The best – and tastiest – way to fast-track your understanding of a city’s cuisine is to embark on a guided walking tour that includes sampling the local food. Tuck into the best offerings from street food stalls, meet chefs at cafes and restaurants, and local producers at markets. Best of all, undertake a tour when you first arrive in a city and you’ll have a mouthwatering hit list of places to return to.
Street food in Hanoi, Vietnam
Tours kick off at the bustling Chau Long market in Hanoi’s labyrinthine Old Quarter, before a multi-course, multi-location feast of local street food includingpho bo (beef noodle soup), robust bánh xèo (egg crepes), and gossamer-light banh cuon, (steamed rice crepes filled with minced pork, shallots and mushrooms). Tours usually conclude at the ramshackle Café Duy Tri (43a P Yen Phu) for sua chua ca phe (coffee with yogurt).
Craft beer in Gastown, Vancouver
Bring along a healthy thirst for this beer-fuelled walking tour through Vancouver’s historic Gastown district. The hoppy amble stops at three different craft beer venues, and several different brews are sampled at each location. Get ready for a few vibrant northwest ‘hop bombs’, and also innovative brews flavoured with quirky ingredients like liquorice. Snacks at each venue are food matched with different beers.
Exploring markets in two continents, Istanbul
Spend a morning negotiating food markets in both Europe and Asia. The Spice Bazaar on Istanbul’s European shore is a heady mix of aromas, while a short ferry ride away, the Kadiköy market on the city’s Asian side is a thoroughly local hub with seafood, cheeses, and Turkish pastries and sweets. Go easy on the oft-proffered free nibbles, as tours continue for lunch at the renowned Çiya Sofrasi(www.ciya.com.tr) for cuisine from the far eastern reaches of Anatolia.
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