Some people eat to live, and some people live to eat. If you're the latter, then you’re in for a treat, and we don’t mean in the melted packet of peanut M&Ms kind of way. We’re talking creme brulee dusted with gold flakes and served alongside a sliver of Mont Blanc chocolate pavlova.
From the sizzling, fresh seafood paella in Barcelona to the mouthwatering list of fruity gelato flavors in Italy, and then over to the Michelin-star capital of Tokyo, we foodies are blessed with opportunity to make our tastebuds jump for joy.
Each corner of the globe offers us various unique dishes, and if it were up to us, we’d eat and eat and only stop when we felt like we were about to burst. Here are 10 cities that are perfect to unleash your inner foodie.
10 London, UK
As the biggest city in the UK and one of the most multicultural powerhouse capitals in the world, London is somewhat of a melting pot when it comes to culture and food. London offers plenty of markets, including the Borough Market, where passersby can snack of freshly baked pastries, fresh seafood, and farm-to-market fruit and veggies. Not all the fuss is exclusively about the food though, with popular spots for high tea dotted across the city.
If you’re searching for the cream of the crop, The Hand and Flower in Hammersmith is the only Michelin two-star pub in the country.
9 Portland, Oregon, USA
We’re scampering back across the pond from the UK over to the Pacific Northwest of the USA for the next leg of this foodie journey. The donuts, chocolate, and artisanal cheese are a step ahead of the rest of America, and there are almost too many food trucks popping up left, right, and center to keep track of.
Foodies looking for a stellar restaurant with a view should look no further that Noble Rot, before heading to Stumptown Coffee Roasters for that much-needed pick-me-up. Even though Portland sometimes falls into the shadows of New York and Los Angeles in the American food scene, it won’t be long before it takes the reigns.
8 Barcelona, Spain
For any paella lovers out there, Barcelona is a real-life heaven on Earth. The traditional Spanish dish is available throughout the city, but there’s plenty more worth sampling for anyone stopping through the Catalonian capital.
The best place to try everything at once without needed to hop from restaurant to restaurant is at the city’s most famous market, La Boqueria. Here, foodies can stroll through the vibrant aisles and can chow down on various tapas, escalivada (chargrilled vegetables) and the popular dessert, crema Catalana. Don’t forget to grab a churro or two to take back to the hotel for when those late-night sweets cravings strike.
7 Melbourne, Australia
The culture capital of Australia certainly knows what it’s doing in regard to food. The hidden alleyways in the CBD (city center) not only provide exceptional restaurants and cafes, but also plenty of eccentric street art and cutesie shopping boutiques. The Italian food in Carlton is as authentic as in Rome itself, while Melbourne’s Chinatown offers plenty to please the palate. Countless pubs dot the city, offering classic Aussie pub grub meals like the Chicken Parma or a hearty steak
Above all, Melbourne truly prides itself on its high-quality barista-made coffee, so it’s not easy to stumble across coffee chains like Starbucks.
6 Montreal, Canada
Any foodie who has the opportunity to hop over to the French Canadian city of Montreal is in for a treat! Not only does Montreal have some of the world’s best bagels (St Viateur and Fairmount Bagels are highly renowned), some exceptional smoked meat (check out Schwartz's deli in Le Plateau) and the world-famous poutine, but the city boasts some world-class restaurants as well.
Summertime is the perfect time of the year to wander through downtown Montreal, Little Italy, Chinatown or Le Plateau, when the restaurants and bars take over the streets with their outdoor seating in what’s known as "terrace season."
5 Paris, France
Seriously, how could we not include Paris? The French capital is renowned for its gastronomy, and while there are plenty of painfully expensive Michelin-starred restaurant, there are a handful that won’t break the bank. Food is a staple of Parisian culture - you can’t walk down the streets without smelling freshly-baked croissants, passing a couple of crepe stands, or popping into the local boulangerie for a sneaky eclair.
Those who are a little more adventurous can opt to sample a handful of escargot (snails) with garlic butter, or try their hand at a few cuisses de grenouilles (frog legs).
4 New York, New York, USA
If you thought that a list of anything food-related could be made without mention of New York, then you were sorely mistaken. The culinary culture of the Big Apple is one of the world’s most diverse, with plenty of neighborhoods that each specialize in different cuisines.
Grab a slice of pizza at Lombardi’s in Little Italy for lunch, then head to Chinatown for dinner. Still hungry? Well, then you’ll find hot dog and bagel carts at every second intersection. Wherever you are in New York City, no matter the time of day or the season, amazing food is never too far away. The numbers speak for themselves - New York has 75 Michelin-starred restaurants.
3 Chicago, Illinois, USA
With an impressive Mexican food scene, a welcoming Chinatown, and plenty of restaurants dishing up hearty steaks, succulent burgers, and classic hot dogs, Chicago certainly knows what it’s doing when it comes to food - and we haven’t even touched on deep-dish pizza yet. Out of all the options to pick up a world-famous slice of cheesy, saucy goodness, Pequod’s Pizza in Lincoln Park and The Art of Pizza in Lakeview have shining reputations.
To go hand in hand with the long list of noteworthy restaurants, a plethora of impressive breweries including Goose Island and Lagunitas are worth a visit as well.
2 Florence, Italy
If you’re on the hunt for a sub-par meal, a disappointing slice of pizza or a bland scoop of gelato, you’ll never find it in Italy, that’s for sure. As the capital city of Tuscany, Florence offers up not only a diverse selection of authentic Italian dishes including pizzas, plates of pasta, and bistecca alla Fiorentina (steak Florentine), but also a selection of fine Tuscan-made wines.
Those with a bit of a sweet tooth will leave Florence extra satisfied after sampling some of the world’s most mouthwatering gelatos at gelaterias such as La Carraia and Carapina. Just make sure to walk it off afterward.
1 Tokyo, Japan
It would be criminal to forget about the Japanese capital considering that it not only has the most Michelin-starred restaurants of any city in the world (230), but also the most fine dining establishments (well over 1700, according to theceomagazine.com). All things considered, it should come as no surprise that Tokyo is often labeled as the food capital of the world.
Foodies can scamper through the streets sampling various types of sushi, tempura and ramen until their hearts are content. Tonki is an old-school restaurant that has been around since the 1930s, and Udon Maruka is touted as a budget-friendly, small, noodle heaven - each is well worth a visit.