Here are the Top 10 Food Pilgrimages as per National Geographic.
Peter Luger Steak House, Brooklyn, New York - Since 1887 steak-loving New Yorkers have crossed the bridge into Brooklyn for what many believe is the finest prime beef the nation can provide. Rigorously selected, perfectly marbled short loin of beef is dry-aged on the premises, broiled simply, and served in generous portions, usually for two hungry diners to share. The atmosphere is strictly no frills, but the prices reflect the quality of the beef. - Planning: Peter Luger Steak House does not accept credit cards. www.peterluger.com
The French Laundry, Yountville, California - Chef Thomas Keller's restaurant earns a place in virtually every "top ten" restaurant list in the U.S. He is passionate about the seasonality and sourcing of his ingredients. Rather than a single signature dish, The French Laundry is famous for its nine-course Tasting Menus, which change daily and are based on seasonal ingredients. Expect such surprises as the playfully named "Oysters and Pearls," a savory custard of pearl tapioca garnished with caviar and oysters. Planning: Expect to spend three to four hours at the table to give each dish the attention it deserves. www.frenchlaundry.com
Antoine's, New Orleans, Louisiana - This grande dame of American restaurants has been run by the same family since it opened in 1840, hosting local and international gourmets, U.S. presidents, foreign royalty, and Hollywood stars. Antoine's most celebrated specialty is Oysters Rockefeller, invented here in 1899 and named —because of its intensely rich, luxurious sauce —after the wealthiest American of the day. The precise recipe, despite many attempts to reproduce it, remains a secret. Planning: Antoine's dress code requires male guests to wear a jacket at dinner. www.antoines.com
Beijing Dadong Kaoya Dian ("Beijing Roast Duck") Restaurant, Beijing, China - Versions of Peking Duck —that sublime combination of crisp roast skin, juicy duck meat, and pungent condiments, all wrapped in a pancake—turn up in supermarket freezers worldwide. But at the Beijing Dadong Kaoya Dian, you can enjoy this Chinese classic at its best—just choose your ingredients, roll them up in the pancake, and enjoy. The menu also offers a wide range of other dishes. Planning: Reservations are always essential. Ask your hotel to book. Tuanjie Hu Beikou, Building 3; tel: +86 10 6582 2892.
49 Bat Dan Street, Hanoi, Vietnam - Vietnamese are passionate about their national dish, pho —a rich meat broth packed with noodles, meat or poultry, scallions, ginger, fresh herbs, and spices. The citizens of Hanoi claim theirs is the best pho of all. Small cafés and sidewalk vendors are the usual sources. Locals and foreigners alike agree that the stall at 49 Bat Dan Street offers some of the finest pho in town. Planning: This is spur-of-the-moment dining. When you see a stall that's busy serving a long line of hungry customers, consider it worth the wait.
Hotel Sacher, Vienna, Austria - The world's most famous chocolate cake, the sachertorte, is to patisserie what Strauss waltzes are to music —an embodiment of the delights of café society in the 19th-century Vienna. Devised by Franz Sacher in 1832, the torte holds a ribbon of apricot jam between chocolate layers and is accompanied by whipped cream. Franz's son built the Hotel Sacher in 1876. Planning: This is a luxury hotel, so even if you're visiting the café you'll feel more comfortable if not too casually dressed. www.sacher.com
Harry's Bar, Venice, Italy - In Venice, the peak of self-indulgence is a Bellini cocktail, of fresh white peach juice and sparkling Prosecco, imbibed where the drink was first devised. The cocktail was named in honor of the 15th-century Venetian artist Giovanni Bellini. Harry's Bar itself is a cultural icon, appearing in Ernest Hemingway's novel, Across the River and Into the Trees. Planning: Meal prices are very high, so limit yourself to a drink at the bar unless on an unlimited budget. www.cipriani.com
L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Paris, France - Robuchon has been hailed as the most influential French chef of his generation, with a focus on simplicity and natural flavors. His food is by no means austere. Truffles and caviar abound, but they are likely to be paired with such partners as cauliflower or his ethereally rich mashed potatoes. Planning: L'Atelier does not have tables but consists of high stools facing a counter. www.hotel-pont-royal.com
The Fat Duck, Bray, Berkshire, England - Heston Blumenthal's take on Britain's beloved "chips" —french-fried potatoes —has become the stuff of culinary legend. It involves days of preparation —smoking hay and the application of adventurous kitchen technology —to achieve a state of dry, crisp, perfection. Planning: The restaurant can accommodate a maximum of only six diners per table. www.fatduck.co.uk
El Bulli, Cala Montjoi, Catalonia, Spain - Catalan chef Ferran Adrià espouses a revolutionary approach to gastronomy, using art, science, and a playful sense of humor. His experiments include "deconstructing" familiar dishes and reassembling them in unexpected ways. A meal at El Bulli might include exotically stuffed ravioli made with sheets of squid instead of pasta. Planning: Open summers only but gets 800,000 requests for tables annually, so you must book a year in advance. www.elbulli.com