Of course one of the best parts of travel is the food, and I've had more than my share of good food on my trips this year. Below is my personal list of the top 10 foods I've had while traveling this year.
I set a rule for myself to not include anything from my hometown of St. Louis, so these are the best foods I've had while actually on the road. (Note: My personal taste leans towards casual local food, so you won't see any steak or lobster tail on my list!)
So here's the countdown:
10. Corned Beef and Cole Slaw at Roaster's Deli - Miami Beach, FL
I can't pass up a good deli... so when I was in Miami recently I had to make a stop at Roaster's. The corned beef on a challah roll here was yummy, especially paired with some creamy cole slaw and a Dr Brown's Diet Cream soda.
9. Cheese and Crackers - Paris
I was handling a couple large corporate groups in Paris so I was there for almost three weeks. One day I wanted something simple for lunch so I stopped at the nearest local market and picked up a couple cheeses (brie and camembert) and crackers. Even though these were inexpensive supermarket cheeses, they were rich, creamy, pungent, and amazing.
8. Doner Kabab - Istanbul, Turkey
This is perhaps the most famous food in Istanbul, and for good reason: it's delicious and it's practically on every corner. Cooked on a vertical spit, layers of lamb and beef are sliced thin and served wrapped in a large lavash bread.
7. Fresh Croissants - Paris
Who can resist a croissant, especially at a cafe in Paris? This is the perfect Parisian breakfast, especially at a busy cafe in the morning when you can watch all the locals stop in on their way to work.
6. Beans and Rice - Istanbul, Turkey
Such a simple dish but so delicious. If there was a place I could get this in St. Louis I would be there now instead of writing this blog post.
5. Baked Salami - Cleveland, OH
Sometimes homemade food is better than anything you can get at a restaurant. My mother-in-law's baked salami is one of the best things I've eaten all year.
4. Sushi at Nobu - Paradise Island, Bahamas
We spent a few days at Atlantis on Paradise Island, and had dinner at Nobu one night. The sushi there was among the best sushi I've ever had outside of Japan. Looking forward to going back when I am at Atlantis again in the spring.
3. Carne Asada Tacos (Alambre Con Queso) - Cancun, Mexico
My friend Jorge ordered these for us at a casual roadside taqueria near his home in Cancun. It's basically taco meat on a plate with cheese melted on top, served family style with cooked cactus, onion, avocado, salsas and fresh tortillas. Tacos are assembled by hand at the table. Alambre con queso means "wire cheese" - meaning that as you pick up the meat, you get long strings of melted cheese. Nothing better.
2. Ham and Cheese Crepe - Paris, France
Crepes are one of the best street foods in the world... in Paris they're made to order, inexpensive, fun to eat, and incredibly delicious. Egg and cheese for breakfast, ham and cheese for lunch, nutella and banana for dessert... yum!
1. Turkish Delight - Istanbul, Turkey
Available at shops everywhere in Istanbul, Turkish Delight ("lokum" in Turkish) comes in a wide variety of flavors, often made with rosewater, lemon, mint, milk, pistachio, etc. I couldn't get enough of it and still dream about it on a regular basis. It's my food discovery of 2013.