There are so many different ways to experience the world and nothing unites people more than food. For those of you with curiosity that’s as big as your appetite, we created a list of the 7 best cities for foodies. From the night markets of Hong Kong to the fish markets of Sydney to the traditional dishes of Mexico, all of the cities on this list will leave any foodie wanting more. Get ready to expand your mind, your palate and your love of all things food!
A city with food culture as rich as its history, Madrid never ceases to amaze with its own unique touch to Spanish cuisine. What it lacks in diversity it makes up for in its centuries old traditions of treating meat and producing cheese. The most popular dishes you’ll encounter in Madrid are Croquetas, Iberian Ham and Tortillas de Patatas. These dishes can be found at any tapas bar in the city. Tortillas de Patatas are similar to quiches in that they are a kind of egg pie stuffed with sliced potatoes. This can be a stand-alone breakfast dish but can also be accompanied with cheese on the side and a glass of wine. If you have a penchant for eating different kinds of meats cooked and prepared in a thousand different ways, Madrid is the city for you.
Mexico City, Mexico
This is one of those Central American cities that are both wonderfully modern and slightly overshadowed by their coastal counterparts. Nonetheless, the food scene in Mexico City is unmatched. Many small businesses are generationally owned and follow traditional food preparation techniques. Popular Mexican dishes include Tamales, Suadero Tacos and Atol. Suadero tacos are made with meat that is cut from the top layer of the cow’s abdomen. The suadero meat comes from the same cut that is used for American Brisket or roast beef. It is prepared as a confit meaning that it is deep fried for hours in its own fat. The best tacos and Atol are the ones that are sold by street vendors. These dishes are budget-friendly, traditional foods that everyone can enjoy whenever they’re exploring the Mexico City food scene!
New Orleans, United States
In this American city, food is taken seriously everywhere. Gas stations are known for serving dishes that can compete with fine restaurants. Traditional plates include fried alligator, beignets and poboys. Southeast Asian food has made a name for itself in New Orleans in recent years. The influx of growing Southeast Asian communities pay homage to traditional dishes and fuse the flavors and ingredients of New Orleans. The poboy is a perfect example of this phenomenon. In many Vietnamese restaurants the poboy is prepared with its traditional catfish and topped with Sriracha aioli, cucumber, carrots and herbs making it strikingly similar to a banh mi sandwich. The blending of cultures and pride in traditional dishes makes New Orleans one of the best cities for foodies in the U.S.
In Marrakech, street food is the best food. Famous for the kebab and dishes like harira soup and couscous, this Moroccan city makes the most of every animal that is butchered and uses its abundance of spices to transform street food into a culinary experience. Kebabs are a staple in a lot of the western world but, as always, nothing compares to eating it from its source. The night food markets of Marrakech are full of kebab stands where you can take your pick of any and all meat (chicken, beef, lamb, goat, duck, etc.). Being that Morocco is a primarily Islamic country, the only meat you won’t find is pork. Finally, how could we not mention couscous when writing about the best cities for foodies? It is cooked in households all over the world due to its boxed options at supermarkets. However, couscous is an intricate dish that is deeply rooted in Moroccan culture and is cooked for weddings, celebrations and holidays like Ramadan. It can be served as a desert or a side dish and is a must when visiting its country of origin.
Often incorrectly considered the capital of Australia, Sydney is one of the most famous locations in the continent and boasts some the freshest seafood you can find. Sydney is one of the best cities for foodies because of its strong Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern influences. Australian meat has significantly less hormones and antibiotics than what is found in American food and prioritizes freshness and flavor over flare. Head over to Newtown on weekend mornings for fresh artisanal brunches and coffee. Pro tip:, if you see avocado toadies on the menu, don’t pass it up! It is avocado toast with a hole cut in the center that houses a sunny-side-up egg.When exploring the central business district, visit the fish markets and some of the swankier spots by the harbor for some steak and frits, grilled salmon with a side of mash, fresh butter and garlic lobster and anything else your heart desires! Finally, in Sydney it isn’t normal to have dessert at the same place you’ve eaten dinner. So-,for your final course, head over to Kürtõsh for traditional Hungarian baked goods and their most popular pastry, which is also their namesake, a Kürtõsh. It is similar to a cinnamon bun except rather than a bun, the dough is baked into a long tubular shape. Lastly, it is covered with either cinnamon sugar, chocolate, or any other flavor offerings. Kürtõsh is a must visit spot for anyone taking the 15 hour-plus flight to this wonderful city!
Tokyo is one of the best places to travel for foodies because it has both an abundance of outstanding street food and is the city with the most Michelin Stars in the world. The country that is home to hibachi, sushi and ramen, shows no lack of options for both vegetarians and carnivores. Sushi is the most famous dish to come from Japan and has become a trendy food in western countries in the last 50 years. Although it is not the cheapest place to jet set, if you want to expose your palate to unique cooking techniques and explore some of the best fine dining in the world, Tokyo is your town.
Hong Kong, China
Speaking of Michelin Stars, Hong Kong is the city that inspired Michelin to create the first-ever street food guide. To say that exploring street food is the most popular activity among locals would be an understatement. Hong Kong boasts an entire district dedicated to street food and is not just an activity, it is an experience. Some of the best foods to grab when visiting the street food district includes but is not limited to sui mai, cheung fun and eggettes. In Hong Kong a little bit of cash goes a long way and it is truly a haven for any foodie looking to expand their repertoire.