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The Number One Food Experience in the World, According to Lonely Planet

Food & Wine logo Food & Wine 8/14/2018 Alison Spiegel
a plate of food on a table © Christopher Testani

Picture it: You pull up to a cozy bar, order a glass of Sherry and out comes one of the best bites of razor clams you'll ever eat. Next up, a skewer with anchovies, olives and hot peppers, better than any skewer you could ever imagine. You're not at a Micheline starred restaurant—although there are plenty of those around. You're at a bar, remember, and you're having one of the best meals of your life, standing up.

You're in San Sebastian, of course. Land of the bar snacks, known as pintxos, that has just landed the highest honor on Lonely Planet's list of the 500 best food experiences in the whole world.

Today, the travel guide published "Ultimate Eats: The World's Top 500 Food Experiences...Ranked," a gastronomical bucket list for the ages, featuring choices from some of the world's best chefs, including José Andres, Eric Ripert and Andrew Zimmern.

Between the moules frites in Brussels to the brisket in Texas, the food experiences—otherwise known as meals worth building an entire vacation around—will definitely inspire you to buy a plane ticket (or three). They named San Sebastian's pintxos number one for the array of bites you might get while bar-hopping through the streets of this charming city.

"It’s hard to list favorites, but the simple examples are often the ones that blow your mind—battered white asparagus, a tuna and anchovy tart or maybe mushrooms braised with garlic," the guide reads.

Here are Lonely Planet's top 20 food experiences. How many have you tried?

20. Pho on the Hau River, Vietnam

19. Peking duck in Beijing

18. Moules frites in Brussels, Belgium

17. Chilli crab in Singapore

16. Lamb tagine in Marrakech, Morocco

15. Jerk chicken in Jamaica

14. Cheese experiences in France

13. Oysters in Freycinet, Australia

12. Pastéis de nata in Lisbon, Portugal

11. Ceviche in Peru

10. Dim sum in Hong Kong

9. Pizza Margherita in Naples, Italy

8. Bibimbap in Seoul, South Korea

7. Crayfish in Kaikoura, New Zealand

6. Smørrebrød in Copenhagen, Denmark

5. Som tum in Bangkok, Thailand

4. Beef brisket in Texas, USA

3. Sushi in Tokyo, Japan

2. Curry laksa in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

1. Pintxos in San Sebastián, Spain

For more intel, head over to Lonely Planet or pick up a copy of the new guide. And if you're not looking to book a trip right now, try these Potato, Tuna and Pepper Confetti Pintxos at home.

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