Season 1: Episode 1 Myanmar
You’re probably thinking – of course, the first episode? But really, you can’t expect me NOT to include the first episode of it all! When it comes to any major TV Show, you always have to start off at the beginning to get a gist of where it all begun. Now just know, one of the best features of this show is that it’s non-linear. In a technological age where everything is about binge watching, it’s exciting to have one show you can watch at any given moment without any preface. In other words, feel free to order some pizza, pop the popcorn, bake the brownies, and then pop up your Netflix to find whatever Parts Unknown episode intrigues you. It just so happens that Bourdain’s first episode of his entire series is monumental, so I decided to add it to the list you MUST catch, now!
With that being said, starting off strong in the premiere of Bourdain’s Emmy-winning TV Show, he travels all the way to Burma to explore and travel the undocumented, stunning and once fabled parts of Asia. Up until very recently, Myanmar has been closed off to travelers. As you become awe-struck by the beauty and culture of Myanmar, you will understand how Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown became so notorious and Emmy-Award Winning. From deep-fried food to human-powered Ferris Wheels, the first episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown is definitely in the Top 10 Episodes you MUST catch, now!
Season 2: Episode 2 Jerusalem
Season 2 Episode 2 of Anthony Bourdain’s Part Unknown will forever be known as one of the best episodes – if not the best – of the entire series! No joke! In this episode, Bourdain travels to Jerusalem for the first time, documenting his travels within a territory that’s so deeply rooted in political tension, culture, religion and food. I can say that after watching Parts Unknown: Jerusalem, you will have a deeper appreciation for the culture, food and the years of vast history of Jerusalem. What’s even more tantalizing about this episode is the raw beauty and adventure your eyes embark upon through-out the entire episode. Upon completion, I foresee future ambitions of wanting to pack your bags and travel to the Holy Land for some culture, some food and a good time.
Season 2: Episode 8 Tokyo
“It is a humbling experience. You come here and see how much precision, how much perfection is possible with so few components and you came away from that changed and little frightened,” Bourdain dishes about his experiences in Tokyo. By far, this may be a sight-changing experience for the viewer because Bourdain in Parts Unknown offers a new perspective or rather a deeper perspective on what exists in the world of Tokyo. Through removing layers of culture and perceptions, Bourdain gets to the root of it all – the food, sushi. Check this episode out now!
Season 2: Episode 9 Detroit
“This is where everything good came from in America,” Bourdain boasts. The Season 2 Finale is one of the ten episodes you MUST catch. Your eyes will be showcased American History and the development of so many cultural phenomena from the past. Regardless of the many distraught areas, Bourdain portrays how the food and culture are so beautiful and deeply rooted in America, specifically Detroit. This episode is for all of those food and culture lovers of the American city life that want to live vicariously through Anthony Bourdain in the Motor City. Now, it’s your turn to catch it and live it!
Season 3: Episode 2 Punjab, India
Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown is full of breath-taking images, mouth-watering food, and stories to tell all of your friends. There is no episode more culturally shocking than Punjab, India. This episode full of food, culture, historic and simple facts of life for those in Punjab will draw a deeper appreciation and gratitude for life and humbleness to help those around. In this Episode Bourdain truly strips away the layers of the onion of life to understand the where, why and how behind Punjab India. If you are debating on which episode to watch next, start here! Hands down, Season 3 Episode 2 of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown is in the Top 10 Episodes you MUST catch.
Season 3: Episode 9 Bahia, Brazil
Out of all the episodes on this list, Season 3 Episode 9 is one dedicated solely to food, art and music. If you didn’t know, Bahia, Brazil is known as the “African Heart of Brazil.” To be honest, if you didn’t know this, it’s because you haven’t seen this episode! Full of energy, this episode of Parts Unknown takes Season 3 to an all new level through learning the martial arts of Capoeira to getting into the raw culture and food through an authentic barbeque on the beach. If you’re seeking to spice up your summers on the beach with a new and exciting way or maybe not familiar with the “African Heart of Brazil,” then you need to catch this episode, now!
Season 4: Episode 2 Shanghai
Have you ever found yourself wondering about China and how their economy has become such a staple of conversation in Politics? Well, in this episode Bourdain tackles this and strikes a culture awareness within you in Shanghai. With his blunt personality and no care in the world, Bourdain will contradict all of what you think is true and flip it upside down. “If you grew up in New York or Los Angeles or Chicago and you think that where you live is the center of the world, or the most modern, or the wealthiest or the most sophisticated, Shanghai is going to be a real rude slap in the face.” Season 4 Episode 2 of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown is not only culturally awakening, but it’s full of Chinese history, capitalism, street food and weddings. It’s clear that from Bourdain’s travels to Shanghai, what you see is not it –there’s always more and it’s always changing and then there’s more again alongside some delicious food that’s second to none.
Season 4: Episode 7 Iran
Controversy and outspokenness can be normally associated with someone as infamous as Anthony Bourdain. I mean, it should be expected in some manner. One of the most controversial episodes of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown comes in Season 4 on his travels to Iran. With recent oppressive political heat and governmental tensions, Bourdain makes the intention to see the culture of the people through food and understanding the people of Iran in light of the governmental oppression and tension. By the end of this Episode, you will have explored depths of Iran that you may have been unfamiliar with and learned to see the perspective of life through the eyes of a citizen of Iran. At the same time understanding the culture of food of Iran and the classics of Persian cuisine. Overall, this episode is a for sure top 10 episodes you MUST catch.
Season 4: Episode 8 Massachusetts
This blog is all about Anthony Bourdain, don’t you think it’s fair to include his home-town in the list? Not going to lie – this episode is outstanding! It lands a safe spot on the top 10 episodes you must catch, easily! Not only does it give such a great detail of food and culture of where Bourdain grew up – but it also provides a glimpse into the addictive past of Bourdain, which gives great insight into the man he is today. If you are seeking to learn more about food, culture and more about the man behind the scenes, check this episode out now!
Season 4: Episode 9 Jamaica
When you think of Jamaica you think of Bob Marley, you think of beautiful resorts and luxury foods, right? Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown is here to rattle that perception. “It’s not a friendly country. All that ‘One Love’ stuff is bull-shit, frankly.” If you’re new to Bourdain, this is a fragment of his brash personality to speak his mind. To be truthful, upon completion, you will then understand what Bourdain meant. It may be at this moment, in this episode that you will thank Bourdain for allowing you to learn, appreciate and become aware of all different facets of cultures and food in this world. While culturally shocking, full of brash moments, this episode easily holds its place on the list – catch it!