- OpenTable/HiR Fine Dining
Eating the best possible food is a major motivation for many travelers.
In a recent survey of more than 3,400 diners, online restaurant reservation site OpenTable found that 66% of Americans would choose a particular destination because of the food offerings there.
In light of this, OpenTable’s global teams put together a list of 25 dishes you must try in major travel destinations around the world.
From central London to the Costa Rican jungle, these are the dishes that are well worth the flight:
BANGKOK: coconut and turmeric curry of blue swimmer crab at Nahm
- Courtesy of nahm
This gourmet Thai restaurant in the Como hotel was ranked 22nd on the list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. A trip to this restaurant is well worth it for this unforgettably creamy dish.
CHICAGO: spinach margherita deep dish pizza at Gino’s East
- OpenTable/Gino’s East
The ingredients may be simple, but this spinach margherita pizza is full of flavor. It’s dripping in cheese and tomato sauce, but if you want to add more toppings, you can.
DUBLIN: whole split lobster at Lobstar
This steak and lobster restaurant is on the coast in the outskirts of Dublin and is known for its exceptional lobster. With only 30 seats, it’s wise to book in advance. The split lobster costs around $40 and is served with garlic, ginger, and Béarnaise sauce. It comes with a potato and a fennel and mango salad.
FLORENCE: tagliatelle al sugo at Trattoria Sabatino
- Yelp/Noralis R
This is the place to go for an authentic, inexpensive meal in Florence. The menu changes on a daily basis depending on what ingredients are available, but some of the staple dishes remain. Tagliatelle al sugo is one of them, and it’s a favorite of many who pass through.
GUANACASTE: trilingual ceviche at HiR Fine Dining
- OpenTable/HiR Fine Dining
The vague address says it all: this restaurant is quite literally in the middle of the Costa Rican jungle. In one of the more peculiar set-ups on this list, guests listen to the sound of surrounding monkeys while tucking into Japanese-French fusion food that one TripAdvisor reviewer compares to that of a “fancy 5 star restaurant.” There’s no real menu, but a seven-course tasting menu costs $75 per person and is curated by owner and chef Noam. The trilingual ceviche is a show-stopping dish.
HONG KONG: Sunday brunch dim sum at Duddell’s
This two-Michelin-starred restaurant in central Hong Kong is known for its excellent dim sum, and when Sunday comes around, they really go to town. Serving a menu of unlimited dim sum along with main-course meat and fish dishes, it’s your chance to sample the more outlandish food on offer, like foie gras dumplings or jellyfish. The menu costs $61 for food or $87 for free-flowing wine, Champagne, and cocktails.
LONDON: Sunday roast at Roast
Located in London’s historic Borough Market, Roast serves classic British food, which makes it a perfect spot for a traditional Sunday roast. There is a three-course set menu that costs $49. Guests are able to choose between a selection of traditional roast dishes: beef, pork, lamb, or chicken. There’s also a fish and vegetarian option.
LONDON: meat fruit at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
- Ashley Palmer-Watts
Heston Blumenthal is known for his experimental dishes and “meat fruit” is a classic example of this. This chicken liver pate dish is disguised as a satsuma mandarin. It costs $24.
LONDON: afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon
- OpenTable/Fortnum & Mason
This 18th-century department store is one of London’s most iconic places. In the afternoon it serves a traditional British tea, which includes smoked-salmon sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and a mix of cakes. It costs $57 per person, including the selection of Fortnum’s famous teas.
LOS ANGELES: zucchini lasagna at Plant Food + Wine
- OpenTable/Plant Food + Wine
This vegan restaurant in the Abbot Kinney area of Venice serves up light and healthy food like the zucchini lasagna, which is served raw with layers of cheese. One Yelp reviewer describes it as a “stroke of genius.”
MADRID: jamón joselito at Tatel Madrid
- 44amazing / TripAdvisor
This jamón serrano is worth flying across the world for, according to OpenTable reviewers. This restaurant has two sister locations in Ibiza and Miami – the latter is known for its backing by celebrities Rafael Nadal and Enrique Iglesias.
MELBOURNE: sticky pork belly at Red Spice Road
- OpenTable/Red Spice Road
The sticky pork belly is a favorite at this southeast Asian chain – some customers go specifically for this dish. It is served with apple slaw and covered in chili caramel and black vinegar.
MEXICO CITY: mole madre at Pujol
This modern restaurant in the heart of Mexico City is one of the most memorable places you will eat in the city, according to one OpenTable reviewer. The “mole madre” is based on a traditional Mexican sauce that has been aged for hundreds of days. It’s served with tortillas.
MUNICH: white sausage and pretzel at Wirtshaus zum Straubinger
- OpenTable/Wirtshaus zum Straubinger
Despite its anemic look, this white sausage and pretzel dish is actually very tasty. Wirtshaus zum Straubinger serves up traditional Bavarian meals in its German beer house-style tavern.
MONTREAL: disco poutine at Deville Dinerbar
- OpenTable/Deville Dinebar
“Disco Poutine,” or disco fries, are a Canadian take on the American East Coast diner classic. It consists of matchstick fries topped with a veal sauce and covered in melted cheese. These fries are to “die for,” said one TripAdvisor reviewer.
NEW ORLEANS: oyster po’boy at Emeril’s New Orleans
- OpenTable/Emeril’s New Orleans
For this traditional Louisiana sandwich, OpenTable recommends you head to Emeril’s, where the po’boy is made with fried oyster, avocado egg salad, crispy bacon, and aioli. This upscale restaurant is the brainchild of famed chef Emeril Lagasse.
NEW YORK CITY: porterhouse steak at Keens Steakhouse
- OpenTable/Keens Steakhouse
In the heart of New York’s Herald Square neighborhood, this legendary spot has fed some of the most famous people in history since 1885. According to Eater, its patrons have included Teddy Roosevelt and J.P. Morgan, earning it its reputation as the grandfather of all steak restaurants in the city. The porterhouse steak costs $99 for two people.
ORANJESTAD: scallops tempura at The Kitchen Table by White
- OpenTable/The Kitchen Table by White
If you find yourself lost in Aruba, a Dutch Caribbean island off the coast of Venezuela, make time to go to The Kitchen Table. You’ll need to book ahead of time, as this mini restaurant only seats 16 people. The scallops tempura is a favorite of OpenTable reviewers.
PARIS: steak frites at Le Relais de l’Entrecote
- OpenTable/Le Relais de l’Entrecote
Le Relais de l’Entrecote is a one-trick pony, and that works to its advantage. There is one menu (unless you are vegetarian and order cheese), and that is its signature green salad with walnuts, followed by two rounds of entrecôte steak served in a special green sauce with fries. The meal costs $29.95.
SAN FRANCISCO: roast chicken with bread salad at Zuni Cafe
- OpenTable/Zuni Cafe
The menu at Zuni changes daily, but some of the staple dishes remain the same. The roast chicken is one of its most simple dishes, but it’s also one of its most popular. If you can’t make it to the West Coast, follow the recipe online and make your own.
SHANGHAI: double boiled fish maw soup, crab claw, sea whelk in coconut at Jin Xuan
- OpenTable/Jin Xuan
This Michelin-starred restaurant serves up traditional Cantonese dishes alongside other regional favorites. The double boiled fish maw soup is one of the personal favorites of head chef Daniel Wong.
SINGAPORE: beef buah keluak at Candlenut
This is the first Michelin-starred restaurant that serves Peranakan cuisine, which was brought to Singapore by Chinese immigrants. This must-try dish is made with buah keluak, a fruit that is poisonous until boiled and fermented. It’s mixed with spices and served with beef.
SYDNEY: wood-roasted moran family lamb shoulder at Chiswick
This chic Australian restaurant is located in Chiswick Gardens and has its own kitchen garden, where produce is sourced fresh every day. The lamb dish costs $54 for two people and comes with eggplant and a Moroccan marinade. One OpenTable reviewer describes it as “a stand out dish that melts off the bone.”
TOKYO: kobo rainbow sushi at Itamae Sushi Edo
- OpenTable/Itamae Sushi Edo
The kobo rainbow sushi is one of the specialty dishes here, and it’s made even better by its unique and vibrant colors. The restaurant is just as theatrical as this dish, and guests can sit at the chef’s table and watch as it’s prepared.
VANCOUVER: chilled seafood tower at Coast
The seafood tower costs $69 and comes with two tiers of seafood goodness. This includes shucked oysters, tiger prawns, scallop ceviche, mussels, snow crab, Dungeness crab, Atlantic lobster, and ahi tuna poke.