12 Top International Cities for Food and Drinks, According to the Experts

From timeless to trendy, these are the cities to taste this year.

<p>EMILIO PARRA DOIZTUA/The New York Times/Redux</p>


Want to get to know a city better? Head to its restaurants and bars. Tour the local markets by foot. Take to the tea houses, the street stalls, the bagel shops, and the speakeasies. Speak to local chefs, cheesemakers, and wine professionals in search of the best, freshest, and most unique products. The culture of food and drink in cities around the world tells a story about history, lineage, and identity, and continues to prove that we are what we eat.

With so many incredible cities for culinary-driven travelers, it can be overwhelming to plan in terms of superlatives. So we turned to Food & Wine’s network of food and travel experts to nominate their top destinations for the dining and drinking experiences abroad.

Tokyo, Japan

<p>Tomohiro Ohsumi / Getty</p>

Tomohiro Ohsumi / Getty

Boasting the greatest number of Michelin-starred restaurants in the world with 183 honorees, Tokyo’s dedication to culinary technique, quality ingredients, and tradition continues to astound. No singular cuisine defines this bustling city, but diners can easily find world-class sushi, ramen, and izakaya with minimal fanfare.

A city that seamlessly blends fine dining with street food and regional cuisine with international favorites, Tokyo is a place where finding an excellent meal is both an exquisite pleasure and also always within reach. With the country’s tourism industry now back in full swing, its capital city remains a culinary jewel whose diversity and quality must be experienced.

Istanbul, Turkey

<p>GOZDE DURUSOY/The New York Times/Redux</p>

GOZDE DURUSOY/The New York Times/Redux

Whether it’s a classic seafood experience along the Bosphorus, simit from a street cart in the old city, or fine dining, Istanbul delivers top-tier hospitality in a city that’s full of character and charm. Influenced by its proximity to the Aegean coast and broader ties to Mediterranean Europe, Istanbul sings with cross-cultural cuisine, bountiful spice markets, and a laid-back approach to food and drink that’s best illustrated by its strong and strident national drink, raki.

Mexico City, Mexico

<p>Ana Nance/Redux</p>

Ana Nance/Redux

From Enrique Olvera’s benchmark Pujol to the more casual but equally distinct puestos (street food stands), CDMX is the place to be for unparalleled food. Some come for the tacos al pastor, others for the inventive dishes being crafted by the city's new generation of up-and-coming chefs. Whether it’s traditional fare or boundary-pushing modern cuisine, Mexico City delivers.

Paris, France

<p>JOANN PAI/The New York Times/Redux</p>

JOANN PAI/The New York Times/Redux

Bistro culture burns bright in the City of Lights, where classic dishes like steak frites still reign supreme. In recent years, Paris has expanded its culinary purview, offering diners exemplary Italian, Mexican, Eastern European, Middle Eastern, and Japanese options. Always a destination for adventurous food lovers, Paris consistently rises to the dining occasion.

Lima, Peru

<p>World's 50 Best</p>

World's 50 Best

The food and cocktail scene is alive and thriving in Lima, where diners can hopscotch from casual Peruvian spots like Matria to barbecue restaurants like Osso or classic destinations like Mayta. Lima’s bar life is almost as robust as its diverse culinary scene, with retro haunts, tropical-themed spaces, and inventive bars that defy definition. Check out the stylish San Isidro neighborhood, which is known for its numerous high-end restaurants.

Rome, Italy

<p>Roscioli Salumeria</p>

Roscioli Salumeria

Roman cuisine is defined by tradition, embodied in its trattorias, generational dishes, and regional ingredients. Come for the cacio e pepe, stay for the pizza al taglia, and don’t shy away from the amatriciana. However, to focus solely on the past and overlook the city's modern cooking movement would be a mistake. Places like Marigold thrum with a new Italian sensibility, which is what makes this imminently historic food city so exciting — as Rome arches toward the future, it never forgets its roots.


<p>Lauryn Ishak/Bloomberg via Getty Images</p>

Lauryn Ishak/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Open to tourism again since 2022, Singapore has recently positioned itself as one of the most exciting culinary cities in the world, despite occupying a landmass smaller than the state of Rhode Island. A host of glamorous new hotel openings and renovations — COMO, Mondrian, Conrad Singapore Orchard — paired with international restaurant concepts like Wagyu X, Shoukouwa Shinjidai, and Kun, make Singapore a destination for diners all over the world.

Copenhagen, Denmark

<p>Giuseppe Liverino / Wonderful Copenhagen</p>

Giuseppe Liverino / Wonderful Copenhagen

Noma may have put Copenhagen on the map in 2003, but this Danish city has continued to flourish in the past two decades, bringing Nordic food to the international stage. So iconic is Copenhagen’s food now that the city’s hot dog, traditionally served with remoulade and pickled cucumber, is featured in the second season of the U.S. television series The Bear. As Noma prepares to close its doors, fine dining establishments like Kadeau, Vækst, and Alchemist continue to draw introspective and curious diners from Denmark and beyond.

Osaka, Japan

<p>Ton Koene/VWPics/Redux</p>

Ton Koene/VWPics/Redux

The food culture of Osaka is indelibly tied to traditional Japanese fare like takoyaki (octopus balls), okonomiyaki (savory pancakes), kushikatsu (deep-fried and skewered meats and vegetables), and yakitori (skewered chicken grilled over a charcoal fire). As Japan's second-largest metropolitan area after Tokyo, the city developed its own culinary following, as well as notable recognition from the Michelin guide, with nearly 100 different restaurants making the cut.

Madrid, Spain

<p>EMILIO PARRA DOIZTUA/The New York Times/Redux</p>


While no trip to Madrid would be complete without a visit to the Mercado de San Miguel, travelers should be sure to sample the wide range of Castilian cuisine that can be found throughout Spain's capital. Local specialties and destinations include tortilla española from Casa Dani, churros con chocolate at the iconic Chocolatería San Ginés, and genuine Spanish Manchego from Formaje, a top-notch artisan cheese shop in the city’s Chamberí neighborhood.

Kyoto, Japan

<p>ANDREW FAULK/The New York Times/Redux</p>

ANDREW FAULK/The New York Times/Redux

Japan’s ancient capital is home to one of the country’s most culturally significant dining scenes. The Nishiki Market, in the Nakagyo Ward, boasts some of the region's freshest fish, but the Kyoto also draws in visitors for its dramatic tea house experiences like those offered at the 400-year-old Hyotei. Ryōtei, or traditional Japanese dining establishments like Kyoto Kitcho in the city’s Arashiyama neighborhood, can also be found.

Lisbon, Portugal

<p>Nano Calvo/VWPics/Redux</p>

Nano Calvo/VWPics/Redux

Food defines much of life in Lisbon, whether fresh seafood like octopus and sardines, tinned fish, or the custard tarts known locally as pastel de nata. The city offers up everything from casual, taberna-style dining to more formal affairs, like those presented at famed chef José Avillez’s Belcanto, in the Chiado neighborhood. Seafood, local cheese, and Portuguese wine also play a major role in this stunning locale.

Plus One: Montreal, Canada

<p>DARREN ELL/The New York Times/Redux</p>

DARREN ELL/The New York Times/Redux

The food scene of Montreal may be best embodied by Jean-Talon Market, open since 1933, and it’s open-air ode to fresh produce, meat, cheese, and foie gras. But this food-forward city goes deep, specializing in delights that have come to include iconic bagels, smoked meats, and poutine. Whether it's a day of browsing the markets or sharing a bottle of wine and local fare at places like Vin Mon Lapin, this city offers flavor in spades.

Global Tastemakers is a celebration of the best culinary destinations in the U.S. and abroad. We asked more than 180 food and travel journalists to vote on their favorites, including restaurants and bars, cities, hotels, airports, airlines, and cruises. We then entrusted those results to an expert panel of judges to determine each category’s winners. In many categories, we’ve included a judge’s pick, hand-selected by our expert panel, to shout out more culinary destinations we don’t want our readers to miss. See all the winners at

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