Exploring the World's Best Foodie Cities: From the America to Australia

A guide to the best foodie cities in the world.

Exploring the World's Best Foodie Cities: From America to Australia

From the rich, historical flavors of New Orleans to the pleasantly caffeinated streets of Melbourne, embark on a journey with us to discover the flavors and dishes of the best foodie cities in the US and beyond.

Best Foodie Cities in the USA

The fourth biggest country in the world, America has had plenty of room to develop its fair share of culinary hubs, each with their own unique cooking styles, flavors, and local specialties. Let’s travel from sea to shining sea as we explore some of the top ranked foodie cities in the United States.

New Orleans, LA

A rich history of interwoven cultures has made New Orleans the artistic and culinary mecca it is today. From gumbo to po’ boys to beignets, there’s no shortage of flavorful dishes all throughout the city to thrill your taste buds. The Gulf waters provide a surplus of fresh seafood while Creole cuisines, Cajun cuisine, and soul food define the city’s dynamic flavor profile.

  • Local favorites: Fresh and filling, gumbo is a must-have of New Orleans. This thick stew, often served over rice, combines the bittersweet flavor of okra with various meats and vegetables.
  • Budget-friendly dining: Stop by Café du Monde for an inexpensive and deliciously authentic beignet, being fried up fresh daily since 1862.
  • Best restaurant in town: Guests describe their experience at Commander’s Palace like “a well-run party given by old friends.” The famous restaurant, once home to Chef Emeril Lagasse, brings together the best of Creole and American cuisine in both its traditional and original dishes.

Chicago, IL

Voted the “Restaurant City of the Year” in 2017 by Bon Appétit magazine, Chicago is a staple of American cuisine. Known for putting its own spin on traditional American dishes, the Windy City is fiercely proud of its special creations, such as Chicago dogs and deep dish pizzas. Not to mention, it’s home to champions of molecular gastronomy, or the combination of cooking and science, like Chef Grant Achatz.

  • Local favorites: If you’re in Chicago, you have to give their deep dish pizza pie a try. Check out Lou Malnati’s or Pequod’s for an authentically cheesy, buttery, and most of all messy experience.
  • Budget-friendly dining: Looking for an authentic but cheap Chicago-style hotdog? Check out Superdawg, an old school drive-in restaurant that serves up franks with all the classic toppings (mustard, relish, onions, and their spicy twist on a green tomato) along with a side of crinkle-cut fries and a whopping plate of nostalgia.
  • Best restaurants in town: Alinea, opened by Chef Grant Achatz, is a three-star Michelin restaurant that provides an innovative and creative way to experience both cutting edge molecular gastronomy and classic fine dining all at once.

Charleston, SC

Dubbed a “small town with big flavor” by Yelp, Charleston is well-known for its Lowcountry cuisine. The lively mix of African, French, English, and Caribbean influences results in a distinct and delicious form of southern comfort food.

  • Local favorites: As the largest port city in South Carolina, Charleston has its fair share of yummy seafood dishes. From she crab soup (a crab soup with orange roe on top) to shrimp and grits, there’s no shortage of local classics to satisfy your rumbling stomach.
  • Budget-friendly dining: Dedicated to preserving diversity, Hannibal’s Kitchen is a family-owned restaurant that serves up delicious seafood specialties of the south like crab rice and shark steak, all for just around $10 each.
  • Best restaurants in town: If you’re looking for a nice mix of history and modernity, head over to Poogan’s Porch. Located in a Victorian townhouse, Poogan’s Porch is the oldest independent culinary establishment in the city and offers a “fresh approach” to Lowcountry cuisine.


More of the best foodie cities to check out in America:

  • Portland, ME.
  • New York City, NY.
  • San Francisco, CA.
  • Nashville, TN.
  • Houston, TX.
  • Columbus, OH.
  • Los Angeles, CA.
  • Seattle, WA.
  • Miami, FL.
  • Denver, CO.

Best Foodie Cities in the World

If you love to travel, you won’t want to miss out on the amazing culinary experiences to be had in the best foodie cities across the globe.

Paris, France

Paris is probably one of the first names that comes to mind when you think of the best foodie cities, and for good reason. French cuisine is world-renowned thanks to its unique flavors and the countless cooking techniques that French chefs have created, including flambeing, braising, poaching, and sautéing. It only makes sense, then, that the capital of France is a dream destination for any and all food lovers.

  • Local favorites: Though it might sound cliché, tasting freshly baked goods like croissants, baguettes, macarons, and other pastries is a must while in the city of love. If you’re looking for a hardier snack though, consider trying out a Croque Monsieur or a Croque Madame, two twists on the classic ham and cheese sandwich filled with deliciously gooey French cheeses.
  • Budget-friendly dining: In the more residential parts of the city, you can now get scrumptious three course meals made up of authentic French cuisine for under 20 euros. Aux Bons Crus is a great example, with a monthly changing menu that features traditional dishes like quenelles de brochet and Crêpes Suzette.
  • Best restaurants in town: There are countless famous restaurants littering the streets of Paris, but one that stands out as both historic and strikingly modern is Le Fouquet’s. This renowned eatery has been open since 1899 and features a menu designed by Chef Pierre Gagnaire that offers up modern twists on traditional French dishes.

Lima, Peru

Peru has made its mark on the culinary scene in the past decade, with many of its most famous dishes being perfected in the capital city, Lima. Lima’s cuisine has been shaped by a variety of rich cultures, including African, indigenous, and Chinese influences. Located on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, the city often features seafood as a main ingredient of its signature dishes.

  • Local favorites: You can’t visit Peru without trying ceviche. This dish is light and healthy, featuring fresh fish marinated in lime juice, seasoned with chilis, and mixed with onions, tomatoes, and cilantro.
  • Budget-friendly dining: For big portions of great food at an affordable price, check out Al Toke Pez. Though the menu is somewhat small, they offer tasty, authentic dishes like ceviche alongside traditional Peruvian drinks like chicha.
  • Best restaurants in town: Central, named the best restaurant in Latin America by the World's 50 Best Restaurants, utilizes its menu to showcase the regions, geography, and ecology of Peru, incorporating iconic ingredients like edible clay, cactus milk, and  anticucho (beef heart).

Melbourne, Australia

Commonly thought of as the food capital of Australia, Melbourne is home to a diverse range of cuisines. It features flavors from around the world, brought together by the thousands of immigrants who have made the city their home throughout history. From steak to coffee, you can find unique twists on the traditional in every corner of this multicultural city.

  • Local favorites: One of the first places to fully embrace specialty coffees, Melbourne is a must-visit destination for all coffee lovers. It’s rumored that the city has more cafes per person than anywhere else, so be sure to stop in and grab yourself a “flat white” for a freshly roasted coffee experience.
  • Budget-friendly dining: Finding delicious and cheap vegan food has never been easier than in Melbourne. Restaurants like Om Vegetarian, Vegie Tribe, and Crossways offer affordable vegan buffets that are sure to please the taste buds.
  • Best restaurants in town: During your stay, you have to experience the unique steak culture in Melbourne. These steak restaurants have been an important piece of the local cuisine for years. Over time, the chefs have developed their own cooking techniques to serve up their locally-sourced beef with unique twists.


More of the best foodie cities to check out around the world:

  • Oaxaca, Mexico.
  • Hong Kong, China.
  • San Sebastian, Spain.
  • Rome, Italy.
  • Tokyo, Japan.