Some people love to eat. Some people love to eat so much that they plan the ultimate foodie vacations, picking where to go based on restaurant menus and dining options. American Queen Steamboat Company has routes that stop at the best U.S. cities for foodies, giving you the chance to taste different cuisines from around the nation. If you’re always thinking about where your next great meal is coming from and what it is going to be, you need to visit these top cities for foodies on your next vacation.
Cincinnati might not be the first town that comes to mind when you think of best U.S. cities for foodies, but one visit to the city and you might just change your mind. “I’d strongly recommend that all food lovers spend a long weekend here and see it for themselves,” writes Keith Pandolfi at Serious Eats. So what’s Cincinnati have going for it when it comes to food?
Well, there’s its unique take on chili — featuring nutmeg, chocolate, and cinnamon. You can pick up a bowl at Skyline Chili, a local chain. There are also the donuts – a local favorite is Holtman’s. Finally, Cincinnati is known for its fine dining and has more upscale, swanky establishments than NYC.
All inclusive foodie vacations should include a stop in Chicago. In 2015, the Washington Post added Chicago to its list of the top 10 best food cities in America. The city will also be playing host to the James Beard Foundation’s annual award ceremony through 2021. On a visit to Chicago, you’ll have a chance to visit the original location of Frontera Grill from chef Rick Bayless, try the city’s unique take on hotdogs, and sample authentic international cuisine, ranging from Vietnamese to Mexican.
Nashville is more than just Music City USA. It’s also a food lover’s dream come true. Here, you’ll find restaurants that pay homage to the city’s roots in Southern cuisine and cooking as well as places serving a variety of international cuisines. One must-visit is Biscuit Love, which started as a food truck and now has three locations. As you might guess, Nashville-style biscuits and gravy (and other toppings) are the focal points at Biscuit Love.
Another must-try is “hot chicken,” a Nashville specialty that’s slowly making its way across the US. Hot chicken is marinated, breaded and fried chicken that’s tossed in a spicy sauce. Places to find it include Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack and Hattie B.’s Hot Chicken. Make sure your next foodie vacation includes a stop in Nashville.
Red beans and rice, po’boys, beignets — for many people, New Orleans is synonymous with food. The Washington Post put it at number four on its list of the top 10 food cities.
Visiting New Orleans, you’ll find a mix of traditional spots with long histories and up-and-coming locations serving new twists on old favorites. For example, Killer Po’Boys puts a new spin on the classic NOLA sandwich, putting an emphasis on using local ingredients. Cafe du Monde has been selling its beignets (fried dough tossed with powdered sugar), its coffee, and chicory drinks since 1862.
While some foodie towns have a decades or even centuries-long history, others, like Memphis, are only just beginning to spread their culinary wings. If you’re craving barbecue, you can head to Corky’s or Rendezvous, or check out the Bar-B-Q Shop if you want to skip the wait. Three Little Pigs is known for its bbq sandwiches featuring chopped smoked pork. For breakfast pretty much whenever, head to The Pancake Shop, which is open 24 hours a day. It might not look like much, but when you need a filling breakfast, it can’t be beaten.
- Visit Cincinnati for the chili
- Head to Chicago for hotdogs and international cuisine
- When in Nashville, sample the hot chicken
- Beignets and po’boys are on the menu in New Orleans
- Memphis is all about the barbecue
Ready to learn more about foodie vacation packages? American Queen Steamboat Company stops at all of the best U.S. cities for foodies. Take at look at our cruise options and book a tour today.