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10 emerging foodie destinations worth traveling for

By Kristen Wood, Food Drink Life
It’s kind of like devouring a delicious plate of sushi: wrapping up one amazing vacation always leaves you wanting more. But with such a big world to see – and so little time in which to see it – where should you book your next trip?
This year, it’s time to let your tastebuds do the talking. Read on to learn why foodies around the globe are flocking to these emerging travel destinations. How many of these spots have you visited?
1. Tbilisi, Georgia
Cobblestoned Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, is bursting with history – and by the time you leave, you’ll be bursting with satisfying Georgian dishes. Here, you can learn the art of eating khinkali, twisted dumplings filled with meat and broth, or enjoy crisp tomatoes and cucumbers paired with one of Georgia’s many varieties of cheese. Whatever you do, don’t forget to try khachapuri, a boat-shaped dish traditionally filled with cheese and egg, before you have to say goodbye.
2. Oaxaca, Mexico
If you want to eat well, visit Oaxaca: From street vendors to world-class restaurants, this city has so much to offer. Make sure to try at least one of Oaxaca’s seven moles, or thick chili-based sauces, which can take days to prepare. Then, try some of Oaxaca’s most unique dishes, including huitlacoche, a corn fungus similar to a mushroom, and chapulines, a crunchy snack made from deep-fried grasshoppers.
Wash everything down with tejate, a thick drink made from toasted maize and cacao. And for dessert, don’t miss paletas, frosty ice popsicles made from fresh fruit.
3. Medellín, Colombia
Visit Medellín, and you’ll understand why Colombian food is well worth booking that flight. In Medellín, your day starts with buñuelos, fried dough balls that are best enjoyed with a steaming mug of hot chocolate or coffee. Spend the day seeing the sights and devouring plenty of empanadas along the way.
At day’s end, dig into bandeja paisa, a traditional dish that includes a broad array of ingredients. Chorizo, a fried egg, plantain, chicharrón, arepa, avocado, beef, rice and beans are all served together for a hearty meal that hits the spot after a long day of traveling.
4. Ljubljana, Slovenia
Take a hiking tour through Slovenia, and you’ll be rewarded with sights of snow-capped mountains, hidden waterfalls and pristine lakes – but best of all, you’ll get to end every day with a different take on a hearty traditional stew. And if hiking isn’t really your thing, head to charming Ljubljana to sample all those dishes and more.
Obara, golaž and pohorski pisker are just a few of the savory, saucy stews waiting for you to soak them up with a crusty loaf of bread. For dessert, don’t miss potica, a sweet, festive cake that can be filled with ground walnuts, poppy seeds or even Nutella.
5. Havana, Cuba
No trip to Havana would be complete without enjoying ropa vieja, a dish of tender, shredded steak stewed in tomato sauce with peppers and onions and often served with rice and plantains. This dish is a perfect example of why Cuban food is sought out by so many.
Pair your ropa vieja with one of the many iconic Cuban cocktails out there, like the mojito – a Havana classic. Both can be enjoyed at Doña Eutemia, recently named one of the best restaurants and an “Old Havana stalwart” by CultureTrip.
6. Cape Town, South Africa
Visiting Cape Town? Don’t miss the chance to order a Gatsby, a huge sandwich stuffed with french fries, meat and vegetables. If you’ve still got room left over, seek out boerewors, a spiral-shaped mince sausage, best enjoyed with a cold glass of beer.
After all that, think you’re full? It won’t be difficult to find an appetite for dessert if you spot anyone selling koeksister on your way home. These sticky-sweet pastries made out of fried dough are completely irresistible.
7. Bologna, Italy
Bologna is the place to go to enjoy some of the most beloved examples of Italian food in their original cultural context. Try tagliatelle al ragù, and you’ll never think about spaghetti bolognese the same way again. And don’t stop there: lasagna verde, tortellini and gramigna are just three more must-try pasta dishes no visitor to Bologna can overlook. Buon appetito!
8. Tel Aviv, Israel
Before you head out to explore Tel Aviv, start your day with shakshuka, a dish of poached eggs in a spicy tomato and pepper stew with parsley and feta cheese sprinkled on top. As the day heats up, cool down with a sweet treat from Anita Gelato – if you’re lucky enough to stop by when their halva flavor is available, you might just be taking a pint back to your hotel room.
Towards sunset, head to Jaffa for dinner at The Old Man and the Sea, a legendary seafood restaurant overlooking the Mediterranean. You’ll get to enjoy a spread of almost two dozen different little salads included with dinner: the perfect way to sample hummus, tahini, pickled vegetables and other classic Middle Eastern dishes.
9. Osaka, Japan
If you’re craving street food, head to Osaka to see why this city is more than worthy of the nickname The Nation’s Kitchen. There, you can eat your way through the Dotonbori, Shinsekai and Kitashinchi districts, sampling favorites like takoyaki – fried dough balls with octopus – and kushikatsu, or deep-fried meat and veggie skewers. Be warned: you will be thinking about these tasty fried treats for years to come.
10. Porto, Portugal
Whether you’re looking for a satisfying lunch to carry you through an intense afternoon of port tasting, in desperate need of a hangover cure or just curious to discover what might be the world’s most indulgent sandwich, francesinha won’t let you down.
This sandwich, originally from Porto, typically includes multiple different types of meat – sausage, linguiça, steak and ham – drenched in a spicy seafood sauce and melted cheese. Just for good measure, it’s also topped with a fried egg and served with fries.
Final thoughts
Is your stomach rumbling yet? The dishes named in this article are just a taste of the many innovative celebrations of local cuisines that you can expect at any of these destinations. So if you’re hungry for more, don’t overlook these destinations when planning your next trip – because sometimes, there’s no better way to experience a new place than by tucking in your metaphorical bib and diving in.
Kristen Wood is a photographer, writer, world traveler, and creator of the blog. Foodventures Abroad, where food and travel intertwine. She is also the author of Vegetarian Family Cookbook, Fermented Hot Sauce Cookbook, and Hot Sauce Cookbook for Beginners. Her work has been featured in various online and print publications, including Tasting Table, Forbes, Martha Stewart, NBC and more.

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