According to Zagat.

By Melina Mara /
December 19, 2016
Melina Mara / Getty

This story originally appeared on

Zagat just revealed its 26 hottest food cities of 2016, and almost half are located in the South—which is no surprise to us!

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Southern food is so unique because it’s so deeply rooted in our history and culture. The true Southerner knows that our cuisine goes way beyond a classic slab of BBQ ribs and mashed potatoes (through you can’t ever go wrong with that).

Food in the South is an amalgamation of flavors and spices derived from a variety of cultural origins, including African, Mexican, Caribbean, and even Native American influence. You can go from enjoying Tex Mex in San Antonio to Creole in New Orleans, hop over to Florida for a Latin take on your favorite Southern dish, and then head up Low Country for a seafood boil. Does it get any better than that?!

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We have no idea how Zagat managed to narrow it down, but it selected a total of 12 cities throughout the South to highlight in its annual list:

  • No. 24: Dallas–Fort Worth, TX
  • No. 23: Houston, TX
  • No. 22: Miami, FL
  • No. 19: Raleigh, NC
  • No. 18: Austin, TX
  • No. 16: Nashville, TN
  • No. 14: Birmingham, AL
  • No. 12: Savannah, GA
  • No. 11: Charleston, SC
  • No. 10: Atlanta, GA
  • No. 9: Charlotte, NC
  • No. 7: Asheville, NC

Related: South’s Best Breakfast Spots

Did your hometown make the cut?