Is it really true that calories don't count when you're on holiday? Let's hope so! Whether it's sampling sizzling-hot local delicacies from a street-side vendor or tucking into a five-course gourmet spread at a celebrity chef's hip new restaurant, enjoying scrumptious food is one of the most enjoyable aspects of travel.
For many foodies, visiting a Michelin-starred restaurant is not only a highlight of their trip; it's often the primary reason to travel in the first place. For those in search of the most exceptional quality and stellar VIP service, we have scoured the globe -- and the endorsements of more than half a million Booking.com travellers -- to bring you a bucket list of six delectable destinations that are guaranteed to tickle even the savviest of taste buds with tantalizing Michelin-starred fare. From super-star gourmet capitals to hidden gastronomic gems, these delicious destinations will have your mouth watering in no time.
Hungry for even more amazing foodie finds? Feed your appetite for discovery and peruse the full list of 3,461 traveller-tested destinations with fabulous gourmet food powered by Booking.com's new Passion Search platform.
Featuring more than 80,000 restaurants and the biggest fish market in the world, the capital of Japan is a culinary paradise for any food lover! Conveniently located only minutes away from the Sugamo Station in central Tokyo -- and the world's first ramen restaurant to be awarded with a coveted Michelin star -- Tsuta is well worth a visit for any noodle aficionado! Serving up affordable fare for travellers on any budget, chef and owner Yuki Onishi's unique ramen dishes feature broth prepared with three different kinds of soy, special homemade noodles, and steaming hot bowls finished with a dollop of black truffle sauce. What more could any foodie ask for?
Known as the city with the highest number of Michelin stars per square meter, San Sebastián is a gastronomic paradise and the culinary capital of the Basque region in northern Spain. In addition to incredible food literally being available around every corner, this coastal retreat piles it on with additional servings of stunning natural beauty, lively nightlife and world-famous festivals.
With countless amazing restaurants, you can't go wrong, but no trip to San Sebastián is complete without sampling the Basque take on tapas, known locally as "pintxos." Must-try dishes include "gilda," a pintxos made with local anchovies, olives, and guindilla peppers and "txistorra," a traditional sausage made from a mixture of minced pork and beef.
Home to the only UK pub that has been awarded with two Michelin stars, the British enclave of Marlow is a picturesque town on the banks of the River Thames only 33 miles west of central London. When we think of the iconic staples of British cuisine, the first dishes that immediately come to mind are the world-famous fish 'n' chips, mom's Sunday roast and of course the ubiquitous full English breakfast, served throughout the UK.
At The Hand and Flowers, food lovers can indulge their palates in a simple and informal environment, feasting on the pub's modern and unpretentious takes on English favourites and rustic French classics, all prepared with seasonal ingredients and served up in cosy surroundings.
As a true gourmet paradise, Hong Kong is not only one of the most populous cities in the world, but is also home to the world's least expensive Michelin-starred restaurant. Located in the Mongkok district, the small eatery of Tim Ho Wan, earned a Michelin star in 2010. For dim sum lovers familiar with their delicious dumplings, the accolade is completely justified. With baskets of dim sum selling for less than $2 USD -- make sure to queue up early, as this budget-friendly joint is incredibly popular!
The Polish capital of Warsaw is a great destination to sample traditional Polish specialties like hearty meat stews and stuffed dumplings. As the first restaurant in Poland to be awarded with a Michelin Star, Atelier Amaro is the perfect spot to savour delicious Polish dishes prepared with fresh ingredients.
Featuring a creative array of ingredients, their signature dish "The Wosk Pig" is inspired by the fact that the melting point of beeswax and the perfect temperature for slow-roasting suckling pig is the same, a toasty 72°C. Once it's been cooked to perfection, they serve it as a terrine, accompanied with honey and mustard ice cream, and finish it with a fine powder made from ground sweetcorn. Bon appétit!
Known as the foodie Mecca of Asia and the best restaurant city in the world, Kyoto's gastronomic scene will satisfy even the most demanding palate. The former capital of Japan is home to 175 Michelin-starred restaurants serving 20 different types of cuisine.
In additional to truly sublime eats, this beautiful destination also boasts countless temple and shrines, as well as -- of course -- cherry blossoms, with a famous annual festival that attracts visitors from all over the globe. While in Kyoto, you should definitely try some of the city's most famous specialties, such as soba or ramen noodles, tantalizing preparations of tofu, or just sit down for a traditional multi-course dinner known as Kaiseki.
Follow HuffPost Canada Blogs on Facebook
ALSO ON HUFFPOST:
"It's dangerous business going out your front door," Bilbo Baggins famously advises his nephew Frodo before he sets off on his heroic adventure. As much as we try to avoid the headaches of travel, there's no denying that to a certain extent, travel is about discomfort. However, our hardest moments are where we find our best stories and if you decide to venture out of your comfort zone, you'll find the adventure you've been dreaming of. RELATED: Lord of the Rings and Hobbit Filming Locations in New Zealand (Photo: Hobbit Village via Shutterstock)
Before Sunrise is the story of two strangers who meet on a train and decide to get off together and spend a night roaming around the streets of Vienna. The whole movie is a conversation between Celine, a French woman, and Jessie, an American, getting to know each other and falling in love. They take a chance on each other and it pays off. Traveling is an excellent opportunity to meet new people, but sometimes you have to be the one to work up the courage to start a conversation. You never know what could happen. RELATED: Romantic Europe: Places in the Heart (Photo: Eye Ubiquitous/Getty Images)
No story in recent history has inspired as many travelers as Elizabeth Gilbert's quest to find herself after her divorce. As she travels through Italy, India, and Bali in the course of a year, the audience stays with her for every revelation along the way. Eat, Pray, Love is a story about using experiences gained from travel to heal old wounds and find new meaning in life that will help you along on your journey. (Photo: Meditation in Bali, Indonesia via Shutterstock)
Whether you're planning to steal an ancient artifact from an army of Nazis or just trying to visit as many museums as you can by the end of the day, you can't expect everything to go perfectly. Between delayed flights, bad weather, and straight-up bad luck, travel is full of variables and as hard as you might try, you can't be prepared for all of them. In cases like these, it's time to channel your inner Indiana Jones and start thinking on your feet. (Photo: Machu Picchu via Shutterstock)
As we learned from Titanic, even "unsinkable" ships can sink. Your dream vacation might be planned out down to the last restaurant reservation, but that doesn't mean much when Mother Nature decides to crash the party. Always be prepared for the worst. RELATED: Travel Insurance 101: Everything You Need to Know Before You Buy (Photo: Thinkstock/iStock)
On her mission to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, Cheryl Strayed suffers throughout and is never truly safe. But despite her overweight pack and blackened toes, she pushes on and braves the elements. She finds support in a friendly community of fellow thru-hikers, but for the most part she is on her own. Her story of solo travel and willpower teaches us that all it takes is a little bit of bravery to go out on your own and accomplish your goals. RELATED: Seven Epic Walking Trails Around the World (Photo: Thinkstock/iStock)
Sometimes we get so caught up in taking in the sights and sounds of a new city, we find ourselves suddenly and totally lost. It's easy to feel scared, especially if you don't have Google Maps, but it's important to remember that little girl from Kansas who also once found herself in a strange new place. Dorothy was unafraid to ask for help and directions and she did it in the kindest, sweetest, most Judy Garland way possible, which is probably why she was able to befriend so many locals and find her way back home. What movies have inspired you to travel? (Photo: Andy Kropa/Getty Images) Read the original story: Travel Lessons From Our Favorite Movies by Jamie Ditaranto, who is a contributor to SmarterTravel.
Follow Booking.com on Twitter: www.twitter.com/bookingcom