Where do you go when you want to have the ultimate foodie experience? Thanks to Esquire Magazine, you don’t have to think about this question too hard. Esquire has rated the top cities for restaurant dining in the U.S., ranking them on number of restaurants, variety of cuisines, and contributions to the American dining scene.
Check out this list of the best food destinations in the country, and prepare to feel your mouth watering.
Esquire Magazine gave the number one spot on their list of best restaurant dining cities in the United States to — who else? — New York City. That’s a no-brainer when you consider that NYC has over 23,000 restaurants.
New York is tops for sheer variety of dining options. This melting pot of a city offers every kind of ethnic cuisine from the most excellent Jewish delis and dim sum restaurants, to falafel stands and pizza joints in nearly every neighborhood.
But it’s not just affordable down-home ethnic fare that makes New York a famous food destination. New York is just as famous for its high quality — and high-priced — fare. Some of the culinary world’s biggest names helm the top establishments, turning out food that sets the standard of culinary excellence in restaurants like Le Bernardin, The Russian Tea Room, Delmonico’s, and Le Cirque. No other city in the United States — or even the world — is home to so many big-name fine dining destinations.
America’s most famous party town also made Esquire’s list of the top cities for restaurant dining in the United States. In the Las Vegas dining scene, over-the-top luxury rules. Just about every celebrity chef has a restaurant in Vegas, with the top-notch eateries finding homes in the best casinos on the strip. The decor is elegant, menu options are decadent, and prices can be sky-high.
Even the buffets in Las Vegas are larger-than-life. You’ll pay a pretty penny to get stuffed at the many buffets that accompany casinos, but the feast of steak, seafood, and desserts that awaits you is monumental and delicious.
Much like New York’s diverse mix of fine dining and ethnic fare, Chicago’s dining scene also made Esquire’s list. Chicago may be famous for deep-dish pizza and Italian beef, but it maintains its rightful place as one of the best foodie cities thanks to an abundance of excellent dining options in every price range. Some of the stand-outs include famous fine dining options Tru, Charlie Trotter’s, and Alinea, as well as more affordable joints like Rick Bayless’ pioneering Mexican fusion spot, Frontera Grill.
A place where culture and food go hand-in-hand, New Orleans made Esquire’s list of the top cities for restaurant dining thanks to its rich culinary history. The chefs of New Orleans have invented many famous dishes, including Oysters Rockefeller and Bananas Foster, and sitting down to eat at the birthplace of these signature American dishes is a real treat. Not only do you get tasty food, you also get to experience a special signature brand of Southern hospitality in New Orleans’ most famous restaurants.
Considered an up-and-coming city in the culinary world, Washington, D.C., also made Esquire’s list of the top foodie destinations. Great Spanish restaurant Taberna del Alabardero is located here, as is one of the country’s best Indian restaurants, Rasika. But beyond these high-priced institutions, there’s also a host of smaller gastro-pubs where the next generation of culinary masters are making their mark in D.C.’s smaller neighborhoods.
There are plenty more top cities for dining out in the United States. In fact, Esquire also named Houston, San Francisco, Boston, and Seattle to their list. Keep in mind, however, that you don’t necessarily have to be in one of these zip codes to experience great American gourmet food. The push toward smaller casual eateries that make fine dining more accessible to the masses means chef entrepreneurs are turning out more four-star-fare in cities across the country.
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