European foodie capitals

Published by: BouncePosted

Taking a vacation is an excellent idea for a variety of different reasons. However, whether you choose to simply relax on the beaches of Barcelona, or explore the cultural attractions of Paris, your trip could be influenced by your dining experience.

Food and travel are one of the world’s greatest pairings. While some follow their hearts when traveling, others follow their taste buds. But which European destinations should foodie travelers be adding to their travel menus? And, which destinations are the most accommodating for alternative dietary requirements?

Luckily for those that are keen to explore the culinary world, this report reveals Europe’s best cities for culinary connoisseurs. As part of this report, European cities have been analyzed on a plethora of factors, from restaurant choices and Michelin stars to social media foodie posts.

1. Paris, France | Foodie Score: 9.31/10
The number one foodie city in our ranking is Paris scoring 9.31 out of 10, and perhaps it comes as no surprise that the capital of a country world-renowned for its cuisine takes the top spot.

Paris scores highly across the board, particularly for its popularity on social media with more than 665,000 food-related Instagram posts and 386 million TikTok views. The city also scores well for its number of Michelin-starred restaurants (118), including L'Ambroisie which serves up exquisite traditional French cuisine.

2. Madrid, Spain | Foodie Score: 8.35/10
The Spanish capital, Madrid, takes second place, earning a foodie score of 8.35 out of 10. Madrid is one of the most exciting culinary capitals thanks to its rich food culture. From traditional taverns to fine dining, you’ll be sure to find gastronomic delights to satisfy any budget.

The city scores favorably due to its number of Michelin-starred restaurants (162), taking the top spot overall for this factor. The city also has one of the lowest proportions of restaurants to fast food outlets (4.62%).

3. Barcelona, Spain | Foodie Score: 8.07/10
The second Spanish city on our list and the capital of Catalan cuisine takes third place. Thanks to the global explosion in the popularity of Catalan cooking in the early 2000’s Barcelona quickly established its reputation as a foodie capital.

The city scores an impressive 8.07/10 overall, with 714 eateries per 100,000 people, 24 Michelin-starred restaurants, and over 45 million TikTok views for Barcelona foodie-related videos.

The European cities with…

The European city with the most eateries - Lisbon (1,089 per 100,000 people)

The Portuguese capital is the best city for its number of eateries relative to the population, boasting more than 1,000 per 100,000 people. Lisbon is famous for its seafood, throwing a festival every year which traditionally serves fresh sardines, often accompanied by lashings of wine. 

The European city with the fewest fast food outlets - Lisbon (3.82%)              

When traveling to a foreign city a key indicator of how much pride a city takes in its cuisine, both traditional and modern, is the proportion of fast food restaurants on its streets. Citizens of Lisbon take the most pride in their culinary culture, as the city tops the list for the lowest proportion of fast-food outlets relative to its restaurants, with only 3.82% serving fast food.

The European city with the most Michelin-starred restaurants - Madrid (162 restaurants)

The Spanish capital takes the top spot as the best city for fine dining, home to 162 Michelin-starred restaurants. Madrid plays host to some of the most exciting and creative restaurants on the continent, including the three-starred DiverXO for cutting-edge gastronomy, and Paco Roncero which serves traditional Spanish dishes with a modern twist.

The European city with the most photogenic dishes - London (2.6 million Instagram posts)

Food photos are everywhere on social media. Take a brief scroll through your Instagram feed and chances are you’ll spot a food photo, as the hashtag ‘#food’ is used on an average of 250 million posts each month. With this in mind, the English capital leads the way when it comes to photogenic food, with over 2.6 million posts dedicated to the cuisine that London has to offer.

The European city with the most viewed dishes - London (648.1 million TikTok views)

Over the last few years, TikTok has been one of the fastest-growing social media platforms around, and it’s no doubt that TikTok has also become a second home for food-related content. London ranks top for its food-related TikTok content with over 648 million views. The city boasts a variety of dishes, from traditional English classics to more adventurous cuisine inspired by dishes from all over the world.

The cities with the most accommodating eateries

Whether you’re a strict vegan, occasional vegetarian, or require gluten-free choices, your dietary requirements shouldn’t limit your ability to eat out, and restaurants all over the continent are slowly rising to meet this demand. But which European cities are the most accommodating for dietary requirements in 2023?


The European cities with…

The European city with the most vegetarian eateries - Brussels (526 per 100,000 people)

Vegetarian menus are becoming more popular than ever thanks to the growing concern about the environmental and health impacts of eating meat. With this in mind, Brussels is Europe’s leading vegetarian-friendly city, with 526 vegetarian eateries per 100,000 people.

The European city with the most vegan eateries - Brussels (209 per 100,000 people)

A vegan diet excludes all animal meats and animal by-products, such as eggs or dairy. The plant-based food sector has been experiencing monumental growth recently, with higher quality, and greater meat alternatives on offer. A number of eateries across Europe are starting to take advantage of this, however, it is Belgium’s capital, Brussels, that is the most vegan-friendly city on the list, with 209 accommodating restaurants per 100,000 people.

The European city with the most gluten-free eateries - Florence (164 per 100,000)

When you’re on vacation it’s reassuring to know that any dietary requirements you possess can be fully taken care of, giving you more time to relax and explore what the city has to offer. When it comes to gluten-free menus, Florence is the most accommodating city, with over 160 celiac-friendly restaurants per 100,000 of its residents. A gluten-free diet excludes any foods that contain gluten, a protein found in wheat, and several other grains.


Methodology

We analyzed the most visited European cities according to Euromonitor on the following factors.

The number of eateries: The total number of cafes, restaurants, and fast food outlets in each city was taken from Tripadvisor (per 100,000 of the population). Population figures for each city were taken from City Population.
The proportion of fast-food outlets to restaurants: Using Tripadvisor figures, the total number of fast-food outlets was divided by the total number of restaurants in each city to reveal the cities with the greatest proportion of fast-food outlets to restaurants.
The number of Michelin-starred restaurants: The total number of restaurants with Michelin stars in each city was taken from The Michelin Guide. 
The most photogenic dishes: The total number of Instagram posts using the hashtag #[city]food. 
The most viewed dishes: The total number of TikTok views for posts using the hashtag #[city]food. 
The most vegetarian eateries: The total number of restaurants, with vegetarian-inclusive menus, in each city, was taken from Tripadvisor.
The most vegan eateries: The total number of restaurants, with vegan-inclusive menus, in each city, was taken from Tripadvisor.
The most gluten-free eateries: The total number of restaurants, with gluten-free inclusive menus, in each city, was taken from Tripadvisor.

Each city was given a normalized score out of ten for each of the factors, before taking an average across each of these scores to reach our final foodie score.

All data is correct as of 16/12/2022.

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