Top 10 Best Foodie Cities in America

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Because of its diverse population and wide range of cities offering inspired takes on classic regional favorites, the United States is unquestionably a foodie ... read more...

  1. Buffalo, New York tops the list of best foodie cities in America. Buffalo, New York, is a humble rust-belt city that also serves up authentic Polish food, beef on weck, and, of course, its signature Buffalo chicken wings. According to the National Chicken Council, these treats, also known as Buffalo wings or simply wings, were created as a happy accident at Anchor Bar. For its classic flavor, the popular finger food relies on a delicate balance of spicy hot sauce, butter, and cool blue cheese. Although five-alarm deep-fried wings are a traditional Buffalonian treat, they can also be ordered mild or medium.

    Another hometown favorite is beef on weck, which consists of thinly sliced beef, horseradish, and a Kaiser roll. Add some beef au jus for a messy but heavenly sandwich you'll fall in love with. Buffalo's large Polish population serves up authentic pierogi, placek, and golabki that taste like they came straight from your babcia's Warsaw kitchen. For authentic, tasty Polish cuisine, visit the city's East Side Broadway Market.

    Location: Western New York

  2. New Orleans, Louisiana ranks 2nd on the list of best foodie cities in America. New Orleans, Louisiana, is such a foodie destination that even the rich and famous visit for Cajun-style down-home cooking. With its colorful history and eclectic mix of culinary influences, it's no surprise that New Orleans is on the list of must-dine American destinations. Gumbo has to be one of the crown jewels of flavor in New Orleans. The spicy and hearty stew is packed with fresh local shellfish, bell peppers, and onions for a rich flavor you won't want to miss.

    According to Serious Eats, another staple that will stick to your ribs is a muffuletta sandwich, which consists of a layer of olives topped with plenty of cold cuts and sliced cheese. The soft pillowy bread is large, round, and covered in sesame seeds, providing the ideal foundation for the winning flavor combination. If you have a sweet tooth, New Orleans has something for you as well. Don't miss out on the state's signature donut, fresh hot beignets (via National Geographic).

    Location: Louisiana, United States
  3. Burlington, Vermont ranks 3rd on the list of best foodie cities in America. Burlington, Vermont's most popular export is sharp cheddar cheese, so it's no surprise that this hippie haven makes some of the best mac and cheese in the country. For a creamy, delicious bowl of gooey nostalgia, load it up with sharp, smoked, or mild cheddar. Although Burlington's macaroni and cheese is delicious enough to warrant a road trip, it's far from the only comfort food available in The Green Mountain State.

    Ben & Jerry's, the iconic small-batch ice cream company that helped put Burlington on the map, is also located in the city. Ben & Jerry's creates a plethora of bizarre and wonderful flavors, which you can sample at the original store. Foodies visiting Vermont during the fall or peak leaf peeping season can sample a Vermont tradition: cider donuts. NPR suggests pairing the baked goods with a crisp glass of cider for a traditional fall pairing. Sip hot tea or coffee against the backdrop of Vermont's famous changing leaves to warm up.

    Location: Vermont
  4. Portland, Oregon ranks 4th on the list of best foodie cities in America. Portland, Oregon, may be the West Coast's darling for its incredible nature, miles of bike trails, and eco-friendly vibe, but it's no slouch when it comes to food. Portland has some of the best farm-to-table dining options in the country, allowing you to immerse yourself in the cuisine while appreciating the abundance of locally sourced ingredients. Plate & Pitchfork frequently hosts multi-course dinners preceded by a farm tour to introduce guests to regional ingredients used in inventive and delicious ways.

    According to CNN, Portland has a thriving street food and food truck scene that includes a variety of cuisines and preparations. The best part is that you can find them almost anywhere. Portland's Eastern European food culture is perhaps the most surprising. The Roman Russian Market, for example, is a massive, authentic marketplace where hungry visitors can buy smoked fish, cake, and sausages straight from the old country. You can eat on-site or take some goodies home with you

    Location: Oregon
  5. Asheville, North Carolina ranks 5th on the list of best foodie cities in America. If the Deep South isn't the first place that comes to mind when you think of creative vegetarian cooking, Asheville, North Carolina, wants to say hello. For a city known for its meats, it certainly leans heavily toward vegetables. The Asheville Vegan Society highlights a variety of vegan-friendly options that can be found on nearly every street corner. Greens aren't an afterthought at these eclectic restaurants. According to The Beet, you can satisfy your cravings without sacrificing flavor anywhere from food trucks and juice shops to fine dining restaurants.

    Drink a pint or two of Asheville's legendary suds with your veggie plate. As a certified brew town and one of the best beer cities in the United States, thirsty foodies can sip on porters and stouts. Furthermore, Asheville's central location in the Appalachian Mountains makes it an ideal destination for sampling regional favorites such as tasty apple butter, ramps, and thick slices of country ham (via Explore Asheville).

    Location: North Carolina
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    Boise, Idaho ranks 6th on the list of best foodie cities in America. Although quirky regional favorites like the famous ice cream potato (a sweet take on a loaded potato, according to Atlas Obscura) can be found in Boise, Idaho, the city has plenty more tricks up its sleeve. From Basque cuisine to crispy addictive finger steaks, there's plenty to love in the world's potato capital. Finger steaks are a regional classic that can compete with almost any slab of steak found in high-end Texas restaurants. The key is in the planning.

    According to The Spokesman-Review, high-quality cuts of meat are marinated in seasoned buttermilk before being deep-fried in a flour-based batter. They come with a heaping helping of French fries and your choice of cocktail or barbecue dipping sauce. Meanwhile, according to CNN, Boise's beating heart is its Basque culture, and foodies can sample chorizo, paella, and other delights all over the city. Finally, Boise's ice wine puts it on the map, according to Idaho Press, and the cold climate and soils produce some fantastic blends.

    Location: Idaho
  7. Chicago, Illinois ranks 7th on the list of best foodie cities in America. True foodies know that if you want to get away from paper-thin slices of pepperoni pizza, head to Chicago, Illinois, where the local deep-dish pizza is an experience in and of itself. The BBC describes the hefty rich combination of sauce, cheese, and fillings as "dipping into a casserole or pie, complete with layers of comforting pizza flavors." If you want to eat deep-dish pizza like a true Chicagoan, bring your knife and fork.

    Chicago Italian beef, a hearty sandwich stuffed with thinly sliced seasoned meat and roasted peppers on a French roll, is another foodie favorite, according to Allrecipes. You can top your beef sammie with hot, sweet, or a combination of peppers. Of course, if your inner carnivore still craves more, there's always the Chicago-style hotdog. Chicago hot dogs are available with a variety of toppings, including tomato, pickle, onions, pepper, relish, and mustard.

    Location: Illinois
  8. Cincinnati, Ohio ranks 8th on the list of best foodie cities in America. Even if you've had spaghetti with meat sauce and cheese before, we're willing to bet you've never had it quite like this before. Cincinnati chili, according to WVXU News, is a glorious Greek-inspired blend of spaghetti, homemade chili, onions, beans, and a heaping pile of cheese. Cheese isn't just used as a garnish in New York. Instead, it's a key ingredient, covering the entire dish in a finely shredded layer. Although you can get a plate on almost any street corner, most locals prefer the two local chains, Gold Star and Skyline Chili.

    While Cincinnati chili will undoubtedly satisfy your craving for savory, cheesy, meaty goodness, the city is also rich in sweet treats. Peanut butter and chocolate buckeyes are a regional favorite, having been voted the top sweet snack in the state in a Funky Chunky survey (via WLWT News). Meanwhile, Graeter's Ice Cream has been serving creamy ice cream and nostalgic treats to visitors and locals alike since 1870.

    Location: Ohio
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    Miami, Florida is the place to go for Cuban-fusion flavors with a side of sunshine. Miami is one of the most exciting cities in the United States, with high-end clubs and miles of pristine beaches, as well as fresh seafood, thick Cuban sandwiches, and generous slices of key lime pie. The latter is the official state pie of Florida, according to State Symbols USA, and no city nails the delicate balance of tart key limes and velvety sweetened condensed milk quite like Miami.

    Because of its proximity to the ocean, Miami offers an impressive selection of seafood. Ceviche is a popular dish in the city, consisting of seafood marinated in citrus and served with vegetables and herbs. Countless restaurants play with flavors, so check out Eater Miami's top ceviche spots. But perhaps the most famous dish in Miami is its Cuban sandwiches. These sandwiches are stuffed with ham, roast pork, mustard, cheese, and pickles, then pressed together to allow the flavors to blend.

    Location: Florida
  10. Any New Yorker will tell you that his or her city has the best food in the world. And after sampling bagels, cheesecake, and New York-style pizza, you may be inclined to agree. The Big Apple has some truly iconic dishes, and one of the most well-known has to be its super-thin pizza (via Serious Eats). The massive triangular slices can be found on almost any street corner in Manhattan. Fold them in half to enjoy layers of cheese, sauce, and thin-crust in each bite.

    Cheesecake is another outstanding New York City dish, praised for its dense texture and ideal sweetness. Although you can top it with a drizzle of chocolate or berries, being a cheesecake purist and savoring every bite of cream cheese and graham cracker crust alone is perfectly acceptable. Bagels are unmistakably New York for a snack at any time. The secret to the city's delicious bagels, according to NPR, is in the boiling process, which results in a crisp exterior and chewy interior.

    Location: New York

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