One of the first questions we get asked when people find out about our trip is, “what are your favorite spots, foods, and countries so far?!” It is a tough question. So many places are so very different and we enjoyed them each in different ways. That being said, I’ll try my best to give you all what you’re looking for ;p
Important Note: None of the food experiences listed here (including alcohol, tax and tip for two) ever broke $70. Most of our meals were between $20-$50. We think almost any city will have amazing food if you are willing to spend a lot. We believe the quality of an area is best represented by the easy-to-acquire foods, not the exquisite ones.
For items Jackie and I did not agree on we separated out our choices. We haven’t been everywhere yet so we reserve the right to change the list at anytime! 🙂
Best Fast-and-Cheap Dish
Gyros in Greece
For 2 Euros you can have a hot, meaty, saucy Gyro in under a minute. This is the best, and most consistently good and inexpensive food we’ve had so far.
Most consistently good food
We’ve enjoyed every meal we have had in France. From the street food of Quiche, Croque Monsieur, Socca, Crepes and Baguettes to the more sophisticated duck and foie, and fish dishes they are are average or better.
Best single dishes
Tuscany (My #2, Jackies #1)
Unfortunately we had some bad food experiences in Italy so it didn’t get a consistent rating like france. That being said, when the meal hit it, they hit big. Jackie’s favorite Gnocchi and Both of our Favorite Pastas were in a town called Multi Poccino.
Paris France (Sean #1)
I was in heaven. I really enjoyed or Tuscan meal, but it didn’t have the variety and complexity you get with french food. My Favorite meal was a Cod Puree, Coq Au Vin, Watermelon and Tomato salad with Feta Cheese, and a Ratatouille Brioche. Including wine, tax, and tip it was all under 50 Euros!
Most likely to return
We heard a lot about how much our friends love istanbul so we had high expectations. Usually that ruins a trip. In this case, moments after we arrived at our hotel and took a stroll down our coble road to the Galata tower we got it. The city is alive with people, color, and texture. There are great clubs, bust towns, ancient history, and cheap holes. It is a lot to take in and a lot to do.
Jackie had her trepidations about visiting France based on a few childhood experiences, but once we got here they were all put to rest. The people have been friendly (ironically, except a few expats working here) the food has been yummy, and the sites have been wonderful. Paris is so massive and full of life that we agreed we will definitely return once again.
Baklava in Istanbul
We ended up going to the same place 3 times in one week. Each time ordering “one portion” consisting of 6 pieces. Yeah – that is a lot of baklava and yet it was never enough. Man, I miss still miss it!
Country with the most diverse landscape and culture
We hit Cappadocia, Istanbul and Ephesus. Each scene was so different to the next. The historic culture between conquests have left their mark on how overlapping the cultures are today. We heard there were great beach towns too that we didn’t get to see.
You don’t hear much about this place but it is a much larger city than you expect. It is filled with monumental architecture, a nightlife, and festivals. It is considered one of the jewels of Europe and at the price points you can find there it is literally and figuratively a hidden gem to most American tourists.
Best Wildlife Experience
I will never in my life forget the feeling of holding a cuddly koala bear or feeding a wallaby and kangaroo. I know it is no big deal to the locals but it was the most heart warning awesomeness on our trip.
Most Likley to Live if not in US
Clean, safe, cultural and food friendly.
Earthy, fun, foody outdoorsy – reminds us of a merging of portland and SF.