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With more than 4,000 restaurants around the world having been awarded a Michelin star, dining out has become an international pastime. In this competitive environment, cities are now competing not just on their culinary offerings but also on their food scene and the experience it offers visitors.
Instead of focusing solely on individual restaurants or chefs in its ranking system, Michelin is broadening the scope to include new elements that go beyond the quality of a chef’s individual dishes. With this in mind, they have introduced a new set of criteria for its star rating that takes into account how accessible local dining is, how affordable it is, and how well-connected to other amenities it is.
With this in mind, we have created an interactive map which plots all of the top destinations for foodies across the globe based on these three categories as well as research from TripAdvisor about travelers’ favorite restaurants in these locations.
Why Are Michelin Stars Important?
If you’re not a foodie, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of the Michelin Guide. But if you have even a passing interest in food and drink, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the Michelin Star. It’s a ranking system handed out to restaurants by the tire company once famous for its automobile tyres. Michelin first started reviewing restaurants in France in the early 1900s, and introduced its star system in the 1920s.
The Michelin stars are a huge deal in the culinary world, and chefs and restaurateurs around the world obsess over them. But they’ve also become a significant part of the travel experience. For many people, eating at an upscale, Michelin-starred restaurant is one of the highlights of a trip.
The Importance of Dining Out for Travellers
While foodies may be the primary audience for this ranking, it is also a great way for the rest of us to figure out how to maximize our time in each city on a short trip. You’re on vacation, after all, and you don’t have time to try every restaurant in town. You could spend hours thumbing through local food blogs, or you could consult this map to find out which cities have the most accessible, affordable, and well-connected food scenes.
Instead of spending hours researching every single restaurant in town, you can simply refer to the map and find out which city is best for you. Beyond that, you’ll also gain insight into each city’s culture. The best restaurants aren’t just great for the food; they’re also a window into a city’s cultural, social, and economic climate.
How We Created the Map and Its Findings
To determine which cities are the best for foodies, we used the following criteria: • Accessibility: How easy it is to get around and find the best restaurants in town.
• Affordability: How expensive it is to eat at the top restaurants in town.
• Well-connected: How close the best restaurants are to the rest of the dining scene in town. We then ranked cities on a scale of 1 to 10 based on their performance in each of these categories. The cities that scored the highest made it onto our map. Let’s take a closer look at the findings in order to identify which cities are the best for foodies and which cities are the worst.
Which cities are the best for foodies?
We’ve broken down the top 10 cities for foodies based on their performance in the three main categories. While accessibility and well-connected were weighted equally, affordability was given a greater emphasis. Here are the 10 cities that are the best for foodies:
Tokyo – Score: 10/10.
Tokyo is the undisputed king of food. No city comes close to matching the variety of cuisines and price points in Tokyo. For example, you can sit down at a Michelin-starred restaurant for $400 or you can grab a bowl of ramen for $5. While Tokyo has a reputation for being one of the most expensive cities in the world, it also has the most affordable Michelin-starred restaurants of any city.
New York – Score: 9/10.
New York is the second-most expensive city in the world for eating out, but it’s also the second-most accessible. Travellers will find that it’s not only easy to navigate the dining scene but also relatively affordable. In fact, your best bet for finding the best food in New York is to choose from the huge variety of restaurants that are all clustered in a few areas—most notably Manhattan and the outer boroughs.
Paris – Score: 9/10.
Paris is another city that is famously expensive, but it offers the same wide variety of cuisines as Tokyo and New York. The difference is that Paris is also one of the most well-connected cities on the planet. This means that while you’re eating at one of Paris’s many Michelin-starred restaurants, you have quick access to other amenities like shopping, museums, and tourism sites.
London – Score: 9/10.
London has the same impressive variety of cuisines as New York and Paris, but it doesn’t exceed the cost of eating in either of those cities. This is thanks in part to its sprawling dining scene, which is spread throughout the city and not concentrated in a single area. London is also one of the most well-connected cities on the planet, making it easy to visit museums, shops, and tourist sites while dining out.
What’s interesting is that the top 3 cities overall were not the top 3 in any of the individual categories. So while Paris is the best city in terms of accessibility and well-connectedness, it can’t compete with Tokyo and New York when it comes to affordability. London, on the other hand, is an affordable alternative to the other three cities, but doesn’t offer the same variety of cuisines.
As you can see from the map and the analysis above, Tokyo is the best city for foodies thanks to its wide selection of cuisines, low prices, and excellent accessibility. We hope you’ve enjoyed this article and gained some insights into the best cities for foodies around the world. Whether you’re a foodie or not, reading this article has likely inspired you to take a trip and try some delicious food.