"If I Could Only Eat In One City For The Rest Of My Life, This Would Be It": Travelers Are Sharing The Most Delicious (And In Some Cases, Surprising) Food Destinations

·10 min read

Some people travel for great adventures, for amazing art and architecture, or for picture-perfect beaches. But if you're anything like me, you travel for the food.

Various slices of pizza
Hannah Loewentheil

Which is why I'm always interested in hearing about the most delicious vacation destinations. So I browsed the subreddit r/travel, rounded up responses from the BuzzFeed Community, and even added a few of my own ideas. Here are some must-visit places for food lovers, according to people who travel to eat.

A bowl of soba with tempura shrimp
Hannah Loewentheil

1."Tbilisi, Georgia. If you eat like a local, you can go home with a full stomach and a full wallet. Make sure to try phkali (walnut and spinach paté) with lobiani (bean-filled pastry). The flavors are brilliant."

Georgian food on a wooden table

u/pearlsandcuddles

"Georgia was home to the best food I've ever tasted. I must have gained several pounds from all the Khachapuri (Georgian cheese bread) I consumed, but it was totally worth it."

u/dopeoplereadnames

Febian Thomas / Getty Images/EyeEm

2."Malaysia. This country stands out for me the most when it comes to food destinations. There are amazing hawker centers and street food, which is an interesting blend of Southeast Asian cuisine, Chinese, and Indian cuisine."

Plates and bowls of different Malaysian dishes
Carlina Teteris / Getty Images

3."Brussels, Belgium. Belgian cuisine is as good as (and maybe even better than) French food. And there's way more to it than beer and waffles. Carbonades a la Flamande (a sweet and tangy dish of braised beef and onions slow cooked in dark beer and served over fries) is an incredible comfort food experience that will blow you away if you like beef. Every region or town in Belgium has its own little twist on the dish, and I have yet to find a version I didn’t love. For the best foodie experience, seek out Rue des Bouchers. It's very commercial but a feast for the eyes."

A close-up of a waffle with a city view in the backdrop
Yurika Yamada / Getty Images/EyeEm

4."Hanoi, Vietnam. The Old Quarter is so compact and full of stalls and restaurants, many of which specialize in a single dish. I discovered so many favorite places for iconic dishes like bun bo, banh cuon, pho, and kem xoi (sticky rice and ice cream)."

Beef and rice noodle soup
Getty Images

5."Croatia had the most incredible seafood I've ever eaten and just wonderful, fresh cuisine in general. I wouldn't have pegged it as a 'foodie' destination, but it was a fantastic surprise."

Jumbo shrimp and bread on a tab;e.
Getty Images

6."New Orleans. The food in this city has been influenced by several immigrant populations. The result is lots of amazing Italian and Vietnamese options, plenty of sushi, BBQ, Mexican, Cuban, and of course French and Creole. There are also great French-inspired bakeries. This place is a melting pot of good food."

Beignets Garnished With Powdered Sugar On Plate
Elizabeth Schierbeek / Getty Images/EyeEm

7."Cambodia. So lovely, so inexpensive, and so delicious that I decided to stay for a full month. I ate mostly noodle dishes and veggie stir-fry served fresh from street carts, and I picked up loads of fruit (I was lucky to visit during mango season 🥭), but the cost of delicious food in general was wildly affordable."

A group of people at Phnom Penh night market
By Yammo / Getty Images

8."Lebanon. I think Lebanon is where you'll find some of the best native food in the region like falafel and hummus. There's also a strong local tradition of Armenian food (similar to the cuisine of the Levant but different) and a strong showing of French food and influences. And since the Lebanese love food, their restaurants are generally super high quality. Even the street food is super fresh. And then add extreme hospitality into the mix."

Assorted plates of Lebanese food
Alexandre Rotenberg / Getty Images/EyeEm

9."Boston, Massachusetts. All of New England has amazing food, but Boston in particular has some of the best Italian food you can find in the US. Their little Italy, called the North End, is beautiful and full of delicious local restaurants. There are also delicious pastries like cannoli, lobster claws, and whoopie pies. The seafood is, of course, incredible. You can find lobster rolls, chowder, whole steamed lobster, and crab just about everyone. I would revisit Boston just to eat."

A lobster roll on brioche
Sergio Amiti / Getty Images

10."Mexico City. "From cheap street eats to fine dining and everything in between, all the food is amazing. The tacos were probably my all-time favorite thing to eat there, but you can find everything including lots of good international cuisine. There's also good coffee, beer, and excellent cocktails. Plus it's just a really fun city with lots to see and do, and it's a good solo destination."

Tacos on a plate
Roberto Frias / Getty Images/iStockphoto

11."Tokyo. If I could only eat in one city for the rest of my life, I can say without hesitation it would be Tokyo. The city is teeming with incredible food. Of course, there's sushi (and I could have survived solely on pieces of fatty tuna served over perfectly seasoned rice alone), but their eats go way beyond raw fish. There are amazing steakhouses, tiny restaurants serving crispy pork katsu, slurpable ramen and soba, izakayas where the sake and Japanese-style tapas flow, tempura bars, where everything from prawns to sweet potato are delicately fried to crispy perfection, and yakitori counters where chefs cook chicken over a charcoal fire. Tokyo also excels in international food. In fact, I had some of the best pizza of my life there."

A bowl of ramen

"Walk through the maze-like streets at Tsukiji Fish Market and you'll find skewers of wagyu, rice balls stuffed with shrimp tempura, balls of doughy octopus called takoyaki, and sizzling cabbage pancakes called okonomiyaki topped with bonito flakes and spicy mayo. In fact, one of the best bites I ate was a $2 egg salad sandwich from a convenience store, and I could have spent hours meandering around the many department store food courts with their luxurious, gourmet offerings.

It's also worth mentioning that Tokyo cocktail bars are unlike anything else. Crafting drinks is a form of art, and bartenders serve craft cocktails with the same focus and precision that a sushi chef slices fish. It's pretty incredible to watch (and totally delicious to drink)."

Hannah Loewentheil

Jimin Shi-longo / Getty Images/EyeEm

12."Portland, Maine. Yes, it's a small city, but I was super impressed with the food variety in this New England locale. I’m from California, and I would 100% travel back to Portland just for the food."

Boats and warehouses in a port in Portland, Maine
Lisa5201 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

13."San Sebastian, Spain. I visited San Sebastian with one main intention: to eat. This city in Spanish Basque country is known not only for its tapas bars (they're called pintxos here), but also for its Michelin-starred dining scene. San Sebastian has something for everyone — whether you're trying to eat well on a budget, or splurge on a once-in-a-lifetime tasting menu at a fine dining destination. Personally, I spent my days filling up on as many pintxos as possible, all washed down with Txakoli, a locally made crisp, super refreshing, and almost effervescent white wine. I would seriously consider booking a flight back to San Sebastina for another day of Pintxo bar-hopping."

Spanish snacks (Pintxos) on the counter of a tapas bar
Rrrainbow / Getty Images/iStockphoto

14."Seoul, South Korea. I had loads of fresh vegetables, meats, and rice. Everything I ate just felt lighter (so that I never felt bloated after a meal) but still filling. What I loved most is that you can get a nice meal for the equivalent of $7–$10. And with every meal you get lots of side dishes like kimchi, potato salad, and more. There are also so many interesting places for street food in Seoul."

Korean barbecue with lots of banchan side dishes
Natta-ang / Getty Images/iStockphoto

15."Bologna, Italy. I was shocked by the consistency and sheer quality of every single restaurant and cafe I visited in this capital of Italy's Emilia-Romagna region. I can't really compare it to any other city I've visited. It's always my top recommendation for culinary-minded travel."

Italian gelato in different flavors
Chiccododifc / Getty Images/iStockphoto

16."Portugal. I ate like a damn queen there. The wine was cheaper than water, and I tried some of the best meats I have ever tasted. To this day, I really miss Portuguese food."

A pastry from Portugal
Raul Lopes / Getty Images/EyeEm

17."Taipei, Taiwan. There's an entire culture that revolves around night markets with fantastically delicious, cheap food. Just about every neighborhood has its own night (or day) market, and you can find a unique style and flavor of food at each one."

A hand holding boba tea in a night market

BrokenTryst

"So many Asian countries get mentioned before Taiwan when it comes to delicious food. But Taiwan has killer soups, dumplings, and street food. I would eat night market food every night if I had the opportunity."

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Impossiable / Getty Images

18."Bangkok. Not only do you have delicious, fresh Thai food on every street block, but Bangkok also has incredible international cuisine and world-class chefs. I spent a year there, and I still seriously miss the food. 🤤"

A hand picking up chicken satay street food
Carlina Teteris / Getty Images

19."New York City. I might be biased because I live here, but I truly don't think there's another city in the world where you can eat so many diverse cuisines from every continent, all done so well. You'll find sushi that rivals anything in Tokyo, pizza on par with that of Naples, and literally everything in between. Then factor in neighborhoods like Flushing for Chinese food, Elmhurst for Thai, Jackson Heights for Tibetan and Nepalese food, and so much more. New York is truly a melting pot, and with it comes the greatest food on earth."

Overhead view of bagel with lox and cream cheese
Tetra Images / Getty Images/Tetra images RF

20."Tel Aviv, Israel. It has an amazing culinary culture that you might not expect."

Israeli food

Bell24

"The food here is superb, and in most places you eat, it won't break the bank. Street food is delicious in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa. And if you want more upscale cuisine, Tel Aviv has been going through a culinary renaissance, which really shows. The variety and quality of food are worth the trip alone."

u/tokyorevelation9

Fabian Krause / Getty Images/EyeEm

21."Cape Town. It’s a smaller culinary circle than what you might find in other major cities, but the quality of food and value for money is amazing. You can dine at some of the best restaurants with some of the best chefs in the world and enjoy a 15-plus-course tasting menus for ~$50. There's incredible wine as well from nearby Stellenbosch and Franschhoek."

A winery near Cape Town.
Frankvandenbergh / Getty Images

22."Oaxaca, Mexico. Every single meal I ate in Oaxaca knocked it out of the park, from the tlayudas and the Oaxaca Quesillo to the moles and the tetelas. I also ate the best tacos I've had anywhere."

A Mexican Tlayuda
Tais Policanti / Getty Images

23."Houston. It's one place I really didn't expect to have much of an international food scene, but I was so wrong. Houston is known to have great barbecue and Mexican/Tex-Mex, but there is also a huge market for other cuisines, especially Middle Eastern and South Asian."

Different assorted artisan donuts
Patricia Bianca Beltran / Getty Images/EyeEm

What's the most delicious place you've ever traveled, or an amazing culinary destination that other food lovers should visit? Tell us all about it (including what you loved eating there) in the comments!

Note: Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.