By Bridget Castner
If you consider yourself a foodie and are looking for the best cities to visit in the US to satisfy your hunger, then look no further! Here are the 8 best foodie cities in the US to whet your appetite, no matter what you're craving.
Nevada is a melting pot of culture, and its eclectic mix of cuisine (along with being the entertainment capital of the world) make Vegas one of the best winter vacations in North America. There isn't an official state food – but some would say that shrimp cocktail is its most famous dish. It's the perfect appetizer to start your foodie adventures, and can be found all over Vegas. If you’re craving meat, stop by one of Vegas' famous steakhouses for a juicy bone-in rib eye steak or elk chop. Vegas also has many AYCE sushi buffets located along the strip, if that’s more your style, as well as many vegetarian-friendly restaurants. Save room for dessert and try the famous Gateau Basque, a flaky pastry crust filled with jam or pastry cream which you can find in almost any bakery in Vegas.
NYC is the city that never sleeps – and never stops eating! With vastly diverse cultures, New York has tons of different cuisines to try and neighborhoods to explore. For breakfast you can try a famous New York bagel with cream cheese and lox. Smooth, buttery, and a little salty, lox pairs perfectly with the creaminess of the cheese. Opt for a Pastrami on rye sandwich, which is the signature sandwich of New York and can be found at many Jewish delis (Katz is a NY staple!). Of course, don’t forget to try a famous NY slice of pizza or visit Koreatown for insatiable Korean food and karaoke spots. If you love sweets, don’t leave the city without trying a slice of cheesecake or egg cream!
New Orleans is filled with cuisine inspired by both its Cajun and Creole backgrounds, and offers cultural treats both savory and sweet! Gumbo is a delicious soup and by far one of the biggest staple dishes in New Orleans, as well as Po Boys, New Orleans' most famous sandwich. If you love seafood, try the classic version of oysters served with lemon, tabasco sauce, and shallot vinaigrette, or try a less traditional approach at the famous Drago’s Seafood Restaurant and enjoy oysters slathered in butter, garlic, parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs cooked open-faced over a flame. For the sweet tooths and coffee-lovers, make sure to visit Café Du Monde for their famous beignets and café au laits.
LA is a true melting pot of diversity, and even accomplishes what many other cities can't – boasting an international food scene that's as authentic as it is accessible. It's easy to skip the fancy restaurants and head straight for LA's iconic street food which can be found just about anywhere, but locals would definitely recommend Boyle Heights and Echo Park. You can walk along the beach enjoying a good old fashioned chili dog topped off with one of LA's famous ice cream sandwiches, which heightens the classic creation by using everything from cookies, macarons, cake, and even churros. You'll also want to try the city’s signature sandwich, the French Dip, which can be found in many delis and restaurants in Downtown L.A.
Southern food is considered comfort food for a lot of people, and Nashville is no exception. While the entire state of Tennessee is known for low-and-slow barbeque, Nashville definitely doesn’t disappoint. You can visit a famous barbeque restaurant like Mission BBQ or a more local mom-and-pop joint to enjoy the most tender, melt-in-your-mouth meat you've ever tasted. Biscuits are incredibly popular and the most favored side for many southern dishes. Have one (or many) at Meat and Three, which is exactly what it sounds like: simply some meat or fish of your choosing paired with three delicious sides. Indulge in any of these meals with a classic southern sweet tea, a must-try drink in Nashville.
Often neglected due to its neighboring big cities of New York and Washington D.C., taking a trip to Philly is highly worth it for those looking for impeccable food in a (smaller) yet still bustling city! First and foremost, one must indulge in a genuine Philly Cheesesteak. If you love meat, peppers and onion, this is definitely for you – though there are also vegetarian and vegan cheesesteaks in Philly. Enjoy a Hoagie, Philly's official sandwich, where you can add whichever meat, cheese, and other toppings you prefer. If you’re going for something a little less traditional, try a Tomato Pie at one of the many Italian restaurants in the city. Consider this a pizza without the cheese, making it perfect for vegans. Finally, be sure to check out Reading Terminal Market, where you can indulge in a huge diversity of international cuisine available from locally-owned, family-run stands.
Denver is filled with beautiful wildlife, nature, and food – lots and lots of wonderful food! Start with mountain pizza which has a super thick crust and a thinner middle filled with cheese and classic tomato sauce. Game meat tartare is a popular dish in Denver and can be found at many restaurants throughout the city, but Buckhorn Exchange Restaurant, the oldest restaurant and steakhouse in Denver, is the place to try this dish! If you love craft beer and ice cream, why not combine the two? Sweet Action is a unique ice cream shop that has delicious craft beer flavors using stout from the local Great Divide Brewing.
Home to dazzling white sand beaches, year-round warm weather, and the friendly Aloha spirit, Honolulu is a must-visit destination worthy of everyone's bucket list. It's home to many exotic flavors and tasty treats, including the famous poke bowl. If you love fresh seafood, this dish is for you and can be found at many restaurants and street vendors in Honolulu. You'll also want to try anything with the word "kalua” which translates to “cooked in an underground oven". If you enjoy snacking, grab some hurricane popcorn, a delicious snack the locals in Honolulu love. It consists of popcorn, melted butter, Nori flakes, sesame seeds and mochi crunch, making it the perfect snack to enjoy on the beach!