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The best food cities in the world were rated and Montreal prevailed against some heavyweights

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As Montrealers, you don't need us to tell you that our city is among the best in the world when it comes to food. From fine French cuisine to bagels, smoked meats and poutine, our taste buds remind us daily how spoiled we are. Plus, our own Vin Mon Lapin just topped the charts as Canada's best restaurant for the second year in a row.

But now our status as a world-class foodie city is official… er, official. Montreal has been named one of the “20 best cities in the world for foodies right now” by Time Out magazine.

Grace Beard, a writer for Time Out magazine, says the rankings were created by surveying thousands of locals about their city's “must-visit restaurants, must-try dishes and best value bites.” People were also asked to rate their city's food scene in terms of quality and affordability. Time Out then narrowed the list down to the cities with the highest scores.

This was followed by consultations with a global network of Time Out editors and writers specialising in food and travel, who “provided insight into what makes their city an exciting destination for foodies in 2024” and featured their favourite restaurants. Time Out Market chefs were also asked to nominate culinary capitals.

Montreal came in at number 18 out of 20, edging out Osaka, Japan (19th) and Copenhagen, Denmark (20th) – both cities highly regarded for their cuisine. Osaka is known as “the kitchen of Japan,” while Copenhagen is home to the three-Michelin-starred Noma, which has been named the best restaurant in the world several times.

“When the only Canadian restaurant to make the list of the 50 hottest global restaurant openings for 2024 is in Montreal, and the city's classic eateries are improving their culinary performance despite staff shortages and rising costs, you know you're in the right place to eat to your heart's content,” Laura Osborne, editor of Time Out Canada, is quoted as saying by Time Out.

“And with forward-thinking chefs like Derek Dammann and Liam Hopkins involved in one of the most exciting restaurant openings Montreal has ever seen (hello, Île de France), now is the time to get started.”

While Time Out declares poutine our city's “must-try dish,” a quick write-up about Montreal also makes it clear that it's not just our most famous dishes that make us a premier foodie destination.

“As one of the cities with the highest restaurant density in North America, Montreal offers cuisines from almost every continent. One in four Montrealers comes from outside the country and this convergence of cultures has left an indelible mark on the city's dining scene,” it says.

Which cities were highlighted by Time Out as being even better than Montreal for food? The top three were Naples (Italy), Johannesburg (South Africa) and Lima (Peru).

Here is the full list:

  1. Naples, Italy)
  2. Johannesburg, South Africa)
  3. (Lima, Peru)
  4. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)
  5. Beijing, China)
  6. Bangkok, Thailand)
  7. Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
  8. Mumbai, India)
  9. Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
  10. Portland, Oregon (United States of America)
  11. Liverpool (England)
  12. Medellin (Colombia)
  13. Seville (Spain)
  14. Porto (Portugal)
  15. Marrakech (Morocco)
  16. Lyons (France)
  17. Sydney, Australia)
  18. Montreal, Quebec (Canada)
  19. Tokyo (Japan)
  20. Copenhagen, Denmark)

The chef’s three other recommendations were:

  1. Los Angeles, California (USA)
  2. Seoul, South Korea)
  3. Madrid, Spain)
For more details on why each city was chosen, as well as each place’s “must-try dishes,” visit Time Out Magazine’s website.

The cover image of this article was used for illustration purposes only.