Darby's Destinations Luxury Travel - Italy

Best US Cities for Culinary Travel

Plan a Gastronomical Getaway in the United States

October 27, 2023

The immensity and diversity of the United States are reflected through its architecture, natural scenery, and cuisine. Global immigration has contributed to the varied cuisine scene where award-winning bistros jostle alongside gastropubs and gourmet food trucks. There isn’t a single place in the nation where you’ll struggle to satisfy your hunger but these are the best US cities for culinary travel.

New York City, New York

As the largest city in the US by population, New York City’s dining scene is an assortment of North American and international eateries across hole-in-the-wall joints and upscale restaurants headed up by master chefs. NYC claims the highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants with many establishments carrying three stars. These include Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare where shellfish and meat are prepared according to Japanese and French techniques. Thomas Keller’s nine-course tasting menu at Per Se mingles New American gastronomy with French haute cuisine while Central Park views complete the luxury experience.

While the food scene is anchored around Manhattan, it’s the outlying boroughs and neighborhoods that yield the tastiest international eats. Venture north to Harlem for Latin American and Caribbean cuisine, Flushing in Queens for pan-Asian bites, and Brooklyn’s Coney Island for nostalgic seaside fare that’ll take you back to our childhood.

San Diego, California

All of the major cities in California constitute some of the best destinations in the US for food. Its location near the Mexican border results in a particularly thrilling dining scene in San Diego. Local gastronomy centers around farm-to-fork cuisine and seafood hauls fresh off the boat.

In between Downtown San Diego and the Embarcadero, Crudo Cevicheria and Oyster Bar pools methods from Mexican, Asian, Peruvian, and Italian cooking. Oyster and shellfish platters are artistically presented alongside premium Champagne, regional wines, and craft cocktails. Dine at the chic tiled bar or sit out on the patio and feel that salty breeze.

New Orleans, Louisiana

The Big Easy is a melting point of pan-American, French, and West African culture and cuisines although Creole cooking shapes the food scene. Gumbo is a fragrant stew made from a base of meat, shellfish, onions, celery, and bell peppers. Jambalaya is the other must-eat; a rice dish prepared with chicken, sausage, and seafood plus vegetables and spices.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a bad restaurant in NOLA. Arnaud's in the French Quarter gives you the choice of upscale à la carte, brunch, and tasting menus served in a sumptuous parlor to the soundtrack of live Dixieland jazz. After one too many bourbons, a po’ boy from your hotel’s local sandwich bar will nurse a sore head.

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is an East Coast city where seafood and steak vy for the number one spot. Lobster rolls are the staple of New England dining and the most indulgent are served at Row 34. These are sold warm or cold with the creamiest lobster alongside clam chowder, steamed mussels, and blue crab rice bowls. All produce comes directly from Boston Fish Pier. Ruth's Chris Steak House serves signature and specialty cuts in an elegant dining room paired with handpicked wines that complement

Elsewhere, Dorchester is awash with Vietnamese restaurants and Italian cuisine dominates the North End. No trip to Boston can be complete without savoring a cannoli with an espresso.

Contact me when you are ready to custom-design a gastronomical getaway in the US.

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