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Best and worst countries for food?

(125 Posts)
GagaJo Sun 05-Feb-23 20:52:18

In your experience, where has been the best country for food?

And also the worst?

For me, the best has been Spain. Probably because I almost exclusively ate what the locals eat. Fresh fruit and veg, a lot of spicy meat, and even a glass of red with the deliciously home-cooked school lunch. Fabulous tapas in our local cafe. The only thing I wasn't a huge fan of was the paella. A bit over rated in my opinion.

I also had some incredible food in China, but that was because my Chinese flat mate was an amazing cook. Even at Western food. I showed her once how to bake and she was off. Freshly baked bread for breakfast! I was sooooo spoiled. And great Chinese delicacies too.

The worst has to have been Switzerland. Which surprised me, because I love cheese. But on the whole, I found it very bland and unimpressive.

NotSpaghetti Mon 06-Feb-23 12:12:00

I wonder where you were in Italy ExperiencedNotOld? I've never had a problem with cheese in Italy (except that most is made with caglio/rennet and I'm vegetarian).

Italy is my go-to place fot delicious meals. They have a way of using the very best ingredients and not messing about with them too much so that even the humblest bean has a chance to sing!

America was and is always difficult.. unless you know where to go - and eating out with quality food is super-expensive

NotSpaghetti Mon 06-Feb-23 12:22:33

Spain was difficult as so much meat. Pork fat even in the bread and cakes. Christmas treats such as mantecados full of lard. Lard in savory spreads and sauces, used as a general cooking fat in fried foods, even in deserts. Admittedly last trip was maybe 6 years ago.. but even so!

Chocolatelovinggran Mon 06-Feb-23 12:48:50

Norway is a top choice for truly terrible cheese - it's called brown cheese and is definitely an acquired taste.

Nanatoone Mon 06-Feb-23 12:56:54

Denmark (Copenhagen) has a wonderful street type market in the city, the variety was terrific and nice quality. You did need a large amount of money to pay for it though. I once had a meal in a five start hotel in Paris and had three types of veg with lamb. The three veg were all potato!

silverlining48 Mon 06-Feb-23 12:59:10

Norway was so expensive too. Was glad we were on a Cruise so meals were on the ship.
4 cups of tea and two indifferent buns in Bergen dug a deep hole into our spending money 10 years ago.

halfpint1 Mon 06-Feb-23 12:59:58




Spain , yes the tourist menus are dire. Britain, too much choice and badly done

I like choice. Love it that I can get food from at least 10 different cuisines in my nearest market town. Cooked by people from those countries, so it’s rare it’s “poorly done”. In fact, we have a tiny new Italian restaurant (4 tables) that serves up meals and snacks that are as good as any we’ve had in Italy. Perhaps we’re just fortunate.

This smile We are so lucky in the UK that this is the case in most places. We could go out every day to a different restaurant, all prices, all types and atmosphere, with great variety of fabulous home-made foods.

I'm sure there are many fine eateries in Britain and I'm also
sure there are as many that you wouldn't set foot in , as anywhere.
However I am a 'tourist' now in Britain and am overwhelmed
by the myriad of choice. I live in the Auvergne and 8/10 eateries serve the local cuisine nearly all at an excellent standard but as a 'tourist' here you might find it a bit restrictive.

Maggiemaybe Mon 06-Feb-23 13:28:34

I think I would, halfpint. I like to ring the changes. Even though I plumped for China as having the best food, I must admit I was longing for something creamy and cheesy after just 3 weeks of it.

I did lose weight though, despite eating like a queen on that tour. smile

GagaJo Mon 06-Feb-23 14:53:09

Me too Maggiemaybe. I sat back, bursting at the seams, at the end of yet another Chinese flatmate cooked feast and realised that 95% of what I'd eaten was vegetables. Not even any rice. Soooo healthy.

TwiceAsNice Mon 06-Feb-23 16:01:10

Went to Turkey last summer beautiful food served by lovely people

Greek has to be my next favourite

Food in Hungary wasn’t great

TerriBull Mon 06-Feb-23 16:19:52

Italy, Spain and France all pretty great in varying degrees.

USA, when we went the first time, it was a treat not to go out to eat, we were staying in a self catering condo in Florida with a Publix very nearby . On subsequent trips to some of their more sophisticated cities we did search out some decent restaurants that went beyond the ubiquitous burgers, but they could be pretty expensive .

Gillycats Mon 06-Feb-23 18:06:36

I like good old British food. It’s so diverse these days. The worst food ever was in the US. Absolutely awful unless you want to pay top dollar in expensive restaurants.

GagaJo Mon 06-Feb-23 18:13:05

Not a fan of the US despite having lived there twice. But I'd say you can eat virtually anything there. I particularly liked places where they served traditional 'real' American food. So not junk like burgers/pizzas. I also liked steak places that had huge salad bars because I would fill up on salad while ex husband (American) would have the typical massive steak.

I think it's fairly easy in the US to eat healthily if you make the effort. Of course, it's even easier just to go to fast food restaurants.

GagaJo Mon 06-Feb-23 18:13:50

Having lived on the border of New Mexico/Mexico, eating real Mexican (not tex mex junk) was amazing. I loved it!

nandad Mon 06-Feb-23 18:29:07

South Africa has some amazing food and fantastic restaurants. Didn’t matter if we had steak, bobotie or cordon bleu, we never had a bad meal.

The USA was worst for us as we like our vegetables and found it nigh on impossible to either get them or to stop them being served floating in butter.

Oreo Mon 06-Feb-23 21:06:54


I like good old British food. It’s so diverse these days. The worst food ever was in the US. Absolutely awful unless you want to pay top dollar in expensive restaurants.

Same for me.
So British food first, Italian food next and worst US.
Only my experience as I haven’t been to Asia or Africa.

Floradora9 Mon 06-Feb-23 21:29:54

Wthout a doubt the best ever has been Austria . When we started to go there was used to go ato a lovely hotel where the food was just wonderful . You got tasting mugs of soup some nights and the puddings were magnificent. The worst was Croatia when it was still Yugoslavia . They ran out of boiled eggs every morning and could not understand where they all went . Italy would be the next best to Austria miles better than all the Spanish hotels we have been to despite the star ratings.

HousePlantQueen Mon 06-Feb-23 22:21:25

On cruise ships with a majority US clients we also had issues with vegetables as they serve them creamed or swimming in butter. I craved simple steamed brocoli, or even just peas. Even salads are covered in disgusting salad cream type stuff, like those dreadful tinned vegetable salad sold by Heinz in the 1960s. A good waiter sorted it for us. At the risk of sweeping generalisation, many Americans have unsophisticated diets, and cannot just enjoy good fish and salad, on their own, not covered in manufactured yuk. As for the desserts......over sweet, over manufactured, full of sugar and corn syrup. confused. We had lovely, simple, home cooked food and freshly caught fish in Kefalonia last summer. Lots of fresh veg, salad, fruit. The local ice cream made from goats milk was divine 😋

Janeea Wed 08-Feb-23 11:22:04

I live in France a fair proportion of the year and never heard of raw eggs on food 🤔

Scottiebear Wed 08-Feb-23 11:24:13

Italy every time. They know how to treat food with the respect it deserves. Food is important to them.

Maggie12 Wed 08-Feb-23 11:30:02

Italy for me. Love Italian food and the wine of course. Worst for me was China as I wasn’t sure what meat was being served and tended to eat just veg. Also not keen on the Guinea pig they served in Peru

Milest0ne Wed 08-Feb-23 11:32:54

USA can be good or bad as they have lots of different cuisines . Steaks are good (are they stuffed full of antibiotics?). deli type food is interesting. Mexican is very spicy.But refried beans? Yeukk. Why do they put plastic cheese in all their sandwiches?
Norwegian food on a fjord cruise was superb, fresh local produce.

DaisyL Wed 08-Feb-23 11:38:01

I’ve had good and bad food in many different countries. Malawi was Ncima (maize flour) with water that was pretty boring but quite nasty when flavoured with dried fish! Had the world’s most disgusting Pizza in Lithuania made with gristle, very bitter tomato puree and rancid oil and in Odessa in the Ukraine Sturgeon that was all bones and tasted of mud – although I imagine that they would be grateful for anything there now.

HomeAgain123 Wed 08-Feb-23 11:48:12

I was also so disappointed with Japanese food saying that though had an interesting meal from a vending machine in Tokyo

Ilovedragonflies Wed 08-Feb-23 11:49:35

Best: Greece - fresh fruit and their utterly delectable cheese to accompany it. I've never been able to find a comparable version here in the UK. Add on the fact that everyone was so unfailingly friendly and kind. Best holiday ever!
Worst: Germany (school exchange trip, many moons ago) - sauerkraut with everything. I still gag at the hint of a smell of it! Plus, the family I stayed with were unfailingly polite, but the girl I was paired with was just 13 when I (and everyone else) was 15. God alone knows why she was allowed to take part! Her parents wouldn't allow me to go to any of the feasts/gatherings the school had put on because they thought she was too young to go, meaning I only experienced their appalling cooking. Her personal hygiene was pretty poor, too. I hated the whole trip. I was utterly miserable and couldn't wait to come home. The whole experience coloured my perception of the country and the foods offered. I've never been back and never want to.

Gabrielle56 Wed 08-Feb-23 11:51:42

I agree that British food is excellent
And the best varieties on the planet to!! Were spoiled .....others critical of our food are usually those who haven't even lived here let alone visited!! As usual we absorb everything our fantastic diverse culture can dish up for us in all its glory from traditional delicious fresh fish and chips to amazing meats casseroles stews soups roasts grills breads, endless delights, I LOVE our food!