Five foodie breaks to tempt your tastebuds
If your ideal holiday revolves around sampling the local cuisine, hunting out food markets and discovering hidden gems of restaurants, then we’ve got a treat for you. Here’s every foodie’s dream – five fantastic locations, why you should go and what you should eat when you’re there.
Thailand – for markets and cooking courses
Many of us love Thai food, and yes, there’s a great array of restaurants here at home. However, it’s different eating these dishes in Thailand, on the edge of a buzzing food market or on a picturesque beach. For vegetarians, vegans and gluten-free eaters, the options here are bountiful – with many rice-based choices, veg and tofu.
The food markets are a sensory treat and the aromas will really get your tummy rumbling. Enjoy fresh som tam (papaya salad), the well-loved pad thai and khao pad (fried rice) – plus in addition to all the favourites make sure you pick up a bag of pineapple and mango with skewers, which you then dip in a tantalising mixture of sugar, salt and chilli!
One thing all foodies must do while in Thailand is take a cooking course – learn to create those flavours you can’t get enough of and then when you’re back home, on a grey rainy evening, you can infuse your house with a little holiday sunshine.
Fly direct from Heathrow to Bangkok.
Greece — for enticing mezze
Mirror-like blue waters, sultry evenings on peaceful islands, sandy beaches and old towns – there’s so much that draws holidaymakers to Greece every year. And one of the standouts is undoubtedly the Mediterranean cuisine.
Platters of tempting bites – fresh olive oil bread, dips, dolmades, juicy olives, sun-dried tomatoes – enjoyed with a glass of wine in the early evening is the best way to kick off a night of excellent dining. Mezze are perhaps the best way to sample Greek food – there’s such an incredible assortment of options including veggie, meat and sweets.
Turn up at a local taverna and let them guide you as to what you should be trying – every region has twists on each dish. Flavours that come through in many dishes are olive oil, lemon, mint and dill – and honey, of which there are many types, so get tasting!
Fly direct from Heathrow to Athens.
New Orleans, Louisiana – for Cajun delights
Jazz, Mardi Gras, steamboats, the French Quarter – say New Orleans and all of these things spring to mind, as well as the distinctive Louisiana cuisine. The Big Easy, near the heart of the swamplands, is a truly unique American city. Make sure you don’t only sample the local delicacies but immerse yourself in its art, history and music.
Being on the Mississippi, seafood here is in abundance – the highlights are shrimp and grits and blackened fish and rice. Cajun flavours are one-of-a-kind, a mixture of tangy spices, smoky notes and sweetness.
You can’t miss fried green tomatoes, gumbo (a tangy stew) and not forgetting pudding – go for beignets. These are square, very light doughnuts with dipping sauces. Yum!
Fly direct from Heathrow to New Orleans.
California – for wine, food trucks and zingy Mexican fare
From the stunning Pacific coast, to rural desert towns and sprawling vineyards – California is an incredibly diverse state. And as a result the cuisine options are endless. No matter your diet – you’ll find fresh and delicious food in the sunshine state. Enjoy eclectic street food in San Francisco, fine dining and food trucks in LA, authentic Mexican dishes in San Diego and of course, classic American bites in diners along the way.
Near the eerie and beautiful Northern California Redwood national forest you’ll find tempting seafood. Head inland to the Napa Valley to sample the finest wines in the region and as the heat builds and you head south you’ll be chowing down on soft shelled tacos, black beans, corn salsa and more zingy flavours in San Diego.
Fly direct from Heathrow to LA or San Francisco.
Chennai, India – for heavenly street food snacks
If you’ve never been to India before then Chennai may not be the city for you – it’s certainly for the more well-worn traveller. However, its offerings are plentiful and not only for the food but the culture and area too.
Chennai has an interesting blend of northern and southern Indian influences as well as Gujarat and Burmese flavours – the food is a real melting pot and all the richer for it. The city’s streets are brimming with food outlets – the smell of frying, spices and fresh herbs take over the senses.
You must not miss trying a dosa – this is a thin, crispy rice pancake filled with potato masala and chutney, a typical south Indian dish that packs a punch. Wondering what to eat for breakfast? Get poori – unleavened fried bread served with different curries or gravy, one of the best ways to wake yourself up!
If you’re looking for a taste of Burma, tuck into atho – a type of noodle garnished with tamarind, salt, fried onions, chilli flakes, garlic and then drenched in hot soup. Or if you’re on the go and just want a quick snack, grab a bhel puri – this dish is a tiny bowl of puffed rice with delicious garnishes and veg.
Fly direct from Heathrow to Chennai.
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