market food

Best of Tripfilms Twelve Travel Questions: Best Food/Worst Food

Over the last two years, we’ve interviewed 50 of our talented filmmakers and filmmaker teams. Here is a collection of some of the best travel tips, crazy travel stories, and filmmaking philosophies from these expert travelers.

We asked 50 filmmakers: What place has the best food? The worst food? 

Best food? Austin. Hands down. Which – okay – may sound like a cop-out since we live there, but that doesn’t make it untrue. From barbecue to Mexican to Asian and everything in between. From a killer $100 steak at a fine chophouse to a killer $1.50 taco at a run-down trailer on the side of the road. Our town is home to phenomenal food without being stuck-up about it. As far as the worst food? Never seen such a place, honestly. If you’re traveling and you can’t find something good to eat you’re: a) not trying hard enough or b) your standards are too high. Our standards are actually really, really low, so…. – Two for the Road

I rate the best food that I have had not purely on the cuisine itself but the experience of the meal and the journey to get there. One of the best meals I ever had was a bowl of pasta and cup of coffee after coming down from the top of Torres del Paine. I had pushed myself through a 25km day of hiking in order to make it to the top, while at the top the winds picked up and a snowstorm blew in. On the way down the park rangers had closed off access up the hill. Halfway down the mountain there is a Refugios that has a few beds and cooks some warm food. That meal after a long day tasted so amazing and was such a surreal moment, sitting there looking at the sun setting on the peaks of Torres del Paine. The worst food I have ever had was definitely in Cuba, their food is often very bland and the meat is often very lean and not flavorful. Now that is not to say that they can’t cook. Cuba is just a very poor country that lacks a lot of resources. – James Alexander Adams

Vân: Vietnam has my favorite food. Everything was fresh and delicious—from seafood to street food to exotic fruits everywhere. I loved the beer in the Czech Republic but got really tired of eating meat and potatoes everyday. Fresh fruit and vegetables seemed almost non-existent. Morgan: No food comes close to Taiwanese food for me. Hands down the best. The Filipino island of Palawan was tough as I’m a vegetarian and they ate mostly seafood. I ate a lot of eggs and rice on that month long bicycle trip. – Nomadic Frames

I love the street food throughout Latin America, but I have to admit the fish tacos I just had in Maui could quite possibly be eaten by me every day for the rest of my life. The food in any airport is pretty universally bad, no matter where you are in the world. – The Expeditioner

The street markets of Pai in North Thailand have some great stall food. We love to walk to each vendor and try to buy a small sample of everything that takes our fancy. The worst food would have to be China, we went to all kinds of different restaurants, cheap, local, expensive or otherwise and everything was really bad. That was eight years ago though, maybe things have changed since then :-)   – Eight Miles from Home

Cunard Queens Grill Restaurants. Unbelievable food from all different regions—and you can pretty much choose what you want to have every night. Worst was the street market in Bangkok. I used to go there a few times a year for work and my colleagues loved it and I despised it as had no idea what it was, it smelt too strong and tasted yuk… – Gary Bembridge

Best: Taiwan!  Also eastern Europe! Worst: eek, don’t really have a “worst” but compared to other countries and considering the amounts of trash food sold everywhere, I gotta say the US. – Etherium Sky Films

Best food = Xiangtan, Hunan, China. We always find some food we like! – Rural Movement

We would both say Thailand. It is very easy being Vegan in Thailand with the Buddhist culture. We never have any problems finding delicious food. There are so many amazing options. Thai food, Mexican, Italian, Lebanese, and so much fresh fruit! We are very spoiled in Thailand. Hands down the worst food was Laos. We thought it would be great with the French influence, but they use a lot of meat in everything. So for us it was a lot of french baguette and fried rice. After one month of that every day we were very excited to get back to Thailand. – Mindful Wanderlust

Best Food: Philippines. Worst Food: Philippines. Try Sisig or Dinuguan before you find out what they are. Trust me, the best. – Mike Corey

While it’s not a very original answer, Thailand has both my heart and my stomach. I just can’t get enough Massaman curry! The Philippines will always be the country I almost starved in—someone once described the national cuisine as “burnt meat fat” and I believe they were more or less on target. – Alex in Wanderland

It might seem really patriotic, but I think Spanish food is the best food in the world. Lots of non-Spanish visitors agree! And I’d say the worst was in Norway, because when I went there I was a student with very little money, so I was living on instant noodles. – Rubén Alonso

Best food – Greece, Italy, India. Worst – None – Kristen Sarah

Italy and Greece have the absolute most delicious food! The worst food is definitely Disney World. – David Hoffmann

Best food… besides my Grandma’s house? Italy and Vietnam, big time, by far, hands down. Worst food….I guess I would have to say Argentina. Great steaks but that is about it—no veggies, crappy bread and yeah—just meat. – Joshua Johnson

Best food is anywhere in Latin America, I’m a simple eater. A plate of beans and rice makes me a happy man. I once ate bugs to survive in Venezuela…that wasn’t so tasty. – Ryan Van Duzer

My favourite foodie location would have to be Malaysia. The fusion of Indian, Chinese and Malay cultures is a match made in heaven. Don’t think I have a worst really—if you search long and hard enough, you will find something delicious. As Chef Gusteau always says “Food will come, Remy. Food always comes to those who love to cook.” – Travizeo

I’m a little biased, but I have to say, hands down, the best food is found in Italy. The worst food I’ve had has been in the United States. Americans have a much higher tolerance for poor food and low quality ingredients than most of the world that I’ve visited. – John Piazza IV

The best, Spain. The worst, London (if it’s not an ethnic restaurant). – Eduardo Gato

I don’t have a specific country or state in mind but for good food, I always like to try someplace local and family owned! Worst food? Cruise ship food! Everything starts to taste the same after a few days! – Gloria Powell

It’s not very exotic, but I had the best meal of my life at a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Florida. The worst place to get food is when you’re on the road and in a hurry, or trying to save every penny. Gas station food and I have a long history, and a love/hate relationship when traveling. – Patrick J. McDaniel

This is the same as asking me which place is my favourite to visit. Impossible to answer. However I do really LOVE this kangaroo pizza at the Australian Hotel in Sydney, Australia… The worst food? I recently tried Durian for the first time in Malaysia… blech! However other food I ate there was awesome. – Cailin O’Neil

It was great to eat rice with chicken with my hands at Dakar (Senegal) seated on the floor with a local family. The worst food was the Serbian coffee. Serbian people have great food but I really don’t recommend to taste their traditional coffee. – Josep Gutierrez

Mexico + Vietnam! Worst…meet locals and you’ll always find a good meal. – Justin Weiler

I’ve had the best food in India. I love the way a change in zip code brings about a new flavor. Worst food has to be airplane food! My recent flight to India saw me going 14 hours on a couple of apples and water. – Sarah Zareen

Brian: Tammy and I are both from the Gulf Coast area and we have found that there is no better food in the world than from New Orleans. From the pecan pralines to the beignets to the variety of seafood, your taste buds are sure to be satisfied. The worst food for me was Filipino food from the Philippines. There isn’t as much potassium in the food as I was used to. After a few days I got really sick and all of my joints hurt so bad I almost needed a walking cane. An expat doctor told me to start eating a banana a day and everything magically cleared right up. – Wesley Adventures

Best food abroad: Italy. Best food domestic: Los Angeles. Worst food: Mongolia – Andrew Kamphey

Hands down, Thailand has the best food. Every meal was better than the last. I took a cooking class and learned some recipes to take home as souvenirs. Mmm! The worst food? The first time I went to Korea, I was really not a big fan of the food. Spicy octopus dishes and kimchi was not my thing. It really took some time to develop my palate. But, once I tasted bulgogi and kalbi (Korean BBQ), I was sold. Now, Korean food is at the top of my list for food! Mashisoyo! – Juliana Broste

Paris is always a treat. We usually sustain ourselves on a healthy diet of macarons and crepes. Also, Thailand. You can’t go wrong with curry. We’re still looking for the worst food… – Jesse and Kimberly Moore

OK, so I’m not a foodie—Jade’s boss at Travel Mindset thinks I’m an idiot because I love Taco Bell. That all being said, Nashville, Tennessee has one of the most independent and eclectic food scenes I’ve ever visited. It’s awesome because in nearly every part of town, the independent restaurants outnumber the chains. The worst food…I want to emphasize that this is not the whole island…there was good food to be had, but Maui was not that great more often than not. Beautiful, natural, so much fun…food equals blah (and while my comment is much larger in scope, to point out one restaurant in particular, Mama’s Fish House is sooooo overrated). – Bobby Christian

It’s a toss-up between Indonesian and Thai for best. Worst? Well it’s a matter of opinion, but I think everyone can agree that England is not known for its culinary delights. – SPESUS

Best food? Italy. It does not matter what restaurant you walk in to or what region you are in. You just cannot get a bad meal. A simple dish of pasta can be so elegant and the love for food just oozes everywhere. Worst food? Germany. I only say that because I went there after Italy and it was a complete letdown after weeks of orgasmic eating experiences. It’s as if food is utilitarian. – Gina DeGirolamo

My favorites include Peruvian ceviche, Colombian Bandaje Paisa, Argentine Bife de Chorizo and Brazilian Açaí. And as for the worst… Bolivia can be tough if you’re eating at a local level. – Gareth Leonard

Food is so subjective. I love bread, cheese and wine so with that in mind my least favorite place to dine is Taiwan. My favorite is Tuscany or anywhere in Italy for that matter! The worst meals in EAT-aly could rival the best meals just about anywhere else on the planet. – Monique Soltani

I don’t think there’s any one location that has the worst food across the board. Even in many Central America countries like Nicaragua and Costa Rica, where your taste buds will dull from days of eating just plain rice and beans, you’ll come across shops that serve it with delicious slow-cooked chicken thighs and perfectly fried and seasoned plantains, and all is well with the world again. That said, Asia is generally really good with working in their fresh and seasonal ingredients and that comes across in the food. Go to Vietnam and you can get a bowl of pho on the street that’s just as good as the best restaurants. No high tech equipment or large kitchen. Just a tried and true recipe executed perfectly day in, day out. In Morocco, I could not get enough of the mechoui – a slow roasted lamb, seasoned with each chef’s own blend of herbs and spices carrying so much flavor that it’s hard to comprehend it all in a single bite. So you have to keep eating one tender bite after another. I can go on and on with this question, but I think at the core of it, the best food is about utilizing regionally and readily available ingredients that have been around for hundreds of years and working with a recipe that’s been tested and tweaked until you can’t do anything to it. – Kien Lam

I know it’s everyone’s go-to answer, but Thai Food. Thailand has the best food. Worst food, Mongolia. Contrary to popular belief, there aren’t any Mongolian Grills in Mongolia. Haha. – The Planet D

In my experience, the best food is in Paris, France, and the worst is in my own kitchen. – Jason Leppert

Living in Costa Rica I have had the good fortune to visit some of the best restaurants in the country and the capitol. Recently I made a short ‘travel vlog’ to highlight the Best Restaurants in San Jose. Outside of Costa Rica I am big fan of many flavours on one plate, so every time I am in Spain I love going out for tapas. The old town in the heart of Madrid is a must as well as the famous Calle Laurel in Logroño, La Rioja. For worst food, well recently I was walking around central London and was pretty hungry and ended up in a ‘typical tourist pub’ near Buckingham Palace. Classic error. Terrible food. – Adam Baker

The best food we had was in Thailand and the worst food had to be Mongolia. If we never eat mutton again for the rest of our lives, we’d be OK with that. – Because We Camp

Best food are off the beaten path restaurants and cafes. Worst are tourist traps. – Eszter Vajda

The best food is in Denver, Colorado—my hometown! The city is exploding with a rock’n culinary scene. I am always down for a bite at a food truck or if I want something more upscale, I head to Larimer Square to dine at places like Bistro Vendome and Rioja. Plus, I love that it’s a cinch to find food that is local and organic. And people don’t look at you like you are crazy when you ask who the food provider is. The worst food is yet to be experienced as I have a pretty adventurous palette. – Carri Wilbanks

Best – Cape Town. Worst – Estonia – Travelista Teri

I’m really a lover of food from all over the world, but perhaps if I had to choose just one, I would choose Thailand. For the worst, I haven’t come across any yet. – Mark Wiens

The best food has to be in the Romanic countries—France, Italy and Spain. Generally speaking the African countries have been the worst for me due to a lack of ingredients and more of a survival mentality towards food, but Israel was my worst food experience. Due to my insufficient budget I ate hummus and pita bread for 9 out of 10 meals. – Mick Hobday

NYC has definitely the best options for delicious food, with many varieties from Brazilian to Thai, etc. The worst food is anywhere they don’t have options for vegetarians =( – Gustavo Matias

Best food? Micah: Prague. Jenna: Japan. Worst food? Micah: Although he didn’t dislike it, he would say Japan was his least favorite to date. Jenna: Nowhere yet! – Wander The Map

We find that the best food is always in the most humble locations. Our favorite meals are usually in “food courts” meant for locals. The best dish in recent memory was in the sub-basement of a Shanghai skyscraper. We find the locations with the best view have the worst food. A terrible meal overlooking the Jemaa el-Fnaa plaza in Marrakech comes to mind. – Lost & Found Travel

We do most of our own cooking in the van, but the best: street food in Istanbul is amazing. For worst? Anything from a gas station or fast food. – Armando Costantino

Oh, easy. Southeast Asia. I almost cried into my first plate of Pad Thai in Bangkok. Every single Pho Ba in Vietnam was ridiculously fresh and flavorful, I kinda became a fiend. Both have completely ruined me for life, by the way—no Thai or Vietnamese place in the US can or will hold a candle to those dishes I ate in Asia! I haven’t experienced a single place that had the worst food from all my travels, but I can say, unequivocally, the worst food is always in tourist traps. Doesn’t matter where in the world you are—if it’s in a touristy spot, and there are no locals eating there, chances are, it’s gonna suck. Finding good food is a pretty reliable formula, and the signs are easy to spot. The local places are usually less slick, smaller, usually holes in the wall, but that’s exactly where the good stuff is! – Nathalie Basha

Best food? Ebony’s is in our mom’s kitchen (brownie points). After that, one of the best meals she’s ever had was a pasta dish in Bratislava, Slovakia. For Onyx, the place with the best food is the Bahamas!  Being able to eat on the beach is the icing on the cake. Jeta’s favorite is Mexico—hands down! Worst food? Ebony’s worst is definitely authentic English (UK) food. She lived in London and thank goodness they have such a dive food scene because she wouldn’t have survived on English food alone.In Onyx’s opinion, the worst food goes to…. Abu Dhabi. It’s hard to find authentic dishes and when you do, it’s sooo blah. Jeta doesn’t have any for worst.  She’s pretty good at scouting good eats in any city. – Global Lipstick