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8 Surprising International Cities Every Foodie Needs to Hit
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January 2, 2020
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Travel Trivia Editorial
europe

Sampling unfamiliar cuisine is one of the most exciting and rewarding parts of traveling. Everyone knows Paris, London, and Rome offer unmatched culinary delights. However, for an unorthodox foodie experience, you will have to test the boundaries of popular convention. These international cities offer the culinary adventure of a lifetime.

Tbilisi, Georgia

Traditional Georgian food including khinkali, phali, chahokhbili, lobio, cheese, and eggplant rolls
Credit: iStock/ vasseenaa

Georgian cuisine blends culinary traditions from Greece and the Mediterranean with Turkish and Persian flavors. This results in dishes such as khinkali (a savory stuffed Georgian dumpling) and mtsvadi (skewers of roasted meat). The latter consists of juicy pieces of pork or mutton marinated in pomegranate juice and then roasted over an open fire.

To sample mtsvadi or khinkali, check out these top Tbilisi restaurants. We recommend Kakhelebi, a highly popular eatery serving the best of Tbilisi cuisine.

Split, Croatia

Croatian fritule
Credit: iStock/ Happy window

Home to lush vineyards and restaurants serving traditional Croatian cuisine, a stop in Split, Croatia, is a must for any food connoisseur. Sample crni rizot, a black risotto that receives its distinctive color from squid ink.

For those with a sweet tooth, place an order for fritule, a distinctive Croatian doughnut made with raisins and citrus zest. It's the quintessential Croatian dessert for special occasions such as birthdays and weddings. To find the best fritule, head to Goluzarije.

The country is also known for its fresh and flavorful seafood dishes. After you've had a Croatian dinner of crni rizot and octopus peka, head to Nadalina, Split's preeminent chocolate factory. Nadalina earned an entry in the Guinness Book of Records for the largest chocolate bar on earth in 2015.

Hanoi, Vietnam

A close up of Hanoi egg coffee
Credit: iStock/ gracethang

According to the Telegraph, Hanoi is the choice for sampling Vietnamese cuisine. Two thins we recommend are pho and egg coffee. If you want the best egg coffee in Hanoi, head to Cafe Giang. Once you sample this dessert-like coffee, you'll never look at lattes the same way again.

That said, you honestly can't go wrong with any of the street foods for which the city is known. We recommend banh duc nong (a savory rice porridge with fried tofu, shallots, and ground pork) and banh cuon (ground meat, wood ear mushrooms, beansprouts, and cucumbers stuffed in a steamed rice flour wrapper).

Guadalajara, Mexico

Guadalajara red pozole in a white bowl
Credit: iStock/ MiguelMalo

If you want to visit the birthplace of Mexican cuisine, visit Guadalajara. There you can indulge in the rich local culture as you feast on authentic carne asada, enchiladas, and quesadillas before taking a day trip to the nearby town of Tequila, the birthplace of the eponymous drink. This is a can't-miss destination for any lover of Mexican cuisine. If you're going to try the street food, we recommend the red pozole (Guadalajara pork stew), pitayas (a type of dragonfruit), and carne en su jugo (meat in its juices).

Montréal, Québec

Roasted suckling pig on a white platter
Credit: iStock/ ben-bryant

Montréal is home to poutine and delectable pastries. For the latter, we recommend heading to Au Kouign Amann, Alati Caserta, or Pâtisserie Rhubarbe. When it comes to pastries, these places can't be beat.

In 2016, Town & Country named Montréal a foodie destination to watch, in large part due to its New Québec cuisine, which dazzles with succulent dishes like guinea fowl, seal loin tataki, and suckling pig. The markets are also a wonderful place to explore what the locals like to eat, especially if you're feeling a little adventurous and want to try your hand at creating your own gourmet experience.

São Paulo, Brazil

Brazilian coxinha and quibe in a white bowl on a wooden table
Credit: Shutterstock/ Carla Nichiata

Like many places beloved by foodies the world over, the key to fulfilling your epicurean curiosities in São Paulo is the street food. From the deep-fried chicken croquettes known as coxinha to those gloriously flaky pastry pockets known as pastel, there's so much to love about this Brazilian city and its cuisine. For pastel, the most popular stuffings you'll find are mozzarella cheese, hearts of palm, ground meats, and shrimp.

Before you hop to the next foodie destination, don't forget to head to a juice bar to try an acai bowl with berries straight from the Amazon rainforest.

Cape Town, South Africa

South African biltong in a bowl on a table
Credit: Shutterstock/ Wild Drago

If you've ever wondered what ostrich or rhino meat tastes like, get down to Cape Town and order some biltong, which is basically a type of jerky. Unlike jerky, however, biltong is infused with vinegar before drying. If you're feeling really adventurous, head to Famous Kalahari Biltong, which offers gemsbok, kudu, springbok, and ostrich biltong.

We also recommend sampling a meatloaf-like dish called bobotie or thick, flavorful sausages known as boerewors.

Wellington, New Zealand

Red kumara sweet potatoes on a white towel
Credit: Shutterstock/ Ericmama

Some of the best offerings in Wellington include juicy cuts of lamb (one of the country's main exports), an antioxidant-rich sweet potato called kumara, Maori dishes like paua (abalone), and "Kiwi burgers." What's in a Kiwi burger? A beef patty, a fried egg, lettuce, cheese, onions, and beetroot. If you've never had this unique burger, it's time to head to Wellington for the experience.

As one may expect from an island nation, you'll also find an incredible array of seafood dishes to tempt your palate.