Best cities for foodies in the US.
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15 Best Cities for Food in the USA 2023

If you’re traveling in America, you may be surprised to discover how many cities have impressive food cultures. But which are truly the creme de la creme?  While many locations slot in on numerous “best of” charts, sometimes there’s no accounting for taste.  Thus, we consulted several online sources and our staff’s own personal experiences to bring you the 15 best cities for food in the USA.


1. New York City, New York

Pizza in New York City - Best Cities for Food in the USA
Pizza in New York City.

Take a bite out of The Big Apple and enjoy the accessibility, diversity, and quality of food in New York City.  The epicenter of eats, here you’ll find meals from almost every culture, country, and continent.  Here you’ll enjoy a slice of pizza, a pastrami sandwich from the corner deli, Chinese food in Chinatown, or a formal dinner prepared by a famous chef.

2. San Francisco, California

The City by the Bay isn’t famous for cheap meals.  But, in terms of quality, the assorted eateries here do deliver.  There are noteworthy seaside seafood restaurants, and downtown you’ll discover Scandinavian food, western Indian Gujarati cuisine, and pizza’s older cousin–pins.  Looking for reasonably-priced genuine Chinese food?  Wander around Chinatown and watch where the locals go to eat. 

3. Chicago, Illinois

The Windy City offers local favorites and international edibles.  You may already know about distinctive deep-dish pizza, hold-the-ketchup hot dogs, and cheese and caramel popcorn. Taste-test the Greek grilled cheese known as saganaki, the plantain-encased sandwiches named jibaritos, Italian beef, Vietnamese, Mexican, and Chinese dishes too.  Chicago actually serves up a balance of comfort foods and surprising haute cuisine.

Steak and Shrimp - Best Cities for Food in the USA
Steak and Shrimp

4. New Orleans, Louisiana

Shrimp Gumbo - Best Cities for Food in the USA
Shrimp Gumbo

Foodies will find that the Big Easy has plenty to offer.  Its cultural combination of European, African and Caribbean has created French, Creole, and Cajun staples that have made the city’s mouthwatering menu distinct.  Highlights here include creole and Cajun staples like po’boys, jambalaya, and gumbo.  There are also pralines and beignets.  Fun fact: Sunday brunch was invented here! 

5. Kansas City, Missouri

Dessert cakes - Best Cities for Food in the USA
Dessert cakes – Best Cities for Food in the USA

Kansas City may be referred to as the Heart of America, but it offers something special for the country’s culinary cravings.  The KC food scene combines home-style cooking with multicultural flavors to create individualistic food and drinks.  Sip some craft beer and indulge in such iconic edible offerings as barbecued burnt ends, KC fried chicken, and cheese slippers too.

6. Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville’s new to the nation’s culinary radar in comparison to other entries on this list.  Nevertheless, Music City has been quietly cooking up exceptional edibles for longer than you may know.  Sample some Nashville chicken, ham and cheese pizza, pork broth ramen, and fried pickles, and discover the “meat & three” where you choose your protein and trio of side dishes cafeteria-style.

7. Los Angeles, California

Chile Relleno Mexico Food
Chile Relleno Mexico Food

The famous City of Angels offers foodies fine dining for the rich and famous and super street food, food trucks, and local lures for everyone else.  Whether it’s haute cuisine, street food, trendy eats, or local lures, the internationally-inspired offerings are almost endless.  Los Angeles also has a top-shelf vegan/vegetarian scene.  Visit Grand Central Market and sample it all!

8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philly Cheesesteak Philadelphia
Philly Cheesesteak Philadelphia

Historic Philadelphia may be the country’s first official World Heritage City, but its cuisine isn’t stuck in the past!  Yes, you must have a cheesesteak and roast pork sandwich too.  But you can partake of Dutch dishes, vegetarian/vegan offerings, and real Jewish and Italian fare too.  Don’t forget to stop at one of the 200+ bring-your-own-bottle bistros either.

9. Las Vegas, Nevada

Nicknamed Sin City, this place was not originally famous for its cultural offerings.  Today, the stakes have been raised.  Now it’s a colorful epicenter for any chef on the Food Network.  Today you’ll find fine dining fit for the high-rollers and comparatively inexpensive all-you-can-eat buffets perfect for those who went all or nothing and ended up with the latter. The diversity of food across Las Vegas is abundant.

Sushi in Las Vegas.
Sushi in Las Vegas – Best Cities for Food in the USA

10. Dallas, Texas

Dallas is more than football, oil wells, and a classic TV soap opera.  It also has a sometimes overlooked unique culinary identity.  Menu options in the land of meat, meat, and more meat include barbecue, burgers, cheese fries, Frito pie, Cinco leches cake, chili, corny, veggie or turkey dogs, Laotian laab, shrimp and grits, Tex-Mex dishes, and tacos too.

11. Miami, Florida

South Beach Miami has many restaurants.
South Beach Miami has many restaurants.

Miami’s scantily-clad beach bunnies and bustling nightlife obviously distract from the city’s distinctive dining options.  Foodies though have long known that this is a great place for Cuban cuisine.  Plus, being comparatively close to the Caribbean, the city offers an assortment of authentic island flavors as well. Highlights here include Peruvian food and dishes from Oaxaca in Mexico.

12. Seattle, Washington

This city is more than the birthplace of grunge and Starbucks.  After watching workers throwing fresh fish around at Pike Place Market, try some fresh oysters and salmon.  Sample the sushi and rice bowls, Seattle teriyaki, well-known for its Korean-like sauce, vegetarian dishes–like pickled vegetables in a distinctive blue cheese-tahini sauce, Caribbean sandwiches, Lebanese food, and new American cuisine too.

13. Phoenix, Arizona

Bacon Burger - Best Cities for Food in the USA
Bacon Burger – Best Cities for Food in the USA

This city has a young population of transplants, and thus Phoenix’s culinary offerings are influenced by that.  Situated in the Southwest, Mexican food still reigns supreme, but there’s more to munch on than chips and salsa, burritos, and nachos.  You can also enjoy Cajun chicken, PBJ & bacon burgers, waffles with peppered bacon, and even create your own ramen dishes.

14. Washington, D.C.

This capital city hosts both international diplomats and small-town tourists.  So its nigh-all-encompassing culinary culture should not be surprising.  Whether you’re looking for fine dining or a fine fleet of food trucks, you’ll find it here.  Edible offerings include Balkan, Ethiopian, Indian, Laotian, and modern Israeli vegan street food.  Try a “half-smoke” –the half-pork, half-beef hot dog-like treat–too!

15. Boston, Massachusetts

Lobster from New England. Boston’s beautiful harbor location means it’s famous for fresh seafood.  The clam chowder, lobster, and oysters are plentiful.   Be it cozy corners or upscale eateries, it has much more to offer.  The North End, or Little Italy, offers Neapolitan pizza, various handmade pasta, and even cannoli. Beantown’s fine food scene also features Cambodian-French fusion courtesy of famous chef Barbara Lynch.

Bon Appétit!

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