Five Food Cities to Visit in 2020

Hungry for your next culinary adventure? Scroll down for our pick of the cities sure to tickle your taste buds this year.

Tel Aviv


As veganism becomes increasingly the "mode de mange", Tel Aviv is making a strong case for being crowned as the plant-based capital of the world. With around 400 vegan-friendly restaurants speckled throughout the city, competition is high. Our top picks? Four One Six serves vegan takes on meaty local classics (such as seitan shawarma), Bana is unerringly healthy and Opa has the muted interiors of a White Cube gallery with a pared-back menu to match. Budding chefs should swing by one of the city's shuks (markets) for fresh veg before visiting Levinsky Market in Florentin to pick up spices (a bag also makes for a charming souvenir). Of course, no trip to Israel would be complete without some good, old-fashioned hummus and falafel. Abu Hassan in the Old City of Jaffa has you covered.

TO STAY: The Levee



This year's a big'un for Galway. Not only is the city the European Capital of Culture 2020, but the bounteous area that surrounds it has earned its stripes too - Galway and the West of Ireland was the official European Region of Gastronomy in 2018. Nourishment is the buzzword here. At Michelin-starred Loam, Head Chef Enda McEvoy's menu changes daily depending on local availability. The same goes at Aniar, Galway's other achingly chic Michelin-starred restaurant, where hand-weathered ceramics are used to present artfully dishevelled small plates. In the city, Kai is a go-to for less formal, but no less local fare. Real gastronomes should also drive out of town and into the rip-roaring countryside. The Fisherman's Pub at Ballynahinch Castle is a creaky, rustic bolthole with an unexpectedly elegant menu.

TO STAY: The g Hotel



"Mutt City" isn't the most flattering or ethical of nicknames, but it's affectionately used in Houston to describe the city's diverse panoply of intercultural cuisine. You want American-style cooking with Italian, Vietnamese and Mexican influences? They've got it. In fact, Houston is known as the official birthplace of "Tex-Mex" and The Original Ninfa's on Navigation professes to have first coined the term. It's a fairly flimsy claim, but you'll turn a blind eye after trying its red-snapper ceviche. The self-defined "Modern American" restaurant, Nancy's Hustle is also worth a visit. Visitors should loosen their belts before tucking into Houston's gut-busting, old-American classics. Frank's Americana Revival is famed for its chicken-fried steak while the waffle breakfast at Liberty Kitchen is more sophisticated than it sounds. Make a note of Rosie Cannonball, Politan Row and Davis Street at Hermann Park; they're on our radar as some of the most exciting new openings this year.

TO STAY: Hotel Alessandra



South of Seville, just around the corner from the rowdy crowds of the Costa del Sol, sits the harbour-side city of Cádiz. It's a food-lover's heaven, so much so that the Spanish even have a word (gaditano) for the type of glutton that falls for the city's gastronomic charms. Visitors should stop by a freiduria - linchpins of the city, where tiny little Atlantic coast snappers are deep-fried and served like chips. Such a cavalier approach is telling of a city that's blessed with oodles of seafood. El Tío de la Tiza and El Faro de Cádiz are recognised as two of the city's best restaurants. For rustic Spanish dishes visit El Jardín del Califa and Califa Tapas - the owners are also the brains behind Hotel Plaza 18 - an antique-filled merchant's house and the most stylish boutique hotel to grace the city in years.

TO STAY: Hotel Boutique Convento Cádiz



In Tbilisi it's all about cheesy, carb-y, life-affirming dishes with spicy Ottoman undercurrents. For traditional dining with a nod to modernity, visit Keto and Kote. Elarji is a slow-cooked cornmeal dish which looks like hummus but has the elasticity of a fondue - Georgians are raised on the stuff and Keto and Kote do it well. Its Baje - a walnut-y sauce seasoned with coriander - is also typical of the region. Get your fill of khachapuri (roundels of bread stuffed with cheese) at PurPur. Set on the rooftop of an old mansion, this restaurant is something of a whimsical cacophony, dressed in mismatched tablecloths and endearingly gaudy old lampshades. The Café Gallery isn't known as a foodie hotspot, but is abuzz with creatives - come for its food, stay for the crowd.

TO STAY: Rooms Hotel Tbilisi