Discover the Best Foodie Destinations in the US: From New York City to Anchorage, Uncover a World of Culinary Delights
Are you ready to embark on a mouthwatering adventure across the United States? Get your taste buds tingling as we take you on a journey through the best foodie destinations in the US! From the bustling streets of New York City to the soulful flavors of New Orleans, this article will take you on a culinary tour like no other. Whether you're craving deep-dish pizza in Chicago, fresh seafood in San Diego, or indulgent beignets in New Orleans, we've got you covered. Prepare yourself for a gastronomic experience that will leave you hungry for more!
New York City, New York
New York City represents a diverse blend of cultures, ensuring that you can experience a wide range of cuisines within its expansive 300-square-mile radius. Whether you're craving authentic dim sum at Joe's Shanghai in Chinatown or mouthwatering bagels and piled-high sandwiches at one of the city's Jewish delis like Katz's, you're in for a treat. Remember not to limit yourself to Manhattan alone! The five boroughs offer a plethora of culinary delights, including Astoria and Jackson Heights in Queens for authentic Greek and Himalayan fare respectively. If you find yourself in Brooklyn's Greenpoint neighborhood, make sure to try out the Polish bakeries like Syrena. And of course, The Bronx's Arthur Avenue and Staten Island are renowned for offering some of the best Italian food in the city. Additionally, New York City boasts over 70 Michelin-starred restaurants, ranging from fine-dining establishments like Le Bernardin to more casual yet equally delicious spots like Jeju Noodle Bar. But remember, some of the best eats can be found in the most unexpected places - who can resist a $1 slice of pizza?
Chicagoans are passionate about their famous deep-dish pizzas and unique ketchup-free hot dogs. For the best deep-dish pizza, head to Pequod's, and for mouthwatering hot dogs, visit Jimmy's Red Hots. But Chicago has so much more to offer! With over 50 James Beard Award winners and 20-plus Michelin-star-awarded restaurants, including the world-famous Alinea known for its creative multicourse tasting menus, you'll be spoiled for choice. If you're looking for a unique dining experience, check out Chicago Winery or Kindling, a live fire show kitchen run by James Beard Award winner Jonathon Sawyer.
San Diego may not have always been known for its food scene, but it's definitely making a name for itself now. The city's hottest restaurants have undergone an evolution, such as Matsu, a modern Japanese joint that started as a pop-up before opening its doors in the Tremont District. San Diego is also becoming a hub for international chains making their first appearance in the States, like Jomaru Korean Hot Pot. Don't miss out on the fine dining options either, such as the Michelin-starred Addison and the speakeasy vibes of Raised By Wolves.
Portland is a haven for food enthusiasts, from its wineries to its food cart culture. The city is particularly known for its vegan cuisine and often sets trends that spread across the country. The surrounding Willamette Valley provides fresh produce, thanks to its decreased pollution compared to other cities. Be sure to check out Adelsheim Vineyard, The Portland Mercado, Mama Bird, and Carlton Winemakers Studio for exceptional food and wine experiences.
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is a city of diverse cultural influences, which is reflected in its food offerings. From savory staples like po'boys at Sammy's to jambalaya at Mother's and gumbo at Gumbo Shop, there's something to satisfy every palate. Don't forget to try crawfish etouffee at Creole House and muffulettas at Verti Marte. And for a sweet treat, be sure to indulge in powdered sugar-covered beignets at Cafe Du Monde. Wash it all down with the city's iconic cocktail, the Sazerac, at The Sazerac Bar at The Roosevelt Hotel.
Asheville, North Carolina
Located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville has a constantly evolving culinary scene. With over 120 restaurants, you'll find something special at each one. Don't miss the James Beard Award-winning Chai Pani for mouthwatering Indian street food or Cúrate, another James Beard Award winner serving flavorful Spanish tapas. And of course, a trip to North Carolina isn't complete without trying some delicious barbecue at Buxton Hall Barbecue.
St. Augustine, a historic city built by Spanish colonists, offers a charming coastal town ambiance. From the Llama Restaurant serving innovative Peruvian food, to the St. Augustine Fish Camp known for its shrimp and grits, to the delightful ice cream parlors like Mayday Ice Cream and St. Augustine Scoop, you'll find a variety of international cuisine and Southern staples.
Madison, the capital city of Wisconsin, offers a range of dining options from farm-to-table experiences to traditional pub dishes. The 2023 James Beard Award-winning Fairchild restaurant is a must-visit for a quality meal without the stuffiness of fine dining. And of course, you can't leave Wisconsin without trying their famous cheese curds. Grab a serving at The Great Dane or Tipsy Cow for a delicious cheese-filled experience.
Known for its outdoor activities and scenic views, Bozeman also has a thriving culinary scene. From food truck sandwiches to upscale dining, you'll find a variety of options in this small city. Don't miss Roost Fried Chicken for some Southern comfort food, Storm Castle Café for the best Monte Cristo, and Izakaya Three Fish for a unique Japanese dining experience. Make sure to end your day with some locally sourced ice cream from Sweet Peaks.
Often seen as a smaller version of Las Vegas, Reno has much to offer in terms of food. The city is known for its traditional Basque-style meals, and a visit to Louis' Basque Corner promises a family-style dinner that includes soup, salad, French bread, beans, steak or lamp chops, dessert, and house wine. Don't forget to try the official state drink of Nevada, the Picon Punch, at Louis' or head to The Depot Craft Brewery Distillery for some of the best beer in the city. And if you're in the mood for a fancy steakhouse experience, Charlie Palmer Steak inside the Grand Sierra Resort won't disappoint.
Detroit is undergoing an urban revival and is putting its own spin on beloved American favorites. Detroit-style pizza, known for its distinctive deep-dish crust, is gaining popularity across the country. Make sure to try it at one of the city's many pizzerias. For a classic diner experience, visit Duly's Place Coney Island, a century-old eatery that offers a diverse menu of Mexican omelets, French toast, and chili dogs. And if you're looking for vegan options, Detroit Vegan Soul has you covered with their hearty salads, soups, and sandwiches.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City has experienced a culinary renaissance in recent years. The Press showcases the state's unique style of cuisine, blending southern and midwestern dishes with international influences. For a cutting-edge dining experience, head to Nonesuch, named America's Best New Restaurant in 2018, for a 10-course meal inspired by local farms and ingredients. And don't forget to sample the state's distinctive dish, flavored with a touch of international creativity, such as Candy Apple Pork Belly.
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The must-see attraction: Slovenian cuisine! Believe it or not, Pueblo is home to Bojon Town, a close-knit community of Slovenian immigrants who settled here in the early 20th century. The can't-miss dish is potica, which you can find at Janessa's Gourmet and other local restaurants.
Despite its history as a steel mill town, Pueblo has become a surprising haven for food lovers, all thanks to the famous Pueblo green chili. This Colorado staple can be sampled at some of the top Mexican eateries in town, including Lobo's Tacos and Tequila (try the Korean fire taco), Tacos Navarro (especially their specialty carnitas), and Mill Stop Cafe (don't miss out on their stuffed sopapillas). And if you're in the mood for both brews and burgers, head to Brues Alehouse on the Pueblo River Walk, where they also serve their famous green chili. Don't worry, even vegans can find a place at Brues, so bring your plant-based friends along.
Expert tip: Be prepared for a wait at Mill Stop Cafe, but trust me, the generous portions and affordable prices are well worth it. Consider treating yourself to their mouthwatering huevos rancheros by visiting for brunch.
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Indulge in The Vernors Cherry Pie at Traverse City Pie Company, Michigan © Traverse City Pie Company
Jersey City, New Jersey
When people think of exciting food cities in the Northeast, New York City often comes to mind. However, just a short train ride away, you'll find Jersey City, New York's best-kept secret. This vibrant city is bursting with diverse culinary experiences that keep food enthusiasts coming back for more.
With a substantial Asian and Indian population, Jersey City's food scene boasts a delightful mix of cuisines. Filipino-American families flock to Philippine Bread House for warm, fluffy pandesal and mocha-flavored cake layered with caramel from Red Ribbon Bakeshop. Indian and Pakistani restaurants line Newark Avenue, with Rasoi as a notable local favorite for rich and spicy Punjabi fare. Head to the Freetown Road Project for a taste of chef Claude Lewis's Antiguan and West Indian roots blended with Jersey City's culinary heritage.
Italian cuisine also has deep roots here, and the city's new generation of pizza and pasta restaurants are worth exploring. Razzà, helmed by New Jersey native and James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef semifinalist Dan Richer, offers crisp, fermented rounds of dough topped with local farm-sourced ingredients. For exceptional pasta, visit Pasta dal Cuore, where owner Elena Cartagena crafts fresh pasta daily.
Don't forget to satisfy your sweet tooth! Treat yourself to a box of mixed cookies from Bang Cookies or indulge in rich banana pudding from Filipino-owned dessert shop Baonanas. Wash it down with a coffee from Clo Coffee Co., a local business dedicated to changing the conversation around quality, sustainable coffee. For a relaxing evening, sip on a house cocktail or enjoy a pour from the natural wine selection at Australian-inspired spot Frankie. And before you leave, grab a souvenir bottle of whiskey or gin from Corgi Spirits, a local favorite.
Expert tip: Indulge in the New Southern cuisine at Soby's before diving into their must-try white chocolate cream pie. And don't forget to peruse their incredible wine list, which has won awards for its variety and quality.
Savor the flavors of the spicy pumpkin cheesecake at Soby's, Greenville, South Carolina © Soby's
Greenville, South Carolina
The must-see attraction: The iconic white chocolate cream pie at Soby's in downtown Greenville is an absolute must-try. With its heavenly taste, it's no wonder there are debates about the origin of the classic banana cream pie.
While Greenville is known for its vibrant cultural and entertainment scene, its culinary offerings are not to be missed. The city's diverse array of cuisines caters to every palate. Begin with a visit to The Trappe Door, a Belgian-inspired haunt serving mouthwatering moules frites (mussels pots with homemade fries) and an impressive selection of beer pairings. Mediterranean lovers must try the delectable dishes at The Lazy Goat, while Kitchen Sync and The Anchorage offer inspired New American cuisine using local ingredients.
Don't leave Greenville without satisfying your sweet tooth. Treat yourself to a box of mixed cookies from Grand Traverse Pie Company, featuring delectable Michigan Montmorency cherry desserts. If cherries aren't your thing, fear not! There are plenty of pies made with local berries available.
Taste the incredible flavors of the steak tartare pizza at Snake River Grill © David J Swift / Snake River Grill
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
The must-see attraction: Wyoming's unexpected gem, Snake River Grill, offers a shockingly exquisite dish: the steak tartare pizza. The flavors are truly unforgettable, and this pizza will make you a passionate advocate, eager to share the experience with friends and family.
Nestled in the vicinity of Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Hole might not be the first place you think of when it comes to foodie destinations in the West. However, this small town surprises with its thriving culinary scene. Start your culinary exploration at Persephone Bakery, offering delectable French-style pastries that will transport you to Paris. Savor their egg sandwich on a croissant or indulge in bread pudding French toast made with croissants for a truly special treat. For Italian cuisine, visit Old Yellowstone Garage and enjoy their homemade pasta dishes, with the Rocky Mountain pappardelle being a classic choice. Don't miss out on Bin22, offering premier wines and exceptional tapas.
Expert tip: Before leaving cowboy country, make sure to visit Cowboy Coffee Co. and try their black eye coffee, a perfect pick-me-up with a mix of cold brew and espresso shots. It's ideal for energizing a day spent outdoors or to give yourself an extra boost.
Experience the mouthwatering delights of Jasper's BBQ in Waco, Texas © Jasper's BBQ
The must-see attraction: Indulge in the delectable Vietnamese cuisine at Clay Pot Restaurant, a local culinary gem established by the Le family in the 1980s. You can't visit without trying their signature Clay Pot dish, which is served in traditional clay pots.
Known as the "sixth borough" of New York City, Waco has gained recognition as a foodie destination, thanks in part to the popularity of Chip and Joanna Gaines from HGTV's Fixer Upper. Their establishment, Magnolia Market, houses restaurants like Asian-American Club Sandwich and their own Magnolia Table. However, Waco's culinary scene extends beyond the Gaines' influence. Local favorites include George's Restaurant, offering a delightful Big O beer and irresistible chicken fried steak. Jake's Texas Tea House showcases homemade dishes and desserts, including the beloved buttermilk pie. And for exceptional Mexican cuisine, head to Taqueria El Crucero and indulge in the oso burrito smothered in their extraordinary oso sauce.
Expert tip: To savor the essence of classic Texas barbecue, visit Jasper's BBQ. Established in 1915, this restaurant serves up generous portions of brisket, pork ribs, and sausage. Just make sure to arrive early, as they sell out daily, including their surprisingly good coleslaw.
Discover the inviting atmosphere of JK O'Donnell's in Fort Wayne, Indiana © JK O'Donnell's Pub
Fort Wayne, Indiana
The must-see attraction: As a city known for its blend of American and European history, Fort Wayne is home to an Irish Ale House called JK O'Donnell's. This establishment is a can't-miss, offering classic pub fare like fish and chips and JK chips, served with garlic aioli, whiskey wing sauce, or curry sauce.
Fort Wayne, situated in Northeast Indiana, has experienced rapid growth, making it one of the fastest-growing regions in the US. This expansion has also given rise to a thriving restaurant scene, thanks to new job opportunities attracting a younger population. Delight in delicious steaks and strong cocktails accompanied by live jazz at Club Soda. Experience the elegance of Baker Street Steakhouse while savoring their renowned ribeye. For fresh seafood, head to Paula's on Main, where the almond walleye and Maryland crab cakes are exceptional.
Expert tip: Don't miss out on indulging in the finest chocolate in the US at Fort Wayne's DeBrand Fine Chocolates. Loved by celebrities such as Demi Lovato and Jessica Simpson, their chocolate art boxes make for the perfect treat to enjoy or bring home. After all, why share good chocolate?
Boise, Idaho has established itself as a culinary capital, rivaling food hubs like Seattle and Portland in the northwest.
In recent years, Boise has quietly built up a repertoire of culinary delights that make it a great food town. It boasts craft breweries, third-wave coffee roasters, fancy doughnut shops, food trucks, and immigrant-run restaurants like Kibrom's Ethiopian and Eritrean Cuisine and Ansots Basque Chorizos, the latter being a testament to the region's rich Basque community. The James Beard Awards have also shone a national spotlight on some of Boise's talented chefs, such as Kris Komori and Moshit Mizrachi-Gabbitas. Now, with new projects from both local and seasoned talent, Boise has truly become a culinary capital that can hold its own against the likes of Seattle and Portland.
One influential figure in Boise's culinary scene is Kris Komori, who raised the bar for fine dining in 2013 with his restaurant State & Lemp. Although the restaurant has since closed, Komori's newest venture, Kin, offers equally ambitious five-course Saturday suppers featuring unexpected flavor combinations. When the pandemic hindered the opening of Kin, Komori adapted by offering haute picnics on the restaurant lawn, complete with live ballet and opera performances to support the local arts community. Additionally, Komori has taken a stance on issues like food insecurity and racial equity, using his platform for positive change.
Two newcomers have also made significant contributions to Boise's dining scene. Chef Cal Elliott, a Boise native who gained recognition at Rye in NYC, has returned to his roots to serve remarkable dishes like cioppino, ceviche, and oysters at Little Pearl Oyster Bar. Another noteworthy establishment is The Lively, helmed by chef Edward Higgins, who combines local ingredients in playful and innovative ways. The bar program at The Lively matches the culinary creativity with unique cocktails like Pharaoh's Gold, made with cognac and chamomile tea.
On the more casual side, two downtown food truck parks, Green Acres and The Switchback, have emerged as popular destinations during the pandemic. These parks offer live music, yard games, and even alfresco workout classes. Additionally, Boise will welcome its first food hall, The Warehouse, later this year. With over 20 vendors selling a variety of delicacies, including fancy waffles and artisan cocktails, The Warehouse is set to further elevate Boise's culinary scene.
While Idaho might be better known for its potatoes, the state's wine scene is a hidden gem in the Pacific Northwest. With 1,300 acres of vineyards, the region boasts a diverse selection of wines. Notably, women are leading the charge in the industry, such as Leslie Preston and Melanie Krause, who have opened acclaimed wineries like Coiled and Cinder. Visitors can enjoy wine tastings along Boise's picturesque 25-mile riverfront path, known as the Greenbelt. For a unique experience, The Vino Camp offers a glamping retreat nestled among the vines of the Ste. Chapelle and Sawtooth wineries, providing a stylish base for exploring the 17 wineries along the Sunnyslope Wine Trail.
Indianapolis is a city where everyone can enjoy delicious food, thanks to a new generation of food entrepreneurs.
Few cities can match Indianapolis when it comes to culinary diversity, affordability, and high-quality dining options. The city has become a haven for food lovers, where innovative entrepreneurs are making it their mission to ensure that everyone has access to great food.
One area where Indianapolis shines is in its baked goods. Gallery Pastry Bar, located downtown, offers elaborate sweets like Brûlée Trillium, a croissant stuffed with berry compote, pecans, and brûléed Trillium cheese. Another highlight is Amelia's Bread, the sister business of the renowned Bluebeard restaurant, which serves delectable treats like fudgy salted chocolate buckwheat cookies and croissant cinnamon rolls.
Coffee enthusiasts will find their paradise at Amberson Coffee & Grocer in Fletcher Place, where they can enjoy unique drinks like vanilla-laced date lattes served in glass jars to reduce plastic waste. The Commodore, a speakeasy hidden behind an unmarked door in the historic Fountain Square Theatre, offers a refreshing escape from the ordinary with its zero pretense ambiance. For an unexpected wine pairing experience, The Lume at the Indianapolis Museum of Art provides an immersive, multisensory exhibit alongside thoughtfully curated wines.
Indianapolis also offers a plethora of quality casual dining options. The Bottleworks District, a former Coca-Cola bottling plant transformed into a vibrant space, features The Garage Food Hall, where you can find Hard Truth Distilling Co.'s unique spirits and the elegant Bottleworks Hotel. Another notable food hall is The AMP, which supports minority-owned concepts and provides creative freedom to up-and-coming entrepreneurs. One standout is Melon Kitchens, a virtual restaurant incubator that showcases the culinary talents of Black chefs, offering a range of delectable dishes from elevated grilled cheese to ramen.
Addressing food insecurity is a top priority in Indianapolis, championed by restaurateur and activist Martha Hoover of Café Patachou and Bar One Fourteen. Hoover's visionary program, PataSchool, empowers schools to serve better meals in their cafeterias, tackling child hunger head-on. Chef Oya Woodruff at her walk-up counter, The Trap, gives back to the community by providing trays of boiled seafood smothered in her signature Trap Buttah sauce to those in need, ensuring that everyone has access to nutritious food, regardless of their circumstances.
Charlotte, North Carolina
The city of Charlotte and its surrounding region are brimming with innovative culinary projects that embody ingenuity and a forward-thinking mindset.
Charlotte has always been a hotbed of culinary creativity, owing to its deep-rooted rural traditions. Last year, this rich landscape inspired Subrina and Greg Collier, the talented couple behind Leah & Louise, to organize the BayHaven Food & Wine Festival. This three-day event celebrates Black chefs and foodways in the Southeast, showcasing the diverse culinary heritage of the region.
In addition to the BayHaven Food & Wine Festival, numerous other forward-looking food projects have blossomed throughout the city. Optimist Hall, a revitalized textile mill, now houses a collection of artisans such as The Dumpling Lady, offering Viet-Cajun fusion cuisine, and Fonta Flora Brewery, known for its hyperlocal microbrews. The Market at 7th Street, a nonprofit food hall that has nurtured emerging food entrepreneurs for a decade, features Orrman's Cheese Shop, which sells artisan cheeses and hosts raclette nights, and Momo Station, a beloved food truck turned fixture serving delectable Nepalese dumplings and Asian-inspired dishes.
The culinary scene in Charlotte is enriched by chefs who have ventured from outside the region to introduce innovative concepts. Rocco Whalen, a protégé of Wolfgang Puck, opened Fahrenheit, a contemporary rooftop restaurant, about a decade ago. Renowned Top Chef alum Jamie Lynch opened Church and Union Charlotte, formerly 5Church, along with the French-style brasserie La Belle Helene, both receiving critical acclaim. Cloud Bar by David Burke and Red Salt by David Burke in Uptown's Le Méridien hotel symbolize the city's appeal to chefs from all over.
Charlotte's culinary influence extends beyond the city limits, encompassing the five surrounding counties and even crossing into South Carolina. In Davidson and Cornelius, Joe and Katy Kindred of Kindred and Hello, Sailor have created a culinary sensation, serving their famous milk bread and fish-camp-style dishes. Kevin Sr. and Denise Jonas, better known for managing their sons' careers in the entertainment industry, have returned to Belmont to open Nellie's Southern Kitchen in honor of Kevin's grandmother.
Houston, known as America's most diverse city, offers a culinary scene that caters to every palate. The city is home to a wide range of dining options, from Viet-Cajun fusion at Crawfish & Noodles to Southeast Asian-Latin American cuisine at Hawker Street Food Bar, which can be found at Post Market. Post, a bustling international food hall, showcases the talents of acclaimed chefs, with standout eateries like ChópnBlok, serving West African fare, and East Side King, offering Japanese street food.
Cleveland, Ohio may be a sleeper hit, but it boasts a vibrant and eclectic food scene fueled by local farms, producers, and innovative chefs. This Midwest city pays tribute to its ethnic diversity through its culinary offerings, featuring over 100 diverse ethnicities.
For a taste of Cleveland's culinary delights, a visit to West Side Market is a must. This indoor-outdoor market offers a wide array of food from local vendors, including Orale! Contemporary Mexican Cuisine, Pierogi Palace, Frank's Bratwurst, Theresa's Bakery, and Crepes de Luxe. Exploring Cleveland's various neighborhoods is a food lover's dream, with opportunities to indulge in dim sum in AsiaTown or savor pierogies in Slavic Village. The city also boasts an impressive selection of Black-owned and Black-led restaurants, including Pearl's Kitchen, Yonder, and Cleveland Cold Brew.
Cleveland continuously evolves, with new establishments like Cordelia, a comfort food eatery with a nostalgic Midwestern twist, and The Judith, a cozy Parisian-inspired cafe, adding to the city's vibrant food scene.
Credit: Bloomberg Creative Photos/Getty Images
Although Louisville is famous for its bourbon, its vibrant food scene should not be overlooked. With over 2,500 restaurants and numerous award-winning chefs, Louisville offers a delightful experience for food and drink enthusiasts. Make sure to check out the Urban Bourbon Trail, which showcases the best bourbon bars and restaurants in Louisville. With over 40 locations to choose from, you'll discover some hidden gems. Make sure to visit popular spots like Jockey Silks Bourbon Bar, Merle's Whiskey Kitchen, and Doc Crow's Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar. And don't forget to try the city's iconic dish, the Hot Brown, a delicious open-face sandwich with turkey, bacon, tomatoes, and Mornay sauce on Texas toast, first created at the Brown Hotel in the 1920s.
Credit: Ariel Panowicz
The origin of the classic Reuben sandwich may be up for debate, but one convincing theory comes from Omaha, Nebraska. Legend has it that a group of local merchants who played poker at the Blackstone Hotel late at night preferred the Reuben as their midnight snack. Although the Blackstone Hotel was converted into offices in the 1980s, it has since been transformed back into a hotel, the Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel, where you can now enjoy a Reuben sandwich made with nutty Gruyère cheese and spicy mustard.
Omaha's food scene has expanded beyond steakhouses to include a new wave of restaurants. Head to the vibrant Blackstone District to satisfy your cravings. From Venezuelan food at El Arepón Venezuelan Food inside The Switch beer and food hall to Nepalese dumplings at Kathmandu Momo Station inside Scriptown Brewing Company, you'll find a variety of international flavors. Don't miss the famous Reuben sandwich at Crescent Moon and indulge in delicious ice cream at Coneflower Creamery. For coffee lovers, Archetype Coffee is a must-visit, offering top-quality espresso.
If you're looking for a fine dining experience, check out Modern Love, a vegan comfort-cooking spot with roots in Brooklyn and an owner with ties to Omaha. For elegant European cuisine, Au Courant is the place to go. And don't miss out on the regional specialty, the runza, at Carter & Rye, where the classic ground beef and cabbage filling is wrapped in puff pastry. —David Landsel
Credit: Visit Tucson
Tucson holds the prestigious title of being the first city in the United States to be designated a UNESCO City of Gastronomy in 2015. This destination continues to impress culinary connoisseurs with its unique Native American and Mexican offerings, which have been developed over thousands of years. Tucson's best restaurants focus on locally sourced ingredients, incorporating them into their drinks and dishes. Don't miss out on trying the prickly pear margaritas and nopales (edible cacti) that are signature to Tucson. The vibrant downtown district is home to more than 85 bars and restaurants, including Bata and Boca. Headed by James Beard finalist Maria Mazon, Boca is famous for its delicious tacos and salsa flights. In 2023, an additional 13 eateries, including Blue Front, will join Tucson's culinary scene with offerings such as orange wines, creative cocktails, homemade pies, and deviled eggs.
The one thing not to miss: If you're in Tupelo, Mississippi, don't pass up the opportunity to visit Kermit's Soul Kitchen, formerly known as Kermit's Outlaw Kitchen. This establishment serves drool-worthy farm-to-table dishes featuring various meats. Indulge in their stews and chilis, made with locally sourced ingredients, and discover why they are highly regarded.
While Tupelo is best known as the birthplace of Elvis Presley, the city has also emerged as a top foodie destination. Offering a blend of traditional and modern southern cuisine, Tupelo's talented chefs draw inspiration from the region's fertile farmlands, the Appalachian foothills, and the Gulf of Mexico. Experience the unique combination of Elvis Presley's legacy and delicious food by dining at Johnnie's Drive-In, where you can sit in Elvis' original booth and enjoy their famous dough burger. For classic Southern staples, head to Sweet Tea & Biscuits Cafe and savor their excellent fried green tomato BLT. And don't forget to pair your meal with the famous sweet tea. After dining at Kermit's, visit their sister restaurant, Neon Pig Cafe, known for serving one of the best burgers in America.
Expert tip: For live music and beer enthusiasts, make sure to visit Blue Canoe. This funky establishment prides itself as "Tupelo's home of original live music" and also offers delicious pub grub.
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Please note that safety recommendations and restrictions during a pandemic can change rapidly. It is recommended to check with local authorities for the most up-to-date guidance before traveling during Covid-19.
This article was first published in August 2020 and updated in March 2022.
Credit: ESB Professional/ ShutterstockSeattle might be famous for its chowders and espresso, but Spokane, Washington, deserves recognition as one of the state's best foodie destinations. Local restaurants in Spokane showcase the Pacific Northwest's commitment to farm-to-table dining, incorporating locally sourced ingredients into their menus. Enjoy a menu inspired by local ingredients at Luna Restaurant or indulge in house-cured bacon and hand-pressed burgers at 1898 Public House.
Spokane is also home to a thriving wine scene, which has grown alongside its culinary offerings. Explore the city's wineries and don't miss the Kendall Yards Night Market, a farmer's market and performance venue where you can shop for fresh produce before enjoying a delightful al fresco dining experience under the stars.
A new generation of chefs and makers is spearheading a culinary renaissance in Cincinnati.
Credit: Nina Grey Photography
There is something truly special about spending a weekend morning in Cincinnati's historic Findlay Market. This mid-1800s market hall is filled with fresh produce and bustling with the energy of locals who have been coming here for generations. Food is deeply cherished in Cincinnati, and the city's culinary scene reflects its rich traditions. From Jean-Robert de Cavel's Maisonette, once one of the finest French restaurants in the country, to quirky regional dishes like cinnamon-laced chili served over spaghetti, Cincinnati offers a unique gastronomic experience.
A new generation of chefs and makers, including native talents returning from culinary journeys in San Francisco and New York, are putting a contemporary twist on Cincinnati's culinary traditions. Experience Zuni Café-inspired, hyper-seasonal cooking at Fausto, modern Lebanese cuisine at Looqma, omakase delights at Kiki, and sophisticated cocktails in the elegant setting of Anjou. For a taste of variety, visit Oakley Kitchen, an ultra-modern food hall.
Cincinnati boasts renowned chefs like Jose Salazar of Salazar, Mita's, and now Goose & Elder. Restaurateurs Ashley and Austin Heidt at Dear Restaurant & Butchery offer charcuterie plates to go. Treat yourself to chic Japanese-inspired pastries at Cafe Mochiko or savor their delicious cappuccinos at Mom 'n 'em Coffee & Wine. The popularity of this café is so immense that they are opening another location across town. —David Landsel
The one thing not to miss: No visit to the South is complete without savoring some mouthwatering barbecue. In Alabama, the place to go is SAW's Soul Kitchen, often hailed as the best barbecue in America. Don't miss their Sweet Tea Fried Chicken Sandwich, a truly unforgettable culinary experience.
Birmingham, Alabama, has experienced a culinary renaissance thanks to its growing population of talented chefs and the abundance of high-quality local ingredients. With fertile farmlands, the nearby Appalachian foothills, and the Gulf of Mexico, Birmingham's chefs have access to a wide range of flavors. Visit Highlands Bar & Grill (temporarily closed but reopening in 2022) for a seasonally-inspired menu that changes daily. Indulge in delectable Gulf seafood at Hot & Hot Fish Club, and try the must-have Mexican tostadas at El Barrio. If you're in the mood for French cuisine, experience the best outside of New Orleans at Chez Fonfon.
Expert tip: When dining at Highlands Bar & Grill, make sure to save room for dessert. Dolester Miles, an esteemed pastry chef who has worked there for over 30 years, was named Outstanding Pastry Chef by the James Beard Foundation in 2018.
Credit: Jacob Boomsma/ Shutterstock
Alaska offers more than just smoked salmon (though a classic choice). It has a diverse food scene with options such as wood oven-fired pizzas, Cajun cuisine, sandwich shops, cocktail bars, and hearty steakhouses. All of these can be enjoyed against the backdrop of some of the most breathtaking scenery in the country. To start your Anchorage food adventure with a top-notch breakfast, visit Snow City Cafe. This restaurant serves classic dishes with a twist, like the Kodiak Eggs Benedict topped with Alaskan King Crab and the Tundra Scramble featuring reindeer sausage. Additionally, Snow City Cafe is renowned for its mouthwatering baked goods. Former President Barack Obama even purchased their entire stock of cinnamon rolls one Tuesday morning in 2015.
Instead of settling for the complimentary coffee at your hotel, head to a local spot. Anchorage is among the top coffee-loving cities in the U.S., ranking in the Top 10 Most Caffeinated Cities with approximately one coffee shop for every 2,600 residents. With numerous choices available, a popular coffee bar for both locals and tourists is Kaladi Brothers Coffee. With 15 locations across Anchorage, you have plenty of opportunities to try a cup of coffee that's freshly roasted on-site. It's a perfect way to warm up on a chilly Alaskan morning.
For an afternoon or evening outing, visit Glacier Brewhouse, known for their 13 award-winning beers. If you're in need of a snack, take a stroll through downtown Anchorage and seek out one of the many reindeer dog stands. These stands offer tasty hot dog-style bites with Coca-Cola glazed onions on top. Requesting one "Seattle style" will earn you a squeeze of cheese as well.
With an abundance of culinary delights scattered across the United States, foodies are spoilt for choice when it comes to satisfying their taste buds. Whether you're craving the melting pot of flavors in New York City, the iconic deep-dish pizza in Chicago, or the mouthwatering seafood in San Diego, there is a food destination for every palate. From the vibrant streets of New Orleans offering rich and flavorful Creole dishes to the booming food scene in Asheville with its farm-to-table eateries, the US boasts a diverse and exciting range of foodie destinations. So grab your fork and embark on a gastronomic adventure, as these cities promise an unforgettable dining experience that will undoubtedly tantalize your senses.
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