A Culinary Adventure: 10 Cities Around the World for Foodies

A Culinary Adventure: 10 Cities Around the World for Foodies

These cities are home not only to delicious food, but also rich culinary histories and cultures.

There are so many cities around the globe that are home to awesome food! In this article, we’ll be highlighting 10 cities around the world that we think will be especially attractive to foodies — people who not only love eating, but whose hobbies include the discovery, preparation, and history of food. So, we present you with our pick of the best cities around the world for all foodies to enjoy a fun culinary adventure!

Also read: 10 Most Beautiful Small Towns in the World

Best cities around the world for foodies

1. Bangkok, Thailand

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First up on our list of the top cities in the world for foodies is Bangkok, the capital of Thailand! Bangkok is home to a huge diversity of delicious Thai food. The main ingredients used include seafood, chilli, lime, pork, and even tangy fruits — which is why the food is always bursting with strong flavours! Some of the signature Thai dishes in Bangkok include tom yum soup: a tangy soup that manages to be both sweet and sour, spicy and refreshing, and Thai green curry: a unique curry typically made of green curry paste, chicken, coconut milk, basil, and lemongrass.

In Bangkok, you can find tasty food pretty much everywhere you go. But if you could only pick one food stop, consider trying out the street food. You’ll get to enjoy a terrific variety of meals, snacks, desserts, and more — all at wallet-friendly prices! Some of Bangkok’s most raved-about street food can be found in Wanglang Market, Khlong Toei Market, and the super-famous Chatuchak Weekend Market

TripZilla Tip: Street food places in Bangkok have varying operating hours — do factor this into your food-hopping itinerary to avoid disappointment!

2. Jeonju, South Korea

best food cities around the world for foodies

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Located in the Jeolla-do province of South Korea, the city of Jeonju is often dubbed the food capital of South Korea. It’s home to outstanding Korean cuisine and impressive homemade food preparation methods that have been passed down for generations. 

The Korean cuisine served in Jeonju is exceptionally elaborate and flavourful. Because Jeonju was the hometown of the Yi royal family during the Joseon Dynasty, elaborate food recipes used by the aristocratic class have been well-preserved across the Jeolla-do region. Jeonju, in particular, is praised as a ‘hometown of taste’, and even had the honour of being named a UNESCO City of Gastronomy back in 2012.

In Jeonju, a must-try local delicacy is jeonju bibimbap, a representative food of the city. Bibimbap is a Korean dish that literally means ‘mixed rice’, and typically consists of rice, meat, vegetables, and spicy gochujang sauce. While there are many variations of bibimbap, the Jeonju version is the most famous. Containing a whopping number of ingredients (about 30), including pine nuts, gingko, and rice cooked in rich beef bone broth, a single bowl of jeonju bibimbap overflows with outstanding flavour.

Fun fact: Jeonju holds a Jeonju Bibimbap festival every year, usually in October! 

3. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

best cities in the world for foodies

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Fancy a variety of mouth-watering food at wallet-friendly prices? Make a trip to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, which boasts a vibrant diversity of yummy food hailing from different local and international provinces. Historically, Vietnam shares borders with China, Laos, and Cambodia and was a French colony for a period of time, which has added many flavours and ingredients to Ho Chi Minh City’s culinary scene. 

Ho Chi Minh City is really one of the best cities in the world for adventurous foodies. The city offers lots of delicious fusion dishes, and one of its most well-loved fusion dishes is bánh mì: a sandwich that typically consists of French-style baguette bread, meat, fresh vegetables, and pâté: a flavourful paste made of ground meat or fish with different seasonings. And if you’re feeling extra adventurous, another famous delicacy you can try in Ho Chi Minh are snails, served in various different forms and textures. Boiled snails with lemongrass, snails stewed in coconut milk, snail spring rolls… Ho Chi Minh has it all. 

Also read: 14 Best Restaurants in Hanoi for Authentic Vietnamese Food

4. Naples, Italy

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The next city in our pick of the best foodie destinations is Naples, Italy, which is frequently cited as one of the best cities in Italy for foodies. One key reason for the city’s popularity is its delicious pizza. Naples is widely considered the birthplace of pizza margherita — a simple, classic pizza comprising a light dough, mozzarella, tomato, and olive oil, which is today one of the city’s signature delicacies.

But pizza isn’t the only yummy dish this port city has to offer. When in Naples, make sure to try the Neapolitan ragù: a sauce that combines tomato and different types of meat including beef and pork, and is cooked over a low flame for several hours. This dish is a specialty in the region of Campania, where Naples is located. 

Furthermore, there’s lots of tasty street food to try in Naples. One street snack visitors should try is the cuoppo: a cup of deep-fried food that you can eat on the go! The classic cuoppo contains potato croquettes, salted zeppoline (a type of fried dough), battered zucchini flowers, pasta fritters, and more! Seafood lovers can even try the seafood cuoppo, which contains fried prawns, squid and anchovies.

5. Basel, Switzerland

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The city of Basel in Switzerland might be commonly known for its beautiful arts scene, but it’s also home to a dynamic culinary landscape that we think foodies will love!

Something unique in Basel is that it hosts Switzerland’s largest and oldest annual fair every year: the Basel Herbstmesse (Basel Autumn Fair), which is typically held in October. You’ll find many specialty foods at the fair that you might not be able to get at other times of the year. Make sure to try the Rosekiechli: a rose-shaped cake sprinkled with sugar icing that has been a crowd favourite for hundreds of years. Also, check out the Chäsbängel: a type of baguette filled with fondue cheese. 

Basel does well in its traditional dishes, too! You’ll find the classic Swiss fondue right here in Basel, and you can even try different variations of fondue, such as fondue served with truffle. Meat lovers can head for Basel’s classic meat dishes, such as the suuri Läberli, a kind of sour beef liver, and the Wurstsalat, a cold dish made with chopped sausage, gherkins and other ingredients. 

Overall, Basel is one of the top underrated foodie destinations in Switzerland for a fun culinary and cultural experience!

Fun fact: Some of Switzerland’s oldest restaurants are found in Basel, such as the Gasthof zum Goldenen Sternen, which has been around since the early 15th century!

6. Penang, Malaysia

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Dubbed the food capital of Malaysia by the MICHELIN Guide, the city of Penang is one of the top cities for foodies. Home to a colourful food scene, Penang is famous for its flavourful street food hailing from various cultures, including the Malay, Chinese, Indian, and Peranakan cultures. For foodies, hitting the streets is the best way to try the most delicious local dishes in the city!

One of Penang’s must-try local delicacies is the assam laksa: a sour and spicy dish that features thick rice noodles served in a flavourful soup base made from fish and tamarind. This is one of Penang’s signature dishes. Another popular local dish to try is the Penang hokkien mee. This savoury noodle dish typically consists of yellow noodles and rice noodles served in a rich soup base made of prawn and pork, and is garnished with fried shallots and spicy prawns.

In Penang, you can easily find yummy food wherever you go — but George Town, the capital of Penang, is one of the top-recommended places.  

7. Singapore

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Located next to Malaysia, the sunny island of Singapore might be a small city-state, but its vibrant food scene is a force to be reckoned with! Singapore’s culinary landscape has been very much influenced by its multiculturality, boasting a diversity of food hailing from various cultures, including Malay, Chinese, Indian, European, and fusion cuisines. 

Undoubtedly, some of Singapore’s best foodie destinations are its hawker centres. Each hawker centre is home to rows of stalls selling all kinds of food, including local fare and unique contemporary cuisines — at affordable prices! To try out some of Singapore’s most well-loved local staple dishes, check out Maxwell Food Centre, Lau Pa Sat Hawker Centre, and East Coast Lagoon Food Village. These hawker centres are among the most popular hawker centres in Singapore, celebrated for their impressive variety of yummy local dishes such as Hainanese chicken rice, Hokkien mee (fried Hokkien noodles), and rojak: a savoury and flavourful local salad that typically comprises mixed vegetables and fruits, drizzled with sweet and sour sauce.

8. New York City, USA

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Located in the USA, New York City has a dynamic culinary landscape that was uniquely shaped by its long history of immigration. Many of New York City’s famous foods today — including its renditions of pastrami, pizza, and bagels — can be traced back to the creative culinary skills of various groups of immigrants who moved to the city! As such, New York City is one of the best foodie destinations for food lovers with an interest in the history of food. 

In New York, make sure to try its iconic bagels. Typically chewy and lightly sweetened with malt or honey, these bagels go well with cream cheese or lox (cured salmon with a distinctly salty taste). The bagel was introduced to New York around the early 20th century, when Jewish immigrants came to the city from Europe

Another well-loved dish in New York is its pizza, which features a simple and harmonious balance of crust, sauce, and cheese. In the late 19th century, bakers from the city of Naples in Italy immigrated to New York and adapted their classic Neapolitan pizza to the new ovens they had to work with. This gave birth to the New York-style pizza!

9. Taipei, Taiwan

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When we think of the lively city of Taipei, many of us immediately think of yummy food. Indeed, Taipei is home to a buzzing culinary scene — one that it takes great pride in! Beef noodles, braised pork rice, stinky tofu, fried chicken, and not forgetting bubble tea — are just some of the city’s most well-loved foods and beverages. Stroll around the estates of Taipei, and you’ll encounter delicious food stops pretty much wherever you go. 

One of the best things to eat in Taipei is its delectable street food, which are often found in Taipei’s night markets. Here, you’ll find rows and rows of seriously delicious street food up for grabs at wallet-friendly prices. Popular street snacks include fried squid, stinky tofu, iron egg, and shaved ice. Raohe Night Market is one of the most popular night markets in Taipei, renowned for its impressive variety of food stalls. At Raohe, make sure to try out the oyster omelette and flame-torched beef! Overall, Taiwan is solidly among some of the most famous food cities in the world.

10. Osaka, Japan

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Last but not least, we have Osaka in our pick of the best cities around the world for foodies! Located in the Kansai region of Japan, Osaka is often called ‘Japan’s kitchen’ thanks to its excellent culinary cuisine. Osaka is a hit not only with international visitors, but also with people from other parts of Japan — which is how you know there’s something really special about the place.

Osaka is renowned for offering a myriad of fantastic delicacies, but these are two of its most famous dishes: okonomiyaki and takoyaki. Okonomiyaki is a unique dish typically made using the basic ingredients of vegetables, pork, shrimp, squid, and flour. This tasty snack is served with bonito flakes, mayonnaise, and a special sauce. 

Takoyaki is a savoury seafood snack that consists of octopus and red pickled ginger that are mixed into a flour batter. Like okonomiyaki, takoyaki is served with bonito flakes, mayonnaise, and a special sauce. You can easily find these two snacks in Osaka’s eateries, or even at the city’s street food stalls!

Also read: 14 Night Markets in Asia for Street Food and Neon-Lit Views

Now that we’ve gone over 10 of the best cities for foodies to visit, add these places to your itinerary for an unforgettable culinary adventure!

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About Author

Esther Yue
Esther Yue

Esther is an inquisitive girl who enjoys uncovering the depths of life. She loves exploring new places and cultures. While travelling, she never skips the roller coaster rides in the amusement parks. In her natural habitat, you’ll probably catch her with a book and an iced drink, listening to some good music.