Make 2020 the year where you get out and see the world! While Paris, Rome, New York and London are all great cities, there are plenty of lesser-known towns that should definitely be on your radar.
One of the best things about going to an Eatwith is getting to know our incredible hosts. They love welcoming guests from all around the world to their table and sharing their passion for their country, culture and cuisine.
Next time you’re researching somewhere new to go, make sure you check out these often underrated (or just plain unknown) holiday hotspots and get insider tips from locals living there!
Try authentic Slovenian food in Ljubljana, Slovenia with Dejan & Natasa
Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital, was awarded the Green Capital of Europe by the European Commission in 2016. The charming city centre is just the right size for strolling around and taking in Ljubljana’s beautiful bridges and buildings created by Slovenia’s master of early modern and minimalist design, architect Jože Plečnik. Make sure you also take note of the dozens of urban design elements such as pillars, pyramids and lamp posts, which exist solely to make the city even prettier.
The best way to see the real Slovenia is to join hosts Dejan & Natasa for dinner in their beautiful home. “We love to eat good food. We like to travel, experience new food, meet new people and get to know their way of thinking,” says Dejan.
This friendly couple who work in finance by day and love cooking by night, invite guests to experience their traditional Slovenian 6-course dinner. The menu changes day to day, depending on what is available fresh at the local market. “We have high standards for food,” says Natasa. “Risotto and »šmorn« (local dessert) are some of our gems on the menu, but our daily menu depends on the ingredients we get at the market that morning. We will always prepare a surprise for you!”
Dejan & Natasa also love giving tourists personal tips to visiting their hometown. Their recommendation for first-time visitors? “The castle is on the hill in the city centre, and there is a wonderful view of the city from there,” Dejan says. “Next to the three bridges in the city centre, there is the central market where you can find fresh fish, meat, fruits and vegetables every day, except Sunday. Here, you can meet locals, discover the best food and delicious wines from various regions, learn about Slovenian traditions and explore the city’s rich cultural heritage.”
And it’s never been a better time to visit. Slovenia has just been nominated as the European Gastronomic Region for 2021… so make sure you visit now before all the foodies arrive!
Discover regional Italian cuisine in Cambridge, UK with Valentina
Cambridge is a fantastic city with charming classic English architecture – it’s like something out of a fairytale! It’s especially beautiful during winter time when the first snow has fallen. Wrap up warm and stroll around the historic university town; the old town is filled with students dressed in gowns – you’ll really feel like you’re in Hogwarts!
Host Valentina invites you to her cosy place in the heart of Cambridge for her specialty: Italian home-cooked dinners based on fresh pasta. You have to try her famous starter – the Bagna Cauda, an old Northern Italian recipe. Bagna Cauda (literally ‘warm sauce’ in English) is a sauce made with garlic and anchovies, and Valentina always prepares raw and cooked vegetables for dipping.
And what brought her to Eatwith? “I’ve always loved eating and chatting for hours and I love that people from all around the world come to my table and share their wonderful stories,” she says.
Forage for your lunch in the hills of Jerusalem, Israel with Nurit
Jerusalem is a beautiful old city located on the plateau in the Judean mountains. The city is full of historic and religious elements as well as beautiful architecture and ancient alleys. Take a walk through this spectacular city and take in the atmosphere while learning more about its history and traditions.
Continue to the city outskirts and meet Nurit, a local Israeli who lives in the foothills of Jerusalem, surrounded by a beautiful forest and nature.
“I see food as a bridge between people. Meeting new people and making new connections around the table is a real blessing,” she says.
Nurit hosts a truly unique experience in her own backyard – an immersive foraging tour in the hills, followed by lunch in her own garden, surrounded by fruit trees and vegetable gardens. All the ingredients are either foraged from the forest or taken straight from her own garden which makes the dinner extra special. Prepare yourself for her beet ravioli stuffed with fermented almond cheese and Za’atar pesto, with homemade olive oil and grape molasses.
Learn the art of wine pairing in Minneapolis, USA with Bill
If you’re looking for a cool new city to discover in the US, look no further. Minneapolis, Minnesota is a cool, funky and creative city with with a strong music and arts industry. It’s also a tight-knit community with its own individual vibe.
The best way to experience this tight-knit community first-hand is by dinner at ‘Chez Bill‘, host William’s spacious 1915 home in the heart of the city
William is a sommelier/restauranteur and draws on his experience living and traveling in Europe. Back in Minneapolis, William now hosts seasonal dinners and wine pairings. His stylish home is filled with unique furniture and souvenirs from his travels – he’s more than happy to tell you the stories behind each piece!
On the menu Chez Bill, you can expect to find his signature dishes of porcini and lobster bisque. Simple yet satisfying, William has honed his recipe over years of practice!
“I love having people over for dinner because that’s what my mother did. She loved everyone and loved having people at her table,” William says. “Her food was mostly simple, but her ability to make those dishes taste so good was only surpassed by her genuine joy at the happiness it brought everyone.”
Embark on a culinary journey through Terranuova Bracciolini, Italy with Cristina
Terranuova Bracciolini a calm, quiet and mostly undiscovered village in Tuscany, Italy. It’s only a short car or train ride away from the more famous cities of Florence, Siena and Arezzo so it’s the perfect place to stay for a relaxing Tuscan getaway!
Local host Cristina will show you all the postcard-perfect places you won’t find in any guidebook! She prides herself on serving up traditional Tuscan dishes that have disappeared restaurant menus. She gets her culinary inspiration from the very roots of Tuscan cuisine, recreating the same dishes her grandparents used to cook and eat.
If you’re lucky enough to visit in winter, you’ll be treated to her signature dish, ‘Ribollita’, the famous vegetable and bread Tuscan soup. We’re talking real comfort food! Another favorite is ‘Stracotto al Chianti’ – slow-cooked beef in organic Chianti wine.
“I love welcoming guests to my table because to me, cooking means sharing.I want to show my guests how simple yet rich the Tuscan cuisine is,” says Cristina.
Taste African flavors in Philadelphia, USA with Ryan
Forget everything you know about Philadelphia and its famous cheesesteaks! Pennsylvania’s largest city is so much more than that – the local food scene is thriving with social dining experiences popping up all over town. Combined with its plethora of concert venues, free public library, food truck festivals and local host Ryan’s Eatwith experience, Philly is now firmly implanted on the foodie map.
Local tax accountant and full-time foodie Ryan invites you to Philly’s one and only African dinner party. Treat your tastebuds to all the delights of the African diaspora – a delicious mix of soul food, barbecue and African flavors, each paying homages to its cultural roots.
Ryan’s Eatwith dinner is much more than just a meal – he’ll also tell you the story behind ingredients and their cultural significance. Take his signature watermelon salad, for example. He combines simple ingredients to complement the fresh watermelon and fries the discarded pieces. Using watermelon gives him the opportunity to discuss the history and stigma of the fruit associated with the African-American community today.
“Some of the most enjoyable times of my life have been sharing experiences with people and food,” says Ryan. My table is an expression of me, my community, and the culture that I lost. I explore dishes within the African diaspora to find a part of me while sharing all of me with others.”
Make authentic paella on a rooftop in Seville, Spain with Antonio
One of Spain’s hottest cities, Seville is fast catching up to its other well-known neighbours of Barcelona and Madrid. With its sprawling plazas, Gothic cathedrals and famous flamenco clubs, Seville is sure to seduce you from the first footstep. Discover its rich cultural history with the help of a local guide, Eatwith host Antonio.
The food scene in Seville is fast becoming a hot rival to other gastronomic cities like Paris. In Seville the slow food movement has really picked up as evidenced by Antonio’s Mediterranean and organic dinner with wine pairing.
Antonio has worked as an executive chef in some of the city’s best restaurants and has now started his own fine dining experience in a converted architecture studio, located in the heart of the old town.
Coupled with his creative cuisine, guests will also be treated to Antonio’s tips so you can discover Seville like a local. “We really like answering any questions you have about the city and our customs, but above all, we really like that you will learn about our gastronomy,” he says.