A few months back I was asked by the USA Today Travel magazine to contribute to a story of the must-visit destinations in North America this summer. Because I was hungry at the time I fired off the email, I sent them my favorite foodie destinations—the ones I had visited recently and the ones that filled up my tummy with the tastiest treats. They didn’t take all my recommendations, so I wanted to share the highlights here.
Top Food Destinations in North America
Toronto has been called a “cleaner” version of New York City, but I’d gander it’s much more than that. The city has made a name for itself in its own right with its growing culinary scene. With cocktail bars serving truly original libations (The Black Hoof) and restaurants serving grilled cheese sandwiches (all locally grown — Cheesewerks), it’s hard not to work up an appetite for Toronto.
Bahston is much more than its’ working-class reputation. With a world-renowned cocktail bar from Chef Barbara Lynch (Drink) and as many cheap eats (Amsterdam Falafel, Anna’s Taqueria) as local culinary sensations (Legal Sea Foods), Boston serves up some of New England’s best meals. Go for the hearty burgers (JM Curley) or homey pizza (Pizzeria Regina), but stay for the chowda (The Barking Crab).
The capital of Texas is where you’ll find some of the best music in the country, but more importantly— the best barbecue in the Southwest (The Salt Lick). Even the sushi in Austin comes with a bit of a Texas twist (Roll On Sushi Diner). Or for those looking for inspiration from south of the border, the Mexican Martinis (at Trudy’s) are legendary.
San Francisco, California
I’m not sure there’s a word that describes San Francisco much better than “burrito.” The city is as diverse as whatever you want to put in between your tortillas. Whether you’re after that famous cuisine from the Mission (Get extra salsa at Papalote!) or cocktails near Union Square (Jasper’s Corner Tap), San Francisco has everything from the über trendy to the impossibly cheap (Chinatown). And just for some good measure, there’s always garlic (The Stinking Rose) to cover up that San Franciscan stench.
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You can pick up a copy of the 2013 Go Escape travel magazine from USA Today online for $5.99 or at most newsstands. The summer 2013 edition’s cover story features 10 must-visit cities including one of my tips above! Plus plenty of other city tips from other travel experts.
Austin is the only city I haven’t been to; and yes, I agree that these are very foodie cities, T-O and Beantown in particular. I loved Toronto’s Little [country] neighborhoods; always loved getting real flan in Little Portugal, momos in Little Tibet, and panipuri in Little India.
OMG panipuri is so so good! Toronto is oh-so multicultural and I never really realized it until I was there. The food there is just incredible!
And yep, as a former Boston resident I’ve always had a soft spot for their food.
Oh cool – we’re headed to Austin in the fall so I’m glad to hear it’s a foodie haven!
Oh awesome! And seriously, if you love sushi AND Tex-Mex foods, then please please please go to Roll On Sushi Diner. Their combinations are great.
Ugh, while I love this post, it’s making me miss San Francisco! I’ve just moved away. The foods I’m gonna miss most would have to be:
1.) Clam Chowder in Fisherman’s Wharf. As classic San Francisco as it gets.
2.) Bi-Rite Creamery. Best salted caramel ice cream EVER.
3.) My last week in SF, I discovered a diner in Hayes Valley called Ricky Bobby. Best. Junk Food. Ever. Their pork fries, sweet potater tots, and Crawfish grits were my favs.
Wow thanks for those great recommendations Charlotte. I’m not the biggest fan of sourdough bread, but it’s tough to pass up when its holding a bowl of SF Clam Chowder!
And that last place you recommend, Ricky Bobby, sounds ahhh-mazing! Have to remember that for my next trip.
We’re currently in NYC and we wanted to go to Boston but ran out of time. I never thought of it as a foodie city. Do you have any recommended places to stay in Boston for the next trip?
Yes – I’m a big fan of the Charlesmark Hotel in downtown Boston (that’s where the martini in the photo above comes from). There are also some nice ones in Kenmore Square – the Commonwealth Hotel (and it’s adjoining restaurant Eastern Standard) is good. For more luxurious stays, the XV Beacon comes highly recommended!
Just to clarify, I think you may have meant “Trudy’s” for the Mexican Martinis in Austin. Rudy’s is more a Country Store / BBQ place known more for breakfast taco’s and barbecue. Rudy’s doesn’t have a bar, so I’m thinking you may have made a slight error there. ;-)
Thanks for that Kevin! You’re right – it’s Trudy’s where you can get the really great Mexican Martinis.
i’m confused.. so boston > nyc? or did their list include nyc. and they’re crazy if they left sf of the list. :P
yeah.. i was actually surprised by the quality of food in boston. i ate some of the best pasta there.
These were just my four favorite picks :) And yes – Boston’s North End has some amazing Italian food!
Where’s the t-bone steak at? :D Great post Adam!