Best U.S. Cities for Foodies

Most of the time, food is one of the best ways to explore a new city or destination. A large part of learning about a city is to taste its cuisine. From hometown dishes to distinctive cultural foods, the United States has some of the best cities for foodies.

The best foodie cities have a variety of food to satisfy all manners of palates. They range from molecular gastropubs and high-class dining spots to no-frills taco stands and tasty food favorites. Here is a roundup of the best foodie cities in the United States.

1. New York

This is not a surprising position for New York City to be in. It has always topped every list of ‘the best of foods.” New York City has nearly all imaginable dishes, as well as more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other city in the U.S. If you are a real foodie, then this is the city for you.

It doesn’t really matter what kind of food you want or at what time of the day you want it. The Big Apple has you covered. Whether it is Ethiopian food at 2 a.m. or a steaming bowl of tasty pho, you’ll find it there. Even if you need some pizza to soak up the liquor from the night before, you’ll find it in NYC. The Grill, Le Coucou, and the Eleven Madison Park are some of the best spots for foodies in New York City.

2. Seattle

Seattle is one of the cities in the U.S. that has garnered national attention with its culinary selections. The opening of Google, Amazon, and Facebook outposts here has made the restaurant scene explode. Canlis restaurant and other stalwarts have also not relented in their quest to provide the region’s best food.

A trip to Seattle isn’t complete if you don’t visit The Walrus and the Carpenter and “seafood siren” Renee Erickson. The other place for foodies in Seattle is the amazing II Corvo. Here, you can enjoy the delicious and reasonably priced pasta. Willows Inn on the north side also has a boutique hotel and a tasting menu restaurant. The restaurant obtains all its ingredients from the nearby sea and land, which allows you to have the best foods.

3. San Francisco

In 1971, Alice Waters, one of the first fresh ingredient chefs, introduced farm-to-table cuisine to the world. That led to the spawning of Berkeley’s Chez Panisse, one of the most influential restaurants in the world. In 1994, Thomas Keller, another great chef, advanced the local seasoning skills and offered it a better French spin. This occurred at his famous “The French Laundry,” which is in the Napa Valley.

Today, Northern California tops the list of places that offer the farm-friendly style of cooking. This has been partly attributed to its access to exceptional produce. The Bay Area beat New York for the title of the city with the most three Michelin-starred restaurants in 2017.

4. Los Angeles

Los Angeles takes the lead in the country when it comes to ethnic delicacies. Its focus is on Asian cuisine, homestyle Korean in K-Town, and regional Chinese in the San Gabriel Valley. It also has omakase sushi that is reasonably priced. That’s not all. There are still Persian and Mexican dishes for you to try.

Chefs in this region have started to appreciate the local and seasonal ingredients. They have also started to borrow food concepts from other regions.

5. Chicago

Chicago is another great U.S. city for foodies. Its culinary scene competes with that of New York City. Chicago, or the Windy City, as it’s known, is home to deep-dish pizza, burgers, and other delicacies. Owen & Engine is the best place for any foodie who wants to enjoy a delicious burger.

6. Charleston, S.C.

Since Sean Brock opened Husk in 2010, it has served as the unofficial food ambassador in this Southern city. The efforts of this world-renowned chef have made Charleston one of the best foodie cities in the United States.

Brock has been awarded for his ingredient-centered and seasonal Southern cooking. He also works to conserve the local plant food species. It is in Charleston where Lowcountry cuisine is at its best. There is also a soulful mix from some of the menus borrowed from Europe, the West Indies, and West Africa. Foodies will enjoy a blend of seafood, rice, and grits.

7. Portland, Ore.

Portland is famous for food palaces, such as the Pok Pok Thai restaurants. It is also known for some of the top coffee chains in the U.S. One of them is the Stumptown Coffee Roasters. Chefs within Portland take a rustic and naturalistic approach to the dishes they create.

The pristine Pacific Northwest ingredients cannot miss in any of the menus served in Portland. Because of the abundance of food micro producers, Portland offers the best dining scenes for foodies in the U.S.

8. New Orleans

Because of its great culinary pedigree, New Orleans is home to the best dishes in the South. There is plenty of jambalayas, oysters, and po’boys here. Most of the food in this city has been influenced by Cajun and Creole cooking. There are also several bars that invest in the Earth’s most popular Prohibition beverages.

A food lover in the Crescent City can’t leave without visiting the historic and magical French Quarter. While there, you can get the best of Acme or oysters at Felix’s. Or, you can move down to Willie Mae’s Scotch House to savor some of the most delicious fried chicken. If you are a drink expert, then forget about the saccharine Hand Grenades and grab your Vieux Carres. This drink you can easily find at Hotel Monteleone.

9. Philadelphia

The time for debating over Geno’s or Pat’s is long gone. Philly remains the undefeated champion for cheesesteak for any food lover. There is no question about that. Philadelphia has advanced to be the hotbed of some of the most exciting culinary concepts. This has been possible with the help of top names in the food industry.

It was in this city that Jose Garces, a Spanish enthusiast, started Amada and Tinto. It is also here where Stephen Starr, a celebrated restaurateur, started his food palace. And, if you aren’t satisfied with that assortment, we should remind you about the Vedge restaurant. It is here where the plant-centered concept of living came to life.

10. Washington, D.C.

With the success stories of large food palaces, such as Rasika, Washington, D.C., has been upgrading its culinary prowess day by day. Rose’s Luxury is the latest large establishment in D.C. It has had the same success as Rasika.

Not so long ago, Michelin started to bestow stars to restaurants in the nation’s capital. Despite not having as many stars as the bigger metropolises, the food scene in Washington, D.C., keeps on getting better.

If you are looking for buzz spots worth your time, then you can try Tail Up Goat, Little Serow, The Dabney, A Rake’s Progress, and Maydan.

The food joints listed above show that the United States has some of the best foodie spots. These are just some of the leading foodie cities in the country.

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A Massachusetts native, blogger Angeline Everett grew up in the Allston neighborhood of Boston and earned a degree in casino management from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. After graduating, Angeline moved to Atlantic City where she joined the young team at the Borgata Casino as a compliance representative, while blogging on the side. After a few years in the back office, Angeline moved to the floor to work first at a casual poker dealer and later casual poker floor supervisor. Fascinated with games of chance since she was a child, Angeline currently divides her time between blogging and work on her first book.