8 Great Cities To Travel For Food Adventures

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May 28 2024, Published 8:00 a.m. ET

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With countless cuisines and dishes to choose from, understanding a destination’s DNA can often be unlocked through enriched, food-led experiences. Whether fine dining at the city’s decorated establishments or navigating the local street food scene. These cities stand out for their culinary vibrancy, diversity and evolution, yet commitment to upholding century-old culinary traditions.

1. Tokyo, Japan

Food and Winementions Tokyo, Japan as their top city for foodies. The diversity of food available is expansive, with much of the highlights being rooted in tradition. From being home to the highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants for a high-end dining experience, to being known for an equally enviable street food scene. Some of the best and freshest sushi is also available in Japan and no doubt that partaking in local tea ceremony traditions would be an insightful cultural experience into the way that locals live and dine. 

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2. Naples, Italy

It is hard to choose one foodie filled city in Italy when Italian cuisine has become a daily staple for many across Europe and other regions of the world. Lonely Planet lists Naples, being the birthplace of Pizza. You may have seen the city in the movie “Eat Pray Love.” The original Margarita Pizza was developed in the 19th century, so no surprise that indulging in pizza from one of the many local businesses, stooped in years of history. Multiple pizza making classes are also available for tourists, for a unique chance to try a hand at the art of the dough. 

3. San Sebastián, Spain, among others, highly recommend San Sebastián as a culinary delight in Europe. The city itself is small, leaning into many intimate venues, but also the ability to house “more Michelin-starred restaurants per capita than Paris.” Many may have heard of “tapas”, but San Sebastián is home to the bite-sized “pintxos” being a staple of local cuisine. The coast side location also offers a seafood heavy selection of signature dishes and a famous fish market to peruse. 

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4. Bangkok, Thailand

Many Southeast Asian cities attract foodies traveling from all corners of the globe. Envols lists Bangkok, where the intertwined food and culture is no exception to the vibrancy. There are extensive street food options and markets that attract diners well into the night. Thai is just one of the many cuisines available.  

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5. Mexico City, Mexico

CNN mentions the key difference of having Mexican cuisine in the country itself. In Mexico, the elaborate use of many local and indigenous ingredients used to elevate the dishes many are already familiar with. The vibrant street food scene is also apparent with many tours available to help visitors navigate the best of tacos and tortillas. 

6. Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne has long been considered the food capital of Australia, also noted by Condé Nast Traveller. with a bustling coffee and cafe led culture. With an immigrant heavy culture, the diversity of cuisines is prominent with local and international restaurant brands. This makes Melbourne an ideal place to sample everything from Greek, Chinese, and Italian signature dishes, to a more classic Australian staple, avocado on toast. 

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7. New Orleans, USA

When many hear New Oreleans they may be quick to think of Jazz instead of food. Between Chicago’s deep dish pizza and Texas Barbecue the US could have a list of its own.US News ranks New Orleans as number one. Alongside the staple Cajun and Creole, the pure breadth of cuisines offered between Caribbean, European and African inspired dishes offers something new at every venue. They are also the proud inventors of “Sunday Brunch” which dates back to the 1800s. 

8. Cairo, Egypt

Eater lists Cairo as one of their top food cities for 2024. Where the well-known Egyptian sights have always served as the greatest tourist attraction for travelers, the traditional food scene is growing in attention. Alongside traditional Egyptian dishes, expect Filipino and Ethiopian influence. The city is one of the most affordable cities for street food, offers a conglomerate of local businesses that have been around for decades, but also a growing high-end, international market.

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By: Emily Wilson

Emily Wilson is an Australian Freelance Writer, Producer and Non-Profit Director based in London, UK

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