17 Best Foodie Vacation Spots in the U.S.

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Are you looking for the best foodie vacation spots when you travel? 

The U.S. has some of the best food cities in the world, with diverse cuisine and flavors to suit every palate.

Regional culinary specialties and local food culture, along with the best dining experiences in the area, is what food travel is all about. 

We plan almost every trip around the local food and what we want to try when we get there. From street food to fine dining, it pulls together the vibe and history of the region.

Here are 18 of the best locations to eat when traveling in the USA and some of what makes them special.

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New York City

New York City’s food scene is a melting pot of cultures, making it an excellent destination for food lovers. From the pizza and bagels to the street carts serving up hot dogs and falafel, there’s something for everyone in this city.

Take an unforgettable food tour of Little Italy and Chinatown. Learn how both of these cultural groups contribute to the New York culinary scene

Vegans rejoice! For completely plant-based fine dining, enjoy a meal at a Michelin-starred restaurant like Eleven Madison Park, where you can experience a multi-course tasting menu featuring seasonal ingredients.

If the cool and hip vibe of Brooklyn is more your style check out this half-day food and culture tour.

CHECK AVAILABILITY for Chinatown and Little Italy Food Tour

CHECK AVAILABILITY for Best of Brooklyn Half-Day Food and Culture, Bus and Walking Tour

Santa Fe, New Mexico 

Santa Fe is a hub of Southwestern cuisine. This city offers a unique blend of Native American, Spanish, and Mexican flavors. Visitors can taste traditional dishes such as green chile stew, blue corn tortillas, and posole, as well as contemporary fusion cuisine.

For a taste of iconic Santa Fe dishes head to Coyote Cafe & Cantina. Enjoy some tamales, griddled corn cakes, or Frito pie. When it’s not too hot enjoy a cocktail on the rooftop cantina. 

Taste the food highlights of New Mexico on this walking food tour while strolling the city and having fun learning interesting Sante Fe culture and history.

CHECK AVAILABILITY for The New Mexican Flavors Food Tour.

Or go off the beaten path and explore the Railyard Arts District with a guide. The Railyard is huge but your guide will show you some great spots and let you in on what’s best. 

CHECK AVAILABILITY for Off the Beaten Path Food Tour.

New Orleans, Louisiana 

New Orleans, an iconic foodie vacation spot, is famous for its Cajun and Creole cuisine, with dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, and po’boys. Visitors should try the beignets at Café du Monde and the famous muffuletta sandwich at Central Grocery.

Cafe du Monde
Cafe du Monde New Orleans

Take a cooking class at the New Orleans School of Cooking and learn how to make classic Cajun and Creole dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, and beignets. Enjoy the samples and bring home the recipes.

CHECK AVAILABILITY for the New Orleans Cooking Class

If you prefer a walking tour try this one that includes food and cocktails. This history of New Orleans cocktails are as significant to the culture as its food.

CHECK AVAILABILITY for the New Orleans Cocktail and Food History Tour.

Chicago, Illinois 

Chicago is known for its deep-dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs, but it’s also home to some of the best steakhouses in the country. The city’s Polish community also makes some fantastic sausages and pierogies.

Pizza culture is serious in Chicago. Discover what everyone is talking about on the Chicago Pizza Tour. Great for young families, mobility impaired, and tired travelers as it is a small group and you are driven to each stop in a mini-bus. Perfect time to give those sightseeing feet some rest. 

CHECK AVAILABILITY for the Chicago Pizza Tour.

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

For a truly special night out, dine at Alinea, a three-Michelin-starred restaurant known for its innovative cuisine and unique dining experiences, such as edible balloons. Reservations sell out months in advance. Check the online calendar frequently for last-minute cancellations. 

On a road trip to Chicago? To have a classic Chicago eating experience drive over to Superdawg. Enjoy your famous Chicago hot dog with raw onion and neon relish in your car just like locals do.

If you are looking for a more comprehensive food tour (there will still be pizza!) but one that includes some notorious American gangsters, then the Chicago Gangster and Food Walking Tour is for you.

CHECK AVAILABILITY for the Chicago Gangster and Food Walking Tour

San Francisco, California 

San Francisco is a food lover’s paradise, with fresh seafood, sourdough bread, and some of the best Chinese food in the country. Visitors should also try the Mission-style burritos and clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl.

Visit the Mission District and taste a variety of Latin American and Asian cuisine from the area’s many food carts and restaurants.

Grab some quiche and pastries from Tartine Bakery and have a picnic in nearby Mission Dolores Park.

Go on a culinary walking tour to get a taste of all the foods San Francisco is famous for. Enjoy the incredible street art as well.

CHECK AVAILABILITY for the San Francisco Walking Tasting Tour.

Dolores Park San Francisco
Dolores Park San Francisco

Austin, Texas 

Austin is known for its barbecue, with famous spots like Franklin Barbecue and Terry Black’s. The city’s food truck scene is also worth checking out, with a variety of cuisines to choose from.

Take yourself on a barbecue crawl and sample brisket, ribs, and sausages from some of the city’s best barbecue joints.

If it’s tacos and neon you want to head to Gabrielas Downtown to get your fix. 

“Keep Austin Weird” is the slogan the city goes by. Why not embrace the weirdness and take a unique food tour? Like the Austin Breakfast Taco Food Tour or The Brunch Bus: Food Tour with a Live Band on Board the Bus!

CHECK AVAILABILITY for the Austin Breakfast Taco Food Tour 

CHECK AVAILABILITY for The Brunch Bus: Food Tour with a Live Band on Board the Bus!

Texas BBQ
Texas BBQ

Providence, Rhode Island 

Providence is a small city with a big food scene, Providence boasts a variety of culinary delights, from fresh seafood and Italian pastries to award-winning burgers and craft cocktails. 

Foodies can explore the city’s diverse neighborhoods, such as Federal Hill and Downcity Arts District, to sample the best of Rhode Island cuisine.

Go on a Downcity Providence Food Tour to experience the modern culinary landscape evolving there. 

Head to Sartos for aperitivo and Italian cuisine. Or make your way over to The Slow Rhode to indulge in some amazing cocktails and small plates. Don’t miss the delicious New England seafood at Dune Brothers.

CHECK AVAILABILITY for the Downcity Providence Food Tour.

Portland, Oregon 

Portland’s food scene is all about farm-to-table dining and sustainability. The city is home to some fantastic craft breweries and food carts, with a focus on locally sourced ingredients.

Visit the Portland Saturday Market and sample a variety of artisanal food products, from locally made cheeses to handcrafted chocolates and pastries. The market is also filled with local art and products. They are only open on Saturdays, plan accordingly so you don’t miss out.

Portlanders are passionate about food carts and donuts. 

Stop at some of the best places on this Portland Food Carts, Pods & Patios Tour. This small group tour will show you just how connected each vendor is to the community.

Eat some of the most famous donuts on Portland’s Only Underground Donut Tour. Find out where the locals indulge in their favorites. 

Try something altogether different, a unique communal table experience with inventive French food at Le Pigeon.

CHECK AVAILABILITY for the Portland Food Carts, Pods & Patios Tour.

CHECK AVAILABILITY  for the Portland’s Only Underground Donut Tour. 

Asheville, North Carolina 

Asheville is home to a thriving food scene that includes a variety of restaurants, breweries, and food markets. Visitors can taste locally sourced ingredients and Appalachian specialties, such as smoked trout, pimento cheese, and biscuits.

Nicknamed “Beer City USA”, Asheville has no shortage of breweries. Head to Burial Beer Co. Asheville Taproom for a few drafts. 

You may want to jump on this Electric Bike Brewery Crawl to see a few of the best breweries Asheville has to offer. Get a good overview of the area and see much more than you would on foot.

Eat downtown at Laughing Seed Cafe for the vegans and The Bull and Beggar, in the River Arts District, for the meat lovers in your crew.

CHECK AVAILABILITY for the Electric Bike Brewery Crawl.

Portland, Maine 

Portland, with its scenic coastal location, is a seafood lover’s paradise. The city’s restaurants and markets offer an abundance of fresh lobster, oysters, clams, and other local catches, along with creative takes on classic New England fare.

Eat at the Portland Lobster Company for an amazing lobster roll and clam chowder, atmosphere, and entertainment. Closed during winter months,  so check on that when planning. 

Taste some of the finest brews in Maine on the First Round Draught Brewery Bus Tour. Enjoy a delicious hand pie for breakfast and tour the breweries with a local expert.

CHECK AVAILABILITY  for the First Round Draught Brewery Bus Tour.

Nashville, Tennessee 

Nashville’s food scene is all about Southern comfort food, with dishes like hot chicken and biscuits and gravy. 

Visitors should also try the city’s famous meat-and-three restaurants, where diners can choose a meat and three sides. Find your way to Ramzys Meat & Three for a great meal.

Dine at Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack, the birthplace of Nashville’s famous hot chicken, and choose from a range of spice levels, from mild to “XXX hot.”

Try your hand at creating a classic Southern dish with a published chef. At the Southern Belle Biscuit & Gravy Baking Class, you will go home with a full belly, a yummy recipe, and some new cooking skills. 

CHECK AVAILABILITY for the Southern Belle Biscuit & Gravy Baking Class in Nashville.

Los Angeles, California 

Los Angeles has a diverse food scene, with everything from Korean barbecue to Mexican street tacos. Visitors should also try the city’s famous In-N-Out Burger and the amazing sushi at Sugarfish.

Have dinner at Spago, celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck’s iconic Beverly Hills restaurant, and enjoy a contemporary take on classic California cuisine.

Uncover the dynamic food scene on the Downtown Los Angeles Food Tour. Hear the stories of LA and Hollywood while walking to each venue with your small group.

CHECK AVAILABILITY for the Downtown Los Angeles Food Tour. 

Charleston, South Carolina 

Charleston is known for its Lowcountry cuisine, with dishes like shrimp and grits and she-crab soup. The city’s seafood is also not to be missed, with fresh oysters and crab cakes on the menu.

For some upscale takes on traditional cuisine head to Fig. It’s a popular place and you will certainly need a reservation. Try the Lowcountry Bourride if it’s on the rotating menu. 

Delicious fare can be found at Poogan’s Porch, including pimento cheese fritters and shrimp and grits

Treat yourself and your group to this private guided tour of walking and food tasting in Charleston.

CHECK AVAILABILITY for the Private Charleston Walking Tasting Tour.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

Philadelphia is famous for its cheesesteaks, but the city also has a thriving food scene. Visitors should try the soft pretzels, roast pork sandwiches, and hoagies.

Visit Reading Terminal Market, one of the oldest and largest public markets in the country, and sample a variety of local specialties, such as Pennsylvania Dutch pretzels and Philly cheesesteaks. The market houses over 70 family-owned, small businesses. 

For a unique dining experience go to Her Place Supper Club

The menu is pre-fixed only and it will be unlike any other restaurant you have tried before. You’ll love it. 

Be the coolest cats around on this Philadelphia Cheesesteak Tour by Segway. Travel to different locations on a Segway while sampling Philadelphia’s most iconic sandwich.  

CHECK AVAILABILITY for the Philadelphia Cheesesteak Tour by Segway.

Louisville, Kentucky 

Louisville is a food destination with a rich culinary history famous for its bourbon and Southern cuisine.

Visitors looking for local food culture can sample traditional dishes such as burgoo (meat and veggie stew), Hot Brown (hot open turkey sandwich), and Derby Pie (chocolate and walnuts), as well as explore the city’s many bourbon distilleries and craft breweries. 

Go to The Brown Hotel to try an iconic Hot Brown or the Bluegrass Brewing Co. for some guaranteed fun and good food. 

Tour the trendiest neighborhood in town on a Louisville Food and History Walking Tour of NuLu. You’ll taste all the Kentucky and Appalachian classics on this tour.

Don’t leave Bourbon City without getting a chance to visit a distillery. Visit iconic distilleries like Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark. You choose which three and let someone else do the driving on this Bourbon Tour.

CHECK AVAILABILITY for the Louisville Food and History Walking Tour of NuLu.

CHECK AVAILABILITY for the Bourbon Tour.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle is known for its seafood, with fresh salmon and oysters on the menu at many restaurants. 

Dine at Canlis, a fine-dining restaurant that offers stunning views of Lake Union and the city skyline, along with a sophisticated menu featuring Pacific Northwest cuisine. A must for that special night out. 

Head over to Pike Place Market for some delicious tastings. Beat the crowds and take advantage of this Early Bird Tasting Tour. Nibble on the local products and enjoy talking to the vendors. 

CHECK AVAILABILITY for the Pike Place Market Early Bird Tasting Tour

Miami, Florida

Miami’s food scene is all about Latin American cuisine, with dishes like Cuban sandwiches and empanadas. Visitors should also try the city’s famous stone crabs and key lime pie.

Have dinner at Juvia, a rooftop restaurant in South Beach that offers panoramic views of the city, along with a fusion menu that combines French, Japanese, and Peruvian cuisine. Try one of the ceviche choices.

Go to The Wharf Miami to try some amazing street food from one of the food trucks and enjoy the open air seating

Relish the Cuban food you’ll taste on the Little Havana Food and Walking Tour. Try the famous, and best empanada in Miami, flan ice cream, croquetas, guava pastelitos and more.

CHECK AVAILABILITY for the Little Havana Food and Walking Tour.

Whether it’s Southern comfort food in Nashville, farm-to-table dining in Portland, or deep-dish pizza in Chicago, there’s something for everyone in the country’s top food destinations.

The best foodie vacation spots are waiting for you. Go forth, travel and eat!

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