There is a fair amount of hipster stereotyping these days. Many people picture ironic fashion choices, retro facial hair, and even a certain pedantic attitude (especially when it comes to obscure music). Love it or hate it, hipsterdom has quickly grown from a subculture into nearly every part of today’s mainstream culture, including food.
Hipsters have their own food culture, and it’s become one of the most identifying characteristics of a hipster neighborhood. Hipster communities will often have very distinct culinary presences, callbacks to that which is more simple and basic, but also leaning toward the unique and artisanal. They value quality food made locally, slow food, and local farms. They’ve helped to cause the surge in food trucks around the world, make greens trendy (we love you, kale!), and help us discover the absolute joy of craft breweries and family-run cafés with locally roasted beans and flavorful old brews.
In order to compile our list of the best hipster cities around the world for food, we first looked at cities around the world that have been named to many “best hipster city” lists. From there, we cross-referenced best hipster cities with best cities around the world for food to see which cities fell under both categories. We also looked at some other important factors, like whether these cities feature any Michelin-starred restaurants or restaurants that have received tremendous accolades and praise in press around the world. We looked at some of the chefs living and working in these cities (René Redzepi, we’re looking at you) to see which top talents are turning up the heat in their kitchens.
But as we all know, hipsters aren’t necessarily interested in Michelin-starred meals, so we turned our attention to other important criteria. How do you know if a food destination has hipster influences? Some key indicators are bike parking (it may be a stereotype, but it’s true!), tons of gluten-free and vegan options, compostable cutlery, and more importantly, a menu that not only features delicious, hand-crafted food, but that focuses on locally sourced foods from small farms and businesses.
We appreciate inexpensive, fresh, and delicious tacos off carts, falafel made-to-order from trucks, and other delicious high–low cuisine, and hipsters deserve a lot of credit for bringing many of these delicacies into our lives and into these incredible food destination cities around the world.
Canada might be cold, but Toronto is one of the world’s hottest cities. Named one of the most hipster cities by Thrillist as well as one of the trendiest cities by Vogue for its West Queen West neighborhood, Toronto is where the hipster scene hails supreme north of the border. And though we may light-heartedly have a laugh at the Canadians and their devotion to hockey or Canadian bacon, it's food scene definitely deserves some kudos - especially in Toronto. ONE Restaurant in Toronto attracts stars from around the world, but that’s not the only thing about the Toronto scene that shines. Toronto has a blossoming food culture, with patisseries and home-grown labels popping up everywhere. It is home to trendy cafés including Clafouti, where you can start your day off with anything from a mini baguette to the café's namesake by getting a clafouti, or a custard tart with seasonal fruit. Must-visit hip eateries include Smoque N' Bones, Grand Electric and Geraldine as well as the Drake Hotel, where patrons can enjoy a cocktail and listen to some live music, and - in the warmer months - grab a seat on the rooftop patio in the warmer months.
Stockholmers love their coffee. This is mostly due to the societal tradition of "fika," which consists of multiple breaks during the day to catch up and socialize with family, friends, and colleagues over cups of coffee and pastries known as " fikabröd," according to Lola Akinmade Åkerström, Stockholm-based writer, photographer, and editor of Slow Travel Stockholm (). There is no shortage of high-quality cafés dotting every city block, serving their own version of "kanelbullar," which are Swedish cinnamon buns and the country's collective favorite fikabröd to consume with coffee. If you head over to the city's hipsterdom center — the district of Södermalm — you'll find some of the most popular and hip cafés, Åkerström says. While the truly ambitious hipsters may be making their own sausages (quite the thing in Stockholm), you can find some amazing ones at Taylor & Jones, where you can indulge in all kinds of sausage, and even pass the time reading their Sausage Telegraph, a newsletter about meat. It doesn’t get much more hip than that. Also check out Kak, named after the Swedish slang for food, which serves sandwiches on locally baked bread, accompanied by boozy shakes. Even more fun, the restaurant was opened by Swedish rapper, Petter!