Five Underrated Food Cities That You Should Know About

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is saturated with images of bao buns in Soho, brunch
hotspots in Brooklyn and la dolce vita-worthy plates of pasta in
Rome. For travellers in search of something new, we’ve sought out
five under-the-radar dining destinations so you can explore some of
the world’s lesser-known gastronomic highlights.

Indulging in global cuisines will always leave us wanting to
explore new destinations, and with The Platinum Card from American
an array of travel benefits are now at your fingertips.
Embark on a journey of gastronomic discovery, knowing that you’re
travelling on only the best recommendations.

In partnership with The Platinum Card from American

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Like a glorious deli counter, Armenia’s food scene is full of
variety, with soft leavened breads waiting to be torn apart and
enjoyed with rich dips. This diverse cuisine is heavily influenced
by the country’s history, combining flavours from around the world
– and there’s no better place to sample it than the capital of
Yerevan. National favourites include smoky aubergine casserole,
meat-filled dumplings served with yoghurt known as “manta” and
sticky baklava, while you’ll find meat skewers sizzling on many
street corners. For the best local cafés, head to the area around
the Cascade, a stunning stairway linking the city centre to the
Monument neighbourhood.

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Chiang Mai


While many travellers flock to the sights and sounds of Bangkok
or the sun-soaked Thai islands, Chiang Mai is undoubtedly the place
to sample the country’s celebrated cuisine. From comforting pad
thai and spicy som tum at the stylish stop-off Ginger & Kafe to artisan coffee at Ristr8to, Thailand’s second-largest city certainly
gives the capital a run for its money when it comes to gastronomy.
The fashionable neighbourhood of Nimman is home to an array of
eateries, such as Rustic & Blue and Rod Yiam, known for the
authenticity of their food. When it comes to pop-ups and
street-food vendors, the options are endless. You can bike from one
end of the city to the other in about 20 minutes, with an
incredible variety of food markets waiting to be explored on foot
along the way. The best time to go is at sunset when the vibrant
streets fill up – Chang Pheuak by North Gate is where you’ll find
in-the-know locals stocking up on supplies.


Oregon, US

Portland attracts trailblazing types from all over America,
partly thanks to an innovative dining scene that has seen festivals
such as Feast encouraging the culinary creativity that secures
the city a place on any discerning food-lover’s map. Downtown
Pine Street Market was the city’s first food hall and
features nine of Portland’s best chefs and purveyors under one
open-plan roof – look out for Brass Bar, one of the best
coffee houses on the west coast. Elsewhere, galleries and concept
stores rub shoulders with restaurants that have downsized to food
carts. Spread across a variety of neighbourhoods, you’ll find
everything from Middle Eastern delights at Wolf & Bears to imaginative burritos at La Rochita
and delicious rice dishes at Nong’s Khao Man Gai. Portland is
also said to have more breweries per capita than any other city in
the world – for the ultimate in craft-beer tasting head to Widmer
Brothers Brewing
and Deschutes.



Santiago is a city where rustic villas meet ultra-modern
skyscrapers, a mix that is reflected in the regional cuisine and
encouraged by a culture that places an enormous importance on
eating well. The country’s extensive coastline means that seafood
abounds (often in the form of Peruvian-influenced ceviche), while
local specialities include charquican (beef and pumpkin stew) and
terremoto (pineapple ice cream bathed in fermented wine). Browse
the colourful mercado central for exotic fruits and empanadas
galore or visit Barrio Italia, one of the city’s most vibrant
neighbourhoods and the home of undoubtedly one of the best wine
bars in town, Palacio del Vino.

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Fez is nothing like the hectic squares and souks of Marrakech,
and is slowly emerging as Morocco’s new culinary capital. Once
inside the world’s largest medina, food – from aubergine zelouk to
fragrant orange cake – is everywhere, although finding the right
address in the labyrinthine alleyways can be tricky. Luckily,
candlelit courtyards in cool and calm riads such as Idrissy await, with oasis-like atmospheres in which to
enjoy the very best North African cuisine. In Fez it’s still very
much about tried-and-tested methods, with the locals still
honouring a morning ritual of sliding their rich and complex
tagines and cinnamon-flavoured pigeon pies into communal ovens in
this famously spiritual city.

The Lowdown

Reward Yourself

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