World's best food experiences of 2018 named

Food, glorious food: is there any better reason to travel? Is there any more satisfying and authentic way to sample local culture than to sit down to a plate or a bowl of its finest?

Food is so simple, and yet so complex. It speaks to who we are as a people; it tells a story of our history, it displays our passions and creativity, and it provides the base for so many of the rituals we hold dear, the special occasions and everyday gatherings that make our worlds turn.

For travellers, food provides such a simple and enjoyable window into everything that makes a destination great. Eat, and you experience. Dine, and you understand. Use knives and forks, chopsticks and fingers. Eat from plates, bowls, banana leaves and boards. See the world through your stomach. Taste everything it has to offer.

Because there's always something new. This year, as ever, the Traveller team has been scouring the globe to sample its foodie delights, taking the world's culinary pulse, tracking new restaurants and trends, and rediscovering old favourites in classic destinations.

We've enjoyed individual dishes that have made lasting impressions, and basked in the gastronomic glory of entire cities or neighbourhoods that know how to do food right. We've gone from the cheapest roadside shawarma joint to the fanciest hotel or fine-dining eatery to uncover the very best the world has to offer.

PRODUCE: THE MARKETS OF ARCACHON

FDF3CM Sausages for sale. Arcachon, France
PRODUCE: THE MARKETS OF ARCACHON
Terry Durack SatNov17cover - Hot Food 100
Credit: Alamy

Photo: Alamy

The beating heart of this delightful seaside resort town in south-western France is a truly exciting fresh food market. Every stall-holder at Le Marche Municipal d'Arcachon​ appears to be a gifted artisan, whether running a charcuterie, fromagerie, poissonerie, boulangerie, or the unmissable oyster stalls at which you can sit and sample the famed local Arcachon Bay oysters, with a chilled white wine. In summer, it's filled with Parisians who have come to get away from it all (but not from great food). See ville-arcachon.fr

TOUR: SHAM SHUI PO, HONG KONG

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 Chances are you've never heard of Sham Shui Po, which is exactly the point of this guided foodie tour of the gritty, working-class Hong Kong hood,  about 30 minutes from Kowloon by train. There are six  tasting stops on Hong Kong Food Tasting Tours'  ravenous four-hour ramble through Sham Shui Po's frenetic tourist-free streets. The appetisingly informative itinerary can encompass everything from a traditional Chinese bakery to a handmade-noodle joint. Really, you'd be a braised goose not to book a spot. See hongkongfoodietours.comdiscoverhongkong.com

TOUR: FORK & WALK FOOD TOURS, BERLIN

Trying the local treats

Photo: Supplied

If you like to combine eating with a dash of history then these relaxed, small-group Berlin walking tours will tickle your tastebuds. They're based around a progressive meal and focus on progressive neighbourhoods such as Prenzlauer Berg and Kreuzberg, making for an insightful local experience. The company is owned by engaging Aussie expat Dov Selby, who has lived in Berlin for  more than a decade. See forkandwalktoursberlin.com

REGION: FLANDERS

This northern Flemish-speaking region of Belgium is a happy combination of French and Dutch influences and most famous for its upmarket chocolate, excellent beer – each variety served in its own distinctively shaped glass – and fragrant steamed mussels served with a side of chips. Flying under the radar though is its fine-dining scene, with nearly 100 Michelin-starred restaurants giving it a claim to having one of Europe's highest densities of top-notch eateries. See visitflanders.com

RESORT: AMARTERRA, BALI

You can sometimes be dismayed to find just one restaurant  at a resort, but not at the tranquil, low-key Amarterra Villas Bali Nusa Dua. Its Terra Terrace restaurant has the usual range of western choices but a particularly delectable selection of Indonesian alternatives such as sambal goring udang (spicy prawns), bebek betutu(braised duck leg in spices) and mouth-wateringly tender pork belly. A multi-course Balinese dinner covers the lot. See amarterravilla.com

RESORT: BURGENSTOCK RESORT, SWITZERLAND

SatNov17Cover - Hot Food 100
text Brian Johnston
Mezze from Sharq restaurant at Burgenstock Resort
credit Burgenstock Resort
Supplied image for use in Traveller via journalist
RESORT: BURGENSTOCK RESORT, SWITZERLAND

Photo: Philipp Klemm

When you're lodged on an alp you expect rosti and raclette, but this glamorous new resort perched above Lake Lucerne bucks every expectation both in accommodation and its eight restaurants. You can tuck into haute cuisine from a three-star Michelin chef, tingle your lips at pan-Asian venue Spices, tuck into mezze at Sharq, or slim down at wellness-focused Verbena Restaurant. Stunning views from huge windows are an added bonus. See buergenstock.ch

BREAKFAST: ALILA SEMINYAK, BALI

An open kitchen full of smiling chefs, a big terrace right on the sand, the sound of the waves: there could hardly be a better start to the day than at Seasalt restaurant at AliliaSeminyak. The breakfast choices are great, and supplemented by an a la carte menu with delights such as Balinese rice pancakes with eggs and bacon, black rice pudding with coconut milk, and huevos rancheros. See alilahotels.com

RESORT: TELLURIDE, US

Telluride - Alpino Vino, Colorado

Telluride - Alpino Vino, Colorado Photo: Supplied

Perched 3647 metres above sea level, Telluride's Alpino Vino is North America's highest fine-diner. Arriving for lunch isn't easy if you're a so-so skier: it involves slip-sliding, Bridget Jones-style, down the steep, narrow See Forever run. At night, a snow-coach will deliver you to  the door. During the day, snuggle under fuzzy blankets on the deck to admire Colorado's majestic peaks while slurping a glass of Brunello di Montalcino and downing the signature grilled cheese and tomato soup. See tellurideskiresort.com

EAT: DELHI, INDIA

Eat your way around India without leaving New Delhi. Each of India's 29 states has its own bhavan (or bhawan, a government-run house that doubles as a guesthouse for state officials). Most are located in the affluent Chanakyapuri neighbourhood, with many allowing the public to dine at its canteen serving regional specialties. Some, such as Bihar's canteen, are run by private restaurants such as the Potbelly Rooftop Cafe, renowned for litti chokha (stuffed whole wheat dough balls) and fragrant khada masalamutton curry. See biharbhawan.gov.in

DRINK: McCLAREN VALE

Australia's most avant-garde cellar door opened in South Australia's McLaren Vale in late 2017. The five-level d'Arenberg Cube, which resembles a half-solved Rubik's Cube, can be spied from kilometres away thanks to a prominent hilltop position. Inside is a playful Alternate Realities Museum that may remind some of Bordeaux's La Cite du Vin – a top-dollar fine-diner, lofty tasting room and silly toilets that are a talking point. The attraction has reinvigorated tourism in the winemaking region south of Adelaide. See darenberg.com.au

EAT: MAURITIUS

LUX Le Morne in Mauritius.

LUX Le Morne in Mauritius. Photo: Supplied

Fresh sea urchin is surprisingly delicious – especially when you've harvested the spiky creatures yourself from the ocean floor. At LUX Le Morne in Mauritius, you can join one of the resort's staff members in snorkelling out front of the resort and bagging a few sea urchins to break open upon the sand at sunset. Drench in fresh lemon juice, wash down with a glass of fizz – and voila, you've just had one of the most memorable culinary experiences of your life. See luxresorts.com

HOTEL: ABU DHABI

Friday brunch is famous in the UAE, although don't take the words literally, as these Bacchanalian weekend kickstarters can also take place on Thursdays and Saturdays, and usually sprawl over an entire afternoon. To see what all the fuss is about, head to the Ritz-Carlton, Abu Dhabi. Its spread includes a whole roasted wagyu leg, scallops flash-grilled before your eyes, sushi, fresh seafood, curries, made-to-order cocktails, endless champagne and entire rooms dedicated to cheese and dessert. Yum. See ritzcarlton.com

DRINK: MANILA

Manila's Bank Bar isn't exactly secret but it boasts a Narnia-like location. Instead of walking through a wardrobe, though, the upmarket drinking den is accessed via the storage room of a 7-Eleven in the financial district of Bonifacio Global City. After emerging into the semi-industrial space, you'll find an illuminated "altar" of spirits, an imaginative cocktail list (think earl grey martini and smoked Amaretto flip), cheap chow such as chicken skin chicharrones and old-fashioned trolley service. See momentgroup.ph

DRINK: COFFEE, UAE

The United Arab Emirates is famous for over-the-top excess. Where better to sip a cappuccino dusted not with chocolate but with 24-karat gold flakes? In the capital of Abu Dhabi, head to Emirates Palace's Le Cafe to order the ritzy brew that's served on a silver tray alongside a glass of water, a date and dark chocolate. The sparkly beverage doesn't come cheap, clocking in at AED73 ($27.50). Or try the camel burger on a gold-dusted bun. See kempinski.com

CITY: HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam - April 28, 2018: Street food stand with plates filled with soup pho ingredients (including boiled and raw meat) ready to be used. In Street Food Market at Ben Thanh Market area.
CITY: HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM
 SatNov17cover - Hot Food 100
Credit: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

The city otherwise known as Saigon has to be, hands down, one of the most exciting and affordable dining destinations in south-east Asia. Everything here is fresh, affordable and delicious, and you  just have to follow your nose to find it: sniff the smoke of charring meat to find bo la lot, or beef wrapped in betel leaves; smell bubbling vats of crab-based soup to sample bun rieu; catch a whiff of fresh herbs to locate a purveyor of pho. Amazing. See vietnamtourism.com

NEIGHBOURHOOD: TRASTEVERE, ROME

Just across the Tiber from the historic centre of Rome lies a ramshackle and character-filled suburb in which you'll find some of the city's tastiest cuisine. Trastevere is all about classic, no-frills trattorias, places like Da Enzo that serve some of the best "cucinaRomana" around, dishes such as carbonara, amatriciana, braised oxtail and Roman-style tripe. And don't forget to snack on deep-fried risotto balls at I Suppli, shop for cheese at Antica Caciara, and grab a cheap negroni at S. Calisto. See daenzoal29.com

DRINK: LAKE CONSTANCE, GERMANY/AUSTRIA/SWITZERLAND

This  cross-border lake tucked away from the international tourist hordes has an unexpectedly good wine scene. The lakeshore is draped with vineyards that produce crispy, fruity muller-thurgau  on the German side and pinot noir  on the Swiss side. A sliver of Austria kicks in with interesting varietal welschriseling. Tours with wine guides, hiking trails, cellar doors and festivals all celebrate the region's wine culture. See bodensee.eu

BREAKFAST: TOKYO PALACE HOTEL

The setting is perfect, on a sunny terrace right by the moat of the Imperial Palace, ringed by trees, with the skyscrapers of Ginza barely poking through. The food, meanwhile, is absolutely superb, a spread of market-fresh fish, rice, pickles, miso soup, and a million tiny pots of delicious seasonal morsels. This is breakfast at the luxurious Tokyo Palace Hotel, an everyday ritual that is the pinnacle of a stay here. See en.palacehoteltokyo.com

TOUR: "KANPAI TOKYO"

Kanpai Tokyo Tour

Photo: Meg Yamagute

Shinjuku isn't known for food: the Tokyo suburb is more famous for its Blade Runner-style cityscape, its maze of bars in the Golden Gai area, its sleazy edge in Kabukicho. However, an Urban Adventures tour through the backstreets of Shinjuku reveals an unexpected gourmet side to this glitzy nightlife hub, with high-quality snacks at a classic izakaya, artisanal lemon sours at a Golden Gai bar, and Japanese whisky at a tiny art gallery. See urbanadventures.com

WINE: THE LANE, ADELAIDE HILLS

The unveiling is like the curtain being drawn back on a spectacular stage: an entire wall of this small room that drops down, revealing a view over vine-covered hills framed by gum trees, a vista of the terroir to match a tasting of The Lane's premium wines. This is the "360 Panorama" experience, a wine tasting with matching canapes in a private room with one of the best views in the Adelaide Hills. See ultimatewineryexperiences.com.au

DRINK: ISOLA TIBERINA, ROME

Tiberino is a small, friendly bar and restaurant on Isola Tiberina, the island in the middle of Rome's Tiber River, and it just happens to serve some of the city's best negronis. Take a seat at the bar, snack on olives and fried bread, and wait as a bartender produces the magical alchemy that is this mix of equal parts gin, Campari and vermouth, garnished with orange rind. Superb. See tiberinoroma.it

PRODUCE: CHEESE, SWITZERLAND

There's far more to the cheese of Switzerland than the holey stuff we're sold in Australia. Spend time in this beautiful alpine land and you gain a true appreciation for just how good, and varied, real Swiss cheese is: from toffee-tinged granito made in Vicosoprano, near the Italian border, to nutty gruyere, produced near France, to mild emmentaler, made in the middle of the country. It seems as if every village produces its own distinct and delicious variety. See myswitzerland.com

PUB: THE RAVEN, BATH, ENGLAND

Comprised of two Georgian town houses located down a cobbled street in the heart of Bath, the Raven is a  traditional, old school family pub that's exactly what you want from an English boozer. Besides the superb no-nonsense atmosphere, the pub is famed for its huge selection of traditional ales and seasonal pies served with buttery mash or chips and a choice of gravy. The perfect spot to while away a Saturday afternoon. See theravenofbath.co.uk

MARKET: HARVEST MARKET, LAUNCESTON, TASMANIA

For Life & Leisure Launceston story by Ute Junker.

Photo: Supplied

It's no secret that Tasmania has some of the country's most delicious produce, from salmon to sourdough, honey and hazelnuts to cheese and craft beer. What is less well-known, however, is that Launceston's Harvest Market, held every Saturday, is the best place not just to buy farm-fresh ingredients, but also to meet the people behind the produce. The ready-to-eat stalls also use local ingredients: try the bacon and egg roll. See harvestmarket.org.au

SNACK: MADAM KHANH THE BANH MI QUEEN, HOI AN

This small shop in coastal Hoi An provides the absolute pinnacle of the Vietnamese pork roll experience. Madam Khanh, who's now in her late 70s, can still be found most days at the front of her store stuffing crusty baguettes with farmhouse pate, high-quality pork, pickled daikon and papaya, and then slathering it with the most addictive chilli sauce you've ever tasted. You could eat about 20  if you could find the room. See vietnamtourism.com

DRINK: "CA PHE VONG", MEKONG DELTA

Keep an eye out, as you cruise the back roads of southern Vietnam, for anywhere labelled "ca phe vong". These friendly, no-frills cafes are spread throughout the Mekong Delta, and they do two things: "ca phe", which is coffee; and "vong", which is a hammock. You pull over by the side of the road, order an iced coffee, then  lie in a hammock. It's the greatest. See vietnamtourism.com

PRODUCE: HOG ISLAND OYSTER CO, TOMALES BAY, CALIFORNIA

Run by a dedicated team of marine biologists, servers, shuckers and chefs, Hog Island rears quality oysters from seed onsite at their beautifully rustic setting on the shores of Tomales Bay, 85 kilometres north of San Francisco. There's nothing pretentious about this, you simply choose an ice-cold can of beer or glass of wine, grab a seat at one of the wooden picnic tables and slurp on the freshest oysters imaginable while drinking in the waterfront serenity. See hogislandoysters.com

BAR: BAR GYU, HIRAFU, JAPAN

Also known as the Fridge Door Bar, (guess why?) this dreamy little Hobbits' cove is the ultimate kick-back joint after a hard day's snowboarding in Niseko. Windows behind the bar look directly out onto a snowy woodland knoll, the shelves are rammed full of vinyl, the whisky selection is breathtaking and the staff super-efficient. Oh, and they also mix up exquisite cocktails, even if you will look a bit of a dandy sipping one in your ski gear. See gyubar.com

SWEETS: MALMO CHOKLADFABRIK, MALMO, SWEDEN

 Malmo Chocolate Factory

Photo: Oskar Falck

This award-winning chocolate, made from ecologically grown Equatorial Atlantic cocoa beans and Fairtrade nut-free raw materials, is arguably Scandinavia's loveliest chocolate. The flagship Sea Salt Organic Dark Chocolate 65 per cent cocoa is ravishing. Not cheap at about $7.80 for 100 grams but worth it. Visit production HQ at the 126-year-old Malmochocolate factory for tour and tastings. The young Malmo Chokladfabrik replaces the historic 1888 Mazetti chocolate company. Or buy it from Malmo's ICA supermarkets. See malmochokladfabrik.se/

CAFE: RISO MAT & KAFFEBAR, TROMSO, NORWAY

The coffee is good north of the Arctic Circle! This small but funky corrugated iron, stainless steel and wood-floored cafe makes an art form of its "hand-brewed" coffee – single estate beans from Africa, Asia and South America. Excellent flat whites pair with light, traditional, not-too-sweet hjemmelagde kanelsnurrer – homemade cinnamon buns, without cinnamon, if you prefer. The cafe also serves light lunches using local produce – open sandwiches, bright salads, and soups with homemade wholewheat bread. Seerisoe-mk.no/

SHOP: LIBERA TERRA, SICILY

The shelves at Palermo's Libera Terra are laden with wonderful Sicilian produce. Olive oil, pasta, honey, buffalo mozzarella, not to mention superb local wines, are all on offer at this inviting store. This gourmet extravaganza even has a delicious back story: these small producers all grow their goods on lands confiscated from Mafia operatives. There are also outlets in other Italian cities including Rome, Florence, Siena and Turin. See liberaterra.it/en

WINE: CELLAR, CIASA SALARES, ITALY

Guests at the charming Ciasa Salares hotel in Italy's South Tyrol region can expect plenty of gourmet treats, including Michelin-starred dining and a dedicated chocolate room. For many, however, the highlight will be a visit to the hotel's extraordinary wine cellar. Even the most dedicated wine buff is bound to discover something new in this collection of 24,000 bottles, focused on small Italian producers, many of whom specialise in organic or biodynamic wines. See ciasasalares.it/en/

RESORT: "LIVING COCKTAILS", SIX SENSES, FIJI

At Fiji's most glamorous new wellness resort, you don't have to head to the spa to do your body a favour. The resort's bar menu includes a range of "living cocktails" made with kombucha, designed to pump up your body's probiotics. Other drinks designed to do you some good include the Vuna B Mary, where the vodka is (almost) cancelled out by splashes of green juice, lemon juice, chilli bitters and cucumber and celery bitters. See Sixsenses.com

HOTEL: TEA TASTING, MOUNT NELSON HOTEL, CAPE TOWN

This classic Cape Town hotel is famous for its afternoon tea, but we reckon a session with the in-house tea sommelier is even more of a treat. Guests can choose between a tea tasting or a tea- and food-matching session; either way, you will get to try some of the unusual brews in the hotel's 40-strong tea collection, which ranges from the floral jasmine dragon phoenix pearls to a rich pu'er blend. See belmond.com

DRINKS: TAKAMAKA COCONUT LIQUEUR

Most people come to the Seychelles for its sandy white beaches, its verdant forests and its coral reefs. Visitors to the island of Mahe, however, will find that the island's Takamaka distillery is an attraction in its own right. Take a tour, then settle in at the bar – located in a wonderfully airy heritage bungalow – for some of their lovely coconut liqueur served over ice. Prefer something a bit richer? Then opt for their eight-year aged rum. See takamakarum.com

SWEETS: CHOCOLATE GELATO VENCHI, ITALY

Every gelateria in Italy includes a chocolate gelato in its range: only at Venchi, however, do you get a choice of four different types. Chocolate fans will want to take their time choosing their favourite variety. It might be the deliciously dark Azteco, or the rich and creamy Cuor di Cacao, which contains chocolate grains for extra texture. Alternatively, try Cremino and Giandujotto, both of which blend chocolate with hazelnut for a twice-as-nice treat. See venchi.com

NATURE: RIFUGIO FASANES, DOLOMITES, ITALY

Take the long way around when you head to Rifugio Fanes. This inviting mountain hut, perched above the town of San Vigilio di Marebbe on the slopes of the Dolomites, serves up hearty portions of Alpine cuisine, so a healthy appetite is a must. The fact that the walk here is simply spectacular – whichever direction you come from – is an added incentive. Snow fans take note: it is also open in winter. See rifugiofanes.com

STREET FOOD: KOTTU ROTI, SRI LANKA

KOTTU ROTI, SRI LANKA
Credit: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

Long before the aroma hits you,  the clang of the choppers  lets you know the kottu roti vendor has set up shop. One of Sri Lanka's most delicious street eats, kottu is a lashings-of-leftovers kinds of dish: chopped up roti, vegies and perhaps curry or cheese, all heated on a grill and chopped into tiny pieces by the adept vendor. Sounds simple, tastes amazing. See srilanka.travel

CLASS: RAFFLES PRASLIN, SEYCHELLES

Cooking classes don't get much more laid back than the beachside sessions at Raffles Praslin. Sink your toes into the sand as you get to grips with the tasty flavours of Creole cuisine, from chicken curry to a zingy millionaire's salad, made with an unusual passionfruit dressing. The best bit? Pulling up a seat beneath the palm trees to savour the meal you have just cooked. There's even a cabana nearby for a bit of post-prandial snoozing. See raffles.com/praslin

PRECINCT: ELIZABETH QUAY, PERTH

Perth's waterfront has long been under-utilised. Elizabeth Quay aims to change that. The $440 million development is transforming the quay into a vibrant precinct of restaurants, bars and attractions. Permanent additions include the Isle of Voyage restaurant located in the heritage-listed Florence Hummerston Kiosk. Seasonal pop-ups such as the Embargo Container Bar and the Night Noodle Markets are also helping to establish it as an exciting year-round foodie destination. See elizabethquay.com.au

WINE: SWAN VALLEY, WA

Margaret River isn't the only wine region in  Western Australia worth visiting. Located 25 kilometres northeast of Perth, Swan Valley not only has excellent vineyards (the family-friendly Mandoon Estate is a standout) but it's also home to artisan producers such as Whistler's Chocolate Company and picturesque venues such as the Cheese Barrel cafe. Last year a new Cider and Ale Trail was launched to showcase the area's burgeoning craft brewery scene. See swanvalley.com.au

FARM: STEENSGAARD, DENMARK

Steensgaard is a beautiful Manor House dating back to 1310

Steensgaard is a beautiful Manor House dating back to 1310 Photo: John Warburton-Lee

Located on the island of Funen (often referred to as the "Garden of Denmark" because of its rich, fertile soil), this 900-hectare organic farm has an extensive vegetable garden and humanely butchers all its meat onsite. Book in for lunch at the informal onsite restaurant and you'll be able to sample its exemplary beef, lamb and sausages accompanied by hearty platters of squash, broccoli and fennel pulled from the ground that morning. See steensgaard.dk

WINE: GISBORNE, NZ

Most people are surprised to learn that Gisborne is New Zealand's third  largest wine producer. Located on the far east coast of the North Island, the region is famous for fruit forward chardonnays, which account for more than 50 per cent of production. Also worth sampling are its easy-drinking viogniers and fragrant gewurztraminers and rieslings. Reds are more difficult to come by as the grape struggles with the coastal climate. See tairawhitigisborne.co.nz

BAR: BAR OSO, WHISTLER, CANADA

This cosy Spanish-themed bar and restaurant is a refreshing respite from Whistler's larger, flashier venues. Take a seat at the intimate L-shaped bar and start things off with a glass of peach sangria and a platter of homemade charcuterie. Then dive into a tempting menu of tapas-style small plates that includes meatballs, croquettes and Ibericoham. Just ensure you leave space for one of the decadent Valrhona chocolate tarts. See baroso.ca

TOUR: ATLANTA SOUTHERN FOOD TOUR, ATLANTA, US

This entertaining tour deftly combines Atlanta's gourmet credentials with its civil rights history. Guests visit seven outlets to sample southern staples such as fried chicken, candied yams, pulled pork and banana pudding. Highlights include Paschal's, Martin Luther King's favourite restaurant and the unofficial headquarters of the civil rights movement, and Municipal Market, which has dozens of vendors selling everything from homemade meat pies to caramel-coated popcorn. See atlantafoodwalks.com

TOUR: "HUNTER GATHERER" FOOD & WINE TOUR, HAWKE'S BAY, NZ

Everyone knows Hawke's Bay makes excellent wine; less heralded is the region's superlative produce. This innovative tour by cheese expert Juliet Harbutt combines visits to some of the best producers (including an olive oil farm, a figgery and a honey manufacturer) with an opportunity to forage for seasonal treats such as mushrooms, pine nuts and blackberries. Tours culminate with a lavish lunch at Harbutt's home. See thecheeseweb.com

TOUR: TWO FEET & A HEARTBEAT, PERTH

This award-winning operator has a range of walking tours that showcase the best of Perth's bars, food, history and culture. What elevates them above other offerings is that they help visitors understand the stories behind the sites – the people and events that have helped shaped the city. Food-themed options include a cocktail tour to three of the city's best bars and a cheese-themed exploration of Perth's fromageries. See twofeet.com.au

TOUR: TASTE HUNGARY FOOD TOUR, BUDAPEST

Taste Hungary Sunday Culinary Walk

Taste Hungary Sunday Culinary Walk Photo: Supplied

This four-hour gourmet extravaganza dispels the myth that Hungarian cuisine is all hearty goulashes and pork sausages. Guests sample traditional staples such as langos, a deep-fried, garlic-smothered flatbread; Unicum, a potent herbal liquor; and dobos, a decadent caramel-topped chocolate cake. The tour culminates with a wine and cheese tasting that includes a full-bodied Bull's Blood red and a syrupy sweet tokaji, one of the world's oldest botrytised wines. See tastehungary.com

TRANSPORT: VIRGIN AUSTRALIA'S PREMIUM ECONOMY MEALS

Business class may get all the attention but Virgin Australia treats its premium economy passengers to a culinary offering that's a significant upgrade from economy. Dinner is ordered a la carte from a printed menu with two starters, four mains, dessert and cheese. Each course is served on a proper plate with proper cutlery and a white tablecloth. And the wine? All premium selections from the pointy end. See virginaustralia.com

TRENDS: LONDON'S ETHICAL FOOD SCENE

While many London restaurants strive for ever higher levels of decadence, an increasing number of venues have embraced a more ethical standpoint. Examples include Clink, a restaurant inside Brixton Prison staffed by prisoners training in hospitality; Spring, an upscale venue in Somerset House with a three-course menu made from leftovers; and Scout, a fashionable bar in Hackney that has a seasonal cocktail menu featuring home-made and foraged ingredients. See visitlondon.com

BAR: FENDIKA, ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA

Picture this: you're immersed in a heaving mass of bodies, all dancing to an Ethiopian jazz band as you sip local tej honey wine. The space is like an enormous Bedouin tent – straw covering the floor, animal hides on the walls, an open fire and thick clouds of frankincense burning in the courtyard. This is Fendika, surely one of our planet's most exciting bars, and the place to get under the skin of Addis Ababa's brilliant jazz scene. See benchafrica.com

PRODUCE: DAIO WASABI FARM, AZUMINO, JAPAN

Daio wasabi farm

Photo: Shutterstock

Visit the 130-year-old Daio wasabi farm in Azumino, the home of wasabi at the foothills of the Japanese alps, and a wasabi master will show you around the world's largest wasabi field, where 130 tonnes of the spicy root are harvested annually. You'll pull on wellies to slosh through the ice-cold running water in which wasabi is grown, try the root in its true form (since most of what we get in Australia isn't the real thing), as well as wasabi-infused ice-cream and beer. See jnto.org.au

HOTEL:  LOBSTER BISQUE, SOFITEL SO BANGKOK

Even more dazzling than the uninterrupted views over Lumpini Park and Bangkok's glittering skyline is Park Society's signature dish, a theatrical play on traditional lobster bisque. Flavoured with red curry paste, kaffir leaf, lemongrass and galangal, the heady tom yum broth is poured over poached lobster and enoki mushrooms from a lab-style beaker. Mind blown. See so-sofitel-bangkok.com

TOUR: VESPA STREET FOOD, HOI AN

This has to be one of the most fun food tours on wheels. Ride pillion-style on the back of a retro vintage Vespa and chow down with the locals. Visit a traditional roadside eatery for crispy banh xeo (Vietnamese pancakes), try the famous White Rose dumplings, tuck into com ga ty (chicken rice) and whole fish washed down with a local beer. Ride between venues with the smack of fish sauce and chilli on your lips. See vespaadventures.com/hoi-an-tours

RESORT: SOKASI, FOUR SEASONS SAYAN, BALI

On the banks of the rushing Ayung River in Ubud lies one of the most beautiful cooking schools, but  it doesn't rest on good looks alone. Named after a woven bamboo box used to store rice, Sokasi's bamboo leaf design morphs from riverside cooking school by day to candlelit chef's dinner table by night. Learn to prepare bambu, the foundation of Balinese cuisine, and spicy sambal. Both are used to concoct delicious Indonesian dishes including sizzling satay sticks, snapper wrapped in banana leaves, fragrant vegetable curry and fresh grilled tuna. Eat the fruits of your labour steps from the river. See fourseasons.com

CAFE: TOMACO COFFEE SHOP, ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA

Where better to drink coffee than in one of the first coffee shops in the capital of the country where the drink was invented? Long ago, a lonely goatherd stumbled upon the plants and noticed his animals were particularly frisky after eating the beans, and Tomaco has now been roasting locally-grown varietals and serving up the brew for years. Strong, smooth and strangely sweet, even without sugar, it's some of the best coffee in the world, served in a colourful friendly café with lots of local art, and colourful locals. See tomocacoffee.com

SHIP: THE FRENCH CHEESE PLATE ON A PONANT SHIP

Charles de Gaulle once famously asked, "How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?" And onboard a French Ponant ship, servicing a luxury APT Kimberley cruise, you feel just as flustered trying to choose a polite selection from the vast panoply on offer. Hard cheese, soft cheese, crumbly, blue, red, goat's, French, Belgian, aged, vintage, youthful … Why not skip the mains and go straight to cheesy heaven? See au.ponant.com

PICNIC: MAASAI MARA, KENYA

Forget the dips and chips and sand in soggy sandwiches of a regular picnic. Alfresco five-star feasts are delivered on a grand scale when you're on safari at a camp like Mara Plains. There, the chef delights in serving up myriad fresh salads of vegetables and edible flowers grown in the kitchen gardens or local community, Swahili fish from the coast and tender chicken, basted in wild spices. But beware: it ruins picnics forever more. See greatplainsconservation.com/mara-plains-camp/

BRASSERIE: TARTE AU CITRON MERINGUÉE AT BRASSERIE ZEDÉL, SOHO, LONDON

Let them eat tarte! And which could be better than the gloriously buttery, sweet and sour tarte au citron meringuée at the fabulous French gastro-palais, Brasserie Zedél. Nibble at a snail's pace – yes, they're on the menu, too – as you recline between lofty marble columns decorated with 23ct gilded golden angels, and under the cavernous ceilings of this art deco Parisian citadel, transformed from an old 1915 hotel. And if you want the recipe, see A.A.Gill's book about the place. See brasseriezedel.com

GLAMP: CHOCOLATE SOUFFLE IN A TENT WITH A CHANDELIER, TANZANIA

Quite possibly the last thing you'd expect to eat in a tent in the middle of the Serengeti wilderness, to the sounds of bellowing wildebeest thundering past in their annual migration, is a deliciously gluggy chocolate soufflé. "It's a favourite of the staff," explains Serian Camp owner Alex Walker blithely. But then you wouldn't imagine eating it beneath a chandelier dangling from the roof of the canvas, either. That surreal setting helps make it – guaranteed – one of the best things you'll ever taste. See serian.com 

Writers: Anthony Dennis, Terry Durack, Ben Groundwater, Brian Johnston, Nina Karnikowski, Katrina Lobley, Rob McFarland, Alison Stewart, Guy Wilkinson, Ute Junker, Kristie Kellahan, Sheriden Rhodes, Sue Williams

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