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10 Best Cities to Visit When Food is Life

September 5, 2019

Is food always your first priority when you travel? Eating the local cuisine in cities all over the world is a major draw for lots of travelers, and certain cities are just teeming with delicious food around every corner. Here are the 10 best cities around the globe for people with a food-centric wanderlust.


1. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Over the recent years, Buenos Aires has really stepped up their game when it comes to food. All over the city, you’ll find some of the most delicious, high-quality beef dishes you’ll ever encounter. The Buenos Aires locals, also known as Porteños, know how to make super tasty street food too. Find a street vendor and order up a choripan – it’s a sandwich with split chorizo and a flavorful chimichurri sauce. So simple yet so divine. Oh, and don’t forget to wash it all down with some of Argentina’s world-famous wines.

Best Cities to Visit for Foodies: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Photo credit: David / Flickr

2. Georgetown, Malaysia

Foodies from all over the world flock to the capital of Penang in the country of Malaysia for some of the yummiest food to ever exist. The best part? It’s basically all street food fare so it’s really cheap! The rich history of Georgetown makes for a mixture of cultures that have come together in the best way—food! The most famous street food or “hawker” dish is called char koay teow. It’s made with flat rice noodles, fried with prawns, clams, egg, bean sprouts, and chili paste. You’ll compare every noodle dish to this one after you try it.

Best Cities to Visit for Foodies: Georgetown, Malaysia
Photo credit: Noahs Knight / Unsplash

3. New Orleans, Louisiana

When it comes to flavor, the folks of New Orleans know what’s goin’ on. With Spanish, French, African, Caribbean, and Cajun influences, how could you expect anything less? Whether it’s a hole-in-the-wall cafe or a swanky restaurant, you won’t be disappointed. With gumbo, jambalaya, po’ boys, and beignets, your culinary experiences are endless in The Big Easy.

Best Cities to Visit for Foodies: New Orleans, Louisiana
Photo credit: Mark Bonica / Flickr

4. Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An is just a small little city on the coast of Vietnam but, when it comes to food, it has more to offer than some major cities. One major perk is that they grow a majority of their fruits and veggies within a few mile radius, so it’s all fresh and local. Plus, they offer so many dishes that you can’t get anywhere else in the world (although some might tryto replicate). A must-try dish is called cao lau. It’s a savory pork noodle dish that is made with water from a very specific well in the city. But don’t worry, it’s available on nearly every corner. Be sure to try some Vietnamese coffee, White Rose dumplings, and a banh mi as well while you’re there.

Best Cities to Visit for Foodies: Hoi An, Vietnam
Photo credit: Marco Verch / Flickr

5. London, UK

London is absolutely full of unique eating experiences. You can settle down at a pub and eat your way through typical London fares like bangers and mash or fish and chips, or you can take it up a notch and eat at one-of-the-many gourmet restaurants, rooftop bars, or speakeasies. If you’re looking for molecular gastronomy or some down-home comfort food, London’s got your back.

Best Cities to Visit for Foodies: London, UK
Photo credit: LearningLark / Flickr

6. Rome, Italy

Are you an Italian food fanatic? You might want to wear pants with a stretchy waistband if you take a visit to Rome because you’ll be stuffing your face nonstop. Pizza? Off the charts and wood-fired, of course. Pasta? Anything you order will be perfectly al dente. Gelato? Would a day even be complete without it? And wine seems to basically flow out of the taps. The Italians know how to cook, and Rome is most certainly topping the country’s charts when it comes to world-class cuisine.

Best Cities to Visit for Foodies: Rome Italy
Photo credit: Josh Hild / Unsplash

7. Tokyo, Japan

When a city has more Michelin-starred restaurants than anyone else, it’s safe to say that they know what they’re doing when it comes to cooking food. That city would be Tokyo. The city has incredible neighborhoods, and each one offers its own gastronomic gem. You can find the most mouth-watering sushi on the planet, savory and slurpable ramen, and adorably detailed baked goods and pastries that will legit change your life.

Best Cities to Visit for Foodies: Tokyo, Japan
Photo credit: Joshua Ang / Unsplash

8. Barcelona, Spain

If you’ve found yourself in Barcelona, there should be only one thing on your priority list: paella. The savory rice and seafood dish is by far one of the city’s specialties, but it certainly doesn’t stop there. Before having your seafood dinner paella, spend your day munching on tapas at nearly any cafe in the Catalan capital. Wander the streets of Barcelona and you’ll be sure to experience the meal of a lifetime at one of their low-key bodegas or sophisticated eateries.

Best Cities to Visit for Foodies: Barcelona, Spain
Photo credit: Kaitlin Dowis / Unsplash

9. Marrakech, Morocco

The city of Marrakesh is full of sensory excitement and when it comes to food, the Moroccans definitely know how to use their spices. Be sure to visit the Jemaa el-Fna in Marrakech which is a city square that transforms into a street fair by night with snake charmers, tarot readings, and lots and lots of food. Find dishes like shish kebabs, slow-cooked lamb, couscous, fried eggplant, and tagine. Your tastebuds will be transformed forever in this underrated food city.

Best Cities to Visit for Foodies: Marrakech, Morocco
Photo credit: Louis Hansel / Unsplash

10. New York City, New York

The City That Never Sleeps is known as the melting pot of the United States, and all of those cultures are reflected in the bustling city’s massive and impressive food scene. You’ll be hard-pressed to find another metropolitan city that can offer such a diverse range of culinary adventures. Pick a style of food and New York can do it—and they’ll do it well. Be sure to add some typical local foods to your itinerary when you visit, like a bagel with schmear, deli-style pastrami sandwich, a slice of pizza, or a street vendor hot dog. Looking for something a bit more on the fine-dining side? New York has endless options but Gramercy Tavern should be on your bucket list.

Best Cities to Visit for Foodies: New York City, New York
Photo credit: Anton / Unsplash

Written by Ashley Brewer for Knockaround.

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