4 Foods You Haven’t Really Tasted Until You’ve Tried Them On Their Home Turf

Crêpe making at Quasimodo Café

Of the many wonderful things about living in a multicultural democracy is that we grow up exposed to a wide range of different cultures. We hear languages other than our own regularly, we learn that there’s beauty in every ethnicity and we get a taste of the visual cultures and arts of different countries which in turn influence our own.

But perhaps the best thing about living in a multicultural society is that it allows us access to (quite literally) a world of different foods without even leaving the home. If you feel so inclined you can have Belgian waffles for breakfast, sushi for lunch and Indian food for dinner without ever leaving your neighborhood. However, while this is a wonderful thing there’s really no substitute for tracking your favorite dish back to its home turf.

Travel is a multisensory experience. There’s nothing quite like immersing yourself in the sights, sounds, tastes, and scents of another culture. Ask any member of the Small Group Travel Company and this tight-knit community will tell you that even the best restaurant in your neighborhood can’t compare with enjoying your favorite dish in the country it calls home.

Thus, if you haven’t tried these dishes in their point of origin, you haven’t really tasted them at all…

Pad Thai in Bangkok

Any Asian fusion place in town can throw a reasonable Pad Thai together. It’s one of those dishes that’s pretty tricky to get wrong. However, there’s nothing quite like Thai food in Thailand. Moreover, a restaurant’s Pad Thai is usually a reliable indicator of its overall quality.

For a truly authentic experience, there’s nothing quite like trying this famous dish in Bangkok where the sweet, spicy and faintly fishy scent of the nation’s cuisine permeates the air and you’re apt to find a street vendor on every corner.

Preparing pad thai at a street hawker mobile restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand. Fried noodle.

Pizza in Naples

If there’s one thing Americans know, it’s pizza. As a nation, we consume 350 slices of the stuff a second. We’ve taken this Italian staple and made it our own. From the gargantuan thin slices of New York City to the deep dish masterpieces of Chicago and everything in between it’s pretty hard to avoid pizza when you live in North America.

However, there’s absolutely nothing quite like pizza in Naples. Italians like to keep their toppings subtle and simple and let the quality of the ingredients speak for itself. Enjoy with a Puglia Primitivo or Piedmont Nebbiolo.

pizza in naples

Seafood in Tokyo

The world is a wonderful place for seafood lovers and those who grew up in Maine or Florida will likely be fiercely defensive of their own seafood concoctions. However, if you’re looking for a true seafood lover’s paradise, look no further than the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo; the largest and busiest seafood market in the world. Here you can enjoy sumptuous sushi and sashimi made with only the freshest catches of the day.

Japanese Sushi

Tapas in Barcelona

Barcelona really is a treat for all the senses. Its warm weather, exquisite architecture, warm friendly people and infectious sense of zest for life make even the simple act of walking its streets joyous. It’s also one of the best places in the world to get a delicious tapas meal. Try Quimet & Quimet or L’ostia for the true taste of Spain.

barcelona - tapas

Once you’ve tried these amazing meals in their natural habitat, you’ll want to go back time after time!


This is a contributed post.


  • I am a mom of 2 who travels a lot for work (I work in the event/conference/tradeshow industry). I grew up  and currently live in Northern California.