HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


What is the VERY BEST thing you've ever eaten?

Of all the foods you've tried and made, what do you say is the most delicious? Post a recipe if you want to share.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Such a difficult question. Tastes change over the years.

    But, if I had to make a decision on the "very best" that I remember, then it was the bacon sandwich I had for breakfast today.

    Maynard's Staffordshire Black bacon, lightly grilled with not a hint of crispness. Burgen soya & linseed bread, smeared with Heinz ketchup. Perfect start to the day.

    1. How on earth could a person pick ONE thing? Deliciousness can be a fleeting thing, one bite astounding and the third or fourth cloying. It could be a combination of taste and induced greed, such as I remember from the night Dad brought home pork neckbones and asked Mom to cook them with sauerkraut, like spareribs. I remember diving into those - there was NO way to eat them with knife and fork - and eventually coming up for air, hands and face dripping with grease and filled with heavenly bliss. It was totally wonderful and slightly shameful, like a PC-rated version of an orgy, and while we all exclaimed our rapture we never had that again.

      1. Hi there...

        Well, I don't know that it was the VERY BEST meal ever but it was certainly memorable.

        We were camping in the Olympic Rain Forest - in a tent - with bugs.

        Breakfast... Coffee from the Chemex, waffles made over the campfire in an old cast iron waffle iron, bacon from a CI skillet, berry syrup.



        1 Reply
        1. re: I used to know how to cook...

          This reminds me of a breakfast while camping on Cape Cod---we got up early and went and picked wild blueberries, made pancakes with them, and had them with maple syrup and scrambled eggs and faintly licorice-tasting linguica pork sausage bought in a Portugese market in Provincetown.

          But I also remember breakfast in a little town in the South of France, Agde, where one of us would make coffee by filtering it into an empty jar we had picked up some place while the other one would run to the bakery down the street for still-warm "pain raisin" which wasn't raisin bread after all but a sort of Danish pastry all covered up with warm lemony custard and juicy raisins.

          Or the corncakes my Southern-derived grandma made by frying cornbread batter on a hot griddle in copious bacon fat. I can cook hundreds of things Grandma never heard of but the few simple things she did cook, not one of them can I cook as well as she.

        2. Very difficult to answer and not just one thing, but....

          Orange bread (I think it was brioche) from a bakery in Nice, France

          Turkey wings at Thanksgiving (mine), no one else wants them, but wonderfully delicious, greasy and moist.. The sweetest meat on the bird.

          Perfect panko breaded shrimp garnished with creamy risotto my son made at his restaurant .

          I think the very best thing is something fresh and simple cooked or prepared to perfection.

          1. The first thing I ever ate that stunned me with its flavor was the same thing that knocked Julia Child for a loop--sole meunière. It was my first trip to France with my husband and when that classic dish came to the table, I was in rapture--and I'd never been a big fan of fish. I can still see the restaurant, almost taste the fish, and if I remember properly (I was young, pretty and tipsy) I kissed the maitre'd.

            1. My ladyfriend's lovingly made chiles en nogada, in El Oro, Mexico.

              1. This changes monthly for me, or perhaps daily if I'm having a good food week. Fuyu persimmons served with eight treasure pudding at a Chinese New Year dinner three years ago rank up there. A buckwheat galette with eggs and mushrooms in Brittany that I had two years ago when I was famished. A fruit salad with rosewater syrup I made last summer. The hospital meatloaf (served with a can of stout my husband brought me) after I gave birth to my first child. Way too many to choose....

                1. Well, on the high end it was a beautiful seared foie gras with a fraises de bois gastrique and baby strawberries. Middling? We eat a lot of good food, so I don't think I can choose yet, but I did have an insane steak in Cognac cream sauce. The meat was U.S. prime and the sauce was velvety and perfect. Just an amazing plate of food. On the low end, it would be any breakfast cooked by Norman Carver, at a coffee shop in Santa Rosa California, but especially his buttermilk biscuits laid over with crumbled homemade sausage, perfect medium eggs, and a very sausage-y and peppery gravy on top. With a hit of his salsa, freaking perfection. For like 4 bucks. Tops.

                  1. A great many years ago I went on a 6 day hiking/camping expedition in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. When we got back to the trail head late on day 6, there was a hamburger stand that had simply the most delicious hamburgers any of us had ever tasted. All of us had at least three. A delicious burger, a slice of tomato, a letuce leaf, some mayo, ketchup, mustard, and relish. Heaven on a bun.

                    Two weeks later Uncle drove us all 40 miles back to the trailhead so we could have the burgers again, they were that good. Except this time the buns were stale, the burger was a tasteless greasy thin piece of preformed fat and filler, the lettuce was wilted, the tomato was a microslice that had been deep chilled, and the toppings were meager to say the least. They were terrible, awful, horrible.

                    So what happened? New owners? Supply problems? Different cook? Nope, none of the above. The burgers hadn't really changed, but we had not just spent 6 days living on dehydrated food.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                      E Kaimukiman, Aloha Hou:

                      You got that one, right, Braddah... set and setting! A MRE under the Night Rainbow with the right wahine on Kalalau Beach beats El Bulli every time.

                      Alone kine time, mundane setting? Smashed ripe avocado and bacon on toast, pa'akai & peppa, mebbe with small kine mayo.

                      Individual results may vary.

                      1. re: kaleokahu

                        hey, it looks like my Hawaii Five-O addiction is paying off because i understood what you just said! and i want some...that kaukau sounds so ono, brah ;)

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          E, goodhealthgourmet, Aloha Kaua:

                          Mahaloz, eh? You go stay come onda new H50. Makemake au Jack Lord.


                      2. re: KaimukiMan

                        I was going to say an orange I had coming down after 6 days at high altitude. Somehow food suddenly smelled and tasted wonderful again.

                        1. re: KaimukiMan

                          Yep - just like my curly fries when I was chilled to the bone

                        2. We were in Québec City and visited the Yuzu Sushi Bar...great atmosphere, great food
                          We ordered a Foie Gras Maki Roll, wilth caramalized foie gras, raw Granny Smith apple slivers, and poached quails egg. The difference in texture taste and temperature was simply amazing. We made a mistake ordering the wine and ended up with a crazy-expensive Gewurztraminer, but what a pairing!

                          1. Hi everyone,

                            What a fun thread!! Thanks Chefmindy for starting it.

                            I think some of these excellent meals were more about atmosphere than food, mine included!


                            1. Memories of food and moments are indelibly linked, to the extent it's difficult to tell if it's the food that was so remarkable or if it was that moment in time that stands out. My mother's chicken soup, grilled hot dogs and burgers during summer trips, fried chicken and french fries, while not haute cuisine, are all examples of some of the "best food I ever ate".

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: brooklynkoshereater

                                A Brooklynkoshereater who eats hotdogs...mmmmmmmmmmmmm?

                                1. re: hypomyces

                                  I'm sure they were Hebrew National hot dogs, hypomyces.

                                  1. re: hypomyces

                                    plenty of brands are kosher. not sure what you're getting at. ever notice how Five Guys serves a"kosher hot dog?"It's kind of the gold standard to make it with kosher beef/lamb since hot dogs are already mushed up meat.

                                    1. re: fara

                                      Wait! There's a hot dog made with LAMB? I've never heard of such a thing. What brand? I generally hate hot dogs, but I'm pretty sure I could like a lamb dog.

                                2. My first meal out of Nam, soup in a hospital at Subic Navy base. I was alive.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                    Amen to that.

                                    The day I got home from Iraq, my grandmother made a pot of chicken and dumplings that were so damned good, I almost cried.

                                    Pop said that my grandmother made him, my uncles, and my grandfather all the same meal whenever they came home from Vietnam, Korea, and WWII. My grandmother said that she never thought that the recipe was all that good, but since they all had the same reaction I did, she just kept on making it...

                                    In fact, any time I smell chicken and dumplings cooking, I still remember that day...

                                    1. re: deet13


                                      Far too little is made here of food as love. Thank you for your service and your story.

                                  2. I agree that it has a lot to do with the experiences leading up to the meal that makes the food memorable. Like another poster above, the first meal I had after my daughter was born in the hospital tasted absolutely amazing. It was the hospital's biscuits and gravy, which I probably would not even look twice at now.

                                    The last thing I remember eating (at this moment at least) that was a "wow, I can't believe this!" moment was hummus made with lamb fat to replace part or all of the olive oil, this was in Jordan in a cafe that specialized in hummus. Apparently a common dish there, and really was a delicious surprise.

                                    1. The first time I had a babaganouj made without tahini was at Sasha Finklestajn's deli in Paris. I flipped.

                                      Sabra brand salads, sold in many supermarkets in the US, makes an excellent version. Unfortunately, most supermarkets that carry the brand only carry their hummus.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Steve

                                        baba ganouj is quite easy to make

                                        1. re: fara

                                          I'm sure you're right, in general, but I've had plenty of versions I didn't like as much. If you have a non-tahini recipe, I'll definitely consider making it myself.

                                      2. Pizza at Cheeseboard Pizza in Berkeley

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: sushigirlie

                                          Are you old enough to remember Kips in Berkeley? That was good pizza too.

                                        2. Wor shu-op and the egg rolls at the late, great Double Hey Rice Shop restaurant on Mott Street (NYC), is pretty close.

                                          1. The best in recent memory was the xiao long bao at Din Tai Fung restaurant in Taipei. That place is so hyped up that I walked in there wanting to hate everything I tried. It was a humbling experience. Din Tai Fong really does serve the best Xiao Long Bao I've had. The dumpling skin is incredibly delicate, barely there in fact, and the filling is just pure essence of pork with no other distracting flavors like scallion and garlic. I still can't figure out how they get that deep pork flavor into the filling. Extremely concentrated stock maybe?

                                            Honorable mention goes out to Din Tai Fong's hot and sour soup, which immediately displaced my mother's version at first place on my list. Sorry Mom.

                                            1. l have two, both of which l make, but then many can make these items.
                                              #1 is Maryland dirty hardshell crabs, gigantic ones, very hot and spicy
                                              #2 is Sweet and sour cabbage meat soup, very yum.

                                              1. I don't know that I can pick just one thing, but there are some things that stand out. A pho tai, whose broth was so flavorful and rich that I couldn't stop tasting it. The first time I ever tasted vichyssoise. Perfectly roasted brussel sprouts with a burre blanc sauce.

                                                I'm not sure I'd want to pick a single thing. One thing I love about food is the variety.

                                                1. Tough to pick one.
                                                  But the best meal of my life was when my wife's family took me out for dinner in Tokyo to celebrate our engagement. Nine course meal with wine pairings. The star of the show was the top grade, double cut wagyu strip steak. WOW.

                                                  1. The poached white peaches with lemon verbena ice cream at Taillevent the first time (of two).

                                                    1. My first bite of authentic Kentucky country ham. Nirvana on a plate. Afterwards, though, needed 1/2 gallon of water!

                                                      1. Smoked sable with a schmear of butter on a perfectly fresh everything bagel at Ess-A-Bagel in New York City on my honeymoon. I've been to a handful of famous, iconic, and amazing restaurants in my life, including Babbo in NYC and The Ravenous Pig here in Orlando, but I think Ess-A-Bagel might be my favorite in the entire world, mostly for that bagel with that perfect smoked fish on it.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                                                          Ees-a-bagel is one of the city's best! (Bagel loving new yorker here)

                                                        2. Two years ago. Chateau D'ige in France. We stayed there for one night on our way from Paris to Marsielles. Now..I never thought I would go nuts over a dessert, but his particular dessert I had literally WAS the bomb! It was a chocolate orb. Inside this orb was a creamy gelato and a chocolate sauce that blew me away. It is the most memorable thing I've eaten to date.


                                                          Other than that, I would have to say fois gras and my mom's macaroni and cheese.

                                                          1. Great Q and discussion. My wife-to-be and I made many trips to France, Italy and England doing Michelin-multiple rated restaurants when the dollar was strong and we had discretionary income. Lots of memorable meals and dishes which I still remember but only two that I can still sense. One was our first meal at a major French restaurant (two rosette) which had started out uncomfortably (totally our fault, we had underdressed and didn't realize that they wouldn't have an English translation for their menu) and had become magnificent because of the generosity of service. The dessert cart was wheeled to us and normally both of us would go for the most chocolate thing available but our nostrils were suddenly infused by the essence of raspberry. We both of course ended up having that dish, which was a pastry with a highly concentrated raspberry sauce which I remember to this day. The other was breakfast at a three-rosette restaurant where we had stayed the night after dinner. It was sumptuous and bountiful but what I particularly remember is the most delicate, perfect tasting farmers' cheese that was provided.

                                                            Our restaurant tastes have moderated considerably since but the most recent example of something memorable was our first experience with Vietnamese-style food when a local restaurant first opened several years ago. The mix of flavors, especially with the various spicy condiments, was to us entirely new and exciting. I particularly went for two things: spring rolls and their crunchy/savory foundation on which I could add cooling lettuce and the various hot spices of my dreams, and a soup that this place calls La Sa Ga. It's chicken and rice noodles in a coconut curry soup that also has some oily red-spicy substance added to it. That flavor meld (again with the additional hot spices of my choice) are irresistible to this day.

                                                            1. chefmindy,
                                                              Great Topic,
                                                              Like most others, they change regularly, but I just can't forget St Elmo Steak House's shrimp coctail and filet (2003) in Indy, and the ambiance and food at Bergamo's (2001) in Orlando.

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: hamboney

                                                                The Very Best Thing I've Ever Eaten was a bottle of Honey from Colombia-full of flower flavours that were ambrosial almost otherworldly.

                                                                And Yes it was So Good I smuggled the bottle back into Canada.

                                                                1. re: Sam Salmon

                                                                  The very first rip tomato of the season, picked and eaten still warm from the sun, while standing in the garden. Mmmm....

                                                                  1. re: Sam Salmon

                                                                    I'm curious. Was this a local honey, exclusive to a town, farm or plantation? Or something you'd find in any Colombian supermarket? I ask because when I was down there, most of the food (especially the cheap eats) was so frigging fresh and loaded with intense flavor, I mean, even in Pereira, the chorizo seemed to differ in taste, going from neighborhood to neighborhood, that I would love to try the honey when I go down again in May.

                                                                    1. re: David11238

                                                                      It was a Honey for sale @ a local upscale supermarket promoting 'local/fresh'.

                                                                      The young women selling it weren't in any way foodies just charming salespeople and it was my last night in Bogota-if I had had any idea how good it really was I would have bought a half dozen bottles.

                                                                      I suspect it was from mountainside hives somewhere the bees could fly higher to temperate crops like Apples/Strawbs or lower to more tropical fruits.

                                                                  2. re: hamboney

                                                                    I just had that shrimp cocktail at Christmas and it was amazing! It's hard to imagine horseradish being the star, but it clearly was.

                                                                  3. Mine is a crepe I had in Beirut about 10 years ago. It was little crepe stand and they made the crepes fresh and mine had melted Belgian chocolate and sliced bananas in it. It was easily the best thing I have ever eaten. I still dream about that crepe.

                                                                    1. The Italians say that hunger makes the best sauce, so your frame of mind before eating makes a huge difference in the way you appreciate a meal. But one new food to me that remains indelible in my memory is chilis en nogado in a private home in Mexico City. And after that, oddly, a simple plate of rice and beans at El Mexico Tipico in Indio, California, in about 1973. My third choice was the revelation that was cannelloni al forno with a balsamela sauce in Rome in about 1968.

                                                                      1. I'll have to say that more recently it's been eating Omi beef at a Korean-style yakiniku restaurant. Perfectly juicy and flavorful, it just melted in my mouth.

                                                                        And, I'm not ashamed... every time I get drunk, McDonald's french fries are the best thing I've ever eaten.

                                                                        1. The best thing I ever ate was a bowl of insanely spicy noodle soup in Quinzhou called "Lo-See-Fun" I haven't seen this in the states anywhere so if anyone has had it I'd love to know. It has rice noodles, a really spicy broth, fried tofu puffs, fresh greens of some sort, and pickled vegetables.

                                                                          1. A good but hard question to answer, so many memories to rehash and to choose just one would be in my case impossible.
                                                                            I would have to say it's a toss up between my very first coq monsieur in Paris, but it may have been because well...it's Paris. Or my first Mangosteen in Hong Kong,just about blew my mind that something so luscious existed..

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: Duppie

                                                                              Oh yes on the mangosteen, my first was in HK too. (The pic is from Shanghai.)
                                                                              They are so wonderful, the color of the inside rind is spectacular. Oh for a dress that shade.

                                                                            2. Wasn't a whole meal, but a few bites of a shared appetizer. Proscuitto and melon at a little beach restaurant on Koh Phi Phi, Thailand. Yup, my friend and I traveled hard all day, made it to the most beautiful beach and the restaurant there was Italian :/ But the owner of the place came out and told us he had beautiful melons and wonderful proscuitto so we gave it a whirl. Sweet sparkling melons and gorgeously tender and thin meat, with a little fresh ground black pepper. Fantastic.
                                                                              It was a slower day in the off season, so the owner chatted with us about how they recently reopened after the boxing day tsunami ripped apart their structure and killed a handfull of staff.
                                                                              Really good thin, crispy crusted pizzas followed, and we were in heaven.
                                                                              The funny thing is that I've been back for it several times over the last few years. Something about the gorgeous beach and the resilient people who still care deeply about good food and service makes every bite more delicious.


                                                                              1. As others have said, this is hard. I'm spoiled, and I eat a lot of good food. The last "oh wow" thing I ate was an apple crisp I made a couple of weeks ago that had some homemade cardamom extract in the filling that took the apples to a whole new level.

                                                                                The last time my eyes rolled back in my head was probably the bruschetta with white gorgonzola and fresh truffles I had in Italy last year.

                                                                                1. So easy but so good..... Slow Cooker White Bean Chicken Chili. I use an adaptation from the Cook's Illustrated "Slow Cooker Revolution" book and it is out-of-this-world good. And less than a buck per serving. LOVE IT!

                                                                                  1. We were selling tickets for an outdoor street fair (Tulsa's MayFest) and it was raining and very cold. After 2 hours we were chilled to the bone. I went and bought some curly fries and that was the best thing I ever ate. I think the bone-chilling cold had something to with it.

                                                                                    1. my chicken (wrapped) souvlaki.

                                                                                      1. What has to be one of the very best things I have ever eaten was a Turkish Doner Kebab in Berlin shortly after The Wall came down ....

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. Mett. A raw minced pork that I loved to spread on bread. One of the great foods at the breakfast table, while visiting a family in Germany.Just one of many.

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: emglow101

                                                                                            Did they serve it to you shaped like a hedgehog? Good stuff, especially with chopped onion in it.

                                                                                            1. re: hawkeyeui93

                                                                                              No. Served in a bowl with onion in it. Damn,it was good.

                                                                                              1. re: emglow101

                                                                                                Hand made ravioli served in a grotto restaurant in Sanremo.
                                                                                                I going to try to make some tonight.

                                                                                          2. Perfectly ripened jumbo sweet cherries.

                                                                                            1. Still fresh Maine lobster. Has always been since I tasted my first ones in Maine at age 14 - 15.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: Nanzi

                                                                                                Ohh, that brings back a memory of the 1st lobster bite. Went to Maine with an aunt & uncle & at their insistence, had a fresh lobster tail and drawn butter (only seafood I'd ever eaten before was Mrs. Paul's fish sticks!).

                                                                                              2. My mother's friend, Jean Salem's mother's home made Italian Bread fresh from the oven, slathered with butter

                                                                                                1. Can't choose just one.....

                                                                                                  - my late grandmother's pecan pie, she had made pies for my grandpa's restaurant for 30yrs, so hundreds (thousands?) of pies later she had perfected the art. No other has come close....

                                                                                                  - my first time in barcelona, i was 20, and a family friend took us to a tiny neighborhood cafe without menus. It was a platter of different wild mushrooms a la plancha, very simple, with olive oil and salt, paired with an exquisite wine. That meal opened my eyes to what food could be.

                                                                                                  - strawberry sorbetti made with the wild strawberries we picked that afternoon one summer in maine

                                                                                                  1. About 1974, Hotel Benson, Portland OR.
                                                                                                    Thin ablone steaks rolled around a king karb leg with some type of orange Holandise sauce!

                                                                                                    1. Smoked venison with a whisky and honey sauce at the Three Chimneys on the Isle of Skye.
                                                                                                      My mum's cheesecake.
                                                                                                      The first coffee I had sitting outside a pavement cafe in Paris.

                                                                                                      1. way back in 1990, I did the whole backpacking through Europe thing. I was in Medjugorje, Yugoslavia (being raised a good Catholic boy). The hostel was full, and I ended up having to sleep in a farmers field. It was cold, but luckily I had had the sheet I'd brought to the US/Poland world cup match in Italy. It said, "Hi mom. Send Lira" I woke up shivering just as the sun was coming up. I smelled bread. I wandered down the road just following the smell of the bread. I found the bakery. Bought two full loaves of fresh out of the oven bread. I'd puchased a chocolate bar the day before, and put that into the split open loaf. Yep, a melty chocolate sandwich in a field in Yugoslavia is still to this day the best thing I've ever eaten.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: planojim

                                                                                                          Pain au chocolat (almost). Wonderful.

                                                                                                        2. Chow fun, thick rice noodle chow mein, in Guangzhou 2010. The wok hei (smoky wok flavor) was barely perceptible but had no metallic char typical of Chinese restaurants in the US. It was deceptively simple, none of the ingredients were memorable and I can't remember whether it was beef or pork, spinach or bean sprouts but the oily wok hei on the noodles was cloyingly smoky, teasing my olfactory buds with a delicate balance of soy umami and raw saltiness. Every bite led to another..I was infatuated.

                                                                                                          1. Smoky pork butt fork shredded with jasmine rice cooked in full fat coconut milk along with some sort of cabbage slaw. The pork wasn't dry, it wasn't soggy and it blended with the perfectly tasty, fluffy rice and slaw. Something I would never make or even eat normally... and I was treated to a lovely meal when I went to a friend's house. Even better, she made some coconut dream bars for dessert. All very bourgeois, all fantastic!

                                                                                                            1. How does a Chowhound answer this question???

                                                                                                              I would have to answer it this way, the one item that I ate that I think about going back for another serving of the most was the beef carpaccio at the Angus Zone in Saint-Agapittt Quebec.