Winter travel is not for the faint of heart. Unless you’re heading to a beach, your luggage gets heavier and your skin a little tougher — but hey, all for the adventure right? It’s worth beating the crowds, saving some money, and seeing a different perspective of a city under a dusting of snow. There’s also nothing more satisfying than warming up with the local comfort food after a long day of Urban Adventur-ing. So here’s our guide to the foods that are sure to keep your tummy happy and your hands warm. And if you’re stuck at home wishing you were travelling, why not try your hand at creating a foreign dish! It’s one of our responsible New Year’s resolutions and it’s guaranteed to impress even your most well-travelled guests. We’ve even included a recipe, so there’s no excuse!
Tajine – Marrakech
This one-pot meal is a staple of Moroccan food and it should be! Delicious local flavours combine in a special earthenware pot for slow-cooked stew that will have your house smelling like a Moroccan souk. If you have a tajine already, why not give it a go? And if you need a little more assistance, our local experts are on hand to teach you the secrets of an authentic Moroccan tajine.
Spicy Sausages in Dark Beer – Prague
The Christmas markets of Prague are famous for warming cold nights with a selection of delicious stews on the go! Spicy fatty sausages are combined with cabbage, onion, and potatoes then cooked in dark Czech beer for a hearty feast. Their recipes are often well-kept family secrets, so if you’re hungry for stew, you’ll have to go there to taste for yourself!
Squash soup – Toronto
Canadian Thanksgiving (not to be confused with its American counterpart) takes place during the fall harvest in October, just as the weather goes into negative numbers. Pumpkins are usually reserved for Halloween jack ‘o’ lanterns, but other types of squash, like butternut and acorn, are popular to roast and turn into soup. It’s worth saving the seeds to roast and salt for a tasty topping or a snack while you’re cooking!
Koshary – Cairo
While the mainstay of most winter stews is meat, this Egyptian dish can be vegetarian, making it a great alternative to a falafel-a-day diet. If it’s prepared with vegetable oil, it’s actually vegan! Koshary is an eclectic blend of macaroni, rice, and lentil blend topped with chickpeas, fried onions, and a tomato-vinegar sauce. While locals often grab this dish from streetside stalls as a cheap, easy meal, it’s worth checking out restaurants specialising in koshary — and if you’re feeling adventurous, try making it yourself!
Northern Thai curry – Los Angeles
Thai curry might not be the most obvious choice for a chilly day in LA, but this city has an astounding diversity of ethnic cuisines to enjoy! Thai Town is one of our favourite places to stop for a taste of the exotic. Although it doesn’t get too chilly in Thailand, they certainly know how to beat the cold with a spicy curry. And if you’re feeling adventurous, stop into one of the traditional grocery stores, stock up on ingredients, and put your own twist on this classic Northern Thai dish.
Ramen – Tokyo
This traditional Japanese noodle dish is a bit of a Asian fusion with its Chinese-wheat noodles and miso or soy broth. Far from a boring chicken noodle soup, ramen can be dressed up with endless toppings and combinations — extra garlic, extra spicy, extra meat if you’re feeling famished. This meal in a bowl will no doubt warm you up and have you ready to take on the city! For a bit of a challenge, head to your nearest Japanese specialty shop and create your own concoction.
Still hungry? These should help!