Skip To Content

    41 Legitimately Life Changing Meals People Have Eaten Abroad, And I'm Planning My Next Trip Around Some

    I'm not drooling — you're drooling.

    We can all agree that food is one of the most exciting aspects of traveling. And I will be the first to admit that when I travel, a bad meal can ruin an otherwise perfectly good day.

    Hannah Loewentheil

    So I asked the BuzzFeed community to share the most memorable, incredibly delicious meals they've eaten while traveling.

    Here were some of their responses — plus a few of my own, and you're going to want to take note for when we can all travel again.

    1. Contramar, Mexico City

    Hannah Loewentheil

    "Whenever I travel, I'm usually wary of the restaurants that are written up in every guide book and every blog. I'm always expecting them to be over-hyped. But let me tell you — a late and excessive lunch at Contramar lived up to every expectation. The tostadas were topped with the freshest, most melt-in-your-mouth tuna, and the famous red and green grilled red snapper served with soft corn tortillas was basically my definition of heaven on a plate. I would go back to CDMX exclusively for that meal."

    —Hannah Loewentheil

    2. La Grotta Guelfa, Florence

    3. Dishoom, London

    4. Toula's Seaside, Corfu

    5. L'Avant Comptoir, Paris

    Tuna tartare from L'Avant Comptoir in Paris
    Hannah Loewentheil

    "I can rattle off a dozen very memorable meals I've had in Paris, but none stand out in my mind like a wine-filled lunch at L'Avant Comptoir. This tapas bar in the 6th arrondissement is cozy and snug, and the various menu items hang from little cards on the ceiling. I stood at the bar and ordered far too much food — silky tuna tartare marinated in grapefruit, peppery cured meats, and stinky, creamy cheese — and everything was incredible."

    —Hannah Loewentheil

    6. La Casita de Papi, Dominican Republic

    7. Le Noailles, Bordeaux

    8. Roti King, London

    9. Quimet & Quimet, Barcelona

    Two montaditos at Quimet i Quimet
    Hannah Loewentheil

    "While studying in Barcelona, I severely missed bagels and lox, my New York staple. Then I discovered Quimet & Quimet, a closet-sized tapas restaurant in Barcelona, and I discovered something even more delicious: a montadito (open-faced sandwich) on crispy bread topped with creamy goat cheese, smoked salmon, and a drizzle of honey. It quickly became my new comfort food, and I would return to Quimet & Quimet often for Barcelona's take on a bagel. All of the other tapas are delicious as well, especially the various montaditos topped with everything from smoked oysters with caviar to tuna belly with olives and peppers."

    —Hannah Loewentheil

    10. White Duck Taco Shop, Asheville

    11. Westcliffe Diner, Nova Scotia

    12. Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, Reykjavik

    A hot dog from a street cart in Reykjavik
    Hannah Loewentheil

    "IMO, Reykjavik is a hugely underrated food city, but for the most part dining out can be really expensive. One of the best (and by far the cheapest) thing I ate on my trip to Iceland was a hot dog from Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, a little stand off a pedestrian road in Reykjavik. The hot dog itself is crispy and crunchy and juicy, and there's something phenomenal about the sweet mustard on top. In fact, I loved it so much that I bought a poster to hang up in my NYC kitchen to remind me of this incredible street eat."

    —Hannah Loewentheil

    13. El Fogon, Mexico

    A plate of two al pastor tacos
    avanim

    "Some of the best tacos I've ever had are the al pastor tacos at El Fogon in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. They slice the meat and the pineapple right in front of you. There are SO good."

    —avanim

    14. Mustafa's Gemüse Kebap, Berlin

    15. Din Tai Fung, Taipei

    16. Tacón de Marlin, Puerto Vallarta

    17. Ristorante Max, Positano

    Pasta with lobster.
    morgang453873355

    "I'll never forget the spiny lobster pasta I ate at Ristorante Max in Positano on the Amalfi Coast." 

    morgang453873355

    18. Beal's Lobster Pier, Maine

    19. Swan Oyster Depot, San Francisco

    20. Howlin' Ray's, Los Angeles

    21. La Cuchara de San Telmo, San Sebastian

    22. The Inn at Little Washington, Virginia

    23. Palace Cafe, New Orleans

    24. Pici, Hong Kong

    25. Tane Vegan Izakaya, Honolulu

    26. Irmita's Casita, Utah

    Mexican food from Irmita's Casita.
    taysynold

    "It's a tiny, unassuming spot in St. George, Utah, that cooked up the best Mexican food I've ever had. I’m from SoCal, so I like to think I’ve had some great Mexican food, but holy cow this place blew all that out of the water. Best of all, it was so cheap!"

    —taysynold

    27. Seirinkan, Tokyo

    Neapolitan-style pizza at Seirinkan.
    Hannah Loewentheil

    "I expected to eat some incredible food in Tokyo, but I never thought that one of my absolute favorite meals in Japan would be pizza. Seirinkan, a Neapolitan pizza spot in Tokyo's Meguro neighborhood, was truly just as good (if not better) than any pizza I've had in Italy or the United States. The pizza was perfect as could be, with a chewy, slightly charred crust and basic yet intensely flavorful toppings."

    —Hannah Loewentheil

    28. Restaurante Dourum, Porto

    A Francesinha sandwich in Porto
    rileyjsullivan1

    "I ate a traditional Francesinha sandwich in Porto at a place called Restaurante Dourum, which overlooks the Douro River. This place served absurdly cheap wine, olives, delicious bread, and the greatest sandwich God has ever gifted to man. The glory of the Francesinha sandwich is indescribable, but it's made of chewy slices of bread stuffed with loads of ham, smoked cured pork sausage, cheese, and slices of steak. Then it's covered with even more hot melted cheese, and served in a thick tomato sauce that tastes almost like french onion soup. It was undoubtedly the best sandwich I have ever eaten. And surely the most caloric."

    rileyjsullivan1

    29. Mokyo, New York

    Mini lobster rolls with celery and creamy truffle sauce
    Hannah Loewentheil

    "Luckily, I live in New York City, so I don't have to travel too far to this East Village Korean spot...but I would make a trip out of it. Everything on the menu is incredible, but the corn-filled dumplings and the mini lobster rolls drizzled in decadent truffle cream sauce are two of my favorite bites of all time."

    —Hannah Loewentheil

    30. La Banquise, Montreal

    31. Shiro’s Sushi, Seattle

    32. All’Antico Vinaio, Florence

    33. Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, Nashville

    34. Le Pastis, Cannes

    35. Osteria dell'Orsa, Bologna

    A plate of tagliatelle with ragu.
    julianak4e43013af

    "I had the best tagliatelle ragu of my life here. I almost cried while eating it, and it cost just 6 euros. Thinking of it makes me want to go back to Italy just to eat it again."

    julianak4e43013af

    36. O'Neills The Point Seafood Bar, Ireland

    37. Lardo, Portland

    38. Kostas, Athens

    39. Bar Cañete, Barcelona

    Hannah Loewentheil

    "I've eaten at more tapas bars in Barcelona than I would like to admit, but Bar Cañete is the best of the best. The best seats are at the bar, where you can watch the chefs prepare unique spins on classic Catalan dishes from the big, open kitchen. The motto here is "f your diet," and that's exactly what you should do. Everything is absurdly good, but the one dish I'll never forget is the ham croquette — basically a large fried ball of mashed potatoes and cured pork — served smothered in a mixture of creamy aioli and salsa brava."

    —Hannah Loewentheil

    40. Tsukemen Gonokami Seisakujo, Tokyo

    41. Peach Fuzz International, Panama City