Bar-hop for pintxos along the streets of San Sebastián, Spain, and you’ll get a taste of the soul of the city. The traditional small plates—Basque country’s version of tapas—range from simple, classic toasts to elaborate molecular gastronomy creations, and are best enjoyed with drinks over the course of a lazy evening, mingling with friends old and new at every stop. It’s the ultimate intersection of delicious, local food, long-standing tradition, and inimitable atmosphere—a story of the city and its culture.

That combination is what landed the experience in the top spot on Lonely Planet’s list of the world’s top 500 culinary experiences, compiled in their newly released book, “Ultimate Eats.” The book is a testament to that inextricable connection between food and place.

“There’s just something special that happens when you are eating a dish that’s been prepared a certain way for generations, in the place where it was invented, and using locally-sourced ingredients,” Evan Godt, managing editor at Lonely Planet, said in an email interview. “Kimchi in New York can be great, but it’s the kimchi you have in Korea you’ll be talking about for years.”

From beef brisket in Texas to curry laksa in Malaysia, each entry in the list describes an experience and the cultural importance behind it—what makes it so special, and why it goes far beyond just the food on your plate.

Nominations were crowdsourced from Lonely Planet’s writers, bloggers, and staffers, as well as 20 of the world’s top chefs and food writers, including TV personality Andrew Zimmern. With the help of TV chef Adam Liaw and food blogger Leyla Kazim, a team of food editors then evaluated and ranked the experiences according to taste, cultural importance, and atmosphere.

The resulting book is a one-stop culinary travel guide. But Godt offers hungry travelers a word of caution: “Be present with your food.”

“You should absolutely fit in these foods if you are traveling to the areas where they are local staples,” he said, “but don’t be in such a rush to check these off your bucket list that you miss out on the adventure. Savor the flavor and the experience.”

With that in mind, here are Lonely Planet’s top 10 food experiences:

  1. Pintxos in San Sebastián, Spain
  2. Curry laksa in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  3. Sushi in Tokyo, Japan
  4. Beef brisket in Texas, USA
  5. Som tum in Bangkok, Thailand
  6. Smorrebrod in Copenhagen, Denmark
  7. Crayfish in Kaikoura, New Zealand
  8. Bibimbap in Seoul, South Korea
  9. Pizza Margherita in Naples, Italy
  10. Dim sum in Hong Kong

“Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Eats” by Lonely Planet Food, $29.99. For more information and to buy the book, visit LonelyPlanet.com/ultimate-eats.

“Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Eats” by Lonely Planet Food ($29.99).
Share
Categories: Food Food & Travel

Video Popular

  • Celebrating Arbor Day With Books

    Celebrating Arbor Day With Books

    Trees were once considered sacred and awe-inspiring: Oaks were worshiped by the European Druids, redwoods were a part of American Indian ritual, and baobabs a part of African tribal life. Ancient Chin...

  • Sharks Eat Their Greens, Too—First Omnivorous Species Confirmed

    Sharks Eat Their Greens, Too—First Omnivorous Species Confirmed

    Not all sharks feed only on meat—at least one shark species also feeds on seagrass. Scientists have confirmed that one of the most common sharks in the world is an omnivore. The bonnethead shark, a re...

  • Microsoft Flags Dangers to EU of Plans to Limit Data Use

    Microsoft Flags Dangers to EU of Plans to Limit Data Use

    Microsoft said on Sept. 5, that EU lawmakers’ copyright reforms limiting the use of potentially valuable data to non-profit bodies could damage the European Union’s digital development. Co...

  • How Setting a Schedule Can Make You Less Productive

    How Setting a Schedule Can Make You Less Productive

    It can seem like there’s never enough time—not enough for sleep and not enough for play, not enough for cooking. and not enough for exercise. There’s a relatively new term to describe this feeling: ti...

  • RiNo, Denver: America’s Best Place for a Bar Crawl?

    RiNo, Denver: America’s Best Place for a Bar Crawl?

    “RiNo reminds me of Williamsburg in 2004—just pretentious enough to be good, not yet pretentious enough to be annoying.” Kevin Burke is joking, of course. As the general manager of American Bonded—one...

  • Respecting Teachers and Cherishing Virtue

    Respecting Teachers and Cherishing Virtue

    Respecting teachers and cherishing virtues are part of the traditional ethics practiced by the Chinese people. Teachers, who impart morality, knowledge, and values, teach people the proper ways to int...

  • Home Ownership in Canada Declines, Reversing Long Upward Trend

    Home Ownership in Canada Declines, Reversing Long Upward Trend

    Home ownership in Canada fell for the first time in over 45 years, according to a Point2Homes study released this week. It had reached a record high of 69 percent in 2011, but as of 2016, it fell to 6...

  • Aretha Franklin Dresses, Hats to Go up for Auction

    Aretha Franklin Dresses, Hats to Go up for Auction

    NEW YORK—More than 30 dresses and accessories worn on stage by Aretha Franklin are going up for auction. The Queen of Soul died at age 76 in Detroit on Aug. 16. Julien’s Auctions says the items ...

  • 87 Elephants Found Slaughtered in Botswana, Africa

    87 Elephants Found Slaughtered in Botswana, Africa

    An alarming number of elephant carcasses have been discovered in aerial surveys across Botswana in what has been described as a “poaching frenzy.” Botswana was once known as a sanctuary fo...

  • Yes, Marijuana Can Be Addictive

    Yes, Marijuana Can Be Addictive

    The business world is salivating at the potential $22.6 billion recreational marijuana market in Canada, with more new pot users expected after legalization on Oct. 17. But public-health officials wan...

  • Google Races to Parry the Rise of Facebook in India

    Google Races to Parry the Rise of Facebook in India

    Google retains only a slight lead over Facebook in the competition for digital ad dollars in the crucial India market, sources familiar with the figures say, even though the search giant has been in t...

  • Canada in Brief, Sept. 6-12

    Canada in Brief, Sept. 6-12

    Trudeau says he won’t use ‘tricks’ to ram through pipeline construction Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is pouring cold water on Alberta’s suggestion that the federal government use legislation or a cou...