There aren’t many things that make us happier than food and travel. So when we get to put our two true loves together, as you can imagine, we are a bunch of happy folk here at House of Coco.
We’ve put together our roundup of the best foodie hotspots to inspire your inner piglet to hop on a flight…
Denver, Colorado – www.colorado.com
From green chile synonymous with Colorado’s ancient Pueblo communities to buffalo in the Old West, Colorado’s culinary scene has been integrated into the culture of the state for centuries. For those looking for a quirkier dining location, Linger an ‘eatery’, is set in a former mortuary, whilst Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox serves American food in a former brothel.
Taste of Denver: For a real taste of Denver, a three hour walking food tour will give visitors an insight into the ever expanding food scene of this vibrant city. Sample Zoo Ma Ma’s infamous noodles which are inspired by her mother’s home cooking and then wander down to the Wynkoop Brewery for a tipple at the oldest brewery in Denver, finished off with a trip to Milk Box, one of the most popular ice-cream creameries in the city.
Greater Palm Springs, California – www.visitgreaterpalmsprings.com
The Greater Palm Springs area is a burgeoning foodie destination plating up for Hollywood A-listers and being home to the largest date growing region in the US. Creative chef-driven restaurants and gourmet stores serving local specialities such as Date Shakes are driving more food lovers to the area. Thanks to the ideal farming conditions in Greater Palm Springs, the popularity of farm-to-table restaurants is increasing, with La Spiga and Workshop Kitchen & Bar offering the freshest dishes, whilst making use of the best local produce.
Desert Tasty tours: Visitors can take a walking food tour through the desert and experience the best food Greater Palm Springs has to offer, whilst also learning unique insights about the history of the area from an expert guide. Choose to explore El Paseo or Palm Canyon Drive over the course of three hours and expect many tasty dishes, from award winning Bill’s Pizza to nationally acclaimed toffee and popcorn shop, Brandini Toffee.
Newport Beach, California – www.visitnewportbeach.com
While Newport Beach is mainly known for its beautiful coastline, there are many tasty restaurants to be found around the area with freshly caught seafood and scenic waterfront dining. As locals in Newport Beach have one of the highest average incomes in the area, the food options tend to match their high standards.
Dock and Dine: Eat like a local and experience a classic Newport Beach dining experience. Choose from over a dozen restaurants and enjoy a dinner cruise whilst docked in the marina, sampling the best food, food truck catering and stunning views on offer. Cannery Seafood of the Pacific is a favourite with the locals and offers visitors a menu packed with freshly caught local seafood to complement their impressive award-winning wine list.
Portland, Oregon – www.travelportland.com
Portland is globally renowned for its gastronomy scene. Home to over 700 street food trucks, food festivals, food specific walking tours, farm to fork concept dining and an ever expanding vegan offering. Portland is the place for foodies to head to this year, as Delta have confirmed a seasonal direct flight from London Heathrow, operating 4th May – 26th October.
Hands-on culinary experiences include:
Tea Tasting Appointment at Smith Teamakers: Coffee or beer might come to mind when you think of Portland’s craft beverage scene, but tea is also on the rise. Founded in 2009, Smith Teamakers blend and pack teas and botanicals in very small batches from the world’s best producing regions. Take a guided tasting in their new tasting room in SE Portland which has unique, artisanal, and highly curated range of products.
Tasting at Teutonic Wines Urban Winery: Local wine geeks have fallen hard for Teutonic’s Swiss-German-style wines since Barnaby and Olga Tuttle debuted their pinot noir in 2008. Since then, Teutonic has sold out vintage after vintage. The Tuttles’ wine is unique, including a few, like silvaner and chasselas, that practically no one else in Oregon makes. The Tuttles aim to introduce their bottles to a wider audience with an urban winery and tasting room in Southeast Portland.
Sacramento, California – www.visitsacramento.com
Sacramento is known as the Farm to Fork capital of the US AKA foodie heaven, with the lower rent prices and ideal climate, the city has seen an influx of Bay Area chefs as it is much easier to set up shop here and with the easy access to all the organic produce they come up with the tastiest menu offerings. 96 percent of the country’s tomatoes come from within 250 miles of Sacramento, as well as 95 percent of California’s sushi rice, exported in mass to huge sushi industries such as Japan.
Get hands on with a local cookery class at Sacramento Natural Food Co-Op: From udon noodles to Indian street food or entertainment with cheese, the Co-Op offers something for everyone with the opportunity to get hands on in the cookery class. They also offer wellness seminars and gardening workshops, helping to make connections about important food, health and environmental issues in support of local family farms.
San Diego, California – www.sandiego.org
Renowned for its unique flavours and a collaboration of chefs from both sides of the border, Mexico’s Baja-Med scene combines California’s emphasis on fresh and local ingredients to create a delicious and unique new menu, fondly known to the locals as ‘Cali-Baja’. Fish tacos and grilled octopus on a tostada are amongst the favourites. This Mexican heritage also influences art, culture, music and architecture.
Taco making at Galaxy Taco: Trey Foshee’s Galaxy Taco is a celebration of the culture and cuisine of Mexico, where you’ll find simple foods done well. A casual Mexican restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating, Galaxy Taco grind their own masa from non-GMO heirloom corn to make their tortillas. The lunch menu is an interpretation of Mexican street food, with an emphasis on seafood and tacos and the dinner menu has additional family style offerings.
San Francisco, California – www.sftravel.com
With the huge production of fruits, vegetables, seafood and livestock surrounding San Francisco in California, chefs are able to create fresh authentic meals that are enjoyed by both locals and tourists. San Francisco is home to an array of restaurants offering a wide selection of foods, including the Mission District, the city’s exuberant hipster neighbourhood with Latino roots where restaurants like La Taqueria serving up one of the best burritos in the area. Home to the largest Chinatown outside of Asia, any trip to San Francisco must include a taste of the Asian cuisine, including dumplings from Yank Sing or noodles from M.Y. China, prepared right in front of your eyes.
San Francisco visitors can test their own culinary skills by taking part of one of the many culinary classes within this diverse city. The Wok Shop, located in San Francisco’s Chinatown, host ‘Wok Wednesday’s’ for visitors to develop their Stir Fry Skills learning from advanced ‘wokers’.
Santa Barbara, California – www.santabarbaraca.com
Foodies in Santa Barbara can take a Famers’ Market Foodie Stroll with Bouchon’s executive chef, Greg Murphy, for a true ‘farm to fork’ wine country cuisine experience. After perusing the fresh produce with the chefs at the Santa Barbara Food Market to select ingredients, diners can see the fresh food transformed into a three-course dinner paired with local wines. A market tour and three course dinner with wine costs $95 per person. For budding photographers, Eat This Shoot That! offer food or wine tours with an interactive photography element. The Funk Zone Food & Photo Tour explores the food of Santa Barbara’s newest neighbourhood, with eight tasting locations, spanning 3.5 hours. Visitors can learn foodie photo tips and tricks using a smartphone, with backdrops of hidden graffiti art and galleries. $99 adults, $89 children.
Setouchi, Japan – setouchitrip.com
With the ever increasing popularity of Asian food around the world and the increase in Japanese restaurants throughout the UK, including the opening of Japan Centre in central London, Japanese food has never been so hot. What better way to taste the Japanese delicacies than to travel to Japan’s Inland Sea, Setouchi, and try its fresh produce for yourself.
Udon Taxi Tour: Foodies rejoice, as Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture, is the Udon capital of Japan. Here visitors can watch the dough being hand-stretched and noodles boiled over a wood fire. Big time Udon lovers can even hail an Udon Taxi that will take them to explore famous Udon spots across the prefecture – easily spotted thanks to the giant replica of a bowl of Udon attached to the car roofs.
Sonoma County, California – www.sonomacounty.com
Visitors to Sonoma can enjoy an array of culinary experiences, including the Sonoma Marin Cheese Trail or the Farm Trail. A year-round cornucopia of fresh produce is available even in the most remote corners of this fertile region, contributing to an abundance of award-winning restaurants and wineries.
For a hands-on experience, visitors to Sonoma can join a cookery class at Ramekins, where they capture the essence of Wine Country living with fresh foods, fabulous wines and good company. Hands on classes are hosted throughout the year, with a huge range of cookery options on offer. Whether it’s learning to cook a favourite seafood dish or perfecting Italian pasta, these cookery classes will complement every taste bud.
The Islands of Tahiti www.tahititourisme.uk/en-gb/
French Polynesia benefits from amazing weather all year round. It’s a virtual Garden of Eden, where exuberance and abundance go hand in hand. Farmers grow a wide variety of fruits, spices and vegetables, combining aromatic qualities with nutritional benefits.
Guests to The Islands of Tahiti can take their hand in the kitchen and learn the traditional culinary arts, including at some of the large hotels where the chefs organise culinary workshops. Every Tuesday and Thursday, guests at Le Meridien Tahiti are introduced to the techniques used by the chef, to understand the blend of exotic Asian and Western flavours using the freshest and finest of locally grown and caught produce.