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Tacos in Texas. Philly cheesesteaks in, well, Philadelphia. Whether you crave classic eats or innovative artisanal dishes, you’ll find them in abundance at culinary epicenters across the U.S. One of the most culturally diverse countries on the planet, America is reflected in its astounding variety of cuisines. Include one of these food-lovers’ hotspots on your itinerary:
With a Texas-sized list of epicurean eateries, it’s clear why Houston is considered a standout culinary destination. Try upscale Pico’s near the Houston Zoo or the juicy, slow-roasted brisket at Killen's Texas Barbecue, Gatlin's BBQ and Jackson Street BBQ. But there’s more to Houston than barbeque. Savor Creole fried catfish at Brennan’s, South African Kingklip at Peli Peli or classic French at Etoile Cuisine et Bar. From Vietnamese to Oaxacan to Hugo Ortega’s Mexican fine dining at Caracol, Houston has earned its reputation as one of the Best Foodie Cities in the USA.
Exquisite contemporary Southern, as well as low country culinary treasures, have earned Charleston, SC #1 U.S. city placement on Travel + Leisure’s World's Best Awards. Start your culinary odyssey at the farm-to-table Husk or Magnolia’s for down south egg roll or buttermilk fried chicken. From seafood-centric Fig, The Ordinary, Hyman’s and 167 Raw to charming southern Poogan’s Porch, trendy Edmund’s Oast, and Minero’s Shrimp and mas grits with Chili sofrito, Charleston proves why it’s one of the country’s hottest food scenes.
Packed with world-class restaurants, Washington, DC has every reason to crow about its vibrant dining scene. From Georgetown to Foggy Bottom, Washington’s 2,000 restaurants fill the town. From the luxe Spanish Del Mar, Komi, and Metier to sleek Kith and Kin, DC is a veritable daily feast. Listed among Bon Appetite’s best, Himitsu, Pineapple and Pearls, Arroz and Succotash take their savory place. In a town where Indian food competes with avant-garde and charcuterie, Washington is a foodie winner.
A burgeoning food scene has been shaking up The City of Brotherly Love. From award-winning eats at Zahav, Vernick Food & Drink and Res Ipsa Café, to the old-school Italian Palizzi Social Club, the Philadelphia food landscape continues to delight. Stop in homey Rooster Soup Company, vegan Vedge or The Love, a refined neighborhood standout near Rittenhouse Square. Nosh at the Reading Terminal Market or the cozy Noord Eetcafe for a taste of contemporary Amsterdam.
From Manhattan to Brooklyn, Chinatown to Staten Island, New York City is king of the world’s best eats. Dim sum at Chinatown’s Jing Fong. A signature frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity. Chilled oysters at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Terminal. Sample high-end celebrity chef hot spots and cozy eateries; true New York-style pizza or a bagel and schmear from Ess-a-Bagel, Bagel Bob's or Tompkins Square Bagels. Take a high end bite out of the Big Apple at Eleven Madison Park, Le Bernardin or Daniel. Or, make the rounds of diverse, authentic Indian, Korean, Polish, Mexican or Jewish spots like Vatan, Karczma, Los Hermanos and Russ & Daughters.
Luscious deep dish pizza. Legendary steak. Hot dogs fully loaded. Awarded Bon Appetit’s Restaurant City of the year, Chicago is that and so much more. Book a table at Elizabeth for fine dining, Fat Rice for foods of Macau and steak galore at Prime Steak & Stone Crab and Benny’s Chop House. Hit mainstays like Owen & Engine, Dusek and The Publican or taste the amazing diversity of Proxi. The Windy City spans mom and pop Parachute to gourmet showstoppers like Alinea’s fruity dessert balloons.
Michelin-starred, cutting edge restaurants like Benu, Quince and Saison all have a home in the City by the Bay. San Francisco’s vast dining scene is as diverse, casual, and upscale as you would expect from a culinary community obsessed with their culture and local bounty. Relish a taste of farm-to-table at pioneer Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse. Revel in a kickass bread bowl of clam chowder at Boudin’s, the creator of San Francisco sourdough, topped off with a scrumptious treat from Tartine Bakery.
Jambalaya, andouille and crawfish etouffee. Po’boys, muffulettas and beignets. Famous for Mardi Gras and Creole and Cajun cuisines, food has been central to New Orleans for 300 years. The gastronomic goodness of Arnaud’s, Café du Monde and trendy Sylvain, Herbsaints, and Saffron NOLA flourish. The French Quarter, home to famous chefs like Emeril Lagasse, hosts the timeless Commander's Palace, Bayona, Galatoire's, and Antoine’s as well Turkey and the Wolf’s funky collard green fried bologna melt. And for true foodie immersion, put New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, Louisiana Seafood Festival or COOLinary New Orleans on your itinerary.
Birthplace of the celebrity chef, Los Angeles is synonymous with star-studded dining at places like the Palm Restaurant, Fig & Olive or famed The Polo Lounge at The Beverly Hills Hotel. Indulge in poblano mole at a! Grill, a spicy enchilada at El Compadre Restaurant or get your sushi on at Katsu-ya, Sushi Gen, and SUGARFISH. Food trucks offer everything from barbeque and burritos to French haute cuisine. But for an unparalleled LA dining experience, order a multi-course tasting menu from Trois Mec or Le Comptoir.