Food plays a massive part in life and is heavily ingrained in worldwide culture and customs. We are spoilt for choice when it comes to food, with over 140 different existing cuisines types worldwide.
But which cuisines are most popular globally and specifically in each city? Are specific styles of food more popular than the city’s national cuisine offering, or is the local food the cuisine that most tourists and locals hurry to?
To find out, we used data from popular online review platform to list all restaurants in each of the top 50 most visited cities in the world, alongside their cuisine, popularity rating, price range and more.
- Italian food is the most popular cuisine across the world’s top 50 most visited cities
- Pizza is the meal that dominates, beating out seafood in second and steakhouses in third
- London is named the most diverse city for food in the world with 123 different cuisines to choose from
- Venice has the most expensive restaurant prices on average
- Chinese restaurants are the most common, averaging over 10% of city restaurants globally
Italian crowned the most popular cuisine around the world
Famously known for introducing the world to pizza, beautiful pasta dishes, tiramisu, and panna cotta (among many others), it’s no wonder Italian food takes the top spot across the globe.
Italian cuisine is definitely known for its typicality and its connection to Italian culture, and you can find influences and references on Italian food as soon as you set foot in the station of Rome, Milan, Florence, and all major Italian cities.
Although it is only the most common restaurant found in 4 of the world’s 50 most visited cities, Italian cuisine is the one most of us flock to when travelling abroad. In fact, and perhaps unsurprisingly, pizza is the meal most of us seek out specifically.
Most common restaurants found worldwide
Although Italian cuisine may be the most popular, are Italian restaurants the most common?
As part of our data analysis, we wanted to discover the restaurants that feature most across the world’s top cities. To do so, using our data we were able to calculate the percentage of restaurants in each city by cuisine and food type.
Our study revealed that Chinese restaurants are in fact the most common, whilst Italian and Asian restaurants are second and third most common respectively.
The data shows that on average 10.14% of all restaurants you’ll find in each of the world’s top cities will be a Chinese restaurant. They are followed hot on the heels by Italian restaurants, which are only slightly less common.
London named the most diverse city for food
Londoner’s are the most spoiled for choice when it comes to cuisine diversity, with an impressive 123 different types of cuisine and food. Indian food is by far the most popular in London than any other, but its multicultural heritage has had a massive impact in its culinary food scene, serving a wider array than any other city in the world.
You can look for where to drop your luggage in London to enjoy one of the many cuisines in the capital.
The least diverse city for food
As part of our analysis, we also discovered which of the world’s top 50 cities offer the least choice when it comes to cuisines. Medina in Saudi Arabia came out as having the lowest number of cuisines overall, offering locals and tourists a range of 29 types of food.
Alongside Ha Long and Jaipur, Venice also features amongst the least diverse for food, offering 50 different types across its
Cities with the most expensive restaurants
Venice is the most expensive for food
We also looked at which cities had the most expensive restaurants on average by looking at the price of each restaurant and averaging it across the number of restaurants in each city.
Venice was named most expensive, with its 1,348 restaurants having higher prices on average than any other city globally. In fact, it’s a whopping 87% more than Guangzhou, which comes out as the least expensive to dine out.
But likewise, if you get hungry before you leave, think twice before grabbing a bite to eat at the station in Amsterdam Centraal, Gare du Nord, Gare de l’Est and Gare de Lyon, in Paris, or Dublin’s Connolly Station; since as good as the national cuisines are, they are particularly expensive in these cities.
Asia dominates for least expensive restaurants
When it comes to saving money, here’s a list of the top cities around the world where you’ll be able to save money when compared to the bigger spenders above.
For those of us wanting to explore global cities but also not go wild when eating out, you’ll find the least expensive restaurants spread across Asia. Guangzhou, in particular, has the lowest average price across its 7,107 restaurants.
The most popular cuisines and restaurants per city
Below is a table that showcases each of the cities in our analysis alongside the cuisines or foods that are most popular locally and the most common restaurant type by quantity.
From our data, we were able to do a total count of restaurants in each city, listed by cuisine. This was used to determine the restaurant types that are most common. We then listed this alongside the cuisines that are most popular i.e. the restaurants and associated cuisines that have generated the most reviews, the best scoring and how recently reviewed they are.
Cities whose local cuisines didn’t rank as most popular
When exploring the most popular cuisines, we noticed that a total of seven cities didn’t have their local cuisine rank as the most popular.
Here’s the list of cities alongside their local cuisines and the cuisines that have been adopted by residence and tourists alike to make them the most popular:
We used data from popular online review platforms to export the name, cuisine(s), reviews score, review quantity, popularity score and price range for all restaurants in the world’s most visited 50 cities. This was for a total of 506,714 restaurants globally.
Cuisines were used based on being national or regionally recognised, with meal types being those centred on a cooking method or specific item.
We used the Govisity list of the world’s most visited cities for our analysis.