10 trips you have to take in 2020 if you love to eat, according to Eater

Filippo Maria Bianchi/Getty ImagesAkko, Israel, came as a surprise to Lesley Suter, the travel editor at Eater.
  • Eater put together a list of cities to visit for the best culinary experiences in 2020.
  • The list was created after food experts in over 100 cities explained why food-minded travellers should visit their hometown.
  • Insider pulled the 10 highlights from the list, including Akko, Israel, where different ethnicities come together into a blended food scene.
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin, also has a food scene making a name for itself ahead of hosting the Democratic National Convention.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Now more than ever, people are actively seeking out culinary experiences when they travel. As Lesley Suter, the travel editor at Eater noticed, “more and more, people are choosing where to travel based on food – we’re travelling to eat.”

Eater decided to put together something different from the classic “where to go” list. Instead, they focused on foodies, coming up with a list of 19 cities around the world specifically for travellers who put eating at the top of their agenda.

To start, Suter tapped into her network of food experts and writers, based in over 100 cities around the world. She asked each local writer to make a pitch as to why their city is one of “the most dynamic emerging food cities on the planet.”

From there, she considered special events – such as the Olympics and new food hall openings – that may make these cities even more exciting to visit this year.

Finally, Eater narrowed down the list to 19 cities that are leading incredible culinary experiences, offering unique eating adventures that push travellers outside their comfort zones. Here are the 10 highlights from the list.

In Marrakech, Morocco, travellers can experience traditional cooking next to newer, international dishes.

Henryk Sadura/Getty ImagesThe sun sets over Marrakech, Morocco.

In Marrakech, the best way to experience the food scene is to go without a plan. There is a contrasting modern city cropping up alongside the traditional one, exhibiting basically every cooking technique imaginable, and getting lost in it all is the best way to see it.

There is a wide variety of international street food paired right alongside the traditional tagine and couscous. With all the options in front of you, Suter’s advice is to always start small, especially if you feel intimidated.

“If you don’t want to eat crickets, don’t eat crickets! But I bet you’ll find a noodle, a sandwich, a dumpling that’s to your taste,” she said.

With all the different options, taste-testing small dishes will lead you to your sweet spot. Plus, with all the different stalls, you’ll want to sample everything anyway.

The 22 Essential Restaurants of Marrakech, Morocco

Tourists and locals love to flock to a popular nighttime Asian market in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.

totororo/Getty ImagesAfternoon light shines on a harbour in Richmond.

In Richmond, there is a secret spot where locals go to chow down, only after they have enjoyed a full dinner. The Night Market is thought to be “the continent’s largest Asian night market,” which at quick glance can easily be mistaken for Singapore’s open-air centres.

Lesley Suter observed that now more than ever, “chefs are looking back at the foods of their upbringing, the dishes of their parents, and using international techniques to create something new. It’s exciting, and creates these great, dynamic, unique food scenes.”

The Night Market is the perfect reflection of this fusion of new and old. Travellers have the rare opportunity to taste traditional recipes, current takes, and modern, futuristic innovations, all centered around the same ingredients.

The 22 Essential Restaurants of Richmond, Canada

One of South Korea’s best-kept secrets, Gyeongju, is not a huge tourist destination, offering travellers the best local cuisine.

Paul Biris/Getty ImagesA nighttime view of the Woljeonggyo Bridge in Gyeongju, South Korea.

Gyeongju, South Korea, is fairly popular with Korean travellers, but an untapped destination as far as foreign travelling goes. Instead of planning your own detailed itinerary to learn about the history, let the cuisine do the talking. “The smells, flavours, and sensations of eating are a window into a culture, and the fact that, through eating, a foreigner can tap directly into that is incredible in my opinion,” Suter said.

In Gyeongju, travellers have options. They can dine like a Silla royal and taste centuries-old recipes or live like a monk and taste a vegetable-based Korean temple food.

The 17 Essential Restaurants of Gyeongju, South Korea

The Democratic National Convention will give Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a chance to shine.

joe daniel price/Getty ImagesHank Aaron State Trail and bridge in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The Democratic National Convention taking over Milwaukee in July 2020 may be the perfect moment for the city’s food scene to truly shine. Instead of constantly reminding travellers of somewhere else, it is time for Milwaukee to lock down its own authentic feel.

Skip the delicate, dainty plates and instead take a deep dive into goat-cheese curds, Milwaukee-style bratwurst, and a locally brewed beer.

The 38 Essential Restaurants of Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Akko, Israel, embraces its different religions and ethnicities, creating a unique blend of cuisine.

Filippo Maria Bianchi/Getty ImagesA view of the old city walls in Akko, Israel.

Jewish, Arab, Muslim, Christian, and Bahá’í influences sew themselves together, creating an experimental food scene where spices and flavours would usually never meet.

Akko was one of Suter’s biggest surprises on the list. Like many travellers who visit Israel, she had been to Tel Aviv, “but had never heard of Akko (also called Acre) and the food scene the writer describes has given me serious wanderlust.”

The city is completely walkable, with diners frequently weaving in and out of different stores, stalls, and open-air restaurants. To get the heart of authenticity, Suter suggested “try[ing] to find a local – a cab driver, a server, anyone – and ask where they like to eat.”

The 16 Essential Restaurants of Akko, Israel

Marseille, France, has reinvented its food scene to welcome a new influx of tourists.

Denis DEBADIER/Getty ImagesHouses and restaurants line the cliffs in Marseille, France.

Eater credits two big events with Marseille’s now innovative food scene.

First, in the ’50s and ’60s, Northern Africans came to Marseille from France’s colonies as a result of their independence. Many years later, in 2013, Marseille was named as one of two of Europe’s Capitals of Culture, causing a boom in its tourist industry. Following the announcement, Marseille had the rare opportunity to revamp its food scene while holding on to its North African influence – and succeeded.

Younger chefs rose to the occasion and began reexamining the traditional recipes, adding their own contemporary twists. The result? Dishes like a famous Tunisian-style couscous with stewed octopus.

Suter reflected on how she “lived in the South of France for a while as a college student, and Marseilles was always seen as this sort of bland industrial port town. I love to hear what is happening in the food scene there today.”

The 21 Essential Restaurants of Marseille, France

Pristina, Kosovo, is using hyper-local ingredients in inventive, new ways.

ARMEND NIMANI/AFP/Getty ImagesAn employee arranges baklava pastries at a bakery in Pristina, Kosovo.

Kosovo is the youngest nation in Europe, granted independence only 12 years ago. While its cuisine has always combined ideas from its neighbouring countries, it’s in a unique place where it can now develop its own voice in the culinary world.

Hyper-local ingredients are at the centre of every grilled meat, pastry, and stuffed pepper dish. For locals, this is an exciting wave to ride, and for visitors, it’s a chance to try local ingredients from the nation’s abundance of farmland.

The 10 Essential Restaurants of Pristina, Kosovo

Experience the quirky Hobart, Australia, through its daring and innovative dishes.

Graham Denholm/Getty ImagesLocal produce in Hobart, Australia.

Hobart is definitely leaning into its quirkiness, with its Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) and an annual pagan-inspired Dark Mofo festival.

The food scene is just as unapologetically creative as chefs move way beyond the classic seafood dishes.

Local oysters, wasabi, and truffles give the food scene plenty of character – yet nothing feels pretentious. Instead, the relaxed vibe keeps every dining experience warm, making Hobart a great destination for an outdoors adventurer with a daring palette.

The 20 Essential Restaurants of Hobart, Australia

Learn about Oakland, California’s history and allow the food to tell the story of a unique city going through big changes.

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty ImagesFood trucks in Oakland, California.

Oakland’s chefs are reworking the city’s narrative through their cooking. It is the local ingredients, the generations-old techniques, and the community that forms around food and drink that have transformed Oakland into a cultural and artistic hub.

“Eating the food of a place is the ultimate way to experience a taste of what it’s like to be a local,” Suter said.

Bite into a massive sauce-glazed piece of Japanese fried chicken laid between two slices of thick Texas toast and you’ll begin to understand what makes Oakland so special.

The 17 Essential Restaurants of Oakland, California

Cork, Ireland, is proving its food scene can go beyond the traditional Irish pubs.

Madrugada Verde/ShutterstockWalk off your hearty meal along the water.

Considering how walkable Cork is, travellers can spend their entire day ducking into pubs, soaking in some live music, and tasting old recipes passed down for generations.

While the urban area of Cork is bursting with things to do, it is the countryside that reigns supreme in the culinary field. Home to a world-class culinary school and the Irish farmhouse cheese movement, Cork has been mastering its food scene for centuries.

Watch it all on display at the English Market, where diners can find anything from a classic sourdough pizza to a full Middle Eastern platter.

The 22 Essential Restaurants of Cork, Ireland

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