4 Must-Visit Cities for Foodies

couple holding Italian ice-cream in Rome, Italy - cities for foodies

One might argue that any city can be a foodie city. After all, each place has characteristics that make up a unique perspective and contributes to how their residents experience life. The city’s uniqueness gets ingrained into the cuisine, transmitting its culture, landscape, and history through its food. From the weather’s effect on native ingredients to gentrification and cultural quirks that influence cuisine, there are many collaborating factors that transform a city into a foodie’s heaven.

Nevertheless, there are a few tried and true cities that every foodie should visit. So they don’t slip your radar, here are four of our favorites:

Project Bold Life’s Top Recommended Cities Every Foodie Should Visit

San Sebastian, Spain

Pintxos - Tapas bar ("Nagusia Lau") in San Sebastian, Spain - cities for foodies
Pintxos (tapas) bar (“Nagusia Lau”) in San Sebastian, Spain.

Thanks to its Michelin-starred restaurants, pintxos bars, fresh food markets, and gourmet food shops, San Sebastian has long been recognized as the food capital of the planet. San Sebastian has one of the highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants per square meter, which means that you have a selection of Michelin star restaurants to choose from in the Basque community.

The port town doesn’t only hail some of the freshest seafood straight from the Bay of Biscay, but it also houses a few of the world’s best fresh food markets.

Portland, Maine

Restaurant and bar on the pier in Portland, Maine - cities for foodies
Restaurant and bar on the pier in Portland, Maine.

As if enjoying fresh just-off-the-boat seafood in this picturesque port town wasn’t enough, Portland, Maine (yes, Maine) in the last few decades has experienced a cultural shift that has every foodie buzzing.

According to The Guardian, “from the Old Port to a lively arts district and up-and-coming bayside areas, this town of 66,000 has incubated a creative and foodie scene that can hold its own against anywhere.”

A deeply-rooted community spirit, a progressive artistic heritage, and an unwavering hospitality places Portland in the culinary scene in 2018. Aside from the obvious seafood, look for Portland to serve up craft beer, mashed potato doughnuts, high-end cuisine and the meltiest brown butter lobster roll you’ll ever taste.

Rome, Italy

Traditional Italian food in Rome, Italy - cities for foodies
Traditional Italian food in an outdoor restaurant in Trastevere district in Rome, Italy.

Don’t knock us for mentioning the obvious—Rome has rightfully earned its reputation as a foodie’s heaven.

From carbonara to espresso to gelato, dining in Rome is an experience. It might be the air, the old-world charm or the unmistakable Italian spirit, but everything simply tastes better in Rome.

One charming characteristic of the food in Rome is that the city is slow to embrace new trends, which means that they’ve had decades, if not centuries, to perfect certain dishes. A carb-lovers paradise, Rome is a real gem—you’ll be surprised at how authentic pasta and pizza will delight your taste buds.

Roman food thrives on local, seasonal produce. Some of the local favorites are Baccala Alla Romana (Fried Cod), Carciofi Alla Giudia (Jewish Style Artichokes), and Supplì—a once-popular street food that has snuck onto restaurant menus.

Lima, Peru

man and woman selling anticuchos from their food cart in lima, peru - cities for foodies
A man and a woman selling Anticuchos from their food cart in Lima, Peru’s city center.

Peruvian cuisine is like nothing else in the world. An eclectic mix of local ingredients fused with ancestral cooking styles, Peruvian cuisine took center stage in the culinary world some years ago and is still shining under its spotlight.

Going beyond the popular ceviche, Peruvian cuisine combines citrus, tubers, and chilies in a way you’ve never tasted before. Add a splash of expertly prepared seafood, notable Asian influence, and an exciting street food culture, and you get regional cuisine that’s as varied as its landscape. It’s no surprise that Lima has a strong presence in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants and is regarded as the food capital of Latin America.


Planning your travel around food can be an exciting way to experience different parts of the world and allows you to immerse yourself in the culture. In addition to these four suggestions, there are countless cities that offer unmatched cuisine. What cities would you say are must-visit for foodies?

About the Author

Dawna is a mom of two young kids, puppy lover, ice cream lover, chocolate lover, and lover of any ice cream with chunks of chocolate in it. She is the author of seven books, a business owner, certified health coach, motivational speaker, and creator of the 5-Day Detox and the 14-Day Clean-Eating Program. Dawna appears regularly on local and national television. She has appeared on the Today show, Martha, MSNBC, HSN, and morning news programs on NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox. Dawna is a highly sought-after speaker and has done speaking engagements for Chobani, Disney, American Heart Association, Mass Mutual, Wharton Business School, Women’s Entertainment Television, PGA Tour, Super Bowl Leadership Forum, Susan G. Komen, and many more.
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