of the Best Food Cities in America
When it comes to food, our nation is undoubtedly “America the Great.”
We live in one of the most culturally-diverse countries on the planet. And the incredible variety of cuisines—which differs from coast-to-coast, city-to-city, and even neighborhood-to-neighborhood—reflects the delicious melting pot of flavors. Pretty much any edible item you could possibly crave can be found somewhere in the States, and many towns are a food lovers’ dream.
To help you solidify your 2018 travel plans, the Foodgōd team rounded up a list of 15 cities that have some of the best eats in America.
San Franciscans are completely food obsessed—and with good reason. In 2017, San Fran restaurants earned more 3-Michelin-star ratings (7 in total) than any other US city. But the Bay Area does casual eats just as well as fine dining, and the famed Ferry Building Marketplace remains one of the country’s most dynamic food halls.
What makes this South Carolina city such a standout? Endless amounts of Southern charm and a smokin’ hot culinary culture, for starters. Though Charleston may be considered a tiny town, there’s a highly-concentrated number of outstanding restaurants and Southern-style eateries from big-time chefs taking advantage of the region’s seasonal, low-country ingredients.
With the beautiful bounty of the Pacific Northwest and local ingredients aplenty, Portland’s food culture is thriving—and has never been hotter. Oregon’s largest city has become a magnet for top chef talent, and offers up a diverse lineup of award-winning fine dining establishments, hip local gems, and hundreds of popular food carts.
The Big Apple is one of the most culturally-diverse cities in the world, and its food reflects that (and then some). When it comes to fantastic food offerings, the five boroughs boast high end, low-end, and everything in between. There’s street carts, food halls, innovative pop-up concepts, and ethnic pockets of deliciousness everywhere you look. And NYC is home to the #1 ranked restaurant in the world: Eleven Madison Park.
It seems impossible to accurately describe LA’s hella hot culinary scene, but three words come to mind: exciting, ever-changing, and diverse. SoCal’s trend-setting food city has an endless supply of seasonal, produce-driven cuisine, kills the Mexican and Korean game, and is home to a crazy amount of food trucks doling out everything under the sun.
Synonymous with bold-flavored Cajun and Creole cuisine, N’awlins takes their food seriously. Local deliciousness comes in many forms including shrimp po’boys, beignets, jambalaya, gumbo, crawfish étouffée, muffuletta sandwiches, charbroiled oysters, and more. New Orleans flavors are often duplicated in other parts of the country, but it’s never as good as the original.
The Windy City serves up a little bit of everything: legendary casual eats like deep dish pizza and Chicago-style hots dogs, upscale Italian, authentic Mexican, sexy steakhouses, temples of molecular gastronomy, out-of-this-world burgers, and so much more. It’s almost impossible to not fall in love with the food in this town.
Philly offers way more than greasy cheesesteaks and the Rocky steps. The gritty, culture-rich city boasts a top-notch food scene that’s gaining momentum and is regularly recognized on a national scale. There’s a reason why some of America’s best chefs and restaurateurs—including Michael Solomonov, Marc Vetri, Jose Garces, and Stephen Starr—call the City of Brotherly Love home.
The culinary scene in Miami is as diverse as the people who live there. There’s something for everyone: the big South Beach hotels with showy restaurants from world-famous chefs, popular eateries serving authentic Southern fare, and a wave of Asian fusion and sushi spots, to name a few. There’s also the Little Havana ’hood, where you can score some of the finest Cuban cuisine outside of Cuba.
The District used to get a bad rap for its lackluster culinary scene, but the last few years have seen a resurgence of delicious dining options. In 2016, Michelin started rating its restaurants and Bon Appétit named DC their “Restaurant City of the Year.” And it continues to impress—with everything from hip celebrity chef-backed hot spots to awesome burger and pizza joints to a top craft beer scene.
Colorado’s culinary climate continues to soar, with Denver at the forefront. In the past year, celebrated chefs including Hugh Acheson and Nobu Matsuhisa have staked claim in the Mile High City, and national media outlets continue to recognize its gastronomic prowess. The city’s cocktail culture and speakeasy scene is on fire, too.
Nashville may be most famous for their fiery native dish, hot chicken, but there’s a lot more to Music City’s food scene than fried bird. The honky tonk-lovin’ Tennessee town is home to some of the most exciting restaurants in the country, and celebrated chefs from New York City to Charleston continue to open outposts there. NashVegas is where it’s at, y’all!
What’s your favorite food city in America? We’d love to hear your thoughts — drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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