It’s a common theme here at World’s Best Golf Destinations: golf travel is about so much more than just golf. Especially when you don’t play worth a damn — the food and drink after the round is the day’s highlight.
And like golf — digging into the local cuisine is an authentic opportunity to connect with locals. Good food is all over the world — here are a few favorites.
Jost Vineyards; Malagash, Nova Scotia, Canada near Fox Harb’r Resort
You could eat all of your meals at Fox Harb’r, but it’s nice to venture out and try lobster at other places. Jost Vineyards is about 20 minutes south of the resort — it’s a lovely winery and restaurant with all the rustic charm of Nova Scotia. The grapes that grow in the region are known to yield quality Riesling and aromatic whites — the rosé is also nice, especially after a round of golf.
A few bottles of wine with the Charcuterie Board for $19 is a treat — included on the plank of joy are: cured and smoked meats, distinct artisan cheeses, grilled bread, spiced nuts, dijon, jelly and olives. And be sure to include the lobster sliders because in Nova Scotia — lobster should be part of every meal.
Jack Whites Inn, Brittas Bay, Ireland near The European Club
It’s impossible to beat the fish and chips with pints of Guinness after the round at The Island Golf Club, Portmarnock (Old), Portmarnock (New) and County Louth Golf Club — all are incredibly special experiences. However, 77 kilometers/48 miles south of Dublin is the perfect pub for an European Club after party. It’s loaded with history and named after Jack White, an 18th century Irish pirate and smuggler. It’s also the scene of a 1996 murder when owner Tom Nevin was shot and killed. His wife was later convicted for soliciting three men to contract kill him. Those stories are much better when told by a bartender there with a thick Irish accent. Everything on the menu is good — can’t go wrong with the bacon and cabbage.
Laem Sai Seafood Restaurant, Phuket Province, Thailand near Blue Canyon Country Club
This outdoor restaurant sits on stilts above water with views of emerald water and rugged jungle islands in the distance. A little wooden bridge connects the kitchen to the dock dining area — this restaurant is the storybook Thai experience. The mussels with bird’s eye chili peppers are blazing hot and delicious. Try to the omelet with pak miang, which is a green leafy vegetable similar to spinach, but better. Also have the fresh fried fish and prawns — pair it with ice cold Singha Beer. Of all the golf and lunch combos around the world — Blue Canyon and Laem Sai might be the best.
Loop Brewing Company; McCook, Nebraska near Heritage Hills Golf Course
Once a railroad ice house, this small town Nebraska craft brewery and brick oven pizza hangout is something out of a Food Network show. It has everything: history, a good story, ambiance, good food, local influence and fresh-brewed beer. This place was made for Guy Fieri or the late Anthony Bourdain. And if its train station origins weren’t enough, it has an eating contest to boot. Two people that polish off a 28-inch two topping pizza in one hour or less receive Dalton t-shirts, a $100 dollar gift card and the pizza and drinks are on the house, “Man v. Food” should know about this stat!
Restaurante Candé; Cartagena, Colombia near TPC Cartagena at Karibana
Cartagena’s entertainment hub with bars, clubs, hotels and shops is surrounded by the Old City Wall. The Wall was built to keep invaders and pirates out which were a problem in the 15th century. A massive structure — it’s an 11 kilometer/6.8 mile circle, it stands over 14-feet tall at some points and is three meters thick. Construction began on the wall in 1586 and it took 200 years to finish the job. With its cobble stone streets and Colonial style — everything within the Wall is cool. Sunset cocktails at Cafe del Mar is a must, but the best restaurant Restaurante Candé. It’s local fresh catch, modernized Colombian recipes and craft cocktails. The restaurant also wins with its cozy and chic atmosphere — it’s casual and romantic.
Lasting golf trip memories happen on and off the golf course. Many times it’s an interesting tour guide, a funny bartender or good restaurant — clutch putts and easy, smooth golf swings are difficult. To enjoy lunch — all you need is an appetite.