See if your hometown made the list.
Whether you’re hankering for crispy French fries, fresh fish, or the perfect slice of pizza, cities all across the United States are proving they can compete with international culinary powerhouses.
Major metropolises like San Francisco and New York City have long been known as epicurean capitals — but this year, much smaller cities joined the ranks. According to locals, these are some of the best places in the nation to eat.
In our annual America's Favorite Places survey, we ask Travel + Leisure readers to open up about about their hometowns — the place they grew up or have lived in and know better than anywhere else on Earth. Unlike the World's Best Awards, which encourages readers to weigh in on travel experiences across the globe, the America's Favorite Places survey is a way for locals to share what their hometowns do best.
Readers ranked their hometowns and cities across a range of categories, from the friendliness of the locals to the quality of the cheeseburgers.
Here, locals and visitors can satisfy an appetite for powdery beignets, Po’ boys, and hearty shrimp and grits (just a few of the regional specialties). With its mix of flavorful Creole and classic French influences, this vibrant city wins over everyone with its big flavor.
“There is no other city like New Orleans,” one resident wrote, calling it “An awesome city to enjoy wonderful food, attractions, festivals, world class cruise ships, and good music all the time.”
Norfolk, Virginia took the silver spot for its rapidly growing food and craft beer scene. And Buffalo, New York, home to — you guessed it — Buffalo wings, landed in third place. The city is also known for its unique pizza (a blend of Chicago and New York City-style crusts).
“No one knows pizza like we do. And wings. We don't call them 'Buffalo wings' [here], just wings. Our worst wings are better than any other city,” raved one reader.
From green chile cheeseburgers to Michelin-stared dining rooms, these are 20 of the best-loved places to eat and drink in the United States.