When planning a trip, there are many factors that influence the itinerary. Some people may plan their trip to visit key museums or historical sites. Others may plot a course for fun with entertainment options and amusement parks. Food lovers, however, may have different priorities. For those looking for a place that tantalizes the taste buds, consider the following cities.
1. Santa Fe, New Mexico: Santa Fe is renowned for its distinctive cultural heritage, making it a popular destination for fans of southwestern history and art. With this much cultural selection, it should come as no surprise that Santa Fe also has some of the best dining options in the region. As expected, the best dishes in Santa Fe have a southwestern flair, many of which feature the chili pepper. While best known for its delicious southwestern fare, Santa Fe also offers good options for barbecue, American, Italian and more. Try La Boca, which features Spanish tapas, or The Compound Restaurant with chef Mark Kiffin.
2. Lafayette, Louisiana: Louisiana is well known for cooking up some great Cajun dishes. Lafayette is the perfect place to indulge. Cajun recipes have a long history here, though many contemporary chefs have discovered innovative ways to add new twists to Cajun classics. Some of the most popular dishes include gumbo, homemade hot sauce, crawfish and other local favorites. Many restaurants not only serve up southern-style food but they also offer a comprehensive southern atmosphere, complete with Zydeco music. Try the French Press, Prejean’s, Creole Lunch House and the Blue Dog Cafe.
3. Madison, Wisconsin: This Midwestern destination is known as a popular college town, but it is also well regarded for its cuisine. With a strong agricultural community, Madison restaurants often feature farm-to-table eateries, where ingredients are locally produced. In fact, Madison has the largest producer-only farmers market in the country. Local food events include the Isthmus Beer and Cheese Fest and the World’s Largest Brat Fest. For restaurants, try Forequarter, Graze, Sardine or Pig in a Fur Coat.
4. Berkeley, California: California is regarded for its cultural offerings, but its culinary delights are just as good. In particular, Berkeley is a great destination for foodies who appreciate diverse and eclectic options. Since the 1970s, Berkeley has been known as the heart of the California culinary scene thanks to the restaurant Chez Panisse, which focuses on fresh and sustainable food. Since that time, the eating options in Berkeley have rapidly expanded, including numerous boutique eateries. The menus feature cuisine of all flavors, such as bayou favorites at Angeline’s Louisiana Kitchen or French delicacies at Bistro Liaison. Guests may also salivate at the numerous food festivals in the area, such as the Solano Avenue Stroll or the annual Crab Feed.
No matter what the food preference may be, these four cities have something for every appetite.