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.
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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!
All roads really DO lead to - and from- Rome.
Julius Ceasar, Saint Peter, Spartacus, and now the team from Turnipseed Travel.... there's been more than a few legends who've walked, rode, and peddled their way down the Appian Way. This ancient highway, nearly 400 miles of engineering marvel, connected Rome with southern Italy and the sea, forming a critical trade and communications link with Greece and Egypt.
Considered the world's first super highway, everyone who was anyone traveled along the Appian Way, along with over two thousand years of worth of anonymous citizens too. We were happy to start our first day in Rome by following in their footsteps!
Ljubljana's Beekeeping Trail gives you a bee's eye view of one of Europe's loveliest cities.
Ljubljana is a sweet travel destination, and not just because it's so lovely to look at and so pleasant to chat with the warm local residents. No, in this case Ljubljana is literally sweet, for it is a city obsessed with honey!
Slovenian honey, coming from the beloved Carniolan honey bee, is a product of protected geographic indication and Slovenians take their honey so seriously that they are the only European country which has special legal protection for their bees. Beekeeping and bee protection has a long, passionate history in Ljubljana, one that we were able to trace step by step on a guided walk of the Beekeeping Trail.
Move aside, buffets. Under Nonna Antonella's guidance, bruschetta is anything but basic.
One of the first big trips Ryan and I did together was a two week adventure through the American Southwest, with plenty of time in Las Vegas. We were so excited to check out the city's legendary casino buffet scene that we even invested in the "Buffet of Buffets" all you can eat package. I hadn't made it halfway through our 24 hour pass before I tapped out. Can someone please pass the vegetables!?
While Vegas is a more extreme example, I experience the same conflict on every trip; my desire to indulge is constantly fighting with my will to survive and avoid scurvy. As such, I constantly have an eye out for a mythical perfect dish that manages to be both decadent and nutritious, enthralling my senses without destroying my stomach.
In Rome - in its own way, the original Las Vegas, a swirling, enchanting, hedonistic kind of town - I found exactly what I was looking for with humble bruschetta. And with our very own "nonna" (a real Roman grandmother and expert home cook) by our side for an evening, we couldn't go wrong. Nonna Antonella was dishing out recipes AND great advice!
Green travel is dream travel in Ljubljana, where eco-friendly initiatives bring endless charm.
If terms like "eco-friendly" and "green" bring to mind dowdy images of damp granola and hemp fabric the color of dishwater, Ljubljana - one of the greenest cities in the world - is going to blow you away. Both the Slovenian capital and the 2016 European Green Capital, Ljubljana is filled with charm and whimsy, incorporating its environmental priorities with a deft hand and an eye for design. The result is nothing short of wondrous -a beautiful city with a perfectly preserved historic core, seamlessly integrating sustainable objectives. Even the graffiti is endearing, with a nod towards conservation! Here's what else won over our hearts.
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