13 Under-the-radar Dining Destinations Around the World, According to Travel Experts

If you plan your vacations around your meals, you'll want to book a trip to one of these expert-approved foodie destinations.

Traditional Georgian cuisine - Khachapuri (Adjarian style), pastry with cheese and egg
Khachapuri pastry with cheese and egg. Photo: Alexander Spatari/Getty Images

Discovering new food is one of travel's great pleasures. Whether it involves snagging a coveted multicourse reservation, or simply wandering from one street stall to another searching for the best snacks, many travelers structure their trips based on the meals they'll have.

To help you plan your next great meal, we asked Travel + Leisure's A-List of travel advisors for their suggestions of the best under-the-radar dining spots around the world. So, if you've already checked some foodie cities — Paris, San Sebastián, Cusco, Osaka — off your list, consider these lesser-known destinations.

Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

"Hawke's Bay became one of the most popular dining destinations in New Zealand during our lockdowns. Mary's in Havelock North has an excellent wine list, and comfort dishes like gnocchi, burgers, and grilled prawns. Bostocks, which is one of the largest organic apple producers in the Southern Hemisphere, also has a superb organic kitchen which is open for lunch only, and serves one rotating meal per day." — Alexandra Stewart, Antipodean Luxury Travel

Salad plate with meat at Bostock's Organic Kitchen
Courtesy of Bostock Organic Kitchen. Courtesy of Bostock Organic Kitchen

Tbilisi, Georgia

"People often get hung up on the number of Michelin-starred restaurants a city has, but there are some places it seems the Michelin inspectors haven't been to. Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, is one of them. Georgian cuisine is pretty special, with some unique spice blends and even a special salt from the remote Svaneti mountain region. It has some divine comfort food, like khinkali (soup dumplings), and chachapuri, a bread stuffed with cheese, and sometimes spinach. At its most photogenic version, the chachapuri is shaped like a boat, full of salty cheese and an egg." — Jay Ternavan, JayWay Travel

José Ignacio, Uruguay

"José Ignacio in Uruguay has one of my favorite under-the-radar food scenes in South America. One of the region's most acclaimed chefs, Francis Mallmann, has a small yet elegant restaurant called Garzon in the area, which uses fresh, local products from the countryside and the nearby sea. Marismo also seats its guests on the beach but offers a more quaint candlelit setting to enjoy its famous slow-braised lamb as a bonfire crackles nearby." — Emmanuel Burgio, Blue Parallel

Hand pouring sauce on dish at Audrey in Nashville
Adding sauce to a dish at Audrey in Nashville. Emily Dorio

Nashville, Tennessee

"There is an incredibly rich and complicated history behind southern food. I think Nashville has some exciting new restaurants like the Appalachian-inspired Audrey from Chef Sean Brock, who started Husk in Charleston. It's a prix fixe experience and the bar also offers five cocktails daily. The Mockingbird features a great global menu, and The Catbird's Seat also has incredible chef's table experience." — Christie Holmes, Global Community Travel

Fish on the grill by the mediterranean beach, idyllic vacation food preparing, Istria region of Croatia
Fish on the grill in Istria, Croatia. Getty Images


"From the Italian-inspired foods — including truffles — of Istria, to the oyster farms of Mali Ston Bay, and the wineries of Peljesac Peninsula (often called Croatia's "Napa Valley"), this country's culinary scene is vibrant, original, and delicious. I also always recommend Bokeria in Split. — Gary Portuesi, Authentic Explorations


"I would like to give a shout out to Wales. It is an under-appreciated region with incredible traditions. The Walnut Tree is a Michelin-starred gem deep in the countryside, two miles east of Abergavenny. The set menu changes but you can count on local game and fish. The Potted Pig, which is set in a former bank vault underneath the city of Cardiff, is a delightful place to have dinner and try one of their 30 gins." — Jennifer Schawrtz, Authentic Explorations

High street with restaurants and tourist tour companies in the city San Ignacio.
Searching for the best restaurant in San Ignacio, Belize. Arterra/Marica van der Meer/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

San Ignacio, Belize

"Belize is one of my favorite culinary destinations due to the availability of fresh seafood and freshly grown herbs, vegetables, and tropical fruits. You can find a blend of cultural dishes and Guava Limb Cafe, a restaurant, cafe and lounge located in San Ignacio. From a street view, you wouldn't even realize that this hidden gem exists other than the street signage. They also have an amazing array of cakes and deserts to enjoy." — Maurice Smith, Eugene Toriko

Nairobi, Kenya

"Nairobi has a burgeoning food scene, with fantastic bistros and restaurants popping up in some of the hottest areas in town. Some have been around for a few years now, like Talisman, which is one of my favorite restaurants anywhere. You also have small places like the Tin Roof Cafe or even the Cafe at Matbronze, which are small establishments but perfect for a quick bite while touring, and shopping!" — Daniel Saperstein, Hippo Creek Safaris

Customers dine at the outside area of a restaurant in the Naschmarkt in Vienna, Austria, on Thursday, May 20, 2021.
The Naschmarkt in Vienna, Austria,. Akos Stiller/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Vienna, Austria

"People always overlook Vienna for its more glittering neighbors of Rome, London, and Paris. However, Vienna continues to innovate with an incredible array of dining, from 3-star Michelin places to tiny little wine taverns. I just ate at the new Chez Bernard at Hotel Motto and loved that this pretty rooftop restaurant was full of locals. And I'm never disappointed by Zum Schwarzen Kameel. For a snack, you just can't beat Trzesniewski's open-faced sandwiches, found all over the city." — Gwen Kozlowski, Exeter International

Interior dining room at Indian Accent at the Lodhi Hotel in New Delhi
Indian Accent at the Lodhi Hotel in Delhi. Courtesy of LHW

Delhi, India

"One destination I feel can be overlooked for great dining experiences is Delhi. The city has a multitude of classic, sought-after restaurants, from Indian Accent at the Lodhi Hotel to the newly reinstated Sunday brunch at the Imperial Hotel. If you wish to step away from glitzy restaurants and high-end dining, you can also indulge in Delhi's amazing street food scene, joining the incredible guides from Delhi Food Walks, or if you prefer the more "established setting," try Bukhara restaurant." — Niall Causer, Audley Travel

Iraklia, Greece

"The small island of Iraklia, in the family of smaller islands of the Cyclades, hosts a small gem of a restaurant named Arakleia, from one of the best chefs in all of Greece, Yiannis Gavalas. Locally sourced ingredients and a true authenticity of Greek cooking make this a must visit." — Petros G. Zissimos, Hellenic Holidays

A vendor shows snack food at a street food stall in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Feb. 20, 2021.
A vendor shows snack food at a street food stall in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Xinhua/Phearum via Getty Images

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

"Phnom Penh has an amazing up-and-coming culinary scene. What many people do not know is there a large number of Asian expats in the city, so you can see influences from Japan, China, and Vietnam in many restaurants. We also have the latest dining experience in the city on board our luxury boat, Samsara. Guests can enjoy sunset cocktails whilst cruising down the Mekong and then a five-course dinner." — Andy Booth, About Asia Travel

Buenos Aires, Argentina

"Aramburu in Buenos Aires, consistently ranked as one of the top Latin American restaurants, is a favorite I return to time and time again. The 18-course tasting menu is a work of art. You might try quail with amaranth, pak choi, and cucumber, or a quinoa, ricotta, and lime cannoli." — Eric Goldring, Goldring Travel

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