Style » Food/Drink

2018's Seven Gay Wonders of the World: Big Bite Edition

by Matthew Wexler
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Monday Jan 1, 2018

EDGE returns with our fourth annual "Seven Gay Wonders of the World" - our yearly where-to-go-next guide for all those with serious wanderlust. For 2018, we've ditched calorie-counting and workouts for pure indulgence.

Our "Big Bite" edition showcases seven binge-worthy destinations, from some of the U.S.'s most food-friendly cities to more unexpected choices , where we encourage you to travel outside of your comfort zone in pursuit of the some of the world's most tantalizing dishes.

We've also highlighted some of the forthcoming year's most coveted LGBTQ events so you can work up an appetite.


The first destination ever to make a repeat appearance on our "Seven Gay Wonders" list, San Francisco is as iconic in the culinary world as it is in the LGBTQ community. From legendary spots like The Dash and Mona's 440 Club to queer milestones such as the country's first gay community center (1966) and the first same-sex marriage license (2004), the City by the Bay has been a rainbow beacon for more than a century.

And with all that pride comes a hefty appetite, supported by local chefs, boundary-pushing mixologists, and new hotels that are encouraging visitors from around the world to have an extra serving of what San Francisco has to offer. (By Matthew Wexler)



If you're fed up with American antics (political or otherwise), there's perhaps nowhere more civilized, classy, and LGBTQ-friendly than Copenhagen, Denmark.

And if you can't wait until 2021 when the city simultaneously hosts World Pride and EuroGames, pack your bags to delve into the city's wealth of cultural and culinary riches.

On the food front, all eyes are on the soon-to-open noma 2.0, René Redzepi's culinary powerhouse is set to open in February. The only hitch is that reservation sold out in less than a day, so you'll have to hop on the waiting list or make nice with one of the lucky ones who snagged a seat. But there's plenty of great eating throughout the city. To get a full taste of Nordic cuisine in smaller bites, head to Torvehallerne, an open-air food hall offering plentiful options.

And don't forget to budget for some serious shopping. From home décor to timeless fashion, Danish design is one of a kind. (By Matthew Wexler)



Vancouver, British Columbia, home to Western Canada's largest queer population, is a feast for both foodies and fitness buffs.

Beyond the buzzing gay nightlife of Davie Village and Commercial Drive, this green glass metropolis boasts endless daytime opportunities to work up an appetite between fabulous meals: Bike some of the world's great urban cycling trails; hike your way up the Grouse Grind aka "Nature's Stairmaster"; and get naked for swimming and sun salutations on the large gay section of Wreck Beach.

After burning those calories, you've earned your indulgences: Vancouver is home to some of the continent's best Asian and Indian cuisine; one-of-a-kind marketplaces; and fresh Pacific coast seafood. (By Jim Gladstone)



Located in one of the world's most progressive countries for queer rights, Lisbon is getting set to hit its trendiness zenith in 2018 thanks to its affordability, beauty and diverse cultural doings, including some killer cookery. The city is especially appealing for LGBTQ Americans who have already eaten their way through European capitals like Barcelona and Berlin.

Lisbon still feels uber-fresh, even if the word about it is out, and with TAP Air Portugal now flying non-stop out of four U.S. airports, getting there is easy peasy. Once you do, expect the charming capital to get to your heart through your stomach, with a wealth of great restaurants serving everything from the most cutting edge molecular cuisine to long-loved Portuguese favorites. (By Jill Gleeson)



As if the recently expanded Panama Canal weren't enough to attract gay globetrotters to this Central American nation, the capital - Panama City - is carving out a role as the most futuristic metropolis in the region, with vibrant gay nightlife, a growing LGBTQ pride festival and a variety of firsts that set it apart on the tourist map.

The W Panama opens February 1 to bring a splash of urban hipness to the city, while locals and tourists alike already flock to the Casco Viejo district for creative cocktails at venues such as Casa Casco and Tantalo.

It's no wonder that Panama is appearing on the wish list of queer travelers looking for the next big thing.
(By Mark Chesnut)



Southern charm reigns supreme in Charleston, South Carolina. With an endearing vibe that echoes New Orleans without the high-octane energy of Bourbon Street (though King Street can give it a run for its money, especially when Trident Technical College and the College of Charleston are in session), Charleston is a Lowcountry Boil just waiting to be relished.

There's plenty of eating and drinking to be had, from well-established locales to up-and-comers. Be sure to scope out regional highlights like catfish stew, crabcakes, oysters, and barbecue (ask locals - everyone has a favorite and they're not afraid to share an opinion).

For a taste of LGBTQ history, the newly launched Real Rainbow Row Tour from Bulldog Tours, offers insights into the city's rainbow past. And when the day is done, consider resting your weary feet at the five-star Belmond Charleston Place. (By Matthew Wexler)



Bangkok saw Michelin Guide debut its first Bangkok edition in December to much fanfare. 2017's prestigious Asia's 50 Best Restaurants is topped by Gaggan, while Nahm, widely considered the world's most outstanding, refined Thai restaurant, holds the #5 position, and in 2018, Bangkok will host the 4th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism (May 30-June 1).

Yet the sun-kissed, vibrant Southeast Asia metropolis has long been regarded a favorite destination of foodies - its fiery street hawker food alone is manna from heaven -- and, equally, LGBT travelers. The landscape is quickly changing and pushing into the 21st Century with sleek new hotels, "lifestyle malls," and traffic-less subway and elevated skytrain systems, plus the iconic temples, Buddhas, and Chao Phraya river.

Today, queer gastrotourists will also discover a surprising mix of traditional and inventive organic fare, plus design-forward restaurants, craft coffee and beer spots, and gay-owned favorites like Michelin-starred (and shockingly inexpensive) Somtum Der, right in the heart of gay nightlife district Silom. Now get ready to pack... your stomach! (By Lawrence Ferber)


Matthew Wexler is EDGE's National Senior Editor of Travel, Lifestyle, Health & Branded Content. More of his writing can be found at Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @wexlerwrites.


Add New Comment

Comments on Facebook