“The Culinary Capital of the World” is a disputed title, with many cities vying for the top honor. If the criterion is the sheer number of Michelin stars, then Tokyo reigns supreme at 217. Even Paris only has 79! As of 2016, New York has 76. But how many Michelin starred restaurants have most people had the pleasure of enjoying in the past year? In their lifetime?
If the criteria is culinary history, leadership, and accessibility then a dark horse contender for the gastronomic title would have to be Lyon, France. Oui, Lyon! Desolé. More than half of all Michelin-starred restaurants in the world employ an executive chef of French origin or training.
While Lyon also has one of the highest concentrations of restaurants per capita in France, it is not the sheer number of restaurants that is astounding. It is the quality, artistry, and passion that seems to go into food in Lyon, at practically every restaurant, at almost any price point. Lyon has fifteen Michelin starred restaurants. However, one need not eat at any of them over the course of a two week holiday to have fantastic meals at a different restaurant every night. The point is not really to convince you that Lyon is the gastronomic capital of the world, but to inspire you to investigate the allegation for yourself, if you have not already done so.
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