Foodie hotspots around the world

Hannah Norton

Aug 11, 2023

In 2022, the global culinary tourism market was worth USD$1.31 billion, and this is expected to increase to a staggering USD$3.46 billion by 2028.1 With food one way of connecting with a destination’s culture and heritage, more and more people are choosing to travel to new places according to their tastebuds, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down.

As experts in all things travel, we wanted to uncover the best foodie cities in the world; so we’ve analysed a range of factors, including the number of Michelin Guide restaurants, gluten-free and veggie eateries, the average cost of a meal, and more.

The world’s top foodie cities

Whether you’re a fine dining fan or a cheap eats connoisseur, these cities offer something for everyone, for every meal of the day.

1. Venice, Italy

Often thought of as the best cuisine in the world, dine on pasta, pizza, risotto, and gelato in abundance when you’re in Venice. Whether you choose to dine out in an intimate candlelit restaurant by one of the canals or grab a slice of pizza for on-the-go, whatever your plans, Venice has got it covered.

And it’s good news for gluten intolerants and veggies! Not only does the city have the highest number of gluten-free restaurants per 100,000 people, at 99.21, but it also has the most number of vegan and veggie restaurants too, at 220.11 per 100,000 people.

2. Prague, Czechia

When you think of Czech food, what springs to mind? Hearty stews, generous portions of soup served in fresh crusty bowls of bread, and warm trdelník dusted with sugar and cinnamon?

Well, it’s not just delicious Czech food you can dine on in Prague, as the city offers options for cuisine all over the world; and in fact, the city’s home to more five-star restaurants per 100,000 people than anywhere else, at 67.93.

3. Amsterdam, Netherlands

The home of the stroopwafel has made it into third place, with Amsterdam truly a foodie’s paradise. With the third most number of gluten-free restaurants on our list, and the second most number of veggie and vegan restaurants; Amsterdam caters to a range of dietary requirements.

The Dutch do sweet delicacies extremely well, so once you’ve had your fill of stroopwafel, stop for some poffertjes (mini pancakes dusted with icing sugar) and appeltaart, spiced with warming cardamom and nutmeg.

4. San Francisco, California, United States

The highest American city to place on our list, be prepared to tantalise your tastebuds in San Francisco. With 113.31 vegan and veggie spots in the city, and 50.72 gluten-free restaurants per 100,000 people, it’s clear to see why the city has scored so highly.

When it comes to deciding where to dine, avoid the overcrowded Union Square in favour of The Mission, where you’ll get to taste delicious tacos in the city; or North Beach, where you’ll have a hard time deciding which Italian restaurant to try first.

5. Milan, Italy

Rounding off our top five foodie cities is Italy’s fashion capital: Milan. With no end of cute coffee shops and outdoor restaurants, spend your days stopping for croissant and cannoli breaks in between shopping; before delving into a giant bowl of pasta or gnocchi at the end of the day.

Some of the city’s best restaurants can be found in the districts of Brera, a cute artistic hideaway with winding cobblestone streets; and Porta Genova, a lively section of the city that’s well-known for its nightlife.

The first Asian city makes it on the list in position six with Taipei; followed by Dubai in seventh place, which is known for its extravagant brunches and fine dining scene. Tokyo, Dublin, and Budapest make up the top 10.

Image showing the top 10 cities around the world that are considered foodie hotspots.

Where to vacation based on your dietary needs

Travelling with a dietary need can make eating out a whole lot more difficult if you haven’t done your research. Luckily, we’ll delved into the details so you don’t have to! From gluten-free and vegan hotspots, through to cheap eats and luxury dining, it’s time to discover the best cities to visit based on your food preferences.

Best cities for gluten intolerants

Venice, San Francisco, and Amsterdam take the top three spots with the most number of gluten-free restaurants per 100,00 people; but Washington DC, Wellington, and Dublin score highly too.

New Zealanders love their lamb, so if you’re visiting Wellington, make sure you order it at least once; followed by a classic pavlova for dessert. Alternatively, if Dublin’s drawing you in, then sample some traditional Irish soda bread, washed down with a cheeky Irish coffee.

At the other end of the spectrum, Osaka, Tokyo, Beijing, and Shanghai have the least number of gluten-free restaurants – so if you do decide to travel to these places, you’ll just need to make sure you do your research in advance, so you know exactly where to go.

Best cities for veggies

When it comes to vegan and vegetarian restaurants, Venice, Amsterdam, and San Francisco come out on top. However, it turns out Germany, home of the bratwurst, does it pretty well too, with Frankfurt and Munich in fourth and fifth places, at 102.58 and 89.06 restaurants per 100,000 people respectively.

Käsespätzle is a delicious dish to try, and once you’ve had one mouthful of this cheese-topped German pasta, you’ll be begging for more!

Rome and Vienna have also scored highly for their vegetarian offerings; whereas Osako, Tokyo and Shanghai once again sit at the bottom of the list.

Best cities for fine dining

If your idea of the perfect holiday is dining out on the finest of delicacies at the poshest restaurants in the world, then you can’t beat Tokyo – after all, it has 199 Michelin restaurants, more than any other city.

In second place is Paris, at 130, followed by Osaka (93), Hong Kong (77), and London (74). If you’re vacationing in Japan, then you’ll have so many options to pick from, from sushi to sashimi, udon to soba and more.

Alternatively, if it’s classic French dishes you want to dine on in Paris (and you’re feeling a bit too squeamish for escargots!), sample coq au vin, steak tartare, or ratatouille.

Best cities for cheap eats

Alternatively, if you’re dining on a budget and want to sample some truly amazing dishes at the best prices, then head to Asia.

Ho Chi Minh City offers the cheapest dining options, with the average three-course meal for two people totalling just AUD$37.73. Kuala Lumpur sits in second place, at AUD$40.26, and Beijing in third place.

All of these cities are known for their sprawling street food markets, so if you’re looking for authentic cuisine at cheap prices, head to one of those.

Istanbul is the cheapest European city for food, sitting in fourth place. Split into Old and New Cities, dine on traditional Turkish cuisine in the Old City, or choose from a range of international options in the New City.

Adrian Taylor, General Manager of General Insurance at Compare the Market states: “Food plays such a huge part in any holiday, whether you’ve travelled to a specific country for its cuisine or not. From street food eats to fine dining, hearty main courses to sweet desserts, the food really can make or break a destination; which is why we’re so delighted to uncover the top foodie destinations across the world.

“What’s great to see is that countries from all over the world have made it on the list; so whether you’re dreaming of an Asian adventure, city hopping around Europe, or an American road trip; rest assured you’ll get to dine on some great dishes wherever you choose!”

So, if you’ve decided where you want to go on your next holiday, as soon as you’ve booked your flights and accommodation, don’t forget to organise some travel insurance. After all, it’s there to protect your holiday should the unexpected happen, whether it’s a lost suitcase, cancelled tour or a nasty case of food poisoning.

And if you choose to staycation in Australia, make sure you take out domestic travel insurance, which could cover you for cancelled hotels, diverted flights, and more. Whichever type of insurance you’re looking to buy, make sure to check the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before purchasing for any limits, exclusions or restrictions that you may be subject to.


This dataset ranks 50 different cities across the world, based on the best place for “foodies”. To do this, 6 different factors were used. Once the data for the factors was collected, the factors were then normalised, to provide each factor with a score of between 0 and 1.

If data was not available, it was given a value of N/A, and a normalised score of 0. The normalised values were then summed, to give each city a total score out of 6. The cities were then ranked from highest to lowest, based on their total scores.

The factors are as follows:

  • Michelin guide restaurants – The number of restaurants with at least 1 Michelin star in the Michelin guide, in each city. (2023)
  • 5* rated restaurants – The number of restaurants rated 5* on TripAdvisor in each city, per 100,000 people. (2023)
  • Gluten-free restaurants – The number of restaurants with gluten-free options on TripAdvisor in each city, per 100,000 people. (2023)
  • Vegan/vegetarian restaurants – The number of vegan/vegetarian restaurants on TripAdvisor in each city, per 100,000 people. (2023)
  • Cost of a meal – The average cost (AUD) of a three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant for two people, in each city. (2023)
  • Social media sentiment – The percentage of posts over the past 365 days (29/07/2022-28/07/2023) on social media that are positive about “Food in <city name>”, according to linkfluence.

The factors were normalised as follows:

  • Michelin guide restaurants – High values get a high score. Low values get a low score.
  • 5* rated restaurants – High values get a high score. Low values get a low score.
  • Gluten-free restaurants – High values get a high score. Low values get a low score.
  • Vegan/vegetarian restaurants – High values get a high score. Low values get a low score.
  • Cost of a meal – High values get a low score. Low values get a high score.
  • Social media sentiment – High values get a high score. Low values get a low score.

All data is correct as of 28/07/2023. The ranking data shown is a compilation of multiple data sources and may not be representative of real life. All data is accurate with regards to the sources provided. Prices were collected in GBP, and were converted to AUD using the following conversion rate: 1 GBP = 1.93 AUD.


The links to the sources are as follows:

The collection methods for the sources are as follows:

  • Michelin guide restaurants – Gathered individually manually.
  • 5* rated restaurants – Gathered via scraping.
  • Gluten-free restaurants – Gathered via scraping.
  • Vegan/vegetarian restaurants – Gathered via scraping.
  • Cost of a meal – Gathered manually by copy/pasting the entire dataset. Additional individual values were gathered manually.
  • Social media sentiment – Gathered individually manually.
  • Population – Gathered manually by copy/pasting the entire dataset. Additional individual values were gathered manually.