Right there with secretly checking out the men, trying out new food is one of my favorite things about travel. And we all love to eat. Our family crest might as well bear baked chicken with potatoes and veggies and the motto “You shall never go hungry!” It’s only right we share with your our favorite meals abroad. Thus far.
While we always loved food, we weren’t always that adventurous. It took a trip to Amsterdam. It taught us that we didn’t need to stick to McDonald’s because we are afraid of the unknown. No, we should just dive in. Take a chance. If it works, great, and if it doesn’t, well, next time it will.
By the way, it sucks when it doesn’t. Last year in Japan, I was so excited when we stopped on the street and bought takoyaki. Takoyaki is a ball-shaped Japanese snack filled with minced or diced octopus. We sat down, explained to our kids how important is to have an open mind and try things. How else will you learn. Too bites in, I was struggling not to spit it out and not say: “Eww!” And ruin years of parenting.
We didn’t like takoyaki, that was for sure. But the best thing about the experience is, that it didn’t slow us down. We kept exploring with our bellies and there was such great food to be had in Japan.
The two of us are sticking with the message that if you stick to burgers and fries you are robbing yourself of the true experiences and adventures. There so much to eat out there. It’s one of the best ways to get to know a region.
Anthony Bourdain once said something along the lines of: My body is not a temple. My body is a circus. When on vacation I try to live by that rule and also not worry about the calories. I too give myself a free pass and work on not feeling guilty. Hey, I walk it off.
Besides, traveling makes you hungry. I develop such an appetite the minute we’re off. I am worse than my kids. The psychologists in me says it’s for reassurance and seeking comfort while facing the great unknown. Or it could simply be that everything tastes better when you’re away. And I am not talking about the expensive fancy meals. No, I’m picturing Italian ice cream, French croissant, Irish cottage pie, Canadian sausages with maple syrup, and I could go on.
But before we continue I’ll let you in on a secret. I think there hasn’t been a trip so far, that we didn’t also visit McDonald’s. If you question me about it, I’ll blame it on the kids.
Here our top favorite meals to eat abroad:
Fish and chips
Hubbs and I had the best fish&chips in a small town about fifteen minutes away from Dublin, Ireland. It was a long time ago, so forgive me for being so vague.
But we also had some amazing fish and chips in Scotland last Summer and it is one of the meals that proudly wears my kids’ stamp of approval.
If you find yourself in Thurso, which you definitely should, go to Reids Fish and Chips. And eat the meal at a beach. Like this one below. It will taste way better.
Pulled Pork Primanti
Beer-braised & hot smoked with coleslaw, gouda & potato.
Maybe writing this post is not a really good idea – I am starving now.
We had this piece of meaty heaven at the Beer Bistro, Toronto, Canada. Hubby’s relatives took us to this great place and recommended we try their staple dish. Almost five years have passed, I still remember it with a smile.
Mussels with curry sauce
Let’s just say, that if you are around Cassis, France, you stop and give it a try.
It’s actually one of the things you should definitely do while in Provence.
I can still recall it – we were on the French coast in the popular tourist town of Cassis. The waiter was tremendously rude, despite my efforts to speak to him in French. Yet the food was great and the surroundings wonderful. I’d say it was worth bearing the waiter. I think it made it a true French experience – as long as he didn’t spit in my mussels.
A cozy small tapas bar called La Pepita, Barcelona, Spain . Stela was a toddler during our visit to Barcelona and she fell asleep in the stroller. A good thing, since we had to push her around while we walked what felt like hours to get to this awesome place.
Hubby found it on TripAdvisor and truly every praise stands. Great food, terrific atmosphere, good service. But sadly not much for picky eaters like a two-year old.
You are going to laugh but we found this delightful treat in Tesco and we had it every day on our trip to Wales. We’d put both kids to sleep, turn on the TV in our rented house, watch Brittan’s got talent and overindulge with this light dessert.
It was the first thing we bought when five years later we landed in Great Brittan again. Straight from the airport in Glasgow we headed for the biggest Tesco store in the city. At eleven at night. And we bought the trifle and much much more. Like enough cheddar to last as a month, while we were only staying a week.
I have to finish with our favorite Slovenian meal. Stuffed dumplings famous in the Idrija region. Even though I lived in Slovenia all my life, the first time I tried them was a few years ago at this amazing tourist farm called Pri Flandru. And we make sure to visit them every year for a plate of this delicacy.
There has been great food on many of our trips: like croissants and other pastry in France, cheese and the best cappuccinos in Italy, ramen in Japan, noodles in Bali,… There have been a few misses among plenty of hits, but they only make for great family lore. What we are looking forward to is plenty of new tries.