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41 Legitimately Life Changing Meals People Have Eaten Abroad, And I'm Planning My Next Trip Around Some

I'm not drooling — you're drooling.

We can all agree that food is one of the most exciting aspects of traveling. And I will be the first to admit that when I travel, a bad meal can ruin an otherwise perfectly good day.

Hannah Loewentheil

So I asked the BuzzFeed community to share the most memorable, incredibly delicious meals they've eaten while traveling.

Here were some of their responses — plus a few of my own, and you're going to want to take note for when we can all travel again.

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1. Contramar, Mexico City

Hannah Loewentheil

"Whenever I travel, I'm usually wary of the restaurants that are written up in every guide book and every blog. I'm always expecting them to be over-hyped. But let me tell you — a late and excessive lunch at Contramar lived up to every expectation. The tostadas were topped with the freshest, most melt-in-your-mouth tuna, and the famous red and green grilled red snapper served with soft corn tortillas was basically my definition of heaven on a plate. I would go back to CDMX exclusively for that meal."

—Hannah Loewentheil

2. La Grotta Guelfa, Florence

@grottaguelfa / Via Instagram: @grottaguelfa

"In Florence, there's a small family-owned restaurant called Grotta Guelfa. You might think you know what good pizza and lasagna taste like, but you don’t unless you’ve eaten here. I'll never be able to forget the flavor."

kavilkri

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3. Dishoom, London

@hollie_eats / Via instagram.com

"Hands down, the best meal I've had was at Dishoom, an Indian restaurant in London. I will spend forever dreaming about the ruby chicken and black daal."

terumarie

4. Toula's Seaside, Corfu

@tasos_mitselis / Via instagram.com

Toula's Taverna on the Greek island of Corfu is absolutely unreal. Order the prawns, which is the signature dish made with this amazing garlic sauce and served with spicy rice.

yasminy3

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5. L'Avant Comptoir, Paris

Hannah Loewentheil

"I can rattle off a dozen very memorable meals I've had in Paris, but none stand out in my mind like a wine-filled lunch at L'Avant Comptoir. This tapas bar in the 6th arrondissement is cozy and snug, and the various menu items hang from little cards on the ceiling. I stood at the bar and ordered far too much food — silky tuna tartare marinated in grapefruit, peppery cured meats, and stinky, creamy cheese — and everything was incredible."

—Hannah Loewentheil

6. La Casita de Papi, Dominican Republic

@lucianagonvi / Via instagram.com

This restaurant in Cabarete, Dominican Republic, has the best seafood dish I've ever had. It's called "Langostinos a la Papi," which is prawns in a curry sauce. I've never tasted anything else like it, and just thinking about it makes me hungry."

alelia

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7. Le Noailles, Bordeaux

@hungry_lexmo / Via instagram.com

"Wow. The roasted chicken with a mustard sauce, veggies, and crispy, buttery potatoes was the best meal I've had in my life. I would buy a plane ticket to France just to go back and eat it one more time."

marybeth20

8. Roti King, London

@foodwithmolo / Via instagram.com

"Don't miss this place for absolutely delicious Malaysian food at a great price. You'll likely have to wait in line, but it’s well worth it."

waffleheist

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9. Quimet & Quimet, Barcelona

Hannah Loewentheil

"While studying in Barcelona, I severely missed bagels and lox, my New York staple. Then I discovered Quimet & Quimet, a closet-sized tapas restaurant in Barcelona, and I discovered something even more delicious: a montadito (open-faced sandwich) on crispy bread topped with creamy goat cheese, smoked salmon, and a drizzle of honey. It quickly became my new comfort food, and I would return to Quimet & Quimet often for Barcelona's take on a bagel. All of the other tapas are delicious as well, especially the various montaditos topped with everything from smoked oysters with caviar to tuna belly with olives and peppers."

—Hannah Loewentheil

10. White Duck Taco Shop, Asheville

@fun.food.fotos / Via instagram.com

"There are locations in Asheville, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The menu options are so unique and insanely good. Oh, and they’re very cheap."

ashleighk4ae63f9c3

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11. Westcliffe Diner, Nova Scotia

@kelishes1 / Via instagram.com

"It's a local mom-and-pop cafe in Halifax. An old couple run the place by themselves, serving burgers and fries, fish and chips, and basic foods, but everything is made fresh and delicious and thrown right onto the grill."

scottaaronm

12. Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, Reykjavik

Hannah Loewentheil

"IMO, Reykjavik is a hugely underrated food city, but for the most part dining out can be really expensive. One of the best (and by far the cheapest) thing I ate on my trip to Iceland was a hot dog from Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, a little stand off a pedestrian road in Reykjavik. The hot dog itself is crispy and crunchy and juicy, and there's something phenomenal about the sweet mustard on top. In fact, I loved it so much that I bought a poster to hang up in my NYC kitchen to remind me of this incredible street eat."

—Hannah Loewentheil

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13. El Fogon, Mexico

avanim

"Some of the best tacos I've ever had are the al pastor tacos at El Fogon in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. They slice the meat and the pineapple right in front of you. There are SO good."

—avanim

14. Mustafa's Gemüse Kebap, Berlin

@spl2ndid / Via instagram.com

"I've waited for a couple hours in line for their famous kebab, and it did not disappoint. There’s something addictive about the sauces they spread on that thing. I’ve thought about this meal every day since I returned from Europe, and it is arguably the thing I miss the most."

christinegb

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15. Din Tai Fung, Taipei

@chewychewy_w / Via instagram.com

All the dim sum at the original Din Tai Fung location is amazing, but the xiao long bao (soup dumplings) was extraordinary.

ErikaIsHere

16. Tacón de Marlin, Puerto Vallarta

@chibbqking / Via instagram.com

"It's a hole-in-the-wall right next to the airport, but it's a secret spot that in-the-know locals will tell you about. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but I ate the most amazing mixed seafood burrito there. All of the salsas were to die for. We even ordered two more to bring with us on the plane. If you're ever in Puerto Vallarta, this is a must."

emilyj48c7299a4

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17. Ristorante Max, Positano

morgang453873355

"I'll never forget the spiny lobster pasta I ate at Ristorante Max in Positano on the Amalfi Coast." 

morgang453873355

18. Beal's Lobster Pier, Maine

@theoriginalcheesequeen / Via instagram.com

"At this lobster shack right outside the town of Bar Harbor, you choose your own lobster, and they steam it for you right there. Then you can choose from some extras like clams, corn, and local blueberry pie."

fishstickandcustard

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19. Swan Oyster Depot, San Francisco

@julie.c.chen / Via instagram.com

"It's lunch only, first come, first serve, and nothing more than a small countertop with stools. Once you're in, you can graze and enjoy your meal for as long as you'd like. They have the best crab salad ever."

linal

20. Howlin' Ray's, Los Angeles

@andyjudyeats / Via instagram.com

"It's the best fried chicken on the West Coast. You’ll stand in line for about 45 minutes, but after one bite you'll realize the wait was worthwhile."

Dbanks

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21. La Cuchara de San Telmo, San Sebastian

@jinlovestoeat / Via instagram.com

"The line for this pintxos restaurant can be ridiculous, especially if you’re waiting to get a table. But if you manage to slide in at the bar, the food is amazing. The food is very traditional Basque food like foie gras, beef cheeks, and razor clams, and it was absolutely amazing. Make sure to pair it with a glass of Txakolina, the region's traditional white wine."

gretcheno3

22. The Inn at Little Washington, Virginia

@raleighlifestyles / Via instagram.com

"It was the most expensive meal I’ve ever eaten, but it was worth every penny."

phyllisg43a2d4a0c

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23. Palace Cafe, New Orleans

@palacecafe_nola / Via instagram.com

"The first time I visited New Orleans, I ate at Palace Cafe, and honestly, I've been trying to chase that high ever since. NOLA is such an amazing food city, and I've eaten so many delicious things, but the duck at Palace is a tough meal to meat.

Kristin_Stahlman

24. Pici, Hong Kong

@yummytummy.hk / Via instagram.com

"You might not expect to find amazing Italian food in Hong Kong, but it's such a metropolitan city that they have amazing food from all over the world. At Pici, I had the ravioli carbonara. It was small and extremely expensive, but it was amazing and so worth it. If it hadn’t been so pricey, I would have ordered seconds. I think about that meal often."

linzmc

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25. Tane Vegan Izakaya, Honolulu

@dashel_c / Via instagram.com

"In Honolulu, I had the most amazing vegan sushi at Tane Vegan Izakaya. It was truly life changing. The pumpkin tempura roll and the spicy beet roll made me actually like 'sushi.'"

samanthah4f494c452

26. Irmita's Casita, Utah

taysynold

"It's a tiny, unassuming spot in St. George, Utah, that cooked up the best Mexican food I've ever had. I’m from SoCal, so I like to think I’ve had some great Mexican food, but holy cow this place blew all that out of the water. Best of all, it was so cheap!"

—taysynold

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27. Seirinkan, Tokyo

Hannah Loewentheil

"I expected to eat some incredible food in Tokyo, but I never thought that one of my absolute favorite meals in Japan would be pizza. Seirinkan, a Neapolitan pizza spot in Tokyo's Meguro neighborhood, was truly just as good (if not better) than any pizza I've had in Italy or the United States. The pizza was perfect as could be, with a chewy, slightly charred crust and basic yet intensely flavorful toppings."

—Hannah Loewentheil

28. Restaurante Dourum, Porto

rileyjsullivan1

"I ate a traditional Francesinha sandwich in Porto at a place called Restaurante Dourum, which overlooks the Douro River. This place served absurdly cheap wine, olives, delicious bread, and the greatest sandwich God has ever gifted to man. The glory of the Francesinha sandwich is indescribable, but it's made of chewy slices of bread stuffed with loads of ham, smoked cured pork sausage, cheese, and slices of steak. Then it's covered with even more hot melted cheese, and served in a thick tomato sauce that tastes almost like french onion soup. It was undoubtedly the best sandwich I have ever eaten. And surely the most caloric."

rileyjsullivan1

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29. Mokyo, New York

Hannah Loewentheil

"Luckily, I live in New York City, so I don't have to travel too far to this East Village Korean spot...but I would make a trip out of it. Everything on the menu is incredible, but the corn-filled dumplings and the mini lobster rolls drizzled in decadent truffle cream sauce are two of my favorite bites of all time."

—Hannah Loewentheil

30. La Banquise, Montreal

@mich.traveler / Via instagram.com

"We waited for over an hour in a snowstorm for this famous poutine, but it was definitely worth it."

alara

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31. Shiro’s Sushi, Seattle

@mealswithmoi / Via instagram.com

"This place really has the best sushi I’ve ever eaten. You can order off the menu, or you can just sit at the bar and let the sushi chefs pick for you. The fish is always so fresh, the rice is always perfectly cooked, the staff is friendly, and the atmosphere is very welcoming."

maddyraynec

32. All’Antico Vinaio, Florence

@frizluca / Via instagram.com

"The line always extends down the street, and I'll admit I’ve waited longer than an hour just to get a panini, but it’s so worth it. They make the panini right in front of you, and you can build your own or choose one from the menu. I still dream about the Summer Panini."

allisonf4e7c7633f

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33. Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, Nashville

@jerramen / Via instagram.com

"We waited for about an hour in 90-degree weather, but the sweet tea, chicken, and peach cobbler made it all worth it."

carlaw452e7c52c

34. Le Pastis, Cannes

instagram.com / Via instagram.com

"I accidentally found Le Pastis for dinner, and it was my first time ever eating out by myself. I was nervous, but I had the best meal of gnocchi in a truffle cream sauce. It was divine."

madeleinehr

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35. Osteria dell'Orsa, Bologna

julianak4e43013af

"I had the best tagliatelle ragu of my life here. I almost cried while eating it, and it cost just 6 euros. Thinking of it makes me want to go back to Italy just to eat it again."

julianak4e43013af

36. O'Neills The Point Seafood Bar, Ireland

@caitriona_barron / Via instagram.com

"While traveling the Ring of Kerry in Ireland, our Airbnb hosts recommended we try O’Neill’s The Point Seafood Bar for "the best seafood in Ireland." Everything about the experience was wonderful, from the welcoming staff and the beautiful location to the delicious food. I had a seafood plate, which is a combination of fresh seafood like battered cod, smoked salmon, and more. It was simply amazing."

jennifermarino04

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37. Lardo, Portland

@femalefoodie / Via instagram.com

"The Korean pork shoulder sandwich from Lardo in Portland, Oregon, is hands down one of the best ever things I’ve eaten. I still think about that sandwich often and would fly back just to eat it."

gabbyc4058388a6

38. Kostas, Athens

@mai_hearts / Via instagram.com

"Souvlaki made by the legendary Kostas was quite possibly the most delicious combination of pork, pitta, and potato fries I have ever had. The line for his small shop was a testament to how popular (and delicious) this meal was. It was Authentic Greek cuisine at its finest!"

ameliak49b5af085

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39. Bar Cañete, Barcelona

Hannah Loewentheil

"I've eaten at more tapas bars in Barcelona than I would like to admit, but Bar Cañete is the best of the best. The best seats are at the bar, where you can watch the chefs prepare unique spins on classic Catalan dishes from the big, open kitchen. The motto here is "f your diet," and that's exactly what you should do. Everything is absurdly good, but the one dish I'll never forget is the ham croquette — basically a large fried ball of mashed potatoes and cured pork — served smothered in a mixture of creamy aioli and salsa brava."

—Hannah Loewentheil

40. Tsukemen Gonokami Seisakujo, Tokyo

@thetastytraveler.kt / Via instagram.com

"Ramen in Tokyo is great, but tsukemen, slightly thicker and firmer noodles that are dipping into a side of broth, is really where it’s at. There’s a place called Tsukemen Gonokami Seisakujo in Shibuya that serves tsukemen with a shrimp and pork broth, and it's out of this world."

u/iyambred

41. Peach Fuzz International, Panama City

@famu512 / Via instagram.com

"Oh my goodness, the best meal of my life was in Panama City at a tiny spot called Peach Fuzz International. It’s outside of the city center in a neighborhood most tourists avoid. The red snapper is why fish was invented, I’m pretty sure. It’s fried, flavorful, and comes with sauces I could pretty much eat by the gallon. The fish is served with patacones, which are twice-fried smashed plantains. If I could teleport myself, I’d eat there daily."

Astrea Somarriba

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