Courtesy of Krog Street Market/Little Tart Bakeshop

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

4. Atlanta

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The Georgia hub scored big points for keeping its Southern fare au courant. It ranked highly for diners, for instance—like the upscale Buckhead Diner, which does Kobe beef hot dogs, Niman Ranch pork chops and a veal-and-mushroom meatloaf. You can’t go wrong, though, with the classic fried chicken, followed by peach cobbler at Mary Mac’s Tea Room, an institution since 1945 (when female-owned eateries were dubbed “tea rooms”), and where today a hostess still offers back rubs at your table. The city also ranked well for its 21st-century food halls, like Krog Street Market, where you can nosh from vendors like charcuterie The Cockentrice and the small-batch chocolates at Xocolatl. The city makes it easy to create your own tea-room vibe back at home: according to readers, Atlanta excels in antique and home decor shopping.

America’s Best Cities for Foodies

4. Atlanta

The Georgia hub scored big points for keeping its Southern fare au courant. It ranked highly for diners, for instance—like the upscale Buckhead Diner, which does Kobe beef hot dogs, Niman Ranch pork chops and a veal-and-mushroom meatloaf. You can’t go wrong, though, with the classic fried chicken, followed by peach cobbler at Mary Mac’s Tea Room, an institution since 1945 (when female-owned eateries were dubbed “tea rooms”), and where today a hostess still offers back rubs at your table. The city also ranked well for its 21st-century food halls, like Krog Street Market, where you can nosh from vendors like charcuterie The Cockentrice and the small-batch chocolates at Xocolatl. The city makes it easy to create your own tea-room vibe back at home: according to readers, Atlanta excels in antique and home decor shopping.

Courtesy of Krog Street Market/Little Tart Bakeshop

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.”

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