In this article, we discuss the 15 countries with the best quality food in the world. To skip the detailed analysis of the rising culinary tourism trend, go directly to the 5 Countries With The Best Food Quality In The World.
Culinary tourism has been trending in the travel industry for over a decade since social media became mainstream. The global culinary tourism industry was valued at $804.95 billion in 2022, and Straits Research expects it to grow to $3.28 trillion by 2031, registering a compound annual growth rate of 16.9%. To put this growth into perspective, a Bloomberg report suggests that the entire travel industry is expected to be worth $15.5 trillion in 2033. According to a World Food Travel Association (WFTA) report, food is a factor that travelers financially prioritize the most. WFTA says that 53% of leisure travelers are food travelers. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) mentioned several economic and environmental benefits of gastronomy tourism in its report:
“Food experiences can also stimulate local development, because food tourism is high yield tourism that can extend the tourist season and diversify rural economies. Food experiences are labour intensive and create jobs while creating backward linkages that stimulate agriculture, and they generally do not require major new investments. Food can contribute to regional attractiveness, sustain the local environment and cultural heritage, and strengthen local identities and sense of community.”
Due to the growing trend of food tourism, the hospitality sector is also taking necessary steps to cater to gastronomical tourists. For example, Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HLT) is offering sustainable culinary vacations and providing farm-to-table experiences at its restaurants in several locations. According to WFTA, most of the millennials look for socially responsible restaurants. As we previously reported, organic foods have become quite popular among the masses over the last decade. Between 2010 and 2021, US organic food sales grew from $26.9 billion in 2010 (inflation-adjusted to 2021 dollars) to $52.0 billion in 2021.
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR) is one of the companies that provide some of the best quality food to culinary tourists. The company’s luxury hotel chain, The Ritz-Carlton, is home to some of the best restaurants in the world, including Aqua, one of the nine Michelin 3-star restaurants in Germany. Moreover, restaurants at Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR)’s hotel chains collectively had 40 Michelin stars in 2022. In 2023, 6 of Marriott’s Hong Kong and Macau restaurants received Michelin stars.
Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN) is another travel and hospitality company that offers some of the highest quality food through its restaurants. The MICHELIN Guide Hong Kong & Macau 2023 revealed that four restaurants developed by Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN) received seven Michelin stars. The two Michelin-starred, Wing Lei at Wynn Macau achieved Michelin recognition for 14 straight years.
What is Michelin Guide?
The Michelin Guide has been the absolute authority in determining dining quality at a restaurant. The Michelin Guide team selects restaurants to be visited by their inspectors. Michelin inspectors remain anonymous and are even discouraged from telling their friends and family about what they do. When several inspectors eat at a specific restaurant, they analyze its quality together and may award it one to three stars, if it deserves any. According to the guide, one star means "high-quality cooking," two stars mean "excellent cooking, worth a detour!" and three stars mean "exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey!"
Joël Robuchon was considered the "Chef of the Century" during his lifetime and his restaurants held more Michelin stars than any other person alive or dead. Here is what he said about the Michelin stars:
"With one Michelin star, you get about 20 percent more business. Two stars, you do about 40 percent more business, and with three stars, you'll do about 100 percent more business. So from a business point ... you can see the influence of the Michelin guide."
Strike Aversion by Las Vegas Food Tourism Companies
Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN) was one of the companies that was in hot waters with The Culinary Workers Union Local 226 in Las Vegas along with Caesars Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ:CZR) and MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM). The union announced a strike on November 10 as 35,000 workers employed at 18 casino resorts owned by these three big companies were working under expired contracts.
The union reached a tentative agreement with Caesars Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ:CZR) and MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM). Secretary-Treasurer of the Culinary Union, Ted Pappageorge, called the Caesars’ deal “historic” and used the word “tremendous” for MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM)’s deal. Finally, the Culinary Union and Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN) reached a tentative agreement on a five-year contract hours before the strike deadline on November 10.
With the growing trend of culinary tourism, some of the companies that provide the best quality of food to travelers include Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HLT), Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR), and Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN).
A close-up of a sushi chef, displaying his care and attention to detail in making a dish.
To choose the countries with the best quality food, we gave each country an Insider Monkey score based on a few metrics. The basis for our scoring system was Michelin stars received by restaurants in each country and gave Michelin stars the highest weightage. Next, we took the consensus opinion of different websites, including Ranker and CNN, along with public discussion platforms such as Reddit and Quora.
Countries With The Best Food Quality In The World
Insider Monkey Score: 1.87
Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Peranakan cultures have major influences on Singaporean cuisine. Singaporean cuisine has gained international recognition, and over 55 restaurants in the country have been awarded Michelin stars. Due to the multicultural influences, various ingredients are commonly used in Singaporean dishes, like chilies, shrimp paste, fish sauce, rice, and coconut milk.
Restaurants at Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HLT) and Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR) provide some of the best quality food in Singapore. Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN) has been keen on developing properties in the country for a long time.
Insider Monkey Score: 2.64
Dutch cuisine is slowly gaining popularity in the international food community. The Netherlands is one of the biggest cheese exporters in the world and is famous for cheese varieties like Gouda and Edam. The Netherlands is one of the countries with the best food quality in the world, and its cuisine can be divided into Northeastern, Western, and Southern regional cuisines. Stroopwafel and Hearing or Hollandse Nieuwe are among the most popular Dutch dishes. Dutch dishes are hearty and often include beef, fish, cheese, bread, and potato.
Insider Monkey Score: 3.01
The Portuguese Republic is known for its rich and diverse flavors, and commonly used ingredients have Mediterranean, Moorish, and Atlantic influences. The country is among the largest exporters of beef in the world. Bacalhau or salted cod is the national dish of the country and is prepared in dozens of ways. Other than seafood, olive oil, rice, and pastries are frequently used in Portuguese cuisine. Portugal is one of the countries with the highest quality and best-tasting food in the world.
Insider Monkey Score: 3.75
Belgian cuisine is known for its use of quality and diverse ingredients and has some of the highest quality food in the world. The country's gastronomy is exceptional, and nearly 140 restaurants in Belgium have been the recipient of Michelin stars. The country’s most internationally recognized food items are chocolate, waffles, fries, and beer. Belgium has around 450 types of beer and is a top exporter of chocolate in the world. As of July 2023, the country’s chocolate exports accounted for up to €232 million, and the exports grew 37.6% between July 2022 and July 2023.
Insider Monkey Score: 3.81
Thailand’s cuisine is remarkably balanced and has notes of sweet, spicy, sour, and bitter. The cuisine has abundant aromatics. Thai dishes are distinguishable based on regions, and they are divided into North, Northeast, South, and Central. According to the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Thai Industries, and the National Food Institute, Thailand’s food exports accounted for 14.6% of the total exports as of March 2023 and grew 10% year-over-year (YoY) to 346 billion baht between January and March 2023.
10. South Korea
Insider Monkey Score: 4.04
South Korea is renowned internationally and is tenth on our list of countries with the best food quality in the world. Like many East Asian cuisines, rice is a staple in South Korean meals. Kimchi is a unique marker of the cuisine and is consumed in most households. Some South Korean food items that are famous in the world are gochujang, bibimbap, and bulgogi.
Insider Monkey Score: 4.11
Swiss cuisine is rich, and there are around 400 food items that were officially included in the Swiss culinary heritage in 2008. An individual in the country consumes nearly 11 kg of chocolate every year in the world, making Switzerland the biggest consumer of chocolate globally. Swiss food produce is remarkably varied and abundant, the country produces 700 types of cheeses, over 200 varieties of bread, and 2,500 kinds of grapevines.
8. United Kingdom
Insider Monkey Score: 4.33
The United Kingdom’s cuisine has been heavily influenced by cuisines from around the world owing to overseas trade. British cuisine has clear influences from Chinese, Indian, French, Italian, Japanese, American, Mexican, Spanish, Thai, and Turkish cultural food. Many British food items have made it internationally as evidenced by the popularity of Shepherd’s pie, roast dinner, apple pie, and scones. The village of Cheddar in Somerset is credited for inventing cheddar cheese.
7. China (including Macau and Hong Kong)
Insider Monkey Score: 5.34
Chinese cuisine is one of the most famous cuisines in the world. The quality of the food in the country is impeccable, and China (including Macau and Hong Kong) boasts nearly 215 Michelin-starred restaurants. Regional cuisines contribute to Chinese cuisine, including Cantonese, Sichuan, Anhui, Shandong, Fujian, Jiangsu, Hunan, and Zhejiang. Dim sum and hot pot dishes are very famous in Chinese cuisine and are popular in other countries as well.
Insider Monkey Score: 5.43
German cuisine is rich and varied as it makes use of ingredients in season. German food is hearty, and cheese, beer, and sausages are often used in dishes. The commonly consumed dishes in the country are bratwurst, potato dumplings, sauerkraut, schnitzel, and strudel. During the country’s Oktoberfest, German food and beer are celebrated with zeal. Sauerbraten is considered a national dish of the country and is a roast of heavily marinated meat, with beef being the popular choice of meat for this dish.
While foodies can find the best quality food at Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HLT) and Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR) restaurants in Germany, Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN) doesn’t have a property there.
Click to continue reading and see the 5 Countries With The Best Food Quality In The World.
Disclosure. None. 15 Countries With The Best Food Quality In The World is originally published on Insider Monkey.