Forget Yorkshire pudding, Shepherd’s pie, and hold your bangers and mash. London has redeemed itself from its doldrum days of dull food and has transformed into a mecca of epicurean variety. Down a flat white and snag a baked good at Fleet River Bakery before heading to A.Gold for a scrumptious roast chicken sandwich with the works. A weekend pilgrimage to Borough Market is a must, as is a trip to Tayyabs for a taste of traditional Pakistani cuisine. For a weekend splurge, make reservations at the Kensington Wine Rooms (or really go for it at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal) for mouth-watering meals that almost eclipse their carefully crafted wine lists.
Spending time in Shanghai? Make sure to hit up Ling Long Fang for the most raved about xiao long bao, better known as soup dumplings. Brunches, lazy afternoon teas, and gorgeous views should be taken in at M on the Bund, run by Australian expat Michelle Garnaut. Don’t miss Boxing Cat Brewery, where you can feast on three floors of American pub grub, imbibe local microbrews, and get busy with bar games. Impress your friends when at Goga, and order the off-the-menu burger. Immerse yourself in traditional Shanghainese fare at the glitzy Ye Shanghai.
Infamous for its nightlife, Berlin is a city that's cuisine is all too often overlooked. But we promise this up-all-night city’s fare will satisfy more than just your hangover. Brunch enthusiasts swear by Datscha (pictured), where 9,50 Euros buys you unlimited servings from their well-stocked breakfast buffet. Head to Maroush for phenomenal falafel, and make sure to save room at dinner for beef tartare and homemade risotto at Fellas. Don’t leave Berlin without sampling currywurst, a classic German street food. While any old stand off the S-Bahn will do, we’d suggest visiting Konnopke’s Imbiss, the rumored originator of the notorious snack.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Say buenos dias to Buenos Aires. First stop? Indulge at The Pick Market, an upscale supermarcado stocked with only the freshest foods and, while inside, stop by the market’s indoor café, The Peak, to watch the shoppers below. Find prix fixe deals on lunch at Miranda, a no-brainer. And for a taste of home, The Office offers tasty burgers — we hear la classica is the way to go. Ask for the Chinese menu at hole-in-the-wall joint, Bai Fu Restaurante, for the best roast duck in town. But to really dine and imbibe like a local, head to Milion, housed in an old mansion, where tapas on the courtyard leads into movie screenings, live music, and art exhibits. Make sure to sip on mate (traditional mate cups pictured) while you're there, too.
Sydney is one of the more perfect cities for epicurean up-and-comers. Japanese devotees will salivate at Kisaragi Ramen, while Chinese fanatics will squeal over the toffee sweet potatoes at Yee King Noodles. Go retro at Dean’s Diner, pioneers of the Australian hamburger craze. Spend your Sundays at Frenchs Forest organic farmers' market where you'll find the freshest local produce. At Baker Street, what appears to be a run-of-the-mill coffee shop on the outside is in fact, a delicious bakery and purveyor of Argentinean cuisine. Munch on an empanada (or two!) before making your way to The Bathers' Pavilion, a waterfront gem with local, seasonal seafood on offer.
Cape Town, South Africa
Spend a semester exploring the eateries of Cape Town, and you'll never want to head home. Take a Saturday morning stroll through gourmet food market, Old Biscuit Mill. The end of a long day studying in the shadow of Table Mountain should be met with cocktails at the eclectic, waterfront bar, Cape to Cuba (pictured). Find lunch at the sleek, chic Manna Epicure, with house-baked bread in an all-white setting. Book a swanky table at 95 Keerom, a Cape Town institution, to start a night out on the town. Join the tourists for a day and hang out with the penguins on Boulders Beach.
Enjoy a true taste of Istanbul at Mehmet Demir, a breakfast cart where the bal kaymak sandwich is a must. Pay a visit to Ada Café and Bistro to sip authentic Turkish coffee and peruse the shelves for a good read. Urfali Haci Usta boasts that "kebab is their job" — we suggest you take their word for it. Spice things up at the recently reopened Indian vegetarian restaurant, Govinda’s Vejeteryan Evi, where the lunch menu changes daily. Sip on Turkish reds and whites at triple-threat Rouge, a wine bar, restaurant, and wine shop all-in-one. Order a plate of meats and cheeses, and get to tasting.
While Florence might be the most tourist-friendly of the Italian cities, instead of following the crowds, opt for off-the-beaten-path eats preferred by locals. Start with breakfast at Dolcissima, where warm, freshly baked pastries await your arrival. Savor each crostoni (topped with a selection of cheeses and meats) at Fuori Porta. Sostanza il Troia is a true (and truly delicious) peek into Florentine life. Before packing your bags to fly home, don’t forget to dine on bistecca alla Fiorentina at La Giostra. Day trips throughout Tuscany are a must on weekends, but über-chic week night drinks in town can be found in the lounge at J.K. Place.
Tel Aviv, Israel
For those making a semester-long residence in Tel Aviv, we envy you. This city is chock full of culture, nightlife, and you guessed it — delicious eats. Head to Sonya and sip a sachlav in their outdoor garden. Israeli bistro HaKovshim bases its menu on the freshest ingredients available from the nearby Carmel Market. The Container, located in an old hangar in the Jaffa Port, promises delectable dishes from calamari salad to braised oxtail. Pick from menu offerings at La Champa Del Mar, proof that authentic Spanish tapas in the heart of Tel Aviv does exist. When night falls, navigate through a tiny sandwich shop to the hidden backroom bar, Deli, for a cocktail or two.
We promise you’ll eat more than just paella during your semester in the capital of Spain. But just in case you’re looking for the real deal, La Barraca is the undisputed champion of the dish in Madrid. (Or take a day trip to Restaurante Levante, just outside of Valencia.) Even those living on a student’s budget will feel like kings at La Blanca Paloma, where tapas come free when you order a drink — alcoholic or otherwise! After a morning of exploring the city, navigate your way back to Café Oliver for lunch. Spend an afternoon in Retiro Park picnicking with friends, and follow it up with bites and drinks at Hotel Urban's Glass Bar or Europa Decó restaurant.