I always joke that I enjoy trip planning as much as actually taking the trip. And one of the first things on my to-list after booking the flight and hotel is browsing menus and making dinner reservations. There are incredible eats no matter where you choose to visit, but if the sole purpose of your vacation is to eat, and eat well then there are certain places you must visit. Our friends at TripAdvisor just named the best cities for food lovers, and a South Carolina city was named the 2nd best food destination in the nation. It’s one of my favorite cities to visit with tons to do, but if you do visit be sure to schedule lots of time to try all the delicious cuisine.

These rankings are part of their 2023 Traveler’s Choice Best of the Best Awards. There was some stiff competition, all the cities on this list have some great eats and tons to do. I’ve been lucky enough to visit 8 of the 10 and most many many times. I’d highly recommend you pay a visit to each of them. And make sure to pack your sweatpants. “If eating, snacking, and more eating are at the heart of your itinerary, you’ll find some of the best local flavors in these top spots”, according to Trip Advisor. Keep reading to see the top 10 cities and which South Carolina local was named the 2nd best food destination in the nation. It’s number one in our hearts though!

  • 10. Asheville, North Carolina

    I’ve been to Asheville many many times and can attest to the quality of restaurants there. The region has a heavy focus on farm-to-table cuisine. Trip Advisor writes, “If you’re into eating locally and supporting sustainable agriculture, go to Asheville—and eat, eat, eat. This town of less than 100,000 people has 17 farmers’ markets, and the local restaurant scene is all about taking advantage of the seasonal produce sold there. And don’t miss the area’s microbreweries.”

  • 9. San Francisco, California

    I’ve been to San Fransico a few times, but all as a child so the food scene doesn’t stand out much to me. In fact, other than Hard Rock Cafe (hey it was the cool then) and Chinatown I don’t remember much about eating there. Well, I do remember the fresh sourdough bread. That was amazing. So I guess I can attest to the food. Trip Advisor says, “Every neighborhood in San Francisco has its own personality, from the hippie chic of the Upper Haight to the hipster grit of the Mission. The Marina district boasts trendy bistros and postcard-perfect views of the Golden Gate Bridge, while Noe Valley offers quaint and quiet boutiques. Wave hello to the sea lions at Pier 39, and sample local cheese and charcuterie at the Ferry Building. “

  • 8. Boston, Massachusetts

    Yes, yes, and yes to this one. I’ve never had Italian food that held a candle to what I ate in Boston’s North End. That was by far the most memorable but from the trendy brunch, to after Red Sox game snack, every meal I ate in Boston was divine.

  • 7. Nashville, Tennessee

    It’s easy to get caught up in the touristy spots and Bachelorette party culture, but don’t let the cuisine in Nashville fall under your radar. The area is full of some fantastic eats. Some of my must do’s are Demo’s Italian, White Limozeen, and the tacos at Miranda Lambert’s Casa Rosa. The Trip Advisors experts say, “The creative spirit from Nashville’s music landscape flows into the area’s myriad art galleries, up-and-coming fashion scene, historic landmarks and chef-driven restaurants.”.

  • 6. San Diego, California

    This close to the ocean you know there is going to be some great seafood. And the proximity to Mexico means that cuisine is well represented as well. Trip Advisor says, “San Diego embodies laid-back California culture, complete with a Boardwalk, surfing communities, and outstanding Mexican food. Breathe in the fresh ocean air at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, then gobble down a fresh fish taco at a La Jolla seafood joint.”

  • 5. Maui, Hawaii

    Maui is one of only two places on this list I haven’t experienced. And if the blue water, island lifestyle wasn’t a draw enough, it’s a foodie paradise too. Trip Advisor mainly gushes about the scenery and things to do, but they ranked it 5th on this list and against some stiff competition so I’ll take their word on the food. Until I make the trip myself!

  • 4. Savannah, Georgia


    Savannah is one of my favorite cities in the country, and the food is a big reason why. In fact, I have so many restaurants on my must-visit list that my trips have to get longer and longer every time to accommodate. Some of my favorites are lunch at The Paris Cafe, seafood at The Pirates House, and the homestyle favorites at The Olde Pink House. Trip Advisor suggests the fresh seafood and creamy grits for a taste of Savannah home cooking.”

  • 3. New York City, New York

    With endless restaurants and influence from nearly every culture in the world, it makes perfect sense to see NYC near the top of this list. Trip Advisor suggests the “fine dining” offered on the Upper West Side. Some of my favorite restaurants from my recent trip were Beauty & Essex, Sarabeth’s, and La Grande Boucherie. But the hole in the wall neighborhood spots can be even better than these slightly fancy choices.

  • 2. Charleston, South Carolina

    You had to know this was the city we were talking about! Charleston often takes top spots on food lists. And for good reason. The southern influences and fresh seafood makes for a culinary dream. The hard part is simply choosing where and what to eat, it’s impossible to do even a portion. Some favorites of my include Fleet Landing, Church and Union, and Hyman’s Seafood.

  • 1. New Orleans, Louisiana

    A coworker spent New Year’s in New Orleans and came back gushing about the food. Trip Advisor says, ” city’s distinct blend of cultures—including Creole and Cajun—means there’s tons to see, explore, and yes, eat.” And as the only other city on this list outside of Maui I haven’t visited (and one that’s been at the top of my list for a while now), it may be time to book the flight.

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