2017's 20 Best American Foodie Towns from 2017's 20 Best American Foodie Towns

2017's 20 Best American Foodie Towns

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2017's 20 Best American Foodie Towns

The world of food traveling is and authentic and mouth-watering experience. More and more tours designed for food lovers are being offered in cities both known and unknown for their unique cuisine. RewardExpert, a free service that helps travelers fly for cheap by maximizing their miles and points, ranked the best foodie towns in the U.S. The report evaluates cities on nine key metrics.

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1. Asheville, North Carolina

The city ranks first in the South Atlantic and it also scored the most points overall. Asheville has over 700 restaurants and more than any other town analyzed within the region. Asheville is known for its great barbecue and craft breweries, but the town has many wonderful fine dining establishments to offer, as well.

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2. Burlington, Vermont

Burlington ranks first in the Northeast. According to our findings, Burlington has 8.6 restaurants per 10,000 residents and 40 restaurants with at least a five-star rating on Yelp. The town is also known for its breweries, which make it a very well-rounded city for foodie options.

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3. Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Chapel Hill is another great foodie town in the South Atlantic region safely securing second place on the list. According to the findings, Chapel Hill has 22 restaurants per 10,000 residents. Also, according to Yelp, TripAdvisor, and other restaurant review aggregators, 21.6 percent of Chapel Hill’s restaurants have four stars or more. The city is home to many award-winning and renowned restaurants.

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4. Healdsburg, California

The city ranks first in the Pacific West. Healdsburg is located within an enclave of the world’s best wineries, giving its cuisine a reputation for being fresh and tasty. The town is home to only about 11,000 residents, yet 25 percent of Healdsburg’s 119 restaurants enjoy four stars or more on various review websites.

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5. Santa Fe, New Mexico

The city ranks first in the Mountain West. Santa Fe is one of the larger towns RewardExpert analyzed, boasting over 400 restaurants. The city is known for chefs who create innovative Southwestern fare and is home to a number of award-winning restaurants.

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6. Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Located on the Big Island, Kailua-Kona is a foodie hotspot and second on our list of the best foodie towns in the Pacific West Region. Kailua-Kona boasts 21 restaurants per 10,000 residents. Kona Coffee is grown on the island itself, so grab a certifiably fine cup o’ joe while you enjoy the white sand beaches and clear blue water. 

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7. Winter Park, Florida

Winter Park, Florida is outside of Orlando, but it’s quickly becoming a hot destination for foodies. The town has 57 restaurants per 10,000 residents, which provides travelers a variety of restaurants to choose from. According to the findings, 28.9 percent of restaurants in Winter Park have 4.5 stars or more on Yelp, TripAdvisor, and other review websites.

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8. Napa, California

Napa is world-famous for wines, but it also has an incredible food scene to pair with the region’s top-notch vino. There are almost 500 restaurants in this small city, which is remarkable when compared to other cities of the same size. Literally, if you step foot in Napa, there’s a good chance any place you walk into will be award-winning and incredible.

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9. Portland, Maine

Second on the list of foodie cities in the Northeast is Portland. The city has almost 600 restaurants, which gives travelers an excellent variety to choose from. Maine is famous for lobster, so travelers shouldn’t leave the state without trying a lobster roll.

Photo Modified: Flickr / liz west / CC BY 4.0

10. Waltham, Massachusetts

Waltham is outside of Boston and absolutely worth the trip for foodies. The study shows the town has 16 restaurants per 10,000 residents. Eight Waltham restaurants or eateries were featured on the local food show Phantom Gourmet in the 2013.

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11. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Hilton Head Island is an island off the coast of South Carolina that boasts beautiful sunsets and delectable food. The island had over 40 restaurants that enjoy a five star rating, which means Hilton Head Island means business when it comes to food. The fine dining options on the island are numerous and typically combine southern elegance with new age fusions.

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12. Charlottesville, Virginia

Charlottesville ranks fifth on the list of best foodie towns in the South Atlantic Region. The city has over 500 restaurants and over 10 restaurants per 10,000 residents. Also, Charlottesville is home to five breweries, so a brewery tour could be a fun addition to your foodie vacay. The town’s restaurant week is typically in July, making it a great time of the year to experience some of the town’s best culinary opportunities.

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13. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

This is one of the best American cities for family-fun trips. Great beaches comprising about 60 miles, food and parties round out a few of the reasons to visit and the deals on hotels are also a major draw. For a carnival-like vibe and experiences you just need to go to the boardwalk and promenade.

Photo Modified: Flickr / Douglas Clem / CC BY 4.0

14. Danville, California

California as a whole might be one of the best food destinations in the entire world. Danville is a smaller town located in between some of the world’s food meccas. Sitting between San Francisco and Napa, it boasts significant high dining for a city of its size. The city has over 300 restaurants and with many of them earning high culinary recognition. According to the findings, 24.6 percent of Danville’s restaurants have four or more stars on Yelp, TripAdvisor, Open Table and other review websites.

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15. Newport, Rhode Island

Rhode Island may be tiny, but it’s an ocean state. Newport is fourth on the list of the best small foodie cities in the Northeast region. Almost 20 percent of the town’s restaurants have five stars on Yelp, which is remarkable for a city of its size. Newport’s waterfront provides wonderful and scenic opportunities to eat.

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16. Traverse City, Michigan

It ranks first in the Midwest. Michigan is sometimes overlooked as a foodie state, but the Great Lakes Culinary Institute is located in Traverse City. This means that young and ambitious chefs are peppered throughout the state bringing incredible culinary experiences to small towns in the region.

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17. Sonoma, California

Foodie travelers going through California must visit Sonoma. An impressive 33 percent of the town’s restaurants have five stars, which is the highest of any town with more than 10,000 residents. Similar to Napa, Sonoma is known for its wineries, but the findings show there are also incredible restaurants.

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18. Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Tuscaloosa ranks first in the South Central region. The city is home of classic Alabama southern cooking and hosts over 400 restaurants. According to our findings, 42.4 percent of Tuscaloosa restaurants are rated four and a half stars or more on a combination of review websites.

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19. Tarrytown, New York

The Hudson Valley offers a wide and substantial opportunity for culinary treats; however, Tarrytown snags the 5th spot on the list of the Northeast region. This is a wonderful side-trip or day-trip for both New York residents and tourists. According to the findings, roughly 13 percent of Tarrytown’s 270 restaurants have 5 stars on Yelp, TripAdvisor, and other review websites.

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20. McMinnville, Oregon

Few small towns can rival the tasty dining options and overwhelming variety of restaurants there, according to VisitMcMinnville. Praises and reviews pour in from travelers and prestigious foodie publications naming McMinnville one of the country’s best places for food lovers. From cozy coffee shops to casual comfort food to award-winning fine dining, there are plenty of delicious choices.

2017's 20 Best American Foodie Towns