Are you planning a trip soon? Do you consider yourself a foodie? If so, then you’ve got to add the seven best food cities to your must-visit list. Bon appétit!
You’re not really a foodie unless you’re partly planning your vacations based mostly on the menu offerings at your destination. If that sounds like you, we’ve got you covered here. We’re about to give you the final word on the 7 best food cities in the United States.
From New York pizza to Cajun and Creole creations, Mexican feasts and Napa Valley cheese and wine, you’ll find it on our list. Ready to book your next foodie-hot-spot vacation? Let’s check out where it should be.
Table of Contents
1. New Orleans
The bayou serves up tradition and multiculturalism in every dish. You’ll find heavy European influences, and southern comfort Cajun and Creole, all competing to satiate your cravings. Try the city’s famous dishes like gumbo, muffulettas, jambalaya, and po’boy sandwiches.
You’ll need something to wash it down with. Try cocktails at classic cocktail houses like Napoleon House or Arnaud’s French 75. It should go without saying that you do it all in front of a live brass band, or even time your visit with one of the city’s many music and culture festivals.
2. New York City
New York City is a cultural melting pot that has the habit of regularly reinventing itself and its restaurant scene. The diversity of culture means an insane amount of food options for you, our foodie friend. You’ll want to eat Greek in Astoria, Queens, and head to Harlem for Hispanic food heaven.
If you’re after Asian cuisine like Pho, Pad Thai, Chop Suey or Dumplings, you’ll find everything you could want in Chinatown or Flushing. Top of the trip with New York pizza in Brooklyn, and some haute-cuisine at one of the city’s 75 Michelin-starred restaurants.
3. Napa Valley
They say people come to Napa Valley for the wine and return for the cuisine. In California’s glorious wine country, you’ll find award-winning restaurants that know just what wine to pair each morsel with for maximum impact.
Best of all? Most menus proudly offer all-local ingredients. It’s not the cheapest of foodie destinations, that’s for sure, but it’s worth every cent.
All thanks to the hipsters, Portland’s food scene is exploding. If you’re after artisanal cheese, phenomenal coffee culture, divine dark chocolate, and local breweries, Oregon’s Portland awaits. You won’t need a food itinerary, just head out and sample from any of the plentiful pop-up food trucks that dot the city.
When you’re ready to get off the street-side, you can hit a rooftop garden like Noble Rot for insane city views. Portland’s the perfect spot to sample both new and classic cuisine from all over the globe, at a price that won’t bite your budget. While you’re in town, snap pics of lush green spaces and hit the hiking scene.
5. San Diego
California’s San Diego is famous for its sunny weather and stunning coastline. Once you’re done splashing in the surf, it’s time for a colorful, spicy Mexican feast. Pulled pork, fresh seafood, and all with fresh soft tortillas, pico de gallo and guacamole – gracias San Diego!
While you’re in town you can check out the fun-filled nightlife and the city’s world-famous zoo. Learn a thing or two at the historic Gaslamp Quarter, and practice your Spanish with the many bilingual locals. Don’t leave town without seeing Balboa Park, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, and Coronado Beach.
Tex-Mex, barbecue, fried steak, and chili. Where else, but Austin?! Another food truck capital with a bunch of music festivals to tie your foodie vacation onto, Austin’s well worth a visit.
Austin’s known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” so the timing of your foodie trip is everything. Despite a population boom over the last decade, Austin still boasts a very laid-back, country feel. It’s a city proud of its whacky reputationand happy to be famous for its eccentric characters.
While you’re in Austin, enjoy the sun by spending your days outdoors in green spaces like Zilker Metropolitan Park. If history is your thing, check out the Texas State Museum while you’re in town.
7. San Francisco
San Francisco is innovation – in tech, and even better – in food! You’ll find Michelin-starred restaurants, farmers markets, food trucks and hole-in-the-wall eateries everywhere. Make a day of the Ferry Building marketplace, sampling fresh seafood, artisanal cheese and anything else your foodie heart desires!
The region’s organic growing conditions translate to healthier, scrumptious ingredients on your plate. Whether it’s posh eateries like Nopa you’re after or laidback tacos in Mission District, you’ll not be disappointed by the food in San Francisco.
While you’re in town, check out the kaleidoscope of color in the Bay City’s neighborhoods. You’ll find stunning views of the bay, edgy art and a culture that favors adventure and diversity. Once you’ve tired of snapping photos of the sea lions sunning themselves by the bay and of the views from Twin Peaks, you can chill in a cozy cafe in the city center.
Time to Hit the Best Food Cities!
Once you’ve made your hit list of where to take your foodie heart on vacation, there’s a couple of things to get organized. Make sure you’ve planned to hit the place in the right season. If you’re going for green views, don’t go when there’s snow.
Budget well so all you have to think about is what to eat and see next, instead of which card will actually process. Finally, book your accommodation in advance to avoid disappointment, and if you’re hitting a festival city, get those festival tickets while they’re still selling.
If you enjoyed this article, you’ll love the rest of our blog. Where to start? While you save for your best food cities foodie trip, check out these at-home meal-prep ideas!