10 Favorite Travel Food Experiences

Ropa Vieja - a traditional Cuban dish - from Habana 61 in Havana, Cuba
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Being food and wine bloggers, we are seemingly always eating. We do it for the sake of the blog, obviously. We wouldn’t want to miss out on a great dish, an awesome food tour or a delicious cocktail that we can share with our readers.

Okay, so that’s really only half true. We do it for the love of all things food and drink. We’ve visited so many countries, all of which have their own unique foods, flavors and ingredients. We tried so many things we’ve never eaten that I quickly lost track. Good thing we take a lot of pictures of the food we eat.

Every time I look back over all the unique dishes and crazy foods we’ve eaten this year, I get excited all over again. For me, there’s nothing as rewarding as traveling for food. If you love traveling for food too, you might want to check out our ebook, 101 Dishes to Travel the World For. It’s free to download and you’ll be drooling over the food from page one!

Here is a photographic walk through our 10 favorite travel food experiences – all of which I remember fondly and hope we someday have the chance to taste again. Also, see these top Vegetarian food experiences, for the meatless culinary travelers.

10. Tuscan Grill aboard the Celebrity Silhouette

Everyone's favorite lasagna
Everyone’s favorite lasagna

In May and June, we went on our first cruise. We boarded the Celebrity Silhouette for a 13-day trip, having no idea what to expect of the food options we’d have on board. Turns out that Celebrity has some fantastic specialty restaurants onboard, which feature a range of options from Asian to Italian cuisine, for a small extra fee.

We took full advantage of these options and ate in a specialty restaurant almost every night. Our favorite was the Tuscan Grill. The lasagna and Caesar Salads were to die for! We went back 3 times just to have more lasagna.

9. Masha and the Bear in St. Petersburg, Russia

Russian Borscht
Russian Borscht

While we were in St. Petersburg, a major goal of ours was to eat some authentic Russian food and see how these dishes differ from what we’ve always had at home. Borscht and Beef Stroganoff were two dishes I was very eager to compare.

I was happy to find that borscht in Russia isn’t anything like the versions we find in the States. And it’s really delicious. If I could go back to Russia for only one thing, it would be for a cup of the delicious borscht we had at Masha and the Bear.

8. Habana 61 in Havana, Cuba

Ropa Vieja - a traditional Cuban dish - from Habana 61 in Havana, Cuba
Ropa Vieja – a traditional Cuban dish – from Habana 61 in Havana, Cuba

For so long, I’ve been hearing that the food in Cuba is unimpressive, at best. We were told by a number of people not to expect much from the food. So when we arrived in Havana, we came armed with salt and pepper, just in case we needed to season the bland food.

Fortunately, our food worries were quickly put to rest. We loved the food in Cuba. One of our favorites (the national dish of Cuba) was a wildly flavorful plate of Ropa Vieja (shredded beef with tomato, peppers and onions), that we ordered at Habana 61 in Havana’s old town.

If you’re planning a trip to Cuba, check out our one-stop travel guide to Cuba, and our destination guide to Cuba.

7. Austin Food & Wine Festival in Austin, Texas

Austin Food & Wine Festival
Rose Tasting Session at the Austin Food & Wine Festival

2015 was our first year attending the Austin Food & Wine Festival. It is a 4-day affair with two full days dedicated to the grand tasting event that draws in huge celebrity chefs, dozens of local and national restaurateurs and wineries.

It was also our first time in Austin, so we spent the full four days feasting on the incredible food that makes Austin such a popular destination for foodies. We will absolutely go back to the Austin Food & Wine Festival again.

6. Bravas in Healdsburg, California

Sardines at Bravas
Sardines at Bravas

Healdsburg, California, just outside of Sonoma, has many great restaurants. It’s the perfect place to end a day of wine tasting. No matter where we eat, it’s a great experience every time. One of my favorite restaurants in Healdsburg is Bravas, a Spanish tapas restaurant in the center of town.

We immediately fell in love with it the first time we ate there. The tapas are just as good as any we had in Spain. The sardines we had there were definitely a highlight of our trip to Sonoma. 

5. Rose’s Luxury in Washington, DC

The coveted sausage and lychee salad
The coveted sausage and lychee salad

As you may have read on the blog a few months back, we were lucky enough to have our friend, David, in Washington DC, wait in a 2.5 hour line to get us a table at Rose’s Luxury, which was named Bon Appetit’s 2014 Restaurant of the Year.

While we left wondering if it was worth a 2.5 hour line to get in, the food was pretty great. You wouldn’t think that lychee and sausage salad would be something to remember, but it was. That salad alone was worth the wait. I would definitely go back for it.

4. Relae in Copenhagen, Denmark

Ceviche of trout with cucumbers
Ceviche of trout with cucumbers

As we were eating the food at Relae in Copenhagen, I remember wishing there had been more meat-centric dishes. It was a very light, vegetable-heavy menu. But looking back, I realize how great that meal was. The frozen cheese dusted over herbs that formed the cheese course, the giant stalks of fresh asparagus, the delicate whey broth.

Each dish offered a new way of looking at and thinking about food. I would never have thought that sunflower seed risotto would be so tasty, but I fell in love with that dish and I would love to go back for more. Each dish shouted “Spring!”, even more so than the last, and it was truly a moving dining experience. I look back on it very fondly. It was also a great alternative when we were sadly unable to get a reservation at Noma.

3. Pujol in Mexico City, Mexico

Suckling lamb taco at Pujol in Mexico City
Suckling lamb taco at Pujol in Mexico City

When we decided to go to Mexico City, I already knew which restaurant we absolutely had to go to. Pujol has been on my dining radar for a long time. It is certainly one of the top restaurants worth traveling for. Ranked #16 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, Pujol has been in the Mexico City limelight for a long time now.

The food is both creative and inventive, and the best part is that they use ingredients native to the area, plus some interesting additions like powdered ants. The menu features 6 dishes, plus a happy ending. Pictured above is one of my favorite dishes – a tortilla made with avocado, containing tender suckling lamb and guacamole cream with edible flowers.

2. Maximo Bistro in Mexico City, Mexico

Suckling lamb at Maximo Bistrot in Mexico City, Mexico
Suckling lamb confit at Maximo Bistrot in Mexico City, Mexico

This where we ate on New Years Eve in Mexico City. Maximo Bistrot ranks on the Latin America 50 Best Restaurants list. It’s a comfortable, yet small restaurant featuring modern French food with Mexican influences. It was worth every bite.

The tasting menu started out light with a briny oyster, then moved on with a tender and chewy ravioli, a crisp piece of suckling lamb and a refreshing sorbet. It was a great way to end the year on a high note.

1. Wine Tasting in Bordeaux, France

Wine tasting in Bordeaux

There’s nothing better for a wine lover than wine tasting in France, and Bordeaux is a wine region that can’t be missed. We’ve always found that traveling ourselves to a wine region is the best way to learn an incredibly amount about its wine and the industry in a short amount of time. 

Bordeaux is a world-renown wine region with great popularity and highly acclaimed wine. There are many appellations with quirky differences that you’ll want to discover for yourself by tasting the wines in the vineyard.


Where did you have your favorite food experiences this year? Did you go to any particularly noteworthy restaurants, or experience a dish that you can’t forget? Tell us about it in the comments section. We always love hearing about other’s food finds!

10 Favorite Travel Food Experiences
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12 thoughts on “10 Favorite Travel Food Experiences

  1. Marianne @ Mum on the Move says:

    Yum what an amazing year of eating! We did two fab street food tours this year in Hoi An and Hanoi in Vietnam, I think they were my culinary highlights:)

  2. Renne says:

    As many times as I’ve been to LA, I have never heard of Bazaar. I am definitely trying this the next time I go. Great suggestions. Ps. Now I’m hungry

  3. elaine schoch says:

    Completely agree with you about the borscht in the States. It’s soooo much better in Russia. I’ve found so many different versions here but none of them compared to (or resembled) what we ate in Moscow.

    • Laura Lynch says:

      I wonder why that is. Don’t we have anyone in the States who knows what real Borscht is like and can make it well? It really is delicious.

  4. Fran Folsom says:

    Wow 9 countries and all those cities in 1 year. And all that glorious food. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it. LOL

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