Food is one of the best parts of life.

Eating a meal is universal. It is one thing that binds all humans. Food can be so many different things — comforting, fueling, socializing — and there is an endless variety to try. Food allows people to share and express their individual story, which is why it is one of my favorite things to do while I travel. I love food from around the world, but a few of my favorite cuisines are Japanese, Mexican and Indian. 

I often structure my travels around culinary destinations, looking for places that are specifically appealing to foodies. Trying new restaurants is one of my favorite hobbies, and I am lucky enough to have eaten at some pretty incredible places over the years. Whether it is a famous foodie city like Chicago or Buenos Aires, or somewhere more off-the-beaten path like Emilia Romagna, Italy or Yangon, Myanmar, there is delicious food to be discovered in almost every corner of the world. Street food walking tours or taking a cooking class are food-inspired ways to get to know a new place and culture! 

I am also an avid home cook, hosting dinner parties and family meals for up to 24 people! Since January 2020, my husband and I have been practicing veganism at home. We’ve learned so much about cooking a plant-based diet in our house, and I frequently share vegan cooking tips and recipes on my Instagram stories. All of this is to say that food is one of my favorite things in the world, and even when I’m not traveling, I make sure I am eating delicious things!

Favorite Foodie City

I believe that Chicago has the best food in all the United States. While people from New York, California, New Orleans might disagree with me, I stand by it. Chicago is a foodie city with a plethora of delicious restaurants ranging from an Italian beef walk-up window to the three Michelin-starred Alinea. Only the best restaurants can survive in a city like Chicago where the caliber is incredibly high. This raises the standards and expectations for everyone, creating a culinary culture that all Chicagoans share. 

I knew a lot about local food and produce from my time in Madison, Wisconsin but Chicago is the city where I truly learned to be a foodie. At first, I was totally overwhelmed by the sheer number of good restaurants in Chicago, but over time I got a lot better at picking and finding truly exceptional places where you could eat the best dessert or best brunch you’ve ever had. Some of my favorite meals of all time were in Chicago! Sam and I spent more money than I care to admit eating at new restaurants in Chicago, because it truly became our hobby.

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Coffee + Cocktails:
All You Need

Food may be one of my favorite things in the world, but drinks are definitely high up on the list too. For me, every day starts with coffee (or three). My preferred method of coffee consumption is a black double espresso, but I also enjoy a homemade cold brew or foamy macchiato too. Plus, I can never turn down a beautiful cafe. All the stylish coffee shops in San Diego, Kansas City, and Berlin had me well-caffeinated while I admired the Instagrammable interiors and their equally photogenic drinks.

While cocktails are typically the supporting act to a delicious dinner, often just as much care goes into making them as the meal. A good mixologist can craft unique flavor combinations you’d never think to put together and cater to your personal tastes. Relaxing at a bar is a perfect way to wind down after an activity-packed day, like I did in New Orleans, a city famous for its spirits.

A favorite local drink can also tell you a lot about the culture, as Cologne’s pride in Kölsch taught me that Germans are proud of their local beers. Regardless of preference, coffee and cocktails are the all-important fuel to kick off a great morning or cap off an eventful evening.

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German Food:
Way More Than Schnitzel

If I am being honest, when we first moved to Germany I was skeptical that I would love the food. I like to try a lot of different cuisines and have access to new flavors, so I wasn’t sure there would be enough variety in the ingredients available or styles of preparation in Germany. Plus coming from a city like Chicago, I knew that my expectations for restaurants and culinary were inflated and I thought that Germany might be a let down.

Wow I was wrong about the food! During my time living here, I realized that much of the German cuisine I am familiar with is from Bavaria, but there are many other dishes and regional specialities that I have learned about.

One of the best cities in Germany for restaurants and cuisine is in Berlin. Sam and I spent a week eating our way across the city, trying tons of different places and cuisines. Plus Berlin has an incredible coffee and cafe culture! But I don’t have to travel that far from Cologne to find amazing food. Like our neighboring city Dusseldorf which has an awesome Asian food scene, especially Japanese.

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