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10 Top U.S. Cities for Foodies

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    Tasty Travels

    En español | What better way to pick your next travel destination than by the culinary delights you’ll find there? Here are 10 cities that make foodies drool.

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    Nashville

    “If it doesn’t come from the South, it’s not coming through the door,” says chef Sean Brock about his Husk restaurant in Tennessee. While new eateries are opening all over the city, there are a few mainstays that have been going strong for decades — such as the Loveless Cafe, where you’ll find chicken and waffles, fried catfish sandwiches and fried green tomatoes. Nashville travel guide

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    Philadelphia

    Go for the city's iconic cheesesteak and stay for the Middle Eastern laffa bread. And while you're there grab an above-average slice of America’s favorite food at Pizzeria Beddia. (Line up early, for only 40 pizzas come out of the oven each night.) Philadelphia has climbed the ranks for fine dining, too, at restaurants such as Zahav, a modern Israeli restaurant in historic Society Hill.

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    New Orleans

    The Big Easy has it all — from pork-belly po'boy sandwiches to crawfish étouffée to gumbo. You have to order jambalaya once, but you'll find lots of new twists on that Louisiana favorite at one of the many new hot spots that have opened since Hurricane Katrina struck a decade ago. Time your visit to coincide with one of the city's many food festivals (check the Convention and Visitors Bureau), and sample delicious locally grown Creole tomatoes or oysters from the Gulf of Mexico.

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    Portland, Oregon

    Portland strives to keep things local with homegrown coffee, beer, wine, meat and produce. Reasonable rents attract top chefs — which means fabulous eats at modest prices. The city’s “Keep Portland Weird” slogan translates to “interesting and delicious” — at least when it comes to the food.

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    Austin

    Good music and great barbecue. What other reasons do you need to visit the capital of Texas? Expect to see smoked brisket and ribs on menus everywhere — and you can find some of the best at the famed Franklin Barbecue, where only lunch is served (and everything sells out in a few hours). Austin is also home to some 2,000 food trucks that offer such delicacies as beet home fries and deep-fried Thai chicken karaage.

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    San Francisco

    At least one new restaurant opened here every week last year. So if you think you’ve sampled San Francisco’s eats before, you’re going to need to visit again. The city is hip-trend central: You’ll find people lined up for everything from specialty coffees with a side of “artisanal” toast (a slice of handmade bread topped with anything from avocado to a plethora of nut butters and jellies) to non-Chinese food served on dim sum carts. Then, of course, there are more traditional favorites such as the Tadich Grill, whose origins go back to 1849, when Croatian immigrants sold charcoal-grilled fish in a tent on the wharf. It’s still going strong, still no reservations.

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    Twin Cities, Minnesota

    The Twin Cities know a thing or two about fresh, local ingredients: The Minneapolis Farmers Market has been in operation since the 1930s. To eat “Midwest regional cuisine” (no, not creamed corn and canned green beans, but rather sweet potato custard, squash pappardelle or bison tartare), head for one of the area’s top restaurants. In St. Paul, the Heartland is a good place to start.

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    Boston

    Boston’s come a long way since 1910, when it was dubbed the “home of the bean and the cod.” It’s now one of the top culinary cities in the country, attracting chefs as inventive as the neighboring MIT students. In its favor: prime access to fresh fish and shellfish. The Daily Catch, with its Sicilian-style seafood and pasta dishes, has that covered at its three metro locations. For more inventive cuisine, try Spoke, where you’ll find duck meatballs and crab salad on cornmeal cakes.

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    Cleveland

    From kielbasas and sauteed pierogi at the family-owned, cafeteria-style Polish restaurant Sokolowski’s University Inn to upscale, modern dining at Lola Bistro, Cleveland has established itself as an unlikely foodie town. Surrounding farmland offers up fresh produce, and local breweries abound. Good food and good beer? It’s time to rethink Cleveland.

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    New York

    New York is arguably America’s foodie mecca — the city where famous chefs reveal their newest creations, such as the Cronut (made of deep-fried, glazed croissant dough, invented and trademarked by the Dominique Ansel Bakery). Everyone has an opinion about the best restaurants and restaurant neighborhoods. Plan plenty of meals out, do a little research and decide for yourself.

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