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Top 7 Cities For Adventurous Foodies—Unconventional Destinations You Have To Check Out Now

Last February, we had a roundup of some of the top food destinations, and this time we found alternative destinations that offer something a bit different from more cosmopolitan cities like Tokyo or New York. If you’re ready to introduce your taste buds to a whole other culture, here are eight food cities you should definitely consider:


1. Stockholm, Sweden



According to David Chang, Ugly Delicious host and chef-restaurateur of Momofoku empire fame, places that should be on your food travel destination radar for 2019 are Scandinavian cities. And while Copenhagen, Denmark is a sensible choice as it’s home to the multi-awarded Noma restaurant—Chang calls it the “ground zero” for foodies—the food expert thinks it’s worth exploring other Northern cities like Stockholm for a change. He specifically advises that people try the shrimp sandwich and the pan-fried herring because the Swedish capital is known for its seafood. You can try the Michelin-starred Oaxen Krog or the more traditional Tennstopet. And don’t forget the famous Swedish meatballs, too, best enjoyed at Bakfickan (rather than at IKEA)!


2. Seoul, Korea



With the resurgence of K-pop fever, and the ongoing K-drama obsession, Seoul has become a destination for all those affected by hallyu, the Korean culture wave. It just so happens that the city is also home to some of the most delicious, jaw-droppingly Instagrammable street food in the world. They’ve got everything from potato crisps stacked high on a stick and towering servings of soft serve ice cream, to the more traditional bites like tteok-bokki (spicy rice cakes) and eomuk (fish cakes). And of course, let’s not forget the Philippines’s latest food obsession: samgyupsal (Korean barbecue), which you’ll find plenty of in Seoul.


3. Cusco, Peru

There’s never been a better time to eat in Peru. And if you don’t mind working for your food, Lonely Planet recommends making the trek to Mil in Cusco, Peru. It’s named one of the “Best New Food Experiences for Travelers in 2019,” and it certainly is an adventure. At the restaurant—run by chef Virgilio Martinez whose Central in Lima is No. 6 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2018—diners eat dishes that pay tribute to Andean ancestral cuisine, which make use of ancient indigenous ingredients. All this, with views of Inca ruins 3,568 meters above sea level, makes this food trip quite the adventure.


4. Amsterdam, Netherlands


Vegans and vegetarians usually have a very limited selection of food when they travel. But being environmentally or health conscious shouldn’t get in the way of good eats without the meat. So for the minority of the population that doesn’t eat pork, beef, chicken, seafood, or any kind of meat, Amsterdam should be on your bucket list. According to BBC Good Food, it’s where vegan and vegetarian meals get inventive. They recommend trying the “plant-based posterchild dish, Dutch Weedburger (made with seaweed, not marijuana)” which can be found at the Dutch Weed Burger Joint.


5. Taipei, Taiwan


Sometimes, people are so quick to look for adventures farther away that they miss out on the great offerings of places closer by. Taipei is one of the food trip gems that lie just beneath our noses. From Taiwanese fried chicken that’s about as big as your face, hearty beef noodle soup, to stinky tofu that will definitely get your attention at night markets—true foodies would never overlook an iconic food destination like Taipei. Even better, André Chiang, one of Asia’s most acclaimed chefs, recently returned to his birthplace to up the fine dining game in the city with his restaurant Raw, among other projects in the works.


6. Corsica, France



Forget Paris! This underrated French city deserves your undivided attention. Corsica is an island that the BBC reports “has long been a destination for active, foodie travelers who enjoy kicking back in affordable hilltop and seafront restaurants after a day’s hike.” Its food culture is a mix of Italian and French, and is filled with meaty dishes galore. This includes civet de sanglier (wild boar stew), figatelli sausages, lamb roasted with whole garlic cloves, plus delicate river trout, and oysters from the island’s less-visited east coast.”


7. Colombo, Sri Lanka


Sri Lanka is one of the more underrated destinations in Asia. Aside from its temples and ancient ruins, the country should also be known for its rich cuisine. As CNN suggests, Sri Lanka might be more accurately described as “The Island of Rice and Curry.” Its largest city, Colombo, has a great street food scene, with endless lines of shops that sell kothu roti—a dish made with fried pieces of flatbread, tossed with vegetables, eggs, bacon, chicken pieces, and chili.  The city also has restaurants by the coast with the freshest seafood you can find. Even before setting foot in Colombo, you can head out to the newly opened Ministry of Crab in Bonifacio Global City, the Philippine branch of what is Sri Lanka’s most celebrated seafood restaurant.


Lead images from Unsplash and @thedutchweedburger