Unexpected Destinations Anthony Bourdain Never Filmed In

Anthony Bourdain made a name for himself as a respected chef, witty wordsmith, and all-around relatable human through his travels. He ate, drank, and talked his way through all seven continents in the almost two decades he was on TV. The people and places he made his mark on were typically better for having known the explorer, and Bourdain's viewers were better for seeing the world through his eyes. However, despite Bourdain's valuable travel tips and vast explorations, he was restricted in some sense in where he would take viewers.

This doesn't come as a huge shock, as he had the limitations of being attached to an entire production team and network caution tape. Security risks, personal fears, or a lack of time could have gone into keeping a location off Bourdain's schedule. Whether he made the conscious decision not to travel to a specific place or he simply didn't get to make it there before his untimely death, Anthony Bourdain didn't make it to many corners of the planet. These destinations never were the focus of Anthony Bourdain's camera lens, but that doesn't mean they are any less worthy.


Anthony Bourdain did visit many Middle Eastern countries, but Yemen isn't on that list. This isn't for lack of want, though. In an exclusive interview with Forbes, Bourdain expressed his desire to visit the country, saying, "We are hoping to shoot in Kashmir, and in Yemen which is supposed to be beautiful." Unfortunately, this would be a tough task, and Bourdain mentioned that "the security situation there is obviously problematic."

The situation he spoke of is the conflict that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives while devastating the land and quality of life in Yemen. An episode of "Parts Unknown" here would likely feature a culture that, for many, is truly unknown. Viewers might expect unique and intricate architecture, storytelling with the locals, and food that blends the flavors of Eastern Africa, South Asia, and the Arabian Peninsula.

Sadly, Yemen still struggles with the violence and hardships that kept Bourdain away before he passed. The war has raged for nearly a decade, and UNICEF has said the crisis has caused "one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world." Millions have been displaced, and over half of the country's population is facing extreme food scarcity. This means that even if he were still roaming the Earth looking for culture and unique eats, Yemen would likely still be on Bourdain's no-fly list.

Costa Rica

It's shocking that there isn't footage of Anthony Bourdain trekking through Costa Rica looking for unique combinations of flavors. It's unknown just why Anthony Bourdain never filmed in the culture-rich destination because it's seemingly everything that would appeal to him and his viewers. Costa Rica isn't exactly unknown, but everything from the food to the views is wildly different from what most of the world experiences in their everyday life.

Costa Rica has a diverse landscape, with beaches and jungles aplenty. But once in a more urban environment, Bourdain would likely hit up the street food scene, grabbing a beer or two while he's at it. However, maybe the biggest missed opportunity for an episode of "Parts Unknown" is the cultural festivals that take place in Costa Rica. It's easy to picture a smiling Bourdain enjoying himself among the hand-carved masks of Fiesta de los Diablitos or the vibrant costumes of Fiestas Típicas Nacionales de Santa Cruz.

These fun, creative customs reflect the vibrance of life in Costa Rica, but they're also evidence of how community-based Costa Rica is. It is exactly the type of close-knit humanity that Bourdain held in high value, and it is likely a destination that would have brought him some joy. If he had continued his tour of the world, we have little doubt that Costa Rica would have played host to Bourdain and his crew.


Anthony Bourdain may not have visited Venezuela, but he did comment on it more than once. In that same interview with Forbes, the world traveler expressed a desire to visit the South American country. However, for safety reasons similar to those in Yemen, he did not make it down to see the dramatic Venezuelan landscapes.

Fans did wonder about the blank spot in Bourdain's travels when it came to Venezuela. Bourdain did have a very valid response when an inquiring fan on X, formerly known as Twitter, asked why he didn't film there. "Because it's so utterly screwed up," he wrote, "the insurance companies won't cover us." That's a pretty telling sign, as in another tweet, he says insurance did cover him going to other dangerous destinations like Libya and Myanmar.

These tweets on Venezuela came from Bourdain just a month before his passing, and they still ring true. Both foreign governmental agencies and locals say that travel is not advised for tourists. Even if we were still graced with Bourdain's blunt, reflective narration, Venezuela's stuffed arepas would likely remain out of his grasp.


Anthony Bourdain didn't bypass Central America altogether, but just like Costa Rica, Guatemala was left unvisited. It is possible that the country-hopping chef wasn't able to see Guatemala due to civil unrest and security issues. Though the civil war that raged for decades had ended by the time Bourdain took to traveling the world, violent crime and gang activity remain a regular concern.

If you are racking your brain for a Guatemalan episode you vaguely remember watching, we promise you're not mistaken. Although he did not go to Guatemala, Anthony Bourdain did taste and show a taste of the country via Los Angeles. He explored Little Guatemala, one of L.A.'s many must-visit ethnic neighborhoods, in a 2018 episode of "Explore Parts Unknown." This Los Angeles-based spin-off of his famous series saw the chef explore numerous ethnic enclaves of the city.

By documenting these lesser-known areas, he showcased little slices of culture that make up the lifeblood of one of the United States's most famous cities. The street food in Little Guatemala was particularly to Bourdain's liking. With how enthusiastically he headed toward an open flame on the sidewalk of the cultural neighborhood, we can only assume he would be just as thrilled visiting the eats of Guatemala proper.


Anthony Bourdain was well acquainted with the Nordic countries. He spent time in Sweden, Iceland, Finland, and Denmark, but Norway was mysteriously left out of his adventures in Northern Europe. It's very likely that Norway would have been a spot featured in Bourdain production if he had gone on to continue his world travels. It's perfectly safe to go there, and, in all honesty, Bourdain and his crew would have run out of obvious countries to hit up if they had gone on much longer.

In all transparency, Anthony Bourdain's time in Scandinavia wasn't all sunshine and rainbows. Darkness seemed to overwhelm him at times during his visits, and the Iceland episode of "No Reservations" showed Bourdain experiencing utter misery. Iceland happened near the beginning of his career of misadventures, and he did go back to the Nordic countries after. However, his desperately wretched time in Iceland may have made him a little reticent to visit Norway. Production may have veered him away from the country, too, as when he was in Iceland, he did express murderous desire toward his then-producer.


Unlike most countries he never visited, Anthony Bourdain couldn't visit Azerbaijan. We don't mean that it wasn't safe for him, and he and his team deemed it a no-go. No, we mean that Anthony Bourdain, as an individual, could not legally step foot in the state. He was considered an unwelcome person after he didn't get permission from the government to go to Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed region at the center of conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Anthony Bourdain and his crew apparently offended an entire country when they filmed in Nagorno-Karabakh, a region in which Azerbaijan considers its territory and had banned travelers from visiting. "Filming a food show on Azerbaijan's occupied territory is an insult to one million Azerbaijani refugees who were forcefully expelled from their homes," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hikmet Hajiyev to The Washington Post reporters (via Thrillist).

This was very likely not Bourdain's intention. The chef had been very vocal about not wanting his travels to negatively impact those he surrounded himself with on his travels. Since he didn't publicly respond to the barring, though, we will never truly know his thoughts on the topic.


The fact that Anthony Bourdain never filmed in Poland is a real head-scratcher, and it's probably the most surprising destination on this list. When considering places they would have expected to be featured in an episode of Bourdain's shows, fans often mention Poland. As a safe location with incredible history, delicious food, and fabulous culture, the only reason we can think of why Bourdain neglected it is that it's not exactly an unknown or remote destination.

This isn't exactly a good reason, though, as Bourdain visited plenty of more well-known destinations for his otherwise off-the-beaten-path series. Poland is more of a lowkey, underrated destination despite being a popular vacation spot for Europeans. It still should have made the cut for "Parts Unknown," especially since it is so rich with observable history in cities like Warsaw and Kraków. Connecting with locals, as Tony typically did, would have uncovered even more Polish gems and would likely have inspired more Americans to travel there.


Despite making it to many areas in the United Kingdom, Wales was left out of Anthony Bourdain's itineraries. This is extremely surprising because the country offers myriad hidden opportunities tailor-made for an episode of "Parts Unknown." To the unaware, Wales is just another region of the United Kingdom, one that frequently gets lumped in with its neighbors. However, the culture in Wales is truly unique, and Bourdain could have uncovered its differences with little effort.

Besides being utterly gorgeous with flourishing nature and sprawling countryside, the people of Wales are famously friendly and welcoming. Though Anthony Bourdain was a pro at spotting the perfect local places to eat when traveling, he likely wouldn't have to do much legwork here. The locals would have shared their culture and opened their doors to Bourdain and his crew with little prodding. And even though Welsh is spoken here, a language barrier never stopped Bourdain from exploring. A Wales-centric episode would have gone a long way in the world, separating the special country from its neighbors.

Tasmania, Australia

Anthony Bourdain visited Australia more than once but never made it across the Tasman Sea to Tasmania. This Australian state doesn't have any safety issues, but not being at the top of Bourdain's travel list does kind of make sense. Tasmania is known for its clean air and gorgeous landscapes, but while it is undoubtedly a stunning place to live and visit, Tassie doesn't immediately showcase that gritty aesthetic fans came to know and love from Bourdain.

Even so, fans would have loved to see Bourdain explore the Apple Isle. Travel shows that display the obvious beauty of a destination are a dime a dozen, but Anthony Bourdain did things a little differently. He showed the world what a place was like from the streets, shining a light on ordinary people living their daily lives. We could totally see Bourdain showing us a different side of Tasmania, dining in a backcountry village, or finding hidden food gems in the remote country.


Many fans were disappointed with Nepal being left out of all Anthony Bourdain's productions. They feel he would have delighted in the food and sights there, and unlike Tasmania, Nepal has the exact vibe that Bourdain seemed drawn to. People milling about peddling food and wares, an Old World vibe, and a vibrant celebration of customs and culture would have made for great TV, especially in the hands of Anthony Bourdain. It may have also been amusing to see the TV personality react to the many tourists attempting to tackle Mount Everest. Bourdain wasn't short of an opinion or two, after all.

Thankfully, Anthony Bourdain did visit several places in the region. However, this doesn't make up for the lake of Nepal. Asia is a gorgeous and thrilling continent; each country has something spectacular to offer, none quite the same as the next. We're confident that he would have had some great conversations with the Nepalese people while sharing an authentic meal in a beautiful setting. It was kind of his thing.


When it came to visiting and exploring the Middle East, it wasn't always simple for Anthony Bourdain. The travel guru certainly didn't shy away from a difficult trip, and he traveled to more challenging locations than Jordan. Many may assume that there are safety concerns when it comes to tourists visiting the country, but Jordan is one of the most peaceful countries in the Middle East and attracts many tourists from around the world. Even so, Bourdain never filmed in the country, and it's a shame we didn't see him experience the rich culture and food there.

Between the food and the sights, fans on Reddit believe that Anthony Bourdain would have really loved Jordan. One user regrets that Bourdain was never able to try mansaf, a traditional Jordanian lamb dish, while another laments that the chef would have been struck by Petra's beauty.

Bourdain had a natural way of showcasing the Middle East's personality and humanity in a way that made the region understandable and more relatable to international viewers. This intangible skill doesn't come naturally to many, even in the travel media world. No one did it quite like Bourdain, and he also inspired others to travel with an open mind and heart.

Amish Country, United States

For as long as Anthony Bourdain spent exploring distant parts of the world, he also spent a considerable chunk of time seeing the communities within the United States. Having a love of all things food and culture, it's a wonder why he didn't have a single episode on one of the Amish communities in America. Fans certainly wish he had explored his home country's subcultures a bit more.

There are substantial Amish communities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana, each a simple stopover from larger cities like Philadelphia or Columbus. However, Anthony Bourdain did avoid traveling to multiple cities at once, which could explain this. Even so, a deep dive into Amish culture could have checked many boxes that Bourdain looked for in potential destinations.

Anthony Bourdain appreciated the simple life, which Amish culture perfectly pinpoints. The chef and world explorer laughed in the face of overhyped food trends, but the Amish are the real deal when it comes to farm-to-table dining. We think Bourdain would have enjoyed the authenticity and no-frills nature of Amish food.


Many countries have their own signature dish, but the Swiss are known for two food items. A perfect pairing, Switzerland produces fantastic chocolate and cheese, making the happy country an iconic destination for foodies. However, when it came to food lover and world-renowned globetrotter Anthony Bourdain, he intentionally steered clear of the seemingly lovely vacation spot.

Due to a peculiar phobia of Switzerland, Anthony Bourdain bizarrely refused to film in the European country. When speaking with Conan O'Brien, Bourdain admitted to having a "morbid fear" of anything Swiss. He also claimed not to know the reason behind it, except maybe his aversion to yodeling. Considering Bourdain ate many dishes that would make most other Americans squirm, it's surprising that he was afraid of going to Switzerland. While we are fairly positive that it's not the chocolate and cheese plates that scared the man off, we can also admit that most could go without experiencing the sound of yodeling.