Having traveled a goodly portion of the world, I can say that I do have a favorite food destination. Some of you already know where that is. It is not in the US or Europe, or in Africa. That leaves Australia, South America, and SE Asia. The answer lies, of course, in SE Asia.
Not to disparage Europe, Africa, Australia, or South America, your food is quite good. In some cases, your food is quite interesting, affordable, and entertaining. But is it ubiquitous? I venture to say that almost any chance meal in SE Asia would be significantly better than a similar excursion in another country.
So, you are curious as to why? Really, several reasons.
First, the prevalence of good food, in little store fronts, on the streets, hawker stalls, and humongous food malls. SE Asia has that over every place! Surprisingly, the US is second, not the other continents. The whole food scene has changed dramatically here at home, with pop ups, food trucks, and incubators.
Second, the diversity of food culture is very important. For instance, in Bangkok, I can find great Japanese or Korean food, tasty Chinese food, innovative Korean food, fresh seafood, and the good old American burger. In a US food court, you might find Chinese, and possibly sushi, and Korean if you are lucky!
Third, is price, as in dishes under $5!!!!!! Nowhere but in SE Asia is this the case. Probably one of the best noddle dishes I ever had was on a hilltop village in Laos, where running water, toilets, and refrigeration were in short supply. One of my best desserts was in a little place in Penang, fronted by a guy who could be a WWF champ! Price is important!
Fourth, the unique flavors make the meal feel special. We travel to find out something about the people and culture. The food is a reflection of the people and their culture. I want to learn more about them. And about myself as well. This is a good start!