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Anthony Bourdain’s Top Destinations for Foodies

Anthony Bourdain has circled the globe, eating his way through bowls of street food in Vietnam to tables full of tapas in Spain. These are his top 10 destinations for foodies.

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Anthony Bourdain’s top destinations for foodies are:

  1. Thailand
  2. Vietnam
  3. Tokyo
  4. Beirut
  5. Laos
  6. Lyon
  7. Nicaragua
  8. Spain
  9. Tangier, Morocco
  10. Mozambique

Anthony Bourdain was the ultimate international foodie. He became the gold standard for all things food and travel. His two documentary series – No Reservations and Parts Unknown– explore the best of Earth’s eats. From Laos to Nicaragua, Bourdain uncovered the unique blend of cuisine, culture, and history that gives each country its individual flavor.

Many travelers use Bourdain’s suggestions to plan their travel itineraries, following in his footsteps eating the best food around the world. So which countries should food lovers head to? These are the ten top destinations for foodies around the globe.

1. Thailand

There’s a reason Thai restaurants are a common sight in cities around the world. The unmistakable scent of curry and perfection of pad thai are in a league of their own.

Anthony Bourdain explores Thailand’s overflowing fruit, vegetable, and meat-filled markets where they sell everything that makes authentic Thai food worth the journey to Bangkok and beyond. Suckling pig in Bangkok’s Chinatown, fresh-from-the-mud cockles, and deep-fried shrimp cakes will have you booking the next flight to Bangkok.

thai boat with food and woman in hat from above
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2. Vietnam

Thailand’s cheap and delicious street food may only be rivaled by neighboring Vietnam. Pho, bun cha, and banh mi are the most well known, but the choices for delicious meals here are as vast as the country’s rice paddies. Take a page from the episode of Anthony Bourdain Vietnam and get a little adventurous with your food choices here. High risk, high reward, and maybe you’ll discover a love for porcupine meat.

Keep an eye on flight prices to Vietnam using Skyscanner’s flight alerts to help you score a great roundtrip price.

bowl of pho in vietnam

3. Tokyo

Sushi. Ramen. Perfectly cut soba noodles. Japan’s bustling capital does food precisely and deliciously. For Anthony Bourdain, Tokyo took the top spot among his favorite food cities in the world. You haven’t really enjoyed sashimi until you’ve eaten it off a train in Tokyo.

plate full of sushi
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4. Beirut

Surprised to see Lebanon’s capital on this list? Good. Beirut will be a wonderful surprise once you experience the culture, people, and food for yourself.

Seafood restaurants on the shore followed by shisha and nightlife are what Bourdain recommended the most highly. Lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic-soaked vegetables keep Lebanese food consistent with the best of the Mediterranean, but the country’s Arabic roots add spices and herbs that make the food truly unforgettable.

Come for the hummus and fattoush, stay for the electric atmosphere of Beirut’s nightlife.

beirut downtown timelapse
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5. Laos

Thai and Vietnamese food may be more well-known, but Laos deserves a spot of its own on Bourdain’s top countries for foodies.

Laotian dishes center around what Laos knows best: sticky rice, jungle veggies, and fresh fish from the Mekong River that runs a lifeline through the tiny, landlocked country. Padaek, a traditional fish sauce from Laos, leaves you with the distinct, delicious flavor of this country long after you leave.

Keep an eye on Skyscanner’s daily flight deals to score a cheap roundtrip flight to Laos or one of its neighbors.

laos green fields
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6. Lyon

Lyon’s culinary legacy is about more than the crepes and escargot you imagine when planning a French vacation. Everything in Lyon is a step more refined; the cuisine is elevated a little higher than anywhere else on Earth.

Bourdain called his meals here (particularly with world-famous chef Daniel Bocuse) some of the greatest of his life. It’s hard to go wrong when you’re surrounded by food meticulously prepared with foie gras, truffles, and cream.

lyon castle
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7. Nicaragua

Nicaragua is a Central American country, tucked slightly south of Mexico’s tacos, yet with a cuisine all its own. Nicaraguan food has a creole flair that sets it apart from the more famous burritos to the north.

Gallo Pinto, a fried rice dish with red beans, onions, sweet peppers, and garlic, is eaten daily by Nicaraguans. Bourdain also advocates for hole-in-the-wall restaurants to chow down on some nacatamales, steamed corn cakes packed to the banana leaves with meat and veggies.

tree and colorful bench by water nicaragua
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8. Spain

Spanish tapas are a world traveler’s right-of-passage through Europe. Anthony Bourdain raved about Spain’s high position in the culinary world outside of Asia.

The variety of Spanish food across the country means the possibility of endless tapas and constant, delicious surprises. Cured meats, croquettes, and the everpresent paella are what raise Spain up in Europe’s culinary world.

assorted tapas in spain
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9. Tangier, Morocco

Spend an hour at a spice market in Morocco and it won’t surprise you to learn that Moroccans know how to flavor a mean dish.

Traditional Moroccan stews cooked in clay pots over charcoal fires are a common sight in Tangier. Chickpea cakes, couscous, and spice-drenched meats are consistently accompanied by sweet mint tea. Inexpensive flights to Morocco can be found, so make sure to keep an eye on Skyscanner’s current travel deals to eat your own way through Morocco.

tangier morocco
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10. Mozambique

The food in Mozambique retains much of the Portuguese vibe it picked up during its time as a colony. Piri-piri chicken and Portuguese bread were among Bourdain’s favorite Mozambican worships.

Mozambique has its own culinary surprises too– namely in the form of a seafood stew called Matata. This delicious stew is typically made using clams in peanut sauce. Rice, corn, and fresh seafood (including massive crayfish) abound in Bourdain’s favorite African nation for foodies to travel to.

mozambique huts countryside
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