It’s hard to argue about it: summer is the best time of year when it comes to food. With fruit that tastes like candy, crisp, nourishing greens, and farm-fresh vegetables at your fingertips, it’s easy to pass as a gourmet chef by throwing something fabulous together.

My favorite summer food is watermelon. I was born in August and my mom always said she inhaled watermelon in the summer heat before she had me. Maybe there’s some connection; I don’t know. And while I love the seedless varieties, there’s something about those big black seeds that takes me back to days when my friends and I would stick them on our foreheads to see which one would last the longest.

Context is everything when it comes to food. So many of my travel memories are linked to great food, like street daal at Ravi in Dubai or spaghetti pomodoro at Hotel Cipriani in Venice. But summer always brings me back to my childhood, and to America.

Here are ten food-place combos that keep me coming back no matter where I am: