Some people travel to see sights, landmarks and museums. Other people travel to eat. Dining in different destinations is a great way to get a feel for the culture of the country. From the blue-collar street food, to the sophisticated spots, each meal tells a story. With that in mind, we’ve crafted a list of the world’s best cities for foodies.
What Are The World’s Best Cities For Foodies?
New York, New York
New York City is one of the world’s best cities for foodies. Whether you’re looking to spend top-dollar for a once-in-a-lifetime experience or want some fantastic cheap eats, New York is the place to be. Eleven Madison Park is the pinnacle of dining with their exquisite tasting menus. But there are all sorts of other classics like Gramercy Tavern, Katz’ Delicatessen, The Spotted Pig and Momofuku. And, of course, you can’t forget about Shake Shack.
Las Vegas, Nevada
The Strip was originally known as a gambling hub. Now it’s one of the best places to eat. You’d be hard-pressed to find another compressed area anywhere in the world that has more incredible dining options than The Strip. Celebrity chefs line Las Vegas Boulevard these days as Gordon Ramsay, Bobby Flay and Giada Di Laurentis have their own joints, just to name a few. But even the places without a signature beside them are worth a visit, like Raku and Lotus of Siam. And don’t forget about the buffets, which are over-the-top extravagant.
Los Angeles, California
Year-round sun gives California excellent farming opportunities and therefore, great access to produce. The people in the state really value quality, wholesome farm-to-table options. There’s plenty of that in the City of Angels, too. Ranging from white tablecloth dining where you might rub elbows with the Hollywood elites, all the way down to the tasty food truck scene.
Austin, Texas is a college town (University of Texas). But school city or not, it’s also a great place to eat. Those who love their meats will feel like they’re in heaven as there are barbecue, burger and steakhouses galore. Of course, the smokehouses are their signature. There are few better scents than when that sweet fiery aroma hits your nose as you walk in the door.
Examples include LeRoy and Lewis, Smokey Denmark’s, Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ and Micklethwait Craft Meats.
Of course, no list of the world’s best cities for foodies is legit without the inclusion of Paris.
For many of us, food is fuel. For Parisians, it’s a way of life. Even the basic bistro is on another level compared to our basic diners on this side of the world. Bakeries charge minuscule amounts – a Euro or two – for incredible breads, and chocolateries do the same for their sweets. It’s almost insulting to what we produce on our side of the world when you compare price-for-price. Then you step into the grocery stores and see the variety of enchanting cheeses that blow by our cheddars and mozzarellas.
And we haven’t even gotten to the restaurants, which are among the best in the world. From Michelin stars to the comfortable cafes, Paris is an incredible place to dine. The views aren’t too bad, either.
A lot of people believe Tokyo might introduce them to a lot of foreign flavours that they aren’t familiar with,. That’s far from the case. The Japanese love their French and Italian as much – if not more – than the rest of us.
The highlight in Tokyo – and in Japan, overall – is that they really emphasize quality. This begins with the street food stalls where their fast food tastes great, and is miles ahead of the chemically-laced creations that we consider fast food over here. At the other end of the scale are a range of luxury spots which have earned Japan more Michelin stars than any other country in the world. Tokyo is the city with the most Michelin stars at 320, while Kyoto has 138 and Osaka has 121.
Toronto sometimes get knocked down a peg as they don’t have the world-class options. As developed as the dining scene is, they don’t have a single restaurant that has earned a single Michelin star. At the same time, Toronto is arguably Canada’s best city for culinary delights. The sheer variety is incredible as you can find Ethiopian, Korean and classic Canadian within the span of a block. Toronto does not have that one spot that’s earned international notoriety. However, the sheer collection of quality restaurants earns them a spot on this list.
Many cities in The Boot could make this list, but Rome is a marvelous hub of everything Italian. Avoid tourist traps but for the most part, even a blind buy in Rome is much better than your average restaurant in North America. Yes, there’s the classic pizza and pasta, which are on another level. However, look for the following dishes specifically: Nonna Betta (the fried artichokes), Cacio e Pepe (one of Anthony Bourdain’s favorites) and Coda alla Vaccinara (Roman Oxtail stew).
Mexico City, Mexico
One of the most underrated world’s best cities for foodies is Mexico City. There are great markets, an underestimated wine scene, and plenty of high-end dining. Restaurants Quintonil and Pujol are ranked No. 11 and No. 13 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Best of all is that the exchange rate is great right now. So it makes the whole culinary endeavor all the more affordable.
Rounding off our list of world’s best cities for foodies is Vienna. There is a misperception when it comes to Austria’s capital city that it’s all just greasy schnitzel and boring goulash. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Vienna is a burgeoning foodie town. Of course, the coffee scene and coffee shops are world-class. Beyond that, the city is replete with farmer’s markets all over the place. Make sure you get your fill of apfelstrudel and wash it down with some sturm – if it’s the season for it.
Those looking high-end will get an amazing experience at the two-Michelin star Steirereck, one of the best restaurants in Europe. And Vienna is also home to Tian Wien, one of the few Michelin starred vegetarian restaurants in the world.