Foodies know that makes a destination truly fabulous is, well, fabulous food. And some of the best gastronomic experiences can be found right here in North America where trendy restaurants, headed up by it chefs specializing in exciting new twists on modern and traditional dining have transformed the culinary scene. From New York City to northern Canada and the balmy shores of the Caribbean, here are the latest foodie hotspots.
New York, New York
New York simply wouldn’t be New York if it wasn’t for its eclectic, world-famous, thriving, and ever-changing food and restaurant scene. A global culinary epicenter, it’s NYC’s cultural diversity and international influences that give the city its flavor. The list of New York’s best restaurants is too long to mention, but if you’re craving exotic cuisines, this can all be found on your doorstep. Curious about Ethiopian food? Try Massawa in Harlem. For the best Thai in the city try Ayada Thai in Elmhurst. Head to Chinatown for luxe modern Asian at Mission Chinese or Chinese Tuxedo. Then of course there’s your quintessential New York food staples (made famous on Instagram), like the rainbow bagel and crazy milkshake. Tribe tip: A personal favorite is the decadent Beauty and Essex in the LES. The entrance is a divey pawnshop and behind is a chic champagne bar and neuvo American style cuisine. If you’re there for brunch try their family-style red velvet waffles or the french onion soup dumplings.
There’s more to the largest city in the United States than BBQ, Cowboy hats, and Beyonce. Houston is now a burgeoning culinary hotspot that has seen famed chefs Anthony Bourdain, David Chang, and Andrew Zimmer eat their way through the city. On our foodie hit list is Theodore Rex where you can indulge in a chef’s table experience created by a James Beard award-winning chef. Of course, no culinary trip to Houston is complete with indulging in a famed Texas BBQ which has undergone something of a modern resurgence recently, so head to BB’s Tex Orleans for some of the best cajun crawfish in Texas. And let’s not forget Tex-Mex, Houston’s culinary signature. There is much debate about where to go for the best but this list should help narrow it down.
Edmonton might be overshadowed by its bigger, bolder neighbor, Calgary, but the good news is the city known for its natural beauty and now has an exploding culinary scene. Thanks to an influx of creative, visionary, up and coming chefs, the ignited restaurant scene has a heightened focus on farm-to-table cuisine and specialty foraging. Be sure to visit a local farm for a unique dining experience – local chefs and farms have teamed up to curate incredible dinner parties. We were lucky enough to be on the guest list at the Prairie Garden Farm with RGE RD where we were able to try their famed “road trip”. The road trip is a culinary experience curated for those with adventurous palates using locally sourced ever-changing seasonal ingredients.
Tribe tip: Edmonton is also known for its local spirits, so add a visit to Strathcona Spirits Distillery to the itinerary.
Quebec City, Quebec
When you think Quebec City food, poutine – the Canadian favorite of fresh-cut fries covered in cheese curds and rich brown gravy that originated here – immediately springs to mind. And while you will find creative expressions of poutine on practically every menu it’s actually the French-Canadian fusion that gives the predominantly French-speaking city it’s culinary edge. Home to some of the best crepes, handmade chocolates, and pastries outside of Paris. Our pick of one of the top restaurants is Chez Muffy which has a French-Canadian farmhouse-inspired menu.
Tribe tip: Quebec happens to be the world’s largest producer of maple syrup production. The best way to try this sweet treat is as a maple taffy, in winter street food vendors roll fresh maple syrup through the snow onto a small wooden popsicle.
The beautiful colonial city of Oaxaca gets our vote as being the best culinary destination in Mexico. Don’t just take our word for it, our friends at Culture Trip and National Geographic also list Oaxaca as one of the top culinary capitals of the world. We suspect the residents of Mexico City would dispute this friendly rivalry but we go to Oaxaca to eat as much as explore the culture, history and swim in its pristine waters. Known for its delicious quesillo (a mild local cheese that is fantastic on telayudas) and mole. Mole is a thick sauce made with 30 different ingredients infused with chili peppers and unsweetened dark chocolate used to marinate meat and vegetable dishes. The iconic dish takes a full day to prepare and is the marvel of Mexican cuisine. Not all mole’s are made the same so make a reservation at Los Pacos Oaxaca to enjoy elevated mole tasting.