Enjoying delicious local cuisine is one of the best elements of any city break, but not every international destination is well suited to a sophisticated palette. If you’re looking for a vacation spot that offers great culture and delicious flavors, head to one of these foodie-friendly hotspots.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Carnivore foodies on the hunt for the world’s best steak need look no further than Buenos Aires. This vibrant, buzzing city has the world’s juiciest and most flavorsome steak, served up in beautiful, atmospheric restaurants. Enjoy great wine and delicious meat in one of the city’s many grill houses or stick to Argentina’s equally delicious street food. The humble empanada is a culinary experience that can’t be missed by any food enthusiast.

Chicago, Illinois

The United States is packed with exciting and cosmopolitan cities, but Chicago is earning itself a place amongst the big dogs thanks to its impressive emerging culinary scene. The traditional Chicago restaurants still serve up awesome steaks and world famous wood-fired pizzas, but you can also experience something a little more special on your city break to the Illinois capital. Taste the imaginative haute-cuisine menu at Alinea for a unique gastronomic experience that can’t be matched anywhere else in the Midwest.

Parma, Italy

Italy has its fair share of spectacular cities, but none take food as seriously as Parma. It may not be very vegetarian-friendly, but Parma has a spectacular range of meat dishes, from the famous salumi misti to copa di Parma (a delicious dish made from pork shoulder), all served up with incredible local cheese and the best Italian wines. Real prosciutto enthusiasts should visit in September, when the city hosts its very own festival devoted to the local ham.

Madrid, Spain

Madrid has a rich tradition of serving up delicious local delicacies to tourists and locals alike in its many delis, cafes and gastrobars. The gourmet options are endless, and you’ll find a delicious tapas bar on every corner, making Madrid a heavenly destination for foodies. The Plaza Mayor has a range of traditional Spanish restaurants serving up the classics, but tapas fans should journey down Cava Baja and Plaza Santa Ana, tasting as they go.

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul has a diverse variety of culinary delights, from delicious local street food served up in the city’s many markets to incredible fresh seafood. The city is most famous for its kebabs, the most scrumptious of which can often be found at hole in the wall cafes and market stalls rather than budget-busting fancy restaurants. The waterside restaurants offer a range of just-caught seafood, but the most authentic Turkish food in Istanbul can usually be sourced at incredibly low prices in the city’s Grand Bazaar market.

Athens, Greece

If you find yourself headed to your local Greek restaurant every week to enjoy a plate full of Athenian delights, why not head straight to the source for a city break this year? The city’s emerging wine scene has made the ancient Greek capital a great spot for wining and dining, and the street food remains as impressive as ever.

San Diego, California

Southern California has a world-famous food scene, and San Diego is at the hub of all the excitement. Sample amazing local fresh seafood at the ever-popular George’s at the Cove or one of the city’s many stellar sushi bars, or enjoy a gourmet cheeseburger at Carnita’s Snack Shack, where the burgers are as big as your head and the French fries can’t be beat. There’s a restaurant to suit every personal preference in San Diego, with family-friendly fare on offer in most neighborhoods as well as haute-cuisine.

Image credit: “What a Greek salad should look like” by Roger Salz on Flickr.