How to arrange a culinary tourism tour

At first glance, it seems that making such a tour is a simple matter. Anyway, while traveling around cities and countries you stop to eat, try national cuisine and explore cafes. But not every uncontrolled gluttony is called gastronomic or culinary tourism. After all, the essence of it is not so much immersion in the world of total hedonism, as the study of a country or region through the prism of national cuisine, its traditions, and history. And all this requires not only a strong stomach and good metabolism, but also remarkable curiosity.

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World’s Top 50

I saw that a new list of the world’s best 50 restaurants has been released…
I love lists, I make them often when traveling to help me keep prioritize sights and food I must consider. Now I’ve got an international food list to look forward to 🙂

The world’s 50 best restaurants
1. Osteria Francescana (Modena, Italy) *best restaurant in Europe*
2. El Celler de Can Roca (Girona, Spain)
3. Mirazur (Menton, France)
4. Eleven Madison Park (New York City) *best restaurant in North America*
5. Gaggan (Bangkok) *best restaurant in Asia*
6. Central (Lima, Peru) *best restaurant in South America*
7. Maido (Lima, Peru)
8. Arpege (Paris, France)
9. Mugaritz (San Sebastian, Spain)
10. Asador Etxebarri (Axpe, Spain)
11. Quintonil (Mexico City, Mexico)
12. Blue Hill at Stone Barns (Pocantico Hills, New York)
13. Pujol (Mexico City, Mexico)
14. Steirereck (Vienna, Austria)
15. White Rabbit (Moscow, Russia)
16. Piazza Duomo (Alba, Italy)
17. Den (Tokyo, Japan) *highest climber*
18. Disfrutar (Barcelona, Spain) *highest new entry*
19. Geranium (Copenhagen)
20. Attica (Melboure, Australia)
21. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée (Paris, France)
22. Narisawa (Tokyo, Japan)
23. Le Calandre (Rubano, Italy)
24. Ultraviolet (Shanghai, China)
25. Cosme (New York City)
26. Le Bernardin (New York City)
27. Boragó (Santiago, Chile)
28. Odette (Singapore) *new entry*
29. Alléno Paris au Pavillon Ledoyen (Paris, France)
30. D.O.M. (São Paulo, Brazil)
31. Arzak (San Sebastian, Spain)
32. Tickets (Barcelona, Spain)
33. The Clove Club (London, UK)
34. Alinea (Chicago)
35. Maaemo (Oslo, Norway) *new entry*
36. Reale (Castel Di Sangro, Italy)
37. Restaurant Tim Raue (Berlin, Germany)
38. Lyle’s (London) *new entry*
39. Astrid y Gastón (Lima, Peru)
40. Septime (Paris, France)
41. Nihonryori RyuGin (Tokyo, Japan)
42. Ledbury (London, UK)
43. Azurmendi (Larrabetzu, Spain) *sustainable restaurant award*
44. Mikla (Istanbul, Turkey) *new entry*
45. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (London, UK)
46. Saison (San Francisco)
47. Schloss Schauenstein (Fürstenau, Switzlerand) *new entry*
48. Hiša Franko (Kobarid, Slovenia) *new entry*
49. Nahm (Bangkok, Thailand)
50. Test Kitchen (Cape Town, South Africa) *Africa’s best restaurant*

Read more about the list here !

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Honolulu Whirlwind

I’ve been to Honolulu many times, but recently it’s just been as brief as a stop in the airport awaiting a connecting flight. Kenny hadn’t actually gotten out of the airport so I decided we needed to check it out! We got some wheels and off we went, eating - shopping - exploring - eating - shopping 🙂

In our short getaway we were able to try many great restaurants and local establishments:

1. Sushi Bay


We knew there would be a line, and boy was there a wait! Despite being starving and heading into See’s for some chocolate to hold us over we both agree it was worth it. There were about 15 people before us on the list and we waited what felt like 45 minutes. This is the average. The sushi quality was fresh, and portions very big (I actually had trouble finishing everything) even though I had been starving!

2. Shirokiya Village Walk


I picked up some rolled thick rice noodles with pork and green onion (called Look Fun) with some dipping sauce and Ken got a steak bowl with some rice and salad that was insanely tender and savory. On the way out we got six little Hello Kitty Taiyaki (aka filled waffles) to go since we were pretty full. They didn’t last long thought, we got a custard, chocolate, strawberry, original, and mochi filled taiyaki! We both agreed that the custard was our favorite!


3. Pressed Juicery

A great dairy free option for dessert. I was so excited to see this location because I thought it only existed on the West Coast! You can choose from some wonderful combinations or build your own sundae (also pick up some nice juices as well)!

4. Cinnamon’s


My oh my! How did I miss this place in all my prior visits to Oahu? I don’t know but we were too excited by the options so we got one of each (the red velvet pancake, guava chiffon pancake, and crab-cake eggs benedict).

5. Waiola Shave Ice


I am so impressed — this is the MOST FINE ice I have ever eaten. I can’t explain or fathom how they did it even though I watched them make it — We got Lychee, Coconut, and Guava flavors which were amazing.

6. Leonard’s Bakery

don't mind
don’t mind the sugar on my face!

How could we pass up the opportunity to try some famous malasadas? We also got a few to share (custard filled, original, and cinnamon sugar). Ken says they were the best he’s ever had, and I think they are still second to Homemade Bakery’s original malasada from Maui.

7. Jollibee


Filipino fast food! I was super excited to try this as I’ve watched a lot of famous mukbang-ers try Jollibee in their area. Ken and my friend got burgers while I ordered some fried chicken, spaghetti, and the palabok fiesta. I really enjoyed the fried chicken with gravy and the spaghetti was a super local version that I also loved.

8. Shirokiya Village Walk (drinks this time)


Great prices on beer, a couple bucks per glass which I’m sure is part of the reason it’s so busy in there! I also tried the Lemon Shochu and Peach Chu-Hi which were both really good —

9. Murakame Udon

This place was also worth the wait. We had tried to go previously to the Waikiki location around dinner time which was absolutely ridiculous (line almost going around the block)! We returned the next day for lunch and were very happy with our udon. Udon is a wonderful thick noodle, I got mine with a shoyu base and pork, while Ken got a sweeter dashi with soft boiled egg and some chicken on the side. I also picked out one shrimp tempura which was perfection with my noodles.

10. Mastumoto’s Shave Ice


Woo! More shave ice — This time we tried to step out of our routine and try some new flavors. We got Coconut, Yuzu and white cake in the largest size. First time flavors for the last two and WHITE CAKE definitely takes the cake!!

11. Uncle Bo’s


We got a great recommendation from my friend who is from the area that let us know we had to eat here, and especially not miss the Taro Beignets! It was decadent without being heavy, and probably helped that we shared one order of 6 beignets. There was a nice dipping sauce and one scoop of vanilla ice cream that balanced the dessert so well.

12. Lahaina Chicken Co.


I always love chicken, this one was roasted to perfect and juicy on the inside. I went for classic local sides (white rice and mac salad) which hit the spot. I wonder if someone in Lahaina really did start this or they just needed a catchy name —

Check out my photos on Instagram from the trip @nikkibrittain —

We also visited Pearl Harbor, Ala Moana (of course), Don Quijote, North Shore and more!

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Crazy Cafes in Tokyo

1. “Totoro Cafe” aka Shimohige Cream Puff Factory or TOLO
While they have a full menu of food we decided to try two cream puffs and two drinks! The Totoro’s were almost too cute to eat (I spied the Japanese girls next to us eating them from the back, thus preserving the cute cream puff for as long as possible). We also got and iced chai and iced mocha which was delicious as well. Check out my channel to see me dive into my cream puff like a barbarian —


2. Kawaii Monster Cafe -
Unicorns, candy and sprinkles, OH MY! This is the rainbow themed cafe where the food is just as colorful as the decor! You can order French fries with a rainbow assortment of dipping sauces, rainbow spaghetti, cakes, parfaits, color changing drinks… very cool for instagram. Just be sure to make a reservation or risk waiting a long time (I would not attempt this on a weekend) Harajuku is crazyyyyy!



3. Forest of Owl Cafe -
Why not spend an hour petting owls and sipping on banana mochas? Surrounded by the littlest to largest of owls, to rare and even grumpy looking ones was an amazing experience! A drink is included of course, and you can watch it being made (by machine) on the little tv screen. What service! The owls are so sweet I couldn’t help but want one for myself some day - haha!



4. Sanrio Puroland -
The ever-changing theme will feature a Sanrio character and food sets to match. While I was in Tokyo the Little Twin Stars café had started with the cutest pink and blue plates to match- While Kiki and Lala were popular when I was growing up the Sanrio cafe is always rotating, so catch it while you can!

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5. Café Mugiwara aka One Piece -
If you’re in Odaiba and you see an alien looking building with a big globe-like structure in the middle just go right there to find the One Piece café! I started to get into the anime but with so many episodes I just couldn’t catch up. Still the café is great for fans looking to experience the manga, as I got to see my friends’ experience a few months after I was there.



6. Maid Café -
This is a general suggestion as there are so many different ones to choose from. I personally think it would be interesting to see but doubt I would care to listen to a bunch of crazy singing and dancing routines. Walk around Akihabara and you will be sure to stumble into many different cafes. Just look for the cardboard cutouts of maids and you will be on your way! I had a picture of my head sticking through one of these but it seems to have mysteriously disappeared . . .


7. Pompompurin -
Another cute character café that is permanent, so you will not miss it! The Mexican inspired dish = curry and rice plate look so yummy too- Half the problem with these cafes is that everything is almost too cute to eat! Almost …



9. Bunny Cafe
There are many to choose from! Real bunnies, bunny themed, character bunny themed because we LOVE all the bunnies! Around Harajuku you can find the live fluffy versions to play with while you sip a coffee or find one with your favorite character to enjoy the marvelous lookalike dishes.




10. “Gudetama Cafe” aka The Lazy Egg -
Now when I was in Tokyo I happened to stumble upon a HUGE Gudetama store, complete with a giant mascot Gudetama which I posed with! I don’t believe the cafe was in existence yet, but from what I’ve seen it looks fabulous… and not so ennui 😉





11. Poop Cafe -
This might not sound like your idea of an appetizing or fun place to grab a drink, I would definitely recommend a visit if you want a good laugh. While this idea actually originated in Taiwan, I was able to visit the one in Seoul, South Korea and had a blast. The refreshing fizzy drink we ordered was light and refreshing and came showered in fresh flower petals. Suprising? Yes! Just do it!
Tokyo has its own version so all bases are covered!


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Yes #2 on the list (technically 3rd but okay!).

Again, we were coming to town on empty stomachs so we hurried downtown to find Zing. The building in old Wailuku town has been transformed into a food court which turned out to be quite the place around lunch. I never thought to venture in before, but got an amazing recommendation about the onion rings and a kalua pig sandwich!

We were not disappointed!


After noticing a few orders go out before us we realized there would be a hefty portion sized amount — there were many great option to choose from but we stuck with the classic Reuben with a side of onion rings and a steak sandwich with truffle french fries. Woooooooooooo!


After just one bite I knew.

This place was really goooood! The steak sandwich I had worried about. “What if the meat was tough? Fatty? Dry? Hard to eat?”

Thankfully this was far from the case. The steak was cooked medium well done so it was very juicy and cut into bite sized pieces making it easy to eat. The bread was soft and fresh, covered in a wonderful garlic aoli with lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. The truffle fries were also delectable… honestly very addicting since I’ve not had french fries in forever! I will say that the rings and fries were on the oily side but it didn’t really bother me because it was just the right amount for three of us to split!


The Reuben was very interesting looking and even better tasting. The marbled dark bread was so thick yet fluffy. The meat in the Reuben had been chopped up with sauerkraut and a cheese sauce mixture that held it all together, which was really nice compared to the traditional sandwich (20 slices of pastrami on a dry thin piece of bread). So good, if you enjoy this type of hot sandwich I recommend trying this one — and I never thought I would say that about a Reuben! They also have a turkey version of this that I think would be even more up my alley. LOL


Overall we had a great experience at Zing. The outside nor inside is anything fancy, but the food is quality and quantity. If you happen to be here around the lunch rush expect to wait a bit in line as well as for your food, but it is definitely worth it. The price is a bit high if eating alone, but I would suggest splitting such a decadent meal and not eating here everyday… (although I’d love to)!

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