15 Ultimate Vacation Spots For Foodies

One of my favorite parts of visiting a new city is discovering its famous foods and restaurants. Foodies like myself agree, and many plan their vacations around items and places they want to try. Some of the best foodie cities in the world are found in our own country. Checking out these cities and enjoying their cuisine are sure to keep you and your belly happy.

1. New Orleans, Louisinana

New Orleans, Louisiana
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New Orleans might be a foodie paradise. Mixing European, Caribbean, and African influences is a cultural mecca for flavor. Cajun staples like jambalaya, gumbo, and po’boys have become a staple in American cuisine, but no one does it like New Orleans. Grab a sazerac and a beignet and enjoy some jazz between excellent meals next time you find yourself in the Big Easy.

2. New York City, New York

New York City, New York
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Being one of the biggest cities in the world, New York is home to some of the best restaurants in the world. New York will deliver whether you want a Michelin-star restaurant or a slice of pizza on the street. As of 2023, 71 Michellin-Star restaurants are located in the city, making it a dream for those looking to fill their belly on vacation. 

3. Las Vegas, Nevada

Bellagio, Las Vegas, Nevada
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You don’t get the name Sin City without being known for overindulgence. Las Vegas has quickly become a famous location for celebrity chefs and foodies alike. Sure, you can get a cheap steak dinner off the strips, but Vegas is also home to restaurants owned by celebrity chefs like Gordon Ramsay, Davis Chang, Nobu Matsuhisa, and the Vanderpump group. This is just a small sample of the food spots on the strip. Get to Vegas to explore all the delicacies the desert has to offer.

4. San Diego, California

San Diego
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San Diego has the benefit of sitting just north of Mexico as well as on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. The result is some amazing Baja-inspired cuisine. Perhaps home to the fish taco, no one does it quite like the chefs of San Diego. You can find some of the best Baja-inspired food on various corners of the San Diego community. In addition to tacos and burritos, San Diego has numerous restaurants with epic beach views.

5. Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee
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Nashville is so much more than its famous honky-tonks and crowded bars. An emerging food scene has erupted, with many locations focused on barbecue. While barbeque is a popular meal, they might be famous for their Nashville hot chicken. This spicy spiced chicken will leave you sweating, but man, is it good. Ensure you swing by Hattie B’s for that free kick of spice to clear your sinuses. 

6. Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina
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Tucked away in the Smokey Mountains, Asheville was a hidden gem for locals. Too bad the secret is out, and foodies have been flocking to the city for years. Tourists have been well fed by James Beard’s award-winning establishments like Buxton Hall BBQ, Chai Pani, and Curate. Asheville is also home to some world-class breweries, making it a great stop for foodies and beer enthusiasts. 

7. Miami, Florida

Miami, Florida
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The Miami food scene is as vibrant as its music and art culture. Being so close to Cuba and the Bahamas, it offers diverse cultures of style and flavor. Finding great restaurants in South Beach will never be a problem due to its rich heritage in food and service standards.

8. Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado
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Union Station is located in the heart of downtown Denver. This foodie destination is home to various hot spots serving sustainable seafood, Belgian waffles, and a full European market. The mile-high city is also known for being one of the greatest craft brewery cities in the United States. You won’t go hungry or thirsty next time you spend some time in Denver, Colorado. 

9. Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas
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Austin, Texas, has become a hot spot for tourists and transplants alike. If you are looking for the best barbeque in the world, you might be in the best place. Chef Aaron Franklin smokes up his famous meats and is open until he sells out. Lines have been seen to wrap around his entire facility. If you are a fan of Texas BBQ, get here early because the rations don’t last long!

10. Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine
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If you are a fan of fresh seafood, Portland, Maine, will be a delightful vacation. Imagine sitting on a nice patio looking out at the ocean while enjoying some of the freshest lobster you can buy. I would eat my weight in lobster rolls and crab cakes on a long Portland weekend. When the seafood is coming fresh, sometimes a mile away from the restaurant, you have to take advantage of that situation. 

11. San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California
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The Bay area is a bustling scene for food tourists looking for a fantastic meal. Neighborhoods like The Mission are a go-to spot for tacos, while Chinatown has some of the best Chinese-style street foods. However, The Ferry Building is the place for local farmer’s markets and smaller restaurants offering great bites. San Francisco is also home to dozens of award-winning craft breweries to pair with the great food options available. 

12. Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
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You can find some amazing fine dining establishments in the West Loop neighborhood. Still, real foodies will tell you to enjoy some of Chicago’s famous foods like pizza, hot beef, and hot dogs. A trip to Chicago is not complete without trying Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. You’re also going to want to try an Italian beef sandwich and an authentic Chicago dog from Portillos. Just don’t ask for ketchup on it, or you’re going to get some dirty looks. Trust me, I learned this from experience. 

13. Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California
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Los Angeles is one of the most diverse cities in the United States. The melting pot of cultures gives the city various cuisines and blended cooking techniques. Foodies should plan a visit to the Grand Central Market for a gigantic food court offering any food you can imagine. You can also book a table at one of their famous restaurants like Nobu, or Spago, both hot spots for celebrity watching. 

14. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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The city of brotherly love is known for so much more than cheesesteaks and soft pretzels. But still, those are a couple of good reasons for visiting Philly. After you have filled the need for a greasy cheesesteak at Geno’s, head on over to FDR Park for a great Southeast Asian Market or Lebanese fare in the Fishtown neighborhood. Then go back for another cheesesteak because they really are the best in the country. 

15. Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts
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Boston has some of the best restaurants in the country, serving up some New England staples like lobster rolls, clam chowder, and oysters. Be sure to check out Union Oyster House, where they have been shucking oysters since 1826! The city also has some of the best Italian dishes, like homemade pasta and cannolis, as well as pizza that rivals their their competitor city, New York City.

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