TOKYO: Casual Japanese restaurants typically specialize in one dish, perfecting it over years and years. Try Mentsu-Dan in Shinjuku for fresh udon, made right behind the counter, or Tempura Tsunahachi, where you can sit at the counter and watch your food get fried.
Mediterranean Restaurant in New Orleans, LA, United States
NEW ORLEANS: Try chef Alon Shaya’s Israeli cuisine at Shaya. There’s ikra (paddlefish caviar spread with shallots) and hummus with lamb ragù. Next, indulge in a hot roast beef and gravy po’boy at Parkway Bakery and Tavern. Go to Commander’s Palace, a Garden District classic, for its rich bread pudding soufflé with whiskey sauce. It’s their most popular dessert and is always made to order.
PERU: Experience fried guinea pig and empanadas filled with lomo saltado at Panchita, a restaurant owned by Acurio, one of Peru’s most famous chefs. Get ceviche of sole, salmon, and tuna with lime juice and chili peppers at Pescados Capitales. Also try Schiaffino’s giant Amazonian snails in sofrito and chorizo sauce at Amaz.
MOROCCO: Splurge on chef Omar El Ouahssoussi’s five-course tasting menu at Gastro MK. His European takes on Moroccan cuisine include beetroot-cured gravlax with preserved lemon puree and ravioli of lentils and cauliflower. Make up for the pricey meal at the food stalls in Djemma el Fna with inexpensive egg and potato sandwiches, lamb tagine, and bowls of Morocco’s famous harira soup.
American Restaurant in Richmond, VA, United States
RICHMOND: Indulge in pork “fries”—deep-fried logs of pulled pork—at trendy Heritage and try Chesapeake Bay oysters at Rappahannock, products of a recently restored population (although the populations are still suffering). You can get peanut butter pie or an appetizer of pimento cheese, BBQ pork rinds, and pickles at the Roosevelt, run by local restaurateur Kendra Feather.
SICILY: Family-operated Pasticceria Palazzolo has operated in Palermo since 1920. It’s renowned for Sicilian specialty cassata, a sponge cake with layers of sheep’s milk ricotta, almond paste, and white icing topped with candied fruit. Also try Sicily’s many deep-fried delicacies—a legacy of Arab influence—like arancini, meat-filled rice balls, at I Cuochini in Palermo and crunchy cuttlefish, shrimp, and squid at La Tavernetta da Piero on the island of Ortigia in Syracuse.
ANTALYA: Experience Turkish flavors in European dishes at Vanilla Lounge. The restaurant serves white bean and tahini soup and lamb, mint, and pea risotto in a sophisticated setting. For more traditional fare, seek out grouper kebabs or fried red mullet from the Mediterranean—usually available between July and October—at seaside restaurant İskele. Complete the meal with a round of mezze plates like hummus, red pepper spread, or purslane salad.
BELFAST: Sample products from across Northern Ireland with the “Taste of Ulster” board at Robinson & Cleaver. It includes Irish ham hock hash, duck liver pâté, homemade Guinness wheaten bread, and Madeira wine jelly. Try smoked salmon from nearby the Glenarm Organic Salmon farm at Mourne Seafood Bar and a classic Ulster fry of breakfast meats, egg, tomato, mushrooms, soda bread, and potato bread at Cast & Crew.
HO CHI MINH CITY: Order pork and crab spring rolls and shrimp paste wrapped around sugarcane at Nhà Hàng Ngon while you dine inside a colonial mansion. Try báhn xèo, rice flour crepes filled with pork and shrimp, at Quan 94. Follow the line of motorbikes to Bánh Mì Huynh Hoa for classic Vietnamese baguette sandwiches. The bread is toasted over charcoal and filled with cold cuts, pâté, and pickled vegetables.