Wondering which are the best foodie destinations in the USA? From San Francisco to New York City, here are fourteen cities you should add to your list.
If you are planning to tour famous cities in the United States, surely food is one of your top considerations for the trip. Fortunately, America has the best cities with a variety of great diners, drive-ins, and dives. Also, different cities mean different cultures and traditions. Now, why is cultural diversity important in food trips?
America is a culturally diverse country, meaning people around the world migrated here to share their culture which includes food and infusing it with local traditions.
So, are you ready to embark on a food trip? Here are the best foodie cities you need to visit in the U.S.
1. San Francisco City, California
San Francisco, also known as ‘The City by the Bay,’ is one of the country’s top food destinations. The city offers a wide range of choices for foodies to try, from restaurants to food trucks. However, it’s also one of the most expensive cities, so make sure you have an extra budget when you visit this place.
Additionally, San Francisco is well-known for its amazing seafood options, including giant fresh oysters and king crabs. Popular seafood chains like Red Lobster are also present in San Francisco. The city also offers a wide range of great and delicious pasta, pizza, and bread, such as sourdough.
2. Seattle City, Washington
If this is your first time visiting the place, then you’re in for an unforgettable coffee experience. Although Seattle is serious about coffee, it offers more than just a cup of joe. You can check out their mouth-watering selection of seafood such as oysters, salmon, crab, mussels, and geoduck clam. Then, wash it down with Seattle’s trademark beer or wine.
A popular street food in Seattle is Seattle dog, which is topped with cream cheese and grilled onions. It’s almost as irresistible as the Seattle roll, which is sushi with salmon and cream cheese. So, now you see that Seattle has a thing for cream cheese, just like Philadelphia.
3. Philadelphia City, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia is widely popular for its original cream cheese, cheesecake, and of course, the all-time American favorite Philly cheesesteak. Aside from the iconic cheesesteak, Philadelphia is also famous for its roast pork sandwich and hoagie, which is a long sandwich stuffed with meat, different cheeses, and vegetables.
If you have a sweet tooth, then don’t pass up the chance to try Philly’s cupcakes, soft pretzels, and water ice, which is finely shaved ice flavored with fruit or fruit syrup.
4. Portland City, Oregon
Also known as P-Town, Portland is one of the fastest-growing foodie cities you need to consider in your next food trip. The city is well-known for its unfiltered microbreweries and farm-to-table dining experience. Like San Francisco, Portland also has a wide range of food trucks serving up delectable international cuisines such as Vietnamese fish sauce wings, Burmese tea leaf salad, and Khao Man Gai, a poached chicken dish served with rice, cucumber, and cilantro.
Other gastronomic delights Portland is known for include clam chowder, steam burger, and curry brisket. For dessert, you can’t go wrong with raspberry donuts.
5. Kansas City, Missouri
Do you want to try something grilled and smoked to perfection? Then you better head out to Kansas City or include it in your bucket list immediately. The city is well-known for its perfectly smoked barbecues, especially beef briskets, ribs, and burnt ends. Now, if you crave something sweet after a satisfying meal, you might want to try artisanal chocolates.
If you feel quite full from a hearty barbecue meal the night before, something light for breakfast like beignets might suit you well. Available in different flavors, beignets are served with powdered sugar on top.
For snacks, cheese slippers come highly recommended. The name might sound peculiar, but just so you know what to expect, cheese slippers are hot cheese loaves piled with toppings like garlic and cheese curd with tomato or sweet corn with peaches.
6. Buffalo City, New York
Buffalo City is known by many nicknames, such as B-Town, The Cleve, or C-Town, but Queen City has more to offer than just creative nicknames. In fact, Buffalo has a wide range of authentic American dishes, such as broiled hot dogs, pizza, and of course, the ever-famous chicken wings.
Did you know that Buffalo City is hailed as the third best city when it comes to pizza? So, it’s not surprising if you fall in love with Buffalo-style pizza. Furthermore, other top food picks in Buffalo include peanut sticks, sponge candies, and handcrafted beer.
7. New York City, New York
The Big Apple is one of the best places when it comes to great food. It’s also considered the country’s culinary melting pot because of its diverse international cuisine all over the world, from the far east to all-original American. In addition, the Big Apple houses the country’s top-rated and luxurious Michelin-starred restaurants.
You might also want to try the city’s famous desserts, such as the creamy and silky New York Cheesecake, crunchy and chocolatey palm-sized cookie, and more. That’s why the city is a perfect spot for travelers who crave sweets.
But of course, the city has more food options to offer, including hot and flaxy bagels, perfect for daily morning grinds and Sunday lunches. However, this may not be your typical bagel, as every food and dessert in New York is creatively crafted. Some bagels are topped with salad, while others have fish roe. It’s just a matter of preference.
So, if you’re looking for adventure and a diverse cuisine selection, get ready and take a bite of the Big Apple.
8. Houston, Texas
Like the Big Apple, Houston houses different cuisines across the globe. However, the city is most famous for its wide range of meaty goodness dishes. Why not? When you’re in Texas, meat is something you shouldn’t miss, such as Texas-style barbecue. It’s also why Space City is considered the heaven or the Mecca of meat lovers.
Since we’re talking meat here, it would be best to have a dental check-up before traveling to Houston to prevent any potential problem such as a nasty toothache.
However, as mentioned, the H-Town is also famous for its international cuisines. So, don’t be surprised if you see a lot of Vietnamese restaurants there. Since you’re there, you may want to try authentic Vietnamese dishes, such as Com Hen, which is a rice dish topped with baby clams, roasted peanuts, and sesame seeds.
But that’s not all. You may also experience the excellent fusion of southern and Asian cuisine, such as Asian and Cajun-spiced crawfish. Adding more to that seafood stop is the flavorful mix of mudbugs, which only the brave ones can try. If you think you’re brave enough, why not give it a shot?
Furthermore, the most wonderful thing about Houston is the southern hospitality you can never experience anywhere. So, for a relaxing and welcoming food trip, take a visit to Space City.
9. New Orleans, Louisiana
Are you looking for a rocking party and a great experience? New Orleans is the way to go. This place has everything you need, from great food, refreshing cocktails, and festive music, perfect for locals and tourists who want to enjoy the fantastic vibes for the entire year. Now, how excited are you to visit this place?
The City of Big Easy is the best when it comes to Creole and Cajun dishes, especially their traditional and flavorful jambalaya, po’boys, and more. But what makes these dishes fantastic is how they cook them in a very traditional way. You can feel the culture, especially their European roots, in every seasoning.
But that’s not all. Surely, you wouldn’t want to miss the party city’s great cocktails and live music at the Frenchmen Street or the shopping galore at the Garden District. Wait, there’s more. New Orleans is also famous for other international cuisines cooked the traditional way, such as the creamy hummus of Israel, flavorful curry of India, and aromatic lemongrass chicken wings.
Now, you know why you need to put New Orleans on your bucket list. So, jot it down and get ready for your next food trip.
10. Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is one of the oldest cities in America, dating back to the 17th century. That’s why the city is full of historical sites, cobblestone roads, and of course, traditional food. Charleston may have lacked diversity in cooking, but this city will surely satisfy your appetite with its excellent southern country cooking served with great hospitality.
Moreover, the Holy City is known internationally because of its three James Beard award-winning restaurants. This is also why reservations are necessary when visiting them in Charleston.
If this is your first time visiting the place, you may want to try dishes that are 100% local and modern-traditional, such as Shrimp and Grits or Gumbo of the Caribbean. So, if you’re looking for a comforting low country cuisine, get that car rolling and visit the Holy City.
11. Los Angeles, California
The City of Angels is another food stop in California you shouldn’t miss. Like the famous San Francisco, Los Angeles has comforting and excellent food to offer, from food trucks serving international dishes to fine dining experiences.
You’ll be surprised at the proliferation of food trucks in the streets of Los Angeles. You can find them everywhere serving different local and international cuisines, such as Korean, Filipino, Japanese, and more. With that said, you can fulfill your around-the-world dream vacation with the food selection you can find in the City of Angels.
For a fine dining experience, you can choose from any of this city’s Michelin-starred restaurants on your next visit.
12. Las Vegas, Nevada
Is it possible that the city famous for gambling can also be well-known when it comes to food? Of course, it’s Las Vegas you’re talking about, and everything is possible in Sin City. In fact, you can enjoy the city without gambling, just eating. Like other cities, Las Vegas is known for Asian cuisines, primarily Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
But that’s not all. There are more great food finds in Las Vegas, such as corn dogs, lasagna tubes, appetizers served in a small ferris wheel, humongous chicken with waffles, and more.
13. Miami, Florida
If you love Cuban dishes but can’t go to Cuba, Miami is the place to go. Some foods of Cuban origin in Miami include ceviche. But that’s just one important part of the food scene that created the Magic City.
The Magic City became an attractive destination for food lovers because they can stroll around the beach while enjoying delicious local cuisine. Since you’re on the beach, try Miami’s great selection of seafood, such as large and juicy shrimps, stone crabs, clams, mussels, and more. Among this vast array of seafood, the best to try are the stone crabs, a hands-down favorite among locals and travelers alike.
Read more: The perfect Miami itinerary
14. Chicago, Illinois
If you plan to visit the Windy City, make sure to bring with you a lot of napkins because this city’s food scene will surely make sure your mouth water. The best dishes to try while you’re in Chicago are fully-loaded hot dogs, tender and flavorful Italian beef, tasty popcorns, and of course, the authentic Chicago-style deep-dish pizza.
The Windy City is also known as the culinary capital of the Midwest territories because of its award-winning restaurants that offer a magnificent view of the great Chicago River. It’s a dining experience that’s well worth the trip.
Also, while you’re in Chicago, you may want to try and experience their wide selections of meat, especially gourmet melt-in-your-mouth steaks.
A tour won’t be complete without tasting the cities’ best dishes and food traditions. The best thing about America is every city has its own specialties. For instance, if you want to enjoy the finest cheesesteak in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia is the place to go.
As you travel to different spots to eat, you’ll discover not only great food but also the culture behind it. So, if you want to try the finest, go to the cities presented above. You won’t regret it.
Keep reading: Best countries for food across the world