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10 exceptional cities for foodies

What’s for dinner?

Every time we get on the road, it’s either “are we there yet,” or “what’s for dinner” and it drives me crazy. Most of the time our travels are random and spontaneous since we like to mountain bike all over the world!

I literally know just as much as you guys do, why are you asking me? Seriously though, if the food in the city we visit is delicious, the city becomes even better. It’s more beautiful, livelier, and hospitable to me because food speaks to my soul when I’m traveling, and I want something good and delicious.

I’ve gathered my top 10 cities with the best food, and these are places you need to go and visit. Eat at as many restaurants as you can, try the local food, and stay away from the big corporations who make the same food everywhere!

#1: Honolulu, Hawaii for the Kalua Pig

Hawaii is a simple retreat that is surrounded by beaches, volcanos, and scenery you can’t get anywhere else. The beauty of this island is not just the crystal-clear waters and salty waves, but the people who take you as their own.

Kahlua pig turns into a festivity for the native people of Hawaii; it becomes an event to celebrate. The pig is placed underground and slow roasted for 6 to 7 hours until done. When it is finished, you’ll find yourself eating this meat and wishing you were staying forever.

Kalua Pig

Kalua Pig

#2: Valencia, Spain, and Seafood Paella

Valencia, Spain is known for its beautiful coastline and beaches, incredible people, unique culture, and native tongue. Spaniards are some of the nicest people I’ve met on my travels and hold some of my fondest memories of.

Seafood Paella is something I heard about from friends, saw on the food channels, and read about in cookbooks, but never had it. This seafood paella was one of the first dishes I tried when I went to Spain, and it’s now my favorite dish to eat, especially in Spain with the fresh seafood!

#3: Hong Kong, China, and Egg Tarts

Hong Kong is a beautiful city, and at night, the lights from the skyline reflect into the waters of the Victoria Harbor. Located on an island, Hong Kong gives way to a nice bike trek along the Victoria Harbor coastline.

Egg tarts are delicious, although at first, I was hesitant, my first bite set me free. The creaminess and richness of the egg and the slight sweetness and crispiness led to an unusual dessert I crave from my local bakeries.

Egg tarts

Egg tarts

#4: Gabon, Africa with Chicken Muamba

Gabon, Africa is a stunning country in Western Africa that is situated along a coast of sandy beaches and a clear blue ocean. The capital Libreville is next to the coast, but further, behind the city, you can find the massive jungles, luscious green lands, and intoxicating beauty that surrounds the city.

Chicken Muamba is an eclectic dish with chicken, spices, seasonings, oils, tomatoes, onions, garlic, a scotch bonnet pepper, butternut squash, okra, and broth. This flavorful, spicy dish reminds me of Africa every time I eat it at home.

#5: Houston, Texas and Texas Barbecue Pork

Houston is a large city in Texas, close to the bay area. With charming parks, amazing architecture, and a lit-up skyline; there’s nothing this city doesn’t have to offer a traveler of food and beauty.

A unique Texas blend of spices, sauces, and peppers make each barbecue sauce different, but in Texas, they do barbecue right. Every barbecue chef has their own recipe for their sauce, so every sauce you taste will be different, and something you won’t want to pass up!

#6: Miyazaki, Japan with Wagyu Beef

Miyazaki Prefecture in Japan is in the Kyushu region, which is the southernmost part of Japan. It is alongside the coast and offers a pretty scenery from waterfalls, to secret coves, rainforest, and mountains. Visiting Miyazaki is stunning.

Wagyu is a breed of cow produced in the Kobe region of Japan. This beef is one of the most expensive and delicious pieces of meat you will ever have. It’s well worth the price, the waiting in line, and the small pieces of meat you will inhale.

Wagyu Beef


Wagyu Beef


#7: Bangkok, Thailand for Tom Yum Goong

Bangkok is a city that lights up the night. Located on the Gulf of Thailand, Bangkok is home to many temples directly in the city. With colorful street markets, bustling streets, a skyline that lights up the night alongside the Gulf and the unique architecture makes this city one of a kind.

Tom Yum Goong is a seafood dish that features shrimp, kaffir lime leaves, mushrooms, coconut milk, and seasonings. This soup is rich and creamy, but also very cheap. This soup tastes salty, sweet, and sour at the same time because of its ingredients, a soup you always have to finish!

Tom Yum Goong


Tom Yum Goong


#8: Chennai, India with its Masala Dosa


Chennai, India is absolutely gorgeous. It’s a place full of culture and scenery that you can only get in this magical land. This is also a great place to reap the benefits of cycling since many people in India rely on walking, cycling, or wagon carry.

The Masala Dosa is this crepe made from rice batter that is crispy when cooked. Inside is this wonderful, spicy mashed potato mixture. Once ready to eat, you are offered tasty dipping sides, my personal recommendation is the coconut chutney!

Masala Dosa


Masala Dosa


#9: Rome, Italy for the Pizza

Rome is home to a lot of Roman architecture that ultimately leaves you feeling humbled and in awe. You’ll want to visit all the tourist sites while you’re here, such as the Vatican, the Colosseum, and art museums.

After touring the cities in Italy, settle into Rome for wonderfully fresh, homemade Neapolitan pizza. It has freshly made sauce from an Italian grandmothers’ secret recipe book, fresh mozzarella, basil, salt, and oil. A simple recipe using fresh ingredients. After eating this pizza in Rome, I ended up not liking my pizza back home anymore!

#10: Queenstown, New Zealand, and Hangi Cuisine

Queenstown is gorgeous in the daytime and even more beautiful at night. The city illuminates the water of Lake Wakatipu, allowing for this nighttime aura to be placed over the city. The land is lush and filled with exotic plants and people.

Hangi cuisine is food prepared by the native people, called Maori. They dig a hole and use red rocks and volcanic rocks to create steam and get hot from burning wood underneath. They place the rocks in the hole, put their food in baskets and place it over the rocks in the hole to cook. Their cuisine usually includes fish, chicken, and root vegetables. Unbelievably delicious.

Never Underestimate Places You’ve Been


You may or may not have traveled to these locations, but if you have, maybe you missed a few things, including trying all the food. Don’t worry, you can always go back! Just remember to try new things, don’t be afraid of food, and have a love to try it all!

What are some places on my list you’d like to go? Have you been to any of these sites and eaten this food? I’d love to know what you think about it!

This post was written by Denise Nelson. She is a profound lover of cross country mountain biking, the Co-founder of a private biking lessons school and she owns a small fitness store in NY. Her blog Mountainbikeez.com, provides knowledge about mountain biking as well as connects people who love this sport.

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