10 Top US Cities for Food and Drinks, According to the Experts

Hawaii's capital and Maine's waterfront food hub make the list.

<p>SARAH KARLAN/The New York Times/Redux</p>

SARAH KARLAN/The New York Times/Redux

For the 2024 Global Tastemakers list of the Best Cities for Food and Drinks in the United States, New York retained the No. 1 spot. We’re also excited for some newcomers gaining recognition: Honolulu; Portland, Maine; and Washington, D.C., nabbed our panel's attention and have asserted their place among the finest food cities in the country. Here's the full list of where to travel and taste this year.

New York City

<p>Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images</p>

Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images

It’s hard to find another American city that can satisfy any food craving as easily as New York. From a burrata slice at L'Industrie Pizzeria, to Pearl Pie at Superiority Burger, to dreamy drinks at Sappe, New York City possesses the uncanny ability to deftly balance classic cuisine with the latest trends. Korean fine dining restaurants have enjoyed a surge of new openings, with Meju, Coqodaq, Naro, and Nōksu leading the way.

Related: There's Flavor for Every Palate and Budget in America's No. 1 Food City

New Orleans

<p>Andriy Blokhin / Alamy</p>

Andriy Blokhin / Alamy

New Orleans dining is all about seamlessly bridging the old and the new. You’ll find classic Creole fare at stalwarts like Dooky Chase Restaurant and Brigtsen’s, while Dakar Nola, Wild South, and 2022 F&W Best New Chef Ana Castro’s highly anticipated Acamaya are contributing to the city’s modern culinary culture.


<p>MICHELLE LITVIN/The New York Times/Redux</p>

MICHELLE LITVIN/The New York Times/Redux

No matter your budget or appetite, Chicago’s wonderfully diverse food scene has you covered. Try a Filipino tasting menu at Kasama, a Cambodian fried chicken sandwich at Hermosa’s, tacos at Birrieria Zaragoza’s, or a classic Italian beef sandwich at Al’s or Johnnie’s, for a sample of the endless options.


<p>SARAH KARLAN/The New York Times/Redux</p>

SARAH KARLAN/The New York Times/Redux

Austin rose to the No. 4 spot from 10 on this year’s list. Home to 2023 F&W Restaurant of the Year Birdie’s as well as 2023 F&W Best New Chef Edgar Rico of Nixta Taqueria, each year the city manages to find new ways to impress. If you’re planning a trip, be sure to check out Rico’s guide to the best of Texas’ capital, from baguettes to ramen.

Los Angeles

<p>LAUREN JUSTICE/The New York Times/Redux</p>

LAUREN JUSTICE/The New York Times/Redux

Few cities champion boundary-pushing concepts better than Los Angeles. Crowds snake down the block at Anajak Thai for 2022 F&W Best New Chef Justin Pichetrungsi’s Thai Taco Tuesdays, while 2023 F&W Best New Chef Hannah Ziskin crafts thick pan pizzas and layer cakes at Quarter Sheets. If you’re looking for one of the city’s best wine bars for pours without pretension, The Ruby Fruit offers a smart selection of natural wines from an easy-to-miss strip mall location.


<p>Peter Frank Edwards/Redux</p>

Peter Frank Edwards/Redux

Given its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, Charleston is renowned for its fresh seafood and abundance of notable raw bars such as Leon’s Oyster Shop and The Ordinary. There are loads of other iconic dishes you shouldn’t pass up as well, including Bertha’s Kitchen’s okra soup, whole-hog barbecue at Rodney Scott’s, and Peninsula Grill’s coconut cake.


<p>ALFONSO DURAN/The New York Times/Redux</p>

ALFONSO DURAN/The New York Times/Redux

Miami has always been a deeply international city, and the range of its food scene has only grown in recent years. At Maty’s in Midtown, 2023 F&W Best New Chef Valerie Chang turns out bold Peruvian plates (huancaina-smothered choclo, oxtail saltado), while MiMo’s Phuc Yea mashes up Vietnamese and Colombian flavors (think Wagyu Churrasco with lemongrass ponzu). As for who makes the best Cuban sandwich? That’s a never-ending debate, and many locals endorse Sanguich De Miami.

Washington, D.C.

<p>Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post via Getty Images</p>

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Though Bad Saint shuttered in 2022, the trailblazing Filipino restaurant that thrust D.C.’s culinary scene into the national spotlight almost a decade ago inspired a new wave of dining in the nation’s capital that continues today. Kevin Tien’s Moon Rabbit now carries the torch for inventive and uniquely modern Vietnamese food, while charming pizza bar The Little Grand offers eclectic pizza and wine pairings. Other highlights include 2022 F&W Best New Chef Rob Rubba’s vegetable-centric Oyster Oyster as well as 2023 F&W Best New Chef Isabel Coss and Matt Conroy's new Pascual, where wood-fired Mexican fare has piqued the interest of diners from D.C. and beyond.

Portland, Maine

<p>Peter Frank Edwards/Redux</p>

Peter Frank Edwards/Redux

Quickly becoming one of the premiere culinary centers of the Northeast, Portland, Maine, offers can’t-miss dining opportunities like the wallet-friendly omakase at Izakaya Minato, sourdough Neapolitan pizza at Quanto Basta, and housemade rigatoni tossed in meat ragu and dandelion greens at Leeward. At Cocktail Mary, most evenings evolve into an impromptu dance party — one that’s inclusive, affordable, and most importantly, fun.


<p>MICHELLE MISHINA KUNZ/The New York Times/Redux</p>


An ideal day in Hawaii’s capital might begin with a hearty breakfast at chef Lee Anne Wong’s Koko Head Cafe before slowly making your way to Helena’s Hawaiian Food for a late lunch, where the no-frills institution sends out earthen-oven cooked Kalua Pig and Poi. Last, Michelle Karr-Ueoka and Wade Ueoka’s MW Restaurant is a dinner destination renowned for stylish takes on Hawaiian comfort food and whimsical desserts like Michelle’s MW Candy Bar.

Plus One: Seattle

<p>RUTH FREMSON/The New York Times/Redux</p>

RUTH FREMSON/The New York Times/Redux

In recent years, food entrepreneurs have made their mark across the Emerald City with clever concepts including the Asian-inspired cake cafe Paper Cake Shop, “Seattle Soul” destination Communion, and trendy sister bars La Dive Queen Anne and Rich Rich. For further recommendations, 2023 F&W Best New Chef Aisha Ibrahim, fine dining institution Canlis' first female executive chef in 74 years, shares her Seattle city guide.

Related: Bakeries, Bars, and Seafood Make Seattle One of the Best US Cities for Food and Drink

Global Tastemakers is a celebration of the best culinary destinations in the U.S. and abroad. We asked more than 180 food and travel journalists to vote on their favorites, including restaurants and bars, cities, hotels, airports, airlines, and cruises. We then entrusted those results to an expert panel of judges to determine each category's winners. In many categories, we've included a Plus One, hand-selected by our expert panel, to shout out more culinary destinations we don't want our readers to miss. See all the winners at

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