Local cuisine has become a huge factor for Dubliners when it comes to choosing a holiday destination.
Foodies who traditionally flocked to France and Italy are now having their tastebuds tickled by exciting new cultures and the rise of street cooking.
Travel Republic has the lowdown on the most popular destinations climbing up the traveller’s wish list – and we’ve thrown in a few of our own for good measure.
Denmark is being tipped as one of the top foodie destinations for 2019 and it’s no surprise, considering the massive growth and development of its food festivals.
Travel Republic bookings to the capital, Copenhagen have increased by 14% in the past year with Irish tourists keen to check out top foodie events such the Mad Food Festival (August 26/27).
Then there’s the Copenhagen Cooking and Food Festival (August 23 – September 1), which showcases the latest in food trends and innovation, all set against a backdrop of music, chef-led workshops and the fun of new discoveries.
The craft beer scene has exploded in Ireland and with it a heightened interest in German food and beer. Due to an increased interest in craft beer culture and commencement of direct flights to Munich last October, travel to Oktoberfest from Ireland has increased by 40%.
This year’s event will take place from September 21 to October 6 and promises to transform the city centre of Munich into an urban festival like no other, brimming with tents, tankards and plenty of lederhosen.
Since new direct routes were announced from Dublin to Hong Kong last June, this foodie mecca has seen a 109% increase from Irish customers seeking a destination packed full of exotic flair and fare.
From October 31 to November 3 the Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival will showcase world-class food, drink and entertainment against the city’s iconic skyline.
The festival will feature wine-pairing meals and tasting masterclasses as well as more than 400 drinks booths to keep attendees refreshed. This year will mark the tenth anniversary of the festival so it’s sure to be their biggest spectacle yet.
Best of the rest
In Switzerland the Onion Market is the biggest folk festival on the calendar, boasting 50 tons of onion braids, rings and bulbs on display and a confetti war which starts at 4pm sharp.
The annual event in Bern is held on the fourth Monday of November.
California’s capital, Sacramento, holds a festival focusing on bacon, believe it or not.
The annual January celebration sees chefs cook the meat on the street from organically-fed hogs – and there’s even a Kevin Bacon tribute band.
Every night during a single week in September, Napoli’s Lungomare Caracciolo area is transformed into a pizza village with 500,000 visitors who devour more than 100,000 of them – with 50 varieties to choose from.
Crepes take centre stage in the French town of Gourin in Brittany on the last weekend in July.
Now in its 26th year, the festival features crepes and traditional buckwheat pancakes (galettes) with a contest to cook the world’s biggest crepe.
Closer to home, there’s the Taste of Dublin in the Iveagh Gardens in June which brings together the country’s top chefs for a four-day celebration.
If you can’t wait that long, the Dublin Bay Prawn Festival in Howth will run from Friday, May 17 to Sunday, May 19, showcasing Howth’s finest restaurants, bars and cafes.