Guangzhou, China (China)
Despite the transformation from Silk Road outpost to modern center of foreign commerce, the Guangzhou of today is a mishmash of culinary styles and flavors. If you cannot find it in Guangzhou, it simply does not exist in China.
Bologna, Italy (Bologna)
With Venice to the north and Florence to the south, one would hardly blame Bologna for harbouring an inferiority complex. But make no mistake, the city has a proud food tradition. Try the sausage, the cheese, the wine, and the gelato: it's all buon!
Cape Town, South Africa
Pop quiz: What do you get when you take one elegant mountain backdrop, superb beaches, a venerable wine culture, and almost 5 million ethnically diverse residents within a 180-square mile area? Cape Town of course, a superlative food city.
Lyon, France (France)
While unfair perhaps to single out one city in France that outshines others in gastronomy, why not Lyon? With an ability to cater to gourmands of all budgets with gorgeous local cuisine and produce, Lyon has much to boast about.
Mere words cannot do justice to the eclectic jumble that is this posh city-state of 4 million people. Singapore is a wonderful mess of cultures, tastes, religions, and languages that all converge to produce some incredible cuisine.
Oaxaca, Mexico (Mexico)
The state of Oaxaca and in particular, the cosmopolitan capital city, is unlike any other place in misunderstood Mexico. From a culinary standpoint, it is where a rich indigenous food heritage meets colonial Spanish traditions.
Melbourne, Australia (Melbourne)
This metropolis of 4 million people has undergone a renaissance in the last decade. Residents of this asylum for the avant-garde can lay claim to some of the most inventive cuisine in the world, from the beautiful city center to the sleepy suburbs.
New York City, USA (New York City)
The hyperactive uber-metropolis is home to just about every kind of cuisine imaginable. But to truly appreciate The Big Apple as a food city, you have to adopt an incremental approach. Think neighborhoods: Tribeca, West Village, SoHo, Harlem.
Montreal, Canada (Montreal)
Montreal is the love child of Old World charisma and the cultural mosaic sensibility of North America. The result is a city huge on taste, sophistication and culinary pleasures. Residents have a proud maniacal obsession with food and drink.
San Francisco, USA (San Francisco)
The swanky NoCal despot of West Coast chic is home to some of the best chefs and restaurants in the world. San Francisco is a paradise for food lovers and presents a feast of impossible choices to gourmands game enough to take on the challenge.
Moscow wins again, with London as runner up. New York drops five places to No. 15, while San Francisco plunges 20 places to No. 54, according to Mercer's 2007 survey.
If your boss wants to transfer you to Moscow this year, he'd better offer you a fair sum to do so - or even a downright handsome one depending on where you live now. That's because Moscow has just been designated the world's most expensive city for the second year in a row by Mercer Human Resource Consulting.
Using the cost of living in New York as a base, Mercer determined Moscow is 34.4 percent more expensive after taking into account the cost of housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.
"The appreciation of the ruble against the U.S. dollar, combined with ever-increasing accommodation charges, has driven up costs for expatriates in Moscow," Mercer research manager Nathalie Constantin-Metral said in a statement.
A luxury two-bedroom in Moscow now rents for $4,000 a month; a CD costs $24.83, and an international newspaper, $6.30, according to Mercer. By comparison, a fast food meal with a burger is a steal at $4.80.
London takes the No. 2 spot, up from No. 5 a year ago, thanks to higher rents and a stronger British pound relative to the dollar. Mercer estimates London is 26 percent more expensive than Gotham these days.
Following closely on London's heels are Seoul and Tokyo -- Nos. 3 and 4, respectively -- both of which are 22 percent more expensive than New York, while No. 5 Hong Kong is 19 percent more costly.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Asuncion in Paraguay is ranked as the world's least expensive city for the fifth year running. Mercer estimates that to live in Asuncion costs half as much as it does to live in New York.
Among North American cities, New York and Los Angeles are the most expensive and are the only two to rank in the top 50 of the world's most expensive cities. But both have fallen in their rankings since last year's survey -- New York came in 15th, down from 10th place, while Los Angeles fell to 42nd from 29th place a year ago. San Francisco came in a distant third at No. 54, down 20 places from a year earlier.
Toronto, meanwhile, ranks as Canada's most expensive city but fell 35 places to take 82nd place worldwide.
In Latin America, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are still the most expensive cities, coming in at Nos. 62 and 64 worldwide. In Australia, Sydney is the priciest place to live and ranks No. 21 worldwide. In the Middle East, Tel Aviv takes the cake, coming in at No. 17 globally, while in Africa, Accra in Ghana will cost you the most. It ranks No. 76 worldwide.