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Food & Wine Magazine Top Ten Restaurant Cities in the World - Vancouver makes list

Rah rah. http://www.foodandwine.com/golist-top...

That's great news. It's nice to see some validation from a magazine like F&W.

* 1. Tokyo
* 2. Paris
* 3. New York City
* 4. London
* 5. Barcelona
* 6. Sydney
* 7. Madrid
* 8. Chicago
* 9. Stockholm
* 10. Vancouver, Canada

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  1. we do tend do well on lists, world'd most livable city etc.., nice to see legendary noodle make the list of best value restaurants

    2 Replies
    1. re: vandan

      >> nice to see legendary noodle make the list of best value restaurants

      Whoa. I missed that.

      1. re: fmed

        Except they mentioned the west end one , the Main Street location is much better

    2. Yes....we do make the lists.....Bay Area (SF) didn't but we did....kind of wonder who is doing these....

      16 Replies
      1. re: Pollo

        I'm not sure what the criteria are, certainly SF deserves to be on there. (I've been to Stockholm, I don't know if it belongs). Tokyo deserves to be in top spot. I would put Barcelona over London.

        1. re: fmed

          Barcelona over London - why? You have to consider points like diversity of cuisine - high end and low end eateries. With the excpetion of NYC, i can't think of another city as dynamic and as varied as London. As much as I love Paris, I don't think the food is as varied or inventive as London.

          1. re: Nii

            I love London, don't get mre wrong. I have found the restaurant scene in Barcelona, while not as varied, more accessible to the way I like to dine (small-plates, tapas, etc.)

            You may be right about London over Paris.

            1. re: fmed

              Never been to Barcelona but San Sebastian has the best food I ever had in Spain

              1. re: knight

                You're right about San Sebastian - some of the best chefs in Spain are there. But sunny Barcelona is just so beautiful, and its mix of old & new restaurants just simply take one's breath away. And the cuisine offered is not just Catalonian, but from every region, including Basque.

        2. re: Pollo

          That was my first reaction too, but i tamed my incredulity with the knowledge that lists, even compiled ones, are very subjective. The definition of "restaurant city" will vary from person to person as well. For example, ethnic diversity is something i consider to be one of the key factors in a restaurant city. By the inclusion of Paris, and exclusion of Los Angeles or the Bay Area, i gather the panelists don't agree with me.

          1. re: yen

            There is clearly more to the lists than just diversity, numbers, and quality. They may have factored in density.

            The one thing about Vancouver that is a different from LA and even SF is the restaurant density downtown. Vancouver's downtown residential density is the highest in North America (by the most current stats) and contributes a lot to the lively restaurant scene.

            Is it in the top 10? It's really irrelevant if the restaurants are delivering the goods.

            (edit: Vancouver is pretty ethnically diverse, in comparison to the cities listed...Stockholm? Not so much. And...on that 10-list, Vancouver is arguably the most inexpensive city to dine.)

            1. re: fmed

              Oh, i wasnt arguing with the inclusion of Vancouver, though for quality, i personally wouldnt rate it as high as many of the other international cities on the list. Thus #10 is a fine placing. Sorry for that misconception. It was more a comment about the exclusion of certain cities... LA and Bay have two very good food scenes, and i was surprised at their exclusion. To a lesser extent, Shanghai as well.

              I havent been to Stockholm, so i can't comment on it. But Tokyo definitely deserves top spot, with NYC a close second imo. I would shove Paris off the list, and if what you say is true, Stockholm as well :)

              And you're right, there are probably a lot of factors involved. My original point was only to say take lists with a grain of salt - because who knows what factors played a role in compiling a list, and how they could be very different than our own perceptions for what makes up a "restaurant city".

              1. re: yen

                No worries yen. I had no issues with your post. I'm just blathering on as usual.

                (edit...I see this was moved to the Food Media and News Board)

                1. re: yen

                  Paris should be number ! by far , but SF should also be on the list

                2. re: fmed

                  Vancouver has a tiny d-town if compared to SF or LA...v. tiny so density is not the stat to go by plus it's still much cheaper than LA/SF...

                  1. re: Pollo

                    >> Vancouver has a tiny d-town if compared to SF or LA...v. tiny so density is not the stat to go by plus it's still much cheaper than LA/SF...

                    Vancouver does have a smaller DT core...but it has a large residential population right downtown which is fairly unusual. In fact this mix is so unusual, that urban planners globally have coined the term "Vancouverism" to describe this style of urbanism and many are using it as a model to evolve their own cities (eg San Diego, Dallas, Dubai).

                    This mix of "liveable" residential and commercial space downtown is providing a sort of critical mass...which is then providing fertile ground for the restaurant business right downtown.

                    1. re: fmed

                      New York's had that for a hundred years. I couldn't imagine living somewhere which isn't "this style of urbanism". :)

                      1. re: LNG212

                        >> New York's had that for a hundred years. I couldn't imagine living somewhere which isn't "this style of urbanism". :)

                        Yes...they actually call this "Manhattanism" or something like that. Vancouver and Manhattan are mentioned frequently in city planning conferences and such. They are similar, but different.

                        Don't take it for granted....Manhattan or Vancouver downtown is very different from most downtowns is North America.

                        1. re: fmed

                          I thought a lot of older cities (I'm thinking Boston, Chicago) were like that too?? It was necessary because they were built before the car-culture. I guess alot of newer post-car-culture cities are beginning to realize the benefits of the "older" way?

                          1. re: LNG212

                            >> I guess alot of newer post-car-culture cities are beginning to realize the benefits of the "older" way?

                            I think you are spot on. "Live where you work".

                            We still have sprawl problems just like most cities (especially Western NA cities).

            2. One gripe: why does it have to be "Vancouver, Canada?"

              It should just be "Vancouver!" I mean, what, is number six Sydney, Nova Scotia? I think not! ARG! Isn't there a Paris in Texas? And a Madrid somewhere in the Midwest USA? I'm crying a little inside.

              5 Replies
              1. re: miss_bennet

                Well, we wouldnt want the people in Vancouver Washington to get super excited now would we? :)

                1. re: yen

                  Is it unreasonable to presume the magazine's readership has a clue? Apparently the editors think so.

                  1. re: miss_bennet

                    Tongue in cheek mb... i was only joking around.

                2. re: miss_bennet

                  >> It should just be "Vancouver!" I mean, what, is number six Sydney, Nova Scotia? I think not! ARG! Isn't there a Paris in Texas? And a Madrid somewhere in the Midwest USA? I'm crying a little inside.

                  LOL! I hear the food in London Ontario is world class (just kidding London Ontarians).

                  1. re: miss_bennet

                    Cape Bretoners may not have the most "sophisticated" or adventurous palates, but they've got a lot of tea and oat cakes to bribe the judges ;)

                  2. Hey, I could not *believe* Berlin wasn't on there. Stockholm? But not Berlin? C'mon. Clearly, there's a lot of work ahead for me to promote the culinary treasures and pleasures my city holds. Ridiculous!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: linguafood

                      Berlin is a great city, but i find it still has some work to do yet before it qualifies as a truly great food city. I don't doubt they will get there one day - i had some excellent meals there in January, but it doesnt deserve a top 10 ranking yet - imo.

                      1. re: yen

                        You know what, you're probably right... sometimes my Berliner pride makes me say silly things. Which restos did you visit when you were there, and how did you like them?

                        1. re: linguafood

                          Other than various doner kebab and wurst vendors? :) I think the most memorable were Monsieur Vuongs, Facil, and 44. I had a bunch of other average meals that were necessitated on "hungry, eat now" - a pub near the Pergamon, Chinese restaurant that i ate at when i couldnt find the sushi restaurant i was looking for, pizza, etc... Overall, the food was good, but the city, nightlife, and vibrancy were all top notch. I loved Berlin - i look forward to seeing how it changes over the next few years.

                    2. i think it is a decent list, the glaring omission in my opinion is Hong Kong.

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: swsidejim

                        Mybe they got the two mixed-up?....just kidding......

                        1. re: swsidejim

                          >>i think it is a decent list, the glaring omission in my opinion is Hong Kong.

                          Oh yeah...that's a huge omission.

                          1. re: fmed

                            in my humble opinion I think either Stockholm, or Sydney could be replaced by Hong Kong on this list.

                            1. re: swsidejim

                              Not having been to Hong Kong, I can't say whether you are right or not, but I would say that in my fair amount of travelling, Stockholm and Sydney are the two cities I most remember the food in. Spent two weeks in each, and didn't have a bad meal in either (doesn't mean they don't exist, I was just lucky) and some of the best meals I have ever had were in those cities.

                              1. re: Dan G

                                I too like the restaurant culture in Stockholm (one of my favorite cities...if not my favorite city to visit.) I'm not sure if it eclipses some of those other cities (esp HK). And it was downright expensive to eat out.

                                Sydney too was fabulous.

                                1. re: fmed

                                  Yes, Stockholm is expensive. First, and only, time I spent more than $500 Cdn on a meal was in Stockholm. Can't remember name of the place...but it was worth it!

                                  Gothenburg is pretty good too...maybe better for mid-range places.

                            2. re: fmed

                              I have been to Chicago, Sydney and Vancouver and my humble opinion is that Hong Kong's cuisine standard is way way ahead of those three cities.

                              1. re: FourSeasons

                                I'm from Vancouver and I agree with you about Vancouver vs HK.

                                1. re: fmed

                                  I rate Vancouver ahead of Chicago and Sydney.

                          2. Here's my question. Do people get paid to research this? And if so, how do we get their jobs?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: miss_bennet

                              I can answer this - I have done "Tokyo" for the last three years now. We are paid a flat fee for contributing. So, as you can imagine, in an expensive city like Tokyo, you may end up breaking even, or possibly losing money.

                              But, who really cares about money when your assignment is to find the best restaurants in the city. It is loads of fun, trying to find new hot spots, classic restaurants, great eats near tourist sites, etc. It is hands down my favorite writing assignment each year. And I am lucky to have a great editor to work with.

                              How did I get the job? They found me! And yes, Tokyo deserves to be ichiban.


                              Here is a photo of the 2002 Iron Chef winner, and chef of Nihonbashi Yukari, Kimio Nonaga. This is one of the restaurants in the "Go List" for Tokyo.

                            2. I don't understand why Venice is not included as well. It is certainly a top culinary city to me.

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: FourSeasons

                                I disagree. To me, Venice's food scene has declined as the ratio of visitors to locals increases. Rome and Naples are the two greatest cities in Italy to eat in.

                                1. re: farmersdaughter

                                  I don't know when you meant the decline started but my last visit to Venice was 12 years ago for a 5 days stay, and I recall totally enjoyed the seafood that was available there. We went to the neighborhood wet market everyday, simply strolled around and settled for really good Venetian meals nearby rather than the famous overpriced San Marco Square area. Rome, on the other hand, was a major disappointment in terms of cuisine standard after the Venice trip. I would rate Milan ahead of Rome. Never had the chance to visit Naples.

                                  1. re: FourSeasons

                                    My last trip to Venice was just last year. We go to Italy often on vacation and lived there for five months during a work sabbatical a couple years ago. I speak Italian and I am extremely familiar with the food of the different cities and regions. I agree with you that Venice does have great seafood, and it is possible to eat well in Venice (as it is in any city in Italy if you're willing to get outside the tourist areas and menus with 5 languages). But my point is that it is *harder* to eat well on a consistent basis in Venice than in other Italian cities. That's why I say Venice is not the best Italian city in which to eat well. Venice is just too touristy (a victim of its own success) and there just aren't enough full time residents there to support the number of restaurants you would find in other Italian cities. The population of Venice continues to contract, from what I understand, partially because the city itself doesn't really have any significant revenue source other than tourism and does not have room to grow. The percentage of restaurants serving just adequate food is much higher in Venice than in other Italian cities. Similarly the area in Rome near the Spanish steps and Trevi fountain and the Via Veneto contains a lot of touristy clunkers; however, it is easier to find a great meal in an unassuming trattoria in Rome than it is in Venice (or Milan, or Florence, for that matter).

                                    1. re: farmersdaughter

                                      Well, you maybe right as you are the frequent traveler to Italy. I am just not able to confirm through my own experience. My Rome experience was just pale in comparison even though it was led by a local Italian client. Maybe it is due to my personal preference of seafood to meat. But in this tiny restaurant beside the wet seafood market that is a distance from San Marco Square, the owner chef cooked different varieties of freshly delivered seafood+pasta to us for 3 consecutive days, and we just clearly enjoyed so much that the experience is still in my mind after a decade. But you may be right, I may be just lucky enough to try this great restaurant that may not truly reflect the overall culinary standard of the city (my experience with the world famous super expensive places at San Marco Square was rather mediocre). Or maybe the standard has declined over the last one decade due to tourism, like you wrote.

                                      But back to the main point, I still find it difficult to believe that the top 10 list does not include any Italian city.

                                      1. re: FourSeasons

                                        Yes. More evidence that we must take this list (and similar lists) with the grain of salt. (No Singapore, San Sebastian, Rome, Mexico City, etc etc)

                                        1. re: FourSeasons

                                          I agree, definitely the list is flawed (or maybe we just don't understand the criteria). But I think the best food I've had in Italy isn't in any city, but in small towns and villages outside the cities. The most memorable meal I had was in 2003 in a seaside town in Puglia with a multicourse seafood dinner that I think you would love! And this is a small resort town which doesn't see a lot of tourists, but all of the locals were well aware. And we've had some of the best dining while we were driving through Piedmont on an eating trip a year and a half ago, but none of those great meals were in any city of any size.

                                2. I'm happy that Vancouver, which has often gotten overlooked is getting its due. Sincerely!

                                  But I'm so annoyed that as usual Philadelphia, because of it's proximity to NYC, is once again ignored. We have Vetri, we have Perrier. We have several Beard nominees. We have one Food & Wine best chef. Philly also has both Eric Ripert opening up his eaterie next month and Joël Robuchon coming thereafter. And all that isn't it, it's the tip of the iceberg.

                                  I so hate that NYC elitism over Philly. The only thing that makes me happy is the snobby New Yorkers are missing out on the great eating here.

                                  1. IMO, any top ten list that omits Hong Kong should not be taken seriously! If Hong Kong isn't one of THE BEST CITY, then why is Michelin coming out with a HK guide?
                                    Also, San Francisco has much better food than Chicago, Stockholm or even Vancouver.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Charles Yu

                                      I agree, and no one has mentioned the other glaring omission: Singapore. I've never been there, but I've heard nothing but what a great food city it is. Two cities in Spain make the list, but only one city in all of Asia? Ridiculous!

                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                        Food & Wine magazine is an American based magazine written by editors who are familiar with western food but know nothing much about Asian food. The reason why Tokyo is even included is due to the publication of Michelin Guide last year that recognized Tokyo as a heaven for foodies. Without that Guide, Tokyo would not have been included as well. Not only is it ridiculous not to mention Hong Kong or even Singapore, but cuisine cities like Kyoto, Sapporo, Bangkok, Shanghai are all ignored too.

                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                          Thanks for your vote of confidence in Singapore, Ruth. I agree that we are quite well-known for our food culture here but, IMHO, I don't think we'd make the list of top 10, or even top 25 food cities in the world.

                                          Firstly, the service culture here (what service culture?!) leaves a lot to be desired. Then, the fact that in Singapore, 99% of our raw ingredients are imported in chilled/frozen forms from elsewhere. We don't have our own local food sources or specialized farmers/producers.

                                          I spend 70% of my time back home in Singapore, and 30% on business in San Francisco. I was just amazed that San Francisco (or Los Angeles) didn't make the list!