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30 Best Foodie Cities in the Country

Boise, Idaho

It seems like a lot of top-tier chefs really wanted to get out of the big metropolises, so they all hitched a flight over to Boise, Idaho and set up shop there. There’s a brunch spot named Bacon, and that tells you about everything you need to know about that place. Waffle Me Up sells some of the best waffles around town, and they’re GMO-free if that’s your thing. Lots of restaurants, like Juniper, that use only locally-grown ingredients. They have over 30 wineries in this remote city. And what better place to get fries than in Idaho? Boise Fry Co. has fries with every type of potato imaginable.

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Denver, Colorado

The Mile-High City is full of great restaurants, and you don’t need to be rich to enjoy your time in the city. Ian’s Pizza gives massive pizzas at an affordable price and with great service. Onefold has one of the best breakfasts you will ever have, and that can’t be understated. And if you want a really unique experience, Linger is a mortuary that was converted into a bar.

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Austin, Texas

If you look at any list of foodie cities, Austin is on it. They’re great at updating classic food items, including things you regularly eat (like ice cream) to things you love but don’t eat much (like ramen) to things you might never have had (like duck). You’ll eat like royalty here. Well, if royalty ate from food trucks. But we’ll rapid-fire some of their festivals' foci for you because that’s where the city shines: lamb, wine, vegetarian, fried chicken, queso, ice cream, hot sauce, German beer, and BBQ. Interested yet?

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If you look at any list of foodie cities, Austin is on it. They’re great at updating classic food items, including things you regularly eat (like ice cream) to things you love but don’t eat much (like ramen) to things you might never have had (like duck). You’ll eat like royalty here. Well, if royalty ate from food trucks. But we’ll rapid-fire some of their festivals focuses for you because that’s where the city shines: lamb, wine, vegetarian, fried chicken, queso, ice cream, hot sauce, German beer, and BBQ. Interested yet?

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Portland, Maine

The “other Portland.” Nestled in the northwest corner of the states, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better seafood paradise in the states. Naturally, they specialize in lobster. Portland Lobster Company is a great place to visit. J’ Oyster bar has been around for 40 years, so you know it’s stood the test of time. Gilbert’s Chowder House is another must-see. This city definitely specializes in oysters, lobsters, and other northern seafood, so if that’s your thing, go ahead and book your flight!

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Houston, Texas

Houston is one of the most unique foodie cities on this list. They’re a Texan city, so they naturally have great BBQ and Tex-Mex, but they’re specialty is something else. They’ve managed to combine two cultures’ foods into one great mashup: Viet-Cajun. That’s right. Vietnamese food meets Louisiana Cajun. There’s plenty of spots that are great for this, but Crawfish & Noodles can’t go unnoticed. If you feel the urge to try a new food, it needs to be Viet-Cajun.

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Washington, D.C.

The Capital City is definitely one of the leading food paradises America has to offer. The city has more restaurants per capita than New York City, so there’s plenty of options for great food. The Wharf district has more than 20 alone. The Union Market is a fantastic marketplace. Le Diplomate is a delicious French restaurant. Really, though, you need to go to Ben’s Chili Bowl. It has a chili-half-smoke, a must-try staple of the city.

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The Capital City is definitely one of the leading food paradises America has to offer. The city has more restaurants per capita than New York City, so there’s plenty of options for great food. The Wharf district has over 20 alone. The Union Market is a fantastic marketplace. Le Diplomate is a delicious French restaurant. Really, though, you need to go to Ben’s Chili Bowl. It has a chili-half-smoke, a must-try staple of the city.

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Greenville, South Carolina

Greenville, SC has developed a recently developed its downtown into one of the best in the nation. Soby’s New South Cuisine helped head that growth off two decades ago, and the area has been steam-rolling forward ever since. The city now has some of the best BBQ in the area, specifically Henry’s Smokehouse and Bucky’s BBQ. Grill Marks has the Juan and Only Burger, a great new Tex-Mex entree you need to try. Golden Brown’s Burgers are about as picturesque as any burger you’ve ever imagined, and Husk was recently opened by a nationally-renowned chef.

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Chicago, Illinois

Chicago is a crossroads city, so plenty of people have come through with their own takes on food. The food culture here has grown so much that it now hosts the James Beard award, frequently dubbed “the Oscars of the Food World.” Desserts, fine dining, hole-in-the-wall restaurants, and bakeries all shine here. They have one of the best coffee chains in the nation, Intelligentsia. Their deep-dish pizza is known around the world. Best of all, you won’t go broke eating out here.

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San Francisco, California

San Francisco may be small, but it packs a punch. There are hundreds of restaurants crammed into the tiny coastal city. They have French cuisine, brunch joints, and fantastic Mexican restaurants. Flour + Water is so good it’s difficult to get in, but you can make a bit of a game out of it. They reserve half of their tables for walk-ins, so if you time things well, you will get a seat at a restaurant you won’t forget. In a city brimming with life, you’re sure to find some of the best food around.

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina is one of the most beautiful cities in the nation, and you’ll be able to eat well while you visit. While contention is high, they have more breweries per capita than any other city. Plus, a lot of big-name chefs have moved here to open up restaurants. These include Cúrate, Nightbell, Rhubarb, and Buxton Hall Barbecue. And you can’t mention Asheville without talking about Vermuteria, a vermouth-focused bar that’s been getting a lot of attention lately.

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Nashville, Tennessee

Music City is America’s golden child. They’ve got great music, scenery, and of course, mouth-watering food. Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack has been around for 70 years, so you know it’s great. Rolf & Daughters is an amazing restaurant revolutionizing American food. And you can’t forget about the Treehouse, one of the best tasting, most affordable restaurants in town.

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philly is the Blue-Collar City, and you see that reflected in their food scene. They have a ton of BYOB restaurants. While bringing your own beer to a restaurant, it’s quite the experience. In addition to those, sandwiches are huge here. (Ever heard of a Philly Cheesesteak?) Jewish cuisine and vegetarian restaurants are big here too.

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Los Angeles, California

L.A. is one of the hottest cultural hotspots of the nation, and their food reflects that.  Chefs are setting up shop here like never before, helping the city move to the top of the national charts of foodie cities. There’s super specific restaurants and a gazillion food-trucks. (Exactly a gazillion. We counted.) The city that produces the best entertainment around also produces some of the bet food. Who would have guessed?

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Seattle, Washington

Seattle definitely brings life to the Pacific Northwest, and one major way it does that is through food. Flintcreek Cattle Co focuses on serving responsibly-raised meats but manages to still satisfy vegetarian customers. Junebaby is a Southern Eatery taking Seattle by storm. Wataru really caught our eye, though. Their sushi is so amazing because they fly their food in from Tokyo’s market twice a week. That’s something to be impressed by for sure.

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New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is one of those cities where it’s hard to go wrong with any restaurant. That said, they definitely have specialties:  po’boys, gumbo, and jambalaya. You can get alligator if you look hard enough, in addition to oysters, crabs and turtles. (Where else can you get all of that?) It’s the perfect place to fall in love with fried chicken all over again. And be sure to visit the cafes for breakfast. They’re about the best thing in the world. It’s like they put a Louisiana spin on the traditional Parisian cafes, and wow, they’re great. Well, the whole city is great.

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Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston is a great spot to visit. They seemed to collectively dig into their roots as they developed their food scene, resulting in a lot of really great Southern restaurants. Take Bertha’s Restaurant for example. Its soul food is just as iconic as the bright blue building itself. There’s plenty of other types of food, though, from the French eatery Purlieu to Renzo’s pizzeria. Locals and visitors will all be pleased.

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Charleston is a great spot to visit. They seemed to collectively dig into their roots as they developed their food scene, resulting in a lot of really great Southern restaurants. Take Bertha’s Restaurant for example. Its soul food is just as iconic as the bright blue building itself. There’s plenty of other types of food, though, from the French eatery Purlieu to Renzo’s pizzeria. Locals and visitors will all be pleased.

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Miami, Florida

In between the clubs and the humidity, you’ll find approximately one gazillion amazing restaurants in Miami, give or take a few dozen. For example, look at PINCH Kitchen. It’s a classic diner serving American dishes with special twists. Makoto serves some of the best sushi around town. But few places compare with Le Sirenuse Miami. It’s an elegant, old-school Italian joint that will make you feel like Caesar himself.

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NYC, New York

We all know that New York City is one of the best foodie cities around, and no one is really surprised by that. But did you know that they have so many restaurants that you could eat at a different one each day for 22 years before you’ve eaten at them all? Even then, restaurants are always opening and closing, so you’d probably have to start over. With that many restaurants, there is a restaurant for every one of the millions of people there.

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Las Vegas, Nevada

People flock to Vegas. A lot of people. People with money they are just itching to spend. Naturally, the restaurant scene exploded to keep up with the city’s fast pace. Like the city itself, the restaurants are unique. After you’ve done what you do in Vegas visit Peppermill, the 24-hour breakfast bar set in a dark room with neon purple lights and trees everywhere. If you’re looking for heart problems, go to the Heart Attack grill. They have a near 10,000 calorie burger, and anybody weighing more than 350 lbs. eats free.

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Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis? Minnesota? What’s up there other than ice? Food and beer. Winters are cold, so what better way to cope than eating and drinking with all of your friends and family? The Travail Collective features everything you could want with their BBQ joint, the Big Ate My Pizza + Brew Pub, and the Travail Kitchen & Amusements restaurant itself, the fun restaurant founded by three James Beard semi-finalists. Craft beer reigns here, so you can find any type you want. If you can’t decide where to go, just visit a mobile bar like the one pictured here. Apparently, that’s a thing.

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Portland, Oregon

Portland is one of those places where you can throw a rock and hit three different, amazing restaurants. There’s so many good ones that you’ll never be disappointed. It’s easy to see why they’re so good, though. James Beard, renown chef and founder of the food world’s prestigious James Beard Awards came from here. The market pictured here is named after him. Like the city, it lives up to the name.

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Portland is one of those places where you can throw a rock and hit three different, amazing restaurants. There’s so many good ones that you’ll never be disappointed. It’s easy to see why they’re so good, though. James Beard, renown chef and founder of the food world’s prestigious James Beard Awards came from here. The market pictured here is named after him. Like the city, it lives up to the name.

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Atlanta, Georgia

The heart of Georgia is about as culturally diverse as anyone could hope for. Despite it being the deep south, the food represents every small corner of the world. Masterpiece is the best Chinese around. Jang Su Jang serves up some amazing Korean dishes. And of course, if you’ve never had Persian food, swing by Rumi’s Kitchen and prepare to be blown away.

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St. Louis, Missouri

The Gateway to the West has accumulated a lot of great foods. They’ve had a million different culture pass under the shadow of the arch, and the blend of foods created as a result are stunning. Sugarfire Smokehouse looked at every type of BBQ to figure out what they want on their menu. Nudo House was founded by the family that brought Vietnamese food to St. Louis. And don’t sleep on Lemmons, the Balkan-American restaurant that is really flipping tables in the city.

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Buffalo, New York

Apparently enormous waterfalls pair well with great food. Buffalo's Food scene is amazing. They created the buffalo wing and host the National Wing Festival over Labor Day Weekend. They’ve got amazing brick and mortar shops, but the city runs on food trucks. They love food trucks enough that they created Food Truck Tuesday. This isn’t some annual festival. This is an every-Tuesday gathering of all of the city’s best food in one spot. What more could you want?

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Rochester, New York

Apparently, New York loves food. Rochester has succeeded in crafting one of the best foodie cities around. The Owl House has creative plates in their Bohemian shop. Revelry will make you feel like you’re dining in a South Carolinian grandma’s house. Don’t miss Sticky Lips BBQ, though. They have everything from Memphis Style BBQ to Texas Beef Brisket. We’re getting hungry already.

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Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville wanted to be known for their food, so they made their food scene great. Their restaurants are so good they make the transition look easy. Morels Cafe serves vegan food for people tired of eggplant and tofu. Butchertown Pizza Hall settled down in an old cafeteria. Captain’s Quarters on the riverbank will put you on top of the world. And don’t forget that Kentucky is the bourbon capital of the world, and that’s evident in Louisville. The whole city is an experience you won’t soon forget.

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Scottsdale, Arizona

You probably couldn’t point out the small city of Scottsdale on a map, but they could direct you to hundred great restaurants. If you’re looking for authentic Mexican food, skip Texas and head here. If you want an amazing burger, get clean at Rehab Burger. If you can’t decide if you want Mexican or American, Cowboy Ciao is a fusion restaurant that combines modern American staple foods: Italian, Mexican, and Southwestern. You won’t have to do much other than eat in Scottsdale.

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Santa Fe, New Mexico

A name says a lot about a place, and New Mexico’s food scene takes the best of Mexico and makes it even better. Regional, unique dishes can be everywhere, so try out as many as you can. Cafe Pasqual’s has been serving the city food pulled from Southern Mexico, El Salvador, and Asia for about 40 years. The Shed received the James Beard Foundation Award for their “creative cookery.” And if Mexican isn’t your thing, don’t pass up on Jumbo Cafe. People rave about its African-Caribbean food.

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Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is less in the spotlight than New York, but it’s food scene is still insanely impressive. All of the things we love in New England food reach a crescendo here with restaurants like Fenway, Alive & Kicking Lobster, and Legal Seafood. Spoke Wine Bar serves wine with wine-friendly snacks. Yume Wo Katare is a stand-out ramen shop that encourages people to share their dreams. Boston is a great city, and its food knows it.

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Detroit, Michigan

Detroit gets a lot of flak, but nobody can knock their food scene. It’s amazing. Their square pizza is iconic, and the city has several of the best pizza spots in the nation: Luigi’s Original and Buddy’s Pizza. Polish food shines brightly here, as proven by the success of restaurants like Polish Village Cafe, Polonia, and Krakus. If you have room for dessert, visit Sister Pie, because when was the last time you had a good pie?

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