Best Foodie Cities
While hard to narrow it down, we take a shot at giving you the Top 10 best foodie cities in the US. From the East Coast to West to everything in between, keep reading for our top picks for your next foodie adventure!
Situated on the East Coast right off the Atlantic Ocean, Charleston has access to both the coast and fertile farmland, offering imaginative chefs the choice of creating delicious seafood or savory meats and fresh vegetables. The Southern-style cuisine of many Charleston restaurants includes famous dishes such as Shrimp & Grits, and of course, the infamous Fried Chicken and Waffles!
The sheer amount of great soul-food restaurants in Charleston is arguably enough to propel the city into one of the top few food cities in America. Some recommended restaurants include Parlor Deluxe, a fun, local restaurant that offers Huevos Ranchero Waffle, Poutine Tots and more, and Husk, an authentic southern restaurant which changes its menu depending on the freshest ingredients available. Also check out Butcher & Bee. It’s BYOB so bring your own drinks and if you like sweets try their chocolate chip cookies with sea salt for dessert!
Hawaii’s second largest island and one of the most wonderful vacation spots in the world, Maui is home to a large variety of cuisine from high-end restaurants targeting visitors in celebration mode to delicious comfort food. The culture of Hawaii also adds a fresh twist to the food; people of Japanese, Chinese, American and Filipino origins have positively influenced Hawaiian cuisine in diverse and meaningful ways. As an island in the Pacific Ocean, Maui offers delicious seafood. Some of the most popular foods such as misubi, shaved ice, and golden pineapples can be found in great restaurants like Da Kitchen Café, Ululani’s Shaved Ice, and Pineapple Express. They also have a restaurant named Humuhumunukunukuapua’a!
Located inland, Nashville’s cuisine focuses on farm fresh foods. The city is famously known for its hot chicken, which is fried chicken served on a slice of white bread. Nashville’s barbecue is some of the best in the nation, and the variety of different foods available is astounding: meats and vegetables such as steak, chicken, okra, corn, and more. Visit Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack for authentic Southern hot chicken and Pinewood Social for a place to have fun while eating delicious, fresh Nashville chow!
Seattle is a city best known for its coffee, and it’s with good reason. Local heroes such as Starbucks and Redhook are two coffee companies that have changed coffee around the world, and many more brands such as Analog Coffee and Elm Coffee Roasters have become famous in the city. In addition to the coffee, Seattle is also famous for its Pike Place Market, which sells local products and fresh seafood from the Pacific Ocean. Visit the famous Pike Place Chowder, Taylor Shellfish Farms for seafood, or try out some of the restaurants in the city of Seattle such as mkt. for a fantastic experience.
San Francisco, another coastal city, is known for everything from its clam chowder to sourdough bread to its oysters. The city’s endless list of attractions such as the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and Fisherman’s Wharf guarantees a barrage of tourists and therefore more food options than you can imagine. Definitely visit Chinatown or Little Italy to try out the local restaurants and get a taste of the diversity of the city. Some restaurants to try out include Boudin, a famous sourdough and clam chowder restaurant, and Cala, a Mexican restaurant that sells delicious tacos, tostadas, and more. Click here to see more of our San Francisco picks!
With French, Spanish and southern influence, New Orleans specializes in seafood, okra, and the well-known Cajun dishes. You’ve also probably heard of the Po’ boy sandwich, which can be found all over town. Serving traditional southern food such as fried chicken and okra as well as more unique food such as couche-couche, New Orleans’s food scene is top notch and offers a variety of cuisines for whatever you are feeling. Some other recommended restaurants include Willie Mae’s Scotch House for fried chicken, Cure for some drinks, and Killer Poboys for the famous sandwich!
As one of the largest cities in the Midwest, Chicago owns the food scene in the region with their famous deep-dish pizzas and Chicago hot dogs. The Windy City is full of personality and worth the visit both for sightseeing and for dining. Chicago has everything from fast food to fine dining at spots such as Au Cheval for savory burgers and Alinea for higher end, seasonal dishes. Other great restaurants in Chicago include The Art of Pizza (for deep-dish pizza of course), Duck Duck Goat (an ornate Chinese-styled restaurant), and Aloha Poke Co. (a fast-food Hawaiian poke shop).
Barbecue. That’s the first thing that comes up when traveling to Austin. And they’re correct! Austin’s most famous dish is their Southern barbecue—found at places like Franklin BBQ and Kerlin BBQ. Austin is also known for its food trucks, with over 1,000 in the city! Besides BBQ and food trucks, Austin is also famous for its Mexican food given the proximity to the country. Fabulous tacos and burritos are available at every turn, so definitely try them out!
New York City
New York City is a truly global city with pretty much every cuisine available. Known as the city that never sleeps, New York is a bustling community with constantly opening new restaurants. Visit some of the best sushi restaurants in NYC, go on a quest for the best pizza in New York, or check out the best NYC food markets.
With a Chinatown, Little Italy, Koreatown, and more, the city has as much food to offer as you could dream. If interested, you can also see our Top 10 best restaurants in New York City!
A city full of flavor and excitement, Portland definitely deserves the leading spot on the list for best foodie cities in the entire country. With a wide diversity of restaurants, including food trucks, brunch stops, and more, Portland is truly a perfect destination for those hoping to travel for food. Portland is home to over 700 food trucks located in little towns such as Cartopia and Cartlandia; be sure to check them out! They also have an abundance of great snack shops such as Blue Star Donuts, Alotto Gelato, and more. The food may sound great, but is it healthy too? Portland takes a lot of pride in its farm-fresh foods. Located about 100 miles from the coast, Portland is in the perfect area to find fresh seafood, farm natural crops, and catch the freshest meat.
It seems like Portland is the name for a city known for food! Portland, Maine quickly grew from a small, city to a culinary seafood center. Walk a few feet, you will find a nice ice cream shop or a fresh salad stop. And of course, try the Lobster! Some picks include Duckfat (sandwiches and milkshakes), Backbay Grill (grilled meats and salads), and Emilitsa (Greek).
Kansas City/Metro Area
Many people often overlook Kansas City, but you definitely shouldn’t! The recent boom of their downtown has lead many new shops and restaurants opening. If you’re a meat lover, Kansas City is the right place for you; there are over 100 BBQ restaurants in the city alone! Kansas City is also known for its farm-fresh foods, with many farmers markets and restaurants that advocate sustainable farming. Some of our picks include Q39 (barbecue, steakhouse), Affare (German cuisine), and Seasons 32 (gluten free, American cuisine).