Misha Gravenor

Cities that make T+L readers' mouths water, be it French fusion, peanut-butter-and-kimchi sandwiches or the perfect piece of fried chicken.

9. Los Angeles

12 of 21

Readers applauded Angelenos for always staying on trend, ranking them for being fashionable, hip and head-turningly hot. These days, the ahead-of-the-curve gourmands are eating in Chinatown, which is seeing a revival thanks to the rice bowls at Chego, the noodles at Ramen Champ and the blueberry-jasmine cones at Scoops artisanal ice cream (which also features a Cognoscenti coffee cart). And while L.A. has long been a leader in the fancy-burger movement, it still embraces its charbroiled roots. Case in point: Cassell’s Hamburgers, originally from the ‘50s, was recently reborn in Koreatown’s Hotel Normandie.

America’s Best Cities for Foodies

9. Los Angeles

Readers applauded Angelenos for always staying on trend, ranking them for being fashionable, hip and head-turningly hot. These days, the ahead-of-the-curve gourmands are eating in Chinatown, which is seeing a revival thanks to the rice bowls at Chego, the noodles at Ramen Champ and the blueberry-jasmine cones at Scoops artisanal ice cream (which also features a Cognoscenti coffee cart). And while L.A. has long been a leader in the fancy-burger movement, it still embraces its charbroiled roots. Case in point: Cassell’s Hamburgers, originally from the ‘50s, was recently reborn in Koreatown’s Hotel Normandie.

Misha Gravenor

America’s Best Cities for Foodies

When she’s visiting Los Angeles, Las Vegas restaurateur Elizabeth Blau—recently nominated for a James Beard award—does not concern herself with A-list seating at restaurants. “The first time I went to Gjelina,” she says of the acclaimed Venice café, “we got pizza and salads in the to-go area, then ate them while sitting on milk crates in the alley. It was so good.”

No surprise, Blau says that she plans her trips around restaurants, bakeries and markets, though many Travel+Leisure readers would attest that you don’t have to be a restaurateur to travel by your stomach. As part of the magazine’s America’s Favorite Cities survey, readers ranked 38 cities for qualities like walkable streets, historic appeal and art galleries—which, for some travelers, are just pleasant time-killers between meals.

Readers also ranked the 10 most crave-worthy features of a city, from the relatively low-cost indulgences of street food, coffee and bakeries to specialty gourmet markets, wine bars and high-end, chef-driven restaurants. (And throwing in plenty of burgers, pizza, craft beers and sandwiches.)

Among the winners—some perhaps boosted in the polls by their enthusiastic locals—we found a number of James Beard winners and nominees, as well as some fabulously creative twists on classics: “hot chicken” in Nashville, bison tartare in Minneapolis and pickle tasting plates in Chicago.

Sometimes, though, the simplest tastes are the most memorable—like the fresh, warm bread Blau once had at L.A. bakery Superba. “We only had crumbs in the bag by the time we left,” she says. “We had to go back and get more to bring home on the plane.”

Explore More