Readers of prestigious international travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler have ranked their World’s Best Food Cities, as part of the publication’s Reader’s Choice Awards for 2014, announced this month.
If your every second thought is consumed by food, glorious food, you should seriously consider jetting off to one of these top nosh cities, as rated by your fellow travellers.
And while proud Melbournites will no doubt be shocked that nemesis Australian city Sydney easily outranks it on the food front, perhaps the biggest surprise is the absence of two self-proclaimed food capitals, London and New York, from the awards menu.
World’s Top 20 food cities
20. Melbourne, AustraliaShutterstock.com/ChameleonsEye
Foodie favourites: Flower Drum, Café Di Stasio, Abla’s, Cumulus Inc, Supernormal
Standout spot: At Attica, Chef Ben Shewry is whipping up dishes with native ingredients including kangaroo and Bunya Bunya nuts.
19. Madrid, SpainShutterstock.com/ViniciusTupinamba
Foodie favourites: Celso y Manolo, Casa Gonzalez
Standout spot: At DiverXO, Chef David Munoz’s experimental food is served on ‘canvasses’ with sauces quite literally painted on to the dishes.
18. Budapest HungaryShutterstock.com/AlexanderTihonov
Foodie favourites: Central Café, New York Café
Standout spot: The best place to try goulash (one cannot visit Budapest without trying goulash) is Blue Rose Restaurant.
17. Vienna, AustriaShutterstock.com/Rrrainbow
Foodie favourites: Demel, Cake Pruckel
Standout spot: Steirereck im Stadtpark is home to modern, innovative Austrian cuisine.
16. Kyoto, JapanShutterstock.com/Mihai-BogdanLazar
Foodie favourites: Shigetsu Zen, Tsuruya Kakujuan, Takakura-Nijo
Standout spot: More of a market than a restaurant, the 400-year-old Nishiki Food Market boasts the region’s most traditional specialties.
15. Bologna, ItalyShutterstock.com/Cividin
Foodie favourites: Sorbetteria Castiglione, Le Stanze
Standout spot: All’Osteria Bottega, is the place to go to taste Bologna’s signature pastas.
14. Lyon, FranceFlickr.com/AnaRey
Foodie favourites: Le Café des Fédérations, La Meunière, Léon de Lyon
Standout spot: The Michelin-starred Le Vivarais will delight meat-lovers and vegetarians alike.
13. Montreal, CanadaShutterstock.com/LissandraMelo
Foodie favourites: Au Pied de Cochon, Le Bremner
Standout spot: Arguably Canada’s most famous restaurant (for meat-lovers) is Joe Beef.
12. Vancouver, CanadaShutterstock.com/cdrin
Foodie favourites: Vij’s, Tojo’s, Teahouse in Stanley Park
Standout spot: At Fuel Restaurant the chefs can be seen cooking through the window.
11. Sydney, AustraliaShutterstock.com/Leah-AnneThompson
Foodie favourites: Ruby’s Waverly, Sepia, Longrain
Standout spot: Kylie Kwong’s Billy Kwong offers ‘canto-stralian’ dining where Australian native bush food meets chinese food.
10. Quebec City, CanadaShutterstock.com/RichardCavalleri
Foodie favourites: Le Champlain, Laurie Raphaël, Panache
Standout spot: The Old Port Marker (Le Marché du Vieux-Port) is home to the best Quebecois cheeses, charcuterie and maple products.
9. Barcelona, SpainShutterstock.com/IakovFilimonov
Foodie favourites: Tickets, Alkimia, La Cova Fumada,
Standout spot: Barcelona’s best food market, La Boqueria, offers countless specialty vendors.
Foodie favourites: Osteria Mozza, Long Chim, Sorrel
Standout spot: A dinner at Xi Yan involves 12 plus dishes, and is a perfect mix of Cantonese, Japanese, Sichuan and Thai.
7. Hong Kong, ChinaFlickr.com/Suga
Foodie favourites: Man Wah, Luk Yu Tea House, Sun Tung Lok
Standout spot: Only the best minced beef balls, soup dumpling and Peking duck are served in a secret basement spot at Mott 32.
6. Tokyo, JapanShutterstock.com/Korkusung
Foodie favourites: Sukiyabashi Jiro, Kanda, Tohiya
Standout spot: At Seryna your food (slivers of meat and other morsels) is boiled at the table in a simmering hotpot.
5. Rome, ItalyShutterstock.com/CatarinaBelova
Foodie favourites: Armando al Pantheon, Sciascia Caffè
Standout spot: Daily food market, Mercato di Testaccio brims with fresh produce and locals going about their daily shopping.
4. Florence, ItalyShutterstock.com/joyfull
Foodie favourites: Osteria dei Benci, Giacosa, I Fratellini
Standout spot: Enoteca Pinchiorri boasts three michelin stars as well as a cellar of more than 150,000 bottles.
3. Cape Town, South AfricaFlickr.com/alcuinlai
Foodie favourites: Test Kitchen, The Roundhouse, Bistro 1682
Standout spot: The trendy Pot Luck Club works on a plate-sharing concept whereby plates are divided into flavour profiles: salty, sour, bitter, sweet and umami.
2. Paris, FranceShutterstock.com/anshar
Foodie favourites: Septime, Semilla, Le Chateaubriand
Standout spot: Just beneath her Michelin-starred restaurant, Hélène Darroze opened a casual bistro (Le Salon d’Hélène Darroze) which features low-priced tapas-style mini plates.
1. San Sebastián, SpainShutterstock.com/Deymos.HR
Foodie favourites: Txepetxa, Paco Buen, Akelarre, Arzak
Standout spot: Award-winning pintxo bar Zeruko is home to the most incredible experimental pintxos.