. I plan to Make Someday Happen this year or next because people should all feel the warm embrace of a Jordanian welcome and visit this country of riches and beauty.”Sally Prosser
8. Dinner with a View at Skyline’s Stratosfare Restaurant – Queenstown, New Zealand
Gustavo Hernando, the man behind the foodie account @DaFoodie, one of the best foodie Instagram accounts in Orlando, tells me the Stratosfare Restaurant in Queenstown, New Zealand had been at the top of his bucket list for a long time. He had his #MakeSomedayHappen moment in January 2017 as he dined with his lovely wife at one of the restaurants with the best views in the world!
“The dining experience goes beyond the food and service. To me, the ambience plays a big factor and I’m a sucker for views!” To get to the Stratosfare you must go up 1,400 feet on a gondola air lift, which is an adventure in itself. I will feast on their famous South Island Salmon while taking in the stunning lake and mountain views from the window.”Gustavo Hernando
Cheers to Gustavo for crossing this experience off his list! Follow him on Instagram for more foodie inspiration. Want to add Stratosfare Restaurant to your foodie bucket list? Visit Skyline.co.nz
This photo of Stratosfare Restaurant & Bar is courtesy of TripAdvisor
9. Dinner on The Orient Express – Paris to Istanbul
Noel Morata, an avid travel photographer based in Hawaii, shared a second experience on his list. When he mentioned The Orient Express, I was instantly transported to a time as a young girl reading Agatha Christie’s novel and dreaming of exotic travel.
“I’ve always been a fan of trains and train travel around the world. Unfortunately there really isn’t much to be excited about food on trains except for the one of a kind experiences you would have taking the Orient Express which has been on my bucket list since childhood. The route I would take would be their signature service from Paris to Istanbul covering two of the world’s food destinations and experience 5 days of pure bliss on the train and exploring these two amazing food capitals.
Along the way meals will be an exceptional experience served in the dining car with 5 star service and incredible cuisine highlighting each destination. Stops along the Danube river, Budapest and a private venue in Bucharest add to the allure and exciting one of a kind experience on the Orient Express. I’m hopeful to make this a reality someday in the near future – perhaps 2017 will be the magical year for this to really happen!”Noel Morata
Wouldn’t you like to step aboard the iconic historic carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express? Dine in one of the elegant dining carriages? Sip champagne and classic cocktails in The Bar Car? Take in the melodies of the resident pianist and then retire to your art-deco designed cabin? If romantic train travel across Europe, reminiscent of an era gone by aboard The Orient Express is on your bucket list, click here and start planning to Make Someday Happen.
10. Dining at Top 50 Restaurants in The World, Central Restaurant – Lima, Peru
I “met” Sandy Cadiz Smith of EatingCoventGarden.com on Instagram and love her easy going style. Based in London, she shares her recipes and foodie experiences around town as well as exotic destinations around the world. She shared her excitement about crossing off Vietnam from her bucket list: “I did do one of my dream foodie experiences and that was going to Vietnam where we ate amazing food. And also went to the market with the chef and did a private cooking course and lunch.”
Now she has her sights on one of the Top 50 Restaurants of The World in South America:
“My dream foodie experience would be to go to Peru. I’ve fairly recently discovered Peruvian food in London and love it. And I’ve seen pictures of the avocado orchards with mountains in the background, wow (and I adore avocados!). It seems they have fabulous ingredients which I would love to learn more about. Central Restaurant in Lima is ranked the sixth best restaurant in the world on the San Pellegrino list and looks amazing.”Sandy Cadiz
Read all about Sandy’s Peruvian dining exploration in London on EatingCoventGarden.com for some inspiration as she has reviewed various Peruvian restaurants and even cooked with Peruvian ingredients at home.
11. Street Food Scene Immersion – Taipei, Taiwan
Exploring the street food scene in Taipei was at the top of two friend’s lists: Charles McCool and Kavey Favelle which makes me even more intrigued. I met Charles, the “cool” guy behind popular travel blog McCool Travel on a Fathom Cruise to the Dominican Republic in 2016. Since then we’ve collaborated on posts (read about my favorite burger and fish taco finds in Orlando). He’s traveled around the world so I loved to hear street food was at the top of his list, especially since it was inspired by a past Orlando resident.
“Ever since I read the first-hand account of Taiwan street food in Chef Eddie Huang’s book, “Fresh Off the Boat”, a visit to Taipei is at the top of my culinary travel list. Every time I mention Taipei street food in a Twitter chat, there is immediate positive reinforcement of my aspiration.” He does not know when he will make someday happen. “It is still a gleam in my eye and I have no plans to visit Taiwan…but I should!” says Charles.
I’ve only “met” Kavita “Kavey” Favelle, the creator of KaveyEats.com and Mamtaskitchen.com, via Instagram, but I feel like I know her and would get along quite well simply based on her posts and her tag line: “the belly rules the mind”. Her foodie finds in Venice and the photos of her trip to Vietnam had me drooling and dreaming. She shared that eating her way around a Taipei’s night market was at the top of her list and she crossed it off in January 2017.
“Taipei is the capital city of Taiwan and has several night markets around the city including Shilin, Ningxia, Raohe and many more. Taiwan has many street food specialities. I have a long list of recommendations and can’t wait to eat as many of them as I can find and squeeze into my belly! I’ll be looking out for spring onion pancakes, oyster omelettes, pork-stuffed steamed bao, blood sausage sprinkled with peanuts and served on a stick, pineapple cakes, stinky tofu, shaved ice desserts… and there’s a “sausage sausage” snack in which a giant sausage made of rice is used as the bun for a pork sausage!”Kavey Favelle
Although she already crossed it off her list she says, “don’t worry though… somehow the more places I tick off, the longer my list grows!” I hear you Kavey! My list is miles long.
12. Three Michelin Star Rated Experience at The Fat Duck by Heston Blumenthal – Bray, Berkshire, United Kingdom
The Michelin Guide is a giant source of foodie bucket list inspiration. I crossed my first three Michelin Star experience off the list this year at Arzak in San Sebastian, Spain and it was absolutely epic. I’m adding The Fat Duck by Heston Blumenthal to my list after hearing about it from two fellow foodies.
Verushka Ramasami, an inspirational lifestyle and travel blogger based in South Africa, publisher of Spice Goddess had this to say about Heston.
“I am a huge fan of cooking shows and having watched Heston on TV and seeing his culinary masterpieces I want go have a Heston experience. I recall the first dish I saw prepared on TV. It was a Fish and Chips dish, not your normal dish but with an iPod on the side with sounds of the sea for you to listen to while you eat. How totally genius is that?
Heston is like a magician and conjures up so many sensory experiences in one meal almost like a mad scientist at times and this intrigues me. His use of modern cooking methods and science makes each dish a true work of art. I would definitely try the 14 course tasting menu so I can experience a variety of amazing multi sensory experiences.”Verushka Ramasami
Marianne Rogerson, an active family travel blogger based in Hong Kong publisher of Mum On The Move was also curious about the iPod accompaniment.
“My number one foodie bucket list item is to have dinner at The Fat Duck in Bray, England. Heston Blumenthal’s 3-Michelin star restaurant is probably England’s most famous restaurant, and not only for its £255 ($315 USD) set menu tariff. Yes, it’s pricey but for this you get 17 courses of the most innovative experimental cuisine in the world. With dishes such as The Sound of the Sea, in which your sashimi is served alongside a seashell concealing an iPod playing the sound of the crashing waves, a meal at The Fat Duck is sure to be a memorable experience, and I cannot wait to make that someday happen!”Marianne Rogerson
Are you ready to Make Someday Happen and check off your foodie bucket list experiences?
What restaurants featured on the Michelin Guide are on your foodie bucket list? If you’re inspired to add The Fat Duck, click here for more information. Be sure to follow Verushka and Marianne for more travel inspiration.
What did you think? Are you drooling and dreaming? Which experiences will you add to your list? Is a unique restaurant concept or food experience around the world on your foodie bucket list? Please share in the comments as this list will keep growing!
I hope you’re inspired to go #MakeSomedayHappen one delicious bite, sip and trip at a time!