Experiencing the cuisine of a country or a region is one the key practices of a good tourist.
GayCities.com and American Airlines hosted a worldwide survey to choose the best travel destinations in different categories, including Best Food City, Best City for Gays, Best Nightlife City, Best Pride City, Best Resort Town, Best Dressed City, Best Sand & Sun City, Best Settle Down City and Best Up & Coming City.
The popular culinary destinations of 2011 were:
1. Paris, France - Drawing 22 percent of the votes, Paris, the cosmopolitan capital of France, was voted the culinary hotspot of 2011. The city boasts hundreds of charming restaurants with trendy interiors and admirable cartes and menus offering a creative mélange of French and exotic foreign cuisines. Traditional choices and restaurants for budget-conscious visitors are aplenty. However, tourists are advised to plan well ahead in order to ensure dinner reservations at trendy places located in the upscale areas of the town. The Le Gai Moulin and upscale restaurants like Ozo and Brasserie Bofinger feature among the popular options.
2. New Orleans, U.S. - The city known for its French-style sophistication and African-American energy drew 18 percent of the total votes, to become the second most popular destination for food lovers. The major culinary tradition is Creole, influenced by French, German and Spanish cuisines with a strong West-African foundation. Seafood - particularly oysters, crawfish - and Po-boys, Muffaletta and Gumbo are highly recommended for tourists. The option of taking cooking lessons to learn the art of the local cuisine is strongly suggested for those planning to stay for appreciable periods of time. The city has several excellent chefs, who can demonstrate the many secrets of a four-course meal, along with those of Creole and Cajun cuisine. The Court of Two Sisters, Café du Monde and The Gumbo Shop are among the recommended restaurants.
3. San Francisco, U.S. - The Californian city, endowed with a liberal atmosphere and scenic beauty, drew 15 percent of the total votes. The city is popularly regarded as a sensual, epicurean city and has more restaurants per capita than any major city in North America. With 1 restaurant for every 250 residents, (compared to 1 restaurant for every 940 residents in New York), the city offers a huge price range for everyone. It is considered a paradise for vegetarians and vegans, while exceptional Sushi and Chinese delicacies like dim sum are among the local obsessions. 2223, Catch and Pizzeria Delfina are among the popularly recommended restaurants.
4. Barcelona, Spain - The beautiful city of Barcelona, modeled, like other European cities, with outdoor markets, restaurants and shops, drew 14 percent of the total vote. Restaurants offer a menu-of-the-day, which is usually simple and unpretentious two-course meal - one salad, main dish and a drink; plus a dessert sometimes -- 3 or 4 options each -- with relatively smaller portions. Due to the inconsistency of the quality of food, traveler recommendations and reviews could come in handy when picking good restaurants at reasonable prices. Nevertheless, Catalan food is highly recommended. The more popular restaurants include Unico, Elche and Espai Sucre.
5. Chicago, U.S. - The city with a picturesque skyline, Chicago made it to the list drawing 13 percent of the total votes. Highly recommended foods to experiment with include the famous Chicago-style pizza or the deep-dish pizza, the Chicago hot dog and the Italian beef. The old-style Polish restaurants in the northwestern region and the sausage shops offering greasy but heavenly food are quite popular among visitors. Firefly, Angelina Ristorante and Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club were among the voters' recommended hotspots.
Gayathri writes about geopolitics and business for International Business Times. She began her career at the Times of India as news coordinator, before moving on to IBTimes...