Food and Drink Bucket List

If you consider yourself a foodie, you’re going to want to check off a few of these culinary experiences (if you haven’t already!). Some of these are about travel – after all, you haven’t really experienced the authentic cuisine of a country until you’ve travelled there and sampled it the way locals eat it every day. Others are about eating things you may not have thought were edible. And others will challenge you to become a better cook by experiencing different cuisines and trying to replicate them. Food is life, so get out there and try everything!

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Cook 50 Authentic Meals from around the world

Learning to cook meals from around the world will expose you to new techniques and flavors that you may not have ever worked with before. It will challenge your culinary skills and your taste buds – start with some of the dishes from this list!

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Eat Cajun Food in New Orleans

Cajun cuisine was brought to Louisiana by the French-speaking Acadians, who had been deported from their native Canada. The new climate no longer suited their original dishes, so they created a new style around the plentiful seafood and vegetables they found. Cajun is known for its complex flavors and spices and hearty stews. Try some gumbo or jambalaya, or join in on a classic Crawfish boil.

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Eat paella in Spain

Paella is a rice dish native to the Valencian region of Spain. It’s cooked traditionally in a large flat pan, and can include meats, vegetables, seafood, and of course rice flavored with saffron and rosemary. The size of it makes it great for sharing at large gatherings, and there are often competitions to see who can make the biggest paella.

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Eat sushi in Japan

You’ve probably tried sushi before, as it’s become incredibly popular all over the world. The kind of sushi rolls that you can pick up at any sushi store, however, are not authentic Japanese sushi – these were made popular in the US as a version that westerners would enjoy. In Japan you’re much more likely to find sashimi, as fresh fish is a staple and complicating it with rice and vegetables detracts from the delicate taste of the fish. Try a restaurant where they create the menu based off the freshest fish of the day and taste the difference.

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Try a fried mars bar

You thought a regular Mars Bar was a bit of a treat – wait til you try it deep-fried! You’d be forgiven for assuming that this is an American delicacy, but in fact it originated in a chip shop in Scotland. While it sounds like a heart attack on a plate, it’s also oddly delicious – the Mars Bar melts inside the batter coating, making it a warm and crunchy treat.

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Drink a margarita in Mexico

A margarita is a tequila-based cocktail served in a glass with a salt rim. The lime juice and ice makes this a particularly refreshing drink, great for any fiesta. As with any good cocktail there are many bartenders who claim to have invented it, but no matter where it started, you know you’ll get a good one in Mexico.

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Eat Pho in Vietnam

Pronounced ‘fur’, Pho is a rich beef broth soup with rice noodles, herbs, and meat. It’s a popular street food in Vietnam so you should be able to find it easily and cheaply. If ever there was a dish that is food for the soul, a steaming bowl of pho might just be it.

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Try Vegemite in Australia

Every country has their thing that they gleefully make visitors eat simply because they know they’ll hate it. A weird ritual, like a cheeky hazing ceremony for foreigners. Australia’s thing is a thick black fermented paste that smells like yeast and salt and tastes like a beer gone terribly off, which they put on toast for breakfast. Pro-tip: go heavy on the butter and very light on the Vegemite, it’s the way locals eat it even if they insist you should spread it on thick. It’s a trick, believe me.

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Eat Black pudding (Blood Sausage)

Black pudding is a bit polarizing – it’s made with congealed animal blood, after all. Try it as part of a traditional English breakfast along with bacon, eggs, and baked beans.

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Try lychees

Lychees are a very weird little fruit. Hard and spiky on the outside, once you crack their little shell there’s a soft, juicy white pulp inside that’s sweet and tangy. Try a lychee on its own or as part of a classic Asian dessert like a Thai coconut and lychee pudding, or a Chinese lychee jelly.

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Try limoncello in Italy

Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur, often served after a meal as a digestive. It’s usually pretty alcoholic, so keep that in mind if you’ve already had a few glasses of wine with your meal. Citrusy and sweet without being bitter, limoncello is a delicious nightcap.

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Have a $1000 meal for two

Just once, save up your pennies and find out how the other half eat. Be sure to do your research and choose both a cuisine and style that you think you’ll like, otherwise you may not enjoy it no matter how on point it is. Diving into the bottom half of the wine list will help push the bill into the triple digits.

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Cook something new every day for 30 days

Often people get stuck in a food rut, going between the same four or five meals they know how to cook and forgetting to update their repertoire. By challenging yourself to cook new things, you’ll come across simple new recipes you can use every day, try new ingredients to help jazz up old favorites, and fall in love with cooking again.

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Drink Guinness in Ireland

Thick, black Guinness is one of the most popular beer brands in the world, and one of the oldest. Head to the St James’s Gate brewery in Dublin for a tour of the birthplace of Guinness, then have a pint at a classic Irish pub.

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Eat ramen in Japan

Ramen is a Japanese noodle soup that’s popularity has spread across the world. While it’s easy to find in Japanese restaurants or to make yourself, if you’re a ramen fan you need to head to Japan to try it done by the experts. With its sweet and salty broth, hand-rolled noodles and special egg, it may be the only thing you eat while you’re there.

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Try Peking duck

A Chinese delicacy, Peking duck is cooked with a thin crispy skin, then cut up on the table and served in little pancakes and a sweet bean sauce. It is very delicious, and if you go to an authentic restaurant the chef will slice up the whole duck on the table in front of you – just like they used to do for the Emperors of old.

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Drink coconut milk straight from a coconut

For extra points, why not pick your own and husk it by smashing the outer shell on a big metal spike? If all that doesn’t sound fun (which is crazy coz smashing things is always fun) you can just cut off the top and pop in a straw. It’s fresh, delicious, and tastes way better than regular milk.

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Eat a gyro in Greece

Pronounced ’yeero’, a gyro is a kebab-style vertical rotisserie meat, usually lamb, pork, or chicken, served in a pita wrap with some lettuce, tomato, onion, tzatziki, and (if you’re lucky) some hot potato chips. While the kebab was invented in Turkey, this Greek version is usually breadier and includes tzatziki, and is possibly even more delicious.

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Try a flaming Baked Alaska

A baked Alaska is a dessert with ice cream, cake, and meringue that’s been browned extremely quickly. To get it served flaming, the dessert can be flambeed while it’s being served, usually by splashing the meringue with a bit of rum or whiskey. The combination of hot and cold elements makes this an exciting, decadent dessert.

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Try Laksa

Laksa is popular across many South East Asian countries – and each do it slightly differently. The fundamental elements of a laksa are the spicy curry soup, the noodles, and a meat of either chicken, prawn, or fish. It’s found in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, so we recommend you try them all to work out your favorite – it’s a hearty, flavorful soup that will have you coming back for more.

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Try baklava

This Middle Eastern dessert is rich, sweet, and absolutely delicious. Layers of light, crispy filo pastry are filled with chopped nuts like pistachio, then liberally drizzled with honey or syrup to keep it all together. It’s usually cut into very small squares as it’s a dense, intensely sweet little treat, but no doubt you’ll head back for one more.

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Eat a Belgian waffle in Belgium

Belgian waffles have deeper dints and a lighter batter than the normal American waffle, and traditionally served dusted with powdered sugar, strawberries and whipped cream. If you head to Belgium to try a waffle, ask for a Brussels waffle – you can usually pick them up from street vendors as a nice, warm treat.

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Go to a cafe in Amsterdam

The traditional understanding of café means that you might expect food and drink to be involved – that’s not what we’re suggesting you try when you visit an Amsterdam café (although they do bake a mean brownie). Having said that, you’ll probably want to grab yourself some snacks for the trip home…

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Drink Tequila in Mexico

Tequila is a spirit made from the blue agave plant, primarily in the area around the city of Tequila in Mexico. In the mid-1500’s, the Spanish conquistadors ran out of brandy, and so began distilling agave to create North America’s first indigenous distilled spirit. Be warned – while the rest of the world shots their tequila with lime and salt, in Mexico it’s served neat. Good luck!

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Eat apple strudel in Austria

An apple strudel is a pastry filled with stewed apple, cinnamon, sugar, and breadcrumbs. It is served with ice cream, whipped cream, custard, or a vanilla sauce, and should be accompanied with a good coffee. Head to a Viennese coffee house for an authentic strudel experience.

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Eat gelato ice-cream in Italy

Gelato is the Italian word for ice-cream, but it’s not quite the same as the ice-cream you might be used to. It’s made using more milk and less cream, making it lower in fat than regular ice cream. It’s generally also richer and more dense. It still comes in all your favorite flavors though – in Italy popular flavors include pistachio and stracciatella (milk with chocolate shavings). Delish!

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Make a creme brulee

Creme brûlée is a French dessert made of custard with a lid of hard caramelized sugar. It’s a complicated dessert which involves whipping eggs, cream, and sugar together to make custard, split into ramekins then the top burnt with a little blowtorch. If you can pull it off though, it’s a dessert that’s sure to impress.

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Taste abalone

Abalone is a kind of shellfish that’s harvested from sea rocks along cliffs and beaches, and can be quite hazardous to collect. This makes them a prized delicacy and a popular menu item in fancy restaurants. When cooked properly, it should have a delicate flavor similar to a scallop, and a soft texture.

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Eat Foie Gras

Considered a luxury food item, foie gras is made of the liver of a duck or goose that has been purposely fattened. The production of foie gras is controversial as it involves force-feeding a duck to get an especially fatty liver, and as such it’s been banned in many countries. With a texture similar to pate, it’s often served on little toasts or as a fancy touch to a range of dishes.

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Learn to use chopsticks

If you’re going to head to any Asian country with the intention of sampling their cuisine, you cannot ask for a fork. You’ll be laughed right out of there. Chopsticks look tricky at first, but it’s all a matter of practice. Check out a YouTube tutorial to watch someone do it along with you, and soon you’ll be eating rice and noodles like a pro.

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Build a gingerbread house

It doesn’t have to be quite as big as the one from Hansel & Gretel – a mini version will be just as delicious and a bit easier to eat. After baking and constructing the outside, get some kids together to decorate it with icing and candy (or do it yourself, why should kids have all the fun?)

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Eat tapas

Have you ever looked through a menu at a new restaurant and wished you could try everything? With tapas, you pretty much can! Tapas literally translates to ’small portion’ in Spanish, and consists of sharing plates of hot or cold food. Because you are just nibbling your way through, you can try many more different flavors than if you had to commit to one meal – perfect if you’re a bit indecisive!

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Eat brownies in Amsterdam

When people ask if you tried the brownies in Amsterdam, it’s not out of a love of fudgey chocolate goodness. The Netherlands has legalized the sale of marijuana, which means you can find it in all sorts of baked goods. If you’ve never tried the old Mary Jane, maybe start small. We recommend being somewhere you feel safe, and sticking with friends. And don’t commit the classic rookie error of assuming it’s not working and eating the whole thing – it can take a up to an hour to kick in!

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Try 100 different flavors of ice cream in a year

Ice cream is great in that it can carry so many different flavors perfectly. Chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla are safe bets, sure. But have you ever tried curry & mint ice cream? Or sea salt ice cream? Or goat cheese? Or black charcoal? If not, you best get licking!

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Eat a croissant in Paris

If there’s a better French invention than the flaky, buttery, pastry goodness that is a croissant, we’re yet to hear of it. Paired with a good cup of coffee, there is no better way to start your day in Paris than with a soft, warm croissant. You may have to try a few to find your favorite Parisian boulangerie, but there are worse ways to spend your time.

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Order fried ice cream

On paper, fried ice cream make no sense – is it hot or cold?? How do you cook ice cream?? Why would anyone do such a thing?! While there are conflicting stories of who invented the process of deep-frying ice cream, your best bet to find some is a Chinese restaurant, where it’s served as a classic dessert. A scoop of super-frozen ice cream is rolled in batter then flash fried, so that it’s still cold in the middle but has a crunchy outer shell. Well worth a taste.

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Try goulash in Budapest

First served in medieval Hungary, goulash is a stew of meat and vegetables and spiced with paprika, and is pretty much the perfect winter meal. It’s classically served over small egg noodles. There are different versions of this meal found all over Eastern Europe, but this is where it all started.

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Eat wild raspberries

Raspberries are native to North America, but there are farms and crops all over the world due to the hardiness of the plant and the popularity of raspberries in general. Make sure you do your research before eating any wild berries you find, as getting it wrong can have disastrous consequences.

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Try eating snake

Many cultures eat snake as it is full of nutrients and protein, and tastes somewhere between chicken and fish. In Hong Kong snake soup is popular both for its taste and as a health supplement, and in the US rattlesnakes are barbecued up or breaded and fried like chicken nuggets. However you try it, be sure to get someone who knows what they’re doing to prepare it for you – one Chinese chef died after the snake he was cooking bit him 20 minutes after he’d cut off its head!

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Try 20 different types of doughnuts in a year

When you think of donuts, you may just think of the classic sugar glaze. Please stop limiting yourself – expand your donut horizons! There are donuts filled with custard, cream, or jam; there are donuts with frosting of all flavors; donuts made with sour cream, crullers, twists, good old-fashioned cinnamon and sugar… Excuse me while I wipe the drool.

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Eat swordfish

Swordfish steaks are at the meatier end of the fish spectrum, and are great on a grill with a light marinade. You can also cook it on skewers as it is relatively firm, where other fish might not fare so well.

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Eat pizza in Italy

If the only pizza you’re used to is from Domino’s, you will be in for an absolute treat. Authentic Italian pizza is light, fresh, crunchy, and not too heavy on the toppings. You want it fresh out of the wood-fired oven, piping hot – just like Mama used to make.

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Eat grasshoppers in Thailand

Before you turn up your nose – insects are set to be the next superfood as they are plentiful, sustainable, and actually taste pretty good. They are usually fried til crispy, then covered in salt so you can snack on them like potato chips. Pick them up as a street food while you’re exploring!

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Eat fondue in Switzerland

Fondue is basically a warm pot of gooey goodness that you can dip things into with a poker stick. The authentic Swiss version is cheese, with long pokers for you to dip pieces of bread and then eat it warm, though you can also do a chocolate fondue where you dip fruits into a pot of melted chocolate. Whichever you choose, it’s a deliciously warm way to share an intimate meal with someone.

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Eat Roast Suckling Pig

Suckling pig is a piglet that has been skewered and put either in an oven to roast or, more traditionally, put on a spit to rotate over hot coals. As the pig is roasted low and slow it becomes crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside. Make sure you’ve got a few people coming round to help you finish it!

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Try bubble tea

All the rage in Asian countries and slowly making its way to the rest of the world, bubble tea is cold brewed tea with “bubbles” made from tapioca pearls to give it a fun texture. Try it with whipped cream cheese on top for an even weirder taste experience!

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Try 10 flavors of french macaroons

There are so many flavors of macaroon, the only thing limiting you is your imagination. With flavors like pistachio, rose, lavender, apricot, salted caramel, and coffee, try to taste them all so you know for sure which is your favorite.

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Create my own candy

Hard candy is basically just melted sugar flavored with whatever you can find, so get creative! Once you master the basics, you can invent your own personalized candy – the perfect treat for a party, or to give away on Halloween!

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Cook a large batch of food and freeze it

Otherwise known as meal prepping, this is a great way to save money and make sure that you’re eating the food you’re making. Make a big pot of soup or stew to take to work through the colder months, or a huge batch of cookies to nibble on throughout the week. It’s usually cheaper to cook big batches of food than lots of small batches, so if you’re cooking anyway why not do it on a large scale?

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Make homemade ice cream

Surprisingly easy to do, and it means you can flavor it with whatever you like! Are Twix Bars your favorite? Crush some of those in there! Prefer fresh fruits and berries? Go for it! Homemade ice cream always tastes better than store bought, and is a great dessert for dinner parties.

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Eat maple syrup pancakes in Canada

As any Canadian will tell you, the only real maple syrup is 100% Canadian maple syrup. Tapped from giant maple trees, maple syrup and pancakes go together like, well, pancakes and maple syrup! There is no better example of things that go together, it’s the epitome of food pairings.

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Try new food every month

Your tastes are always changing, and you can grow to enjoy things that maybe you didn’t like at first. Weirdly though, sometimes the things you didn’t like at first turn out to be your favorites – think olives, strong cheese, wine… all the best things, basically. So make sure you’re always expanding your palate and trying new tastes and textures, you might surprise yourself!

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Do Tequila Shots in Mexico

In Mexico the classic way to serve tequila is in a straight shot – no lime, no salt, no nothing. Luckily, as far as spirits go it tends to taste pretty good (if you get a good quality one – if it’s a cheap tequila, make sure you line your stomach with plenty of tacos beforehand).

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Eat a snail in France (escargot)

Escargot is usually cooked in a white wine sauce and served with parsley, garlic, and lemon juice. You can eat them in a similar way to oysters, right out of the shell, or mixed through a meal. They don’t tend to have a strong flavour, and have a soft, chewy texture. It might seem weird, but they’re actually pretty delicious – go to a nice Parisian restaurant for the full experience.

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Eat at a Teppanyaki Restaurant in Japan

Teppanyaki is more of an experience than a meal. Everyone sits around a chef as they grill your meal up right before your eyes – then throw it at you for you to catch in your bowl. A good chef will talk you through everything they’re doing and put on quite a show, and the food is fresh and delicious. Be careful about your outfit though, you may end up wearing your meal.

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Eat kangaroo in Australia

 

Kangaroo is an incredibly lean, protein-rich meat that’s quite plentiful in Australia – with a gamey taste and texture, it’s delicious grilled on a BBQ with a good red wine marinade.

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Try baby octopus

Baby octopus is a delicacy – cooked on a grill with plenty of fresh lemon, it’s delicious on a salad or as an appetiser. It’s quite bland and chewy, and not at all fishy or “seafoody”, and so a good marinade will help give it flavour before chargrilling it.

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Try Durian Fruit

Durian fruit is also known as the world’s smelliest fruit, and as such is banned from being carried on trains in Singapore. Looking like a big spiky football, its a wonder that someone first decided it was worth a taste. Luckily, the taste is actually worth it – it’s sweet and reminiscent of a fermented custard, if that helps your imagination (or sounds remotely appealing to you).

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Attend a beer tasting event

If your beer of choice is a Bud Light, you may be in for a surprise at the sheer number of different types of beers that are out there. The craft beer scene has exploded across the world over the past few years so it’s well worth sampling a few different types to work out what your new favorite might be.

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Try a Maple Bacon Donut

Maple syrup and bacon don’t immediately sound like they should go together – is it sweet, is it savory? What you should be asking is: does it matter when it’s this delicious?

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Cook 1 new recipe per week, for 52 consecutive weeks

Expand your cooking horizons by challenging yourself to cook one new meal each week. It might mean using ingredients you’ve never tried before, or attempting a new technique. You’ll push yourself to get better at cooking and chances are you’ll end up with some new recipes in your repertoire. Variety is the spice of life!

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Try a Mai Tai cocktail

Preferably on a tropical beach somewhere – though if there are no beaches nearby, this cocktail will transport you via your tastebuds. Consisting of rum, curacao liqueur, orgeat syrup, and lime juice, this boozy drink is often served on the rocks, with a wedge of pineapple and some mint leaves as a fresh garnish.

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Drink Vodka in Russia

When in Russia, do as the Russians do. And what the Russians do is drink vodka – a lot of it. If you’ve never tried vodka straight, don’t be fooled by it’s clear, watery appearance – it does not taste like water.

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Drink real absinthe

They don’t call it ‘chasing the green fairy’ for nothing! Real absinthe should have bits of wormwood at the bottom – this is where the hallucinogenic element supposedly comes from. The traditional way to drink it is with a cube of sugar slowly dripping into the glass, melted by ice cold water to dilute it. The ritual around drinking it is maybe more fun than the drink itself, but you’ll feel very bohemian while you do it!

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Eat an ostrich egg

Ostrich eggs are the largest eggs laid by a bird, and are said to be slightly sweeter and fluffier in texture than a normal chicken egg. There are a few cafes opening around the world where you can dine on an enormous omelet for brunch, which might be a better option than sourcing and cooking one yourself – who’s got a saucepan that big, anyway?

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Eat churros in Spain

Churros are long, crunchy donuts that you dip into chocolate sauce before eating warm, and they are an excellent Spanish invention. Traditionally served as a dessert, they are becoming increasingly popular all over the world. Head to Spain to get them at their authentic best.

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Eat fried green tomatoes

And we don’t mean the classic 1991 film starring Kathy Bates (coz like, how would you eat that?). This Southern delicacy is basically just crumbed and fried tomatoes, but boy are they delicious. Green is best as they hold their shape better when cooking – ripe red tomatoes will become mushy and wet.

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Eat rabbit

Rabbit meat is similar to chicken but with a gamier texture and goes well in stews and casseroles. It’s an environmentally friendly red meat option as it’s easy to raise rabbits, and they thrive in the wild.

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Eat sashimi at Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market

This is one of the best places in Tokyo to enjoy super-fresh seafood, and is where chefs head first thing each morning to pick up the best and freshest fish for their restaurants. Sashimi is thin slices of incredibly fresh fish, so if you’ve never tried it before, you won’t do better than to try it here.

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Have a drink on a Rooftop Bar

There is nothing like sitting on a rooftop with a drink in hand at the end of a long summer day, watching the sunset as the revelries turn from casual daytime chats to naughtier nighttime rendezvous. Whether it’s a well-earned glass of wine after work or a fancy cocktail beginning a night out on the town, the view from a rooftop bar is a good reminder that the city is yours for the exploring!

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Make an apple pie from scratch

While it might look hard to do, making your own pastry and stewing your own apples actually isn’t all that difficult. And even if it’s not perfect, it’s hard to make a bad apple pie – no one is going to turn down a slice, believe me. Give it a go, you might surprise yourself!

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Taste caviar

Caviar is a delicacy that’s well known for being very expensive and fancy. Made from salt-cured roe, or fish eggs, it is the epitome of gourmet. With an intensely fishy taste, you may wonder why it’s so sought after when you first try it – rich people spend their money on strange things, what can we say?

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Try haggis in Scotland

Haggis is the national food of Scotland and banned in many other countries. Traditionally made sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs and cooked in its stomach, haggis is a polarizing meal. If you’re going to try it anywhere, it should be Scotland, where it will be served with bashed neeps and mashed tatties (turnips and potatoes the layman) and you can wash it down with a good Scottish whiskey.

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Taste oysters

Oysters are a salty little morsel that you want to eat as fresh as possible. Best with a squeeze of lemon to bring out the delicate fishy taste, if you’re nervous you can try them Kilpatrick the first time round – sprinkled with bacon and Worcestershire sauce and grilled for a few minutes, it tastes like a BBQ version.

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Try a bloody mary

A Bloody Mary is a boozy breakfast cocktail that is very helpful in recovering from last night’s boozy dinner cocktails. Made with vodka, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce and tabasco, it’s spicy, refreshing, and probably not for everyone. It does go down a treat when you can’t quite face food, though.

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Eat a bagel in NY

A bagel is a kind of bread roll that actually originated in the Jewish communities of Poland. These days it’s popular in New York, especially the Jewish communities there, and is served with a schmear of cream cheese. It’s a dense, chewy bread owing to its cooking method – first it’s boiled, then baked. Head to any bagel bar for a tasty breakfast treat.

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Make a pavlova

A pavlova is a meringue-based cake, traditionally topped with heaps of hand-whipped cream and fresh fruits. It’s light and sweet, and usually eaten during summer. Just whatever you do, don’t ask an Australian or New Zealander who invented it – they both swear it’s their own creation and it’s a point of some contention.

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Taste juice straight from a piece of sugar cane

If ever you come across a sugar cane field, snap a bit of the cane off and suck out some of the juice. As you’d imagine, it’s quite sweet – it’s what sugar is made from, after all. In this unrefined form, sugar cane juice is actually quite good for you.

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Start a family cookbook

Nearly everyone has a family recipe that they ‘just don’t make as well as their parents did’. Food is a way of passing down heritage, and a great link to the past. A family cookbook is something you can create and pass down through the generations so that the dishes your grandparents made aren’t lost to time.

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Try Kimchi

Kimchi is a staple Korean side dish which accompanies most meals. Made of salted and fermented vegetables, it is light and tart and is considered quite good for you due to all the good bacteria within it.

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Try Takoyaki

Takoyaki is a Japanese snack made with minced or chopped up octopus, rolled into a ball, battered and fried. They are a popular street food and often served at festivals in Japan. You can find them all over the world at any good Japanese restaurant or sushi train.

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Eat fish and chips in the UK

Battered fish and hot potato chips (thick-cut fries if you’re from the US) are an English takeaway staple (though it’s arguable that they actually cook it best…). Served hot and wrapped up in newspaper for you to take home or down to the beach, fish ‘n’ chips are a perfect dinner treat.

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Drink beer in Belgium

Some of the oldest breweries in the world are located in Belgium, so it’s fair to say they’ve got beer brewing down to a fine art. Belgian beer rules are different to the rest of the world – you want it served at room temperature, not ice-cold, and a Belgian beer is best served from a bottle, not from the tap. They take their beer seriously, so your best bet is to head to a bar and ask for a recommendation.

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Try whiskey in Scotland

Better yet, head to a distillery in Scotland and see how they make it – they’ll take you on a tour and explain how Scotch Whisky is different to regular whiskey and why it’s the best in the world. You’ll come out with a new appreciation for the caramel-colored spirit.

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Go for dim sum

Dim sum are a style of Chinese cuisine where bite-sized portions of food are wrapped in rice noodle paper and steamed in bamboo baskets. They’re traditionally eaten for breakfast or lunch, though in Western countries they are more often eaten at lunch or dinner. Head for yum cha where you can eat endless dim sums served by people wheeling carts around – then you can sample them all!

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Drink champagne in France

Associated with royalty, celebrity, and general fine living, popping a bottle of bubbly is a very visual representation of living your best life. The only sparkling wine that can call itself champagne actually comes from the Champagne region of France, so it makes sense to head there to find the best of the best.

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Eat Springbok meat

South Africa is host to all sorts of exotic animals, and you better believe the locals have tried them all. Springbok is a medium-sized antelope native to southwestern Africa, and South Africans are so enamored with the animal they named their national rugby team after it. Join in on a local braai – a popular BBQ event that every meat-lover should try at least once.

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Eat Pavlova in Australia

No summer BBQ or Christmas lunch in Australia would be complete without an aunt whipping out the old pavlova. A meringue-based cake traditionally topped with heaps of hand-whipped cream and fresh fruits, it’s light, sweet, and bloody delicious.

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Try Bratwurst

Bratwurst is a type of German sausage made from veal, beef, or pork. It’s much fatter and shorter than a hot dog sausage and crammed full of flavor. Try it on a long, crunchy roll with a spicy mustard on top.

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Try a Rollmop

Rollmops are a Polish appetizer consisting of pickled herring fillets rolled around a savory filling, usually a pickled onion or gherkin. These days they’re considered a key part of a German hangover breakfast. While pickled fish may not be your thing, the balance of flavor with the oily fish and tart pickled filling is quite delicious, once you get used to it.

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Create your own signature dish

Once you become comfortable in the kitchen, creating your own dishes is easy. You can take an ingredient you love and create a recipe around it or take an old recipe and make it your own. Either way, once you master it, you’ll have people begging for your secrets – and you’ve invented something that you can pass down through the generations!

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Invent your own cocktail

Nothing screams ‘excellent party host!’ like whipping up your own signature cocktail for your guests. Whether it’s a light, juice-based beverage or something a little boozier, experiment with different spirits and liqueurs until you find the perfect harmony of flavors – and maybe visit a few bars to get some mixologists opinions. For research, of course. 

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Make fresh pasta

If you’re a pasta lover (and let’s be honest, who isn’t?) then you should try your hand at making your own pasta at least once. If it’s a success, then you’ll have the most delicious pasta you’re likely to ever try! And if it’s a miserable failure, at least you’ll have a better appreciation for the people who’ve mastered this culinary art.

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Milk a cow by hand

You probably drink milk every day, but how often do you stop to think about where it actually came from? Get back to basics and reacquaint yourself with the source of all things dairy. Cows are beautiful creatures, as you master the technique of squeezing the teats you’ll gain a new respect for every creamy glass.

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