By ISA Staff, Caroline Tosbath and Kendra Ansotigue
In our previous Calling All blog posts we highlighted aspects of Big Cities and Small Cities, now it’s time to go over the ISA programs that have a standout culinary culture.
You can ask anybody about their time abroad and there is a very good chance you will hear all about the food they ate. I remember the warm, caramel-filled churros in Barcelona, the pesto gnocchi in Rome and the flaky chocolate croissants and café au lait in Paris like it was yesterday. This post is for all the foodies out there who want to savor their time abroad!
Caro’s Top Picks:
- Paris, France: The tradition of dining in Paris is special and ranges from ordering take-out at the Chinese restaurant in Montmartre, eating at an open air café on a bustling street or dining at some of the fanciest establishments in the world. You can branch out by trying dishes like frog legs, escargots (yes, snail cooked in a rich buttery sauce), and steak tartare. Paris is perfect for pastry lovers; chocolate éclairs, croissants and macaroons galore. My personal favorite is the famed steak frites.
- Melbourne, Australia: Melbourne is considered the foodie capital of Australia. It hosts a eclectic mix of international cuisine options and has an outstanding café culture. Since Melbourne is made up of extremely distinct neighborhoods, each restaurant and café establishment will have its own unique vibe – this makes opportunities for exploration endless! The city also hosts an International Street Food Festival as well as a food and wine festival in the spring time.
- Amman, Jordan: Well-known dishes like hummus, falafel and baklava and less known foods like the yogurt dip, labneh (great with pita!), dolma (aka grape leaves) and tabouleh (couscous and parsley salad) are aplenty in Amman. Amman’s plethora of street food is perfect for the gastronomist on the go! Try a crispy falafel from Al Quds, a savory shawarma from Reem, or a decadent knafeh from Habiba.
Kendra’s Top Picks:
- Lima, Peru: As the gastronomic capital of the world, this vibrant city is full of tasteful cuisines ready to take your taste buds on a culinary adventure. Scattered throughout the Peruvian streets, vendors are a great way to get a taste for the culture while also staying within your budget. As the creators of the infamous ceviche, Peruvians are also well known for their picarones (a squash and sweet potato doughnut), churros, chifa (Peruvian Chinese cuisine!), and more!
- Seoul, South Korea: A city that is so rich in its incredible edible creations, Seoul has a cuisine that combines culture with flavor and leaves people always wanting more. From the delicious Bibimbap (Rice bowl) to Mandu (Korean Dumplings that come in all flavors) and the ever enticing Galbi (Korean BBQ) to Jjajangmyeon (noodles with black bean sauce), this diverse range of dishes captivates every person who enters this beautiful city. Seoul is the right place to go if you’re looking for a city that offers a unique yet amazing cuisine that can quench your foodie thirst.
- Bilbao, Spain: Located in the beautiful Basque country, Bilbao takes the stance of the gastronomic heart of Spain. Known for its Michelin restaurants, this city has an impeccable cuisine ranging from the different pintxos served on toothpicks, Bacalao (dried and salted cod) as well as other types of seafood, and a variety of gourmet cheeses made from different parts of the Basque country. If you are a student looking to try a little bit of everything with a variety of pinxtos, cheeses, and local beverages, Bilbao is definitely the place for you!