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FOOD AND THE CITY

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FOOD AND THE CITY

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These are the food capitals of the world. These are the cities that set the trends others follow. Here you will find the best restaurants, the most exciting street food and the most inspiring food entrepreneurs working today.

TEXT: BABETTE RIJKHOFF, MAAIKE DE REUVER | DESIGN: XIAO-ER KONG

Phenomenal London curry
Visit London’s video campaign ‘The London Story’ has locals tell their own story of what makes London their city. Among them is celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey, who says: ‘Whenever we are returning from a long trip, the first thing we do is go out for a great curry on Brick Lane which is phenomenal. I’ve been to India but I find curries in Brick Lane better – you can’t beat a good London curry.’

Portland, Oregon has taken the food world by storm. Ten years ago, nobody could have predicted that Portland would grow into one of the world’s best food cities, but not mentioning it now would be a gross injustice. Portland is hot, crazy, and weird, and that’s exactly why it’s awesome.

The Washington Post recently labeled Portland as America’s best food city. The city started the ‘Travel Portland’ initiative to promote itself among both locals and tourists, but with over 600 food carts, 60 breweries, a host of food and drink events, and a vast expanse of fertile farmland nearby, the city barely needs it.

City of hawkers
Hawkers have been a staple of Singapore street scene since the fifties. The vendors selling affordable food to passersby have become the stuff of legend. In an attempt to establish some order out of the chaos Singapore opened the first indoor food hall in 1971, and the Yung Sheng Food Center was but the first of many. 

Nowadays the city numbers over 120 halls with a combined total of over twenty thousand stalls. That the affordability and ease of street food does not impact quality is evident in Chan Hon Meng. He was one of the very first stall owners to snatch up a Michelin star for his soy sauce chicken and noodles.

Singapore is without a doubt the number one street food city in the world. The food halls that are taking the world seemingly by storm all have their roots in Singapore. Locals often say there are two things to do in Singapore: shop and eat. Food is on quite literally every corner of this Asian city.

The spirit of collaboration
The city’s secret? In Portland, capitalist competition takes a backseat to realizing a better quality of life. Food is something you share with each other in harmony, and Portland tries to live that. Munchies recently said it best: “In Portland food culture is not just something that you go out and do on Saturdays. It is just what people do here.”

The British capital is the birthplace of many culinary ideas. No other city in the world manages to maintain such an eclectic mix of traditional and trendy innovation in its food space. From molecular gastronomy to a market as old as time, from some of the world’s top chefs to single dish holes in the wall. Be it pop up, sit down, or multisensory, London has it all.

Visit London has taken home Europe’s Leading City Tourist Board award two years running, and it’s not hard to see why. Last year over 19 million people visited the city, making it one of the world’s most visited cities.

TEXT: BABETTE RIJKHOFF, MAAIKE DE REUVER | DESIGN: XIAO-ER KONG

These are the food capitals of the world. These are the cities that set the trends others follow. Here you will find the best restaurants, the most exciting street food and the most inspiring food entrepreneurs working today.

Whether you’re after simple street food or fancy restaurants, the world’s largest Latin metropolis has you covered. The Brazilian city of Sao Paulo is home to a staggering variety of cuisines spread across more than 12,000 restaurants.

Not one to fall behind, the city’s drink offering rivals the nearly limitless food options. No matter the hour, there’s always a place to find a drink in one of Sao Paulo’s 15,000 bars. The city is a paradise for those that like to dance, with the city’s many clubs constantly vying for tourist’s attention with better design, decor, and food.

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Cherries of the Big Apple
Looking for the latest and greatest in New York City food? Check out the October edition of Food Inspiration Magazine. We highlighted the most remarkable concepts we encountered during our recent visit. The hottest trend? Vegan! More and more restaurants are doing away with meat and fish entirely, and are creating a space in which guests feel connected to what’s on their plate.

New York’s nightlife and food scene are nothing short of legendary, and the number one reason for many a visit. The city eagerly plays to its strengths, and goes to great lengths to promote and enrich its already vibrant food space.

Last year, historian Joy Santlofer’s book Food City beautifully captured four centuries of food and beverage culture in New York. From the establishment of the first Dutch brewery, to the contemporary place of food in every day New York life, the book paints a vivid picture of the role food has played – and still plays – in shaping the Big Apple.

Stay another day
The ‘Fique Mais Um Dia’ (Stay another day) project is Sao Paulo’s latest effort to lengthen the amount of time people spend in the city. Travellers attending the city for business are encouraged to spend extra time in the city, exploring the country’s cuisine and culture. An online city guide and themed tours are their weapons of choice.

Sunny city, even in winter
Barcelona is a city of summer worth visiting in winter. The city’s marketers are cleverly drawing tourists’ attention to the many hotels with luxury spas that the city is home to.

No other city has managed to collect as many Michelin stars as Tokyo, but even without those, the city would be worth your while. The Tsukiji Fish Market, which trades and serves ten million pounds of fish a day, would be enough to land it on this list by itself.

The city has twice the number of Michelin stars as Kyoto, that other great Japanese food city. With 12 three star restaurants, 54 two star restaurants, and 160 one star restaurants Tokyo is the undisputed king of the Michelin world.

Barcelona is the food lover’s paradise of Southern Europe. A casual glance anywhere in this Spanish city reveals people enjoying food and drinks everywhere. Whether they’re sitting down for an elaborate dinner, or enjoying some quick tapas, in Barcelona, food is everywhere. 

Aside from the many restaurants and tapaserias, the city is also home to one of the world’s best food markets: La Boqueria Market. Located squarely in the middle of the famous Ramblas, this massive market, which is also the largest produce market in all of Spain, is considered a temple of Spanish gastronomy. CNN recently named it the best food market on the world. If you’re planning a visit, it’s best to go early in the morning, because the market attracts over 40,000 visitors daily.

Culinary refinement
What is it that makes Japan in general, and Tokyo specifically, so widely praised for its culinary achievements? Likely it is at least partly due to the Japanese discipline, fastidiousness, and attention to both quality and detail. Everything is carefully considered. For example: In order to ensure the highest quality fruit and vegetables, restaurants frequently hire ‘vegetable sommeliers’. Japan has its own Vegetable and Fruit Meister Association, which recognizes some 13,500 certified vegetable sommeliers.

Overview magazines

Food Inspiration Magazine is the online magazine for foodservice professionals in search of inspiration and innovation. With the magazine we collect, enrich and spread inspiration. The free subscription magazine is published eight times per year and is an abundant source of inspiration for food and hospitality professionals. Our readers can be found in the U.S., Northern Europe, Latin America and Asia.
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