7 Best Cities For Foodies In The US Most Recommended By Travel Experts

Food lovers, rejoice! If you’re on the hunt for the ultimate culinary experience, look no further than StudyFinds’ ultimate list of the best cities for foodies in the United States. From coast to coast, these cities are a haven for culinary delights, offering a diverse range of flavors, innovative dishes, and a thriving food culture that will leave your taste buds begging for more. Whether you’re a fan of mouth-watering street food, Michelin-starred restaurants, or farm-to-table eateries, these foodie cities have it all. So grab your fork and join us on a culinary journey as we explore the top foodie destinations in the U.S.

The foodie culture in America has become a vibrant and influential movement in recent years. With a growing emphasis on quality, diversity, and sustainability, food enthusiasts nationwide are actively seeking out unique culinary experiences. From farm-to-table restaurants to food festivals and artisanal food markets, the foodie culture has transformed the way Americans eat and appreciate food. It has also paved the way for the rise of celebrity chefs and cooking shows, making dining and cooking an integral part of popular culture. This obsession with food has not only created a booming industry but has fostered a sense of community among food lovers, who eagerly share their experiences and recommendations.

The rise of social media has also played a significant role in the popularity of the foodie culture. Platforms like Instagram and YouTube have allowed food enthusiasts to share their dining experiences and discover new food trends. This has created a sense of community among foodies, who constantly engage in discussions and debates about the best restaurants, recipes, and food products. As a result, the foodie culture has not only influenced how Americans approach food but has also become a form of social currency and self-expression. Whether it’s trying the latest food trend or exploring a new cuisine, being a foodie has become a way of life for many Americans.

Whether you’re a seasoned foodie looking for travel recommendations or just starting your journey on appreciating the artistry behind food, we at StudyFinds are here to help make your decision-making easier. Thanks to the recommendations of eight food experts, StudyFinds has compiled a list of the top seven best cities for foodies in the U.S. Don’t agree with our list or feel we missed out on a great suggestion? We would love to hear your recommendations in the comments below! Now, onto the list!

➡️ How Our “Best Of The Best” Lists Are Created

StudyFinds’ “Best of the Best” articles are put together with the idea of taking the work out of common consumer research. Ever find yourself searching for a product or service on Google and reading multiple reviews to find items listed across many of them? Our Best of the Best lists are created with that process in mind, with each item ranked by how frequently it appears on expert reviews or lists. With Best of the Best, you are getting consensus picks — making them truly the best of the best!

Katzs store at nighttime
Katz Delicatessen in NYC (Photo by Harry Knight on Unsplash)

The List: Best Foodie Cities In The U.S., Per Culinary Experts

1. New Orleans

New Orleans
New Orleans, Louisiana (Photo by mana5280 on Unsplash)

Starting off strong, we have one of the most popular cities in Louisiana — New Orleans. According to Travel Awaits, the city is very popular among foodies for its Creole and Cajun eats, alongside fluffy beignets and chicory coffee. From indulging in mouth-watering gumbo and jambalaya to savoring the delectable flavors of po’ boys and étouffée, the city’s culinary delights are a feast for the senses. Whether exploring the historic French Quarter or immersing oneself in the lively atmosphere of Bourbon Street, New Orleans exudes a charm that captivates visitors from all walks of life.

NOLA’s culture is arguably the most unique of all American cities. Its food offerings are no exception, combining elements from Europe, the Caribbean, and Africa. This vibrant fusion of culinary traditions is evident in its iconic dishes. The city’s love for indulgent flavors and spices is reflected in the use of ingredients like Cajun seasoning, crawfish, and andouille sausage. U.S. News & World Report adds that Sunday brunch originated in New Orleans in 1854.

The city is also booming with an elaborate cocktail scene. Whether you’re looking for a classic hurricane at Pat O’Briens or want to “wash everything down with NOLA’s most iconic cocktail, the Sazerac, at The Sazerac Bar,” adds Travel + Leisure, there is no end to the amount of spirits and concoctions to be enjoyed. If you prefer to sip your drinks in lively establishments or prefer cozy hideaways, the city’s cocktail scene is sure to satisfy even the most discerning of drinkers.

2. New York City

black and white pedestrian lane in the city during daytime
New York, New York. (Photo by Paulo Silva on Unsplash)

The second spot on our list goes to The Big Apple itself, New York City. Since NYC is the melting pot of the world, it has an array of food to offer, notes Capture the Atlas. From its world-famous street carts serving hot dogs and pretzels to its upscale restaurants, New York City is a haven for food enthusiasts. With a diverse range of cuisines from all corners of the globe, the city boasts an unrivaled culinary scene.

U.S. News & World Report says New York City offers everything from 99-cent pizza slices to French fine dining. The diverse culinary scene in NYC caters to all tastes and budgets. For those seeking an elegant and extravagant dining experience, Michelin-starred restaurants offer exquisite cuisine. On the other hand, food enthusiasts can explore the city’s vibrant neighborhoods to discover hidden gems where they can indulge in authentic food from around the globe.

Don’t limit your options to only Manhattan, either: The five boroughs offer a strong array of excellently crafted cuisines. For instance, look towards Astoria and Jackson Heights in Queens for authentic Greek, and “Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood for a slew of Polish bakeries,” notes Travel + Leisure. Of course, a trip to NYC wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Staten Island for some Italian. No matter what corner of New York you find yourself in, you best believe there are culinary delights near.

3. Chicago

different vehicles on road near Chicago city buildings
Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Joel Mott on Unsplash)

For the third spot, we are traveling to the Windy City of Chicago, where hot dogs are considered the go-to, but only if your order includes an “all-beef hot dog, poppy seed bun, vegetable toppings, but never ketchup,” notes Travel Awaits. The exclusion of ketchup may seem strange to some, but it allows the other ingredients to shine and gives the Chicago hot dog its unmistakable taste.

Of course, there are plenty of other foods that Chicago is known for. For instance, it’s ever-controversial deep-dish pizza. The city has has numerous Michelin-starred restaurants and authentic cuisines from anywhere in the world, says U.S. News & World Report. From soul-warming bowls of hearty chili to mouth-watering Polish sausages, the diverse culinary scene in Chicago is a true food lover’s paradise. So, whether you’re a fan of the classics or eager to explore the city’s vibrant dining scene, Chicago is sure to satisfy your cravings and leave you wanting more.

The Chicago food scene is always expanding, with new additions to the food scene, including “the 24,000-square-foot Chicago Winery,” writes Travel + Leisure. This urban winery offers visitors a unique experience by allowing them to see the winemaking process from start to finish. With a state-of-the-art facility and knowledgeable staff, Chicago Winery is quickly becoming a favorite destination for wine enthusiasts. The expansive space also includes a full restaurant, so you can enjoy pairings or pick what you want yourself.

4. Los Angeles

landscape photography of coconut trees
Palm trees in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Viviana Rishe on Unsplash)

For the number four spot on our list, we will be traveling to the West Coast to visit the City of Angels — Los Angeles. Periodic Adventures reminds travelers to pack their stretchy pants for L.A. for all the eating you will do. With its diverse culinary scene, Los Angeles offers a plethora of options for food lovers. From world-famous tacos and gourmet burgers to fusion cuisine and trendy vegan eateries, L.A. has something to satisfy every craving.

Los Angeles is known for its nooks and crannies of all different types of cuisine. Capture the Atlas recommends foodies to go to Koreatown to grab a bite to eat. People can also visit one of the city’s famous food truck markets. Whether you’re a foodie or just a picky eater, Los Angeles has something to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.

Los Angeles is also known for its celebrity and magic — you never know when you’re going to come across a pop-up by a famed celebrity chef or visit one of their iconic restaurants. From trendy rooftop bars to exclusive clubs, you can rub shoulders with the rich and famous at any given moment. When it comes to suggestions, Food And Wine has them in spades: “Don’t miss Found Oyster for the vibes, Horses for the cocktails, and Sapp Coffee Shop for boat noodles.”

5. Charleston

people riding on carriage on road during daytime
Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo by Leonel Heisenberg on Unsplash)

Ready for some southern cooking? Head on down to Charleston, South Carolina, for our next pick. Capture the Atlas notes the coastal southern city is known for its seafood and oysters, but that’s not all! Food can also enjoy staples such as fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, hush puppies, sweet tea, and okra soup. Just don’t forget to save room for a slice of pecan pie or a scoop of homemade peach ice cream because no southern meal is complete without a sweet treat!

You’ll be sure to fill your trip to Charleston with non-stop eating — from delectable coffee shops to breakfast and lunch, all before your dinner reservations. Food And Wine recommends foodies hitting up an oyster happy hour. Whether you prefer them raw, grilled, or Rockefeller-style, these happy hours are a must for seafood enthusiasts looking to enhance their culinary experience in South Carolina.

Charleston is also known for its incredible waterfront dining options. Travel Awaits says foodies must go to Fleet Landing and Saltwater Cowboys. Both restaurants offer stunning views of the water and a menu filled with fresh seafood and southern specialties. No matter where you choose, however, you’re in for a treat with the delectable dishes and picturesque surroundings.

6. San Francisco

golden gate bridge san francisco
San Francisco, California. (Photo by Mollie Moran on Unsplash)

Sixth on our list is San Francisco, which is the “home to sourdough, Mission Burritos, over 50 Michelin-starred restaurants, and the oldest Chinatown neighborhood in North America,” writes Capture the Atlas. With its vibrant food scene, San Francisco offers a culinary adventure like no other. This city is a paradise for food lovers. Whether you’re craving fine dining or affordable street food, San Francisco’s abundance of restaurants caters to every budget and palate.

It’s virtually impossible not to find something to satisfy everyone’s needs when visiting this California city. Best Life notes foodies can find anything in the Golden City: from sushi, to Mexican food, and even boba teas. But, it doesn’t end there as virtually any cuisine you can think of is available at your fingertips. Whether you’re craving a hearty steak, a refreshing Mediterranean salad, or a comforting bowl of ramen, this city has it all.

Almost every corner of San Francisco offers some sort of eatery. In fact, Travel And Leisure reveals San Fran is the most restaurant-dense city in the U.S. With such a diverse and thriving food scene, it’s no wonder that San Francisco has earned its reputation as a food lover’s paradise.

7. Austin

assorted-color free standing letters during daytime
Austin, Texas  (Photo by Tomek Baginski on Unsplash)

The last — but certainly not least — spot on our list goes to Austin, Texas. Foodies can’t leave the city without trying its delicious barbecue and tasty Tex-Mex, says Capture the Atlas. Recommendations include Joe’s Bakery & Coffee Shop for all-day Tex-Mex breakfast meals and Salt Lick BBQ for its all-you-can-eat barbecue. Both establishments have garnered a loyal following among locals and tourists alike.

Austin is absolutely booming with foodie delights. You can even go on a self-guided barbecue and taco tour, notes Best Life. From mouth-watering brisket and juicy ribs to flavorful tacos packed with unique combinations, the city showcases its love for tasty cuisines. Embarking on this self-guided tour also allows food enthusiasts to savor the authentic flavors of Austin while exploring its unique neighborhoods and experiencing the city’s culture firsthand.

You’d be wrong to assume, however, that barbecue and Tex-Mex are all this Texas city has to offer. Far & Wide notes Austin pioneered food trucks, farm-to-table restaurants, and fusion-cuisine movements. They city has also opened its arms to the natural wine trend. The city has been at the forefront of innovative dining experiences, combining locally sourced ingredients with global flavors and techniques shaped by its vibrant and progressive community. Whether you’re a foodie or simply looking to explore new tastes, Austin is a culinary paradise that promises to satisfy even the most discerning of palates.


Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links in which we receive a commission if you make a purchase.

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