Which are the best cities for culinary connoisseurs?

There are many reasons people like to travel. However, whether you’re interested in museums, beaches, city breaks or outdoor adventures, it’s often the food that can make or break a fantastic holiday. In fact, the foodies among us actually make travel plans based on the different foods we can try in other cities or countries.

From street food in bustling foreign markets to cutting-edge cuisine in a Michelin starred restaurant, the food we enjoy on holiday is often a far cry from our usual experience at home, and can be an exciting event in its own right.

This made us wonder which locations across the world offer the best culinary experience to visitors and tourists. As such, we’ve taken an in-depth look at the restaurant offering in sixty cities from all over the globe to find the best foodie hotspots for the gastronomically-inclined traveller.

The best cities in the world for foodies

We’ve compared 60 major cities around the world to find out which is the biggest foodie hotspot. We’ve considered a range of factors including each city’s total number of restaurants, the percentage of those that offer vegan options, the number of Michelin Guide restaurants in each city, and how popular street food is in each location. Here’s what we found.

Foodies Best Cities
  1. Bern – Overall foodie Score: 6.34/10

The best foodie city on our list is Bern, in Switzerland, which received a score of 6.34. Bern scored highly on the number of Michelin Guide restaurants available in the city per 100,000 residents and has a comparatively high number of street food options for the city’s size. 

  1. Luxembourg City – Overall foodie Score: 6.30/10

Luxembourg City is the second-best foodie hotspot out there, having earned a score of 6.30. The capital city of the synonymous country is a hotbed for fine dining and local cuisine, so be sure to consider it for your next European city break.

  1. Bruges – Overall foodie Score: 6.07/10

The beautiful medieval city of Bruges is a popular destination for tourists of all varieties and is known for both its local beer and historical attractions. However, Bruges is a great place to visit for the sweet-toothed foodie, as the waffles and chocolates that Belgium is famous for can both be found in copious amounts throughout the city.

The best cities in the world  for street food

Best Street Food

We also looked at the number of street food eateries listed on Tripadvisor, comparing it against each city’s population to give an impression of the street food scene in each location.

  1. Geneva – Street food eateries per 100,000: 9.24

The best city for street food is Geneva, as it has the largest number of street food eateries compared to its population, with 9.24 street food establishments per 100,000. Home to a host of international organisations and ex-pats, you’ll be able to enjoy cuisine from all over the world, as well as local Swiss delicacies.

  1. Bern – Street food eateries per 100,000: 9.04

Another Swiss city, Bern is the second-best city for street food, boasting 9.04 eateries per 100,000 people. Famous for being the home of the Rösti, Bern has its own unique delicacies that should be on any visiting foodie’s radar.

  1. Budapest – Street food eateries per 100,000: 7.84

The Hungarian capital Budapest takes third place for street food eateries, with 7.84 per 100,000. Famous for goulash and smoked meats, Hungarian cuisine has a lot to offer and many hidden gems to discover on your visit.

The top vegan food hotspots

Vegan Hotspots
  1. Edinburgh – Vegan Options: 33.3%

The best city for vegan options is Edinburgh, where the 640 restaurants that listed themselves as providing vegan options accounted for a third of the city’s total eateries.

  1. Bristol – Vegan Options: 29%

Bristol came out as the second-best city for vegan options, where restaurants that provide vegan options made up 29% of the city’s total.

  1. Cardiff – Vegan Options: 27.2%

Cardiff claimed third place with 27.2% of restaurants providing vegan options, reflecting a total of 249 establishments.

The British Vegan Islands

The top five cities for vegan dining were all in the United Kingdom, and including Birmingham, there were six UK cities in the top ten. With the inclusion of Ireland, there were an impressive eight out of the top ten vegan cities in the British Isles!

The best cities in the world for fine dining

Best Fine Dining
  1. Bern – Restaurants in the Michelin Guide: 11.78%

The best city for fine dining is Bern, in Switzerland, with a total of 65 Michelin restaurants out of the 552 establishments in the city. This made up an impressive 11.78% of restaurants.

  1. Luxembourg City – Restaurants in the Michelin Guide: 7.81%

Luxembourg City is the second-best city for fine dining, with 58 of 743 restaurants being listed in the Michelin Guide. This equates to 7.81% of the city’s restaurants being recognised by the gastronomic guide.

  1. Macau – Restaurants in the Michelin Guide: 6.23%

Coming in third is Macau, Kong Kong’s neighbour city where 59 of 947 restaurants, or 6.23%, are listed by the prestigious culinary directory..

The best Halal hotspots

Best Halal Hotspots
  1. Birmingham – Proportion of Restaurants Halal: 9.92%

The best city for Halal food is Birmingham, where 9.92% of the 2006 restaurants in the city offer a Halal menu.

  1. Manchester – Proportion of Restaurants Halal: 7.64%

Manchester is the next best city for Halal food, as 7.64% of restaurants in the city were listed as offering Halal options.

  1. Cardiff – Proportion of Restaurants Halal: 5.79%

The third-best city on the list for Halal dining is Cardiff, where 5.79% of restaurants are listed as offering Halal food.

The UK is a Halal dining hotspot

With the top seven cities for Halal food all being in the UK, British diners have some of the best options for eating a Halal diet in a restaurant setting. In addition to the aforementioned top three, London, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Bristol all made the cut, occupying the majority of the top ten leaderboard.

Methodology

We wanted to find out which cities have the best culinary scene, crowning the winners as foodie hotspots. To figure this out, we first compiled a list of cities known for their food. We did this by compiling lists of foodie cities from online articles and media, as well as including cities with particularly high numbers of Michelin starred restaurants.