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What To Eat When You Find Yourself In Belgium

Belgium may not be one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world, but it’s particularly culinary style makes it definitely worth a visit.

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Belgium isn’t considered a big tourist destination. In fact, most people probably couldn’t even locate it on a map, or name another city in it besides Brussels. But, mention Belgium, and most people will be able to at least tell you that the beer is good, the chocolate is amazing, the waffles are delicious, and the frites are outstanding.

Despite its small size, Belgium holds its own in the culinary world and, while the food may not be the healthiest in the world, it is certainly considered mouth watering delicious. There’s nothing better than sitting outside on a nice day with a cone of frites in one hand and hearty Belgium beer in the other.

Belgium is probably most famous for its beer. It has been brewing beer since the Middle Ages and there are approximately 125 breweries in the country, that produce about 800 standard beers. When special one-off beers are included, the total number of Belgian beers jumps to about 8,700. Belgium is clearly for beer lovers. 

One of the most famous beers here is the Trappist beers. These are beers brewed in a Trappist monastery, where the monks control its production and policies, and the profits from the sale must be used to support the monastery. Only seven monasteries currently meet these qualifications, six of which are in Belgium.

Another main beer is Lambic beer, a wheat beer brewed in the southwest of Brussels by spontaneous fermentation. Lambic’s fermentation is produced by exposure to the wild yeasts and bacteria in the air. These beers can be aged for up to three years. 

Belgium chocolate is supposed to be the best in the world. Belgium chocolate has a high quality of ingredients and producers strongly adherence to Old World manufacturing techniques. Belgium chocolate itself has been popular since the 18th century but increased its popularity during the 20th century when prices dropped and it became more affordable.

The most popular variety here is chocolate pralines that can be filled with a variety of flavored creams, alcohol, fruit or more chocolate. You’ll find a chocolate store on every corner in Belgium. The expensive stores Like Neuhaus and Godiva are worth the money.

Belgian waffles, those large, light, and thick waffles are famous worldwide. However, the Belgium waffle is really the Brussels waffle. Belgian waffles were popularized in the United States during the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Many Belgium waffle shops have the popularized version closest to the tourist areas wherein the local areas there is more of a mix, and more often sold as a pastry instead of a breakfast food. You can get them with bananas, ice cream, chocolate, whatever your heart desires.

Frites, or french fries, is an on the go specialty in many parts of Europe. In Belgium, it is an art. Everywhere you go you see a frite seller and locals walking around with a cone of frites and some mayo. Everyone claims to know the best frite place. And when you eat the frites, make sure you eat them with mayo. It’s delicious.

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Destinations

The World’s Most Unique Dining Experiences

Sure, you can get a great meal anywhere. But how many times have you had a meal that sticks with you for the rest of your life? If your answer is “not enough,” then you need to check out one of these amazing global dining destinations. Food aside, the atmosphere and experience will stick with […]

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A Guide to the Best Food in San Diego

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It’s one of the first questions every person asks when they are traveling to a new city for the first time.

Where is a good place to get a bite?

Food on a trip might even be a major component that you plan an entire vacation or day around. That is especially true in big cities like San Diego, which always seem to have the biggest and best local and chain restaurants.

San Diego in beautiful California is one of the ten largest cities in the U.S. and is known for its top-notch cuisine. Everyone loves a good food tour, and San Diego is somewhere that has numerous can’t-miss places to eat you will want to read about.

Continue reading for a comprehensive list and guide to the best food in San Diego broken up by category.

Seafood is Tops in San Diego

There’s no doubt that one of the first things on anyone’s mind traveling to San Diego is to try the fish. Sitting right on the coast, and arguably the biggest city right on a coast, San Diego can offer fresh seafood that other places simply can’t. If you live in the U.S., odds are you do not live near a coast, so take advantage of this unique situation.

One of the restaurants heavy into seafood with a top reputation is George’s at the Cove. They were once voted San Diego’s top restaurant!

Another is The Fishery, with some of the best main courses you can find on any menu in town. Their fresh catches are so good that they not only serve their own supply but they are a distributor for other restaurants.

If you have gone fishing yourself and caught something tasty, or want a closer look at the catch you elect to eat, head to El Pescador Fish Market. A traditional beach hangout, they’ll cook your fish for you, or you could head on in with nothing and sit down and eat too.

A couple more seafood restaurants of note are Civico 1845 and Seafood La 57.

San Diego Pizza

Beyond fresh fish right off the ocean, San Diego is also known for its strong pizza selection. Definitely try either the pizza or seafood as some of the best food in San Diego when you head over.

Civico by the Park has wood-fired pizza and pasta that is unmatched across the city and even the state. This restaurant combines the flair of pizza with the best wine selection as well.

If you are feeling homesick on your trip, try Tribute Pizza. They feature and imitate some of the most well-known pizza places around the country, so maybe they picked one from your hometown.

Tex-Mex in San Diego

It’s all in the name as you can get the best tacos not just in town but in the solar system at Galaxy Tacos.

Some taco spots are right next to each other and competing, but that offers a great chance to try them all. Taco joints Corazon de Torta, El Comal, and Las Cuatro Milpas are all in downtown San Diego.

For more great tacos and burritos, there is also Tuetano Taqueria. They coat their special tacos with a blend of seasoning to give it a different tone and unique taste.

More Great Restaurants

While seafood, pizza, and tacos may be some of the most irresistible food around, there is still plenty more to take in on your trip to San Diego.

If sushi is your thing, try Yakitori Hano or Yakitori Taisho. Try it as the nightcap, as they are only open for dining at dinnertime. A couple of other strong sushi options are Soichi, Sushi Ota, and Sushi Tadokoro.

With a name that stands out, Crack Shack has a giant chicken out front indicating their food of choice. Fried chicken and wings like you have never had before are available there.

Everyone loves a good steak, and a food tour would not be complete without mentioning the best place to get a porterhouse or filet cut. Born and Raised takes cooking steak back to its roots.

Italian-based Civico by the Park is probably the highest-rated and most sought-after pasta establishments in the area as well as pizza. Buona Forchetta is one more pasta place that some really love.

Beyond the highly-acclaimed In and Out Burger, the best hamburger restaurant is certainly Swagyu Burger. They even have another version of their place that is Swagyu Chop Shop that combines Japanese food with American burgers.

Upscale San Diego Cuisine

One of the best things about San Diego food is that they have something for everyone. If you are looking for more of a higher-scale dining experience, look no further.

When you give this level of restaurant a try, you will also get to experience food you might have never tried before. Like at Jeune et Jolie, one of the highest-rated establishments in the city and a French masterpiece.

If you are into golf and find yourself out near the famous Torrey Pines course, there are some incredible options right near you. Try the A.R. Valentien, an eatery built right into the golf course’s lodge. Walk the same grounds Tiger Woods did when he won his 14th Major championship on a leg with a torn ACL.

The Best Grub Around

In addition to being one of the most beautiful cities to visit in the U.S., San Diego has some of the best food in the country as well. You’ll want the best grub when you are soaking up the sun, enjoying the beach, and watching some of the best sports.

There could be no better place than to head on a food tour in sunny San Diego. Now that you know the lay of the land, go out and find the best meal today.

For more articles on food, culinary, and travel, head to the rest of our blog.

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Food

Healthy Travel Snacks

Theres no reason to go hungry or wreck your diet when you’re traveling or stuck in a hotel room without room service. Take along these healthy snacks suggested by Charles Stuart Platkin, nutrition and public-health advocate, and author of The Diet Detectives Count Down.

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Healthy Travel Snacks

Just because you are traveling, doesn’t mean that you have to ruin your diet. There are many pitfalls that we as travelers fall into, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Late nights in hotels and constantly eating out can wreck any healthy diet, but if you play it smart, traveling and eating healthy can go hand in hand. A good snack should be somewhere close to 100-150 calories, anymore than that and you are creeping towards a whole meal’s worth of calories.

I think the key to eating healthy in general is proper planning and meal preparation; this is no different when traveling. If you meal prep for your weak at home then why not meal prep for your trip as well? We all know that eating late or eating on the go often requires eating fast food, unless you plan ahead. Fast food is the death to any healthy diet, so a simple key to remember is PLAN AHEAD.

Another aspect to healthy eating and travel involves self-control and portion control. When traveling its easy to act like what we eat doesn’t matter, since we are technically on vacation. This is a terrible routine to fall into, just because you are on a trip doesn’t mean your diet has to go on vacation as well.   Portion control is a great way to combat this problem. If you only eat a little bit, then it doesn’t matter technically what you eat.

Here are my favorite travel snacks that will help you avoid room service and keep you on your diet.

Nuts:

Nuts travel so well and are just a great, healthy snack. They also come in such a huge variety that they keep you from becoming bored. As we all know, when boredom creeps into your mind, you stray from your diet. I try to stick to unsalted and raw nuts, because they have the most nutritional value. Nuts are low in calories but high in protein, so they are the perfect tool to keep in your diet’s arsenal. An ounce portion usually rounds out to about 120-150 calories, so that’s a perfect snack.

 

Energy Bars:

Energy bars are generally a good meal substitute, but stay away from the ones that are filled with sugars and unnatural products. I recommend Cliff bars as they are made with natural sugars and don’t have too many preservatives. The best part of energy bars are their portability and how easily they can be packed for long periods of time. I tend to keep a couple bars in my suitcase at all times, because you really never know when hunger can strike.  

 

Fruit:

Fruit is readily available all over the world and travels so nicely. Fruit is natural so you don’t have to worry about preservatives and the portion control is built in. One apple or a bunch of grapes are usually around 100 calories, so they are the perfect travel snack.

 

Can of Tuna:

Cans of tuna are another perfect travel snack, they are made to be portable and don’t leak, so toss them in your overnight bag. I like mine with some crackers to make mini sandwiches out of and also keep my fingers from smelling like fish.

 

Cold Cut Sandwich:

The perfect travel meal, a classic sandwich is always portable and always a favorite. I can’t recommend a sandwich more; they can be made ahead of time and easily packed away for a few hours. I tend to make a sandwich when I fly since they are allowed through security and are cheap.

 

Remember fellow travelers; planning ahead and packing smart are key to eating healthy while traveling.

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