By Lauren Dana Ellman at travelandleisure.com
Calling all stateside gourmands: You need not leave the country to feast on innovative and plain-old delicious cuisine. In fact, the United States is home to dozens of incredible food cities complete with hidden gems, highly lauded hotspots, and everything in between. From large metropolises like New York City and San Francisco to unexpected (albeit just as delightful) picks like Greenville, South Carolina and Tucson, Arizona, here are 10 of the best foodie destinations across America. Get ready to dig in and explore.
01 of 10
New York City, New York
New York City represents a melting pot of cultures, which means you can enjoy any type of cuisine within its 300-square-mile radius, be it authentic dim sum at Joe’s Shanghai in Chinatown or mouthwatering bagels and smear plus meat-piled sandwiches at one of the city’s dozens of Jewish delis like Katz’s. Don’t confine yourself to Manhattan, either: Feast your way through the five boroughs, including stops in Astoria and Jackson Heights (in Queens) for authentic Greek and Himalayan fare, respectively. Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood is home to a slew of Polish bakeries like Syrena, while Arthur Avenue (in The Bronx) and Staten Island offer some of the city’s best Italian food. Additionally, the Big Apple boasts over 70 Michelin-starred restaurants, ranging from fine-dining establishments like Le Bernardin to more low-key (and still delicious) haunts like Jeju Noodle Bar. Don’t get caught up on all things Michelin, though — some of the best eats can be found in the most unexpected places ($1 pizza, anyone?).
02 of 10
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans’ food offerings are just as diverse as its cultural influences from Europe, the Caribbean, and Africa. With this in mind, it’s fitting that The Big Easy is, well, big on flavor. Savory staples here include po’boys (Sammy’s is a local fave), jambalaya (the one at Mother’s is chef’s kiss), gumbo (dig in at the aptly named Gumbo Shop), crawfish etouffee (check out Creole House), and muffulettas (grab yours at the Verti Marte, which is open 24/7) — all best paired with live jazz, of course. Be sure to save room for powdered sugar-covered beignets at Cafe Du Monde (yes, there will be a line, but yes, it’s worth it) and wash everything down with NOLA’s most iconic cocktail, the Sazerac, at The Sazerac Bar at The Roosevelt Hotel.