"Hanoi" (Season 8, Episode 1)
In what is almost certainly the most universally memorable and celebrated episode of Parts Unknown (and likely Bourdain's entire televised career), our host slurps noodles and clinks beer bottles at the modest Vietnamese eatery Bun Cha Huong with none other than our 44th president, Barack Obama.
The unlikely duo sit in open-shirt relaxation, while they discuss international travels, politics, and what it means to embrace other cultures. Obama and Bourdain are the only Westerners in the frame, and -- as they are both foreigners in this context -- it is a unique experience for a Bourdain episode. The restaurant has subsequently encased the table they dined at behind glass windows, transposing the landmark TV moment into an actual, real-life landmark, too. This moment, and the episode that surrounded it, truly cemented Bourdain's iconic status in the world of food and travel media. After all, who else could possibly brought the world's most powerful man to a steel-tabled noodle joint, and seemed so preternaturally natural in the process?