No doubt, on America’s major highways and byways, you’ll find a slew of fast food restaurant signs. If you missed one at the last exit, it is almost certain the next exit will have another. Fast food restaurants are everywhere whether you love or hate them. They’re the most predictable and convenient places for road trippers to stop for a bite.
But if you want to venture further and experience the ultimate culinary pleasure during road trips, look no further. We’ve rounded up 7 top food cities in America. Here they are:
1. New York City
New York City has about 25,000 restaurants. 9,640 restaurants are listed by OpenTable, a company that enables diners to discover and book a time and table at one of the listed restaurants.
So where should you eat in NYC? There are endless options. From cheap eats to fine dining, food from almost every country in the world are all represented in New York City. Queens, one of the boroughs of NYC, has the most diverse offerings.
If you like Korean food, head over to 32nd Street in Manhattan. Brazilian restaurants are located on 46th Street and authentic Italian food is available on Arthur Avenue (the Little Italy in the Bronx). For Indian, Latin American and Himalayan food, NYCGo recommends going to Jackson Heights in Queens. NYCGo, the official NYC Guide has a list of 10 recommended Chinese restaurants.
Tips for visiting NYC
2. New Orleans
New Orleans has long been known as one of the top food cities in America. Visitors from all over the world are drawn to the iconic restaurants and unique foods. Antoine’s, Arnaud’s and Cafe du Monde are some of the old establishments that still carry on century-old traditions in New Orleans.
Some foods to put on your list: Oysters Rockefeller (Antoine’s), Shrimp Arnaud (Arnaud’s) and beignets (Cafe du Monde). And the absolute must-haves besides the three listed are gumbo, po-boys, shrimp remoulade, jambalaya, and crayfish.
Tips for visiting New Orleans
Philadelphia- the City of Brotherly Love is fast becoming a food city in America. Travel and Leisure named it “America’s Next Great Food City.” It’s home to the cheesesteak, soft pretzel, and hoagie.
And did you know ice cream soda was invented in Philadelphia in 1874?
Tips for visiting Philadelphia
If you want the best fried chicken, you’ve got to get to Atlanta. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Dizzy Gillespie, and Aretha Franklin were some of the famous people who dined in Paschal, one of the best fried chicken restaurants in Atlanta since the 1940s.
In addition to fried chicken, Atlanta boasts so much more. You can find thousands of varieties of foods from around the world at Buford Highway Farmers Market.
Located in the historic Sears, Roebuck & Co. is Ponce City Market. Ponce City Market food hall is similar to New York City’s Chelsea Market. It is known as The Culinary Central for the South.
Tips for visiting Atlanta
Houston has over 10,000 places to eat. From Cajun and Vietnamese to Tex-Mex and Mediterranean, Houston has it all. Food to try: barbecue, Cajun crayfish, steaks, and Tex-Mex.
Tips for visiting Houston
Portland has specialty coffee (Stumptown Coffee), craft beer, and 600 food cart pods. Food cart options are not limited to hamburgers and hotdogs. Have a grand time eating around the world by visiting the diverse foods available from the food carts.
Portland has 20 farmers markets and the James Beard Public Market will be opening in 2018. Portland Saturday Market is the largest in the city.
Tips for visiting Portland
Orlando is the gateway to two of the world’s best theme parks. The city attracted 60 million visitors in 2015. According to VisitOrlando, Orlando has “a thriving culinary community, with celebrity-owns restaurants and top rated cuisine…”
Roy Yamaguchi, Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, Donna Scala,Todd English are just some of the well-known chefs with restaurants in Orlando.
For the ultimate food experience in Orlando, join in the yearly fun at Disney’s Epcot. Epcot organizes the International Food and Wine Festival in mid-September to mid-November featuring global cuisine, music and more – all in one theme park.
Tips for visiting Orlando