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Foodie Finds | Travel Inspiration
The Foodie Cities You Need To Visit


Today, the term “foodie” is applied to anyone with an enthusiastic love of food in its countless varieties and locales. Not limited to restaurant diners, it also describes someone who loves new and different flavors and enjoys the experience of eating, learning about, and discovering new foods.
Even with restaurant prices rising and a decrease in overall food spending over the last couple of years, culinary travel continues to be a big hit among consumers in the U.S., with foodies on the hunt for their next favorite dish. Here's our top-10 favorite foodie cities and some of their must-try restaurants.
Winter Green Farms
People buying fresh local produce at the Saturday farmers market in Lake Oswego. Photo courtesy of hapabapa/
Portland is the most food-cart friendly city, where up-and-coming chefs can thrive and the options are nearly endless. Many of the Portland food carts are organized into food cart pods, so you can try different cuisines in a single stop. Accessibility to farm-fresh produce and world-class wine from the Willamette Valley also helps ensure quality ingredients, year-round. In addition to food carts, check out top spots República, Stumptown Coffee, Division, and Voodoo Doughnut.

With celebrity chefs, farm-to-table freshness, global cuisine, and more, foodies can embark on the ultimate adventure in Orlando. Txokos Basque Kitchen is the current must-dine destination, known for marrying Basque small plates with local ingredients. The Ravenous Pig, Cress, and the Rusty Spoon, plus Victoria and Albert’s, are other top dining experiences. Orlando’s East End Market is also a hub for all things foodie, with an array of food and drinks available.
Having sushi in a San Francisco restaurant. Photo courtesy of San Francisco Travel Association
San Francisco restaurants and chefs have been a driving force in global culinary innovation for years, especially with their access to Northern California’s fruits, vegetables, seafood, and livestock. Besides fresh, authentic meals, the spirits scene is also rapidly growing, as is the number of breweries. Food tours can grant you behind-the-scenes access to some of the hottest restaurants. Reserve your seats at Slanted Door, Kokkari Estiatorio, or Foreign Cinema.
Austin is the epicenter of oak-smoked barbecue and Tex-Mex fare. The city also takes pride in local sourcing and is a hot spot for food trucks that are testing new ideas. The basics include breakfast tacos, brisket, and kolaches, with favorites including Franklin Barbecue, Dai Due, Matt’s El Rancho, and Olamaie. Austin’s three neighborhoods—North Austin, Central Austin, and South Austin—all have slightly separate identities with an abundance of food options to explore.
Larimer Square. Photo courtesy of Visit DenverRioja Larimer Square. Photo courtesy of Visit Denver
Besides hiking, biking, live music, art, and theater, Denver is also known for stellar food and drink. With 300 days of sunshine per year, there’s plenty of time to explore the favorite culinary spots. Rioja in Larimer Square is led by a James Beard Award-winning chef, while Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox in the Lower Downtown Historic District features local sustainable ingredients. Other iconic foods include green chili, street tacos, and rocky mountain oysters. The popular Denver Beer Trail features craft breweries, brewpubs, and taprooms.
Picasso, veal chop. Photo courtesy of MGM Resorts
Las Vegas is known for a lot of things, including their innovative cuisine, ethnic options, and elegant restaurant atmosphere. Sign up for a food-themed walking tour where you’ll visit iconic hotels and learn about the restaurants and their world-renowned master chefs. With multiple restaurants earning Michelin stars, including Joel Robuchon at MGM Grand, Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace, and Julian Serrano’s Picasso at the Bellagio, there’s no shortage of top chefs, high-quality ingredients, and one-of-a-kind dining experiences.
Pike Place Market in SeattleFish Market at Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle. Photo courtesy of BSPollard/
Chefs in Seattle take pride in sourcing ingredients from nearby farms and local waters, and many of them have their own gardens and beehives for growing fresh herbs, produce, and honey. Pacific flavors meet market-based methods in this area well known for its Asian restaurants, fresh seafood, and classic French flavors. It’s also top-ranked in craft breweries and wineries per capita. Visit iconic spots like Matt’s in the Market, White Swan Public House, and New Luck Toy.
The Portland Mercado is a collection of Latin American-owned businesses in the Foster-Powell neighborhood - including a neighborhood grocery, meat market, coffee shop, barrio, and food cart pod with 18 food carts showcasing various cuisines of Latin America. Photo courtesy of Travel Portland
Portland is quickly becoming known as one of the top small cities for food lovers, ranking high for its breadth of cuisines, number of options, affordability, freshness of ingredients, and food-centricity. There’s no shortage of farmers markets, specialty food stores, food trucks, food festivals, and restaurants. Nearly 90% of the country’s supply of lobster is sourced from Maine, making it a hub for the seafood industry. Places to chow down include East Ender, Chaval, Palace Diner, Miyake, and LB Kitchen.
Perhaps not the most obvious choice as a top foodie destination, but many top chefs are opening or planning new concepts in Washington, D.C., as a way to expand their footprint. The area also has a wealth of ingredients, including Virginia cheeses, East Coast oysters, and Maryland crab. Find seriously eclectic and dynamic options, from Michelin-starred restaurants to rooftop bars. Rania, Jaleo, Maydan, Henry’s Soul Cafe, and Old Ebbitt Grill are destinations in their own right.

According to Food & Wine readers, St. Louis is the next great food city. Considered an essential Midwest culinary destination, the innovation and expanse of choices is truly fueling the city's foodie momentum. Favorite options include Louie, Seoul Taco, Vicia, Planter’s House, and Platypus. New dining destinations are opening every day, from sandwich and craft-cocktail eateries to Asian cuisine.