Foodies in the City

by Vanessa Ullman

photography courtesy of JP Pullos

While all cities have their strengths, some just have much better food than others. Based on a report from U.S. News on the top cities for food enthusiasts, here are the top ten cities you should check out for your next Instagram-worthy meal.

Houston, TX

One word: Barbeque. From Tejas Chocolate Craftory that successfully combines barbeque and chocolate, to esteemed food truck Brooks’ Place, LLC, the variety of barbeque choices is endless.

This city also has a wide range of options that are not traditional southern cooking. From Chinese to Vietnamese to Tex-Mex, get ready for a whole lot of restaurant options.

Portland, OR

The food truck industry is booming in Portland, thanks to the affordable prices and tasty options. If you’re looking for something sweet, check out Voodoo Donuts.

This popular donut chain tests the limit of your sweetness intake with their ‘The Loop’, a donut topped entirely with Fruit Loops. Want something with a little personality? Try out their ‘Voodoo Doll’ creation, a donut that lives up to its name.

Seattle, WA

Neighboring Portland, Seattle is also home to a wide variety of fantastic food places. The Emerald City night markets are a must see, and be sure to get some fresh produce grown in-state.

While it is not ‘food,’ Seattle also has a great coffee scene. From the original Starbucks, opened in 1971, to local favorite Elm Coffee Roasters, you will be able to stay caffeinated long enough to check out all the good eats.

Charleston, SC

The cuisine in Charleston might be more diverse than its population. There’s southern comfort food, tons of seafood options and home to several James Beard award winning restaurants.

Husk is one of these amazing eateries, and it’s led by Sean Brook who was hailed as the 2010 Best Chef of the Southeast. Other winning places include Hominy Grill and Fig, both run by the 2008 and 2009 Best Chef of the Southeast respectively.

Napa Valley, CA

Known to many for its vineyards, Napa Valley also houses some of the best restaurants on the West Coast. With local ingredients, and prize-winning restaurants, this city is a great spot for any foodie willing to spend the extra dollar on ambiance.

Boon Fly Café is a great place to try if you want a farm fresh breakfast. It’s barn-like exterior gives off a rustic vibe, but it’s food options are anything but simple.

Los Angeles, CA

If you have ever been to Los Angeles, you know the wide array of good food options there are to choose from.

There’s upscale experiences, street markets, and fusion restaurants that blend together all of the wonderful cultures that make up Los Angeles. Since it’s hard to recommend just one place in such a huge city, check out this article that gives you the scoop on what places are trending now.

New York City, NY

Like LA, New York is already known to be a hub for all types of cuisines. With different choices in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and even Long Island, it is hard to pick one style of cuisine that really defines the city.

But if you are looking for the best NYC style pizza, give some of these a shot. From dollar slices to vegan options, you could have a whole New York trip just eating pizza alone.

Chicago, IL

Chicago, Chicago, my kind of (food) town. There’s deep dish pizza and Chicago style hot dogs that pair nicely with a thick winter coat in the middle of a Chicago winter. Art of Pizza and Portillo’s are fan favorites with Chicagoans and visitors alike.

Fine dining options are abundant in this city, but there are still plenty of places to grab a quick bite. The brunch scene in Chicago is massive as well, with each neighborhood harboring a number of different options and cuisines that go great with a mimosa.

New Orleans, LA

Home to critically acclaimed chef Emeril Lagasse, New Orleans has a lot of home cooking in their festive city. With staples such as gumbo, jambalaya and po'boys, New Orleans has a great selection of cuisine that is unique to the city’s Cajun and Creole heritage.

Looking for the best gumbo? Check out Galatoire’s, a beloved treasure in NOLA, and an 100-year old restaurant boosting with charm.

San Francisco, CA

California is clearly a winner for harboring three of the best cities for foodies. San Francisco is known for having creative restaurants, much like their quirky residents. While there are a lot of farmer’s markets, the main focus is in the Bay.

Oakland, Mission and SoMa are just a few of the cities in the Bay that offer a great selection of restaurants to choose from. For even more options, read about the top 100 restaurants in the Bay Area.