26 Foods to Savour – ABCs of Culinary Tourism

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Culinary tourism has become a burgeoning trend, attracting globetrotters with its promise of immersive gastronomic experiences. Food has evolved beyond mere sustenance to become a gateway to culture, history, and local traditions. From exploring bustling markets to savoring dishes at renowned restaurants, travelers are enticed by authentic culinary encounters that offer a taste of a destination’s essence.

In the realm of culinary tourism, travelers seek authentic connections and memorable experiences. They delve into the stories behind each dish, forging connections with chefs, artisans, and local communities. Whether indulging in wine tastings or mastering culinary skills in cooking classes, culinary exploration promises a rich tapestry of flavors and experiences to savor and cherish.

ABCs of Culinary Tourism

ABC of Culinary Tourism Greece Credit DownshiftingPRO 2
ABC of Culinary Tourism Greece Credit DownshiftingPRO

Food Tourism is on the rise. Many people travel to get a taste of the food offerings worldwide. Whether those are wine tastings, food tours, or cooking classes, people want to travel for the attractions and food. As a travel writer, I get to eat out—a lot. When working with tourism boards and PR companies, writers, journalists, and influencers are invited to see the best of the best. I’ve had some pretty amazing meals, and I thought it would be fun to share.

A – Andouille Sausage Gumbo

Andouille Sausage Credit DownshiftingPRO
Andouille Sausage Credit DownshiftingPRO

One of the best ways to learn about a country is through their food. Taking a cooking class is a lot of fun and will teach you step-by-step how to make a local delicacy. We made Andouille Sausage Gumbo during our visit to New Orleans Cooking Class in New Orleans, Louisiana

B – Beignets

Beignets at the Ritz Carlton in NOLA Credit DownshiftingPRO
Beignets at the Ritz Carlton in NOLA Credit DownshiftingPRO

Our driver was born and raised in Louisiana and in her opinion, the best Beignets in the Big Easy were to be had at the Ritz Carlton. You’ll love the three dipping sauces. She was not wrong, they were the best beignets that I’ve had in New Orleans!

C – Charcuterie Board

Charcuterie Board at the Wilbur Credit DownshiftingPRO
Charcuterie Board at the Wilbur Credit DownshiftingPRO

Imagine a speakeasy in Costal Mississippi, hidden away behind the lobby desk. We never guessed there was a bar with a killer charcuterie board waiting for us at The Wilbur in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

D – Deep Dish Pizza

Deep Dish Pizza in Chicago Credit DownshiftingPRO
Deep Dish Pizza in Chicago Credit DownshiftingPRO

Did you even visit Chicago if you didn’t eat a deep-dish pizza at Uno’s? I’ve eaten at Giordani, Lou Malnati’s, Pizzeria Uno and Due, and Gino’s. There are hundreds more pizzerias in Chicago so I must return and have a try but for now, I will stick with Pizzeria Due on N. Wabash and E. Ontario Street in downtown Chicago.

E – Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict at Farm Fire Banff Credit DownshiftingPRO
Eggs Benedict at Farm & Fire Banff Credit DownshiftingPRO

A classic brunch dish, Eggs Benedict will rise or fall on the hollandaise sauce. The Bison Benny at Farm and Fire in Banff, Alberta, hit it out of the ballpark. Doesn’t this sound delicious? Braised Bison, Two Free Run Poached Eggs, Haskap Compote, Croissant, Hollandaise, House Potato.


F – Fried Fish

Fried Fish Bogota Colombia Credit DownshiftingPRO
Fried Fish Bogota Colombia Credit DownshiftingPRO

Street Food Latin America on Netlix introduced me to the rich flavours of Colombia. All to be found at La Perseverancia Market in Bogota, Colombia. From Colombia’s national dish, La Bandeja Paisa, to award-winning soup from Bogota, Ajiaco, and exotic fruit salads, you can find anything at this food market in downtown Bogota. Opting for the fried fish from the coast, it did not disappoint, and it was a bargain!

G – Guanabana

Guanbana Soursap Credit Marco Tulio via CanvaPro
Guanbana (Soursap) Credit Marco Tulio via CanvaPro

There are hundreds of exotic fruits in Colombia. A country with tropical rainforests, hot and humid savannahs, and cool mountains. Oddly shaped and a challenge to peak, you will love the sweet, silky texture of a Guanabana. It is best to taste it as a smoothie or juice. Find out more from The Ultimate Guide to Fruits and Juices of Colombia

H – Hush Puppies

Hush Puppies in Saratoga Springs NY Credit DownshiftingPRO
Hush Puppies in Saratoga Springs, NY Credit DownshiftingPRO

Finding Southern food in Upper New York State is having the fun of traveling. People want comfort food no matter where they live, and getting Hush Puppies from Hattie’s in Saratoga Springs, New York, was something special.

I – Ice Cream

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Ice Cream in Illinois Credit DownshiftingPRO

It’s not just about the ice cream. It’s the challenge to finish this huge milkshake in a mason jar with toppings. Yummy treats on a stop on Route 66. Part of the Firs Hundred Miles with Heritage Corridor Destination.

J – Jamon Iberico

Jamon Iberico Credit DownshiftingPRO 1
Jamon Iberico Credit DownshiftingPRO

Jamón Ibérico.is similar to prosciutto but originates in Spain. An extremely interesting stop on our trip to Spain was a local producer who showed us the Step-by-step Guide to Jamon Iberico. It takes anywhere from a few months to years to produce an excellent quality of Jamón Ibérico. Walk into any local bar and there will be a Jamon on the counter ready to be thinly sliced for you to savour.

K -Popcorn KERNELS

Popcorn Dessert Credit DownshiftingPRO
Popcorn Dessert Cafe Zinc in Midland, MI Credit DownshiftingPRO

Sprinkle a few popcorn kernels over francy caramelized French toast, and you have the Pain Perdue from Zinc in The H Hotel, Midland, Michigan.

L – Lobster Roll

Lobster Roll Credit DownshiftingPRO
Lobster Roll Credit DownshiftingPRO

A special treat at The Springs Restaurant in London, Ontario – a traditional Lobster Roll during lobster season.

M – Muflatta Sandwich

Lobster Roll Credit DownshiftingPRO 2
Muflatta Sandwich at Napoleon House in New Orleans, LA Credit DownshiftingPRO

It is a large layered sandwich with cold cuts, cheese and a special jardinier mixture of olives, pimentos and peppers all on a huge bun – this is the Muflatta Sandwich from The Napoleon House in New Orleans, Louisiana. Originally developed by a deli in the French Quarter, it was made as a quick grab’n-go sandwich for laborers. It is a staple in New Orleans.

N – Pastel de NATA

Pastel Natal Cooking Class Credit DownshiftingPRO
Pastel Natal Cooking Class Credit DownshiftingPRO

Imagine taking a virtual cooking class from Pastelerie Batalaha, Lisbon, Portugal. That is what we did with my daughter one afternoon. We love Portuguese custards, and learning how to make them was pretty straightforward, with step-by-step instructions in English by this pastry chef in Portugal.

O – Oysters

Wintzells Oyster House Mobile AL Credit DownshiftingPRO
Wintzell’s Oyster House Mobile, AL Credit DownshiftingPRO

There is no better place to get fresh oysters than from the Gulf Coast. We stopped the iconic Wintzell’s Oyster House in Mobile, Alabama for fresh and baked oysters. They were extraordinary. The servers alone are worth the stop – great fun and super friendly.

P – Paella

Paella bcnKITCHEN Credit DownshiftingPRO
Paella bcnKITCHEN Cooking School in Barcelona, Spain Credit DownshiftingPRO

The home of paella is Spain and you can find it just about anywhere but we were able to make our own in a cooking class with bcnKITCHEN. We made paella, potato pie, and creme Catalan as a group. From squeezing the ink from a squid to flaming the crust on the dessert, it was an experience in making some of Spain’s most popular dishes.

Q – Queso

Fromagerie in Paris Credit DownshiftingPRO
Fromagerie in Paris Credit DownshiftingPRO.

There is nothing like a French cheese. The variety seems to be endless and the artisans that create these masterpieces are nothing short of genius. I just love to stop off and check out a cheese boutique in Paris, France.

R – Rasberry Tart

La Vie en Rose Paris France Credit DownshiftingPRO 1
La Vie en Rose Paris, France Credit DownshiftingPRO

We were pleasantly surprised by the Instagram-worthy cafe in Les Galleries Lafayette in Paris. After a morning of shopping, we were happy to grab a coffee and a dessert with fresh fruit (including raspberries).

S – Southern Food

Southern National in Mobile AL Credit DownshiftingPRO
Southern National in Mobile AL Credit DownshiftingPRO

We were pleased to try high-end, authentic Southern food at Southern National in Mobile, Alabama. The kitchen is open to the restaurant so you can watch the Chef at work. He provided a sampling of all his best dishes.

T – Tartar

Beef Tartar La Buchette Quebec City Credit DownshiftingPRO
Beef Tartar La Buchette Quebec City Credit DownshiftingPRO

The Beef Tartar at La Buchette in Quebec City was exceptional. This new restaurant in Upper Town serves traditional French Canadian dishes with a new, updated twist. Throught this trip I enjoyed both salmon and beef tartar. I highly recommend this raw meat experience.

U – Uvas

Meierstone Vineyard Fredericksburg TX Photo Credit DownshiftingPRO
Meierstone Vineyard, Fredericksburg, TX Photo Credit DownshiftingPRO

Uva are grapes in Spanish; wine is the best thing you can make with grapes. Wine tastings are fun and give you the opportunity to taste a variety of wines. I have visited wine regions throughout the United States: The Finger Lakes in upper New York State, Tri-Cities Washington, Niagara in Ontario, and most recently the Hill Country in Texas.

V – Vegan

Don Vegane Quebec City Credit DownshiftingPRO
Don Vegane Quebec City Credit DownshiftingPRO

Vegan restaurants are becoming more popular, and we found one right beside our hotel (Le Germain in Quebec City). Hailed as Québec City’s vegan pioneer, Don Végane (aka “Le Don”) is known and loved by all. The tasty food, generous portions, and cozy, welcoming vibe have made it a favorite among vegans and omnivores. 

W – Whiskey

Celtic Whiskey Bar Lader Killarney Ireland Credit DownshiftingPRO
Celtic Whiskey Bar & Lader Killarney, Ireland Credit DownshiftingPRO

Ireland’s premier Whiskey Bar, stocking over 1,000 whiskies, the Celtic Whiskey Bar and Larder is a must-see in Killarney, Ireland. Lively and with the most entertaining bartenders, it has a superb selection of Craft Beer, Irish Gin, Whiskey, and Scotch from around the world. Try a flight and compare.

el Xampanyet

el Xampanyet the best tapas bistro in Barcelona Credit DownshiftingPRO
el Xampanyet Bistro Credit DownshiftingPRO

We found it by accident. There was a lineup outside this small bistro in Barcelona and we decided to join the line. There is nothing better than social proof. If there’s a line, it’s likely good. The best tapas bistro in Barcelona are busy and loud.

Y – The Yard Milkshakes

The Yard Gulf Shores AL Credit DownshiftingPRO
The Yard Gulf Shores AL Credit DownshiftingPRO

Be a kid again and get a fancy milkshake when you are in Gulf Shores, AL. The Yard is a franchise but the first time I had one of those gigantic concoctions was in Orange Beach. It was fun, decadent and made to share!

Z – Zatarains

Louisiana Seasonings Credit DownshiftingPRO
Louisiana Seasonings Credit DownshiftingPRO

A staple ingredient in every Louisiana kitchen, Zatarains Shrimp and Crab Boil is the perfect seasoning. You can find it anywhere, from a fishing shop to a large grocery store.

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Margarita Ibbott is a travel and lifestyle blogger. She blogs about travel in Canada, the United States and Europe giving practical advice through restaurant, hotel and attraction reviews. She writes for DownshiftingPRO.com and other online media outlets.