Living in: Cities with great food
Just north of Lyon, the houses in the village of Saint-Cyr-au-Mont-d’Or are popular with expats, as is the village of Le Bois d’Oingt in the nearby Beaujolais region. “Le Bois d’Oingt is about 30 minutes from Lyon and a very good place for lovers of nature and wine,” Limouzi said. Prices for a 150sqm house in villages close to Lyon range from 600,000 to 700,000 euros and rent is about 1,700 euros a month, while in Le Bois d’Oingt prices are 350,000 to 400,000 euros and rent is around 1,200 euros a month.
- Le Progrès: daily newspaper covering Lyon and the Rhone-Alpes region
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Since 2010, Tokyo’s restaurants have received more Michelin stars every year than those in Paris or New York, making it the gourmet capital of the world. Tokyo’s chefs follow a tradition of cooking with local, seasonal produce and fresh seafood, which they use to their best advantage. The city is also home to food theme parks such as Gyoza Stadium and Ice Cream World, vending machines filled with canned coffee drinks, and probably more food fads than anywhere else in the world (today its pancakes, tomorrow it might be cod roe). People will queue for hours to eat at Sushi Dai and Daiwa Sushi in the famous Tsujiki Market or flock to the Takashimaya depachika (food hall) for the latest French pastry. From waygu beef to a bowl of ramen, from a homely izakaya (pub) to the most exclusive sushi restaurant, Tokyo residents have a massive amount of choice at any budget.
The most popular neighbourhoods for expats are Omotesando in the Shibuya ward, Azabu, Hiroo and Roppongi in the Minato ward and Daikanyama and Nakameguro in the Meguro ward. There are no restrictions on foreigners purchasing property in Japan, but most expats choose to rent. While the property market in Tokyo is currently experiencing some foreclosures and increased interest from buyers looking for investment properties, the city’s rental market is one of the most expensive in the world and is best navigated with an experienced estate agent. The average monthly rent for a 77sqm, two-bedroom flat in Shibuya is 324,875 yen, while in Meguro, a 94sqm, two-bed flat rents for 358,875 yen a month. A 95sqm, two-bed in Roppongi goes for 386,983 yen a month. The average cost to buy an apartment in Tokyo is 39.2 million yen.
- Tokyo Food Diary: expat blog and reviews of restaurants around town with lovely food photos
- Related article: Mini guide to Tokyo’s nightlife
Located in Mexico’s southwest, the city of Oaxaca is the country’s home of haute cuisine. The indigenous cultures of the region, such as the Zapotec, one of the pre-Columbian peoples from this area, and the various growing zones have created many diverse culinary traditions. “Oaxaca has many unique dishes not found elsewhere in the country, such as tejate [a drink made from maize and cacao], tlayuda [toasted tortilla dish], and of course the seven moles,” said Alvin Starkman, co-owner of Oaxaca Culinary Tours. Mole – a sauce that makes use of many different chillies and even chocolate – is the most famous Oaxacan export. Chocolate can be found in many forms all over the city, and the open-air markets are filled with local produce such as squash blossoms, corn, peppers and cheese. Chefs inspired by the local food and culture have opened stellar restaurants, including La Biznaga, a temple to slow food, and Pitiona, opened by Jose Manuel Banos Rodruiguez, an Oaxacan chef who trained under Ferran Adria at El Bulli.
Around the Zocalo, the city’s main square, the historic centre of Oaxaca is laid out in a grid pattern and is a popular area in which to live. House prices are high, so many people look to rent in Zocalo and in nearby neighbourhoods such as De Jalatlaco to the east and Reforma and Xochimilco to the north, where monthly rents for a two-bedroom run from 3,500 pesos to 10,000 pesos. Houses in the historic centre sell for anywhere from 3.5 million pesos and up.
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