Credit: Richard Phibbs

This month, for the first time in T+L’s 38-year history, we’re devoting an entire issue to food and travel. Based on your response to the magazine’s frequent coverage of restaurants and food trends, we know you share our view that the pleasure of sampling new flavors in unfamiliar and distinctive settings can be reason enough to travel. Like Proust’s madeleine, tastes are powerful cues for memories: in my own case, remembering the rather bland flavor of that coconut-coated ice cream concoction known as the snowball triggers scenes from childhood vacations in Florida; ditto for the savory bouillabaisse at Tétou, in Golfe-Juan, the power switch for a mental video clip of the south of France in my twenties; chili and pepper crab are prompts for Singapore; barreado, or beef stew, São Paulo. Long before the American obsession with celebrity chefs, international cuisine, and vineyards, vintages, and terroir, travelers were at the vanguard of culinary exploration.

On the menu in this issue: “Eat Like a Local in Italy,” which chronicles Anya von Bremzen’s odyssey from Campania to Emilia-Romagna to Piedmont in search of the country’s best restaurants and purveyors; Matt Lee and Ted Lee’s 3,000-mile great American barbecue road trip—and their picks of the top southern pit stops (“America’s Best BBQ Restaurants”); a frenetic romp through the restaurants of Hong Kong by Gary Shteyngart (“Hong Kong’s Best Restaurants”); and the late-night haunts of six leading New York chefs (“World’s Top Late-Night Restaurants”), intelligence gained over dinner in Chinatown by T+L’s resident food expert and guiding light of this issue, features editor Niloufar Motamed. You’ll also find an up-to-the-minute global compendium of our favorite dishes, high and low, from Miami to Mumbai (“Top 30 Can’t-Miss Meals,” by Anya von Bremzen); and in “The Lowdown on Airline Food,” we explore the current state of cuisine pre- and post-takeoff—with a look at celebrity chefs, interesting restaurants (yes!), plus the World’s Best airlines for food and our favorite cabin snacks. Rounding out the mix: Adam Sachs’s quest for the finest new incarnations of classic English pubs and an appreciation of sorts of the less-than-welcoming reception one can receive in certain spots in editor-at-large Peter Jon Lindberg’s amusing essay, “World’s Rudest Restaurants.”

In my own travels, however, I am more often struck by the genuine warmth that is served up with meals, whether at restaurants or on the go. The basic message is, “If you like my food, I like you.” Good food makes you feel better about the world.

Where to Find Me

Twitter: @nnovogro