15 American Cities That Secretly Have Great Food Scenes

15 American Cities That Secretly Have Great Food Scenes

Certain cities, you visit for the food. Others, you visit despite the food. The old guard of Important Food Destinations, you know: the San Franciscos, the Chicagos, the New Orleanses. So who are the up-and-comers — the places whose culinary reps should be rising fastest? We put the question to dozens of veteran travelers and found some surprising answers. Some of these spots are out-of-the-way, mid-sized towns; others are big cities where some combination of abundant talent, great farms and fishing, and respect for traditional food have made them bona-fide dining destinations.

We guarantee you’ve passed through at least one of these towns without thinking twice about the food. Next time you visit, though, take a moment to stop and smell the s’mores burger.

San Diego, California

Once maligned, it’s a hotspot for fresh-sourced ingredients and world-class street food.
Some years ago, a cranky food critic passing through named San Diego the “worst food city in America.” Once there may have been a shred of truth there, but it was hyperbole then, and nowhere close to the truth today. Restaurateurs have realized that San Diego, surrounded by farms and ocean, offers abundant high-quality ingredients, and local joints like The Red Door, Trust, and Campfire have taken to working directly with farmers, ranchers, and fishermen to produce fantastic, environmentally responsible dishes.

One of the best restaurants in the United States is here: The James Beard-winning Addison at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar. But if you still want to just grab a fish taco and a craft beer, this is also the place to do it. Cali burritos — the kind with carne asada and French fries — are a staple for surfers and practically everyone else. (Lolita’s Taco Shop is a good place to start your burrito exploration.) And as a bonus, San Diego’s sister city in Mexico, Tijuana, is having its own food renaissance. You can literally walk across the border and find yourself neck-deep in some of the best street tacos Mexico has to offer.

If you have just one meal: Head up to Oceanside to eat at Wrench & Rodent Seabasstropub for fanciful, non-traditional sushi made with sustainable fish. It’s one of the best sushi joints in the entire country, so ask for the omakase and allow yourself to be wowed. — Jackie Bryant

cinder house

St. Louis, Missouri

Middle America doesn’t mean middle of the road when it comes to eating out
A visit to The Gateway City is about more than just riverboat gambling and scootering around the Arch. Likewise, the St. Louis food scene goes far beyond the stuffy steakhouses and fried comfort food you might associate with one-note Midwest dining.

Admittedly, you don’t get many Midwestern plates filled with vegetables — unless they’re deep fried and coated in Ranch, perhaps. Yet Vicia, a veggie-forward fine-dining spot in the Cortex tech hub, is a rising star serving purple-top turnip tacos, hearth-grilled peppers, and scrambled eggs with smoked tomato.

And then there’s brunch. Go hipster with shrub cocktails on the side at Retreat Gastropub, feast on bacon and goat cheese crepes at Rooster, or have a sweet treat at Half & Half. For world-class pastries, quiches, and macarons, the answer is Nathaniel Reid Bakery.

If you only eat one meal: Innovative James Beard Award winner Gerard Craft is leading the St. Louis food revolution. His latest project is Cinder House on the rooftop of the Arch-facing Four Seasons, where he recreates his own childhood favorites, once served by his Brazilian nanny. Expect gluten-free, gooey cheese bread, and feijoada packed with smoked pork and braised beef. — Sean Cooley

Ted's Hot Dogs

Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar


Source:- thrillist