37 Anthony Bourdain Quotes That’ll Motivate You To Travel More, Eat Better, And Live Your Best Life

Anthony Bourdain was well-known for a lot of things like his fearless taste buds, zest for travel, and his poetic writing style.

Much of his writing promotes people to experience culture through food, and to get off their couch and out of their comfort zone.

While Anthony Bourdain is no longer with us in the physical world, at least we have his quotes to help inspire us to be more adventurous and live our best life.

There are his “Kitchen Confidential” quotes, along with a series of quotes about life, culture, and adventure. We’ve broken up some of our favorite quotes below by genre – travel, food, and life.

Anthony Bourdain Quotes About Life


“I’m through being cool. Or, more accurately, I’m through entertaining the notion that anybody could even consider the possibility of coolness emanating from or residing anywhere near me.”


“Luck is not a business model.”


“If I believe in anything, it is doubt. The root cause of all life’s problems is looking for a simple f—ing answer.”


“I don’t have to agree with you to like you or respect you.”


“Perhaps wisdom. . . is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.”


“What are our expectations? Which of the things we desire are within reach? If not now, when? And will there be some left for me?”


“Without new ideas, success can become stale.”


“I have a tattoo on my arm, that says, in ancient Greek, ‘I am certain of nothing.’ I think that’s a good operating principle.”


“Skills can be taught. Character you either have or you don’t have.”


“There is no Final Resting Place of the Mind.”


“But I’m simply not going to deceive anybody about the life as I’ve seen it. It’s all here: the good, the bad and the ugly.”

Anthony Bourdain Quotes About Food



“You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together.”


“Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.”


“The mishandling of food and equipment with panache was always admired; to some extent, this remains true to this day.”


“I, personally, think there is a real danger of taking food too seriously. Food should be part of the bigger picture.”


“I learned a long time ago that trying to micromanage the perfect vacation is always a disaster. That leads to terrible times.”


“An egg in anything makes it better.”



“But I do think the idea that basic cooking skills are a virtue, that the ability to feed yourself and a few others with proficiency should be taught to every young man and woman as a fundamental skill, should become as vital to growing up as learning to wipe one’s own ass, cross the street by oneself, or be trusted with money.”


“An ounce of sauce covers a multitude of sins.”


“The way you make an omelet reveals your character.”


“Food is everything we are. It’s an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It’s inseparable from those from the get-go.”


“For me, the cooking life has been a long love affair, with moments both sublime and ridiculous.”


“You can dress brunch up with all the focaccia, smoked salmon, and caviar in the world, but it’s still breakfast.”


“You have to be romantic to invest yourself, your money, and your time in cheese.”


“Good food is very often, even most often, simple food.”

Anthony Bourdain Quotes About Travel


“Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you.”



“It seems that the more places I see and experience, the bigger I realize the world to be. The more I become aware of, the more I realize how relatively little I know of it, how many places I have still to go, how much more there is to learn.”


“If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.”


“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”



“Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown.”


“I’m a big believer in winging it. I’m a big believer that you’re never going to find perfect city travel experience or the perfect meal without a constant willingness to experience a bad one. Letting the happy accident happen is what a lot of vacation itineraries miss, I think, and I’m always trying to push people to allow those things to happen rather than stick to some rigid itinerary.”


“Drink heavily with locals whenever possible.”



“Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonald’s? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria’s mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head?”


“Nothing unexpected or wonderful is likely to happen if you have an itinerary in Paris filled with the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.”


“Plans should be ephemeral, so be prepared to move away from them.”


“It’s an irritating reality that many places and events defy description. Angkor Wat and Machu Picchu, for instance, seem to demand silence, like a love affair you can never talk about. For a while after, you fumble for words, trying vainly to assemble a private narrative, an explanation, a comfortable way to frame where you’ve been and what’s happened. In the end, you’re just happy you were there — with your eyes open — and lived to see it.”


“The journey is part of the experience — an expression of the seriousness of one’s intent. One doesn’t take the A train to Mecca.”