5 Foodie Experiences That Are (Way) Out of the Ordinary

by Emese Graham

Flight Centre’s Expert Travellers have taken our adventurous appetites with us literally all over the world.  But somewhere between the unforgettable street food vendors and the Michelin-starred menus, we’ve stumbled across some truly unconventional foodie experiences. Discover five of our favourite dining adventures, sure to leave a lasting impression with even the most seasoned travellers.

1. Superb Italian Dining Hosted by Singing Nuns

Photo: Expert Traveller, Rebecca Mack

A scenic ten-minute walk from Trevi Fountain will lead you to L’Eau Vive, an unassuming French restaurant in Rome with a simple sign that’s easy to miss.  Expert Traveller, Rebecca Mack of Calgary, is grateful the cobblestoned streets carried her here: “This is the most unique and amazing dining experience I have ever had while travelling.”

L’Eau Vive’s best feature is not its fine French dishes nor the fresco paintings that cover its interior. It’s the extraordinarily hospitable Missionary Workers of the Immaculate who serve guests with a smile and a song.

“This place has incredible French cuisine,” Rebecca added, “And while you eat in this beautifully decorated building, the service stops, and the nuns stand up and start singing Ave Maria. Not a dry eye in the house. Then there is dancing and endless entertainment. I will never forget this visit!”

2. The Quintessential “Pancake” House in Turkey

Photo: Expert Traveller, Hayley Lacroix

Sometimes, things get lost in translation. When Expert Traveller, Emma Matthews, was highly recommended the “pancakes” at Yavuz’un Yeri in Selcuk, Turkey she couldn’t help but think of Canada’s fluffy, maple-syrup doused treats.

Except, Yavuz’un Yeri’s specialty is actually hand-made gözleme, a traditional savoury flatbread prepared with unique toppings over an open griddle. Arguably the country’s best gözleme is tucked away here, not far from the ancient city of Ephesus.

Without question, it’s the restaurant’s unique laidback atmosphere that brings visitors back time and again. Pause to say hello to the talented women who coax the aromatic ingredients over a stone fireplace, explore the funky antique shop at your leisure, then sit around the generously carpeted tables for an unforgettable meal. Whether you feast by the fruit trees in the summer or the crackling fire when temperatures dip, this relaxed meal with friends will be impossible to forget.

3. Caves, Castles, and a Cold One at England’s Oldest Inn

Photo: Expert Traveller, Natalie Baggot

An inn that’s been open since 1189 is sure to have its fair share of riveting ghost stories. Built into the cliffs of Nottingham Castle, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem served as the last stop before crusaders left the country to wage war. It stands strong today as England’s oldest inn, offering traditional pub fare, good company, and a handful of cursed objects.

For a special treat, book a guided tour through the maze of underground caves. Although they have been converted into functional beer cellars, they still extend deep into Nottingham City Centre. Next, order a pint at the bar and enjoy the cozy atmosphere with the locals in one of many weathered dining rooms. You might even spot a few Canadian dollar bills left on the wall by some of our own Expert Travellers.

4. Authentic Indian Cuisine with a Hint of Motor Oil

Photo: Expert Traveller, Carolyn Exelby

After a full day of navigating the busy streets of Jaipur to visit the spectacularly pink Old City, nobody would blame you for seeking a quiet corner to recharge and rest your feet. Expert Traveller, Carolyn Exelby shared why you’ll find one of Jaipur’s most exclusive eateries precisely where you would least expect it.

“On a recent trip to India, I went to the most interesting restaurant I have ever visited. A family has been running a garage for many generations, and the sons have converted the repair bay into a restaurant after hours (known as Old Takeaway). Out front is a small shop for takeaway halal food, but venture down the alley to the right, and you will be greeted by picnic tables flanked by rows of classic cars. I guarantee you won’t experience anything like it anywhere else!”

Enjoy the friendly service and one-of-a-kind atmosphere while you dig into expertly prepared traditional dishes.

5. Fresh Tomato Creations in a Wintery Greenhouse

Photo: Expert Traveller, Jaimie Rogers

Follow Iceland’s Golden Circle to the beautiful town of Reykholt, where husband and wife team, Knútur and Helena, welcome guests from around the world to their beloved greenhouse, Friðheimar, to enjoy as many impossibly fresh tomatoes as they can.

Dip freshly baked bread into an endless supply of savoury tomato soup, knock back a tomato schnapps, and leave plenty of room for dessert: tomato cheesecake, tomato ice cream, and tomato apple pie!

“There is something truly magical about sitting in a warm greenhouse while the snow comes down from above,” said Expert Traveller, Jaimie Rogers from Vancouver, of his visit to the unique restaurant. Your experience here isn’t complete without a tour of the greenhouse’s remarkable sustainable features and even more impressive family of distinguished Icelandic horses.

Our Expert Travellers can help you design the perfect foodie itinerary. Just call 1-877-967-5302 anytime or instantly find the store nearest you.

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