Imagine you’re walking down the street in, say, Reykjavik, Iceland. Tired and hungry after a day of exploring the fjords, you’re jonesing for a taste of truly authentic local food. The problem is you have no idea what that might be.
Well, my wandering foodie friends, you need to know about TasteAtlas. This world map and encyclopedia of local food and drinks from around the globe will not only tell you what cuisine a region is famous for but also the best places to eat it.
Type in Reykjavik, for example, and you’ll find that one of its most renowned foods is the Icelandic hot dog (who knew?). Made from free-range lamb instead of beef, it’s served on a steamed bun with toppings like fried onions, sweet brown mustard and remoulade.
The website will also tell you the best place to get your hands on one of these coveted dogs, which in this case happens to be in a restaurant called Baejarins Beztu Pylsur. Afternoon food dilemma solved.
But TasteAtlas can do a lot more than cure a case of the out-of-town munchies. It also offers a wealth of information on traditional foods and ingredients and even includes recipes and regional events.
Read on if you want to know more about how it can satisfy your palate and feed your brain.
Why Is Taste Atlas Different?
Social media has exploded with food bloggers and professional and not-so-professional food and restaurant reviewers in the past decade. But while many sites focus on Michelin-starred restaurants or tourist favorites in any given city, TasteAtlas focuses on authentic regional dishes and the best places to eat them.
The information is compiled by professional restaurant critics and their own research team. Ever get tired of trying to weed through all those conflicting reviews on TripAdvisor? Then you’ll probably appreciate the more streamlined and thoroughly investigated tips that this site offers.
TasteAtlas also has an educational component and offers history, recipes and additional information on local ingredients and events. Let’s talk more about how to use the site.
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How to Use Taste Atlas
There are a number of different ways to explore regional foods on TasteAtlas. Let’s take a look at how to use the site.
Search by Location
The site’s homepage features a map of the world with food icons of authentic regional dishes. Click on the picture of Domada (or Peanut Stew) in Gambia, for example, and the site will bring up a description of the dish along with the ingredients and the best restaurants where you can eat it.
But you can also type in a specific city to explore native cuisine. For example, type Valencia, Spain into TatseAtlas, and you’ll find a list of local dishes and drinks to try while you’re visiting and recommended restaurants.
Search by Specific Dishes
But perhaps you have a favorite food. Barbecue, for example. And you’ve always dreamed of eating your way through the southern United States. Type in Barbecue and select the Southern United States, and you can start planning your carnivorous road trip restaurant by restaurant (oink, oink).
Have larger ambitions? Say trying every kind of pancake around the world? Just type pancake, and the TateAtlas will give you 123 options, including Drop Scones from Scotland, Roti Prata from Singapore and Dadar Gulung from Indonesia.
Search by Food Category
Then again, maybe you don’t have a specific dish in mind. You’re just in Paris, and you’re feeling like dessert. Type in the food category and city, and you’ll find recommendations like Creme Brulee, Chocolate Mousse and Eclairs, along with the best places to get your sweet tooth on.
The same goes for drinks, appetizers, etc. Even if you don’t know exactly what you want, TasteAtlas can help you figure it out.
But TasteAtlas also offers more than a list of the best local dishes and restaurants. It’s also a chance to educate yourself about food and ingredients.
As mentioned, each dish comes with a brief description and history. But you can also type in a specific ingredient to learn more about it. If you type in tomatoes, for example, you’ll find a list of the various varieties, their unique qualities, the best places to buy them and the dishes that include them.
Who knows, you might just find an interesting fact to whip out at your next foodie cocktail party.
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Along with food and restaurant recommendations and information about ingredients, TasteAtlas includes some other handy features.
Maybe you can’t hit the road just yet, but you’ve got a taste for some authentic paella or tapas recipes. TasteAtlas will provide you with a selection of recipes as well as a brief history of the dish. You can test out traditional recipes from around the globe from the comfort of your own kitchen.
They also provide some handy cooking hacks and other information about the equipment and method to make sure your Paella is the very best it can be.
Another nice extra that you’ll find with many (though not all) dishes on TasteAtlas are drink pairings. In the case of Paella, they recommend a Spanish Rioja or Ribera del Duero and include some additional information about each appellation.
If you’re a true foodie, you love a good foodie event. When you’re exploring specific cities, you’ll also find the dates of various food festivals. Type in Los Angeles, for example, and you’ll find events like the Food & Wine Festival, The Beer festival and even a Tea Festival.
Really love pizza? Then you may want to attend the Napoli Pizza Village event in September. More of a carnivore? You may want to hit Ribfest in Chicago. Whatever you have a taste for, there’s probably an event where you can pig out on your favorite food.
Another nice plus with TasteAtlas is the accompanying articles for each city. They usually tend along the lines of the best dishes and drinks you have to try in any given place, and the lists are definitely helpful for planning your foodie adventures.
Explore Your Region
But again, you don’t need to be far from home to enjoy TasteAtlas. It’s also a great way to learn about regional dishes in your own area. I lived in California for half of my life. But did I know about Pink Pearl Apples, Piccolo Cream Cheese or the San Francisco cocktail called Pisco Punch? Nope.
So if you want to take a little stay-cation in your hometown, TasteAtlas could make it a tastier affair. Travel to Croatia or Italy for a date night and try out some of their food and drink specialties!
Bon Appetit (Wherever You Are)
With over 10,000 local dishes and almost 20,000 restaurants where you can find authentic local dishes, TasteAtlas may be the ultimate tool for globe-trotting foodies.
Sometimes when you are traveling, it is hard to find a good authentic restaurant with traditional dishes that truly focus on the best local food and not just an expensive tourist trap. But, don’t worry; TasteAtlas has got you covered with the world food atlas!
Chalked with regional dishes, recipes, food history and events, it’s a simple way to find out what to eat wherever you’re at. Whether you’re on the other side of the world or just across town, it’s bound to satisfy your appetite and leave you hungry for more.
So bon appetit, provecho and buon appetito, everyone! It’s never been easier to get your international feed bag on!
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