Exploring a new city can be both a tiring and hunger-inducing experience. After hours of sightseeing atop one of our open-top buses, one will likely begin to feel the pangs of hunger. Fortunately, the nine cities Extrapolitan caters to all boast a diverse and delicious array of cuisines. From the authentic pub food of London to the exquisite Michelin-starred food of Paris to the delightful Cantonese-style seafood of Hong Kong, there is a bountiful supply of choices in every city. In this article, we provide a glimpse into some of the best and most popular options.
The City of Love is known for having some of the best cuisine in the world. The French do not take their gastronomy lightly, and this has placed Paris into the top-three most Michelin-starred cities in the world. Paris is replete with both traditionally French cuisine, as well as food from an array of other cultures. The French are particularly known for their rich flavouring and succulent meats. Also, nearly every dinner will be accompanied by the most poignant cheeses and the best baguettes to be found.
For the more daring, Escargot (buttered snail), is a delicious adventure that is famously French. There’s also the steak tartare, a raw strip of steak. A popular lunch is a Croque Monsieur, a grilled sandwich with cheese on the outside and ham on the inside. But, whatever you do, make sure to save room for dessert! The French are famous for their desserts. Originating from France are treats such as macaroons, Crème Brûlée, crepes, and Soufflés.
Although English food may not garner the same renown as that of other European countries (see France), they still have quite a few staple dishes that are well worth trying. The most common being fish and chips. Sure, this famous dish may not be the healthiest, but it’s equally affordable and delicious. After a long day of exploring the city, nothing quite satisfies like a basket of fish and chips and a cold pint to wash it all down. The English are also known for their sausage. When visiting London, the blood sausage is a must—just make sure to avoid thinking about how it’s actually made. The famous British experience of tea time is also well worth one’s time; you’re guaranteed the most delicious scones you’ll ever taste.
However, British food only makes up a small component of London cuisine; the true magic lies within the diversity found throughout the city. One would have quite the challenge finding a cuisine that is not offered. If you’re looking for Indian food, you’re in luck; London is known to have the best Indian food outside of India. The city also has a prolific Chinese community, pumping out an array of delicious delicacies. From Argentinian food to Ethiopian food to Caribbean food to beyond, all can be found within London.
The Cantonese style of Chinese cuisine comes from the Guangdong region, an area on the southern coast of China, which includes Hong Kong. Oftentimes when Westerners speak of Chinese food, they are referring to Cantonese, one of eight food styles originating from China. There’s a reason Cantonese food has become so pervasive—it is absolutely delicious. Due to the coastal location of Guangdong, Cantonese food is known for extraordinarily fresh and delicious seafood. The Cantonese take some of the best sauces—hoisin, oyster, plum, sweet and sour—and mix it with some of the best seafoods and meats to concoct resplendent dishes, bursting with flavor.
Having perfected the craft of steaming, the Cantonese are famous for their steamed buns and pork buns. Also, for the daring, steamed chicken feet are very popular among the locals. Another very popular dish is a rice porridge called Congee. Typically eaten for breakfast with savory mix-ins such as pork strips and egg, Congee is the ultimate way to start the day. For dinner, one can look forward to delicious dishes such as roast pork, ginger garlic oysters, or Cantonese-style lobster. And no Cantonese meal would be complete without a sweet egg tart for dessert.
Due to a certain little rat character in a Disney Movie, Ratatouille has grown immensely in popularity. And since Nice is where this dish originated, there’s no better place to enjoy it. Another dish Nice is famous for is salade nicoise. For those that don’t believe a salad could ever constitute a main dish, the salade nicoise may change your mind. Although the exact ingredients are up for debate, the salad is traditionally large and contains a lot of eggs, beans, olives, and fish. Another Nice staple is Socca, a flat bread made from chickpea flour. Like most breads, Socca can be adorned with a variety of toppings such as vegetables and cheese, or one can go the simple route with a little olive oil. The other staple commonly associated with Nice is Farcish, a hollowed-out vegetable—typically either tomato, eggplant, or zucchini—stuffed with garlicked meat. And, of course, in addition to all these delicious Nice dishes, one can find a bounty of other classic French foods.
Welsh food has had a renaissance recently, with cities such as Cardiff making an effort to reinstate some of the traditional cuisine. The cuisine is known for its simplicity, most dishes consisting of only a few quality ingredients. Some of the most notable staples are the breads, such as Bara Brith, a type of fruit loaf; Crempog, a thick pancake with dried fruit; and Welsh cakes, a spiced pastry typically containing raisins and topped with butter or sugar. The Welsh are also known for their Shepherd’s Pie, which is a hearty pie full of meat and potatoes. And while visiting, one must try the national food of Wales, called Cawl, it is a hearty soup full of lamb, leek, and potatoes.
Although Bath may not contain a long history of food, they do still have wonderful restaurants and two famous types of buns. The Sally Lunn Bun is a very large and very light bun known to be eaten warm with butter. There is plenty of myths surrounding the origin of this bun, but the most popular is that a Huguenot refugee named Sally Bun fled to Bath, where she began baking the eponymous bun. The other popular bun, the Bath Bun, is the opposite of the Sally Lunn. Instead of being large and light, the Bath Bun is small and dense. The Bath Bun is a sweet roll made from milk-based yeast dough, usually topped with sugar, and sometimes containing a sugar-lump in the middle. Aside from these two delicacies, one can find fulfilling meals in various pubs and restaurants spread throughout the town centre.
The oldest city in France and the second biggest, Marseille has a rich history of decadent cuisine. Like many coastal cities, Marseille specializes in seafood. Perhaps their most famous offering being Bouillabaisse, essentially a soup brimming with different sorts of fish and seafood. The irony of this dish is that, while now it is considered relatively expensive luxury, it was first invented as a poor man’s food; all the parts of fish and the seafood that wasn’t sellable at the market was thrown together into a soup. Now, the dish is crafted with an array of prized fish and sea creatures. The other must have seafood in Marseille is mussels, a delicately garlicked and spiced delicacy. Take a stroll along the le Vieux Port to find the best places for both Bouillabaisse and musssels.
Although its the smallest city of the bunch, Windsor still has an impressive array of restaurants. Almost all the restaurants reside in a convenient line straight through the middle of town. In that line, you can find everything from Mexican to Moroccan to Chinese, and of course, there are some great British pubs. A stroll down the main thoroughfare will you bring you past a number of excellent pubs, serving up the heartiest London breakfasts and pints. Also, to satisfy your sweet tooth, make sure to stop in one of the dainty cafes offering delicate pastries.
Picture: Cheese Platter. Andrea Goh. C.C.License