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02nd Aug 2012

The World’s Food-Abroad Favourites: What We Eat On Holidays

A recent food survey shows we may not be as adventurous as we think we are when we travel abroad...


Whether we’re relaxing on a beach in southern Italy or river-tubing through the jungles of Thailand, we all love to dive into the local culture and cuisine and sample the different foods on offer…

Or do we?

It seems international globe-trotters stick to the known when on holidays as French and Italian food are voted travellers’ traditional favourites.

The familiar Italian pastas, pizzas and salads come up trumps with 32% of travellers choosing the cuisine to enjoy abroad. French food is not far behind, with 24% of people choosing dishes like beef bourguignon instead of experimenting with the local delicacies.

Asian foods are rising the ranks fast as Japanese cuisine was voted global travellers’ third favourite culinary delight, at 18%. Travellers prefer to gorge into their favoured sushi, tempura, ramen and Japanese Soba, particularly when it comes to fine dining.

The survey was carried out by and shows with the best will in the world, and the most adventurous spirit, most of us still stick to the foods we know when we head abroad.  The questionnaire involved more than 27,000 travellers worldwide, including 1,021 Irish holidaymakers.

“Japanese food is seen as great example of healthy eating and there are a variety of Japanese restaurants in every multicultural capital,” said Alison Couper from “I’m a big fan of Japanese and not surprised at its elevated ranking. The fact that it beat more traditional holiday dishes such as Tapas and Burritos is testament to the world class reputation of Japanese chefs.”

Japanese food like sushi is becoming more popular.

Several other Asian countries appeared in the Top Ten List, including China (13%), Thailand (8%), Taiwan and India (both 5%). Spanish food cinched fifth place in the rankings with 11% and those who love the traditional American burger and chips helped the USA gain sixth place on the table with 10%.

On our own sweet Emerald Isle, Dublin was voted as having the best restuarants in Ireland. Almost half of Irish holidaymakers (48%) considered Dublin to be the best for dining out, but the capital featured last on the list for local food produce. The winner of that title went to Cork who took top spot with 18% of tourists voting it their favourite place for local cuisine.