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Bon voyage, bon appétit – the ultimate foodie world tours

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For some, the dream of a round the world tour involves historic sights and natural wonders. Some just want to chase the summer, and lie on beaches next to all seven seas. But you? You’re looking for big, bright flavours. You know that good food is the best source of joy. And that’s why’ve put together a big, cross-continent foodie world tour itinerary for you.

In fact, we created two tasting tours – one covering the finest delicacies of three continents, the other four – both of which you can explore with oneworld round the world trips.

The 3 continent itinerary

London > Madrid > Tokyo > Osaka > Honolulu > New York > Cancun > London

The 4 continent itinerary

London > Moscow > Doha > Hong Kong > Singapore > Sydney > Brisbane > Los Angeles > New York > London

The 3 contintent foodie world tour

A well-rounded itinerary, this one starts with Madrid, goes on to Japan and ends in the Americas.

1. London, UK

You’ve got one more meal before your foodie world tour begins. What do you want – Thai? Italian? Chinese? If you’re finding it hard to decide, head to Soho, where you can find renowned, round the world cuisine. There’s Bao for juicy pork buns, Hoppers for rich Sri Lankan fare, Kiln for flame-heavy Thai food, Bone Daddies for ramen with an attitude, Dean Street Townhouse for more classic fare. Many places don’t take reservations, so you can just come by, put your name on the list, and have a drink or two with friends while you wait.

2. Madrid

In Madrid, lunch happens around 2-3pm, and dinner 9pm at the earliest. Luckily, there are plenty of snacking opportunities. You can replace cake and tea with thin churros dipped in hot chocolate, and sandwiches for tortillas. To get real local, try Cocido Madrileño, a comforting stew of chickpeas, meat and sausages simmered into a bowl that tastes like home – even though you aren’t from here. You can also get great value for money at lunch at places offering a Menu del Dia. Feeling fancy? Head to StreetXo for street food from a three-Michelin-star chef.

It may be inland, but Madrid loves seafood. You can have prawns every which way, from grilled to fried to cooked in beer. Crispy calamari sandwich. Galician octopus with olive oil and paprika. Mmmmm. In fact, this landlocked capital has the second biggest fish market in the world. So who’s number one? Well, the next stop on your world food tour.

3. Tokyo, Japan

Welcome to the holy grail of sushi. There are thousands of great options to pick from, but here’s just a handful. Sushi Dai, next to Tsukiji Market, offers affordable, world-class seafood. For triple-Michelin-star sushi from the best in the business, there’s Sushi Saito. Just make sure you book a few months in advance. If you’re in the Ginza district, it’s hard to go wrong. And when in doubt, go with the omakase menu and let the chef decide.

Tokyo’s also the world’s ramen capital, representing all varieties from shoyu to shio, from slurpy tonkotsu to buttery Sapporo style. The best spots are tiny, and the best way to eat is fast. Ramen Kanekatsu, Koukaibu, Niboshi Ramen En – these are a few suggestions. And to experience the height of formal Japanese cuisine, the word you’re looking for is “kaiseki“. For the classic experience, there’s Ishikawa. For a modern twist, DEN.

Food in Japan is very visual, which you can clearly see with all the giant raindrop cakes, jiggly pudding-cakes and Totti Candy Factory’s giant rainbow cotton candy. All in all, a very special destination for a very special occasion.

4. Osaka, Japan

When a city has a word for “eat till you drop”, you know they like food. That word, in case you’re curious, is “kuidaore“. Osaka prides itself on takoyaki (grilled octopus balls smothered in sauce), oshizushi (pressed sushi with pickled fish) and kitsune udon (bouncy noodles in a delicate broth, topped with deep fried tofu). But the crown jewel is okonomiyaki, a massive pancake packed with noodles, shredded cabbage, squid, pork belly – quite literally whatever you want.

Dotonbori is the go-to place for curious eaters like yourself, packed with stalls and restaurants. The area itself, with bright signs and a calm canal, is pleasing to the eye too. And since Osaka is home to a big Korean community, it might be the best place this side of Seoul for jeon, a kimchi and shrimp laden breakfast pancake worth salivating over.

5. Honolulu, USA

You may think of beaches, lush volcanic islands and bronzed surfers, but its cuisine also makes Hawaii quite the trip for someone on a foodie world tour. Its kaleidoscope of native Polynesian, Asian and American influences makes for a cuisine with flavours in all colours of the rainbow. Case in point? The legendary poke bowl – sushi rice topped with fresh tuna, salmon, avocado, cucumbers, radish, mango, edamame, scallions, crispy nori, ginger, mayonnaise, soy dressing… you get the picture. Other delights include matcha soft serve ice cream, rich poi (taro pudding), slow-cooked fragrant pork laulau and coconut desserts.

Alan Wong’s, Ahi Assassins, Yokocho and Helena’s Hawaiian Food are all names worth adding to your list. And to settle the debate once and for all, no – Hawaiian pizza is not Hawaiian. It was created by a Canadian food maverick.

6. New York, USA

Let’s answer the questions you probably have in mind. Best bagel? Russ & Daughters – also for Jewish specialties like knishes. Best pizza? Di Fara for classic, Roberta’s for funky. In any case, Brooklyn. And is the pastrami sandwich at Katz’s Delicatessen really that good? Yes. Dare we even say, food-gasmic.

Now, time to bite into the Big Apple.

Carve out time for Chelsea Food Market, where you’ll want to sample everything. Just make sure you have room left for New York’s best tacos at Los Tacos No 1 (they aren’t lying). Find the mythical cronut at Dominique Ansel Bakery in Soho. And see how homegrown chefs NY-ify far-flung flavours at Ivan Ramen. Run by a Jewish boy from Long Island who earned his chops in Tokyo, you’ll find Japanese eggplant with tahini, and roasted tomato ramen with rye noodles on the menu.

7. Cancun, Mexico

We know. It’s bliss finding the perfect resort in Cancun and forgetting everything in a cocoon of white sands and turqoise waters. But push yourself out of that comfort zone and and we promise, it’ll be worth it. You can, for example, explore the famous Chichen Itza pyramid, and dig deep into Mayan history.

You can also take your tastebuds on a journey, trying out tangy, crispy seafood tacos at Los de Pescado, beefy street food tacos at El Polilla, or Japanese style ginger fried chicken tacos at Tacos Oishi. In short, all the tacos. But there’s more to Cancun too. May we tempt you, for example, with sea bass carpaccio with pineapple and cilantro rice at Navios?

8. London, UK

You can keep the citrus, spice and seafood trifecta alive at Ceviche. Or if you’ve decided it’s time for a palate cleanser – and time for more business as usual tastes – you’re well within your rights to dig into a pastry from that famous chain whose name starts with a ‘G’.

The 4 continent foodie world tour

Hungry for more? Add another course to the menu by adding Australia to your foodie world tour itinerary. This one swaps out Japan for Hong Kong and Singapore, and adds a bit of Middle Eastern flair, as well as some northern exposure.

1. London, UK

We start, once more, with dear London. This time, however, we’re going to go a bit more grand in honour of the first city on our itinerary. We’ll be saying a fond farewell to the UK at Bob Bob Ricard, home of “press for more champagne button”. Order parmesan baked oysters, steak tartare, Chicken Kiev – you can’t really go wrong.

2. Moscow, Russia

Since the time of tsars, Russia has been blessing the world with unique creations like “Olivier Salad (a.k.a. Russian salad). It’s also the country that gleefully calls a layered dish of beets, carrots, eggs, potatoes and mayonnaise a salad. Its name is just as cheeky; “herring with a fur coat”. But for a proper local experience, try zakuski, Russia’s response to tapas. You’re supposed to nibble on something between vodka sips, and classics include caviar, herring rolls, dark rye and puffy pirozhki dumplings.

Speaking of classics, GUM department store is a must-visit. Here you’ll find Gastronome No 1, a wonderland of Russian confections and delicacies. And for the finest of Moscow fine dining, reserve a table at White Rabbit – currently #13 on the world’s best restaurants list. Here you’ll find modern takes on old-school Russian cuisine, like tuna with carrot kvas and watermelon, or flaming tiger shrimp with chimichurri sauce. Perched on the 16th floor, the view’s not half bad either.

3. Doha, Qatar

What you might not know about Doha is that there’s a whole world of fancy cuisine here. There’s Market by Jean-Georges, with cross-cultural creations like crispy eggplant with yuzu and pomegranate, soy and cucumber. Then there’s Alain Duccasse’s IDAM, showcasing dishes that nod to Middle East traditions but take on a path of their own, like a shrimp and sumac bourek or lamb with zaatar jus. Then there’s the top notch Chinese food at Hakkasan, Lebanese at Layali and Thai at Spice Market.

See? Not only is Doha a great place to chase summer all year long, it’s also a foodie world tour destination with tastes from all across the globe.

4. Hong Kong

Tim Ho Wan. That’s the name to keep in mind if you’re after unforgettable dim sum. It has no frills, tons of flavour and a Michelin star. Oh, and it’s budget-friendly. Wins all around! Yet that’s just the begining of your victory tour, seeing as there’s lots more to discover. Street food is an art form here, as you’ll see when you taste dishes like curry fishballs, creamy sweet egg tarts, savory congee porridge and soy braised cuttlefish and octopus skewers.

You can also opt for a sit-down affair at restaurants offering Sichuan hot pot or wonton noodle soup. That, or take a wok on the walk side by visiting dessert specialist Eat Darling Eat, who serves the likes of bright orange mango-coconut cake and deep purple sweet potato-taro dessert.

5. Singapore

Laksa curry - world foodie trip

Even the fact that the country is a mix of Chinese, Malay and Indian is enough to let you know that you’re in for a treat. Hawker centres are where to experience the Singapore’s wide array of yum-inducing food, and budget friendly too. The list of must-eats is long, but a few in particular stand out. Laksa curry, a blissful blend of coconut broth, noodles, tofu puffs and shrimp is one. Then there are satay skewers, meat bone tea, chilli crab, Hokkien Mee noodles and murtabak (a filled and fried roti).

Singapore also has a unique coffee culture. The coffee (or kopi), made with beans wok-roasted with butter and sugar, might not be what you expect. But, served with coconut jam topped kaya toast, it is delicious. And while on the subject of new experiences, do try durian, the Marmite of the fruit world.

6. Sydney, Australia

Let’s start with coffee. Because what better way to start? And also, because Australia might have the best stuff on the planet. Inspired by espresso culture brought over by Greek and Italian immigrants, they’ve built on it to the point of perfection. In the process, they’ve introduced everyone to the flat white and long black. Sip a coffee at Single O, Paramount Coffee Project or Gumption and the world will stop for a moment, a tickling sense of joy will reach your brain, and you will never look at coffee the same way again.

Now, time for food. With a cuisine that’s a fusion of Italian, Chinese, Greek, Vietnamese, British and many more, there’s room for creativity. This is evident in the Australian burger, a generous beast topped with pineapple, beet and fried egg. Another bright example is Black Star Pastry’s watmerleon-strawberry cake. But sometimes it’s subtle touches that make all the difference. Like the honeycomb ricotta hotcakes at Bills, or honey-oregano saganaki cheese at The Apollo. However, don’t forget to sample classics like Lamingtons and a good old BBQ.

7. Brisbane, Australia

The capital of Queensland is a bit of a hidden gem. It’s got friendly weather, friendlier people and lots of outdoor action destinations such as Mount Coot-tha or Kangaroo Point Cliffs. And with the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Moreton Island a stone’s throw away, it’s a day trip paradise.

Its culinary scene is also a delightful surprise, both in terms of variety and price. On this leg of your food world tour, you can chow down on cheap and amazing Asian food hot spots like Fat Noodle, Yum Yum Peking Duck and the very polite Vietnamese place Hello Please. Plus, it’s got a stellar craft beer scene – ideal for those sunny days.

8. Los Angeles, USA

The City of Angels is paradise for foodies. You might expect its hottest spots to be flashy restaurants catering to celebrities. And to some extent that’s true, but it’s also buzzing with authentic Asian food and perhaps the best street tacos outside of Mexico. Tire Shop Taqueria, with its choc-a-guac offerings, is a good place to start. The Butcher’s Daughter – unlike its name implies – is a bright vegetarian restaurant in Venice with an oh-so-California brunch menu and plenty of vegan options. Another meat-free highlight is the oyster mushroom kebab at Bavel.

If you’re a Tarantino fan and a burger fan, this is a reminder that you can order the famous Big Kahuna Burger (ask for Animal Style Fries too) at In-N-Out Burger in Hollywood. But for the ultimate Hollywood production, opt for the trippy and mysterious fine dining experience at Wolvesmouth.

9. New York, USA

We’ve already covered the essential establishments, so let’s get a bit out there now, shall we? First stop is Dirt Candy, a bit of a renegade and a Michelin-star vegetarian – and mostly vegan – restaurant. Their outlandish, daring creations include Korean fried broccoli and sweet aubergine pancakes. The next is David Chang’s Momofuku Ssam Bar, a love letter to his Asian culinary roots and American flavours, featuring both Kentucky ham and banana leaf roasted skate.

10. London, UK

Good to be back, isn’t it? You’re well fed (maybe well tanned too) and have tried out a thousand different delicacies on your epic food world tour. But chances are, you’ve missed the taste of home. So go on then, take yourself to Hawksmoor for British classics, and steaks to make you cry tears of joy. Even better, visit on Sunday for their legendary roast.

Is there an easy way to book all these flights?

There is indeed. With oneworld’s round the world planner, it’s easy to create epic, multi-continent journeys. You can even do it over your lunch break.

You’ll have over 1,100 destinations to choose from, with flights from 13 world-class airlines: American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LATAM, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines and SriLankan Airlines.

We put together a quick guide to make using it even more of a breeze.

You can save plenty, rack up miles and take advantage of travel benefits – like access to airport lounges*.

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