Everyone knows that the big cities like Chicago, Las Vegas, or New York have every type of food imaginable for foodies to indulge in. But there are plenty of smaller cities and towns that have just as much delicious fare to offer. Some places on our list just might surprise you.
Newport, RI- A small state, but Newport packs a big food punch. Newport’s waterfront is filled with good restaurants. 22 Bowen’s, located on the wharf, evokes that classic Newport tavern style. Or try nearby 15 Point Road in Portsmouth for riverfront dining. Newport’s Restaurant Week isn’t until next November, but you can sample some of their seasonal cocktails around town, created just for the winter holiday season.
Santa Fe, NM-While Santa Fe is often known for its art scene, it is also home to over 400 restaurants, many of which are award-winning. Not sure where to start with that many restaurants? Wander New Mexico offers food and wine tours within Santa Fe that combine both historical information with delicious food and drink.
Burlington, VT- Located on the shores of Lake Champlain, Burlington is known for its agricultural heritage, which has led to an impressive food scene. Vermont’s cheeses, wines, and beers are often praised, but there are other types of cuisine to enjoy as well. American Flatbread is a restaurant that uses nutritious ingredients in sustainable ways with a menu created around pizzas and flatbreads.
New Orleans, LA- Home to Cajun and Creole cooking, New Orleans has its share of great restaurants. Choose just about any in the French Quarter, and you won’t be disappointed. Afterwards, head over to Café du Monde for their world-famous beignets.
Sonoma, CA- For those with finer tastes, check out Sonoma. More than one third of the restaurants in town have a five star-rating. While Sonoma is known primarily for its wines, there are also some fabulous restaurants. The Girl and the Fig’s owner Sondra Bernstein won the Rhone Rangers lifetime achievement award, the first restaurateur to win the award usually reserved for wine makers.
Asheville, NC- Asheville is known for its barbeque and breweries but has many other types of cuisine as well. 12 Bones Smokehouse serves lunch only, but it is the best BBQ and home cooking in town. Asheville has over 700 restaurants, which doesn’t leave you nearly enough time to try them all!
Austin, TX- Known for its live music, Austin also boasts many great restaurants. Make sure you try some local favorites. For some authentic Texas cooking, Franklin Barbeque was rated by Texas Monthly as “serving the best barbeque in the known universe.”
Portland, OR- Portland cooks up fresh and organic foods with the help of the pristine Willamette Valley. In addition to restaurants, Portland is known for its food carts, which serve up some fabulous foods. Gumba offers some of the best pasta in the city, all from a food cart. Prost! Marketplace can give you a sample of many delicious bites.
Savannah, GA- Another small city offering a big variety in its food choices. Dine downtown or by the riverfront for some fresh seafood. One to try: The Ordinary Pub which serves casual fare with a twist, such as Ropa Vieja steak tacos.
Richmond, VA- Richmond is an up-and-coming food destination. A small group of chefs and bakers are serving food and drink in settings that are being revived. There is a mix of Southern favorites with new cuisine pairings. Don’t miss L’Opposum while you are there, which has received some critical acclaim.