Simply turn on the television and you’ll find that there’s no hotter trend than food. The same is true in travel. Culinary tours delight visitors with authentic experiences in gorgeous settings accompanied by—what else—fabulous meals. From cosmopolitan Hong Kong and New York to more laid-back Oaxaca and Napa Valley, these five worldwide gourmet destinations offer everything a pair of culinistas could want. Read on for our favorite restaurant (and hotel) picks around the globe. Bon voyage and bon appétit!
The former British colony is a melting pot of cuisines.
(Photo Credit: Shanrgi-La Hotels and Resorts)
Why Here: This Asian city is a fabulous foodie stop for honeymooners transferring on to beachy honeymoons in, say, Bali, Thailand, or Vietnam. The landscape itself is chock-a-block with modern skyscrapers and shopping malls, but the food is truly spectacular, making it well worth the visit. Give yourselves enough time to eat your way around town (and adjust to jet lag) before hopping on another plane. You can find stellar examples of many of China’s regional cuisines—from Cantonese to Szechuan to fiery Hot Pot and plenty of street food—all in a clean, modern, English-speaking city.
Where to Eat: With glittering decor, elaborate chandeliers and fancy menus, Cantonese Fook Lam Moon is elegant, romantic and honeymoon-worthy. Come at dinner for upscale classics like shark’s fin soup, braised abalone and suckling pig. Or, arrive during the day for carefully prepared dim sum such as rich pork dumplings topped with crab roe, delicate steamed rice rolls filled with fresh shrimp, and glutinous rice wrapped in steaming lotus leaves.
The metropolis's iconic harbor and skyline.
(Photo Credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board)
What to Do: Ask any American foodie what she liked best about Hong Kong, and the answer will come back the same time and time again: dim sum. All around the city, you can have this Chinese brunch (served from steaming silver carts) at a level of quality not available in the States. Locals while away entire mornings sipping tea, reading the paper, catching up with friends and family, and thoughtfully selecting nibbles from the passing trays. Look for tender steamed shrimp shu mai and flavorful chicken har gow dumplings, as well as white buns called bao that come filled with rich, red barbecued pork stuffing called char sui. Finish your meal with steamed custard bao (buttery egg tartlets). Note: Whatever you order, follow local customs and don’t ask for sugar for your tea—or a fork.
Where to Stay: The best hotels on the island primarily cater to corporate guests, so don’t be surprised by the fleets of briefcase-toting suits you see wherever you go, or the gleaming marble lobbies that have a business-meeting vibe. However, once upstairs, the Kowloon Shangri-La has suites that feel more like chic apartments than guest rooms. Ask for one that overlooks Victoria Harbor and the city’s impressive skyline; the knowledgeable concierges will help with directions to nearby tailors (a craft the city is well-known for), museums and dim sum parlors (room rates start at about $370 a night and include breakfast; shangri-la.com).