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February 02, 2016

David Chang may be at the heart of New York's restaurant scene, but his food loving heart lies thousands of miles to the east—in Tokyo.

In the most recent issue of Lucky Peach magazine, Chang makes the case that Tokyo—not Paris or New York or Bologna, Italy—is the world's best food city. As Chang says in the article, when it comes to a food lover's paradise, "Everyone else should just bow down. "

The restaurateur behind the Momofuku empire makes a compelling argument for Tokyo's place at the top of the global food pyramid. As Chang notes, Tokyo is home to more Michelin stars than any other city in the world. Not only does the capital have some of the best Japanese food in the country—even besting Kyoto on kaiseki cooking—but the city also offers more than just fare for lovers of sushi, tonkatsu, yakisoba, onigiri, and ramen.

Chang argues that Tokyo is also home to exceptional French and Italian food, as the best chefs in the world open outposts there. With apologies to Argentina and Peter Luger's, according to Chang, Tokyo also has the best steakhouses in the world. "Generally, everything in Tokyo is better than what you can have anywhere else," he said (that even goes for the muesli.)

Giving Tokyo an edge is that the country has "no stupid importation laws," meaning the raw milk cheeses and lightly cured sausages that are banned for import in the U.S. can be shipped to Japan. Chang also believes that Tokyo gets the best fish, produce, eggs, meat, and everything else, too. "I can eat the best food in subways, I can eat the best food in the train station, I can eat the best food in the airport. It's the one place in the world where I have to seek out bad food. It's hard to find," said Chang.

Don't expect to eat at a Momofuku outpost in Tokyo anytime soon, though. The city is home to such an incredible food scene that even a chef as talented and renowned as Chang is hesitant to open a restaurant there. "I'm scared," he said. "I'd probably be the shark coming to Tokyo. But little fish eat sharks in Tokyo."

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