Places Around The World That Anthony Bourdain Visited

The food world lost one of its most loved chefs/travel writers/TV show hosts when Anthony Bourdain passed away in France in June 2018. Bourdain was revered by many for his inimitable reporting style and penchant for sampling different cuisines. Éric Ripert and José Andrés, friends of the late chef, have declared June 25 to be ‘Bourdain Day,’ which coincides with his birthday. Close to Bourdain Day, it’s worth taking a look at some of the places he visited during his lifetime and successful career:


In Antarctica, Bourdain took a helicopter ride over an active volcano, visited a colony of Adele penguins and met scientists at the McMurdo Station. He ate the food prepared by camp manager, Rae Spain, in a continent that has limited access to fresh vegetables and fruit.


A state in Northeastern Brazil, Bahia is known as ‘the African heart of Brazil’. Bourdain ate at the state’s reputed street vendors and also enjoyed a barbecue on the beach. He especially liked the caipirinha, a traditional cocktail, which he described as the "indispensable icon of Brazilian beach culture,” according to Lonely Planet.


Any visit to Copenhagen would be incomplete without a visit to Noma, René Redzepi’s two Michelin-starred restaurant. Bourdain ate reindeer moss there. He also got to attend the Saturday night staff meeting at the restaurant, an experience reserved for a privileged few, and went foraging on a beach.


In Ethiopia, Bourdain visited the bustling city of Addis Ababa and also smaller villages. Along with chef Marcus Samuelsson and Maya Haile, he gorged on injera (Ethiopian flatbread) and beyaynetu platters. The trio also drank local coffee, which uses salt instead of sugar.

Greek Islands

On the Greek Island of Naxos, Bourdain dove near a 20th century shipwreck and visited the mountainous village of Apiranthos, where he got to witness a traditional celebration in the town square. He also enjoyed drinking raki (an alcoholic drink made with grapes and anise) with the locals in Naxos. 


According to Lonely Planet, Bourdain claimed that of all the places he had visited, strangers in Iran greeted him with the most warmth. He ate traditional Persian meals at two private homes in Esfahan and Tehran. He also sampled chelo kebabs, haleem porridge and slow-cooked stews.


Bourdain described Jamaica as being “close to paradise”. He visited the coastal city of Port Antonio, and enjoyed traditional dishes like curry goat, jerk chicken and saltfish. He also went to an estate owned by the man behind the James Bond novels (Ian Fleming), and dined with music producer Chris Blackwell.


In Seoul, Bourdain tried a soup made from beondegi (silkworm larva), a dish that only an adventurous palate like his could enjoy. He also ate Korean barbecue and Korean fried chicken. Bourdain also believed that the chefs who did some of the most interesting work in America were Korean. 


Along with Éric Ripert, Bourdain explored the Indigenous Andes to look for a rare variety of wild cocoa that is believed to be the world’s best. According to a Lonely Planet article, he said that “you need a new section of your tongue” to be able to enjoy the full spectrum of flavours that Peru has to offer. 


While visiting the Caribbean, Bourdain got to experience how the island of Trinidad celebrates its diversity, which was a byproduct of colonialism. He enjoyed the multicultural food of the region and also attended a steel orchestra rehearsal.


Bourdain’s Vietnam’s adventures were probably the most well-known, since it was also the time he dined with former US president, Barack Obama, in Hanoi. Obama and Bourdain sat on low plastic stools, and enjoyed cheap noodles and glasses of cold beer.