Question of the Week

Updated: Oct 18, 2020

What’s the Best Food City?

Naming a “Best Food City” can be nearly impossible. I realized that when I posed

the question last week. I was still curious about which cities you would choose.

For me, my favorite food city changes every few years, depending on where I’ve traveled recently. There was a time when I thought Barcelona had the best food, then it was New York, then Chicago, then Portland, Maine. The fact of the matter is, I’ve come to realize that, if you know where to look, every city has great food!

We see countless lists come out each year naming “best” food cities. But, when you read the descriptions about why they are the “best,” you begin to realize that the same, or similar, things can be found in other places, too. The wonderful thing about exploring the world through restaurant menus, food trucks, food halls and farmer’s markets, is that you create your own experience.

Recently, I read about the following cities being “the best” for your next culinary expedition:

  • Asheville, North Carolina, restaurants had the highest ratings from all Yelp reviewers, according to Food & Wine.

  • New Orleans topped the list of best food cities in the South, according to Southern Living.

  • Los Angeles is No. 1, according to 24/7 Wall St.

While I have not been to Asheville yet, I lived in Los Angeles for 20 years and have been to New Orleans several times. I agree that they have great food. But location isn’t everything. It’s the people, restaurants, markets, and access to delicious ingredients, that makes a place awesome. Thankfully, that’s happening everywhere.

Lobster bake in Kennebunkport, Maine. Another great food city!

I used to write a column showcasing new restaurant openings for a restaurant industry magazine. Sometimes, it was hard to keep up with all of the amazing restaurants that were opening all over the country. We’re spoiled with talented chefs who want to feed us their creations. Lucky us!

So, what did Eat Like a Writer readers have to say about best food cities?

@emtettle picked Nashville, because she says the city offers a little bit of everything.

@prairieandpampa says, “Minneapolis! Great farm-to-table restaurants offering menus full of seasonal dishes and desserts that also support local farms and farmers... and super delish and creative entrees!"

@themagickoffood says, “Barcelona, Spain. The overall food choices are spectacular, but what’s particularly enticing is the focus on the entire dining experience. Food and conversation and ambiance and variety and shared plates and local delicacies and innovation are equally as each ingredient.”

@aquarreloffeasts says that today, the best food city is the one you can create and re-create in your own kitchen. “By calling upon your best food memories, whether in your home city or favorite faraway place, you can be there now.”

What's your favorite food city? Share it with us in the comments.

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