Food lovers' index
The growth of culinary travel has seen foodies flock far and wide to experience the best of new cultures through their taste buds. Taking a trip away to fulfil our culinary curiosity is more popular now than ever. This year, the global hospitality market reached nearly £3.9 trillion and is forecast to grow to £4.8 trillion by 2027.Sampling local cuisine is a fun and enjoyable way to learn about culture and history and it can also support the local economy and even improve your health and well-being.
In this research, we will dive deep into some of the world’s most popular destinations, looking at their restaurant availability across a multitude of categories. We will look at Tripadvisor data and Michelin-star restaurants to determine which destinations are home to the world's best cuisines, making them the ideal food lovers’ destinations.
By looking at the availability of vegetarian, vegan options, fine dining and child-friendly restaurants, we will also reveal the cities with the best options for food lovers of all tastes and diets.
The best foodie hotspots in the world
Paris offers the best restaurant options in the world
1) Paris, France
Foodie score: 9.93 out of 10
Paris has long been regarded as the culinary capital of Europe and, some may argue, the world. Placing first in the ranking with a near-perfect score of 9.93, the city of Paris outshone any other city for its fine dining eateries (6.75 per km2) and Michelin-star establishments (4.65 per km2). Paris holds some of the most luxurious restaurants you can discover on your travels, with La Liste, the ultimate restaurant guide, naming Guy Savoy's restaurant at La Monnaie de Paris as the best restaurant in the world.
2) Barcelona, Spain
Foodie score: 9.64 out of 10
Barcelona, the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, ranked second, with a fantastic score of 9.64 out of 10. Food lovers can experience the best Spanish cuisine and expect iconic dishes like paella, patatas bravas, jamon iberico and Gazpacho. The city is home to a bounty of local, must-eat foods and has influenced the opening of traditional Catalan eateries, which are typically family-run businesses. Barcelona had the third-highest array of restaurants catering to children (37.40 per km2) and the most vegan restaurants (16.11 per km2), perhaps a surprise given the widespread use of meats and cheese in traditional Catalan dishes.
3) Miami, United States
Foodie score: 9 out of 10
Miami, Florida, the sunny seaside city, ranks third for foodies with a 9 out of 10 score. Although Miami did not rank top for any one category, it was solid across all of them; it performed particularly well for the number of child-friendly restaurants (13.46 per km2) and vegetarian restaurants (9.14 per km2). Miami is home to a huge community of Latin American and Caribbean individuals who have set up restaurants serving their traditional cuisine for everyone to enjoy.
The cities with the most diverse cuisines
Tokyo, Japan offers the most variety of cuisines in the world
1) Tokyo, Japan
City score: 8.67 out of 10
Japan’s busiest capital, Tokyo, offers the world's most extensive variety of cuisines, scoring 8.67 out of 10. The most popular cuisines in the city are Chinese food (5,459 per km2) and Italian (4,852 per km2). While there are many restaurants to enjoy your comfortably familiar cuisines, visitors are encouraged to try local street food offering some of the best local dishes, like Edomae tempura, ramen and sushi, to name a few. Tokyo is, overall, a superior city to sample recipes from around the world.
2) London, United Kingdom
City score: 8.57 out of 10
The British capital city of London received the second-highest score for its plentiful cuisine options, with a score of 8.57 out of 10. Italian cuisine is the most popular food offered in London (1,862 restaurants per km2) followed by Indian food (1,156 restaurants per km2). Chinese cuisine (747 per km2) and American dishes are also popular (740 per km2).
3) Mumbai, India
City score: 7.64 out of 10
Mumbai in India is in third place on our list for its diverse cuisines. The city, though smaller than others in our top three (603 km2), is the 7th most populated city in the world. Known among the street food capitals of India, Chinese cuisine is a staple in Mumbai, with 3,029 restaurants per km2, followed by home-grown Indian cuisine (2,842 per km2). )
The best cities for fine dining
11.39 fine dining restaurants per km2:
Paris again comes out top for fine dining establishments; there are 6.75 per km2 in the French capital and 4.65 Michelin Star restaurants per km2. The ‘city of love’, known for its fine dining has many eateries for a fancy date night out in the capital.
4.07 fine dining restaurants per km2:
Barcelona has the second most fine-dining restaurants; however, there are less than half the amount per km2 as there is in Paris. There is just one Michelin Star restaurant per km2 on average and just over three fine dining establishments.
3.66 fine dining restaurants per km2:
Osaka in Japan is the third best city for fine dining restaurants. There are actually more Michelin Star restaurants than in Barcelona (1.05 per km2); however, there are fewer fine dining restaurants (2.61 per km2). Japanese cuisine is largely seafood-based and they are famed for their sushi around the world.
The cities with the most plant-based restaurants in the world
Paris, France offers the most vegan and vegetarian options in the world
1) Paris, France
51.14 vegetarian and vegan restaurants per km2:
We have already established that Paris is the best city in the world for food lovers, but it is also the best for those who are vegetarian and vegan. There are over 50 plant-based restaurants per km2, specifically 37.47 vegetarian restaurants per km2 and 13.67 vegan restaurants per km2.
2) Barcelona, Spain
44.49 vegetarian and vegan restaurants per km2:
Barcelona once again ranks in second place, losing out to Paris yet again. However, Barcelona is better for vegans than Paris, with 16.11 vegan-friendly restaurants per km2, almost three more than in the French capital; there are also many options for vegetarians (28.38 restaurants per km2).
3) Denpasar, Indonesia
18.17 vegetarian and vegan restaurants per km2:
Indonesian cuisine is varied due to the multiple different cultures that developed on the islands that make up the country. There are over 6,000 populated islands in the country and many of them had no contact with each other for centuries. Denpasar is the capital of Bali, a popular tourist destination due to its beautiful beaches and affordable prices; it has the third-highest options for vegetarians and vegans.
The cities with the least plant-based restaurants in the world
Guangzhou in China offers the fewest vegan and vegetarian options in the world
1) Guangzhou, China
0.02 vegetarian and vegan restaurants per km2:
The sprawling port city of Guangzhou, northwest of Hong Kong, is famed for its avant-garde architecture and museums. Unfortunately, vegetarian restaurants (0.01 per km2) and vegan (0.01 per km2) options are difficult to find in this fascinating city. Chinese food generally contains protein like chicken, pork and seafood. Though swapping animal ingredients in most recipes is easy, few traditional dishes are 100% plant-based.
2) Shenzen, China
0.05 vegetarian and vegan restaurants per km2:
Shenzhen in southeastern China has the second-fewest vegan and vegetarian restaurants. The modern metropolis links Hong Kong to China’s mainland and is known for its shopping malls. Shenzhen lost points for its limited vegan options (0.02 per km2) and vegetarian options (0.03 per km2).
3) Shanghai, China
0.07 vegetarian and vegan restaurants per km2:
Shanghai is one of the biggest cities in the world, renowned worldwide for its striking modern architecture and a centre of technology and finance. It is home to many traditional food markets and restaurants, but unfortunately, options are limited for those who don’t eat meat.
We began by collating a list of the world's top 30 most visited cities from World Atlas. Medina and Mecca were removed from the list due to the lack of non-religious tourism. This data is correct as of 09/10/2023.
We found the total area (km²) of each city. This data is accurate as of 06/10/2023,
The number of child-friendly, vegetarian, vegan-option and fine-dining restaurants was taken using the Tripadvisor website, using the filters to collect results. The number of different cuisines was also taken from Tripadvisor to find the cities with the most diverse cuisines. This data is correct as of 07/10/2023.
The number of Michelin-star restaurants in each city was taken from The Michelin Guide. This data is correct as of 07/10/2023.
Each city’s factor scores were normalised against each other to collect a score out of 10.
Ting has a serious case of wanderlust. Having travelled to over 40 countries, it’s her mission in life to make her way through her ever-growing list. Her two young sons have also caught the travel bug, and recent trips have seen them making snow angels in Iceland while watching the Northern Lights, as well as walking alongside elephants in South Africa.
Ting | About the author
Receive inspiration in your inbox
Subscribe to our newsletter for holiday inspiration and the latest special offers
Why choose a Titan Travel tour or cruise?
Our award-winning collection of holidays covers all seven continents, with carefully planned itineraries ranging from rail journeys and river cruises, to small-group adventures and trips exclusively for solo travellers.
VIP travel service
Smooth transfers to and from home with unlimited mileage
From excursions to hotels, entry tickets and dining packages, we include more than any other tour.
Be guided by some of the most passionate and knowledgeable tour managers in the world, on hand to help every step of the way.
Feel free to amend or extend your travel plans, up until final payment, and enjoy free time on your tour with us too.