Most travelers focus on "the best". Here's why the SECOND best pad Thai in Bangkok will always be number one to me.
We were granted media passes to the The Market Experience's Thai Cooking With A Twist class at no cost and we thank them for their support. All research, writing, and opinions are our own. Note that some links in this post may be affiliate links, which means we are paid a small commission should you make a purchase.
Every traveler dreams of superlatives - and I'm no exception. I've been to Death Valley National Park, the hottest place on earth, as well as Perth, Australia, the most isolated city in the world. I've also made it to Bagan, Myanmar, home to the largest concentration of religious structures in the world - and even to Nackawic, New Brunswick, site of the world's largest axe! After all, who doesn't love seeing the biggest, largest, highest, and best when they travel?
Therefore, you might be a bit surprised when I tell you that I fell in love with the SECOND best pad Thai in Bangkok - and I couldn't be happier that I did.
What exactly makes the pad Thai created by The Market Experience very nearly the finest in all of Bangkok, save but one? We'll get to that shortly! First, you need to build up to the moment, which is exactly what we did when we had the privilege of joining The Market Experience's Thai Cooking With A Twist cooking class and market tour.
As long time readers know, Ryan and I adore cooking classes and market tours. And it's not just because we're obsessed with great food! Nothing can compete with the delectable combination of culture and community, along with the chance to chat with locals, see their work- and even say hello to their cats! With Chef Kwang and company owner Simon encouraging us, we had the most immersive and delicious experience imaginable - and it was one that included the city's second-best pad Thai! Suffice it to say, there's nothing like it in all of Bangkok.
To begin, take a step into the Yodipman Flower Market with us.
Readers always ask us "Which country has the best food?" and "Where's the best place you've ever eaten?" Here are the most delicious and undeniably amazing meals we've had around the world.
Our meal at Black Tartan was sponsored by Ontario's Highlands Tourism Organization and we thank them for their support.
Some links within this blog post are affiliate links, which means we are paid a small commission should you make a purchase .
Do you remember the time we feasted on desserts across Budapest, including some showstopping plates at a Michelin star'd restaurant? Or that time when we had an incredible meal at a near empty Parisian restaurant after a late night river cruise? We sure do! We love eating our away around the world and our list of good meals, restaurants, and experiences is endlessly long.
But what about GREAT meals and restaurants? No, not just great. How about the absolute best? People ask us all the time about the best meal we've ever had or the best restaurant we've ever visited and we always struggle to answer. I've realized it's not just that food enjoyment is subjective. For us, it's also about having our expectations surpassed, about being overjoyed to discover that a meal we anticipated would be merely satisfactory is actually sensational. Sometimes it's been an order from room service that blew us away so much that we are STILL talking about how perfectly creamy the sauce was. Other times, it's an unassuming country bistro, the last place we expected to find a cheese lover's heaven. In every case, the food isn't just good - it's surprisingly, unexpectedly fantastic.
After much debate, we've finally narrowed down our list of the best meals we've had around the world, using the criteria above. None of those incredible restaurants in Budapest or Paris made the list. They were wonderful - but we expected them to be wonderful. An element of joyous astonishment just wasn't there. We also eliminated any experiences that we enjoyed solo - this list is all about the places that Ryan and I have enjoyed together and have the same reaction to. Looking back on all our delicious destinations has been a fun trip down memory lane, but also a sad one. Should we go back? Would things be just as great a second time round or are our expectations now skewed? It's a good reminder to always savor the moment as much as the food!
Where can you find poutine AND fine wine? On a Quebec City food tour, of course! We're reviewing two of the most popular options - as well as giving you the inside scoop on our favourite Quebec City bed and breakfast.
When you think of Quebecois food, does your mind wander to old fashioned fare with a heavy emphasis on maple syrup and local delicacies? Or maybe you're craving less wholesome treats like a heaping plate of poutine? Perhaps your tastes are a bit more refined, with a eye towards wine and French joie de vivre? If you're like me and want a little bit of everything, your best bet is a Quebec City food tour so that no category is left out. Happily, when I was in Quebec City for the Women in Travel Summit, I participated in not one but two fantastic foodie experiences. Read on to hear about each tour, including what I loved, what I felt could have been improved, and my favourite stop on each. Plus there's a bonus review of my favourite Quebec City bed and breakfast which I know you'll like as much as I do!
Bon Appetit! Cooking classes around the world offer great meals and great memories. Here's what we look for to make sure we get great value as well.
We were sticky, sweaty, and we smelled distinctly of onions. Our feet were coated in a layer of fine dust and we had mysterious red splotches all over our shirts. We needed showers, we needed rest, and -truth be told - we probably needed to drink something other than wine. But we had the best morning imaginable!
We weren't participating in some kind of strange obstacle course or adventure excursion. No, Ryan and I were fresh from spending the morning at an incredible cooking class in Prague. The onion odor and red stains were the result of carefully (... or not so carefully....) stirring the base for a goulash and the dusty feet were courtesy of a market tour. And the wine, well...All in a day's work!
Cooking classes around the world are our new favourite travel activity and we're not alone. Classes for non-chefs and travelers are popping up everywhere. We've never had a class we didn't absolutely love nor a meal that didn't leave us groaning with happy, overfull bellies. To ensure that your experience is just as great as ours, here's what you should look for in an overseas cooking class.
Where do you find the best Greek yogurt in Athens? At one very special place - the last dairy bar in Athens. Learn how you can easily visit Athens' last dairy bar all on your own.
Have you ever tried a food you think you know so well, and suddenly something happens and you'll never look at it the same way again? That's what it was like when I tried Greek yogurt in Greece. The snowy yogurt was so thick that it nearly held its shape as it was cut and plated on a classic white saucer, with honey and fresh walnuts crowding the top and spilling over to the sides. Like nearly all yogurt in Greece, it was made from sheep's milk - and I'm sure the shop owner would say that there was a lot of love in the mix too, for I was visiting the Stani Milk Shop, the last dairy bar in all of central Athens. And as far as I'm concerned, it's the best Greek yogurt in Athens
Prague's best beer tour comes with Czech tapas and wine? Yes! And it's perfect for the non-beer drinker.
The Czech Republic is home to Pilsner, beer halls, brew pubs, and huge, frothy mugs of your favourite suds for less than a dollar. But none of this makes much of an impression on me. I'm just not a beer drinker. My beer aversion is one of several annoying travel quirks that occasionally challenge our social lives and our budgets. I'm the gal always requesting a fancy mineral water at ten times the price of a regular bottle of beer! So why join in on Prague's best beer tour? When in Rome, er.... Prague..... you do as the locals do!
When Ryan and I had the opportunity to hang out with the team from Urban Adventures and be a part of the Prague Beer and Czech Tapas tour, I knew it would be a neat way to see the city. And I was confident that Ryan would love it. But me? I hardly suspected that a wine and lemonade loving girl like myself would have such a fun night!
Here's where we explored, what we sampled, and how we fell for the different flavors of Prague.
Guest blogger Nicole shares her secrets for where to find the best meals in Bagan, Myanmar. Get ready to eat - you're going to love this round up of the best restaurants in Bagan.
You’ll find everything you need for a fantastic meal in Bagan from French, English, Italian, Indian, Thai, Japanese, and - of course! - Burmese cuisine (you have to try the tea leaf salad)! This popular town in Myanmar has a fantastic food scene. Here are my picks for the top restaurants for each region of Bagan. You will find most of the restaurants in Nyaung U, a few in New Bagan and just couple in Old Bagan. . So hop on your e-bike and get ready to explore Bagan and the cuisine.
The most affordable and authentic way to get to know Bali? One bite at a time! Let's start with the best satay in Bali. Balinese satay is the best!
If you're passionate about travel, then Bali, Indonesia, is definitely on your radar. The island has become one of the most visited destinations in Asia . In the early 1990s, Bali emerged as a popular tourist destination but it has maintained its position as one of the best budget friendly tourist destinations in Indonesia. And it's crazy delicious too! Have you ever had satay in Bali?
Bali is a paradise for food lovers. Foodies are embracing Balinese cuisine as never before. Restaurants and warungs (small local cafes) offer traditional Balinese dishes on their menus, whether you're hobnobbing with locals or sticking with fellow travelers in the "touristy" areas. Here are five traditional dishes that every traveler should try in Bali - including my favourite, traditional Balinese satay!
Ottawa's culinary scene is sensational.
Note from Vanessa: We're thrilled to showcase this guest post on Ottawa's foodie scene from Shannon of Shan's View from Here. I've seen Shannon's culinary chops first hand when traveled together to explore Ontario's Prince Edward County and can't imagine anyone better to report on Ottawa's best food experiences first hand.
Culinary tourism is defined as the pursuit of a unique and memorable eating and drinking experience. Whether you live in Ottawa or are visiting to celebrate Canada's 150, you will find a vast amount of culinary experiences. Some experiences will have you strapped into a race car seat and hoisted in the air, while other experiences will immerse you in an Ottawa neighborhood and its flavours. Ottawa is growing into a culinary destination in its own right and offers memorable once in a lifetime foodie adventures.
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