Best in USA
California cities rank highly in foodies surveyIf you like to eat, head for California. The Golden State's three major cities ranked highly in a recent Travel and Leisure Magazine reader survey listing America's Best Cities for Foodies.
Ranked highest was Los Angeles, which was listed as the ninth best city in the USA for a foodie. San Diego came in at No. 18, and San Fancisco No. 19.
The cities chosen were ranked on the basis of things like street food, coffee, bakeries, specialty gourmet markets, high-end chef-driven restaurants and wine bars. Readers also considered which cities had walkable streets, art galleries and historic appeal. The availability of good burgers, pizza and craft beers also figured into the overall rankings.
Here's what Travel and Leisure had to say about the California cities:
Los Angeles -- Readers applauded Angelenos for always staying on trend, ranking them for being fashionable, hip and head-turningly hot. These days, the ahead-of-the-curve gourmands are eating in Chinatown, which is seeing a revival thanks to the rice bowls at Chego, the noodles at Ramen Champ and the blueberry-jasmine cones at Scoops artisanal ice cream (which also features a Cognoscenti coffee cart). And while L.A. has long been a leader in the fancy-burger movement, it still embraces its charbroiled roots. Case in point: Cassell’s Hamburgers, originally from the ‘50s, was recently reborn in Koreatown’s Hotel Normandie.
San Diego -- This sunny SoCal city gave our nation fish tacos, but also ranked highly with readers for brunch. Two great spots worth getting up for are in North Park: Waypoint Public, which offers a breakfast pot pie and morning-friendly beers (like an Austrian Grapefruit Radler), and StreetCar Merchants, which specializes in fried chicken and doughnuts. And while San Diego food snobs have given North Park much love in recent years, there is increasing buzz in Little Italy, home to New-American Juniper & Ivy, the oysters at Ironside, and the hotly anticipated Bracero Cocina, where chef Javier Plascencia will pay tribute to the history of Mexican farm workers. The city won the survey for nice weather, and also ranked well for clear people-watching.
San Francisco -- How did the legendary hub for cutting-edge cuisine, great wine and strong coffee fall so far down the list? Maybe readers just expect so much from the city now—or perhaps they suffered a little sticker shock (it also ranked near the bottom for affordability, and readers deemed the locals a tad aloof). But Bay Area folks have earned the right to some ’tude: In fall 2014 Michelin awarded stars to a record 40 restaurants in San Francisco—including Benu and Saison, which both received three stars. To get an up-close look at everyday gourmet living, browse the vendors of Ferry Building Marketplace (like the wild mushrooms at Far West Fungi), or go behind the scenes with chefs through Avital Tours. To experience the great local wines without road-tripping to Napa, check out Bluxome Street Winery in the SoMa district.
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