The 10 Best Foodie Cities in the World
The local cuisine is a major draw for travelers—you can tell by the fact that food-focused tours are on the rise. Using booking data, TripAdvisor identified the most palette-pleasing destinations.
It’s easy to see, err taste, why Rome landed at the top of the list. The deliciousness never seems to end. Indulge in wood-fired pizza, al dente pasta, and out-of-this-world gelato. Don’t leave without trying house-made spaghetti alla carbonara or cacio e pepe at a local trattoria. Wash it down with a glass or two of vino. In between meals, do some sightseeing. The Eternal City is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to iconic cultural attractions.
Food is an integral part of Italian culture, and nowhere is that more evident than Florence. Do yourself a favor and venture beyond the bustling osterias and cafés. Stroll the markets, brimming with cured meats, cheeses, seasonal veggies, olives, and aged balsamic vinegar. Sign up for a cooking class and learn how to whip up tiramisu from scratch. Or book a culinary tour, which includes shopping for ingredients, following by preparing and eating traditional dishes at a Tuscan farmhouse.
There’s a lot to love about Paris, and its impeccable gourmet reputation is right up there with romance and recognizable landmarks. Around every corner there’s something scrumptious to discover. Enjoy brie and camembert at a fromagerie. Satisfy your sweet tooth with éclairs and macarons at a pâtisserie. Head to a boulangerie for a fresh-baked baguette. And to cap it off? Classic escargot with garlic-parsley butter. Bon appetit! Commit these must-know French phrases to memory in advance of your trip.
From Michelin-starred eateries and sophisticated tapas bars to beachside bistros and low-key bodegas, few places pack a punch quite like Barcelona. Where else can you share jamón ibérico and patatas bravas (crispy potato wedges) in the afternoon, take a siesta and then refuel with seafood paella at 11:30 p.m. before dancing till dawn? And then there are the vibrant markets—including the world-renowned La Boquería. While you’re in the Catalan capital, why not try an interactive cooking class?
Po’ boys, muffuletta, jambalaya, and beignets (Café Du Monde is famous for a reason)—New Orleans is full of flavor and fun! This epicurean superstar is an irresistible mix of French, Spanish, African, Caribbean, and Cajun influences. And whether you opt for a white-tablecloth restaurant or a hole-in-the-wall diner, rest assured you’d be hard-pressed to stumble upon a bad meal (or anything less than warm, gracious hospitality) in the Big Easy. New Orleans is more than epic eats and endless revelry. Fans of the paranormal will be pleased to hear that it’s also home to one of the most haunted hotels in America.
New York City
The Big Apple is a melting pot and its dining scene certainly reflects that. There isn’t another metropolis on earth with such a delectable diversity. Whatever corner of the globe you’re craving, you’ll find it here. However, that’s just a piece of the proverbial pie. New York has its own specialties too. You can chow down a bagel with schmear for breakfast, grab a slice for lunch, and savor refined fare at legendary establishments like Le Bernardin and Gramercy Tavern for dinner. Make sure you stop in one of these best places to visit this year.
Venice may not have the culinary clout of Rome or Florence, but that doesn’t mean you’ll go hungry. What it lacks in pizza on par with its neighbors (wood-burning ovens are banned due to fire hazards), it more than makes up for in spaghetti al nero di seppia (spaghetti with black squid ink), sarde in saor (sweet and sour sardines), and risi e bisi (rice and pea soup). Want to explore the real Venice? Steer clear of the tourist traps and uncover hidden gems on a food and wine walking tour.
Madrid is the midst of a renaissance and it’s getting more delicious by the moment. A long-time mecca of tapas, the menu is now expanding to include more modern gastronomic delights and cocktail dens. Of course, its historic staples still shine. Mercado de San Miguel, which reopened in 2009 after a lengthy restoration, continues to tantalize taste buds. Along with produce stalls, there are stand-up counters where you can people-watch while nibbling on gambas al ajillo (garlic prawns) and sipping sangria. Add these one-of-a-kind adventures to your travel bucket list.
Tokyo is unparalleled when it comes to gastronomic prowess. From the early morning tuna auctions in Tsukiji Market to the colorful confections in Harajuku, food is part of the very fabric of the city. Not only does it have more Michelin-starred restaurants than anywhere else—including Sukiyabashi Jiro, the fabled 10-seat sushi bar in the basement of a metro station—but it also boasts atmospheric izakayas, high-tech kiosks, and mom-and-pop ramen shops that are legitimately life-changing. Nipponophiles won’t want to miss these under-the-radar destinations you can only see in Japan.
Bangkok is a tasty adventure. Ready to dig in? Book a food tour of Bang Rak. This lively district is lined with no-frills joints, cool cafés, pop-ups, and street vendors, which means plenty of opportunities to sample Thai delicacies like som tam (green papaya salad), tom yum (hot and sour shrimp soup), and mango sticky rice. With so many exotic eats—plus lively nightlife and a favorable exchange rate—it’s no wonder Bangkok is one of the most popular places to travel in Asia.
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