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Journeys7 Must-Visit Culinary Destinations For 2019

7 Must-Visit Culinary Destinations For 2019

7 Must-Visit Culinary Destinations For 2019
By Asia Tatler
January 10, 2019
Our community of discerning food writers spent most of 2018 scouring the globe for the best gastronomic experiences, penning them in our Food Lover's Guide series each month. To inspire you for the year ahead, we've compiled the following destinations to add to your bucket list—each one will ensure that your journey will be a delicious one.
Vegetarian and vegan treats are fresh and vibrant at Yes Yes Yes (Photo: Courtesy of Yes Yes Yes)
Vegetarian and vegan treats are fresh and vibrant at Yes Yes Yes (Photo: Courtesy of Yes Yes Yes)

Helsinki

Why go: The Finnish capital is buzzing with restaurants that mix daring cooking with on-trend design, and this is creating delicious results.

Don't miss: Yes Yes Yes, a highly Instagrammable restaurant serving modern vegetarian and vegan food matched with a great selection of wines. 

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Drink up at Enoteca Picone, where you'll be able to taste an extensive range of niche and artisanal wines from local producers (Photo: Janice Leung Hayes)
Drink up at Enoteca Picone, where you'll be able to taste an extensive range of niche and artisanal wines from local producers (Photo: Janice Leung Hayes)

Palermo

Why go: As much as Italians are proud of their own regional cuisines, Sicily is a place every Italian chef is proud to source from. The blistering sun ripens some of the nation’s—and probably the world’s—best tomatoes, and the seafood from coastal cities like Palermo, the island’s capital, is second to none.

Don't miss: The vintage Enoteca Picone is hugely popular with the locals, and it's not hard to see why—family-owned and now helmed by the enthusiastic Vera Bonnano, the fourth generation, there are thousands of wines from all over the world, but the main draw is the extensive range of Sicilian wines from niche, artisanal producers. Stop in for an apero, or stay for light dinner—there’s a full kitchen that serves light local plates, such as Sicily’s famous bottarga, and tenerumi (zucchini leaf) soup.

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Battered bajirak clams are perfect with a glass of cold beer (Photo: Mina Park)
Battered bajirak clams are perfect with a glass of cold beer (Photo: Mina Park)

Seoul

Why go: Korea’s food obsession comes with high standards and loud opinions from everyone on the street about what’s the best way to cook or season a dish. International chefs have taken notice and started to take up shop in Seoul, adding to its already teeming and dynamic food scene. Now is the time to explore Seoul’s food, but forget the barbecue and fried chicken – there’s so much more to discover in this sprawling, food-loving city.

Don't miss: Jungshim in Itaewon is one of those hidden gems that you reluctantly share with other people because you’re worried you’ll never be able to get a seat there again. This is a wonderful place to spend an evening with friends over Hallasan soju from Jeju island and their battered bajirak clams, steamed pork belly or, really, anything that chef Lee brings out for you.

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There are no reservations, so come early to nab one of the coveted kitchen counter seats (Photo: Janice Leung Hayes)
There are no reservations, so come early to nab one of the coveted kitchen counter seats (Photo: Janice Leung Hayes)

Seattle

Why go: It might be the home of a certain global chain of coffee shops, but the independent spirit Seattle is known for is still alive and well. From oysters and negronis on tap, to wine and pizza, there’s enough excellent food and drink to be experienced here to render you sleepless.

Don't miss: Head to Manolin for bright, fresh plates of local seafood ceviche, crudo and oysters. The wood-fired grill, which takes pride of place in the open kitchen for all to see, is constantly fed logs throughout the night and masterfully tended to, producing beautifully charred meats, fish and even rice. There are no reservations, so come early to nab one of the coveted kitchen counter seats, or be prepared to wait in a seat on the terrace with a cocktail which, in clement weather, isn’t a bad idea anyway.

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Set in a 16th Century merchant's house, The Witchery is a slice of history (Photo: The Witchery)
Set in a 16th Century merchant's house, The Witchery is a slice of history (Photo: The Witchery)

Edinburgh

Why go: Weather may not be on Scotland’s side if you are looking for a balmy spot in which to vacation, but its fresh blustery air, rugged green pastures and cold clear waters are ripe for rearing some of the world’s finest meats and fish—fuel to a fiery culinary scene in the nation’s capital. Scotland’s chefs are making the most of these ingredients to the delight of visitors keen to savour more than shortbread, oatcakes and whisky.

Don't miss: Oysters grown in the clear waters of Argyllshire, scallops from the Isle of Mull, venison from The Cairngorms, duck from Gartmorn and beetroot from Arran, not to mention that Scottish classic, haggis—they all appear on the menu at The Witchery.

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Try one of the crab pots accompanied by a variety of sauces (Photo: Courtesy of The Crab Shack)
Try one of the crab pots accompanied by a variety of sauces (Photo: Courtesy of The Crab Shack)

Wellington

Why go: While the more populous Auckland is often the go-to city of choice when visiting New Zealand, its capital shouldn't be overlooked. Whether you're looking for international contemporary fine dines or artisanal hole-in-the-walls, you're likely to find something to your taste in the breezy seaside city.

Don't miss: The Crab Shack is a casual eatery perched on sunny Queen's Wharf that serves up tortillas, burgers, pastas, and a variety of sharing plates, but it's focus, as its name would suggest, is on seafood—particularly its namesake crab. 

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The Michelin-starred KOKS serves contemporary cuisine crafted from locally sourced produce (Photos: Courtesy of KOKS)
The Michelin-starred KOKS serves contemporary cuisine crafted from locally sourced produce (Photos: Courtesy of KOKS)

Faroe Islands

Why go: A visit to the Faroe Islands means bracing yourself for some extreme gastronomic experiences. Not just delicious and distinctive, food in the Faroes opens a window into the culture of these islands, both current and of days gone by. Its cuisine showcases how the islanders once lived, foraging, hunting and gathering from land and sea and preserving and fermenting for the cold winter months.

Don't miss: Almost all produce served at KOKS, save for a handful of fruits and vegetables, has been sourced locally, much of it that day, and the dish introductions by knowledgeable staff tell their tales. Each outstanding dish can be expertly paired with impressive alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages, rounding out an unforgettable dining experience totally unique to the stunning location—an old farmhouse in a remote valley by Leynavatn, just 20-minutes from Tórshavn. 

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