Audley Travel unveils list of top culinary capitals around the globe

BOSTON, Dec. 13, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A recent analysis of Tripadvisor data by Audley Travel has revealed which capital cities around the world have the highest number of five-star rated restaurants. Topping the list is Seoul, South Korea, followed by Tokyo, London, Paris, and Bangkok. Here, Audley’s travel experts discuss what makes these destinations ideal for gourmet travelers.

“Eating and drinking are both central to South Korean culture and are among the primary ways that many South Koreans socialize,” says Rebecca Nagasaki, a South Korea country specialist. “Additionally, Seoul is a city where you can taste cuisines from across the country. I think that combination is why it topped the list.”

Almost every meal comes with banchan. Literally translated as “small dishes,” Nagasaki says they’re part condiment, part snack platter and act as an accompaniment to the main meal. Kimchi (spicy fermented cabbage) is common, but there’s a wide assortment that might be served including pickled daikon or fried anchovies. 

For the main meal, Nagasaki suggests trying panjon, a scallion pancake often served with seafood, as well as sundubu jjigae, a filling, fiery soup made with a tofu base. “Also, for the full experience, be sure to go to a chimaek, which serves fried chicken and beer, as well as a barbecue, where you can grill your own meats over a communal fire. These are really boisterous places full of laughter and K-pop as friends catch up.”

The top of the list is rounded out with Tokyo, London, Paris, and Bangkok.

“Eating out is a passion in Tokyo,” says David Peat, Japan senior product executive. “Many people have small apartments without kitchens and eat out often. Combine that with the country’s enthusiasm for food and every meal you eat in Tokyo is excellent, whether you’re in an elegant Michelin-starred restaurant or just a tiny noodle bar with only a few tables.

“You can stick to familiar dishes, like ramen and sushi, and enjoy your trip. However, I also suggest branching out a bit. Probably the best way to experience the city is to just pick a restaurant at random and order something, also at random. No matter where you go, it will be amazing.”

London’s third-place ranking comes thanks to its cosmopolitan culinary pedigree, says Beth Blakely, UK senior product executive. “In London, you can find restaurants serving cuisine from almost anywhere in the world. That said, visitors looking for classic English fare will be able to find pubs serving fish and chips and hotels that offer elegant afternoon teas.”

Paris, the gastronomic capital of Europe, and Bangkok conclude the top five, both with storied culinary scenes that showcase the countries’ different regional dishes.

The full list

  1. Seoul, South Korea – 4,926 five-star restaurants
  2. Tokyo, Japan4,597 five-star restaurants
  3. London, UK2,345 five-star restaurants
  4. Paris, France2,055 five-star restaurants
  5. Bangkok, Thailand1,798 five-star restaurants

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SOURCE Audley Travel

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