Chicago is the food and beverage capital of the world, according to a global survey. Our readers ranked these 25 places as the main gastronomic destinations of the year. From the birthplace of Mezcal to the cities with the most Michelin-starred restaurants and chefs, these are the best places to visit with an appetite. Many of the cities on this list are within the same country or region, so allow this list to guide you through your own food tour.
From Kyoto, Tokyo and Osaka in Japan to Mexico City and San Miguel de Allende in Mexico and, of course, Lyon, Paris and Aix-en-Provence in France, you can go in any direction and find the beginning and end of your dream food tour. Alternatively, spend all your time unpacking the dishes and culture of some incredible places like Mendoza, in Argentina's wine region, or Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, where the products are as exceptional as the appreciation for the food experience. Even the gastronomic capitals of the world, such as Paris, have fallen off our list to make room for the United States' own New Orleans and Charleston. Oaxaca, the birthplace of mezcal, ranks first this year.
It is known for the way it combines its culinary traditions (think mole, molotes and fresh, moving dishes) with the innovative flavors of modern Mexican cuisine. From fettunta, the original garlic bread, to ravioli nudi or ravioli naked, Florence food finally appears all over the world in some of the most famous restaurants. Why don't you go to the source? There may be no better place to go to restaurants and do whole days of food than Gion, Kyoto, a waterfront neighborhood with slender streets full of restaurants almost exclusively, ups and downs. Lyon, a city where you can eat for the next 100 years without tiring, serves classic French dishes and fresh, modern dishes without the waiting list or the price of Paris.
What makes these cities the food capitals of the world is not the people who use hashtags on Instagram all the time, but the quality of the food and restaurants. As the capital of the state of Penang in Malaysia, Georgetown is home to some of the best street food in the world, or street food as the locals call it.