Monday, January 23, 2012

10 Underrated Culinary Cities in America

Did you know you can find great Vietnamese restaurants in Houston, Texas? Or enjoy Somali food in Columbus, Ohio? How about Caribbean cuisine in freezing Minneapolis? The combination of a city's local culinary traditions with those from around the world is the recipe for a diverse and innovative food culture. Below is a mouth-watering sampling of U.S. destinations for great food that might not be on your radar.

  1. Columbus, Ohio

    Midwesterners love to eat, but that doesn't mean they love to eat bland. This so-called cow town in central Ohio, probably and unfairly best known for its football culture, boasts a diverse selection of restaurants that includes Korean, Somali, and even authentically spicy Creole cooking. Columbus' beautiful German Village is where you'll find several incredible bakeries and restaurants including Juergen's, serving homemade baked goods for over 40 years.

  2. Charlotte, North Carolina

    Underrated even by the folks that live there, Charlotte is home to a diverse mix of ethnic restaurants including spots for Indian, Thai, Malaysian, and Ethiopian cooking, as well as plenty of places that serve good old-fashioned fried Southern dishes. There is also a growing food truck scene led by a handful of independently minded chefs who serve surprisingly sophisticated dishes out of spaces that are about the size of an overpriced New York City apartment. The local blog Eat My Charlotte provides detailed descriptions and reviews of the city's growing culinary scene.

  3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Birthplace of the hoagie sandwich, Philadelphia has become a veritable melting pot of restaurants, many opened and maintained by nationally recognized star chef Jose Garces. Latin-American, Mexican, and Italian cooking are all represented in the city. Fresh and organic ingredients from local farms are on the menu of many establishments, including sustainable cuisine advocate Judy Wick's White Dog Café. And if you really want to stuff your face, be sure to visit The Hoagie Factory, which has been in the same location since 1954. If you're new to the hoagie, check out the menu in advance, and try not to refer to it as a "sandwich."

  4. Eugene, Oregon

    A long-standing Saturday farmers' market, chefs dedicated to local and organic ingredients, and tons of well respected wineries and vineyards are a few of reasons why Eugene, Oregon's second largest city, boasts such a thriving food scene. The local blog Eugene Weekly Chow! features establishments that cook with locally produced ingredients and provides a detailed and extensive list of the city's restaurants. For the visiting wine connoisseur, there are several vineyards and wineries close to Eugene offering tours and daily tastings.

  5. Asheville, North Carolina

    Surrounded by breathtaking mountains and known popularly as the Paris of the South, Asheville's culture embraces both the sophisticated and the earthy. Downtown and beyond, there is a broad selection of restaurants and damn good coffee shops that will please the most casual or discerning foodie. For all you Van Morrison fans out there, downtown's Tupelo Honey Café is considered a must-do visit for lovers of Southern cooking, if only for their sweet potato pancakes with peach butter. The nationally renowned The Market Place uses ingredients from area farms for its unique menu.

  1. Houston, Texas

    Houston locals reportedly dine out more than residents of any other city: four times a week according to a recent statistic! But even with 8,000 restaurants to choose from, representing more countries across the globe than you might imagine, Houston somehow still doesn't get its due as a destination for culinary variety and excellence. UrbanSpoon is a great place to start your research of Houston eateries. Houston has the third largest Vietnamese-American community in the U.S., and there are several great Vietnamese restaurants to choose from as a result. And it's probably accurate to describe Houston as the barbeque capital of the world, with Gabby's being just one destination among many for those who crave ribs.

  2. Austin, Texas

    Food trucks — they seem to be popping up in cities all over the U.S. But Austin, the nation's capital for live music, is truly a power spot for food truck culture. However, good eating in this city doesn't begin and end with a taco truck. The Austin-based food blog Relish is just one of many, many blogs dedicated to the city's complex culinary culture, providing news, reviews, and recipes. Where do you eat first when you visit Austin? This is not an easy question to answer…

  3. Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Caribbean, Brazilian, North African: these are descriptive words synonymous with warm even incredibly hot weather, which is not something Minneapolis is known for. No matter. Culinary traditions from throughout the Caribbean and Latin-Americas are plentiful throughout this chilly city, as are fresh takes on comfort food at establishments like Mission American Kitchen & Bar. Minneapolis is also known for its craft beer and breweries, including the Surly Brewing Company, whose beers are found in many of the city's bars and restaurants.

  4. Denver, Colorado

    Denver, host of the annual National Western Stock Show, is well known for its steak houses. If you crave ribeyes, sirloins, t-bones, and tenderloins, as well as Western big game cuisine like elk and bison, then saddle up, and head straight to Denver. But like all of the cities on this list, Denver has a rich and varied food culture running counter to the traditional, thanks to several innovative chefs, a half a dozen of whom were nominated for the James Beard House Foundation award in 2010. These culinary masters embrace and create new fusions of food but, as would be expected in a city that prides itself of being unpretentious, few menus come without what the Denver Post calls "a solid take on meat-and-potatoes."

  5. Albuquerque, New Mexico

    Red, or green? Not sure how to answer? Here's a clue: Say "Christmas" if you like both red and green chiles. For nearly 500 years, regional cuisine in Albuquerque has combined Native American ingredients with Spanish and Mexican to create what is popularly known as New Mexican Cuisine. More traditional, straightforward Native American fare can be sampled as well. Albuquerque's wine-making history goes back to 1629, when Spanish missionaries first planted grape vines throughout the Rio Grande Valley. Several of the city's well-respected and award-winning wineries are open to visitors and host daily wine tastings.

Taken From Best Online Colleges

No comments:

Post a Comment