When you think of world-class cuisine with distinctive, innovative, and exciting flavors, visions of New York and Los Angeles most likely fill your head. You might even think of Miami with its strong Cuban influence and the Cajun and Creole recipes in New Orleans. But, the United States has several cities that offer inspiring and mouth-watering meals to make any foodie happy. Here are six up-and-coming food cities in the United States:
With recent attention to organic produce and the farm-to-table dining experience, Sacramento's popularity as a food city is on the rise. Some hot spots include Canon in East Sacramento, led by chef Brad Cecchi, where you can enjoy dishes made from seasonal local produce, and Beast + Bounty, with a "Beast" menu that offers tantalizing meat dishes and a "Bounty" menu that offers imaginative meal options to satisfy any vegetarian. For hyper-seasonal ingredients with stunning visual aesthetics, try heading to Localis in Midtown. You will especially love the food which comes out of their wood-fired oven.
Asheville, North Carolina
With its thriving arts and culture, Asheville has earned the nickname "Paris of the South." This charming city sits in the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Asheville has a reputation for being hip and young, which definitely shines through when you visit some of this city's best dining establishments. If you crave meat and want to have some of the best locally raised beef and pork, head to Foothills Butcher Bar to enjoy aged steaks, house-made hot dogs, pork chops, and more. For farm-to-table goodness, head to award-winning Chef John Fleer's Rhubarb. You can enjoy regional dishes from the chef's bar such as braised collard greens, grilled quail, whole grilled chicken, and other delicious fare from local farms.
Hawaii and Honolulu are already a melting pot of Hawaiian, Asian, and American culture. In recent decades, chefs have carried this mixture into restaurants providing some of the most flavorful fusion food anywhere on the planet. With fresh seafood galore and a gorgeous backdrop, you will find many restaurants owned by celebrity chefs, as well as local favorites. Some places you might want to try when you visit Honolulu include The Pig and the Lady, where you can chow down on award-winning Vietnamese fusion cuisine. If dining in one of Masaharu Morimoto's restaurants has been a dream, look no further than Morimoto Asia Waikiki, where you can enjoy tableside Asian fusion creations from your favorite Iron Chef.
Houston has long had a reputation for great BBQ and Tex–Mex food, but the city gets overlooked as a destination for sophisticated and eclectic cuisine. Its popularity has been on the rise since restaurant owners and chefs have begun to focus on farm-to-table experiences and showcasing the area's beef, as well as highlighting fresh and amazing seafood from the Gulf of Mexico. For an unmatched, high-end seafood experience, head to 1751 Sea and Bar where you can enjoy fresh seafood from the restaurant's ice bar. For a neo-soul experience, make a reservation at Indigo to enjoy one of their tasting menus.
St. Louis, Missouri
Young chefs have been infiltrating St. Louis's restaurant scene recently, making it one of the most exciting up-and-coming food cities. For delectable regional dishes that celebrate freshness, head to Vicia, where they source everything from local farms. If you love Vietnamese food and Asian fusion creations, Nudo House offers a blend of Vietnamese European, American, and Japanese cuisine, resulting in some of the most innovative dishes in the city. St. Louis has the largest Bosnian population outside of Europe, so a trip to the city without trying some authentic Bosnian cuisine at the Balkan Treat Box would be a mistake. This award-winning restaurant also has a food truck in the city. You can try pljeskavica, a favorite, which is a grilled "Balkan Burger."
A trip to Indianapolis is not complete without a visit to International Marketplace, where you can eat at one or more of 80 different ethnic restaurants. You will find food from Ethiopia, Peru, Greece, Cuba, El Salvador, India, and Thailand. Indy's farm-to-table hot spot is Bluebeard. In addition to baking all of their own breads in house, Bluebeard locally sources all their meat and vegetables. You can find rabbit, duck, oysters, octopus, steak, and trout on their menu, as well as a variety of fresh salads and cheese plates.