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Best Food Traveling the World – 2014

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The List

This list is the accumulation of someone who loves food and lists way too much. This is a ridiculous attempt to numerically rank and order the best food traveling the world in 2014 (check out 2015’s list – it’s even better!). I’m not a food writer, so I have no intention to explain just how “savory” or “succulent” each bite was. This is just delicious food people! The pics will do most of the talking. It’s meant to be fun, so let’s have a jolly good time and get right into it.

10) Dumplings (Hong Kong)

I have a problem with dumplings, but I mean… how could you not? 45 minutes after landing in Hong Kong my buddy Kurt (an English Teacher in Hong Kong) took me directly to this restaurant, where I proceeded to devour my first dumplings in China like a madman. In a word, it was glorious. Hong Kong can be a controversial backpacking destination, but it’s one highlight is undeniably it’s affordable, world class food.

9) Seaweed Salad (Denver, CO)

Sushi Den is a staple in the Denver restaurant scene, having thrived for over 25 years. It’s typically in the top five, if not number one, on the “best of” lists every year. All of their food is downright unreal, but in particular, this seaweed salad blew my freaking mind. The grapefruit was an impeccable choice. The dressing was the most important part. Too Good.

8) Bacon Wrapped Mushrooms (Bangkok)

I didn’t eat any bugs or spiders while in Thailand. Do you know why? After eating cheap delicious Thai food, there was no room in my stomach for spiders or crickets. Bangkok is at the epicenter of cheap world class cuisine, such as this incredible concoction. The spicy green-garlic sauce really pulled it together.

7) Octopus (Miami)

I love Miami (Let’s go Heat!), but unfortunately it gets a bad rep. It shouldn’t, especially from a culinary perspective. Miami has some of the worlds best food, highlighted by this here octopi. I really enjoy octopus, but it can be hard to find quality octopus, as it can have a tendency to be tough and chewy. This Greek-Style dish was the most tender, flavorful octopus dish I’ve ever had… add in those red onions and a little lemon, I say Amen!

6) Vegetarian Assortment (Hong Kong)

I’m not going to lie… I have no idea what any of these were exactly. All I know is that they were amazing. This is an assortment of vegetarian snacks and savory pastries ordered from a small stand in Hong Kong, and I swear, each item outdid the one before. Frankly I was blown away. I wish I had a more accurate understanding of what it was I consumed, but screw it, sometimes the magic is in the mystery.

5) Moroccan Meatballs (Lagos, Portugal)

While living and volunteering in Portugal I came across this beauty. It’s a good looking dish, and I swear it tasted even better. These meatballs were oily and fatty but so delicious. The serving was well enough for a good two people, but I ate the entire dish solo, and in a word, it was divine.

4) Rabbit, Sausage, Shrimp Jambalaya (New Orleans, LA)

This is tough, because this dish could easily be number one. It was my first time in New Orleans, Mardi Gras was at sunset, I didn’t want to screw anything up. I thoroughly researched for a hole in the wall, with incredible food, that would have no tourists. I ended up at Coop’s Place, and had one of the most memorable dining experiences of my life. It wasn’t just this exceptional dish, but also the environment of the restaurant, as I felt I was truly experiencing New Orleans from a locals perspective. Oh yea, and the Jambalaya was next level.

3) Grill-out (Koh Chang, Thailand)

As stated a million times before, my time on the island of Koh Chang was absolutely magical, and this experience contributes greatly to the memories. After a few days on the island, my girlfriend and I had befriended a handful of other travelers, and more importantly, the genuine adoration of a bunch of the locals… So much, that they offered to cook for us. That day, they caught fresh shrimp and squid, and purchased other fresh Thai products, and prepared us an absolute feast. All night, we drank cold beer, laughed, took shots of cheap whiskey, exchanged stories, and had some of the most delicious (albeit, spiciest) Thai food of my life. Damnitt, Koh Chang. I miss you.

2) Xiao Long Bao Dumplings (Denver, CO)

Dumplings in Denver, Colorado? That are better than Hong Kong? I understand the sacrilege here, but please let me explain. You see, in Denver, there is a secret, sacred place, that creates arguably,the greatest dumplings ever created by human beings in the history of the universe. I can’t tell you where it is. It’s a secret. I don’t want to send too many people to this gem of an establishment. Just know that the dumplings are superb, and made in the most authentic of manners. See those steamed dumplings? Inside are gelatin squares of wonton soup, that literally melt on your tongue with each bite. I am telling you, this place is the Muhammad Ali of dumplings.

1) Crab Curry (Bangkok)

1) The number one. While it’s difficult ranking 2014’s best food traveling the world, I always knew deep in my heart what number one would be. This was one of the more expensive meals I had in Thailand, but even then, with alcohol, I think it ran me and my girlfriend at the time a little less than$40… and we splurged! Thai Crab Curry, Lemongrass Mussels, Spicy Crab Sausage (pictured below), Spring Rolls and enough Chang Beer to kill a small gorilla. The food was authentic Thai, the quality was unreal, and the atmosphere was legitimate Bangkok and Thailand at it’s best.

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Come on. I had some good looking dishes in 2014. Tell me what you think by commenting below. Link to pictures of your food if you can!

Written by Aaron Radcliffe

City dweller. Dumpling crusher. Aaron is a serial entrepreneur, and the founder of Nomads Nation. Connect with Aaron Radcliffe -