Deep-dish pizza. Buffalo wings. Cheesesteaks. Cities across the United States are home to iconic dishes worthy of a trip. Besides famous food destinations, many cities fly under the radar and offer delectable cuisine. Whether you want to indulge in authentic Key lime pie in Florida or hit up a hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop, there’s an option for you. America’s dining destinations are ever-evolving and always delicious.
New Orleans, long considered one of the country’s top culinary destinations, offers something for every taste, from its signature po’boy sandwich to award- winning Mediterranean cuisine. The city is also known for its bar culture — no, not those sugary daiquiris on Bourbon Street. Head to Arnaud’s French 75 Bar for its signature eponymous French 75 cocktail. Located at The Roosevelt New Orleans, The Sazerac Bar is a New Orleans institution. Order a Sazerac and gaze at the life-sized murals adorning the walls from the comfort of the lush leather chairs.
Though Philadelphia may be most closely associated with cheesesteaks, soft pretzels and water ice, the city has seen a culinary boom over the last several years. Many of Philadelphia’s chefs and restaurants gained worldwide recognition due in part to recent award wins. Israeli restaurant Zahav took home the James Beard Award for Best Restaurant in the Country in 2019, while owner Michael Solomonov was awarded Outstanding Chef in 2017. Zahav isn’t the only restaurant with James Beard recognition. Laurel, Royal Izakaya, Vedge, South Philly Barbacoa and Fork are frequent nominees.
Charleston, South Carolina, proves another city expanding its foodie reputation. Of course, there are famous spots like Husk, where Chef Sean Brock puts a sophisticated spin on Southern cuisine, while seafood restaurants take advantage of the city’s waterfront location (The Darling Oyster Bar, The Ordinary, 167 Raw). Look further and diners will find authentic Lowcountry cuisine at Bertha’s Kitchen. Try whole hog barbecue at Rodney Scott’s BBQ. The James Beard award-winning Scott was recently featured on Netflix’s Chef ’s Table: BBQ.
Speaking of barbecue, consider adding a barbecue tour to your foodie road trip. Head to Kansas City, Missouri; Memphis, Tennessee; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Austin, Texas. Kansas City boasts a barbecue style all its own, characterized by sweet, molasses-based sauces and burnt ends, a crispy cut of meat from the ends of brisket. In Memphis barbecue lovers will find pork sandwiches and ribs on the menu. Sauces here are typically tomato-, mustard- or vinegar-based. Wood-smoked pork is a staple of North Carolina barbecue. Visit Noble Smoke Barbecue and Midwood Smokehouse in Charlotte to sample this style. Foodies flock to Austin specifically for its barbecue. Fans line up for hours to wait for a taste of the award-winning grilled meats at Franklin Barbecue. It should come as no surprise to diners: Bon Appétit named the restaurant Best Barbecue Joint in America.
Head to Portland, Oregon, for its famous food trucks. The city has more than 600, with many gathered into pods in high-traffic areas of the city. Downtown you’ll find pods on Fifth Avenue, Third Avenue and at Portland State University. Expect all types of cuisine from vegetarian and Polish to waffles and Korean. Top off your visit to Portland with a tour of the city’s many award-winning breweries. Add Ecliptic Brewing, Hair of the Dog Brewing Co., Base Camp Brewing Co., Culmination Brewing and Breakside Brewery to your must-visit list.
New York City and Los Angeles are known for excellent cuisine. Instead of becoming overwhelmed by the vast dining options in each city, focus on a specific cuisine.
Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, explore bagel options in New York. Start at New York institution Russ & Daughters for a bagel with cream cheese and hand-cut lox. Open since 1914, four generations of the Russ family owned and operated the shop. Ess-a-Bagel, Kossar’s Bagels & Bialys, Murray’s Bagels and Absolute Bagels provide other great options.
Make your way to Los Angeles’ Koreatown neighborhood for traditional Korean cuisine. The lively neighborhood boasts 24-hour bars and restaurants, coffee shops, karaoke joints and Korean spas. For classic Korean barbecue, head to Park’s BBQ. If noodles are more your speed, brave the lines at Hangari Kalguksu. Olympic Cheonggukjang offers a range of traditional Korean dishes.
If you’re dying to experience an iconic Michelin-starred restaurant, you have some options. The French Laundry in Napa Valley, California; n/naka in Los Angeles; The Inn at Little Washington in Washington, Virginia; Alinea in Chicago; and Le Bernardin in New York City all offer bucket-list dining experiences. Plan ahead, as reservations are difficult to snag.
Wherever your travels take you next, be sure to arrive hungry.
There’s almost nothing like the magic of New York City during the holidays — and there’s almost nothing more quintessentially New York than the Empire State Building. Check both off your list at once this year in the Big Apple.
Are you looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own refined adventure of a lifetime. You can custom order your new Volvo, tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.
I was staying in New York City with my daughter. We arrived at Penn Station, right across the street from Hotel Pennsylvania, at 9:30 a.m. — way too early to check in. But we had some luggage we didn’t want to carry around with us, so we stopped at the hotel to leave it.
IHG® Business Edge provides small- to midsized enterprises with benefits and confidence to navigate the evolving business travel environment.
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Step right up to the greatest show on Earth as FXExpress Publications, Global Traveler, trazeetravel.com and whereverfamily.com celebrate their 2020 award winners! Join the big top on Dec. 14 as we virtually award the winners of the 17th annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards, including the Airline and Hotel of the Year; the 17th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Survey; the eighth annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards; the sixth annual The Trazees; and the third annual Wherever Awards.