As the world of gastronomy evolves, culinary destinations gain prominence among travellers seeking gourmet experiences and tantalisingly novel flavours. In 2024, foodie globetrotters explore not only far-off locations but also their nearest towns in a quest for a flavoursome “culinary-cation.” Uncovering the best-kept secrets and palate-pleasing wonders of the top food cities demands a passionate and inquisitive appetite. Feast your eyes on our curated list of culinary must-sees, where the gastronomical charm and delectable experiences are sure to entice your taste buds.
Toronto: A Melting Pot of International Cuisines
Toronto, a vibrant mosaic of over 100 languages and a smorgasbord of global cuisines, boasts a staggering array of restaurants and food establishments, cementing its status as a top food city. In 2023, the Michelin Guide recognised 15 Toronto eateries for their excellence, a testament to the city’s dynamic food scene.
Michelin-Starred Dining Experiences in Toronto
Aloette, a distinguished Michelin Guide restaurant, captivates diners with its train dining car ambiance and heavenly lemon meringue pie. Richmond Station is another culinary star with inventive vegetarian options. Toronto’s Michelin guide features exemplar culinary havens with global Pantheon’s like Egyptian, Filipino, South American, Persian, and West African cuisines.
|Lemon Meringue Pie
Discover Diverse Flavours during ByBlacks Restaurant Week
The semiannual ByBlacks Restaurant Week in November shines a spotlight on Black-owned gastronomic ventures, adding a celebratory touch to Toronto’s culinary diversity. November’s ByBlacks Restaurant Week is a beacon for Toronto’s gastronomic diversity, drawing attention to the city’s Black-owned eateries, culinary pop-ups, food trucks, and caterers, celebrating the myriad flavours and traditions converging in the Canadian metropolis.
- Black-owned restaurants and cafes
- Culinary pop-ups
- Food trucks
The Culinary Capital of Latin America: Lima, Peru
Recognised as the Lima Culinary Capital of Latin America, Lima, Peru, offers a gastronomic experience like no other. This thriving food capital boasts an array of award-winning restaurants, securing its status as a top food city.
Central, which earned the coveted title of the best restaurant in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023 list, is among several Lima eateries found within the top 50, including Mayta, Maido, and Kjolle. These acclaimed dining establishments showcase the diverse and delectable flavours of Peruvian cuisine.
Home to some of the most exquisite Peruvian Ceviche creations in the world, Lima excels in tantalising the palates of ceviche lovers. Dishes featuring pork belly, octopus, and yuca root are seamlessly woven into the city’s culinary offerings. The variety of ceviche styles found throughout Lima is a testament to the city’s gastronomic grandeur.
Peruvian cuisine is not limited to ceviche, as fusion dishes have placed Lima on the global culinary map. The following table illustrates the innovative combination of local ingredients with international influences at four of Lima’s finest restaurants:
|Ecosystems Tasting Menu
|Seasonal Vegetable Salad
Visitors to Lima can embark on a culinary adventure, sampling unique dishes such as causa rellena (a layered potato and filling dish) or anticuchos (skewered grilled beef heart). With its plethora of dining options and innovative cuisine, Lima continues to solidify its reputation as the Latin American Culinary Capital.
Carmel-by-the-Sea, California: European Village Charm & Gourmet Delights
With its picturesque European-style Village, Carmel-by-the-Sea distinguishes itself as a hub for gourmet decadence, offering an astonishing selection of restaurants in a relatively small Californian city. Its enchanting charm is further accentuated by the absence of chain and fast-food outlets, spotlighting a unique culinary character.
Culinary Week at Carmel: A Climate for Epicurean Creativity
From May 31 to June 8, 2024, Carmel’s annual Culinary Week celebrates “The Art of the Plate” and draws gourmands from all corners. Participatory eateries and entertainment venues comprise this feast of epicurean creativity, featuring special menus and immersive events that cater to food enthusiasts of all kinds.
Complementing the rich dining experience, Carmel’s food and beverage landscape is splendidly diverse, with 17 wine-tasting rooms, wine bars, and bottle shops. These Californian gems create a connoisseur’s haven, promising an unforgettable epicurean adventure.
|Carmel Culinary Week
|Participatory eateries, special menus, immersive events
|17 unique establishments, presentations from local wineries
|California Wine Bars
|Intimate, casual venues for sampling regional wines
|Purveyors of fine wines for purchase and home consumption
Boasting more than 60 restaurants catering to a wide range of palates, Carmel Culinary Week showcases the diverse array of dining experiences the city has to offer. Without any chain or fast-food presence, this charming European-style Village in California embraces a discerning dining culture, making it a top destination for all culinary enthusiasts.
Emerging Gourmet Hotspot: Tampa, Florida
Once overshadowed by other well-known culinary destinations, Tampa is rising in the ranks as an emerging gourmet hotspot. The city’s vibrant culinary landscape offers a diverse range of culinary experiences, garnering attention from food enthusiasts worldwide. Tampa’s Michelin-starred restaurants and unique dining establishments set the stage for an unforgettable gastronomic adventure.
Tampa has seen an explosion of celebrated restaurants in recent years, and the accolades keep pouring in. From contemporary Italian to authentic Japanese, the city’s dining scene caters to a variety of palates. The notable Michelin-starred establishments and Bib Gourmand awarded venues make Tampa an irresistible destination for gourmet travellers.
Bolstering Tampa’s reputation as an emerging foodie destination is the opening of numerous trendy eateries and exclusive dining experiences. One such establishment capturing the hearts and palates of diners is Tyler Lepley’s Lepley’s Kitchen and Lounge. This high-end restaurant showcases Lepley’s vision of creating unforgettable culinary experiences in the heart of Tampa.
- Italian: Cena
- Japanese: Noble Rice
- Mediterranean: Zaytoun Grill
- Greek: Acropolis Greek Taverna
- Latin American: Columbia Restaurant
- Himalayan: Kurry Xpress Tampa
Featuring a rich tapestry of flavourful cuisines and renowned eateries, gastronomic explorers find themselves spoilt for choice when dining in Tampa. Regardless of one’s culinary preferences, there is always something delicious and memorable waiting to be discovered in this exhilarating city.
Paris: A Gastronomic Journey from Chic Bistros to Street Eats
Paris, the iconic City of Love, lights up not just by its romantic veneer but also by its unexpected championing in casual dining: the street food scene. With its 350 street food eateries, Paris won the title of the world’s street food capital in 2022. This offers a new facet to the Parisian food adventure, layering the city’s chic gastronomic image with the everyday delights available on its streets.
Indulge in the Street Food Scene Crowned World’s Best
Paris, traditionally admired for its haute cuisine, now takes pride in offering an array of street food options that lay claim to the crown of the world’s best street food scene. This facet of the city’s culinary landscape promises an affordable and varied selection, transcending the conventional view of Parisian dining.
From mouth-watering crepes and falafel to classic escargot and croque-monsieur, the city brims with a cornucopia of flavours, textures, and aromas that drift enticingly through its bustling thoroughfares. Here, gastronomy and accessibility combine, inviting visitors both near and far alike to indulge in delicious Paris street food.
To illustrate the extensive offerings found throughout the World Street Food Capital, we’ve compiled a table showcasing a diverse selection of Parisian street food eateries:
|L’As du Fallafel
|Le Petit Vendôme
As gastronomic tourists savour every morsel of Parisian cuisine, they’ll delight in discovering its charming streets, adorned with both time-honoured chic Parisian bistros and makeshift eateries serving the most tantalising fare. Whether looking to immerse one’s palate in flavours that have long been lauded or those heralded anew, visitors will find Paris to be a veritable food lover’s paradise.
Unexpected Culinary Gem: Columbus, Ohio
Though Columbus, Ohio, may initially seem like an underdog in the gastronomic sphere, the city’s culinary prowess is undeniable. Garnering praise from major publications and nominations from the prestigious James Beard Awards, Columbus’s ever-growing food scene is one that should not be underestimated. Two standout eateries making a significant impact on the local dining scene are Hiraeth and the Modern Southern Table which reside within the Budd Dairy Food Hall.
Contributing to Columbus Dining‘s appeal, an array of eclectic restaurants have emerged, offering vibrant dishes that cater to various palettes. Tantalising flavours combined with innovation and passion elevates Columbus’s cuisine, putting the city on the culinary radar for food enthusiasts from around the world.
With multiple renowned establishments putting Columbus on the map, the city has earned itself a reputation as a home for innovative and delicious cuisine. This unrelenting pursuit of culinary excellence has garnered the attention of the esteemed James Beard Award and recognition from various media outlets.
Among these local gems is the Budd Dairy Food Hall, an inviting space where talented chefs present their unique menus in a collaborative environment. The Modern Southern Table, for example, offers comforting fares, while Hiraeth, a contemporary eatery, entices patrons with an ever-evolving menu inspired by the seasons and local produce.
To further whet the appetite of discerning foodies, the culinary discoveries of Columbus, Ohio, extend beyond its fine dining establishments. Culinary explorers will find a delightful and eclectic array of gastronomic treasures such as:
- Pop-up markets and food trucks offering quick, delicious bites
- Local breweries and distilleries showcasing Ohio’s craft beer and spirits scene
- Mouth-watering desserts from artisan bakeries and patisseries
In conclusion, Columbus, Ohio, is swiftly cementing its status as a must-visit destination within the culinary world. As the food scene continues to expand and evolve, savvy food lovers will surely flock to this unexpected gem for a truly delectable and unforgettable experience.
Charleston, South Carolina: Southern Cuisine with a Gourmet Twist
Charleston, South Carolina, presents a melting pot of Southern, Gullah, and international culinary traditions, enhanced by its historic streets and the warmth of Southern hospitality. Home to one of the Top 5 Foodie Hotels in the World, according to Conde Nast, Charleston provides a backdrop of colourful architecture and cobblestone streets that enrich the experience. Experience Lowcountry culinary excellence as you savour the flavours of this picturesque city.
Fleet Landing: A Waterfront Dining Oasis
Fleet Landing stands out with its waterfront offerings, including lump crab bruschetta and pan-seared triggerfish that embody Charleston’s seaside charm. This celebrated restaurant is the epitome of elevated Lowcountry dishes, where seafood staples meet Southern twists, culminating in a truly excellent culinary experience that exemplifies the city’s pride and palate. Soak in the scenic views and indulge in a meal that showcases the best of what Charleston has to offer.
Notable Charleston Eateries and Their Specialities
|Shrimp and Grits
|Martha Lou’s Kitchen
|Southern Gullah Cuisine
|Fried Chicken and Collard Greens
|Crab Cake Eggs Benedict
Charleston’s food scene has something for everyone. From traditional Southern comfort foods to innovative fusion dishes that incorporate Gullah influences and global tastes, you will not be disappointed when dining in this charming city.
Barcelona: A Spanish Mosaic of Gastronomy and Culture
Barcelona’s food scene is vibrant with a diverse array of cuisines, reflecting its rich gastronomic heritage at the crossroads of different cultures. Boasting 30 Michelin-starred Restaurants in Barcelona, such as the avant-garde El Celler de Can Roca, the city shines as a beacon of culinary excellence. The delicious Catalan Cuisine is waiting to be discovered at every corner, from upscale dining spots to bustling street-food stands.
For an immersive experience, a visit to La Boqueria Market is a must. This famous local market adds a sensory dynamic to any trip, offering a wide array of produce, seafood, and local treats that embody Barcelona’s gastronomic wealth.
- ABaC, led by Michelin-starred chef Jordi Cruz
- Lasarte, a prestigious three-starred establishment
- Àtic Cook & Go, offering a creative twist to local classics
ensure that Barcelona remains a preeminent destination for food-lovers from around the globe. For even more impressive dining experiences, venture further to unearth hidden gems like Disfrutar, where innovative and contemporary Catalan flavours meet in a surprisingly delightful dance.
Additionally, the vineyards around Barcelona provide excellent wines and cavas to complement the city’s rich dining experience, making it an unparalleled gastronomic destination.
Get ready to embark on an unforgettable culinary journey through the captivating mosaic of Barcelona, where passions for food and culture blend into a truly unforgettable experience.
Richmond, Virginia: A Canvas for Innovative American Flavours
Richmond, Virginia, is an open canvas for culinary artistry, offering an innovative array of flavourful dishes that extend from refined dining to the grassroots level of food trucks. Innovation is at the heart of Richmond’s food scene, with unique dishes like toasted ravioli, fried oatmeal, and red velvet waffles, drawing diners in for a taste of America’s diverse culinary strengths.
Embark on a Gastronomy Journey with TallTravelEats’s Recommendations
TallTravelEats’s comprehensive list presents a roadmap for an extensive gastronomy journey through the city. Embrace Richmond’s dynamic food scene with this guide for an extensive exploration of innovative American flavours.
|Proper Pie Co.
|Red Velvet Waffles
|Lunch & Supper
|Rotisserie Chicken Street Tacos
|Shaved Duck Sliders Food Truck
From fanciful dishes to elevated Southern comforts, this journey is tailored to satisfy the curiosity and appetite of every food lover venturing through Virginia. Discover unique culinary experiences that showcase the city’s beloved food culture, while also leaving room for new discoveries.
- Begin by indulging in fan-favorite restaurants like Belmont Pizzeria and Proper Pie Co.
- Award-winning bistros such as Lunch & Supper offer innovative twists on classic American dishes.
- Embrace the exciting world of food trucks with Shaved Duck Sliders for a bold and unexpected dining experience.
Richmond Creative Cuisine is an invitation to embark on an enriching gastronomic adventure with the guidance of TallTravelEats’s Recommendations, unveiling the lesser-known facets of America’s culinary tapestry amidst the enchanting backdrop of Virginia.
Mexico City: A Fusion of Traditional and Contemporary Mexican Cuisines
Mexico City, with its vibrant and diverse restaurant scene, offers a delightful fusion of traditional and contemporary Mexican cuisine. The city’s blend of age-old culinary customs and contemporary innovations provides a rich gastronomic landscape for food enthusiasts to explore. The exquisite dining experiences at renowned establishments like Contramar, known for its Tequila shrimp, and the groundbreaking Blaxicocina, showcase the city’s commitment to preserving its culinary heritage while embracing innovation.
One notable restaurant leading the charge in contemporary Mexican cuisine is Rosetta, captivating diners with its unique dishes such as savoy cabbage with pistachio pipian. Such inventive fare exudes a harmonious balance between tradition and creativity in Mexico City’s food scene. A visit to this metropolis ensures a one-of-a-kind culinary journey, as gourmands immerse themselves in the rich fusion of tastes and textures woven into its gastronomic fabric.
From sampling authentic tacos in lively neighbourhood taquerias to indulging in modern gourmet experiences at Blaxicocina, there is no shortage of captivating flavours awaiting visitors to Mexico City. Culinary aficionados and casual food lovers alike will be delighted by the wealth of options available in this extraordinary gastronomic destination. A visit to Mexico City is sure to satisfy even the most discerning palate, making it an essential addition to any gourmet travel bucket list.