Looking for the best foodie destinations in the US? Discover the best places to eat in the United States, top restaurants & typical American dishes.
I have asked travel & food experts to spill the best food cities to eat in America to help you decide where to go and what to ask for!
So let’s dive into the best travel destinations for food lovers in the US.
Best Foodie Destinations in the US
Chicago is known for its deep-dish pizza and hotdogs, but there are many more foodie experiences to be had in this city.
The melting-pot effect of a big city means that Chicago has many foodie influences – from soul food to Szechuan, from mid-west classics, to the Mediterranean.
One of the most exquisite dishes ever created comes from Avec, a modern Mediterranean restaurant in the West Loop.
Their chorizo stuffed dates, wrapped in bacon and served in a rich tomato stew, are beyond delicious; and really highlight the gastronomic levels Chicago has reached.
Of course, you can’t visit Chicago without having some deep-dish pizza; and Lou Malnati’s is a hot favorite. Their ‘Malnati Chicago Classic’ pizza with buttercrust and lean Italian sausage is a thing of melting beauty.
If you must try a Chicago hotdog, make sure it’s a Vienna beef dog from George’s Hotdogs in Bucktown – with onions, mustard, sweet relish, a dill pickle, tomato and more. And for dessert, how about soft chocolate chip cookies?
A reason why Chicago is one of the best foodie destinations in the US is that it manages to elevate the most modest foods – their hotdogs are dressed up as if they are going to the theater!
Hannah – Hannah Henderson Travel
No foodie trip in the United States is complete without a stop in New Orleans. It’s one of the few cities in the United States that truly has its own cuisine.
There are so many famous dishes that come from New Orleans: the po’boy and muffaletta sandwiches, gumbo, jambalaya, beignets, pralines, and more.
Cocktail lovers can also indulge in many drinks that were invented here, like the Sazerac and the Ramos Gin Fizz.
There are so many fabulous places to eat in New Orleans that it can be difficult for a traveler to decide which ones to visit. After all, the city has over 20 James Beard award-winning restaurants.
A perfect eating day in New Orleans might start with beignets (a kind of square doughnut covered in powdered sugar) and cafe au lait at Cafe du Monde.
For lunch, try gumbo and fried chicken at Dooky Chase’s Restaurant. The legendary late chef at Dooky Chase’s, Leah Chase, was the inspiration for Tiana in The Princess and the Frog.
For dinner, enjoy one of New Orleans’s best fine dining experiences at Commander’s Palace.
You can indulge in their tasting menu, or you can order their specialties a la carte. They are best known for their turtle soup finished with sherry at the table and their marvelous bread pudding souffle.
By the end of this day, you’ll have tasted the very best New Orleans has to offer!
Stella Jane – Around the World in 24 Hours
There is little doubt that eating is one of the top things to do in New York. The Big Apple, as many affectionally call it, is more and more becoming a foodie destination in the US, with many visiting with the sole purpose to gorge on delicious food.
Throughout the years, the offer of food in New York has become outstanding.
From street food to fine dining; from Italian-American staples found in Little Italy to more authentic Italian cuisine; from Chinese to Thai and Japanese – you are bound to find anything to satisfy your taste buds and to match your budget needs.
Spend enough time in New York and you can feast on a different cuisine for every meal.
Yet, some foods scream New York more than others, and you really should not miss those.
Make sure to have a good slice of New York thin crust pizza – it’s very different from the Italian one, yet oh-so-good.
Another staple is the New York style cheesecake, best eaten at Junior’s.
Last, but definitely not least, New York is the best place to gorge on bagels and cream cheese.
Whether you want a sweet one or a savory one, you are bound to find something that tickles your tastebuds. The best bagels in town are those at Ess-A-Bagel – so popular it’s become a local institution.
Claudia Tavani – My Adventures Across The World
Los Angeles definitely is one of the best foodie cities in the US on top of offering various popular sights.
Brimming with fantastic pubic markets, foodie truck eating venues, world class fine dining and even ethnic neighborhoods that host specific markets, restaurants and other specialty food venues to the ethnic and cultural heritage.
You’ll find that every area of the city is very food focused with an interest in providing fresh and locally sourced, artisanal flavors and the best of what’s available nearby and from around the world.
It’s hard to specify a typical food that stands out in an international city like Los Angeles that boasts cuisine that covers all grounds of specialty, local or world class foods and dining.
But the must-try things to at least experience in the city is old California/Mexican heritage and foods especially in the Olvera street neighborhood with fantastic cafes and restaurants that cater to Mexican and Hispanic flavors. Must try are churros from Mr. Churro, Juanitas for taquitos and tamales and La Noche Buena for the perfect Brunch.
Close by is Japan town which is a short walk from Olvera street and hosts a variety of specialty foods, snacks, eateries and other fine dining covering Japanese foods.
Must try places include Marugame for delicious udon, Hide sushi for perfect sushi bites and B Sweet Dessert Bar for some yummy goodness. Los Angeles may not have it’s own local food but it sure is one of the best food vacations in the US.
Noel Morata – Travel Photo Discovery
Miami – Little Havana
Foodies visiting the States and keen to try something different should look no further than Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, one of the best places to visit in the US.
This diverse neighborhood is home to Hispanic residents not limited to Cubans who arrived in the neighborhood during the Wet Foot Dry Foot Policy that allowed them to apply for residency if they could reach the country.
As a result, there are plenty of tasty foods to try in Little Havana, most notably the Cuban dishes.
A popular restaurant to Le Pub known for its authentic empanadas and thimbles of super sweet Cuban coffee. These might look small but each thimble-sized cup contains more caffeine than the average Americano.
You also shouldn’t miss Old Havana Cuban Bar & Cocina known for its traditional Cuban sandwiches.
These meaty morsels made with pork ham, mustard, pickles and Swiss cheese are absolutely delicious and will keep you full for several hours.
As well as visiting these well-loved restaurants run by Cuban families, you can find the best food in Little Havana, Miami by wandering the streets and stopping at bakeries and gelato stores. Keep an eye out for moreish pastelillos filled with cream cheese and fruit fillings.
Rose Munday – Where Goes Rose?
The Napa Valley in northern California is one of the most famous wine country destinations in the USA. But among the other things to do in Napa Valley, besides enjoying wine tastings, is savoring all the fabulous food on offer in area restaurants.
You can find a range of cuisines in the Napa Valley, from French to Italian, but it’s the local California cuisine that draws epicureans to the region. Many restaurants have kitchen gardens right out the back door or across the street.
Chef Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry is of course the most sought after culinary experience in the valley. But if you want to eat there when you visit, make sure you make reservations well ahead of time. The multi-course tasting menu is a treat you will long remember.
Farmstead, in St. Helena, is a great place for lunch or a more casual dinner, albeit with fresh-from-the-farm ingredients and full of local flavor. And for a really tasty burger, head to Gott’s Roadside, where you will see a long line at lunch time.
For great desserts you will want to visit Bouchon, also a Chef Keller enterprise, in Yountville.
With all the top-notch restaurants in the area, it’s not hard to see why Napa Valley is one of the best places to travel for food in USA.
Dhara – It’s Not About the Miles
San Francisco is my favorite food destination in the US! There are so many amazing options that we could visit every weekend and not run out of awesome places to eat for years.
The special thing with San Francisco is how multicultural it is. You can find amazing foods in every cuisine, even as a vegan.
Some of my favorite vegan places in San Francisco are Shizen Japanese, Gracias Madres Mexican, Loving Hut Chinese, Nourish café health food. The list is endless.
We have many Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco and many inexpensive lunch joints. Some of our favorite are Californios Mexican, Rooh, Rasa, Taj Compton and Curry up Now Indian restaurants.
We have restaurants with stunning views and great food in food courts. More of our favorite are the Soup Company in food courts and Slanted Door by the bay.
San Francisco has a famous Chinese, Italian, Japanese and other ethnic neighborhoods that have the most delicious and ethnic food that won’t leave a dent in the wallets.
Most of all San Francisco is a leader in fresh, organic, and high quality produce.
California is blessed with amazing weather which produces the best produce all year round so we can have a huge variety of seasonal food any time of the year. Many restaurants pride themselves to cooking only with fresh produce from farms.
Do make a foodie trip to California and you’ll love it. While you’re visiting check out the lesser known mosaic stairs of San Francisco.
Nirmal & Jyoti – Story at Every Corner
If you’re looking for classic Southern food with a stylish flare, then Savannah, Georgia is one of the best food cities in America not to miss out on.
There’s plenty of grits, buttermilk biscuits, fried green tomatoes (and other fried foods) for sure, but Savannah food seems to dazzle in a special way that just leaves you wanting to come back for more.
Don’t leave town without including breakfast at The Collins Quarter Café in your Savannah weekend itinerary. It’s a popular spot, but they don’t take breakfast reservations, so plan to get there before 9 or 9:30 a.m. if you’re there on a Saturday.
The Collins Quarter has a lot of great gluten-free options on the menu as well as some solid vegetarian options. And come with a big appetite, because their servings are quite generous. I really enjoyed their Bananas Foster French Toast, and their lavender mocha is quite simply the best mocha I’ve ever had. They even sprinkle it with tiny lavender blossoms!
For plant-based fare, you can’t go wrong with Fox & Fig Café just a block from the historic Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Though the dining room is small, the food and service are excellent.
As far as foodie travel destinations in the U.S go, you can’t go wrong with Savannah. In fact, you could visit Savannah for the food alone and leave happy.
Darcy Vierow—Plan, Ready, Go!
For more travel tips on Savannah, check out this detailed post about Cool & Unusual Things to do in Savannah, Georgia.
Lafayette, Louisiana’s Cajun Country
There are so many good things to eat in Lafayette, the heart of Louisiana’s Cajun Country, that I run out of hours in the day to try them all.
The local version of Cajun boudin (French for sausage) is a loosely packed mixture of rice, pork and seasoning. It’s an ingredient in a lot of dishes, but try it on its own if you can to fully appreciate it.
When crayfish are in season, look for a place that serves them by pound, boiled with Creole seasoning and accompany them with local beer. You mainly eat the tails, but if you’re daring you can suck the heads like the locals do.
At Mardi Gras, look for king cake, a distant cousin of the cakes that the French and Spanish eat at Epiphany. Here it’s a round, hollow tube filled with sweet cream cheese that can mixed with pralines, cinnamon or strawberry.
It’s always covered in green, purple and yellow sugar. It looks achingly sweet, but it’s the kind of rich, bready, not-too-sweet cake that’s good with morning coffee.
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Speaking of coffee, French Press puts a creative, modern spin on traditional ingredients and serves up a breakfast that will keep you full past dinner time.
Share a side of sweet-and-salty praline bacon while you tuck in to grits and grillades, chicken and waffles, or poached eggs topped with boudin and gumbo.
Eggs on biscuits with boudin and local Steen’s cane syrup is not for everyone but it’s Lafayette food summed up on a plate.
For a casual lunch or dinner, seek out Old Tyme Grocery. Order a po’boy sandwich at the counter, grab a drink from the refrigerator case and find a table in the homey back room. Unless you’re a very hungry linebacker a half sandwich will be plenty.
Order the catfish and crayfish sandwiches when they have them or the fried oyster one anytime. They come with local Zappo’s potato chips, but the thick-cut fries or too good to miss. You shouldn’t plan to eat for the rest of the day, but chances are good that you will. Read more about food in Lafayette, LA.
Eileen Gunn at FamiliesGo!
Cleveland, Ohio is an excellent foodie destination in the US that often gets overlooked. It is the home of celebrity chefs and various neighborhoods filled with both old and new standbys.
Locals can’t even keep up with the number of breweries and restaurants that continue to pop up, and visitors would never run out of amazing restaurants to experience.
First of all, celebrity chefs, including the likes of Iron Chef Michael Symon, have restaurants in Cleveland. Symon has two restaurants on trendy East 4th Street in Cleveland: Lola Bistro and Mabel’s BBQ.
Chef Jonathon Sawyer is another celebrity chef who has been featured on The Food Network, and also has a restaurant on East 4th called Greenhouse Tavern.
To dive deeper into Cleveland’s foodie scene, one needs to branch out into the neighborhoods surrounding downtown. Head just over the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge to Ohio City, where you’ll find famous landmarks, such as the food stalls at Westside Market and Great Lakes Brewing Company.
Alternatively, you could head just south to the Tremont neighborhood. Personally, this is where I go with my husband for many of our special date nights, as Tremont has some of the city’s best fine dining establishments.
My favorite restaurants in Tremont are Dante for its delectable polenta dishes and Tremont Taphouse for a casual environment that still has great food and beer.
This is just the tip of the iceberg and there are so many more places worth visiting, making Cleveland the perfect destination for foodies to explore. Besides, if you’re looking for fun things to do in the Buckeye State, you’ll love Spring in Ohio!
Theresa – Fueled By Wanderlust
Asheville isn’t just a mountain town among the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Also known as “Foodtopia”, Asheville is becoming one of the best foodie destinations in the United States.
With James Beard award winning chefs and innovative culinary geniuses, fresh and local are not just buzz words thrown around the menu- it’s just the beginning of the foodie adventure.
Known for its laidback hippie vibe, Asheville is a fantastic place for vegetarians, vegans or the plant-based enthusiast. Always sourcing from local farmers and many restaurants utilizing the Appalachian culture, there is a diverse restaurant scene in Asheville.
But Asheville isn’t just for the health conscious. Meat loving restaurants like 12 Bones and #instaworthy donuts from Vortex Donuts are always packed with foodies.
From Spanish tapas at Chef Katie Button’s Curate and mouth watering barbecue at Buxton Hall, there are often more Asheville restaurants to choose from than number of meals in the day.
Christina Riley – NC Tripping
Poke Bowl is a traditional dish from Hawaii with diced raw fish. It can be served as a main course or an appetizer and comes in various forms and seasonings. The most popular fish is the aku, which is skipjack tuna. Some common ingredients include sea salt, soy sauce, inamona, sesame oil, limu, seaweed, and chili pepper.
The modern form of Poke Bowl has been popular in the Hawaiian Islands since the 1970s, but it has been eaten in various forms for many generations.
Hawaii is one of the best places to visit in the US for foodies and some other dishes that you shouldn’t miss to eat includes Poi, Kalua, Lomi-Lomi Salmon, and Laulau. The Kalua pig is a very tasty roasted pork dish that has been cooked since ancient Hawaiian times.
Nowadays, Poke Bowl also available in many cities in the US and some modern versions have been influenced by Japanese and other Asian cuisines.
Poke Bowls can be found in supermarkets in Hawaii or designated restaurants around the islands that have specialized themselves in serving Poke Bowls with different seasonings and styles.
It’s relatively cheap, especially in the supermarkets, and the bowls often come with rice. Foodland is a great place to go for fresh Poke Bowls.
Alexander Waltner – Swedish Nomad
There was a time when everyone in the U.S. seemed to know that Chez Panisse, in Berkeley, California, was the birthplace of California cuisine.
It had a corner on the market for a long time. Still, when foodies come to town, including to San Francisco across the Bay from Berkeley, they want to make a stop here for a stellar meal.
Among the many super famous visitors are Paul McCartney, the Dalai Lama, and former President Barack Obama. There is often a limo out front.
Once Chez Panisse is checked off the list, it is time to visit some of the other famous places in the Gourmet Ghetto area that surrounds the restaurant.
A cup of coffee at Peet’s Coffee & Tea (which in 1966 became the first business in the U.S. to import specialty coffees and dark-roast whole coffee beans) on the next block, and a slice of pizza across the street at The Cheese Board Collective (a long-time collectively-owned business that has the largest cheese selection in the West) are also de rigueur.
Carole Terwilliger Meyers – Berkeley and Beyond
Dallas has a lot going for it. It’s one of the major airline hubs in the USA, so you can easily get there from just about anywhere, and once you arrive there’s so much to do and see.
When we visit we head straight to Trinity Groves in West Dallas to eat at Beto and Son for fresh and delicious locally-sourced Mexican Food.
Trinity Groves is a 40-acre master planned entertainment district neighborhood just across the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. Our friends live just a block away from the Restaurant Incubator where Beto and Son is located.
Wildly successful restauranteur Philip Romano’s incubator program allows chefs and entrepreneurs to team up and open concept restaurants. It’s an attraction all on it’s own, and has grabbed a spot on Dallas’ Margarita Mile.
At Beto and Son you can’t go wrong with the tacos, and I’d recommend doing the mix and match to try 3 of them. I couldn’t get enough of the Gulf of Mexico Ceviche Tower; we probably ate it three times in a week. I didn’t try their award winning Liquid Nitrogen Margarita, but I saw it being prepared table side several times and was tempted to do it for the gram!
Another food experience I wouldn’t want you to miss is the best grouper sandwich you will ever have, at Hillstone Dallas – Park Cities. Get it with a side of grilled artichokes! My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
Lizzie Lau – Lizzie Lau Travels
As a renowned foodie destination in the south, Memphis has so many restaurants to choose from. There are ones serving amazing barbeque, burgers fried in vintage grease, and desserts to die for.
You know you hit the jackpot when you find a restaurant that has a line out the door and it is a place that locals frequent. And in Memphis, there are several where you’ll see this.
There is the Central BBQ where you can get pulled pork sandwiches, brisket, baby back ribs, chicken wings, smoked sausage, and their famous barbeque nachos.
And there is Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken where you can get fried pickles, fried green tomatoes, and of course, fried chicken with baked beans, slaw, and the infamous slice of white bread.
If you aren’t sure of what to eat or where to go you can always sign up to do a food tour and explore more wonderful restaurants in the greater downtown Memphis. But, the best way to eat your way through a foodie destination is to wander around and go in the first place that smells good!
It may be underrated attractions wise but it sure is one of the top food destinations in the US.
Heather Raulerson – Raulerson Girls Travel
The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul (Minnesota) lie in the North Country where the growing season is short. That’s not necessarily a drawback. In Sweden, with a similar climate, they say the concentrated growing season intensifies flavors.
That might be one explanation for the adulation these cities garner from chefs and foodies.
In a recent Bloomberg magazine story, “Top Chefs Pick Favorite Cities Around the World for Great Restaurants,” Minneapolis was one of only two U.S. cities to make the list.
Skeptics expecting Midwest-bland meat and potatoes will be surprised at the diverse fare and the zesty attention to detail.
Asian cuisine, for example, is represented by everything from the French Vietnamese-influenced Ngon Bistro in St. Paul, to the casual, street food-inspired Hai Hai or the sophisticated Japanese comfort food of Zen Box Izakaya in Minneapolis.
Defying categorization, Young Joni, by James Beard awarded chef Ann Kim, serves up heavenly cauliflower, woodfired pizza, Korean short ribs, Thai skewers, and lovely salads. Young Joni’s discreet Back Bar tips visitors to the fabulous cocktail scene in these twin towns, too.
It helps that restaurants in the Twin Cities are supported by an active theater and arts scene, a health-conscious population, and a bundle of corporate headquarters peppered with top notch creative agencies.
Still, for those hankering for traditional Minnesota fare, Twin Cities restaurants deliver walleye (a sweet freshwater lake fish), nutty wild rice (hand harvested by Native Americans), tater tots and hot dishes, or a steaming Jucy Lucy (sic; a cheese-stuffed burger).
Anything goes, because this is where chefs–international and local–bring it all back home.
With various traditional meals and a feature in a big Magazine, Minneapolis is undoubtedly one of the best travel destinations for food lovers in the US.
Kristin Henning – TravelPast50.com
Off the southern coast of Cape Cod, you’ll find Nantucket thirty-six miles out to sea. Here the locavore movement took hold well before it was a trend in the food industry.
Ingredients that are not farmed or foraged need to be imported. Scallops, clams, lobster, chocolate covered strawberries and smoked blue fish pate are a few Island specialties.
The abundance of seafood from the surrounding waters opens the door to menu preparations that could compete anywhere in the world.
Chefs take the winter months to travel off island and brings back inspiration from around the globe. That worldly influence can be seen on menus and contributes to the unique flavors of the island.
Local farms provide many of the vegetables; the tomatoes and corn from Bartlett Farm have developed a cult following. The one dish that will leave a lasting impression are the fresh scallops.
Chefs on The Grey Lady know the secret to a caramel crust on the outside and a melt in your mouth goodness interior that will leave a memory long after the ferry has rounded the lighthouse for your trip back to the mainland.
The Pearl, Nautilus and Straight Wharf are three of my favorites.
Alison Abbott – Green With Renvy
Naples, Florida, in the southwestern corner of the Sunshine State near the Florida Everglades is one of the most popular vacation spots in Florida.
In this Italy-inspired tropical town, high society and small town charm still go together like seafood and beer.
Add in the other fun things to do in Naples like world-class shopping, excellent white sand beaches, year round outdoor fun, and a vibrant restaurant scene, and it’s easy to see why Naples is one of America’s top foodie destinations.
Being right on the Gulf of Mexico means local food specialties like fresh Gulf shrimp, oysters, snapper, grouper, and other saltwater fish dominate the menu.
But the one dish everyone looks forward to each season are fresh Florida stone crabs. Stone crab fishing is a sustainable industry in Florida — by law, only one stone crab claw can be harvested at a time allowing it to grow back and delight us yet again!
There are so many great restaurants in Naples whether it’s high style or low, but for the freshest seafood several restaurants offer excellent options.
Captain & Krewe Seafood Market is ultra casual with fresh raw bar options. Bayside Seafood Grill in Venetian Village is the perfect waterfront location for fresh seafood. Most seafood restaurants have stone crabs in season, so don’t leave town without tasting a few!
With good food coupled with beautiful weather, Naples truly deserves to be on this list of best US cities for foodies.
Lori Sorrentino – Travlinmad.com
Nashville has been a foodie destination in the USA for a long time – pulling in travelers with the hot chicken, barbecue and meat and three options. But, is Nashville one of the top food cities in the US for vegans? Believe it or not, yes!
The vegan restaurants in Nashville are something worth talking about and traveling for. Nashville has been rapidly growing for a while now and with that, more and more restaurants are opening every day.
Make sure to try the hot “chicken” at The Southern V, the cupcakes at Sunflower Bakehouse, the lentil walnut cheeseburger at Avo, and pretty much everything at The Behive.
In between eating your way through the city, stay caffeinated at all the amazing local coffee shops, listen to live music every night, check out the Lower Broad nightlife scene, and take a hike in one of the many amazing city parks.
Ashley Elizabeth Hubbard – Wild Hearted
Portland is a food mecca! The gastronomic scene is hot, hot, hot here with a vibrant food truck culture, excellent craft brew scene, and an emphasis on locavore ingredients from the Pacific Northwest.
Did you know that James Beard, the famous American chef and cookbook author was born in Portland? Besides The James Beard Foundation Awards are annual awards recognize culinary professionals in the United States.
In fact, many of today’s top chefs in Portland got their start at one of the local food carts, where diners then followed them to their fresh, organic farm-to-table restaurants. That’s just one reason why you can find more than 500 food carts dotting the city of Portland.
Whether you’re a carnivore, vegan, or gluten-free, you’ll find some of the best eats here ever.
Be sure to check out Andina, a wine and tapas bar with incredible Peruvian food, conveniently located downtown. For the best Indian buffet on a budget, head immediately to Swagat Indian Cuisine.
To steep yourself in Portland history, head to the iconic Goose Hollow Inn, owned by controversial former Mayor Bud Clarke. They serve the best Ruben sandwich on the planet!
Christina Román – Explore Now or Never
San Diego, CA
From açaí bowls to jampacked burritos, tiki bars to beachfront eateries, San Diego’s culinary stockpile is a window into San Diego’s sunny, seaside soul.
With its close proximity to Mexico, the ocean, and Los Angeles, the local menu is bursting with the best in Cali-Mex, seafood, and trendy, instaworthy dishes.
Make a pilgrimage to the original shop of Oscars Mexican Seafood, located on 703 Turquoise Street, and score a plate of smoked fish tacos. They also have fried fish tacos but the staff, who originally hail from Tijuana, all agree the smoked fish is where its at. If you have room, order a cup of their ceviche.
Another neighborhood in San Diego that foodies cannot miss out on is Little Italy, which has some of the best Italian food from this side of the Atlantic.
There are plenty of restaurants that will catch your eye but Civico 1845 will not disappoint. Not only is their pasta perfectly ‘al dente,’ but the extensive menu is also very accommodating to vegans and gluten-free eaters, which is a rarity in the world of Italian cuisine.
And did you know? San Diego is also known as the “Capital of Craft Beer.” With over 150 breweries to choose from, chances are you’ll be leaving SoCal with a belly full of good food and good booze.
Millette – The Next Somewhere
Named the first UNESCO City of Gastronomy in the United States, Tucson, Arizona should be a bucket list destination for any Mexican food lover.
Being that Tucson is just 60 miles from Mexico, it should come as no surprise that you’ll find some of the best Mexican food north of the border!
From super authentic taco stands to fine Mexican dining, Tucson does it all, and they do it well. One of the best things to do in Tucson is to eat! Be sure to eat as many tacos as possible, and sample the Sonora Dog, a specialty from this region.
Here are a few notable Tucson restaurants:
- Los Tacos Apson: This no-frills taco shop is one of the best places to get authentic Mexican food for super cheap. And be sure to load up at their generous salsa bar!
- El Güero Canelo Restaurant or BK Carne Asada & Hot Dogs: These rival restaurants both claim to serve the best Sonora Dog, a local favorite made with a bacon-wrapped hot dog, pinto beans, onions, tomato, salsa verde, mayo and mustard, all stuffed into a sweet bun. Choose one or try them both to compare!
- Mi Nidito: A town staple, Mi Nidito is a good spot for late-night eats, huge portions and a fun yet casual atmosphere. It is also famous for being a place in which Bill Clinton once dined!
- Cafe Poca Cosa: If it’s more of a refined atmosphere you’re after, this chic Mexican eatery will be just what you’re looking for. With an ever-changing menu, their dishes are fresh and inventive.
Katie – Two Wandering Soles
No Scottsdale, Arizona Guide is complete without a list of the ultimate foodie stops. Scottsdale is home to some incredible restaurants. You can experience everything from authentic Mexican cuisine, steak houses as well as organic, local and seasonal dining cuisine.
For the ultimate modern Latin cuisine, make sure to visit the famous Mission restaurant. It is worth visiting just for the unique interior of Himalayan salt block walls. Two must things to order is one of their signature margaritas and their freshly made tableside guacamole.
If you are looking for new-American comfort food; then Citizen Public House will delight you with dishes derived from distinctly foreign places. It is conveniently located in Old Town Scottsdale.
I would recommend the original chopped salad. Layers of smoked salmon, couscous, Asiago cheese, arugula, pepitas, marinated tomatoes, dried super sweet corn and currants in a creamy buttermilk herb dressing. It is the most delicious salad I have ever had. The fall off the bone, fair-trade short ribs are coffee-rubbed with a parsnip puree and dried cherry bbq sauce.
Diana – Diana’s Healthy Living
Philadelphia is known as the city where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed. But it’s also the cheesesteak capital of the USA.
No wonder, the iconic beefy sandwich was invented here and you’ll find a cheesesteak shop around every corner. The original creators, two brothers, now run the restaurants Pat and Geno but my personal favorite is Jim’s Steaks.
But you can’t just eat cheesesteaks all day long when Philadelphia has so much to offer for foodies. Hip cafes, vegan places and international food are lining the streets in the city center but the first place you should check out is Reading Terminal Market.
Located right next to the coach station and in the fashion district, it’s the ideal place to grab a quick bite or sit down for a whole. There’s so much choice here and the food is excellent. It’s always busy so avoid typical lunch hours if you can and opt for brunching or late lunches, for instance.
What can you try here? More cheesesteak, New Orleans cuisine, healthy veggie shots, watermelon smoothie, fresh fruits and more! Do get a map at the door so you find your way around because it can be rather overwhelming.
Annemarie – Travel on the Brain
A few years ago, Oklahoma City wasn’t really a place you traveled to for food. However, it has now become one of the best vacation spots in the US for foodies.
It’s an underrated foodie city and I’m not just saying that because I spent a major portion of my life there. Oklahoma City is now a place where there’s a restaurant that suits everyone’s preferences.
The culinary options there also have a big international influence. For example, there are so many delicious Vietnamese, Mexican, Italian Indian, Thai, Japanese restaurants, plus more. The brunch scene there is also incredible.
You won’t go wrong with anything there, but you have to try steak and barbecue when visiting. These are the two staple items. The meat is one of a kind and it’s flavorful and tender.
The best barbecue restaurant is Iron Star. They serve everything from pulled pork to brisket to smoked chicken. The best restaurant to get steak is Cattleman’s Steakhouse. The prices are affordable and the steak just melts in your mouth.
Disha Smith – Disha Discovers
Tempe, a college town near Phoenix, is not just well known for Arizona State University, but it also has an amazing brew and food scene which makes it one of the US cities with the best food.
Four Peaks Brewery is one of the best bars in the Phoenix area and is famous for delicious eats along with its amazing beers. There are always seasonal beers on tap, but the most popular are the Kilt Lifter and the white ale. They serve a variety of food including the typical bar food, but they also have some eats that are inspired by Germany and the Southwest.
No visit to Arizona is complete without some Southwestern food!
Ghost Ranch, in Tempe, is the best place to grab some for dinner. Their famous Aztec cake is their take on a lasagna, they layer up corn tortillas with loads of chicken and cheese.
It is unique and absolutely delicious! Their prickly pear cocktails are also amazing, you simply must try their prickly pear froze margarita, a unique combination of a prickly pear frozen margarita with rose.
Be sure to visit Tempe, Arizona for some of the best eats in Arizona!
Constance Panda – The Adventures of Panda Bear
One of my favorite places for a foodie’s getaway in the US, is Milwaukee in Wisconsin.
Milwaukee, the state’s finance and commercial capital, is cool but for some reason it’s not on the radar of many travelers. That makes it the perfect place for those who aren’t a fan of large tourist crowds.
Milwaukee is particularly suited for those who are into food and museums. Indeed, Milwaukee with its large German immigration background in the previous centuries has some of the best, heartiest food in the US.
Some of the most typical food to eat is Friday Fish Fry, cheese curds and fruit dumplings.
I highly recommend the Lakefront Brewery for authentic Wisconsin atmosphere and food. For legendary cheese curds I recommend the Clock Shadow Creamery.
If you are wondering where to stay in Milwaukee, I recommend getting a lakefront hotel in order to be close to the best restaurants in town or enjoy a relaxing hotel with hot tub in room.
Paulina – Paulina on the Road
Read next: 10 Best Hotels with Hot Tub in Room in Milwaukee, WI.
Missoula Montana is one of the best foodie towns in America we’ve ever visited. The incredible variety, freshness, and creativity of the meals are second to none. Vegans, carnivores, and everyone in between will find plenty to enjoy.
For breakfast, you can start out simply with a cuppa and a crispy croissant from Bernice’s Bakery or tasty pastry at Le Petit Outre. If you’re big on breakfast build your own plate at The Catalyst Cafe or go for the hearty huckleberry pancake at The Shack.
Choices for lunch range from delicious burgers at Top Hat, awesome nachos at Tamarack Brewing, wood-fired pizza and great salads at Biga Pizza, or downright messy and delicious bbq at Notorious P.I.G.
There are lots of ethnic spots dishing up authentic food that make a great dinner. The Greek Pastry Shop, El Cazador Mexican, Five On Black Brazilian Grill, and Iza Asian Restaurant are just a few. Enjoy Italian treats like house-made pasta at Caffe Dolce or soak up the old west vibe at The Montana Club.
In the mood for an adult beverage? Try Highlander Brewing Company, Plonk Wine, Montgomery Distillery, or Stockman’s Bar for a little fun with your drink.
Missoula is a college town with plenty of great food trucks too. Finish off with a Big Dipper Ice Cream or an amazing vegan Veera donut.
As beautiful as this Montana town is, you’ll also never go hungry with its huge array of delicious foods ready to satisfy your appetite.
Diana Laskaris – Food Travelist
Whilst the area north of San Francisco is famed for the wine making regions of Napa and Sonoma, where vines can be seen across the rolling hills of the area.
However, there is one area just across the bay of San Francisco, overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, where it is its produce and restaurant scene which truly sells itself.
The county of Marin is dotted with artisan producers to explore along with a beautiful landscape and striking coastline.
You can take a tour with the fantastic Food & Farm Tours, kicking off in the hub town of Point Reyes Station to check out the likes of Bovine Bakery, with fresh pastries and cakes, Cowgirl Creamery, with an array of cheese and Brickmaiden Bread, where a freshly baked sourdough awaits.
Following this, head out to the coastline to try some unique sparkling mead and then sit on the shoreline and tuck into a platter of fresh and barbecued oysters – the ultimate way to enjoy this part of California!
Laura – The Travelling Stomach
Little Rock, Arkansas
Little Rock is surprisingly one of the culinary vacations in the United States located in the south of the country. Arkansas’s capital manages to mix the best of southern cuisine with innovative places to eat and impressive microbreweries.
The city has a huge range of award-winning restaurants, independent cafes and happening bars to choose from. You can definitely spend a good few days eating and drinking your way around town, it’s one of the most fun things to do in Little Rock.
There’s a real sense of foodie collaboration in the city as well, with many local producers working together to offer each other’s products. For example, Loblolly Creamery offers a ‘Bourbon Peacan’ flavour ice cream that contains bourbon from the nearby ‘Rock Town Distillery’.
Some foodie treats you should definitely try when in town include a ‘Root Benny’ brunch from the Root Cafe, the legendary ‘sugar cookies’ from Community Cafe and an open-faced Fried Italian Bologna & Egg from Lost Forty Brewing.
Dependent on your budget and tastes there is a whole range of places to eat in Little Rock. Some of my favorite places to eat in Little Rock include Gus’s World-Famous Fried Chicken and One Eleven at the Capital.
Pip Jones – Pip and the City
Idaho, in general, is mistakenly overlooked in American tourism, especially in the foodie realm. “But what’s in Idaho anyway?? PoTatOeS?!?” Skeptics may ask. WELL HERES THE SCOOP.
Yes, there are potatoes. A LOT OF POTATOES. So let’s start there. Idaho is the potato capitol of America, so you best believe they are serving up all KINDS of starchy goodness.
At Boise Potato Co, the fries are the main entree, and the choices are endless with five different types of potatoes, four different cuts, and over fifteen fry sauces! And it helps that the side of burger (with multiple patties – including Vegan!) are delicious too.
Boise has fantastic weather in the warmer months, and also the largest Baske community in the United States, so you can indulge in the most authentic Baske cuisine on one of Boise’s many beautifully decorated outdoor patios.
After, head to 8th street to catch a pint or two at a local brewery and taste some of the country’s best craft brews (no one does em like the northwest!). And since the town is so darn walkable, treat your tastebuds to Boise’s famed dessert: Butter Cake.
While Boise is known for its potatoes (and for good reason, they’re delicious!), it is an amazing foodie destination for American classics – including Native American restaurants like Mist’Delish.
Kay – The Awkward Traveller
There is no shortage of amazing food in Charleston. Already known to visitors as an historic jewel of the South, Charleston has developed a reputation for being a foodie destination in the US too.
Favorite Lowcountry dishes such as Shrimp and Grits and She Crab Soup are sought after by visitors, while locals eagerly await the seasons for oysters and soft shell crabs.
With an abundance of fresh local seafood and produce, chefs throughout Charleston rely on local purveyors to showcase the best the area has to offer. In fact, it has become a bit of a prideful joy to announce the local farms, fishermen, and grit mills sourced for their creations. This is particularly evident in restaurants like Husk which creates modern dishes inspired by southern tradition.
That’s not to say all the food in Charleston is rooted in the south. The menu at FIG, which stands for Food Is Good, is inspired by clean bold flavor combinations that feel more European than southern.
Another popular choice, Butcher and Bee, creates an “ever-changing menu of honest to goodness eats” that are as innovative at the restaurant space. And Asian favorite, Xiao Bao Biscuit serves multicultural Asian food in a trendy converted gas station.
And of course, don’t forget about the little hole in the wall restaurants known for their rich, honest home cooking. The fried chicken and collard greens at Martha Lou’s Kitchen are some of the best in Charleston.
And at Nana’s Seafood and Soul, devotees follow their Instagram feed to know when to order their famous garlic crabs.
Julien Casanova – Cultures Traveled
Who would think that an unassuming little neighborhood at the end of NYC’s #7 train, with a funny name like “Flushing” is actually one of the best foodie destinations in the US? Well, it is!
Flushing, in the NY borough of Queens, was originally settled by the Dutch, as was the rest of New York City. The town is named after an important Dutch harbor.
In the past couple of decades, the neighborhood has become a destination for Asian immigrants to settle. These hardworking immigrants have enriched and revitalized the once sleepy town and converted it into New York’s largest Chinatown. Although they call it a Chinatown, it really should be called “Asiatown” because the immigrants come from all over Asia.
Fortunately for NY residents, the immigrants brought with them all their culinary skills and established restaurants all over the city. You can walk down any street and sample cuisines from every Asian country. Some of my favorite restaurants include Mr. Chan’s, Pho Metro and Teriyaki One.
Talek Nantes – Travels with Talek
We think one of the best foodie destinations in the US is definitely Kansas City, Missouri. And although they are known for their BBQ, there are a lot of unique places to eat in Kansas City which offer a variety of cuisines.
Like we mentioned though, Kansas City takes their BBQ serious and one of the best places to eat it is at Q39. They’re considered to be one of the best BBQ restaurants in Kansas City, but also one of the top restaurants in the city. We had their Brisket with Burnt Ends and they were delicious.
Another great restaurant in Kansas City is Beer Kitchen. They offer a large beer selection, from local breweries and all over the world. They also have a vegan menu and many vegetarian options, which isn’t always easy to find in a city known for its beef.
During our visit, we had the Creekstone Short Rib with cheddar grits and braised kale. The cheddar grits were amazing and went really well with the short ribs.
We would have never thought to put short ribs and grits together, but these unique dishes are what make Kansas City so special and a great foodie city.
Vicky Sosa – Buddy The Traveling Monkey
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Living in a foodie town (New Orleans) it is always hard to go on a vacation and be disappointed by food! I’m going to save this list for some future foodie vacations!
Great post! Thanks for the info, can’t wait to visit! Feel free to check mine as well Travel to Morocco :)