Exploring the Best Foodie Hotspots Around the Globe: From Paris to Cape Town and Beyond

2023-10-13 00:55:30 - Drany Macley Drany Macley, the senior editor of Vytravels.com, brings extensive journalism background and over eight years of experience in travel writing and editing to the site, offering practical insights and first-hand knowledge through articles on innovative hotels, backed by a BA in Journalism from Ithaca College.

Are you ready to embark on a mouthwatering adventure around the world? From the elegant streets of Paris to the vibrant markets of Bangkok, we have curated a list of the absolute best foodie hotspots that will take your taste buds on a journey they'll never forget. Join us as we explore the culinary treasures of vibrant cities like Tokyo, Istanbul, and even the sprawling metropolis of New York City. Get ready to savor the flavors of the globe, as we dive headfirst into the tantalizing cuisine of Paris, France, and beyond.

Paris, France

Escargot in France

Escargot in France

When individuals plan their trips to Paris, they often overlook the fact that the city is a food lover's paradise, despite being located in France. There are numerous enjoyable culinary experiences in Paris that can enhance your sightseeing, leave lasting memories, and create a diverse and fascinating itinerary.

Paris is home to a variety of delicious French foods, such as croissants and Croque Monsieurs, which are just as iconic as the Eiffel Tower and Sacre-Coeur. No trip to the French capital is complete without indulging in the foods that make the country so unique – including escargot and frog's legs!

You can taste and enjoy Parisian cuisine in numerous ways, whether by exploring the city's street food markets, visiting a local crepe stand, or taking part in a full-day food tour. The options are endless.

If you have extra time, consider venturing outside of the city to visit renowned wine regions such as Bordeaux or Champagne. In these regions, cities like Reims and Epernay offer the opportunity to learn more about French wines.

Tours you might enjoy:

Bordeaux, France

Duck Confit

Biking through vineyards (CC photo by Warren Rohner)

Combine the exquisite wines of Bordeaux with breathtaking scenery and you'll have the ultimate foodie vacation in France. To truly appreciate all that Bordeaux has to offer, it's recommended to spend at least a week in the region. Allocate two days to explore the Left Bank and another two days for the Right Bank, and you'll only scratch the surface of the wine and food possibilities.

Don't forget to explore the city center of Bordeaux, where you'll find incredible food options ranging from wine bars to street food markets. The recently opened wine museum is also a must-visit attraction.

For wine enthusiasts, foodies, and anyone who wants to enjoy the countryside while biking through stunning vineyards, a bike tour in Bordeaux is a perfect fit. The region boasts flat and easily navigable paths, with Saint Emilion being a personal favorite.

Imagine savoring foie gras, duck confit, and black truffles paired with bold and complex Bordeaux wines. With gourmet lunches and dinners complemented by world-class wine, the experience is truly unmatched.

Check out these guided foodie activities in Bordeaux:

Tuscany, Italy

Pici pasta

Pici pasta in Tuscany

One of the top items on every foodie's bucket list is taking cooking classes in Italy. The dream of making tender, homemade pasta and indulging in rich meaty tomato sauces while sipping wine in Tuscany and enjoying briny olives and antipasto on a terrace overlooking the vineyards is a reality waiting to be experienced.

Italy offers an abundance of cooking schools and wine tasting tours, making it the perfect destination to immerse yourself in the culinary arts.

Chianti, located in Tuscany, is a favorite area boasting not only breathtaking beauty but also dozens of amazing Chianti Classico wines to sample. If you're planning a visit, consider staying in one of the recommended accommodations known for their wine tasting opportunities.

Additionally, don't miss the charming hilltop town of Montepulciano, renowned for its picturesque streets, historic architecture, and world-class wineries. Surrounded by rolling hills covered in vineyards, Montepulciano offers a major glimpse into the region's wine industry and its influence on the local economy and culture. Avignonesi, Poliziano, and Boscarelli are just a few of the wineries in and around Montepulciano worth exploring.

Tours you might enjoy:

Bologna, Italy

Food tour in Italy, parmigiano factory

Food tour in Italy, parmigiano factory

Bologna and its surrounding area offer an array of tourist attractions, but it truly stands out as one of the world's premier culinary vacation spots.

Whether you opt for a full-blown DOP food tour taking you to a Parmigiano-Reggiano factory, a Parma ham production facility, and a traditional Balsamic vinegar home, or a more intimate cooking class in the city, you'll never run out of food-related activities to enjoy.

Emilia-Romagna, where Bologna serves as the capital, is renowned for its wine production. While the sparkling semi-sweet Lambrusco wine dominates the northern part of the region, Romagna excels in Sangiovese red wines, similar to those of neighboring Tuscany. Exploring the Romagna wine region will introduce you to a whole new world of wine you never knew existed.

⇒ Find a great culinary vacation in Bologna.

Tours you might enjoy:

Naples, Italy

Pizzeria Da Attilio

Giardiniera "Malvano" – 8-point star-shaped pizza

Each region in Italy boasts its own unique and must-try specialty foods, and Naples is no exception. From the iconic Neapolitan pizza to deep-fried macaroni and rum-soaked sponge cakes, Naples offers a plethora of culinary delights worth exploring to truly discover the city and all its charms.

Be prepared for a vast selection of delectable dishes in this city. If you're seeking the best Italian food in Naples, there's no better way to experience it than by embarking on a food tour with Eating Europe. After spending a week sampling various pizzas from different establishments, Pizzeria Da Attilio, 50 Kalo, and Antico Borgo Ai Vergini ranked among our favorites.

Additionally, make sure to try Pizza Fritta, Cuoppo, and Pasta Frittatine for an authentic taste of Naples' street food scene.

Tours you might enjoy:

Stellenbosch, South Africa

Wine tasting at Spier

Wine tasting at Spier

Just an hour outside of Cape Town lies the Stellenbosch Wine Region in South Africa. Of all the places we've visited for wine tasting, Stellenbosch remains our favorite. The winery experience in this region is inviting and relaxed, making it a true haven for food and wine enthusiasts.

You can choose between a guided tour or plan your own winery tour with a designated driver. Upon arriving at a winery, you'll have the opportunity to relax at a table or on a comfy couch while the wine samples are brought to you.

The region also boasts numerous top-tier restaurants with chefs who possess an in-depth understanding of wine and create masterpieces that perfectly complement the vintages. Some of the best foodie experiences in Stellenbosch include:

When you've savored your way through Stellenbosch, consider exploring the nearby wine region of Franschhoek. Both areas are renowned for their gourmet cuisine and fine wines.

⇒ Try one of these great culinary vacations in South Africa.

Tours you might enjoy:

Mendoza, Argentina

Restaurant at Bodega Ruca Malen

Restaurant at Bodega Ruca Malen

Mendoza is celebrated for its exceptional wines, but did you know about its thriving culinary scene? This destination offers the perfect balance of good food, wine, and adventures for foodies looking to immerse themselves in a memorable travel experience.

Many of the top wineries in the region feature impressive multi-course wine lunches at their winery restaurants, offering breathtaking views of the Andes from every seat and unlimited wine for guests to enjoy.

To fully embrace the foodie experience in Mendoza, make sure to visit these wineries and restaurants:

Tours you might enjoy:

San Sebastian, Spain


Foie gras pintxos (photo by Savored Journeys)

San Sebastian, though not a major cosmopolitan city like Paris or London, is undoubtedly the ultimate food destination. With more Michelin stars per capita than any other city and a vibrant pintxos scene, it offers a culinary experience that exceeds expectations.

The city's incredible view over the crescent bay and beautiful La Concha Beach add to its charm. From three 3-star restaurants to a plethora of pintxos bars serving gourmet-style bites that rival any fancy meal, San Sebastian truly has it all.

Here are a few recommendations for an unforgettable foodie experience:

⇒ Here's a great evening pintxos tour in San Sebastian that you'll love.

⇒ Arzak – a 3-star restaurant and one of the world's best – is not to be missed.

Only an hour away from San Sebastian lies the Rioja wine region of Spain, which offers its own incredible food scene. Taking a pinchos crawl through the narrow streets of Logrono, Spain is an absolute dream for food enthusiasts.

Tours you might enjoy:

Catalunya, Spain

Nick & Laura in Girona, Spain

Nick & Laura on a Girona Food Tour

Spain is renowned for its rich culture, heritage, and especially its unique culinary products and dishes, specific to each micro region. Catalunya is a prime example, with its astounding array of unique products, recipes, and foods.

Catalunya possesses a complex food culture. Not only does it boast specific products not found in other parts of Spain, but each smaller area within Catalunya boasts its own distinctive dishes. As a food lover in this region, you'll become fully immersed in a rich culinary tradition that is inextricably linked to the local identity.

While exploring Catalunya, you can visit various wineries, including those in Priorat and Emporda, and indulge in Cava, a sparkling wine popular in the region.

London, England

Afternoon tea at London Bridge Hotel

Afternoon tea at London Bridge Hotel (Photo by Savored Journeys)

London, often overlooked as a food destination, is a global capital of culinary delights. Nowhere else will you find such a diverse range of international cuisines, dining experiences, and food-related activities.

Contrary to popular belief, London offers much more than just fish and chips and pub food. In fact, it stands as one of the world's foremost food cities, featuring every type of cuisine imaginable. Additionally, the city boasts numerous venues offering traditional afternoon tea experiences, a true hallmark of British culture.

Don't miss the opportunity to explore London's vibrant food markets, such as Camden Market and Borough Market, which are two of the most beloved. Additionally, be sure to check out Boxpark in Shoreditch for a unique street food experience.

Soho, with its dizzying array of food choices, is a definite must-visit. You'll find an assortment of restaurants, wine bars, pubs, waffle bars, gelaterias, and more at every corner.

Tours you might enjoy:

Melbourne, Australia

Kingfish sashimi at Chin Chin in Melbourne

Kingfish sashimi at Chin Chin in Melbourne (photo by Savored Journeys)

Melbourne, Australia, stands as a remarkable food city, boasting numerous exceptional restaurants scattered throughout the city. Flinders Lane is home to some of our favorites, with Chin Chin and Lucy Liu ranking high on our list.

While in Melbourne, don't miss the opportunity to explore the nearby Yarra Valley wine region, which features more than a dozen wineries. The region's cool climate is ideal for producing Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and sparkling wines.

Food and wine events are a favorite of ours, and Melbourne hosts one of the best – the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival. Spanning 17 days in March, this festival welcomes culinary superstars from all over the world who host events, create unforgettable dishes for sampling, and draw crowds of over 250,000 each year.

Tours you might enjoy:

Tokyo, Japan

Sushi Matsue in TokyoThis photo shows Sushi Matsue, a sushi restaurant in Tokyo. Tokyo is known for having the best and freshest sushi in the world. In addition to sushi, Tokyo also offers other amazing food experiences. For example, you can explore the izakayas, which are small bars and restaurants hidden in the back alleys of the city. They offer a unique and adventurous food experience. Another must-visit spot in Tokyo is the Tsukiji outer market, where you can find a wide variety of foods you may have never heard of before. You can also participate in a traditional tea ceremony at Hamarikyu Gardens. Tokyo truly is a food lover's paradise.

Tours you might enjoy:

Dotonbori, Osaka, Japan

Okonomiyaki - an Osaka specialtyThis photo showcases Okonomiyaki, a popular dish in Osaka. Dotonbori is a street in Osaka that is famous for its food scene. It is packed with restaurants, food stalls, and street vendors selling a wide variety of delicious Japanese specialties. It's a vibrant and bustling place where you can try all sorts of local delicacies like gyoza, yakisoba, takoyaki, and okonomiyaki. If you're a food lover, a visit to Dotonbori is a must when you're in Osaka.

Tours you might enjoy:


Bangkok, located in Central Thailand, is a fantastic destination for food lovers. Thai cuisine is known for its fiery and flavorful tastes, and Bangkok offers a wide range of culinary experiences. From atmospheric markets to high-end gourmet restaurants, you can find a variety of cuisines influenced by European, Indian, Chinese, and Japanese flavors. Exploring Bangkok's food scene is a true gourmet adventure.

Best for ages: 13 | Free

Bologna vista from Asinelli tower

Hong Kong

Roast GooseHong Kong is a wonderful city for food lovers. It offers a wide variety of food stalls, restaurants, and dishes influenced by different cultural traditions. One of the iconic foods in Hong Kong is dim sum, which you can enjoy in affordable restaurants that even have Michelin stars. Another must-try dish is roast goose, which is known for its crispy skin and tender meat. Whether you're exploring high-end restaurants or local street food, Hong Kong's food scene is sure to delight your taste buds.

Tours you might enjoy:

Istanbul, Turkey

Turkish mezeTurkey is a fantastic destination for foodies. Whether you're visiting Istanbul or other popular cities like Capadoccia, you'll find great food everywhere you go. Turkish cuisine offers a variety of dishes that showcase their rich cultural heritage. Doner kebab, meze, pide, and baklava are just a few examples of the delicious foods you can try in Turkey. Each region has its own special twist on these dishes, so you'll have plenty of opportunities to explore the diverse flavors of Turkish cuisine.

Tours you might enjoy:

Copenhagen, Denmark

Ceviche of trout with cucumbersCopenhagen, Denmark, is a must-visit destination for food lovers. It is home to renowned restaurants like Noma, which has been ranked among the top restaurants in the world. While Noma may be difficult to get into, Copenhagen is filled with talented chefs who have opened their own restaurants. From Michelin-starred establishments to more laid-back food experiences, Copenhagen offers a diverse range of culinary delights. Additionally, the city's food market, Reffen, is a trendy spot where you can find high-quality international dishes from food trucks and stalls.

Where to stay in Copenhagen: 71 Nyhavn Hotel (see prices and read reviews.)

Tours you might enjoy:

Lima, Peru

Peruvian ChicharonesPeru is a surprising foodie destination. With its multicultural population and regional variations, Peruvian cuisine offers a unique and unexplored culinary experience. Lima, the capital of Peru, is known for its signature dishes like ceviche and chicharones. Restaurants like Astrid & Gaston have been delighting food lovers for many years. Superchef Gaston Acurio and others are bringing a modern twist to traditional favorites. Now is the perfect time to explore Peru's food scene before it becomes fully discovered.

Where to stay in Lima, Peru: Hilton Lima Miraflores (see prices and read reviews)

Tours you might enjoy:

New York City, New York

New York City is a melting pot of cultures, making it a food lover's paradise. With its diverse culinary scene, you can find any type of cuisine within the city's expansive boundaries. From authentic dim sum in Chinatown to mouthwatering bagels and Jewish deli sandwiches, New York City offers a wide range of flavors and dining experiences. Don't confine yourself to Manhattan; explore the five boroughs, including neighborhoods like Astoria and Jackson Heights in Queens, and Greenpoint in Brooklyn. Additionally, the city is home to over 70 Michelin-starred restaurants, ranging from fine dining establishments to casual eateries. Some of the best eats can be found in unexpected places, so don't be afraid to try some $1 pizza.

San Francisco, California

Yusun Chung/Eye Em/Getty Images

San Francisco is not only known for its tech scene but also for its impressive culinary offerings. The city boasts the highest concentration of restaurants in the country. You can indulge in Michelin-starred meals at acclaimed eateries like Atelier Crenn, Mister Jiu's, and Lazy Bear. If you're looking for something more casual, the Ferry Building Marketplace is a must-visit destination with its locally loved food vendors. You can also enjoy sourdough bread from Josey Baker Bread and Boudin Bakery, as well as Mission burritos. Whether you're looking for fine dining or street food, San Francisco has something to satisfy every palate.


Portland, Oregon, United States of America (USA)

Portland is a gourmet hotspot in America. With its abundant natural resources, including vineyards, rivers, and organic farms, the city offers craft beers, fine dining, and quality street food. You can explore a variety of culinary experiences, from visiting gourmet restaurants to sampling food from food carts. Portland's thriving food scene makes it an exciting destination for any food lover.

Best for ages: 13 | Free

Closeup of clam chowder bread bowl and carb eggs benedict in an outdoor cafe

Houston, Texas

Campwillowlake/Getty Images

Houston, known as America's most diverse city, offers a wide range of culinary options. From Viet-Cajun fusion to Southeast Asian-Latin American cuisine, Houston has something to satisfy every palate. The city is filled with fantastic restaurants, including those at Post Market which feature international cuisine from acclaimed chefs. Additionally, Houston's food truck scene is booming, with award-winning trucks like Coreanos serving up delicious Korean-Mexican fusion. If you're a foodie, Houston is definitely a city to explore.

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Cleveland, Ohio

This Midwestern city has a diverse and vibrant food scene that often goes unnoticed. It is fueled by local farms, producers, and innovative chefs who pay homage to the city's rich cultural melting pot of over 100 diverse ethnicities. To experience the best of Cleveland's cuisine, make sure to visit the West Side Market. This indoor-outdoor market offers something for everyone, with vendors like Orale! Contemporary Mexican Cuisine, Pierogi Palace, Frank's Bratwurst, Theresa's Bakery, and Crepes de Luxe. Additionally, take the time to explore the city's various neighborhoods, such as AsiaTown and Slavic Village, for unique culinary experiences like dim sum and pierogies. Cleveland also boasts a remarkable selection of Black-owned and Black-led restaurants, including Pearl's Kitchen, Yonder, and Cleveland Cold Brew. Don't miss out on trying some of the city's newest spots like Cordelia, which puts a nostalgic twist on comfort food, and The Judith, a cozy Parisian-inspired cafe.

Chicago, Illinois

Chicagoans are passionate about their deep-dish pizzas and ketchup-free hot dogs, and there's no better place to indulge than in the Windy City. Visit Pequod's for the best deep-dish pizza and Jimmy's Red Hots for a unique twist on the classic Chicago-style hot dog. Chicago is also home to over 50 James Beard Award winners and more than 20 Michelin-starred restaurants. Alinea, in particular, is famous for its creative multicourse tasting menus. Recently, two new additions have caught the attention of food enthusiasts: Chicago Winery, a 24,000-square-foot space that combines a winery, restaurant, bar, and events space, and Kindling, a live fire show kitchen led by James Beard Award winner Jonathon Sawyer.

Louisville, Kentucky

While Louisville is renowned for its bourbon, its food scene should not be overlooked. With over 2,500 restaurants and award-winning chefs, Louisville offers a delightful culinary experience. One must-visit is the Urban Bourbon Trail, which highlights the city's best bourbon bars and restaurants, featuring over 40 establishments. Jockey Silks Bourbon Bar, Merle's Whiskey Kitchen, and Doc Crow's Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar are a few favorites. And don't leave Louisville without trying the Hot Brown, a signature dish of the city. This open-face sandwich, with turkey, bacon, tomatoes, and Mornay sauce on Texas toast, originated at the historic Brown Hotel in the 1920s.

Asheville, North Carolina

Nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is a food lover's paradise. The city's culinary scene is always evolving, with over 120 restaurants offering a wide range of options. Chai Pani, a James Beard Award-winning restaurant, is a must-visit for its mouthwatering Indian street food. Another acclaimed establishment is Cúrate, serving flavorful Spanish tapas in a trendy setting. And you can't forget about the barbecue. Buxton Hall Barbecue, an award-winning spot known for its pulled pork, sources its ingredients locally. With its constant evolution and diverse offerings, Asheville is truly one of the best food cities in the U.S.

Greenville, South Carolina

In recent years, Greenville has undergone a transformation, becoming a vibrant culinary destination. The city is home to numerous locally owned restaurants, each offering its own unique culinary experience. Camp stands out with its eccentric menu featuring dishes like Thai-inspired calamari and lamb in curry cream. Coral and Great Jones are also worth a visit, offering fresh seafood and specialty coffees, respectively. Scoundrel, a French brasserie led by acclaimed chef Joe Cash, is a new addition that has quickly become a favorite. Other must-visit spots include Topsoil Kitchen & Market, known for its farm-to-table approach, and Comal 864, a Mexican eatery owned by James Beard Award semifinalist Dayna Lee-Márquez.

Tucson, Arizona

Tucson was the first U.S. city to be recognized as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy in 2015, and its culinary offerings continue to impress. Native American and Mexican influences can be found in the city's distinct cuisine, which dates back thousands of years. Locally sourced ingredients play a crucial role in Tucson's best restaurants, with dishes like prickly pear margaritas and nopales (edible cacti) being popular choices. Bata and Boca are two standout restaurants, offering veggie-focused menus and flavorful tacos, respectively. In 2023, Tucson will welcome 13 new eateries, including the exciting Blue Front, known for its orange wines, creative cocktails, homemade pies, and deviled eggs.


Stockholm embraces the wave of New Nordic cuisine while also showcasing traditional country cooking. Berries, local meats like reindeer, fish, and seafood, particularly Baltic herring, take center stage in the city's exceptional restaurants. Swedish meatballs, a renowned dish, are a must-try. Stockholm offers a unique culinary experience that combines fresh and local ingredients with a touch of Scandinavian flair.

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is not just about typical American food; it has its own style and culture influenced by Creole and French traditions. Exploring the city's food scene means immersing yourself in a world of great chefs, diverse dining experiences, and a sophisticated cocktail culture. New Orleans cocktails come with a rich history rooted in the city's past. From iconic dishes like the famous lobster PoBoy to intriguing concoctions at historic bars, New Orleans offers a culinary adventure like no other.


When it comes to Asian food, Singapore is unrivaled. With dominant cuisines like Chinese, Indian, Malay, and Peranakan (a blend of Chinese, Indian, and Malay influences), Singapore's hawker stalls offer an array of well-practiced dishes. Chilli crab, a local specialty, is a must-try. Singapore's food scene provides an authentic and flavorful experience that showcases the city's diverse culinary heritage.

Cape Town

Cape Town's cuisine, known as "rainbow cuisine," draws inspiration from indigenous cooking and settler traditions, combining influences from Portugal, the Netherlands, France, Germany, the UK, and Southeast Asia. This vibrant mix is reflected in the city's casual and fine dining restaurants. Cape Town boasts a lively "eat out" culture and is home to world-class wines from nearby vineyards. With a diverse culinary landscape, Cape Town offers a dining experience that celebrates the city's rich cultural history.

In a world brimming with culinary wonders, these foodie hotspots stand out as the epitome of gastronomic excellence. From the romantic streets of Paris to the vineyards of Tuscany, every destination on this list is a treasure trove for food lovers. Whether you're indulging in the renowned street food of Bangkok or savoring the inventive creations in Copenhagen, your taste buds are in for an unforgettable journey. So pack your bags, loosen your belts, and prepare to embark on a delectable adventure through these best foodie hotspots around the globe.

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