Book Review: Frommer’s 500 Places for Food and Wine Lovers


Frommer’s 500 Places for Food and Wine Lovers

Plan a Trip Around Good Eats and Drinks with Frommer's

The first thought that came to my mind when I picked up a copy of Frommer’s 500 Places for Food and Wine Lovers was, “What a great idea for a guidebook! After all, dining is a big part of any journey. So why not plan a trip around it?”

You’ll love the way this book by Holly Hughes is organized. It reads almost like an adventure novel, rather than a guidebook. Chapter 1, Going to the Source, gives you insight into some fabulous markets, shops, street vendors, cookbooks and food museums from around the world. Reading the details of the different options here, my mouth was watering.

After reading Chapter 2, Food Vacations, you’ll be tempted to plan a gastronomic jaunt to a place where food is center stage. How does a stay at a cozy inn in the Loire Valley serving award-winning food for 40 years sound to you? You’ll even find listings here for special cruises that cater to the foodie, farm stays and cooking schools for travelers. One that caught my eye is the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland, because I’ve owned and used the Ballymaloe Irish cookbook for many years.

How does this sound to you? “Fergus Henderson is the opposite of a molecular gastronomist – he doesn’t make food delicate and tiny, he makes it big and sloppy.” You can sample his food in London at St. John. This and many more restaurants are featured in Chapter 3, Meals to Remember, a directory of places in the world where you are sure to experience over-the-top cuisine.

Chapter 4, On the Road in America, is dedicated to drive-ins, pizzerias and other casual places that define our country’s famous food. Where can you find the best buffalo wings in Buffalo or the best fried chicken in Atlanta, Philly cheese steak in Philly or the best chili burgers in San Antonio? Read this chapter, and you’ll be wishing you were on the road to sample them all!

Wine lovers will want to study Chapter 5, Vintage Journeys, to choose the best spots to sample the best wines in the world, while Chapter 6 will take you to the best breweries and distilleries.

Coffee connoisseurs have not been forgotten. Chapter 7 will lead you on a coffee and tea extravaganza around the world. From a tea garden in Japan to an espresso bar in Rome, you’re sure to expand your beverage horizons.

The author saved the best for last, as Chapter 8 is Just Desserts. The best chocolates, bakeries and ice creameries are all here for the asking. Yum! This makes me want to plan a month-long journey around the world eating sweets!

Throughout the book are black and white photos. Full contact information is listed for each hotel, restaurant, shop or market. And in the back of the book is a detailed index to make what you’re looking for easy to find. So before you plan your next vacation, read Frommer’s 500 Places for Food and Wine Lovers first and plan your journey around the descriptions that entice you the most.


Debbie Glade is the Geography Awareness Editor at Wandering Educators.