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The top 10 holiday destinations for food-lovers

Thanks to icelolly.com – the price comparison site for low cost holidays – for providing this post on eating out abroad.

With so many holiday destinations now only a few hours away by plane, food lovers are almost spoilt for choice when it comes to picking gastronomic gems. In this indispensible guide, holidays and haute cuisine coincide as we go around the world in ten plates!

1. France
Of course, no list worth it’s salt would forget to mention our neighbours across the Channel – the French. With a reputation for leisurely, luxury meals, even tourists on a tight budget will find themselves able to choose from many affordable yet delicious restaurants.

2. Italy
The land that gave us pizza, pasta, ice-cream and lasagne definitely deserves a place on our food lovers list. With its sunny and hot Mediterranean climate, much of their produce is wonderfully sun-ripened and flavoursome, with their olive oils and wine grapes of particular note.  Head south for spicy and light meals and north for something more rich and indulgent.

3. Morocco
With a souk (outdoor market) on every corner, Morocco boasts some of the most delicious food anywhere in the world. Big on slow-roasted meat stews served with couscous (named tagines), their foods are flavoured with cinnamon, ginger and sweet dates. With colourful stalls showcase a range of fresh fruit and veg and vats of spices it’s a feast for the eyes every bit as much as the palette.

4. Thailand
Although often popularised for its beaches, Thai food has a great range of zesty and clean flavours, with lemongrass and ginger appearing in many of their dishes. With markets offering delicious and inexpensive noodles and curries , indulge in the taste of coriander, Thai basil, fish sauce and tamarind.

5. Mexico
Whilst the British take on Mexican might deter many from trying their culinary offerings, in fact many travellers are delighted by what they find. With chillies, burritos and fried meat topping the bill, in fact Mexico is little known as a vegetarian haven. In addition to this, the coasts offer a variety of good seafood.

6. Vietnam
With French and Chinese colonial influences at work here, Vietnamese cuisine is highly distinctive. This is a place to try street food with bahn mi – a French baguette filled with Asian ingredients – coming highly recommended.

7. India
Not just a religious retreat, Indian cuisine is so much more than curry. In fact, the term curry doesn’t actually exist in India as the dishes on offer are far too diverse to be categorised. A very popular destination for vegetarians, try dhal (lentil) stew and rice for a delicious and wholesome meal.

8. Austria
Rich and indulgent, Viennese cooking is best described as hearty. Known for schnitzel (breaded veal cutlet) all manner of meats are popular here with beef and liver appearing on almost every menu. A ‘must go’ destination for those with a sweet tooth – Austria offers a huge selection of pastries and cakes that would thrill even the most dedicated dessert devotee.

9. Japan
Largely famous for its sushi, Japanese cuisine is actually very diverse. With the emphasis on health and convenience, Japan offers everything from seafood to sansai (mountain vegetables). Although most restaurants specialise in one type of cuisine (stew, noodles etc) the Japanese flavours are consistent: shiso (a member of the mint family), miso paste made from soya beans and pickles.

10. Hong Kong
Perhaps the most vibrant food destination in the world, Hong Kong offers everything from noodles to dim sum. A trip to the bay provides the opportunity to try clams and exotic fish, whilst a walk around the markets offers wontons, noodle soup, tofu and dumplings. Recently becoming home to a Michelin starred restaurant, its not hard to see why as this is the cultural culinary hot pot of China.

A special mention must also go out to Greece, check out Five foods you shouldn’t miss in Greece to understand why.

With so many exciting and unique dishes available around the world, it’s easier than ever to grab your passport and wake up your palette.

Thanks to the Total Travel Guide Blog guest post team for giving us some ideas of where we can eat!

By David Felix

David Felix, a 32 year old carpenter who is taking time out to travel and see more of the world before I get too old to enjoy it fully. I'm an easy going, flexible type of guy who likes to meet new people, wake up each morning not knowing what the day will bring and have fun. Follow my adventures and I shall try to describe each place I visit to the best of my abilities, giving you, the reader, a chance to form your own ideas. Happy travels and I hope to hear from you soon, Dave.