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Travelers love to eat, and one of the most unique aspects of travel is the luxury to sample great restaurants and exotic cuisine from all around the globe. The excitement is in experiencing new tastes that broaden your culinary horizon, and new flavors that calibrate your taste buds. Foodie destinations. 

There are many, many, reasons to travel the world, though for a growing number of travelers, food is one of the biggest ones. And whether you’re interested in hitting up the best markets, dessert spots, cafes, fine dining or even street stands, the joy for many people is returning home with new recipes in place of souvenirs! Where are the best food scenes in the world?

The following are the world’s premiere food destinations. If you’re a foodie and you love to travel, you should consider the following destinations for your next trip. Which cities have the best food? Best food scene in the world?

The Best Food Cities in the World

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Tokyo, Japan

Japan is easily in the running as the culinary capital of the world, and with a rich, cosmopolitan dining scene, Tokyo should be your first port of call when searching for the best of Japanese cuisine (French food is also influential in Tokyo). What is food like in Tokyo? Find best Japanese food. 

Tokyo plays home to more cafes and bars than is possible to visit in a lifetime, and the city holds the record for the most Michelin star restaurants than any other city in the world…even Paris. French food in Tokyo.

A foodie bucket-list isn’t complete without splashing out on some of the world’s most critically acclaimed sushi, and a visit to at least one Michelin star restaurant in Tokyo is an absolute must. Michelin star in Tokyo. 

Sydney, Australia

Travelers hit up Sydney for it’s iconic landmarks and fabulous beaches, though most leave with an insatiable craving for more of the city’s fine food. There are diverse and exotic culinary adventures to suit every appetite; multi cultural foods and fresh Australian produce served across a huge range of gourmet restaurants, traditional historic pubs, boutique cafes and cool rooftop bars, all in spectacular locations throughout the city.

Sydney is home to the world’s best waterfront dining, and many Sydney Restaurants sit perched on the water’s edge offering a glittering view of Sydney Harbour against the expanse of the Pacific Ocean.

You’ll never be short of inspiration on where to eat and drink in Sydney.

Barcelona, Spain

Quite like Tokyo, Barcelona will have you bouncing from one Michelin star restaurant to the next, though you don’t have to score a table in the fine dining scene to eat world class food; big name chefs are offering creative Catalan cuisine in more casual settings all over the city at very competitive prices, and this has seen the emergence of a much more accessible restaurant scene.

Tapas bars from Michelin-starred chefs are popping up left, right and center, and beach-side shacks and street food stands are serving some of the best bites in town. Find best food in Barcelona. 

Naples, Italy

When it comes to Italian food, specialties are extremely regional, so this means lasagne in Bologna, Parma ham in Parma, and for the pizza lover? That shouldn’t even be a question. Those looking for the finest pizza on earth head to Naples.

Pizza pilgrims from all over the world let their taste buds lead them here – to the birthplace of the original pizza pie. Most take transfers from Naples airport directly to a restaurant; because hotel check-in can wait when you have pizza on your mind!

There are hundreds of specialty restaurants throughout Naples which make pizza and nothing else. Pizzas range from the size of a plate to that of a Hummer wheel, and are very different to anything you will find anywhere else in the world – and even throughout Italy for that matter! 

Wondering what to try? Marinara is the most basic form of pizza, topped with only tomatoes, garlic, oregano and olive oil. Margherita is your classic pizza topped with red tomatoes, white mozzarella cheese and fresh basil – this actually reflecting the colors of the Italian flag!

Copenhagen, Denmark

Food is taken seriously in Copenhagen, and this is not a city where you casually miss a reservation – the city’s best restaurants fill up weeks, sometimes even months in advance. Should I reserve a restaurant in Copenhagen?

Avant-garde chefs are known for experimenting with unconventional ingredients to create works of art, and the city is home to the critically acclaimed former Pellegrino World No. 1-ranked restaurant, Noma.

Michelin stars? Copenhagen has 15 Michelin star restaurants, though the restaurant scene does cater to all budgets, and regardless of where you eat, food here is known for being of high quality and with a focus on using local and seasonal produce. The best bites often come in the form of open faced sandwiches called smørrebrød you can buy on the streets, or Danish-style hot dogs from Døp or Harry’s Place. Best places to eat in Copenhagen. 

New Orleans, USA

Those who come to New Orleans normally travel for the eclectic mix of food. It’s no secret the city is a haven for foodies, with some of the finest Cajun, African,Chinese, Italian, and French cuisine throughout the city’s many award-winning restaurants and cafes. New Orleans restaurants. 

From Gumbo and Jambalaya, to Mardi Gras King Cakes and a Cajun spin on fried cornmeal called couche chouche, New Orleans is responsible for some of the most interesting foods cooked up today.

If you find you become addicted to the spicy kick of the NOLA’s Cajun cuisine scene, you can organize Spice N Tice mini spice kits for homemade food once you’re back at home.

Edam, The Netherlands

Cheese in Europe is a serious business, and for centuries the most popular cheese in the world has been sold in Edam.

During the summer, towns such as Alkmaar, Gouda, Edam and Hoorn host traditional cheese markets. Here, they enact the day-to-day scenes of cheese markets of bygone eras; watching farmers navigate the ancient canals and ferry taking rounded hunks of the cheese to the market is quite the scene!

Paris, France

Paris is an exciting food destination, and people travel here from all over the world to eat like a Parisian in the glamorous French capital.

After-all, it’s a treat to sample some of the most delicate and flavorful cheese in the world, and a dream to eat crepes from vendors selling on cobblestone streets, or to visit a pâtisserie for mouthwatering sweets and pastries. Or perhaps you’ve dreamed of wiling way your afternoons at an outdoor cafe.

When it comes to French food there are two types of dish; traditional and modern. Though there has been a shift away from fancy table settings. As with Barcelona, expensive is “out” and “simply presented affordable food in a casual unpretentious setting is “in.” Best food int he world. 

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Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging since 2007, with the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure. Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Photo credits: Featured & Pinterest photos by Michael Stern. Sydney food by Roderick Eime. Opera House by Sacha Fernandez. Pizza by uıɐɾ ʞ ʇɐɯɐs. Noma by cyclonebill. Smørrebrød by Rachel Avelena. Nyhavn Waterfront by Cecil Lee. Edam by vpzone & Philip Cotsford.

    36 Comments

  1. I absolutely love Japanese food but also Naples Italy… their pizza is to die for. Food is a big part of traveling, I always like trying out the cuisine of each place. My favorite would be the Japanese though.

    • I have a sweet spot for Japanese food too … maybe why I put it as #1 lol :D But yes, OMG Naples pizza really is to die for – that’s basically all we ate for 5 days straight!!

  2. OMG I’m drooling over the pictures here! I’ve been to most of these cities but am looking forward to visiting Naples for the first time next year. Can’t wait for that pizza!

    • Naples itself we found to be fairly busy and a little dirty so werent overly taken by the city as far as cities go. But I would absolutely recommend it for the food because the food scene really is remarkable, and it’s some of the best pizza you’ll ever eat!

      Also the day trip options from Naples were gold, so we found it was a really fantastic base for exploring the greater region like the Amalfi Coast etc :)

      Have a fab trip!

  3. I’m not suprised at most of the inclusions (with the exception of Edam), but I am a little suprised that you’ve missed London. I’m sure there are other great places too but wouldn’t claim to know my way round the world’s food centres. I suppose it is all down to personal experience?

    • A lot of the time it probably does come down to personal experience when you have lists like this :) Different tastes and different food scenes appealing to different travelers and all that.

      London’s food scene is definitely up there, these were our favorites though :)

  4. Great round up, returning home with new recipes in place of souvenirs is def my thing. For me, South East Asia has been one of the most taste tantalising and inspiring part of the world, it was wonderful to see such a range of flavours in the food, all influenced by the surrounding countries. I particularly found this in Penang.

    • Thanks Anna! Would you believe, we really haven’t done any of South East Asia yet! I can’t wait to get there and experience it – I’ve heard from so many people that the street food throughout those countries is amazing. I’ll have to make sure we hit up Penang :)

  5. A sincerely drool-worthy collection. I’d add San Diego but then I’m biased!

    • Ooooh, I’ve heard great things about the San Diego food scene though haven’t had a chance to experience it myself yet. Will add it to the list!

  6. Now I know where to travel when I get hungry:) For me the best food city is Taipei in Taiwan. Not for the restaurants though. The best place where to get something to eat are the nigtmarkets. Seriously, the food is so delicious and super cheap. PS: Taiwan as much cheaper sushi than Japan and equally tasty!

    • I haven’t experienced the food scene in Taipei yet – though I have heard amazing things about the night markets from quite a few people. Will have to add it to the list.

      I’m a massive fangirl for Japanese sushi, so if you say Taiwan’s is just as tasty it’s on the list!! Thanks for the tip :)

  7. So… if I just print this out and use it to book my next round the world flight, I think things will work out just fine.

    When we get to Sydney though you’ll have to join us for a dinner or three. With local wines. With many wines.

    • Absolutely – and you’ve got multiple continents there so should work out perfect for a RTW ticket route :D

      Let us know when you do get to Australia :) We’re in Canberra which is a little south of Sydney so we’ll have to sort out a date :)

  8. Really GREAT suggestions Megan! Though since I’m a ‘sucker’ for Thai food, I think Thailand should be in this list too ;) Anyhow, I’m definitely bookmarking your post. Food is one of the things that always make me excited about a new place!

    • Thanks Aileen! Thai food is definitely something I should have included! I’ve found it’s probably the one cuisine which has taken off the most throughout the rest of the world too. I had a guest post submission the other day from a girl who ate Thai food in the arctic…and while we were in the Faroe Islands last year they also offered us Thai food!

  9. Oooh I’m just salivating over all of this food talk! Agreed on many of the destinations! We are big fans of Italian food and think the best Italian we had was in Lake Como (although Naples did have some great pizzas!). Madrid is also a great destination for some great cuisine. And don’t forget little ol’ Canberra, with the highest number of restaurants per capita in Australia! ;) Now to find some food!

    • Totally didn’t know that Canberra had the highest number of restaurants per capita in Australia!! Berra pride!!

  10. I can tell you that the best pizza I’ve ever had was in Naples, hands down. The flavors were amazing! And it was such an experience to eat my favorite food in Naples. It’s something I’ll never forget. And Denmark is high on my list, so hopefully I’ll be experiencing their food soon.

    • Me to :D We were having food orgasms from just walking the streets of Naples and taking in the smells lol.

      I hope you do have the chance to visit Denmark soon – Copenhagen is a fantastic city, and especially if you love your food!

  11. I never thought about traveling through food,but I think it is really nice idea. In some places there is a lot of nice food for me, in others I don’t like almost anything. I should prepare list like this from my journeys :)

    • Traveling for international food is now a movement :D It’s the only reason why some people travel at all! Really makes a vacation so much more adventurous when you venture out to try your hand at the local delicacies. Sometimes, granted, it can be horrifyingly far from your comfort zone, but most of the time it’s refreshing to try something new :)

  12. The food from Sydney and Copenhagen looks really interesting and delicious. These are all great diverse recommendations for different food in different cities. And of course the pizza in Naples is a must!

    • Sydney and Copenhagen are probably my favorite for being so diverse. Though you definitely can’t find pizza better anywhere else in the world than Naples thats for sure!

  13. Great list, but would you really not have London in the top 10?

    • Missing London was definitely an oversight on my half there! I’ll have to start compiling an edition II to the list!

  14. Paris is a great place to discover the different kind of french food, for sure ! Like our Alsatian food in the east of France.

    • Absolutely! Paris is definitely one of the best :) I’ll have to plan for some time in the east of France to sample some Alsatian food!

  15. Great list and it is of course impossible to please everyone! But one of the great, exciting food destinations right now is Lima, Peru – a truly unique and astonishingly diverse food scene with influences from Spain, Africa, Japan, China, Italy, and so on. I am biased though as my husband is a Peruvian chef in Canada :)

    • I’ve heard a lot of wonderful things about Lima recently too – especially for seafood! Hopefully we’ll have the chance to visit soon – how wonderful that your husband is a chef!

    • Haha happy lunching! Glad you enjoyed the post :)

  16. We looooove to eat. It’s always a priority when we travel! I can vouch for Paris and Japan as outstanding food cities. Will need to explore Spain and copenhagen soon!

    • Awesome Nancy! It’s so fabulous to have seen gastronomy taken hold as a worldwide cultural trend – I’m all for celebrating food too!

      You’ll love Spain and Copenhagen – have a great trip!

  17. This is a fun list of places to visit and enjoy the food as well, thank you for sharing.

    We loved the cheese market in Alkmaar.

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Elizabeth … and the cheese markets in Alkmaar – aren’t they fascinating!

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