If food influences your travel decisions, there is no shortage of destinations to visit stateside. Here’s a look at 10 of the greatest food cities in the United States.
New York, New York
New York City is one of the greatest food cities in the country. New York attracts some of the best chefs from around the world, and there is no shortage of everything from delicious street food to three Michelin-starred restaurants. In fact, New York is the 5th most Michelin-starred city in the world for 2019.
Los Angeles, California
Head west and you’ll find a veritable foodie heaven in Los Angeles. Thanks to its cultural diversity, you can find everything from the best street tacos to sundubu jjigae, a soft tofu stew, believed to be introduced to American palates through a Korean restaurant in Los Angeles. Not to mention, L.A. claims to have invented a number of dishes we know and love.
Portland, Oregon, repeatedly ranks near the top of the list for best food cities across the country. And, with a booming craft beer scene and countless award-winning wineries, Portland’s a win across the board with food travelers. Plus, if you’re a coffee drinker, you’ll definitely feel at home here as Portland ranks as one of the cities with the most coffee shops per capita.
San Diego, California
Locals know that San Diego is one of the greatest food cities in the country, but now it’s getting even more exposure thanks to Yelp, which ranked it as the 5th best food city in the country, while Zagat named it as one of the most exciting food cities in America. San Diego is continuing to catch the eye of notable chefs, and it’s also far more affordable than other major gastronomy hubs like New York or Los Angeles.
San Francisco, California
San Francisco is no stranger to awards either. In 2015, it was given the honor of best food city in the country by Bon Appétit. U.S. News also ranked San Francisco as one of the best food cities in the country due to its innovative restaurant scene, hole-in-the-wall eateries, farmers' markets and more.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Tradition is alive and well in New Orleans, where you can feast on a myriad of Louisiana specialties like jambalaya, gumbo, muffulettas, po’ boys and more. Don’t forget to finish off with something sweet, like beignets and pralines. Last year, New Orleans was named the top food city in the south by Southern Living.
In years past, Miami’s party scene seemed to outshine its culinary scene, but that has been changing in recent years. The Caribbean and Latin American influences have helped Miami evolve into one of the best food cities in the United States. The city went from no food halls to four in only two years, and the food hall craze shows no signs of slowing down as more continue to open.
Minneapolis may not be one of the first cities that comes to mind when you think of the best food cities in the country, but it should. People named Minneapolis one of the 10 hottest food cities in America, while Esquire named Minneapolis the food world’s best kept secret. Farm to table has been a big part of the culinary scene here thanks to the fact that the Twin Cities are surrounded by fertile farmland, while a good quality of life and affordability continue to attract notable chefs to the area.
Austin is renowned for its barbecue scene as well as incredible Tex-Mex. But, did you know that there are more than 1,000 food trucks in the city as well? You can try everything from Frito pie to churros from food trucks here. Incredible food and reasonable prices — what’s not to love about the food scene in Austin?
Chicago has plenty to offer beyond its iconic Chicago-style hot dogs and delicious deep-dish pizza. It’s also home to a number of award-winning restaurants, like Alinea, the three-Michelin-star restaurant from chef Grant Achatz that has also maintained a spot on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list for several years. The dining scene continues to evolve here, helping it earn awards like Bon Appetit’s restaurant city of the year.