In a world where our stomachs dictate our moods, social calendars (for the most part) and how we’re dressed, you better believe a city that can offer the best in culinary experience is going to top our travel list. So, pack the suitcase with both trendy elastic waistbands and sharp, tailored jump suits, grab your favorite felt fedoras (to keep your hair out of the spaghetti) and let’s hit the road for a seriously tasty world tour. Here are our picks for the most fabulous foodie cities.
New York City | When you can’t travel the globe, dine out internationally in New York City. Lafayette casually serves up everything you love about French food, Charlie Bird puts a hipster spin on Italian classics and Cosme sends your tastebuds to Mexico, courtesy of the country’s most famous chef.
San Antonio | Since everything is bigger in Texas, indulge in the things you always want more of. Order the signature burger at Arcade Midtown Kitchen and satisfy your finger-lickin’ lusts at The Grannery’s Cue and Brew – and order anything you can slather with their homemade barbecue butter. Here is a quick list of the top 20 restaurants in San Antonio.
Charleston | Nothing offers a cure for coastal-style hankerings more than this adorable southern hot spot. Eat at Ordinary for excellent seafood and out-of-this-world hush puppies stuffed with diver scallops and served with chowchow sauce. A stroll down King Street serves (literally) anything else you can savor.
Oaxaca | Despite being known as Mexico’s most authentic food town, a recent food rennaiscane has it renamed, Mexico’s newest food town. That means you can take a culinary tour of the traditional, numerous moles, sample hundreds of indigenous herbs or sample the ancient Zapotec recipes. For either, and a taste of what started it all – book a reservation at Casa Oaxaca el Restaurante.
Osaka | Probably not the first city that comes to mind when you think about Japan, but its deep culinary roots place it atop the foodie map. It’s the birthplace of kaiten sushi and instant ramen noodles, but their native nosh, like the okonomiyaki (thick, everything-filled pancakes) or octopus doughnuts, is what keeps our passports handy.
Vienna | The hills are certainly alive with some of the most creative and nuanced food around, but we still love Austria for what it pours into our coffee cups and serves up schnitzel-style on a cake plate. Enjoy the best of both at a few of our favorite places – Demel, Alt Wien and Cafe Pruckel.
Lima | Hands down, if you’re going to South America to eat, you should go to Peru. Smithsonian magazine even calls the culinary craze there a religion and the culinary capital of the country. Whether you grab anticucho from a street vendor or at Al Toke Pez, or tapas from the flagship Astrid & Gaston, one thing is for sure – you will not go hungry.
Lyon | While Paris may be the most visited place in France, Lyon takes the cake (or pig, really) for luring your taste buds. Bouchons (traditional Lyonnais restaurants) abound, wine is at its best and black truffle-stuffed Bresse chicken at L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges or pate en croute at Daniel et Denise will have you prepped to dine with famed natives like Daniel Boulud.
San Sebastian | Spain offers a heck of an ambiance when it comes to dining out. Enjoy the panorama of the scenic Bay of Biscay with (what Conde Nast Traveler has called) a meal of a lifetime at Akelarre or sample the world famous, artfully modern (as much as it is classic) menu from Arzak.
Abruzzo, Italy | Mario Batali said he dreams of places like Italy’s Abruzzo region. The area’s earned a reputation with its genuine and rustic cuisine, fresh veggies (artichokes, beans, eggplant, peppers to name a few) and handmade pastas. Eat your fill of all of them – like the fusilli with baccalà at Villa Maiella in Guardiagrele or whatever they’re serving (it’s a menu-of-the-day kind of place) at Plistia in Pescasseroli.