Gourmet travel has now become a whole class of its own, from cooking holidays, to wine tours and culinary trips. Here we discover the top 10 gourmet cities in the world, taking you on a mouth watering trip through the greats - Tokyo, New York and Paris and some of the lesser known – Kyoto, San Sebastian and Bruges.
Tokyo, Japan - Tokyo is a gourmet foodie’s heaven with more Michelin starred restaurants than any other city in the world, surpassing even the greats like Paris and New York. Here, a whopping 247 restaurants have Michelin stars, meaning that it would take you long time to try out all the city’s best eateries. And it’s not just sushi bars, ramens and tempuras, which are on offer here either, as Tokyo is also home to haute French cuisine and exquisite Italian feasts.
Kyoto, Japan - And at number two on the list, we’re still in Japan and we’ve come to the country’s cultural capital - Kyoto. The city is well known for its top class kaiseki restaurants, which serve traditional elegant multi course dinners of fine artistic talent. Here, it’s all about the look as well as the taste.
New York, USA - With many Michelin starred restaurants and seven having been awarded the coveted three stars, New York is so much more than bagels and burgers, littered with gourmet food markets, specialised bakers, butchers and cheese counters. The city is home to some of the world’s top chefs and houses excellent bistros, steakhouses, sushi bars and seafood restaurants among others. Whatever type of cuisine you want, you’re sure to find it here.
Paris, France - Paris may no longer be at the top of the list for gourmet foodie cities, but it’s still up there and will never lose its claim on haute cuisine. With beautiful and elegant restaurants and hotels the food here is still a form of art and you’re guaranteed to find excellent gourmet French feasts of duck confit, escargot, coq au vin and truffles.
Hong Kong, China - Some say that Hong Kong has one of the most vibrant restaurant scenes in the world, it’s home to a chic and lively restaurant scene that is second to none. Hong Kong in fact has more Michelin stars than any city in Europe, apart from Paris and has great culinary diversity as well as excellent Cantonese classics – steamed dumplings, beef balls, chicken and pork wrapped in bean curd, and pan-fried turnip cake.
London, UK - Let’s face it, the UK has a pretty bad reputation for good food, but with its melting pot of cultures, London is the type of place where you can get a different type of cuisine every night of the week, without venturing further than one or two streets. The capital is particularly well known for its excellent Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine and with around 49 Michelin starred restaurants; London is in fact up there with the best. It is also home to some of the world’s most celebrated chefs.
San Francisco, USA - San Francisco was once at the height of innovative cuisine and fine dining, during the 70s and some would say that the city’s food scene is past it. However, in recent years San Francisco has been climbing back up the ranks again and two of its new restaurants have been awarded two Michelin stars each. With the biggest China town in the world and many influences from all over Asia, this is a great city for fusion food and don’t forget fine wines too, form the nearby Napa Valley.
Lyon, France - Outside of Paris, it is said that the French food capital lies in the city of Lyon, the city which has trained many of France’s most acclaimed chefs. Some would even go as far as saying that the small city of Lyon is in fact the true gastronomic capital of the world. Expect to eat lots of pork here, from pork belly with vinegary lentils to sausage roasted in brioche and even chicken cooked inside a pig’s bladder. Pair this with fine French wines and you’re certainly in for a culinary treat in Lyon.
San Sebastián, Spain - In recent years, the Basque city of San Sebastian has entered the gourmet food market, with its combination of high class eateries and excellent tapas joints. This small city is even home to three, 3-starred Michelin restaurants, making it the best place for haute cuisine in the whole of Spain. It is particularly well known for its excellent seafood, meats such as lamb stew and wood pigeon and great pintxos or tapas.
Bruges, Belgium - Although Bruges may not be known for much and is most synonymous with day-trippers from the UK, its food scene is nothing to be scoffed at and is actually considered to be among one of the top gourmet cities in Europe. Not only known for its world class beer, waffles and French fries, Belgium is home to one of the best restaurants in Europe, the 3-starred De Karmeliet.
Follow us on Twitter @HolidayChic