If you’re anything like me, you love food and get excited to try out the best places and hidden secrets of every town you go to. While there are plenty of gems that may induce “food-gasms”, there are five top U.S. cities that will have you dishing up hundreds of delights and keep you smiling for weeks.
1. New Orleans
This city is literally drenched in cuisine. My best guy friend, Frank, is a chef and his hometown is N’awlins. All I can think about is a summer night with a cup of gumbo on the front porch and having everyone over for a street-wide crawfish boil. Seriously, this place has food that will give you a sixth sense. We’re talking about oyster po’boys, fried chicken platters, piping-hot beignets and don’t forget about the crawfish étouffée with smoky jambalaya and buttery pralines. Besides Creole and Cajun, New Orleans has some Vietnamese and Italian spots that will seriously blow your mind.
2. New York City
It’s impossible to list all of the amazing spots for food in NYC. I mean, the word “apple” isn’t part of the nickname for nothing. I think you could pull out a calendar and mark down a new spot every day of the year for how many restaurants and food carts will make your taste buds scream for more. Besides some of the best pizza you could ever dream up, NYC has the best Italian food outside of Italy. You’ve also got Chinatown, Koreatown, Little India, Little Manila and then a growing West Indian and Greek populations. Last but not least, they gave us black and white cookies.
This unique and vibrant city in Oregon, also nicknamed “Portlandia”, is a food-lover’s paradise. You have over 700 food carts (some even upscale) that serve restaurant-quality food on the cheap and sit in giant clusters all over town. It’s definitely not just about the carts here, though. This place is huge on eating local and organic and the restaurants serve the freshest food I’ve ever eaten. Some even have their own farms and boast a “farm to table” menu. If you’re paleo, vegan, or anything in between, this place can serve you up something that delights every single taste bud. Literally, Portland has every type of cuisine you can imagine. And while you’re there, make sure to grab a Voodoo donut and a cup of Stumptown coffee.
A fun and artsy city in the Lone Star State, is a little gem called Austin. What do they know? They know BBQ. The meat-hungry masses form lines in front of popular spots until the food runs out. They also have award-winning sushi and a food-truck scene that gives chefs the chance to flex their culinary muscles. The movie Chef was primarily filmed in Austin for good reason. If you’re like my girlfriend and want a taco for every meal, Austin will gladly accommodate. The Mexican food there is epic. Speaking of EPIC – grab one of their bison habanero cherry bars while you’re down there. You won’t be sorry.
There is so much good food in this Southern town dubbed “the land of peaches”, it’s ridiculous. Forgot about Chick-fil-A, if you’re craving some fried chicken, make sure to put it on some waffles at Gladys Knight’s famous downtown spot. Similar to Austin, we have a city that knows BBQ, yet Atlanta also knows what “Soul Food” is. Order some sweet tea and have a biscuit with some peach jam or apple butter. Later on, venture into the heart of the city and be amazed at the culture and exquisite restaurant scene that is edging up its way to being a mini NYC. You won’t come up short searching for delicious ethnic cuisine in Hotlanta.
Obviously, there are many more cities that leave your mouth watering when it comes to delicious food. I’m not forgetting about Chicago, San Francisco or Seattle. Those are golden places for foodies to definitely travel to. Now it’s time for you to start a bucket list for your next foodie vacation.