Go Way Out to Eat: 5 Favorite Dining Destinations

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mil8
Each pin represents a Chuck-E-Cheese lifetime ban for Gary Glitter.
Food & Wine magazine recently featured a series of articles on culinary destinations, or "...the world's best food pilgrimages," as they put it.

While it was indeed interesting, I must say that places like Bangkok, Rome and India are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to food travels.

The series does feature some domestic flavor -- Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the Finger Lakes make cameos -- but I think they missed a spot or two.

When I plan a trip, it starts and ends with what I'm going to eat, when I'm eating it and how far I have to walk afterward while bearing a second-trimester food baby. Here are five spots Food & Wine missed:

5. Tokyo

For me, any travel list starts with Tokyo.

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Jay Iwasaki
Revolving sushi -- colored plates denote price. You add up at the end and pay.
You can go there for the sushi. You can go there for the Tsukiji fish market.

Get the former just about anywhere, and show up to the latter at about 4 a.m., when the top sushi chefs show up to start haggling.

Slip into any vendor's stand and sample the freshest catch. Or enjoy a bowl of ramen with the recently disembarked night fishermen.

There is so much more than just sushi. Japanese culture is fascinating, and the city's nightlife is brilliant with mind-bending neon light. It's a city of more than 12 million people. You can get pretty much whatever you want here, including all kinds of international cuisine and even Big Macs and Whoppers.

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midorisyu
So many damn crazy Japanese drinks.
You can also get drunk from a vending machine.

In Japan, they curb underage drinking with stiff penalties and inventive technology. Vending machines in Japan offer everything from sodas to snacks to lunch, dinner and even cigarettes and beer. Vending machines that sell age-restricted items employ facial-recognition technology.

To buy a pack of smokes or a can of Sapporo, you have to place your face in front of the camera. A program can recognize and determine age from facial bone structure.

I'm sorry, Dave, but I can't let you buy this beer.

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cwwycoff1
You may not want to see your fun house reflection after a deep dish.
4. Chicago

I don't really think a decent argument can be made that Chicago is not one of the best cities to eat to your heart's delight.

Deep dish really will win your heart. It often just means a thicker, more bread-y crust, but in truth, what you get at places like Giordano's and Lou Malnati's is a deep dish pan lined with a relatively thin crust and then filled with stupidly good toppings.

Stephanie Izard, former Top Chef winner, has Girl and the Goat, an outpost for the young and hip, featuring inventive, truly remarkable food. My meal there ranks as one of my top three.

Whatever you do in Chicago, do not put ketchup on your hot dog. When I was there, my girlfriend and I took a walking food tour. Our tour guide had about as much charm as Hayden Christensen in Episodes 4-6, and though we suffered from bleeding-from-the-eyes boredom, we did get to sample some good pie and an authentic Chicago Style Hot Dog.

We were eating in an empty bar, and when I thought no one was looking, I sneaked a squirt of ketchup onto my dog. Just as I dug in, the bartender strolled by. He'd seen the whole thing. I thought I had scored some cred by ordering a 312 Urban Wheat Ale, a local beer that, if you can find it, shouldn't be passed on.

But, no.

"You're not supposed to do that," he said with a voice dripping disdain.


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25 comments
Dubai flights offers
Dubai flights offers

Great list; they are all amazing Dining destinations. Especially the Deep Dish.

spain villa
spain villa

The information is nice and useful. I am glad I visited here and come to know about it. I have gathered a huge knowledge being here. I will look forward to it in future.

Corbieres
Corbieres

Venice, Italy, not LA.

It doesn't have a ton of places to eat, and you have to know the good ones. But when you do, you are rewarded with food like nowhere else. Not to mention it's magical being there.

perugourmettours
perugourmettours

Is this the personal list of the author of places that sprung to mind within five minutes? it has to be and should be labeled as such. How can someone even make a list of 5 favorite food destinations that can be visited with a toddler in tow. The 5 selected may well be on a super subjective list, but if someone has traveled and eaten in hundreds or thousands of places, how reduce those to just five. I could name 5 places just in my side of town in Houston. I could see a list "My favorite 6 places to eat on 6 continents" or "My list of 5 favorite places to eat discoverd in 2012" or something like that. Favorite food destinations is to broad of a term to not be limited with time, geography or alike.

just saying
just saying

Also, Tokyo is fucking out of this world--they do every cuisine on the planet impeccably.  Their ingredients are only the finest.  And yes, I did have chicken McNuggets (they still use dark meat--score!  c'mon--don't kid yourself, if you're going to eat chicken McNuggets, why try and make them "healthier"--just enjoy the processed toxic deliciousness at its most delicious) and Starbucks, along with French food, pizza, sushi, and pretty much everything else.  Oh, btw, unfortunately Japanese cuisine doesn't exist in America--their authentic cuisine there is nothing like anything I have eaten at any "Japanese" restaurant in the US. It could make me cry.

just saying
just saying

Good lord the food in France is amazing.  The most perfect juxtaposition of creativity and simplicity--everything perfectly flavorful and balanced, but never overpowering or cofusing to the taste buds.  Not only that, but the quality of ingredients is phenomenal.  I studied in Toulouse (in the south of France) for a month and a half--and was floored that the fresh produce all had more flavor than I ever thought existed in produce...could barely go back to eating in the US.

I disagree with the closing statement, however.  I was not so much impressed with ses baguettes, but there's nothing in this world like les pâtisseries là.

Um, champagne--I'm pretty sure it runs through my veins.

Megan
Megan

312?  SERIOUSLY?!  Dude, if you're going to order Goose Island, order a Matilda or Sophie.

(I kid, of course.)

As for the encased meat category, go to Hot Doug's the next time you're in Chicago.  He fought and beat the foie gras ban (and was issued one of the only, if not the only, citation for breaking the law).  Also: Duck fat fries on the weekend.  And Maxwell Street for a mean Polish and Italian Beef.  (I could go on and on.  I grew up near Chicago.  I miss Chicago, but not enough to move back to that corruption-riddled bankrupt cesspool that is Illinois.)

Bruce R
Bruce R

Don't underestimate doing a wine crawl in CA; it's a lot of fun and you get to try some boutique wines that you can only get directly from the winery.  Anyway, I prefer Anderson Valley over Napa because it is less popular.

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

Dano's in the Finger Lakes is a great spot. So happy to see it mentioned. My husband loves those guys!

Also, food in France=yes.

jeezuie
jeezuie

uh, yes, it is a personal list.  And Sam is absolutely correct, Tokyo is an endlessly wonderous place to eat the amazingly-prepared food that Japanese dredge from the bottom of the ocean.  And nothing beats eating in Paris, though I took a break and had a Whopper on the Champs d'Elysee.

Sam Brown
Sam Brown

Who said anything about toddlers?  That would be something totally different.  Here are the top 5 places to take your toddler:

1- NASCAR.  Any race at all will do.  Babies LOVE NASCAR.2- The movies.  Not for the baby, for everybody else. 3- Oktoberfest still stands.  Babies love beer and brats, too.4- Any concert.  Babies love concerts.5- Ikea. 

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

From what I understand (from reading the first few paragraphs of the post...), it's a list of food destinations that Sam thought Food & Wine missed in its recent series on "the world's best food pilgrimages." It's just that simple.

Sam Brown
Sam Brown

Truth.  I miss real ramen.  That shit blows my mind.

And I had a Quad Mac when I was there.

Corbieres
Corbieres

 You haven't been keeping up with Rahm's Chicago, if you roll out the corruption cliches, and Illinois slights.

jeezuie
jeezuie

...and Sam reminded me of the Lou Malnati's pizza I had last summer, and a German beer and bratwurst the Oktober before, and my regret at not stopping in the Big Texan on the way to Albuquerque, just for any size steak.  Looks like it's not such a personal list after all.

perugourmettours
perugourmettours

"When I plan a trip, it starts and ends with what I'm going to eat, when I'm eating it and how far I have to walk afterward while bearing a second-trimester food baby"

What is a second trimester food baby?

perugourmettours
perugourmettours

 Katharine

Without any intention of taking away from Sams merits as a writer. While Food and Wine is kind of an authority when it comes to food and wine, Sam is a blogger in Houston Press. A list, as an addition to Food and Wine's article should be labelled properly as a personal list which it is not. The title is hold to generally to raise the impression that it is a subjective, personal list of Sam.  Also being in the Houston Press, maybe a list of "best food pilgrimages in Houston" would make more sense. Randomly picking out destinations in the whole world from a personal experience has what journalistic value? If someone who has traveled the whole world for 30 years and has eaten all over the place (e.g. Anthony Bourdain or the pope) would do a list like that, there would be some authority in a list like that, even if its the pope's or Bourdain's personal taste. If I publish a list of my ten favorite wines who gives a damn besides myself and maybe some good-willing friends. But if Robert Parker publishes his ten best wines, at least those that like him, which is probably a few more millions than those liking me, would go and buy such a bottle. I hope you get the picture of my point

Megan
Megan

I'm calling BS right here, right now.  My parents and in-laws still live in Illinois.  I love Illinois.  I moved from Houston BACK to the Midwest because I love it there so much.  But.  The Chicago city council just approved Rahm's plan to lure private funds for public works projects.  (You don't think there's a chance of cronyism and corruption there?)  The Legislature JUST passed a bill banning a scholarship program that was used to pay cronies, while the program has had major issues for years.  My mother has less money in her TRS account because the program was raided by the Legislature to pay the bills, and my friends that are teachers will have NO retirement if the Legislature doesn't do something.  Yet ANOTHER state representative has been charged with corruption by the Feds, not to mention the two governors before Pat Quinn serving time.  And while Madigan controls the Illinois House, the Machine is still alive and well.  So please don't tell me I'm not keeping up with Rahm's Chicago and slighting Illinois.

Bruce R
Bruce R

A second trimester food baby is one that may have caused minor dilation but hasn't quite started to crown yet. But delivery is imminent.

Sam Brown
Sam Brown

I point you to the usage of the personal pronoun in the opening of this article. 

perugourmettours
perugourmettours

On Journalism ethics  (and bloggers are modern time journalists, even though blogs can be seen as an opinion page in certain cases, but i do not feel that is the case in the article in question)

"While various existing codes have some differences, most share common elements including the principles of — truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability — as these apply to the acquisition of newsworthy information and its subsequent dissemination to the public"

So again, how does a list of 5 places Sam feels, were missed on the Food and Wine article is "newsworthy information" and needs "to be disseminated to the public". And then of course there is the issue of public accountability, which is why I questioned the method, selection and more of the original article.

As a critical reader and a lover of real written news,I will take issue with a journalist writing about his personal favorites in a newspaper that is intended for the general public's information, unless he/she marks it as an opinion piece and/or a clearly marked title.

It is not the first time that the title in a Houston Press article in the food section raises protest of the readers otherwise review the comments of the article of Patrise Shuttlesworth on "Jiro: Dreams of sushi" .

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

Doesn't the fact that the list is on the Houston Press blog sort of imply it's Sam's personal list?

Are we seriously arguing over the word MY?

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