If you’re a foodie at heart, then there’s no better way to explore a new destination than through its culinary scene.
The year 2023 is going to be an exciting one for food lovers, with plenty of hotspots to explore around the world.
From established culinary capitals to lesser-known hidden gems, this list has it all for those seeking the ultimate gastronomic adventure.
Whether you’re into Michelin-starred fine dining or street food, there’s something on this list for everyone.
So, pack your bags, grab your appetite, and get ready to discover the hottest culinary destinations for food lovers in the coming year.
Table of Contents
Tokyo, Japan – A Foodie’s Paradise
If you’re a food lover, then Tokyo should be at the top of your list for culinary destinations in 2023.
The city has an unparalleled food scene that combines ancient culinary traditions with modern innovation.
Japanese cuisine is all about simplicity, quality ingredients, and impeccable presentation, and Tokyo is the perfect place to experience it all.
Whether you’re looking for sushi at one of the city’s high-end restaurants, piping hot bowls of ramen, or traditional izakaya bars for a night out with friends, Tokyo has it all.
Make sure to visit the famous Tsukiji Fish Market for an unforgettable seafood experience, and don’t miss out on the city’s street food scene, which is one of the best in the world.
Some popular culinary Destinations in Tokyo, Japan:
|Tsukiji Fish Market||Tokyo’s famous fish market, where you can find a wide variety of fresh seafood and sushi restaurants. It’s a must-visit spot for seafood lovers.|
|Robot Restaurant||A unique dining experience that features a show of dancing robots and neon lights. While the food isn’t the main draw, it’s still a fun and entertaining evening out.|
|Ramen Street||Located in the basement of Tokyo Station, Ramen Street is a collection of some of the best ramen shops in Tokyo. Each shop specializes in a different style of ramen, so it’s a great way to try a variety of different dishes.|
|Sushi Saito||A world-renowned sushi restaurant that has been awarded three Michelin stars. The chef, Takashi Saito, is known for his meticulous attention to detail and use of the freshest ingredients.|
|Yoyogi Park||While not strictly a culinary destination, Yoyogi Park is a popular spot for food trucks and street vendors on weekends. You can find a wide variety of food from around the world, as well as traditional Japanese snacks like taiyaki (fish-shaped cakes filled with sweet red bean paste).|
|Kappabashi-dori||A street in Tokyo that is known for its shops selling kitchenware and restaurant supplies. It’s a great place to find unique souvenirs and to see how Japanese chefs prepare their food.|
|Ginza||A high-end shopping and dining district in Tokyo. Many of the world’s top chefs have restaurants in Ginza, and there are also many specialty food shops selling everything from Japanese sweets to wagyu beef.|
|Tsuta||The world’s first Michelin-starred ramen restaurant, Tsuta is known for its delicate and flavorful broth and use of truffle oil.|
Oaxaca, Mexico – A Fiesta for the Senses
Mexico is known for its bold, flavorful cuisine, and the city of Oaxaca is a must-visit destination for food lovers in 2023.
Oaxacan cuisine is unique in that it combines indigenous ingredients with Spanish and African influences, resulting in a rich and diverse culinary scene.
The region is famous for its mole, a complex sauce made from over 30 ingredients, as well as its mezcal, a smoky agave spirit.
Don’t miss out on the city’s vibrant street food scene, and make sure to visit the local markets to sample regional dishes like tlayudas and memelas.
Some popular culinary Destinations in Oaxaca, Mexico
|Mercado de Benito Juárez||A large market in the heart of Oaxaca where you can find a wide variety of local food and drink. It’s a great place to try traditional Oaxacan dishes like tlayudas, mole, and mezcal.|
|La Olla||A popular restaurant that serves traditional Oaxacan cuisine. The menu changes frequently to reflect seasonal ingredients, but you can always find dishes like chiles rellenos, tamales, and various types of mole.|
|El Destilado||A restaurant that specializes in modern Mexican cuisine. The chefs use local ingredients and traditional techniques to create innovative dishes like corn fungus ceviche and grasshopper tacos.|
|La Popular||A bakery that is famous for its pan de yema, a sweet bread made with egg yolks. They also sell a variety of other baked goods, including conchas (sweet bread with a sugary topping) and empanadas.|
|Mezcalería In Situ||A bar that serves a wide variety of mezcal, as well as other Mexican spirits like tequila and raicilla. They also offer tasting flights and mezcal cocktails.|
|El Pochote||A restaurant that specializes in vegetarian and vegan Oaxacan cuisine. They use local and organic ingredients to create dishes like vegan tamales and chayote squash tacos.|
|Casa Oaxaca||A high-end restaurant that serves modern Oaxacan cuisine. The chef, Alejandro Ruiz, has been awarded a Michelin star and is known for his innovative use of local ingredients.|
|Zandunga||A restaurant that specializes in traditional Oaxacan dishes like mole and tlayudas. They also have a large selection of mezcal and other Mexican spirits.|
Copenhagen, Denmark – A New Nordic Food Revolution
Copenhagen has been at the forefront of the New Nordic food revolution for the past decade, and it shows no signs of slowing down in 2023.
The city’s chefs are dedicated to using local, seasonal ingredients, often foraged from the surrounding countryside, and creating dishes that are both innovative and delicious.
Copenhagen is home to several Michelin-starred restaurants, including Noma, which has been named the world’s best restaurant several times.
The city’s food scene is all about simplicity, quality, and sustainability, and it’s a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the future of food.
Some popular culinary Destinations in Copenhagen, Denmark
|Noma||A world-renowned restaurant that has been awarded two Michelin stars. The menu changes frequently to reflect seasonal and local ingredients, but you can always expect innovative and creative dishes that showcase the best of Nordic cuisine.|
|Torvehallerne Market||A large indoor market that is home to more than 60 food stalls and shops. You can find everything from fresh seafood and meat to artisanal bread and pastries. There are also many vendors selling hot food, so it’s a great place to grab lunch.|
|Tivoli Food Hall||A food hall located in the Tivoli Gardens amusement park. It features a variety of international cuisine, including Mexican, Thai, and Japanese. There are also several bars serving craft beer and cocktails.|
|The Coffee Collective||A specialty coffee roaster that has several locations throughout Copenhagen. They source their beans directly from farmers and use sustainable and ethical practices. The coffee is considered some of the best in the world.|
|Fiskebaren||A seafood restaurant that is located in a former meatpacking district. The menu changes daily depending on what fish is in season, but you can always expect fresh and expertly prepared seafood dishes.|
|Grød||A restaurant that specializes in porridge. The menu features both sweet and savory porridges, as well as toppings like nuts, fruit, and cheese. They also serve excellent coffee and pastries.|
|Mikkeller Bar||A bar that is known for its craft beer selection. They have more than 20 beers on tap, as well as a large selection of bottled beers. The bar has a cozy and laid-back atmosphere.|
|Smørrebrød at Aamanns||A restaurant that specializes in smørrebrød, which are open-faced sandwiches that are a traditional Danish dish. Aamanns uses high-quality ingredients and offers a variety of toppings, including fish, meat, and vegetables.|
Lima, Peru: Discover the Fusion of Peruvian and Japanese Cuisine
Lima, the capital city of Peru, is known for its unique fusion of Peruvian and Japanese cuisine.
The culinary scene in Lima has been on the rise in recent years, and it has become one of the hottest culinary destinations in the world.
The must-try dish is ceviche, a refreshing dish made with fresh raw fish, lime juice, and chili peppers.
Another dish to try is causa, which is a potato-based dish that is filled with a variety of ingredients such as chicken, seafood, or vegetables.
Some popular culinary Destinations in Lima, Peru
|Central||A restaurant that is widely regarded as one of the best in the world. The menu is inspired by the different altitudes and ecosystems of Peru, and features unique and creative dishes like cactus ceviche and Amazonian piranha.|
|La Mar||A restaurant that specializes in ceviche, a traditional Peruvian dish made with raw fish that is marinated in citrus juice. La Mar offers a wide variety of ceviche dishes, as well as other seafood dishes like grilled octopus and seafood paella.|
|Maido||A restaurant that serves Nikkei cuisine, which is a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian flavors. The chef, Mitsuharu Tsumura, has been awarded two Michelin stars for his innovative and delicious dishes.|
|Mercado de Surquillo||A large market where you can find a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats. It’s a great place to try traditional Peruvian dishes like anticuchos (grilled beef heart) and chicha morada (a sweet drink made from purple corn).|
|Panchita||A restaurant that specializes in traditional Peruvian cuisine. They offer a wide variety of dishes, including lomo saltado (stir-fried beef), ají de gallina (a chicken dish with a spicy sauce), and many types of ceviche.|
|Huaca Pucllana||A restaurant that is located next to the Huaca Pucllana archaeological site. They offer a set menu that features traditional Peruvian dishes like causa (a potato dish), rocoto relleno (stuffed peppers), and various types of meat and seafood.|
|Astrid y Gastón||A restaurant that is owned by Gastón Acurio, one of Peru’s most famous chefs. The menu features modern Peruvian cuisine and is inspired by traditional dishes from all over the country.|
|La Lucha Sanguchería||A casual restaurant that specializes in sandwiches, which are called sanguches in Peru. They offer a variety of sandwiches made with fresh and high-quality ingredients, including chicharrón (pork belly), grilled chicken, and Peruvian-style roast beef.|
Istanbul, Turkey: Experience the Rich and Spicy Flavors of Turkish Cuisine
Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, is a melting pot of cultures, and its culinary scene reflects its diversity.
Turkish cuisine is known for its rich and spicy flavors, and Istanbul is the perfect place to try out some of the best dishes.
One of the must-try dishes is the kebab, which is made with succulent pieces of meat that are grilled to perfection.
Another dish to try is the Turkish breakfast, which includes a variety of savory and sweet dishes such as menemen, simit, and kaymak.
Some popular culinary Destinations in Istanbul, Turkey
|Ciya Sofrası||A restaurant that specializes in traditional Turkish cuisine. The menu features a wide variety of meze (small dishes), kebabs, and other Turkish specialties like manti (Turkish dumplings).|
|Nusr-Et Steakhouse||A restaurant that is known for its high-quality steaks and impressive meat-cutting techniques. The owner, Nusret Gökçe, has become famous on social media for his dramatic salt-sprinkling technique.|
|Karaköy Güllüoğlu||A bakery that is famous for its baklava, a sweet pastry that is made with layers of phyllo dough, honey, and pistachios. They offer many different varieties of baklava, as well as other Turkish sweets like künefe and şöbiyet.|
|Köfteci Arnavut||A restaurant that specializes in köfte, which are Turkish meatballs. They offer a variety of köfte dishes, as well as other Turkish specialties like pide (Turkish pizza) and mantı (Turkish dumplings).|
|Sultanahmet Köftecisi||A restaurant that is located near the famous Blue Mosque in Istanbul. They are known for their delicious köfte and other traditional Turkish dishes like piyaz (a white bean salad) and Turkish rice pudding.|
|Balıkçı Sabahattin||A seafood restaurant that has been open since 1953. They offer a wide variety of fresh fish dishes, as well as meze and other Turkish specialties. The restaurant is decorated with traditional Turkish art and has a cozy and welcoming atmosphere.|
|Antiochia||A restaurant that specializes in cuisine from the Antioch region, which is located in southern Turkey. The menu features dishes like lahmacun (a type of Turkish pizza), kebabs, and grilled fish. They also offer a variety of vegetarian options.|
|Hafız Mustafa||A dessert shop that is famous for its Turkish Delight, a sweet treat that is made with sugar, cornstarch, and various flavors like rosewater and pistachio. They also offer many other types of Turkish sweets, as well as coffee and tea.|
Marrakech, Morocco: Indulge in the Aromatic Spices of Moroccan Cuisine
Marrakech, the fourth-largest city in Morocco, is known for its bustling souks and vibrant food scene.
Moroccan cuisine is known for its aromatic spices, and the best place to experience it is in Marrakech.
The must-try dish is tagine, a slow-cooked stew that is made with meat, vegetables, and aromatic spices.
Another dish to try is couscous, a North African dish made with semolina and served with a variety of toppings such as meat, vegetables, or chickpeas.
Some popular culinary Destinations in Marrakech, Morocco
|Jemaa el-Fnaa||A large public square in the heart of Marrakech that is known for its street food. Vendors sell a wide variety of dishes, including grilled meats, tagines, and pastries.|
|Le Jardin||A restaurant that is located in a beautiful garden setting. The menu features Moroccan and international cuisine, with dishes like harira (a traditional soup), tajine, and grilled meats. They also offer a variety of vegetarian and vegan options.|
|La Mamounia||A luxury hotel that is known for its high-end dining options. They have several restaurants on site, including Le Marocain (which serves traditional Moroccan cuisine), Le Français (which serves French cuisine), and the Italian Restaurant (which serves Italian cuisine).|
|Nomad||A restaurant that is located in the Medina (old city) of Marrakech. The menu features Moroccan and international cuisine, with dishes like couscous, tajines, and salads. They have a rooftop terrace with views of the city.|
|Café des Épices||A café that is located in a busy market area of the Medina. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a menu that includes Moroccan and international dishes. They have a rooftop terrace with views of the surrounding area.|
|Al Fassia||A restaurant that is run by a group of women and specializes in traditional Moroccan cuisine. The menu features dishes like tajine, couscous, and pastilla (a savory pastry with chicken and almonds). They also offer a variety of vegetarian options.|
|Dar Moha||A restaurant that is located in a beautiful old house in the Medina. The menu features modern Moroccan cuisine, with dishes like chicken tagine with apricots and almonds, and lamb with figs and honey. They also offer a variety of vegetarian options.|
|Maison de la Photographie||A museum that is located in a restored riad (traditional Moroccan house) in the Medina. They have a café on the rooftop terrace that serves Moroccan and international dishes. The views of the city from the terrace are spectacular.|
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Experience the Vibrant Food Scene in Bangkok
Bangkok is known for its bustling street food scene and its unique blend of flavors and spices.
From the savory soups and noodles to the sweet and spicy curries, the food in Bangkok is sure to tantalize your taste buds.
Visit the famous street food markets like Chatuchak and Chinatown for a truly authentic experience.
Popular culinary destinations in Bangkok, Thailand:
|Jay Fai||A famous street food stall in the Phra Nakhon district that serves up delicious seafood dishes, including crab omelettes and tom yum soup. Jay Fai is known for her unique cooking techniques, including using charcoal fires and wearing ski goggles to protect her eyes from the heat.|
|Bo.lan||A restaurant in the Sukhumvit area that offers traditional Thai cuisine made with organic, locally sourced ingredients. Bo.lan is known for their attention to detail and their commitment to sustainable practices.|
|Or Tor Kor Market||A large indoor market in the Chatuchak area that offers a wide variety of fresh produce, seafood, and prepared foods. Visitors can sample local specialties like mango sticky rice and papaya salad, or purchase ingredients to cook their own Thai dishes.|
|Khao Soi Mae Sai||A small restaurant in the Samsen Nai area that specializes in khao soi, a Northern Thai dish made with curry noodles, chicken or beef, and crispy noodles on top. The restaurant is family-owned and has been serving up khao soi for over 30 years.|
|Thip Samai Pad Thai||A famous street food stall in the Phra Nakhon district that is known for their delicious pad Thai. Thip Samai uses a unique blend of tamarind and palm sugar in their sauce, and adds prawns, egg, and tofu to create a savory and satisfying dish.|
|Gaggan||A fine dining restaurant in the Langsuan area that offers a tasting menu of modern Indian cuisine. Gaggan has been ranked as one of the best restaurants in Asia, and is known for its innovative dishes like the “Lick it up” dessert, which is served on a spoon.|
|Pak Khlong Talat||A large flower market in the Phra Nakhon district that also offers a wide variety of fresh produce and prepared foods. Visitors can sample traditional Thai sweets, fresh fruit, and street food like grilled chicken and som tam (papaya salad).|
|Baan Ice||A small restaurant in the Saphan Khwai area that serves up traditional Thai dishes like green curry and tom yum soup, with a focus on using high-quality ingredients and making everything from scratch. The restaurant is family-owned and has a cozy, homey atmosphere.|
What are the best culinary destinations for adventurous eaters?
If you are an adventurous eater looking for unique and unusual flavors, there are plenty of destinations to explore. Try the exotic fruits and vegetables in Thailand, the grilled meats and seafood in Argentina, or the fusion cuisine in Japan. For those who are truly daring, head to the Philippines for the infamous balut, a fertilized duck egg that is boiled and eaten in the shell.
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There is no shortage of culinary destinations for food lovers to explore in the coming year.
From the classic flavors of Italy to the vibrant street food scene in Bangkok, the food in these destinations is sure to delight and inspire.
Whether you are an adventurous eater or just love good food, these destinations offer a variety of flavors and cuisines to satisfy any palate. So pack your bags and get ready to embark.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some of the best culinary destinations to visit in Europe?
Europe is home to a wide range of amazing culinary destinations. Some popular options include Paris, France for its incredible pastries, pasta and pizza in Italy, tapas in Spain, and schnitzel and beer in Germany. Each country offers a unique cuisine, so it’s worth doing some research to find the perfect destination for your culinary adventure.
Where can I find the best street food in Southeast Asia?
If you’re a foodie traveling to Southeast Asia, you won’t want to miss the street food scene. Some of the best places to find delicious, authentic street food include Bangkok, Thailand, where you can try pad Thai and spicy papaya salad, or Hanoi, Vietnam, where you can enjoy fresh pho and banh mi sandwiches. Other great options include Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
What are some hidden culinary gems in the United States?
While many cities in the United States are well-known for their culinary offerings, there are also plenty of hidden gems to explore. For example, you might check out Portland, Oregon for its farm-to-table cuisine, Charleston, South Carolina for its low country cuisine and fresh seafood, or New Orleans, Louisiana for its Creole and Cajun dishes. The best way to find hidden culinary gems is to do some research and ask locals for recommendations.
What are some up-and-coming culinary destinations to watch in the coming year?
While there are always new and exciting culinary destinations popping up, some areas to watch in the coming year include Mexico City, Mexico for its vibrant street food scene and high-end restaurants, Tel Aviv, Israel for its mix of traditional and modern cuisine, and Lisbon, Portugal for its fresh seafood and vibrant wine culture. As with any destination, it’s important to do some research ahead of time to find the best places to eat and drink.