The American food scene is at an exciting point of growth and maturity. In the past 20 years, the culinary landscape in cities both big and small across the country has seen an incredible transformation. The recent challenges of the last two years have even inspired many chefs and food entrepreneurs to return to their hometowns, adding to the creativity and innovation in under-the-radar destinations throughout the country. These destinations make up Food & Wine’s list of the next great food cities, with 11 cities to look out for in 2023. This list features 7 big cities and 4 smaller towns with populations less than 60,000 that have thriving food scenes. Each city profile highlights the unique and diverse food culture, showcasing local chefs, restaurants, food halls, markets, brewers, distillers, and more.
1. Cincinnati, Ohio
Foodie places have been on the rise in Charlotte, as a new generation of chefs and creators join the culinary scene. With their innovative ideas and delicious dishes, these talented individuals are pushing forward this exciting gastronomic revolution. Enjoy all the wonderful flavors that Charlotte has to offer!
Cincinnati’s Findlay Market is the perfect destination for foodies looking to explore delicious eats on a weekend morning.
Cincinnati is a haven for foodies of all kinds. From Jean-Robert de Cavel’s Maisonette, one of the nation’s premier French restaurants, to local creative dishes like chili over spaghetti with a hint of cinnamon (a favorite among Macedonian immigrants’ restaurants), there’s something for every palate.
For foodies looking for something special, Louisville has plenty to offer. From traditional southern favorites to modern takes on Lebanese and Mediterranean dishes, there is something to satisfy every culinary whim. Tony and Austin Ferrari capitalize on the farm-fresh, seasonal ingredients of Zuni Café, while Dominique Khoury offers modern takes on Lebanese classics such as Kentucky lamb kofta and cardamom apple pine nut tarts at her popular pop-up restaurant Fausto.
If you consider yourself to be a foodie, you’ll be glad to know that there are some amazing eateries for you to check out. Head over to Salazar run by the talented Jose Salazar or Mita’s and enjoy mouth-watering dishes prepared by some seriously committed chefs.
2. Boise, Idaho
Boasting an impressive selection of renowned eateries and culinary attractions, the Northwest is a haven for food lovers. From Portland to Seattle, this corner of the country is home to many celebrated foodie destinations which are sure to satisfy any palate!
Boise is quickly becoming one of the top choices for foodies across the nation! From craft breweries to artisanal doughnut shops, food trucks and third-wave coffee roasters to Kibrom’s Ethiopian and Eritrean Cuisine, there are a plethora of places in Boise that are sure to satisfy even the most discerning diners.
For the local foodie community, State & Lemp was an ahead-of-its-time restaurant opened by Komori in 2013, until it closed in recent years. His new restaurant, Kin, offers ambitious five-course Saturday suppers and haute picnics to tantalize tastebuds, along with live ballet and opera performances for entertainment. In addition to quality cuisine and atmosphere, Komori is a vocal advocate for social change initiatives such as addressing food insecurity and racial equity.
Boise Boise is buzzing with diverse and delicious dining scenes! Foodies flock to this city for the chance to try culinary creations from highly-rated chefs. Two of the newest places include chef Cal Elliott’s Little Pearl Oyster Bar, where guests can indulge in mouthwatering cioppino, ceviche, and oysters. Meanwhile, Rye NYC alum Elliottpleases guests with his noteworthy creations at Komori.
For foodies looking for a unique and memorable dining experience, the downtown area of many cities is home to two exciting new gems. Picture long alleys lined with food trucks featuring delectable and creative fare from local chefs who have taken advantage of pandemic restrictions to let their culinary imaginations run wild! Green Acres Food Park and its neighboring truck park are must-see destinations where you can sample the best in street food.
Idaho’s foodie scene is growing, and the state’s vineyards are leading the charge. Women like Leslie Preston and Melanie Krause, who have spent years working in esteemed wineries across Napa Valley and Woodinville, Washington, are now coming home to make Idaho’s 1,300 acres of vineyards into exciting places to explore. Whether it’s their own venture Coiled or another winery elsewhere in the region, a visit to this glorious part of the Northwest US won’t disappoint foodies!
3. Omaha, Nebraska
Foodies will delight in the options available in this city – from renown steakhouses to the latest restaurants and the yummiest ice cream around.
Omaha, Nebraska is known as a foodie paradise and it’s the birthplace of the classic Reuben sandwich. It’s made up of pumpernickel or rye bread, butter, corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing and grilled to perfection. In Omaha you’ll find a variety of restaurants that offer traditional interpretations or creative takes on this midnight snack favorite!
Omaha is a true foodie’s paradise, and there’s no better place to appreciate it than the historic Blackstone. After years of being turned into an office building, the hotel has been restored as the Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel for guests who are looking for a luxurious experience ($161+ per room). The menu is just as remarkable, offering classic Reubens made with Gruyère cheese and a spicy mustard kick that you won’t find anywhere else.
Omaha’s Blackstone District is the go-to spot for foodies looking to have their taste buds tantalized. With a diverse range of eateries serving anything from Venezuelan patacones to Nepalese dumplings, their palates can experience the world without ever leaving the area. El Arepón Venezuelan Food inside its beer and food hall offers delicious fried green plantains, while The Switch serves delectable dumplings in a delightful peanut, soybean, and tomato sauce.
Foodies, rejoice! Omaha has some amazing places to explore and enjoy. From the famous vegan comfort-cooking spot rooted in Brooklyn but owned by cookbook author Isa Chandra Moskowitz from Omaha, to Anthony Caniglia’s Modern Love offering elegant European cuisine, there is something for all food lovers in this vibrant city.
4. Indianapolis, Indiana
Indianapolis is quickly becoming a foodie haven, with innovative and exciting new restaurants popping up all over the city. Local chefs are striving to make Indy a culinary destination, where everyone can find something delicious to enjoy.
Indianapolis is a foodie’s paradise – boasting a wide range of affordable, high-quality cuisine from all around the world. The city has embraced an incredible mix of cultures, from local entrepreneurs to established restaurants, bringing the most delicious meals to diners. From fine dining to budget eats, Indianapolis has it all!
Foodies looking for their next favorite eatery need to look no further than downtown’s Gallery Pastry Bar and Ben Hardy & Youssef Boudarine bakery. Unique desserts such as the Brûlée Trillium, a croissant filled with berry compote, pecans, and brûléed local triple-cream cheese, will delight diners in a wonderfully decorated dining space featuring Moroccan lights and an Anthony Bourdain painting by Egyptian artist Salma Taman.
For a foodie, there’s no better place than Fletcher Place’s and Amberson Coffee & Grocer! Visit the former for delicious date lattes served in glass jars, eliminating single-use plastic. Then discover the latter hidden away behind an unmarked door in the Fountain Square Theatre. Enjoy all your favorite drinks either to start or end the night!
Indianapolis is a top destination for the adventurous foodie. Located in the Bottleworks District, the former Coca-Cola bottling plant now houses Hard Truth Distilling Co., which offers an array of Indiana-made spirits like toasted coconut rum and peanut butter whiskey. In addition, The Garage Food Hall features classic Art Deco decor and the best eats from all over Indy. Whether you’re looking for casual fare or a fancy dinner, there’s something for everyone here!
If you’re looking for a foodie destination, the newly opened The AMP at The Star complex in Frisco is one of the places to be. As a food hall, The AMP provides minority-owned concepts with low rents and creative freedom for their business to thrive. Be sure to check it out for an experience like no other!
5. Jersey City, New Jersey
If you are a foodie looking for delicious eats, then New York City’s mysterious “sixth borough” is your ultimate destination. Here, there is no shortage of vibrant food spots offering an incredible array of culinary experiences.
Looking for a gastronomic getaway in the Northeast? Look no further than Jersey City, the secret “sixth borough” of New York City! Packed with an array of restaurants, cafes and bars, Jersey City offers up delicious dishes from all over the world—making it a must-visit spot for foodies who want to take in NYC’s stunning skyline while trying out some amazing grub. From top-notch Italian fare to tantalizing Indian nibbles, Jersey City is sure to have something to please every palate.
Jersey City is a foodie’s paradise! With an incredible mix of cultures, this city has some of the best places in the country to try delicious Asian and Indian cuisine. There are also many Filipino American bakeries that offer tantalizing treats like pandesal, ensaymada, and mocha-flavored cakes with caramel. Whether you’re looking for something quick or ready to turn your kitchen into a restaurant, Jersey City is the place to go!
Craving Italian food? Then you’ve come to the right city! New Jersey is home to some of the finest Italian restaurants, from Dan Richer’s renowned pizzeria to Razza’s delicious pasta dishes. Richer, a James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef semifinalist, learned how to craft his signature pies in Italy, and he tops them with fresh toppings sourced from local farms. At Razza, enjoy the chef’s rustic cuisine which is inspired by recipes from northern Liguria in Italy. So treat yourself and visit one of these amazing foodie places today!
If you’re a foodie looking for something sweet, this city has plenty to offer. From the delicious mixed cookies with flavors like cinnamon whiskey crackle at Sweetbreads Bakery to the amazing banana pudding from Bang Cookies, owned by a Filipino chef, you’ll be sure to find something that satisfies your craving!
6. Tucson, Arizona
If you’re looking for unique and delicious food experiences, Tucson is the perfect place to explore. In 2015, the city was designated a UNESCO City of Gastronomy due to its vibrant food culture and abundance of amazing eateries. Whether you’re in search of scrumptious tacos or homemade flautas, unforgettable flavors are just around the corner in Tucson!
Tucson, Arizona is a great destination for food-loving travelers! Not only can you find delicious dishes made with flour tortillas, but there are also plenty of unique, charming museums and great outdoor activities to experience. Explore Saguaro National Park on a hike or dive into the city culture by visiting a museum dedicated entirely to miniatures – all while satisfying your taste buds with freshly-made tortillas.
Tucson is one of the best places for foodies to explore! It was designated a UNESCO City of Gastronomy in 2015, so you know it has plenty of great eating options. A must-visit is El Charro Café, an iconic spot that’s been around for over 100 years. You won’t want to miss out on their famous carne seca cheese crisp, a giant open-faced quesadilla with gooey cheese and piles of air-dried beef. Of course, Tucson has more wonderful eateries to try than just the ones in the guidebooks!
Tucson, Arizona is an ideal destination for foodies who are looking to try something new and unique. In particular, one must-try dish when visiting the city is the Sonoran Dog – a delicious hotdog served on a soft bolillo roll with beans, tomatoes, onions, mayonnaise and salsa verde. El Güero Canelo offers some of the best versions around while BK Tacos serves vegetarian options as well. Don’t leave Tucson without trying one!
Are you a foodie looking for unique places to explore your gastronomic curiosity? Consider visiting Arizona winery’s Sand-Reckoner, a “wine hotel” that cellars its wine and offers tastings in the sandstone basement. Enjoy the local flavors from tacos, tortillas, and hot dogs accompanied with a refreshing glass of wine!
Are you looking for some new and exciting foodie places? Look no further! Tucson has a variety of restaurants with something for everyone. For example, Noodleholics is home to some delicious hand-pulled noodles with a garlicky and spicy kick. If you’re in the mood for something else, there are plenty of other choices waiting to be explored!
7. Charlotte, North Carolina
Food-lovers from all over can find delightful culinary delights in and around the city, as there are a variety of innovative and trendsetting food establishments to discover. From traditional fare to eclectic cuisines, this is a great place for those who are passionate about good eats.
Charlotte is a mecca for foodies, presenting a creative and diverse bounty of flavors. Last year the Colliers, distinguished by their scrumptious smoked catfish stew with rice grits and candied peppers, as well as their legendary ‘river chips’ (chicken skins fried to perfection) opened Leah & Louise – making the restaurant one of the top foodie destinations in the city.
If you’re looking for great foodie places in town, look no further than Optimist Hall. This former textile mill has been transformed into an incubator of artisans, with Zhang Qian being the chief among them. Whether you’re a casual eater or an experienced chef, there’s something for everyone at Optimist Hall.
Foodies in search of delicious meals should look no further than Charlotte, North Carolina! There, students from Johnson & Wales University have been driving the city’s local food scene since
Charlotte, North Carolina, is home to a wealth of foodie hotspots. From James Beard-nominated restaurants like Kindred in Davidson and Cornelius, to cutting-edge eateries in the city center, there’s something for every taste here. Whether you’re traveling north into the five countries that border Charlotte or heading south into South Carolina, you can find delicious meals and unique experiences that are sure to impress even the most discerning foodies.
Small Cities with Big Food Scenes
8. Bozeman, Montana
Bozeman, Montana is a great destination for foodies! With its bustling downtown area, Bozeman boasts several restaurants offering delicious and unique cuisine. From traditional Montana dishes like bison to more eclectic fare such as smoked salmon, there’s something for everyone in Bozeman. The city also hosts an array of food festivals throughout the year, perfect for those who want to experience multiple flavors and cultures or simply savor some of the best foods around.
Bozeman, Montana is a mecca for foodies, offering an array of restaurants dedicated to one specific cuisine or style. Over the past year, the town has seen an influx of new places to sample its unique flavors from sushi spot Jikoni Ramen to Izakaya Three Fish barbecue joint. There’s something for everyone in Bozeman, so get ready for a delicious taste test!
9. Biddeford, Maine
Whether you’re a foodie or not, Biddeford, Maine has something for everyone! Just 30 minutes south of Portland, Biddeford offers all the benefits of a big city with the charm of a small town. Check into The Lincoln Hotel and experience their newly renovated 33-room boutique property located in a former textile mill this summer (rooms from $299, lincolnhotelmaine.com). Once here, check out the local eateries to satisfy your appetite for some delicious eats!
10. Charlottesville, Virginia
Charlottesville is a veritable foodie paradise. Featuring the city’s first-ever food hall, Dairy Market, as well as innovative eateries like South and Central America-inspired steakhouse Angelic Jenkins, there is something to please everyone’s palette in this Virginia destination.
11. Greenville, South Carolina
Hungry for something new? Look no further than the bustling city of Greenville. Thanks to the nearby headquarters of BMW and Michelin – the local economy is booming and bringing with it a culinary revolution! From Greg McPhee’s changing weekly menu at to classic selections at The Anchorage, your taste buds will have plenty to explore in Greenville.