Racking up the awards for best brisket in Texas, Franklin Barbecue restaurant has made Austin a global pilgrimage destination for barbecue lovers. Join the queue – you will be waiting a while – and you’ll be rewarded with trays piled with soft, smoky beef, chunky pickles, slaw, ribs and beans so good you will wish you could recreate it at home (try the chef’s masterclass and you may get close). Veggies, don’t worry – Austin also has a brilliant vegan scene. Try Arlo’s for the tastiest plant-based burgers.
Sleep it off at the four-star The Westin Austin Downtown on a five-night break with BA Holidays (0344 493 0787; ba.com/holidays), from £1,099pp
Sun and snacking
Combine sunbathing with serious snacking on the Greek island of Tinos, a short ferry hop from Athens or Mykonos. Here, the locals take their local produce – including thyme honey, salcici (garlicky salami), artichokes and cheese made from rare Tinian cows’ milk – very seriously. So seriously, in fact, there is even an association to protect them. You will have your pick of excellent tavernas: try Tarsanas for seafood and stock up on charcuterie and cheese at Teresa in Myrsini.
Olympic Holidays (020 8492 6868; olympicholidays.com) offers seven nights at the three-star Porto Raphael Residences and Suites from £699pp; departs Manchester on April 23
Turn up the heat
Many people travel to Bhutan for the markets, monasteries and mountain scenery, but then there are those who arrive with a second agenda: spicy food. That includes ema datshi – a curry-esque dish made with chillies, cheese, onion and tomato; and phaksha paa, a stew of slow-cooked pork, mooli, ginger and chilli. Brace yourself: Bhutan’s chillis sit near the top of the Scoville Heat Scale.
Cox and Kings (0330 173 2330; coxandkings.co.uk) offers its nine-night Dragon Kingdom group tour from £3,395pp, departing from Heathrow on September 13. The price includes dinner with a local family, a cooking class and a few days spent exploring Kathmandu, in Nepal.
Pintxo by the rules
Forget the 11 Michelin-star restaurants, San Sebastián is all about the pintxo – the Basque equivalent of tapas. First up: the rules. Elbow your way to the bar, knock back your cider (no sipping) and chuck your napkin on the floor when you are done. Daunted? A pintxo tour is a great way to tick off the bars with a pro by your side, sampling gildas (pepper, olive, anchovy on a toothpick) and txakoli (the salty, fizzy local wine that will have you slurring your gracias).
Evening tours with Mimo Bite the Experience cost £96pp (mimo.eus). Four nights at five-star Akellare (with Michelin-star restaurant) costs from £1,950pp with Audley Travel (01993 838081; audleytravel.com)