America isn’t known for a single defining cuisine like France or Italy. Then again, it’s never really been a one-note country. Let’s not forget that it’s called the melting pot and the land of opportunity, and when you put a blend of cultures and blank slate in front of chefs, a culinary explosion is inevitable.
Thanks to the creative minds and passion, there are plenty of American cities, big and small, offering the most creative, comforting, decadent and simply delicious foods in the world today. Here is a list of the top cities (in no particular order) that should be on any foodie’s travel plans.
Known for its quirky, charming and free-spirited nature, it’s no surprise that Portland also has a vibrant food scene. Portland is a progressive city that takes beer, wine, and its coffee to the next level and many restaurants have evolved around this fact.
Restaurants like the BYU Brasserie have claimed to be America’s very first Chinese brewpub. That’s as hipster as it gets. It may not have its assortment of fine-dining restaurants like NYC, but Portland isn’t about that lifestyle and it sure doesn’t do any damage to the food.
2. San Francisco
From its colorful culture to the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco is a city full of wonders to explore and that includes the food. Studded with food halls like the Ferry Building Marketplace as well as many Michelin star restaurants, this food-obsessed city is responsible for the Asian fusion trend and offers some of the best coffee around. It’s an ultimate destination for foodies and rightly so.
3. Los Angeles
When a city has the ability to be in full bloom year round, it’s hard not to be one of the best food cities in the country. With its vast resources from land and sea, Los Angeles is filled with culturally diverse restaurants as well as top-notch grocery stores, food trucks and food markets alike. From burgers and strawberry donuts to Japanese ramen and fish tacos, you name it and you’ve got it.
4. New Orleans
It’s not surprising that a city so unique and rich in history is going to have some of the best eats in the country. A supposedly haunted city with a rich history, New Orleans is more than just the birthplace of jazz. It’s got its own cuisine filled with red beans, turtle soup, jambalaya, po’boys and let’s not forget those puffy beignets. You know a city’s serious about its food when it’s got its own food museum.
Maybe Houston only comes up when your parents talk about a business trip, but believe it or not, Houston definitely should be a destination for all foodies. It’s known not only for classics like burgers and brunch, but also its Asian-inspired eats like Indian Pizza and Thai Style Ice Cream. They’ve got to feed those hungry businessmen somehow.
No one said a city had to be big to be delicious. Charleston attracts tourists everywhere with its numerous historic attractions, beautiful beaches, southern charm, and its food of course. It’s famous for serving some of the best southern classics like fried chicken and shrimp and grits in the country.
The City of Brotherly Love sure has a love for food. A cheesesteak is a no brainer during a trip to Philly, but this city is not afraid to step out of its comfort zone and offer plenty of vegan restaurants, top-tier Italian kitchens and breweries. Ben Franklin would have been proud.
Hot dogs and deep dish pizza may be the first foods that come into mind when you think of the Windy City, but Chicago’s got the lockdown on the whole spectrum of foods. Restaurants like Alinea are the essence of innovation and artistry while pizza restaurants everywhere serve their versions of the Chicago-style pizza.
9. New York City
A city as sparkly and busy as NYC is not a shy contender when it comes to food. The home of the cronut has its fair share of fancy restaurants that don’t help the high cost of living situation, but at least they will show your taste buds a good time. Not to worry, NYC is also known for its local pizzas, doughnuts, and bagels.
10. Washington D.C.
The nation’s capital is busy with running the country, but it can’t do that on a empty stomach and chefs realize that. New restaurants have been popping up constantly these past few years, offering fresh new flavors from Taiwan, Cambodia, Korea and many more. Even without the recent additions, Washington D.C. was attracting people with their homemade pop tarts at Ted’s Bulletin and farm-to-fresh meals at Founding Farmers.