There are so many reasons to travel, and getting the chance to sample mouthwatering international cuisine is most certainly one of them. We wanted to hear about memorable culinary experiences around the globe, so we asked our community of travelers to tell us about some of the most delicious food and wine they’ve had on tour. From tasting classic flavors to stepping outside of their comfort zones and sampling unique dishes, they’ve proved that one of the best ways to have an immersive travel experience is by trying authentic fare.
“On a previous tour to Northern Italy, we stopped for a guided sightseeing tour of Ferrara. Our Tour Director suggested we try the town’s special pasta stuffed with pumpkin, known as cappellacci di zucco, with a traditional butter and sage sauce. It was unique and delicious, and we topped off our tasty meal with cherry-amaretto gelato. The meal made our visit to this enchanting town unforgettable.”
“While on tour in Costa Rica, we stopped in the city of Liberia for an afternoon lunch. My husband and I went down a tiny street and found an impeccably-dressed gentleman waiting outside a seemingly nameless cafe, who offered a warm smile as he asked if we were hungry. We felt drawn by his sincerity and although he didn’t speak any English, I managed to order arroz con pollo (rice with chicken). I must say that this savory, spicy Costa Rican meal will always count as the best dish I’ve ever tasted while traveling.”
“I love dessert and made it my personal goal to try gelato in every town we visited on the Grand Tour of Italy. I ate gelato three times a day because whenever I found a new kind, I had to try it. My favorite flavor was Nutella in Verona and the most unique was lavender in Rome. Gelato also connected me to a lifelong friend, Carl. He ate as much gelato as his wife would allow and we were nicknamed the ‘King and Queen of Gelato.’ I still go and visit Carl and his wife every summer—they have a magnet of a gelato cone on their fridge to remind us of the fun flavors we tried.”
“My girlfriend and I were in Rome during my first trip to Italy, and it was here by the Parthenon that I tried the best dish that I’ve ever eaten while traveling: pizza. There was an intensity to the cheese and prosciutto that tasted incredible, but what really set this meal apart was the location. The stones under our feet were worn down by countless generations, we could hear the hum of hundreds of voices and we knew we were experiencing a moment we would never forget.”
“Our Tour Director took my husband and I and another couple to a ristorante in Florence, Italy. I ordered cheese ravioli with a light white wine, lemon and sage sauce—I can still taste it if I close my eyes and dream. For dessert, I had a cup of vanilla gelato topped with a double espresso. It was an incredible, unforgettable lunch in the city.”
“One of the best dishes that I’ve ever tasted was beef bourguignon, which I enjoyed at a sidewalk cafe near the Sacré-Cœur Basilica in Paris. I don’t know if it was the moment in time that made it so rich and tasty or the food itself, but it was divine! There is nothing like taking in magnificent views of the Eiffel Tower and enjoying the company of wonderful people while having a delicious dinner along with good French red wine.”
“After a morning stroll in the charming city of Maastricht, Holland, I came upon the Chocolate Company in the central square. I ordered a hot chocolate, and the woman behind the counter pointed to shelves displaying more than three dozen flavors of chocolate on wooden spoons. I chose an espresso-chocolate spoon to dip into the mug of hot milk I was provided, and it was the most delicious hot chocolate I have ever tasted. This simple pleasure was certainly one of the most enjoyable moments of my tour.”
“The best dish I’ve ever tasted was on a tour to Guatemala and Belize. Our group was gathered around the table of organic farmer, Eladio Pop, as his wife and daughters prepared a feast using ingredients from their farm. Every dish was delicious, but there was one in particular that I’ll never forget. It contained colorful rice, crisp salad, ripe tomatoes and a piece of meat that looked a lot like chicken. I licked my fingers clean, but gasped as our guide explained that I had just enjoyed Belize’s edible rodent, the gibnut. Had I known ahead of time, I would not have tried rodent meat. But, I have to admit, the gibnut was much better than chicken!”
“Some friends and I decided to get supper at Le Consulat in Paris on my very first tour, and our waiter recommended the special of poulet au four, salade and frites. I recognized a few of the words with my limited French but wasn’t prepared for the lovely meal that was set before me. I had no idea a humble chicken leg could taste so decadent and the lightly dressed salad and fries were the perfect accompaniment. Although I’ve had fancier meals in more lavish surroundings, I can honestly say that was the best chicken of my life!”
What’s the best thing you’ve tasted on tour? Tell us in the comments below!