Top Study Abroad Foodie Cities in Abroad101 Rankings


Chiang Mai, Thailand

Thai food is popular worldwide, so why not go to the source! Study abroad students rave about the cuisine in Thailand and it’s way of mixing sweet, salty, sour and bitter tastes which balance together to give that distinctive taste of Thailand.

Why you should go:  “Man oh man, Thai food is scrumptious, and it was so fun to roam the street vendors looking for food” Jaiden D, Western Washington University

What you should eat: Eat EVERYTHING. It’s amazing and so cheap. Watch out for those chilis though!

Chiang Mai is RANKED #1 in the Top Foodie Cities for 2014


Sorrento, Italy

This relaxed town on the Amalfi Coast, Italy’s “Coast with the most” is known for its fresh markets with abundant citrus fruit, wine, nut and olives. A draw for tourists and students alike, especially those interested in the hospitality field.

Why you should go:  “My appreciation for Italian food has gone through the roof.” Antonio S, University of Notre Dame

What you should eat: It’s Italy, there’s food everywhere! Where do I start?!  With so many options, the food opportunities are endless! Best I’ve ever had, go for dolce and gelato and il leone rosso

Sorrento is RANKED #2 in the Top Foodie Cities for 2014


Florence, Italy

Florence is the heart of Tuscany and Tuscan food is known to be simple and abundant with local produce, mellow cheeses and grilled meats and especially white beans as the staple. Florence is one of the most popular study abroad destinations and from the reviews, food is a big part of the attraction.

Why you should go:  “The food does not get better than Italy!” Dylan N, The University of Texas at Austin

What you should eat: The food in Italy is out of control! Is there any explanation needed? The food is AMAZING? Gusta Pizza is a must. So is the very first gelato shop you come to when you cross the Ponte Vecchio (GET PINEAPPLE GELATO–it is the best here!)

Florence is RANKED #3 in the Top Foodie Cities for 2014


Madrid, Spain

Known as a gastronomic paradise because of it’s incredible choices of food to eat and wine to drink, Spain’s capital has it all, from small portion Tapas to full course meals, a capital of amazing food!

Why you should go:  “Even as a vegetarian coming into a very meat- and fish- centered diet in Spain, I loved the food during my stay, both at home and out and about.” Savannah C, University of Iowa

What should you eat: Two words: Jamon bocadillo. And… A favorite thing is to go get tapas in town near the Plaza de Cervantes – a cold cerveca con limon and a plate of olives is one of best things about Spain.

Madrid is RANKED #4 in the Top Foodie Cities for 2014


Cordoba, Argentina:

The traditional dishes of Cordoba have been greatly influenced by Italian and Spanish cuisine, not surprising when you discover that many Argentineans are originally of European descent. Argentinian take pride in their world famous “asados” (char grilled meat), pasta and the Argentinean empanadas – who can argue?

Why you should go:  “I am a vegetarian, which may seem strange since Argentina is known for loving meat, but my host mom made great food, and there were other options when going out to eat.” Bethany K, Morningside College

What should you eat: The Empanadas are AMAZING!!

Cordoba is RANKED #5 in the Top Foodie Cities for 2014



Milan, Italy

Milan is the largest of the three of the Top 10 Foodie cities in Italy and according to student comments it’s 5 STARS every day!

Why you should go:  “Everyone knows that Italy is famous for their food and it certainly lived up to my expectations.” MacKenzie K, Bentley University

What should you eat: It’s Italy. Food is great, especially if you know where to go. In Milan definitely go for aperitivos.

Italian food is amazing! Try many different things, a favorite being gelato (anguria is a favorite flavor), and polenta.

Milan is RANKED #6 in the Top Foodie Cities for 2014


Gold Coast, Australia

Your first thought of Gold Coast is beaches and natural beauty, but all those visitors gotta eat. According to one guide, there are 965 restaurants in Gold Coast, odds are you’ll find an American student in one of them.

Why you should go:  “it was really great to try all of the classic Aussie food (fish and chips, kangaroo burgers, sausage sizzles)” Andrea T, University of Dayton

What should you eat: Brekkie is big down there, and VERY good! There is everything you could think of. Guzman y Gomez is the equivalent to Chipotle, and there are many asian restaurants. Try all of the different types of food in Australia, like kangaroo meat and vegemite, and don’t forget the Tim Tams!

Gold Coast is RANKED #7 in the Top Foodie Cities for 2014


Aix en provence, France

In the top food cities every year, Aix is a true culinary gem. Cafes once frequented by Cézanne and Hemingway are now popular hangouts for the creative study abroad students, others find hidden delights in the back street boulangeries.

Why you should go:  “French baguettes and cheese + all of the fresh foodstuffs from the market are what you dream of.” Kevin Y, Cornell University

What should you eat: Any of the sandwich shops in the city center are fantastic, but be sure to check out Mezzo di Pasta for a nice hot lunch and Nikolas for a great pita. Have fondu at “La Louge”, frog legs (delicious BTW!) at “Carrefour Cafe”, and an amazing French dinner at “Mas de la Pyramid”. Although expensive, food and cuisine in Aix tastes great, and is usually local-grown, and organic. Make sure to taste the Provençal specialties and visit the markets.

French food is heavenly. Don’t miss the macarons!

Aix en provence is RANKED #8 in the Top Foodie Cities for 2014


San Jose, Costa Rica

Local ingredients make Costa Rican cuisine so attractive and so affordable. Fresh fruit like no other place in the world: in drinks, on salads, mixed in Casado is just the beginning, a seafood paradise as well with fresh catches from the Caribbean and Pacific.

Why you should go:  “All the food was fresh and while I thought I would never want to eat beans and rice again I truly miss it.” Caitlyn T, University of Memphis

What you should eat:  San Jose has so much delicious fruit, it’s magical!  It isn’t Mexican food so don’t expect tacos, burritos, enchiladas and such everyday. Healthy in type and portions! If in San Jose, try Casa Mundo and La Musa Confusa!

San Jose is RANKED #9 in the Top Foodie Cities for 2014


Pune, India

Reflecting a shift in demographics with more students from South Asia studying abroad, Pune brings the Maharashtrian thali to the Top Foodie list for the first time – you’ll be especially surprised at the deserts!

Why you should go: “I ate with gusto, because every food was new for me, and was very yummy.” Toniann M, Georgetown University

What you should eat: Restaurants in Pune are a great way to explore the city and culture through the immense variety of dishes. Moreover, the streetfood is a necessary component to Indian cuisine as well. Don’t be afraid of trying a new dish (even if you don’t know how to pronounce it), you never know if it might become your favorite one! Food is cheap, delicious, and full of surprises. Try everything!

Pune is RANKED #9 in the Top Foodie Cities for 2014


Want to find out about the rest of the Abroad101 Rankings? Visit our RANKINGS page for Top Providers, Programs, Most Livable Cities and more . . .