4. London, England
What you're looking for: Meat Fruit at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal; steak & cocktails at Hawksmoor; any part of the animal at St. John; lunch at Borough Market; a tasting menu from Gordon Ramsay
(EDITOR'S NOTE: This was penned by our Cities Editor, Jason Allen, a London-based British person) Twenty years ago, this list would have been comprised of a crumpet, a curry that no Indian person could blame themselves for, and some indignation about the perceived hilarious quality of the food scene here. Then, about 10 years ago, we saw the start of some kind of ongoing global intervention by literally everyone who visited, and everything changed.
Pubs became gusto pubs, and punters became gastro-punters (The Harwood Arms beckoned them). Suddenly, a lobster cost less than a month's salary (thank you, Burger & Lobster). Vans became food trucks, and restaurants became *good*. Two of the top 10 “world’s best restaurants” are now in London (Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, The Ledbury), and perennial favorites like St. John, are -- through the art of nose-to-tail dining -- getting people to pay more for the crappier parts of the animal. Nowadays however, we’ve moved beyond the giddily excited, nascent stage of culinary revolution, and into the new world of freshly entitled diners watching food trends wash over the city with awe. Currently Latin American (Lima!), and Korean food (On the Bab serves delicious anju) is taking over, but watch the skies for incoming ramen places by the dozen...