The best restaurant city in the world has no Eiffel Tower. Photo of Tokyo by Yoichiro Nishimura | SXC.
|Zut alors! By a huge margin, Guide Michelin, the French-owned restaurant-rating bible, has declared the finest food city in the world to be not Paris, not New York, not San Francisco…but Tokyo. Gastrotourists, get ready. It’s more than twice as long a flight, but if you want to eat the best, head east. Way east. Seven out of 10 foreign tourists in Japan say the food is the primary reason for their visit. But only a portion of the cuisine is Japanese. Michelin’s rating system is taken so seriously (and the stars are so good for business) that chefs spend their entire careers and fortunes chasing three Michelin stars. One of France’s most famous chefs, Bernard Loiseau of La Côte d’Or restaurant (in the Côte-d’Or region of Burgundy), committed suicide in 2005 following a downgrade by the Gault Millau guide and believing he was about to lose his third Michelin star (which, sadly, proved to be an erroneous supposition; the restaurant still has its three stars).|
|Tokyo has eight three-star restaurants. Five of them serve Japanese cuisine, three are French. You won’t be surprised if you watch Iron Chef, but one and two stars were bestowed on restaurants that serve Chinese, Italian, Spanish and steakhouse cuisine. The commonality with the top spots in Paris and New York is that you must reserve a month in advance and expect to pay a minimum of $200 per person. Do the math and you won’t be surprised why Tokyo has the most Michelin-starred restaurants. Michelin counted 160,000 restaurants in Tokyo (191 Michelin stars), compared with about 20,000 in Paris (98 Michelin stars) and 23,000 in New York (54 Michelin stars). Read the full story in the Washington Post.|
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