Bloggers' Top 3 Food

Bloggers’ Top 3: Travel for Food

Travel for Food

One way to truly know a local culture is to taste and experience its cuisine. It (cuisine) is an integral part of a nation’s history, heritage, and soul. As such, when I travel, I travel also for the food. Because what better way to experience and explore a place than through one of the basic necessities of mankind – FOOD!




Food ignites all our senses. From the way an entree is artfully plated and served by the chef, the delicious aroma of cinnamon wafting from the freshly-baked buns, the crack and crunch of the pork rind, the bursting of different flavors in your tongue upon that first sip of Thai coconut soup, and to the feeling of eating those finely-crafted sushi using your fingers. Food definitely contributes to our travel memories.

So for the second installment of my Bloggers’ Top 3, here are five travel bloggers with their top three favorite food from their travels, as well as my choices.

Let’s travel for food!

  1. Vivian LeeMiss Happy Feet
  • Baklava (Turkey)

“Baklava is a kind of sweet multi-layered pastry stuffed with finely chopped assorted nuts and honey, topped with more honey or caramel. Just close your eyes and try to imagine how rich would this brilliant sweet tasted! When I first had it in Turkey, I immediately fell in love with it and I hunt this down everywhere I go. I still think that the best is served in Istanbul, in a shop named Hafiz Mustafa 1864.”

  • Cendol (Malaysia)

Cure to everything. There's a reason why it is so famous.#hipmunk

A post shared by Vivian Dominique Lee (@littlemisshappyfeet) on

“In Malaysia, visitors will never run out of things to eat. From mouthwatering Malaysian Peranakan Sweets (Kuih) to National dishes like Nasi Lemak to various ethnic food…. the choices can be overwhelming. My personal favorite is Cendol, a bowl of shaved ice and green rice-jelly bathed in a comforting mixture of palm sugar and coconut milk. The best versions of Cendol can be found in Penang and Malacca, the two main historical port in Malaysia. Trust me when I say that it is the perfect dessert to order under the hot sun in Malaysia!”

  • Cherry Blossom Bread (Korea)

“Don’t be surprised if you see tons of people queueing up at some roadside stall in Jinhae during the Cherry Blossom festival in early April. And yes, they all are willing to wait for more than 30 minutes, just to get their favorite snacks. Cherry Blossom Bread is a must-eat delicacy in Jinhae, Korea. In fact, it is their specialty in the region. It is filled with sweetened adzuki beans paste mixed with some Cherry Blossom extract (this is what makes it so addictive, I guess).”

Vivian is born and raised in Penang, Malaysia and says that food is pretty much the first thing on her mind every time she travels abroad.

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2. NataliaMy Trip Hack

mamaliga dosa parantha

  • Mamaliga (Moldova)

“Mamaliga is a traditional dish in Moldova, Romania and west of Ukraine. Mamaliga itself is a cornmeal mush like polenta. It is served with tocana (pork or chicken stew) and brinza (white sheep cheese). As it is a winter dish, sometimes it comes with muraturi (varieties of pickled veggies) and red wine. I love Eastern European cuisine for its diversity. Historically, many cultures mixed up here that resulted in vast options for foodies. It was quite a challenge to shortlist one dish as I can name at least ten options right away that are super tasty.”

  • Dosa (India)

“If someone has traveled to India and has not tried Dosa, then he has missed an essential part of the trip. Just kidding 😀 (but it’s actually one of my favorite dishes and it’s yumm). Dosa is a very thin pancake crisp at its ends rolled on like a cylinder. It has tens varieties of fillings that are sweet, spicy, with vegetables, with fruits. My top choice is paneer (Indian white cheese) & vegetable filling. Dosa is typically served with Sambar (a very dilute vegetable stew with spices) and coconut chutney. Besides the fact it’s a very delicious meal, I started liking Dosa and South Indian cuisine in general because it is moderately spicy. It served a good introduction for me into the land of spices.”

  • Paratha, Shahi Paneer and Raita (India)

“I generally like North Indian combos. They include several dishes thus giving a chance to get acquainted with Indian cuisine faster. Though Paratha, Shahi Paneer, and Raita are one of the most standard meals ordered in the evenings by the local population in North India, it was a new discovery for me. Shahi Paneer is a rich tomato gravy with paneer (Indian white cheese). It has a mind-blowing combination of sweet, bitter, spicy and sour. This gravy is served with an Indian bread – in this case, it’s lachha paratha (plain bread with many layers made of wheat flour). Though I love other varieties of Indian bread (stuffed parathas, naans, puri) much more than lachha ones, I have to admit that shahi paneer gravy tastes the best with plain bread. To make the entire meal a bit lighter raita (mixed curd) acts as a savior, providing blandness to the spicy yet super tasty food.”

Natalia (Taya) is a world traveler who prefers to live among locals to experience their way of life. India was one of her dream destinations.

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3. Kanika and ShayanDose of Life

  • Cape Malay Chicken Curry (South Africa)

“In 2015, when we went on our honeymoon to Africa, our first stop was South Africa. Although we stayed at Sun City, where food was mostly westernized, we found a cultural village nearby where they served local delicacies. Here we tried our very first African dish, which was the Cape Malay chicken curry. It is no wonder we loved it so much because the dish is a product of various cuisines such as Indonesia, India, and Malaysia. The aromatic flavors from the spices (we love spicy food) such as chili, cinnamon, and cumin, made this one of our favorite dish ever.”

  • Basil Chicken (Thailand)

“Whenever I don’t know what to eat, this is the ultimate dish to order wherever I go. If I can’t find it, then I’ll make it because it is so versatile and epically delicious. It is a staple food in Thailand, especially in the central region (Bangkok) and it is just so easy to make. The blend of flavors from the garlic, chili and the fragrance of the basil leaf makes this dish so enjoyable. The best way to eat it is with a plate of rice and don’t forget to top it off with a fried egg.”

  • Khao Soi and Sai Ua (Thailand)

“We had one of the best meals while traveling through Chiang Mai last year. The food up in the north of Thailand is quite different from what we get in Bangkok so it was a nice change. The weather was cooler so having hot soup noodles was just what we needed when we tried their famous Khao Soi, which is basically a set of yellow noodles perched in a shallow pool of thick coconut milk curry, topped off with crispy fried noodles and served with wedges of lime, pickled cabbage, and shallots.

Together with this, we had a plate of stir fry mixed mushrooms and Northern-style” or “Chiang Mai” sausages called Sai Ua. An unforgettable meal up in the mountains.”

Shayan & Kanika are a married couple from opposite yet similar walks of life, living and working in Thailand, and sharing their expertise on Bangkok.

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4. Jolene and Andrzej EjmontWanderlust Storytellers

  • Grilled Fresh Mozzarella and Lemon Leaves (Italy)

“Whilst traveling through Italy, we fell in love with a few of the entrée courses. Andrzej totally enjoyed and loved the Melon and Prosciutto combo, whilst I fell in love with the dishes that featured fresh handmade Mozzarella! During our stay in Positano on the Amalfi Coast, I tried out the grilled fresh mozzarella and lemon leaves! A truly delicious combination!! The lemon leave gives the cheese a fresh zesty flavor, whilst the grilling of the cheese gives it a delicious crunchy exterior with a gooey cheesy centre! What is not to love about that!!”

  • Deep Fried Spring Rolls (Vietnam)

Uhmmmm yummmmmm!!! Vietnamese food are awesome!!! Don't be afraid to try EVERYTHING!

A post shared by Jolene & Andrzej | Travel Blog (@wanderluststorytellers) on

“We tend to enjoy most things deep fried and whilst we do enjoy spring rolls in Australia, it is most definitely nothing in comparison to the Vietnamese deep fried spring roll! Made from the thinnest of thin rice papers, that goes crispy and brown on the outside whilst deep frying. A combination of the freshest recently made fillings. Not even to mention the yummy sweet but slightly spicy hand-made dipping sauces! A true explosion of flavors and textures in your mouth! We loved them so much that we tried to make them in Australia, but somehow it just never really is the same!”

  • Egg Coffee (Vietnam)

“Vietnamese Egg Coffee or Cà Phê Trứng is a style of coffee found predominately in the North of Vietnam, especially in Hanoi. A coffee that was created out of necessity in the days when milk was scarce and an egg was used a ‘creamer’ for the coffee. This Vietnamese Egg Coffee is basically made by whipping raw egg yolks with sweetened condensed milk. Yumm!!! This creamy topping is then placed on top of the more traditional strong Vietnamese drip coffee. You can have this coffee in either a hot or cold version. And for those who aren’t keen on coffee, why not try the chocolate version for a super naughty treat!”

Wanderlust Storytellers is a crazy, fun-loving family of 4 traveling the world.

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5. Kris WhiteMonkey on a Bus

  • Amok (Cambodia)

“Count me among the millions of people who have dreamt of Angkor Wat since childhood. But memories of the millennium-old ruins were not the only treasures I came away with. Somewhat surprisingly, I found Cambodian cuisine to be delicious! Amok came to be my daily go-to meal. The fish is my favorite. Covered with onions, garlic, lemongrass, and the like, smothered with coconut milk and then wrapped in banana leaves. It’s steamed until it achieves a somewhat firm consistency. And my goodness… it is amazing. Cheap, flavorful, and filling. That’s a great combination anywhere in the world!”

See also: What you can eat in Pub Street, Siem Reap, Cambodia

  • Bulalo (Philippines)

“There’s a lot to love about Filipino cuisine. While many travelers cringe in disgust as visions of balut and tamilok dance in their heads, they miss out on some of the more tame menu options. Bulalo is rich and savory soup dish that’s prepared by boiling beef shanks and marrow bones in a big pot of water. Toss in some onions, corn, and potatoes along with the eternally bland-tasting gourd, sayote. Add some garlic and cabbage and you’re all set! Incredibly simple and seriously tasty. I especially loved it during those cold evenings high up in the mountains. It’s perfect with a hot cup of ginger tea (or two).”

  • Lao Niow Mamuang – Mango Sticky Rice (Thailand)

“No list of travel blogger favorite foods can be complete without mentioning this sweet, sticky, heavenly (okay, enough with the adjectives already) gift to humanity. Although I’m not exactly sure how to prepare it, I’m a specialist when it comes to devouring it. All I know is that it involves sticky rice, coconut milk, sugar, a bit of salt, and MANGOES! This classic Thai summer dessert is served warm or at room temperature. In other words, warm or hot. Thailand. Summer… yeah. Best eaten any time of the day or night. *now checking HNL-BKK flight prices*”

mango sticky rice

Image Source: Pixabay | CC0 by cegoh

Kris is a solo backpacker who quit his job in 2013 to travel the world. Having lived and studied in Hawaii, he’s an expert on the Aloha state.


Here are my top 3 choices:

  • Wantan Mee (Malaysia)

Getting a hostel along Love Lane was a good move for me because the hawkers along Lebuh Chulia are so accessible. They set up near night time and are so popular you won’t miss them.

This memorable dish had slices of tender pork, noodles that were cooked just right, bok choy, fried wantan, and that dark delicious sauce.  I read somewhere that Anthony Bourdain also tried it on the same stall that I got it.
But the best part, aside from eating this very tasty dish, was sharing a table with a Penang local who graciously told me stories of Georgetown as he remembered it when growing up. Good times indeed!

A post shared by Darlene M (@pointandshooteats) on

  • Pad Thai (Thailand)

Who doesn’t know this iconic dish of Thailand? I have eaten a LOT of Pad Thai in my travels and at home but the one Pad Thai that ruled them all is the one from Thip Samai. I first saw it in a NatGeo episode of Street Food Around the World. I failed to find it in my first time in Bangkok but finally searched for it when I came back. I was prepared to be disappointed but no, this one I still miss up until now. Thip Samai’s Pad Thai Haw Kai Goong Sot is definitely a must-try! 🙂

A typical Burmese breakfast consisting of rice noodles, catfish, chickpea flour, fish paste, ginger and lemongrass among others. It is considered to be the national dish. It is readily available everywhere, all day but more so during breakfast.

It is typically Asian in taste and I must say it’s definitely my favorite dish I ate the whole time I was there. We had this in Yangon before heading to Bagan that night.

Check out my other FOODSCAPADES.


What’s your favorite food that you have tried during your travels? 

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  • JASCHEN
    August 27, 2016 at 7:15 am

    “One way to truly know a local culture is to taste and experience its cuisine.” – cannot agree more. Food reveals so much about a culture and its history. It’s like educational learning but the fun kind. And oh my I’m drooling in front of my laptop as I read this! That mango sticky rice looks to die for.

    Jasmine,
    http://www.mysuitcasejourneys.com

  • Why You Should Try Slow Travel At Least Once In Your Life
    July 18, 2016 at 7:59 am

    […] can even travel your way through food since food is a big part of a nation’s heritage and soul. Eat where the locals eat or explore the […]

  • Nisha
    May 19, 2016 at 3:12 am

    Such a lovely feast!
    I am glad to see so many dishes coming out from India.

    In Turkey, I liked Baklava and bought a few packets for home.

  • Anna Faustino
    May 17, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Ohhh! Will be sure to check out the dishes listed under Thailand while Im here. So excited! THANK YOU for this.

  • Sarah
    May 16, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    All of this sounds so yummy! And I could drink Vietnamese egg coffee every day 🙂

    This is such a great round-up!

    Best,
    Sarah

  • Toni | 2 Aussie Travellers
    May 16, 2016 at 6:14 am

    We’re totally on the same page as you with our travel and food ideology. I’ve eaten many of the lovely treats on your list but there is always more to try. And no matter how much pad thai I’ve eaten over the years I could definitely make room for that one wrapped in the egg net omelet. Yum!

  • Wandering Carol
    May 16, 2016 at 3:58 am

    I just did a hotel barge trip down the Canal du Midi in France on a barge called the Athos and it was ALL about the food. What a way to get to know France, the cheese from Normandy, wine from Languedoc, oysters and other seafood .. and of course croissants – you really can get to know a culture through its food.

  • Travelwith2ofus
    May 15, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    We also think that food and drinks are an important part of our travel experience. Those are some really tasty looking favorites. Pad Thai is a dish I have wanted to try for ages.

  • Elizabeth @ Compass & Fork
    May 15, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    Some great choices on this list. I think the most unusual is the Cherry Blossom Bread.- I am guessing it adds a cheery taste to it? I’d love to contribute as well!

    • Darlene
      May 21, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      Sure Elizabeth! Would love to add your contributions on the list. 🙂 Just email me the details at psw.darlene@gmail.com. Thanks! 🙂

  • Stefan
    May 14, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    It’s quite hard reading this post! I love everything – Malaysian cendol, dosa, baklava… One I’d add is ceviche – would go face down in a plate of it anytime 🙂

  • Amelie
    May 14, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Oh, I definitely travel for the food also and this post made me drool! I’m with Miss Happy Feet on the Malaysia food, some of my favourite ever! I miss those Nonya Kuih big time!!

  • LeAnna
    May 14, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    I had never had Baklava until moving to Europe. Our favorite Doner shop (Turkish owners) always had it out though and I fell in love! And I would argue that most Thai food is just out of this world, but I agree, Basil Chicken was something I’d never tried before going to Thailand….it’s now one of my favorite dishes!