Oct 102014

Foodie Cities

IF you’re anything like me, part of the joy of travel is experiencing the food of other cultures.

I’ll never forget touring Japan with a busload of Singaporeans — every single restaurant on the itinerary was Chinese. I kept wanting to wail “why???” But it wouldn’t have done me any good, as the tour guide only spoke Cantonese.

The food and travel website Thrillist has released its guide to The World’s 18 Best Food cities. The criteria: “uniqueness of traditional food/drink style, quality of restaurants/bars, diversity of cuisines, and also, for the most part, a feeling that it is changing and improving.”

1. Bordeaux, France

Must-try: duck confit at La Tupina; entrecote at Brasserie Bordelaise; fresh seafood at Bistro Le Petit Commerce; and the oyster and sausage plate at Chez Phillipe.

2. Bologna, Italy

Must try: pasta at All’Osteria Bottega; mortadella and fresh cheeses in Mercato di Mezzo.

3. Mumbai, India

Must-try: the street chaat foods, like pani or bhelpuri; a mutton Frankie at Tibbs Frankie.

4. London, England

Must-try: Meat Fruit at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal; steak at Hawksmoor; any protein at St John; lunch at Borough Market; a tasting menu from Gordon Ramsay.

5. New York, United States

Must-try: a slice of pizza on the street; a Reuben at a Jewish deli.

6. Marrakesh, Morocco

Must try: good khobz; roast lamb Mechoui style; cod tagine at Bô-Zin.

7. Cartagena, Colombia

Must try: fritos; oysters and cholados on the beach; ceviche at the Malagana Cafe in Getsemani.

8. Istanbul, Turkey

Must-try: a sebzeli kebab at Zubeyir; baklava from Diyar Burma; a meal at Ciya Sofrasi.

9. Tokyo, Japan

Must-try: sushi at Tsukiji fish market; tsukemen (dipping noodles) at Rokurinsha

10. Barcelona, Spain

Must-try: Dos Palillos, which blends tapas with Asian influences; jamón Ibérica at La Boqueria; former elBulli wunderkinds’ Ferran and Alberto Adrià’s new ventures, Tickets and Bodega 1900.

11. Hong Kong, China

Must try: steamed flower crab at The Chairman; BBQ pork buns at Island Tang or Tim Ho Wan;

12. Copenhagen, Denmark

Must-try: smørrebrød from Aamanns; Døp’s hot dogs; Noma.

13. Montreal, Canada

Must try: dinner at Au Pied de Cochon; a bagel from St-Viateur or Fairmount; Schwartz’s Special at Schwartz’s Deli.

14. New Orleans, United States

Must-try: a po’boy at Domilise’s; a Sazerac at the Sazerac Bar; lunch at Galatoire’s.

15. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Must-try: parillas at Don Julio; empanadas at Peron Peron; choripan sandwiches from a street stall.

16. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Must-try: a breakfast banh mi with fried egg; bun that nuong; soft-shelled crab at Cųc Gąch Quán in District 1.

17. Melbourne, Australia

Must-try: Wagyu beef tartars at MoVida; chilli baked mussels at Cumulus.

18. Penang, Malaysia

Must-try: Ong Cheng Huat Seafood’s garlic steamed red snapper; “hawker foods” such as pan mee or assam laksa.

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