With coronavirus making travel a tricky and even potentially dangerous prospect this year, we’re fully embracing the summer staycation. (It’s also cheaper than plane tickets and hotel rooms at the best of times!)
To help you do the same, we created this collection of transportive flavors and travel-inspired ideas from around the world, so you can take your tastebuds on a trip and give your mind a mini vacation while you’re still at home.
Online travel cooking classes, international bakeware, frozen Thai dessert, DIY sushi, a French blueberry clafoutis, West African ginjan, Peruvian pleasures, and Iranian stew are just some of what you’ll find below.
Our virtual itinerary is far from exhaustive—which is why we’ll be adding lots more to this list as the summer stretches on—but we’re sure you’ll find something you’ll love so much that you won’t even mind not being on vacation:
- A Taste of the Tropics
- Mediterranean Marvels
- French Feast
- American Excellence
- Asian Flavor Exploration
- Middle Eastern and African Eats
- International Table Setting
A Taste of the Tropics
Anywhere tropical is a top summer vacation destination, so that’s where we’re going first—at least through food and decor that can evoke an island oasis in your own place.
- 21 Tropical Touches to Turn Your Space into Paradise – Bring vacation vibes into your home with tropical plants, palm prints, and pineapples. (And check out how to turn a small balcony or other slice of outdoor space into an oasis while you’re at it.)
Tub Tim Krob Is the Crunchy Frozen Dessert of Your Dreams – Close your eyes, take a bite, and you’re on a beach in Phuket. (Or keep them open because these “red rubies” are stunning too.)
- 15 Perfect Pineapple Recipes to Transport You to the Tropics – Juicy, ripe pineapple is perfect in everything from drinks and dessert to main courses and sides.
- 5-Ingredient Belizean Fry Jacks Are Fit for Every Meal – Sprinkled with powdered sugar or stuffed with ground beef, these light and airy fried dough puffs can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dessert.
- Try This Hot Jerk Chicken from Jamaican Chef Shani Jones – Recreate the taste of Jamaica’s classic jerk chicken with this recipe.
- How to Stock a Filipino Pantry – Plus, what to cook from it, of course.
- Miang Kham Is a Perfect Bite of Thai Food – These dynamite bites are packed with flavor and texture.
- A 3-Ingredient Thai Secret for the Best Meat You’ll Ever Eat – This trio improves everything it touches, and it’s super easy to make.
- A Beginner’s Guide to Thai Food – Take a virtual trip to Thailand and get a basic overview of the country’s dynamic cuisine.
Missing out on a trip to Greece, Italy, or Spain? Capture the sun-drenched flavors of these countries with the info below.
- How to Make Limoncello, a Distillation of Italy in a Glass – This Italian liqueur couldn’t be easier to make (or to sip).
- A Beginner’s Guide to Spanish Tapas (And How to Recreate the Experience at Home) – How the Spanish tradition of small plates came to be, and what the best bites are—with recipes to make them yourself.
- Go Greek with This Mediterranean BBQ Menu – Make these recipes next time you grill and you could almost be in Crete.
- 15 Feta Recipes for Greek Flair – If you haven’t already fallen in love with feta, these recipes will kindle a lifelong passion.
- Skordalia Tastes Like an Aegean Island Vacation – This garlic-heavy potato dip is the perfect thing to snack on all summer.
- Make a Big Batch of These Slow Cooker Stuffed Grape Leaves to Last All Week – A Grecian treat that basically makes itself while you relax by the pool (in your mind, at least).
- How to Throw an Italian Aperitivo Hour – It’s about the vibe as much as the snacks and drinks.
- Try This Spanish Spin on Shakshuka – This Andalusian egg dish is an easy summer dinner—or brunch.
If France is a favorite, you need to try these at home.
- This Blueberry Clafoutis Will Take You to France with One Bite – The easy yet elegant French dessert pancake called clafoutis can be made with any fruit you like; cherries are the most traditional, but blueberries are fantastic too.
These French Pizzettes Bring Paris to You – From the “La Buvette” cookbook, these are the perfect thing to nibble with a glass of wine.
- Our Favorite French Recipes to Pack on a Picnic – They taste just as good eaten at the kitchen table too.
- How to Perfect a Croque Madame, the Comfort Food of France – It’s never a bad time for an upscale grilled cheese.
- 10 French Food Souvenirs You Can Buy Online – You can literally get a taste of Paris even when you can’t get there yourself.
- This Easy, Cheesy Asparagus Tart is Simply Perfect – It’s from Melissa Clark’s “Dinner in French” cookbook and it’s delicious.
- 7 Easy French Rolled Omelets – Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or a simple dinner, you can’t beat a good omelet; here’s how to make one like a pro, and inventive ideas on how to fill it.
- A Complete Beginner’s Guide to French Food – A brief history of the country’s cuisine with essential French recipes and cooking tools if you’re hungry for more.
We’re not just talking about the U.S.—North, South, and Central America have a whole lot going for them in the food department; these are just some of the highlights.
- 11 of the Best Mexican Food Staples to Buy Online – We asked Mexican chefs for their favorites and picked a few of our own; prepare to make some room in your pantry.
- A Comprehensive Guide to Tacos – Coming soon!
- How to Make Corn Dogs Way Better Than Anything from the State Fair – Plus some non-traditional variations.
- 18 Awesome Disney Copycat Recipes – From Mickey beignets to giant turkey legs.
- This Churro Funnel Cake Is Summer’s Sweetest Mash-Up – And they happen to taste a lot like the popular Disney dessert (but better, thanks to the dulce de leche on the side).
- How to Make Dole Whip with Just Two Ingredients – It’s frosty, it’s fruity, it’s creamy, and it’s easy to make at home. (It might also inspire you sing that tiki room song.)
- A Guide to New Orleans’ Classic Cocktails – The city is home to several storied drinks, and you can make them all at home for a taste of the Big Easy.
- Who Invented Funnel Cake? – Where this American state fair icon came from, and how to make it at home.
- How to Make Detroit Style Pizza at Home – You don’t have to travel to the Motor City to try their signature rectangular pie (or crunch on those crispy edges).
- The History of the Mai Tai – Thank Hawaii for this all-star summer drink.
- These Crispy Colombian Patacones Are Even More Addictive Than Your Favorite Fries – Especially once you spoon chimichurri on top!
- If You Love Grilled Cheese, You’ll Adore These Arepas – Another Colombian treat you need to try.
- 10 Mexican Sandwiches to Make Immediately – Tortas, cemitas, and pambazos for when only a serious sandwich will do.
- Lomo Saltado Is the Chinese-Peruvian Stir-Fry of Your Dreams – This is a prime way to enjoy meat and potatoes.
You’ll Put This Herby, Spicy, Peruvian Green Sauce on Everything – Aji verde is the sauce of summer.
- Suspiro de Limeña Is Your Next Sweet Obsession – Also from Peru, this light-as-air dessert is sure to make you sigh.
- A Beginner’s Guide to Peruvian Cuisine – Clearly we can’t get enough—if that’s true for you too, take a deeper dive into the food of Peru (with even more recipes in the mix).
- Chicha Morada Is a Superb Summer Cooler – Can’t forget about the iconic purple Peruvian drink, of course.
Asian Flavor Exploration
There’s so much more to dig into under the extremely broad “Asian food” umbrella, but here are a few of our favorite bites that come from all over the continent.
If You Love Poke, Chirashi Is Another Rice Bowl You Should Know – It may be the ultimate summer seafood dinner.
4 Tips for the Best Chicken Tikka Masala You’ll Ever Eat – With a recipe from chef Preeti Mistry.
How to Make Your Own Garam Masala for the Best Indian Food Ever – Chef Mistry also clued us in on the keys to perfect garam masala.
- This 15-Minute Tikka Tastes Like Bombay (And London Too) – These skewers from Dishoom are destined to become a repeat dinner.
- Dip into These Essential Indian Condiments – Chutney is only the beginning.
- How to Order Vietnamese Food Like a Pro – If you’re not quite sure where to start, let Andrea Nguyen guide you through the basics.
- Spice Up Your Summer with This Bun bo Hue – Pho isn’t the only Vietnamese soup worth slurping up.
- How to Order Korean BBQ Like a Pro – Ordering in and overwhelmed by your options? Esther Choi will point you in the right direction.
- How to Pull Off a Korean BBQ in Your Backyard – If you’d rather DIY, our Korean barbecue menu is a wonderful weekend cooking project.
- This Veggie Pajeon Is the Perfect Way to Use Your Summer Produce – And you get another taste of Korean cooking no matter where you may be.
- 9 Japanese Noodle Dishes Besides Ramen – Udon, soba, and shirataki are well worth your time; here are some delicious ways to enjoy them at home. (But don’t sleep on ramen noodle recipes besides soup either.)
- This Japanese Potato Salad Is the Only Summer Side You Need – It’s a perfect partner to all your favorite BBQ food.
- You’re Only 5 Ingredients Away from This Crispy Japanese Grilled Ginger Chicken – It couldn’t be easier to make, and it’s incredibly delicious.
- How to Cook with Matcha – This famous Japanese green tea isn’t just for drinking; here’s how and why to incorporate it into more than your morning routine.
- A Beginner’s Guide to Sake – Matcha in the morning, sake when the sun goes down.
- Making Sushi at Home Is Easier Than You Think – It may not be expert-level on the first (or second) try, but it will be delicious, and fun to boot.
- Essential Chinese Cooking Tools – With the right equipment, it’s possible to make great Chinese food at home.
- Beijing Potato Salad Is a Refreshing Change of Pace This Summer – You’ve probably never had potato salad like this, and if you’re a mayo-hater, this one’s for you.
- How to Make Bubble Tea at Home – Taiwan’s beloved treat is a fun one to make at home, and will keep you cool all summer.
Middle Eastern and African Eats
Get a little taste of Iran, Morocco, Egypt, and beyond.
- Why Sumac Deserves a Spot in Everyone’s Spice Cabinet – This tart magenta spice is versatile and vibrant in every way.
- How to Add More Middle Eastern Flavor to Your Food – Even if you don’t commit to one particular regional style of cuisine, these common ingredients all add vibrant flavor to anything you cook.
- What Is Shakshuka and Where Did It Come From? – This African-Middle Eastern egg dish is an endlessly adaptable, one-dish meal.
- The Turkish Food You Must Try – We asked a couple chefs to recommend their favorites so you know what to order (…everything).
- Moroccan Mint Tea Is as Much Ritual as Drink – Here’s how to recreate it at home.
- This West African Grain Bowl Feeds All Kinds of Hunger – Ancient grains are good for everyone, and this recipe from Pierre Thiam makes the most of them.
- Ginjan Is the Ultimate Summer Sip – If you’ve never tried this West African drink, you’re in for a treat.
- Egyptian Kushari Is Easy to Love – The national dish of Egypt should be way more widely known.
- This Persian Butter Bean Stew Is Simply Stunning – It’s also vegetarian, and the perfect thing to do with a bumper crop of fresh dill.
International Table Setting
We can’t resist recipes with worldly flavors, which is why we’ve curated so many internally inspired collections—and not just recipes, but cookbooks, kitchen gadgets, and even cooking classes too.
- 8 International Cooking Classes You Can Take Online – Thanks to the internet, you can still take travel cooking classes even if you’re staying put.
Our Favorite International Cookbooks for a Taste of Travel – Cook your way around the world without leaving home.
- 10 International Cooking Tools Everyone Should Own – These gadgets make cooking international treats easier and more fun.
- 15 International Takes on Deviled Eggs – A prime summer appetizer or picnic snack, these worldly deviled eggs pack a ton of flavor into a couple bites.
- 11 Grill Recipes That Span the Globe – The world of BBQ is huge, and these are some of our favorite international dishes to grill.
- The World’s Most Refreshing Summer Drinks – From tropical cocktails to non-alcoholic sippers, these are some of the world’s best things to sip this summer.
- The Healthiest International Foods Everyone Should Eat – These ingredients have major health benefits, and they all taste great too.
- The World’s Best Restaurant Cookbooks – When you can’t visit these world-renowned eateries, you can attempt to replicate their dishes at home.
- The Best International Bakeware to Buy – Enjoy all your favorite comfort food from around the world in your own kitchen.
- 7 International Ice Pops for the Coolest Summer Ever – From Mexican paletas to bubble tea pops, these chill treats are inspired by some of our favorite flavors around the wold.
- 10 Globally Sourced Sauces to Enliven All Your Meals – Easy ways to add more worldly flavor to even the most boring chicken breast.
- 15 International Pancakes You Should Know – They’re not all for breakfast either.
- 13 Vegetarian Recipes from Around the World – For Meatless Mondays and beyond.
- 16 International Potato Preparations – These prove that spuds are well-traveled, indeed.
- 9 Worldly Egg Dishes Worth Cracking Into – Some of the most egg-citing ways to enjoy this familiar ingredient come from other countries.
- 6 International Cold Soups for Summer – Gazpacho and borscht have some delicious company.
- 11 Global Grilled Chicken Options – Why settle for the same old seasoning when you can have a BBQ bird with international flair?
- 15 Ways the World Makes Breakfast – From rice congee to chilaquiles, these are all way better than another serving of cereal.
- 16 International Seafood Soups to Brighten Your Bowl – The ocean covers most of earth; no surprise so many places make a mean seafood soup.
- Meatball Recipes That Make the World Go Round – Turns out, everyone loves to have a ball.
Header image courtesy of Brett Stevens / Cultura / Getty Images