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Off The Beaten Snack

By Will Godfrey

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We’ve reviewed 20 of the ‘Top Foodie Destination’ lists to discover the hidden gems and definitive destinations for food lovers…


If you’re anything like the team here at Gousto, there’s no such thing as a good holiday without great food.

This Summer, we’ve teamed up with the adventure loving people at Intrepid Travel and done your holiday homework for you – whether you’re after the most popular food destinations in the world, or something a little more off the beaten snack (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

To find the best countries to visit for unforgettable food, we looked at*:

  • ‘Top Foodie Destination’ lists from 20 publications – including National Geographic, Travel + Leisure, BBC Good Food and Olive Magazine.
  • The average restaurant price in each country – it doesn’t matter how good the food is if we can’t afford to try it!
  • The number of British visitors to each country – because you don’t always want to follow the crowd.

*View the full data here to learn more about how we found our results.

Here are the top countries to visit for good food – have your say in the comments!


The best foodie travel destinations

In 20 ‘Top Foodie Destination’ lists from different publications, these are the top 10 countries that kept getting recommended.

Unsurprisingly, Europe’s three biggest food-loving nations – France, Italy and Spain – all feature in the top 10. But it’s also interesting to see a range of countries from beyond Europe’s borders appearing in many of the top picks, including Vietnam, Thailand and Argentina.

There’s lots of fantastic food to be had in both the USA and UK, but as most of the publications we looked at are from these two countries, they had a bit of an advantage that helped them reach the top 3.

american chicken & creamed corn

Japan featured in half of the ‘Top Foodie Destination’ lists we looked at, thanks to one-of-a-kind cuisine that uses savoury umami flavours, legendary attention to detail and an obsession with balance and quality.

For those who like something a little closer to home, Morocco is a really affordable country for delicious food – it’s most famous for its tagines and sweet and savoury dishes.

Off-the-Beaten-Snack-Assets_contestCTA

Time for an adventure? Take a look at some of Intrepid Travel’s incredible trips to these foodie destinations:

For a taste of food inspired by these countries, try one of these recipes from the Gousto cookbook:

FranceFish A La Meuniere
ItalyTuscan Panzanella Salad with Mozzarella
SpainKing Prawn & Chorizo Paella
USASweet Potato Cakes
UKHoney Roast Ham, Egg & Chips
Vietnam – Vietnamese Meatball Salad
ThailandAuthentic Thai Green Chicken Curry
JapanChicken Karaage and Teriyaki Aubergine Donburi
MoroccoLemon & Apricot Chicken Tagine


the best foodie destinations - hidden gems

Here are the hidden gems – the must-visit places if you like trying unique flavours (and making your friends jealous).

These countries all had two or more mentions in the 20 ‘Top Foodie Destination’ lists we looked at, but you won’t find hordes of Brits there – least of all on the tiny Caribbean island of St. Barts, known for its high-end restaurants. It won’t not be cheap, but it’ll definitely be tasty!

Lebanon and Israel offer two very different sides to Middle Eastern cuisine, and both are well off the radar of most British tourists.

israeli spiced rice with crispy onions recipe

The remaining countries are in two areas, both far from the UK, which may explain the lack of British visitors: South America (Columbia, Chile, Peru and Argentina) Asia (Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore).

Get away from it all and discover unforgettable dishes with Intrepid Travel’s trips to these destinations:

produce food manager intrepid group

Here’s some recipe inspiration if you’re after a taste of these locations:

LebanonLentil Kofta, Harissa & Feta Wraps
Israel – Israeli Spiced Rice with Crispy Onions
PeruPeruvian Lime Chicken Buddha Bowl
ArgentinaMinute Steak Melt


gousto's top foodie holiday destinations

These are our ‘Goldilocks countries’, where it’s just right for a food loving holiday maker: the food is delicious and affordable, and you won’t be swamped with other British tourists.

Vietnam tops our list, with a huge range of balanced dishes that would take much more than a holiday to fully explore. The same can be said for China and also Malaysia, with chefs like Norman Musa championing the diversity of Malaysian cuisine around the world.

Chinese Hoisin Barbecue Chicken

Controversially, we’ve picked South Africa for our list – but if you think its holiday appeal is limited to safaris and sightseeing then you’re missing out! Franschhoek is renowned for its vineyards and gourmet field-to-fork food, while Cape Town is brimming with exciting restaurants.

Brazil – with its churrasco barbecues – Peru and Colombia all feature, meaning nearly the whole of South America is represented across the three lists.

Fancy a trip to one of our top foodie destinations? Intrepid Travel are here to help:

If you’d like recipe inspiration from our picks, look no further:

VietnamFresh Chicken Vermicelli
ChinaSea Bass, Pak Choi & Szechuan Sauce
PeruPeruvian Lime Chicken Buddha Bowl
MalaysiaNorman Musa’s Malay Chicken Curry
BrazilBrazilian Fish Stew & Zesty Lime Rice
Sri LankaSri Lankan Crab Curry
TaiwanPak Choi & Mushroom Noodle Stir-Fry
JamaicaFiery Jerk Chicken & Pineapple Salsa


Have you visited any of the countries on our lists? If so, what did you think of the food there? Let us know in the comments, and remember to share this post with a food lover who needs some travel inspiration!

intrepid travel and goustoIntrepid Travel are the global leader in delivering sustainable experience-rich travel. From bite-sized trips to gastronomic odysseys, they’ll get you munching, crunching, sipping and slurping just like the locals on their Real Food Adventures!

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