Searching out good grub in a big city can be tricky, but find one great place and you'll often find more nearby because food and restaurant scenes coalesce around brave newcomers in low-rent areas or established names opening up previously barren territory.
Traders at the recently established and already award-winning Saturday market in Maltby Street, Bermondsey, south London (maltbystreet.com) include The London Honey Company, Monmouth Coffee and the St John Bakery, where the legendary custard doughnuts are a weekly sell-out. There's also acclaimed restaurants Zucca, Maltings Café, Village East and The Garrison, and renowned chef Jose Pizarro's two eateries, Jose and Pizarro.
Light industry is giving way to culinary heavyweights in the Railtown area at the northern tip of the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. Chefs Karl Gregg and Allan Bosomworth paved the way with Two Chefs and a Table (001 604 778 233 1303; twochefsandatable.com), their casual "fresh food bistro", where the five-course dinner menu might include delights such as grilled British Columbian boar chop.
In Gothenburg's city centre, a few blocks from Kungsportsavenyn boulevard, you'll find five Michelin-starred restaurants – Basement, Kock and Vin, 28+, Fond and Thörnströms Kök – where modern Swedish dishes include pan-fried turbot fillet with apple terrine, stuffed cabbage, confit of potato and cabbage jus.
The arrival of Garagistes (00 61 3 6231 0558; garagistes.com.au) in North Hobart, Tasmania, has confirmed the area as one of the most gastronomically exciting in Australia. Ex-Noma chef, Luke Burgess, applies that restaurant's strict regional-produce-only ethos to this minimalist wine bar housed in a former garage. Its roast sweetbreads, white asparagus, pepita (pumpkin seed) purée, bulrush, lettuce and buckwheat are made with local and foraged ingredients.
On Saturdays, the recently developed Beirut Souks complex, in the centre of the city, plays host to the Souk el Tayeb (00 961 1 442664; soukeltayeb.com) farmer's market. Stallholders sell organic and macrobiotic produce from across Lebanon and there's Ezzat and Abla Majed, one of the last remaining producers of serdeleh cheese, which is made from a type of curdled goat milk.
Traditional siheyuan (courtyard homes) in the central Nanluoguxiang area of Beijing have been converted into restaurants and bars including Dali Courtyard (00 86 10 8404 1430), which serves authentic Yunnan cuisine such as ye cai (stir-fried wild vegetables), and Dagui (00 86 10 6407 1800), which has dishes such as sour fish soup from Guizhou province.