Adam Richman Dishes on His Favorite Cities and Most Surprising Meal

We chatted with the "Man V. Food" and "Secret Eats" TV host about everything from jet lag to overeating.

Adam Richman
Photo: Getty

No one knows their way around a culinary vacation quite like television personality Adam Richman.

On the Travel Channel's "Man V. Food," Richman visited locations around the country in search of the most outrageous dishes.

Then on "Secret Eats," Richman took viewers to little-known spots across the globe, introducing them to local favorites that aren't usually on a traveler's itinerary. Richman kept it local on the first season, exploring the indistinct restaurants across the United States. For the second season, he took his show international with spots in Moscow, Bangkok, and Mexico City, to name a few.

Most recently, he's been indulging in childhood favorites on the History Channel's "Adam Eats the '80s."

As an avid traveler, both for work and fun, Richman has plenty of suggestions for those looking to hit the road. He filled us in on his favorite cities, his cure for jet lag, and how he manages to keep his energy while eating his way through a city.

What’s your favorite city to travel to and why?

I have my favorite cities to travel to in the states and abroad. Generally speaking, I love traveling to the Big Island of Hawaii. It's a place that I often get wistful about.

As for international, I deeply love London and Barcelona, but for a more 'fish out of water' experience there's no place that'll make your head spin like Tokyo.

The foodie side of me loves San Sebastián. There are more Michelin star restaurants per capita than anywhere else in the world. San Sebastián literally has everything you want from a European vacation: beaches, a beautiful old city, and great restaurants.

What’s your go-to cure for jet lag?

Keep hydrated on flights — never drink alcohol because it does you no favors.

What recommendations do you have for travelers who overeat on a trip but don’t want it to slow them down?

It sounds glib coming from a guy who used to have a show like "Man v. Food," but I'd rather eat a little bit of a great thing, than a lot of something okay. Traveling with someone is great because you can split something to eat. You can still try a lot of different things without filling your face. I'd also say, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk. You can develop a whole new appetite just by being on your feet.

What was the most surprising dish you’ve ever had?

There's this place in Malaysia called Satay Zainah Ismail. It's barely a lean-to of corrugated metal, the whole place is held together with spit and a promise. This woman makes super simple adjustments that make it one of the most balanced bites around. The caramelized chicken is sweet but with the savory peanut sauce, it's one of the most balanced bites I've ever had.

What has been one stand-out moment for you in all of your travels?

Seeing the aurora borealis for the first time was really cool for me. I was in Alaska and seeing it illuminate the sky behind a mountain was really amazing. I called my mom at home, choked up because it was something that we wanted to experience together.

What’s one thing you want viewers to take away from your shows?

There's more to every city than meets the eye and you shouldn't be afraid to explore and go outside your comfort zone. While travel can be expensive and complicated at points, it's important to never lose your sense of adventure. You should forever find your inner Dr. Livingstone or Darwin. It's an indulgence whether you're going to Pittsburgh or Beijing, it should always be a joyful event.

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