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The 10 Best Foodie Cities in the World

Are your travel plans guided by your stomach? You’ll definitely want to sample the local cuisine in these 10 dream destinations, which, based on data from TripAdvisor, are the most popular foodie cities in the world.

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RomePhoto: TripAdvisor

Rome

It’s easy to see, err taste, why Rome landed at the top of the list. The deliciousness never seems to end. Indulge in wood-fired pizza, al dente pasta, and out-of-this-world gelato. Don’t leave without trying house-made spaghetti alla carbonara or cacio e pepe at a local trattoria. Wash it down with a glass or two of vino. In between meals, do some sightseeing. The Eternal City is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to iconic tourist attractions.

Check out the 10 experiences you can’t miss in Rome!

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TuscanyPhoto: TripAdvisor

Florence

Food is an integral part of Italian culture, and nowhere is that more evident than Florence. Do yourself a favour and venture beyond the bustling osterias and cafés. Stroll the markets, brimming with cured meats, cheeses, seasonal veggies, olives, and aged balsamic vinegar. Sign up for a cooking class and learn how to whip up tiramisu from scratch. Or book a culinary tour, which includes shopping for ingredients, following by preparing and eating traditional dishes at a Tuscan farmhouse.

Want the authentic Tuscan experience? Check out Debbie Travis’ Guide to Tuscany!

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ParisPhoto: TripAdvisor

Paris

There’s a lot to love about Paris, and its impeccable gourmet reputation is right up there with romance and recognizable landmarks. Around every corner there’s something scrumptious to discover. Enjoy brie and camembert at a fromagerie. Satisfy your sweet tooth with éclairs and macaroons at a pâtisserie. Head to a boulangerie for a fresh-baked baguette. And to cap it off? Classic escargot with garlic-parsley butter. Bon appetit! Commit these must-know French phrases to memory in advance of your trip, and make sure you check these 10 essential experiences off of your Paris bucket list.

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SpainPhoto: TripAdvisor

Barcelona

From Michelin-starred eateries and sophisticated tapas bars to beachside bistros and low-key bodegas, few places pack a punch quite like Barcelona. Where else can you share jamón ibérico and patatas bravas (crispy potato wedges) in the afternoon, take a siesta and then refuel with seafood paella at 11:30 p.m. before dancing till dawn? And then there are the vibrant markets—including the world-renowned La Boquería. While you’re in the Catalan capital, why not try an interactive cooking class? Before you go, commit these commonly-used Spanish phrases to memory.

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new OrleansPhoto: TripAdvisor

New Orleans

Po’ boys, muffuletta, jambalaya, and beignets (Café Du Monde is famous for a reason)—New Orleans is full of flavour and fun! This epicurean superstar is an irresistible mix of French, Spanish, African, Caribbean, and Cajun influences. And whether you opt for a white-tablecloth restaurant or a hole-in-the-wall diner, rest assured you’d be hard-pressed to stumble upon a bad meal (or anything less than warm, gracious hospitality) in the Big Easy. Here are 10 more things you absolutely must do in New Orleans.

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Lower east sidePhoto: TripAdvisor

New York City

The Big Apple is a melting pot and its dining scene certainly reflects that. There isn’t another metropolis on earth with such delectable diversity. Whatever corner of the globe you’re craving, you’ll find it here. However, that’s just a piece of the proverbial pie. New York has its own specialties too. You can chow down a bagel with schmear for breakfast, grab a slice for lunch, and savour refined fare at legendary establishments like Le Bernardin and Gramercy Tavern for dinner.

Big film buff? Check out the movie-geek’s guide to New York City filming locations!

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VenicePhoto: TripAdvisor

Venice

Venice may not have the culinary clout of Rome or Florence, but that doesn’t mean you’ll go hungry. What it lacks in pizza on par with its neighbours (wood-burning ovens are banned due to fire hazards), it more than makes up for in spaghetti al nero di seppia (spaghetti with black squid ink), sarde in saor (sweet and sour sardines), and risi e bisi (rice and pea soup). Want to explore the real Venice? Steer clear of the tourist traps and uncover hidden gems on a food and wine walking tour.

P.S. Fitting in with the locals will be a lot easier if you learn these essential Italian terms.

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MadridPhoto: TripAdvisor

Madrid

Madrid is the midst of a renaissance and it’s getting more delicious by the moment. A long-time mecca of tapas, its menus are now expanding to include more modern gastronomic delights and cocktail dens. Of course, its historic staples still shine. Mercado de San Miguel, which reopened in 2009 after a lengthy restoration, continues to tantalize taste buds. Along with produce stalls, there are stand-up counters where you can people-watch while nibbling on gambas al ajillo (garlic prawns) and sipping sangria.

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TokyoPhoto: TripAdvisor

Tokyo

Tokyo is unparalleled when it comes to gastronomic prowess. From the early morning tuna auctions in Tsukiji Market to the colourful confections in Harajuku, food is part of the very fabric of the city. Not only does it have more Michelin-starred restaurants than anywhere else—including Sukiyabashi Jiro, the fabled 10-seat sushi bar in the basement of a metro station—but it also boasts atmospheric izakayas, high-tech kiosks, and mom-and-pop ramen shops that are legitimately life-changing. Before you jet off, add these 10 essential Tokyo experiences to your travel itinerary.

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BangkokPhoto: TripAdvisor

Bangkok

Bangkok is a tasty adventure. Ready to dig in? Book a food tour of Bang Rak. This lively district is lined with no-frills joints, cool cafés, pop-ups, and street vendors, which means plenty of opportunities to sample Thai delicacies like som tam (green papaya salad), tom yum (hot and sour shrimp soup), and mango sticky rice. With so many exotic eats—plus lively nightlife and a favourable exchange rate—it’s no wonder Bangkok is one of the most popular places to travel in Asia.

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Originally Published on Reader's Digest