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Paris, Milan, New York — those are just some of the cities that top the list of most popular foodie destinations. But what about places that are further off the beaten path?
It's time to turn the spotlight on the best hidden paradises for foodies. If you're looking for good eats, check out these 10 cities that you'll want to go back to again and again.
1. Vigo, Spain
The Spanish port city of Vigo is renowned for its seafood but it also serves up plenty of old world charm. As part of the Galicia region, Vigo has developed a reputation over the years for producing exceptional red and white wines. If you're looking for places you'll want to visit more than once, try Porto Santo for a low-key tapas lunch or save your appetite for the seasonal fare on offer at Maruja Limon.
2. San Miniato, Italy
San Miniato is part of the Tuscany region and it's world famous for its white truffles, which feature heavily in local menus from September through December. Like Vigo, San Miniato is also a producer of wines, including a red derived from the Tempranillo, a variety of Spanish black grape. Piazza del Popolo pairs local wines with simple, yet satisfying dishes but you'll also want to sample the blood sausage at Sergio Falaschi, the town's most famous butcher shop.
3. Oaxaca, Mexico
Whether you prefer street food or high-end cuisine, Oaxaca has the best of both worlds. As you check out local restaurants and choose your favorites, make sure you add mole negro, coloradito and manchamenteles to your list of must-try foods; all three are regional specialties. If you're in the mood for a snack, scoop up a handful of chapulines (fried grasshoppers) and be sure to visit one of Oaxaca's many mezcalarias, where locally-produced mezcal is the house drink of choice.
4. Mancora, Peru
Lima is arguably Peru's best-known foodie destination and it's a go-to spot if you're looking for a hundred and one variations on ceviche. Mancora, on the other hand, is the place to be if you're looking for great food in a more laid-back beachfront atmosphere. While you're enjoying the spectacular ocean views, you can also settle down to dishes like the tuna tartar at Aqua and pickled eggplant at La Sirena de Juan.
5. Hoi An, Vietnam
If you're heading to Hoi An, be sure to get your visit in before October, when the rainy season begins. And while you're there, indulge your foodie tendencies with dishes like cao lau (rice noodles, pork and fresh greens), banh xeo, (a fried cake filled with bean sprouts, shrimp and pork belly) and mi quang (a combination of rice noodles, pork, fresh herbs, prawns and quail eggs.) Some of the out-of-the-way eateries to add to your list include Ong Hai and Bale Well, both local favorites.
6. Dakar, Senegal
South Africa boasts many of the continent's best foodie hot spots but Dakar isn't to be overlooked. This coastal city is where flavors collide in the best of ways, with local restaurants serving French, Creole, Portuguese, Vietnamese and Lebanese-inspired dishes. La Calebasse is a place you'll want to visit more than once for local food, while Le Djembe is a prime choice for authentic Senegalese fare at budget-friendly prices. If you only try one thing, make sure it's dibi — spiced and roasted mutton served with grilled onions.
7. Bergen, Norway
Bergen doesn't see as much tourist traffic as the capital city of Oslo and that's a good thing for foodies who are looking for a place to slow down and savor what's on the menu. When you're taking a break from trekking the fjords, head to Sky:Skraperen for amazing views and an even more amazing meal of fiskesuppe (Bergen fish soup), lamb sausage and seasonal vegetables. If you're a bit more adventurous, head to Enhjørningen for whale carpaccio and Swedish caviar.
8. Bristol, England
London might be on your list of foodie spots to visit but plan to include a detour to Bristol on your itinerary. Birch is an ideal choice if you're looking to keep it casual and enjoy some custard tart; if you'd prefer finer dining, you could try the rabbit pie at Wallfish Bistro. And of course, your trip wouldn't be complete without a visit (or two) to a local pub. The Bank Tavern is a traditional pub in the city center while Highbury Vaults features real ale and a menu that includes black pudding and fish pie.
9. Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan is Armenia's capital and if it's not on your list of foodie places to try and try again, it should be. If you're new to Middle Eastern food, start off by trying the lahmajun at Mer Taghe. It's similar to pizza, with a more exotic flavor. You'll also want to try the dolma at Dolmama. This combination of ground meat, rice and herbs is an Armenian cornerstone. If you fill up on dolma, pencil in time for a repeat visit to try the khashlama, a traditional stew made from lamb and vegetables.
10. Wellington, New Zealand
Wellington is overflowing with bars and restaurants, making it a foodie heaven. Whether you're visiting for the first time or the tenth, make a point to stop in at The Larder for one of their specially themed dinners which can include anything from seared calves' liver to seaweed desserts. If you're looking for seafood in a relaxed setting with plenty of variety, try Ortega Fish Shack and Bar, where the menu changes daily and the welcome is always warm.
Travel further off the beaten path with Barclaycard Arrival Plus and find the places you’ll want to go again and again. Visit ArrivalPlus.com to learn more about this card and to apply. Please review the terms and conditions at the time of application for additional details.
This content is sponsored by Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®. All opinions in this blog are supplied by Rebecca Lake and are for informational purposes only.
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