For many people, food and travel are intertwined. As you get back on the road for work, here’s a look at the best cities for enjoying a great meal.
In 2021, more and more professionals are returning to the road, picking up on business trips that might have fallen off in 2020. One of the side perks of traveling for work is enjoying culinary options around the world. After all, food and travel go hand and hand, right?
Some business travel destinations are better than others for tasting the local fare. As you spend more time on the road for work, here’s a look at 10 of the best food and travel destinations around the world (listed alphabetically).
If you’re looking for a flavorful culinary destination, look no further than Bangkok, Thailand. In Bangkok, you’ll encounter local dishes that are salty, sweet, sour and a host of other flavors on the spectrum. And one of the best parts of dining in Bangkok is that you can get a great meal from a street vendor just as easily as you can a high-end restaurant. Be sure to try the papaya salad, Thai-style noodles (fried), Massaman curry, stir-fried basil and slow-cooked pork.
Spain’s food choices vary greatly from region to region. For example, what you’ll get in Madrid is going to be different than what you can expect in Barcelona, the epicenter of Catalan culture. And you can expect a lot in Barcelona.
One of the best parts of eating in Barcelona is the history. Many of the dishes you can try have been eaten in this part of the world for centuries. So, when dining in Barcelona, embrace the past as you try the paella (a rice-and-seafood dish), escalivada (grilled eggplant and peppers over toasted bread), esqueixada (a light salad with salted cod) and crema Catalana (a custard dish whose crust is formed using a blow torch).
Because Lebanon has been home to so many different cultures throughout its history, it represents a wide array of food influences. At different times, the French, the Syrians and the Ottomans have ruled in Beirut, and each left an imprint on the region’s culinary traditions.
Beirut is also a place where you can eat like a king for cheap. While there aren’t many street vendors, you can find plenty of restaurants serving inexpensive manakish (similar to pizza), knefeh (a breakfast treat), croissants, falafel and hummus. Oddly enough and to the surprise of many, Beirut if also a great place to get a burger. So, if you’re an American looking for a little taste of home, you’ll find great options in the Lebanese capital.
Don’t confuse Tex-Mex food for what you’ll find in the capital city of Mexico. In Mexico City, food is both affordable and delightful. Visitors can dine on gorditas, tacos al pastor, enchiladas suizas and a host of other traditional dishes. Mexico City is also a great destination for vegan food. In neighborhoods like Condesa and Roma, you can find vegan alternatives to traditional foods served in the Mexican capital.
New Orleans has been experiencing a centuries-long love affair with both food and music. The best part is: While listening to the latter, you can enjoy the former. Visitors to New Orleans feast on jambalaya, crawfish etouffee, gumbo, muffalettas, po-boys and more.
For a late-night treat, get a beignet — which is a French-style donut. They are served morning to night at Café du Monde, located conveniently in the French Quarter (and other areas throughout the region). Wash your beignets down with a cup of the Café’s world-famous coffee.
New York City
New York City is the ultimate melting pot, bringing together cultures from around the world. And New York City’s dining scene reflects the diversity present throughout all 5 boroughs. You can find world-class Italian, French, Indian, Spanish, Mexican and Chinese restaurants, as well as food from other regions around the globe. But, for something a little simpler, find a New York City classic like a pastrami sandwich from a deli, a bagel, New York-style pizza (Famous Original Ray’s and Lombardi’s are popular options), pretzels from street vendors, hot dogs (many swear by Gray’s Papaya), and a slice of cheesecake or hand-stuffed cannoli to top it all off.
Paris may be the culinary capital of the world, known for its rich foods and fine tastes. Paris is renowned for its croissants and pastries, its macarons, its steak tartare, its onion soup, and, of course, its cheese. For the real taste of Paris, visit the L’Escargot Montorgueil restaurant, where they’ve been serving snails for nearly 2 centuries. Looking to eat on the go? Get a jambon-beurre sandwich (ham and butter served on a baguette) from a street vendor.
No list of great food around the world would be complete without an Italian option, and Rome is one of the most visited business destinations in Europe. In Italy’s capital, you can sample carbonara, artichokes, pizza, porchetta sandwiches, and a host of rich pastas and wines. To finish your meal, enjoy a little bit of gelato in the country that made it world famous.
Singapore is an Asian destination that brings together food influences from across the region, including India, China, Malaysia and other countries. Singapore is another food destination where you can find fancy sit-down restaurants serving expensive chili crabs just as easily as you can find street vendors serving chicken. Both are worth the experience — and the taste. For breakfast, make sure to sample the kaya toast.
It’s never hard to find a good meal in Singapore either. The area is home to many open-air food markets where all that makes Singaporean food so delightful is readily available.
You can find a little bit of everything in Tokyo. Enjoy food specific to the region, specific to Japan as a country, as well as world-class fare from international destinations. Visiting Tokyo for food is a little like visiting New York City — there’s an astonishing amount of diversity.
To get the full Tokyo dining experience, make sure to sample the soba noodles, chankonabe (a hot dish that includes fish or chicken plus vegetables), monjayaki (a pancake-style food that is mixed with seafood and other meat), tempura, nigiri-sushi and more.
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