After spending the last 3 months without putting my feet out of Paris, last week I finally satisfied my hyperactive travel bug. To be honest, I was starting to feel enclosed (which might seem a paradox given the fact I’m currently living in such an exciting city like Paris), but I am one of those who needs a regular change of environment to feel re-fuelled and inspired again. Specially when living far from nature.
So, this was perfect timing.
My first stop? Krakow, where I would surprise my mother for her birthday (long story short, she was there visiting one of my brothers). Great excuse, right? Krakow is a charming city but let’s be clear, one of my faves there was food. So this stirred up an idea: what about driving you through my most recent travel destinations and most special corners of the world? I mean, not you, your stomach! First of all, I do want to state how fortunate we are for being able to upgrade food to a pleasure of life. And if we can even combine it with travelling… that’s a blessing from Somewhere up there, my friend!
Without further ado… Here are my top #5 travel destinations for food including my favourite restaurants and cafés (note here: I take food seriously, so I advice you to note them down!):
#1 Krakow (Poland)
On the train ride from the airport to the city center I overheard a local claiming that there were more Italian restaurants in Krakow than in any other city in Italy. Ok, I did not believe him, but this didn’t avoid to suddenly feel a bit excited (yes, I adore Italian gastronomy!). I only spent 24h in Krakow, but succeeded in every single eating-out choice (with some pseudo-local recommendation, I must say). I didn’t adventure into Polish food this time, but couldn’t miss kissing a delicious Italian meal (pasta, of course) and a so-easy-to-decide torta di cioccolato at Bianca Ristorante, getting a Sweet Temptation (masked under a Green Juice) at Frankie’s and, finally, tasting the best salmon with spinach that you can get in a meat country like Poland at the Argentinian grill Pimiento. All of them conviniently located at a short walking-distance from the largest medieval square in Europe. Easy. Easy.
#2 Fuerteventura (Canary Islands, Spain)
Fuerteventura was my second stop in this recent senseless travel route. I had previously been there in September and totally fell in love. White sand dunes, turquoise waters and #islandlife, which I had been so desperately longing for. Being a short 3-hour flight from Barcelona, it’s the perfect choice to get a refuel. And, foodwise, a great spot for (fresh, fresh, fresh) seafood and islander cheese (like in Menorca, local island cheese is one of their gastronomical assets). So, where should you eat? My top #1 choice is Restaurante Rompeolas, where even the simplest spinach, parmesan and pine nuts salad will melt in your mouth. So just imagine what emotions your tastebuds will go through with the main meals (paellas, meat or fish on the grill… all served with the local papas arrugadas). If you fancy pasta or pizza (I told you, when I talk food, I speak Italian!), you must go to Trattoria Nonna Pasqualina. Any option in the menu is a winner – my fave is maccheroni alla nonna -, but make sure you finish it whith a housemade desert.
#3 Cusco (Peru)
Peru has won the award for World’s Leading Culinary Destination for 4 consecutive years. So we’re not joking here. But I am not just listing Peru for this so-deserved win, but also because it has been a recent destination of mine and a very special one. Not only the archeological Inca sites are so worth-visiting and the landscapes so breathtaking, but also the culture you come across is deeply spiritual and rooted in nature, which is a soul-awakener for those who feel the need to be close to Pachamama (Mother Earth). And maybe because food comes from the soil, the earth blesses Peruvians with the perfect raw material to become leaders gastronomywise. Ok, so just before you get ready to head to renowned Machu Picchu or, even better, after having enjoyed it, you’ll probably stop at Cusco. So, where should you fill your stomach? Do you have only one day? Then, make sure (seriously, make SURE) you get a big and well-deserved brunch at Jack’s Cafe. Afterwards, you’ll probably feel full for many hours (thank you high altitude!), but by mid-afternoon you’ll need a snack to keep you until dinner. Then, head out to La Valeriana for a sugar fix (their choc brownie is my to-go) and finish up with a fancy dinner at Fallen Angel. Not only their food is delicious, but the venue is so strangely original, with tables made out of baths / fish tanks.
#4 Melbourne (Australia)
During the 11 months that I lived in Australia, what was my #1 discovery foodwise? The real meaning of brunch. Well, maybe I should say the royal category of brunch. This meal is heavy-duty there. And if you accompany it with a leisurewear look (read Lululemon tight pants), you’ll just pass yourself off as a true local. My favourite brunch option is smashed avocado and I am proud to have found a place where it’s just so deliciously topped with organic poached or scrambled eggs and little dices of tomato with balsamic vinegar. Where to find this world’s wonder? Organica Cafe & Foodstore in Prahran (their sourdough bread is to die for). Also, just on the corner you’ll find a perfectly-made flat white and World’s Best Housemade Choc Chip Cookie (by Wild Style Story’s unofficial food awards) at the cute café Little Hawk. If you’re looking for a proper meal, two options here: one more obviously popular, the other one not so much (but equally delicious). First, check out World’s Best Margherita Pizza (official award, and happily verified by myself) at 400 Gradi. But if you’re looking for a more cozy spot, Cucinetta is just too perfect: a small and fresh menu writen on a board while you chat with the chef who is cooking your meal at your perfect taste. Just perfect.
#5 Barcelona (Spain)
I lived in Barcelona for 8 years, all through university to my job position at a marketing agency, just until I decided to move abroad. But you know what? The best food spots I found them in my last 2 years living there. But better late than never, right? Vegan, vegetarian, raw and gluten-free restaurants are popping out like flowers in springs, and Barcelona is not left behind. One of my faves there (even if you’re not a vegetarian yourself) is Flax & Kale (check out the kale chips while you’re wait for your delicious food to come in). But if you’re not on the healthy route, you’re set for your cheat meal or fancy a bit of binging, I also have you covered. Check out Can Recasens for typical Catalan gastronomy in a one of a kind atmosphere (veggies, fruits and fairy lights hang on the stone walls). There, you can get cheese or meat boards, delicious salads and the local pride pa amb tomàquet (slices of toasted bread with spreaded tomato). But I couldn’t finish this post with… yes, an Italian restaurant. Well, I should say a pizza one, as that is their best asset. Where? At Crep Nova. Their most popular options? Pizza with the finest Spanish ham and Nutella crêpe (and I mean overflowing-Nutella crêpe).
Anyone has been in any of these restaurants? I’d love to read your recommendations!