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Web Extra: 2015 Top Foodie Cities

Jul 21, 2015 03:29AM ● Published by Kevin

"Much of the charm of Mo’s Best Eatery in Arlington lies in its founder’s upbringing in Connecticut, just a stone’s throw from the Big Apple," our own, Kerry Pipes, reports in the latest edition of Mansfield Magazine's Local Flavor section.

With the coastal diversity at Mo's and the overall cultural diversity of cuisines in the Metroplex, we decided to branch out and see how all of America's cities ranked in 2015, in our web-compiled foodies list. We looked at five prominent lists here in 2015 and came up with what we believe to be a pretty accurate depiction across the map. Here's the overall top 10.

1. New York City

Ranked in the Top 10 in three of the five lists, including a No. 1 ranking at Conde Nast Traveler, the Big Apple's melting pot makes it pretty easy (or difficult if you can't make decisions) to find a spot to enjoy good foods.

"When it comes to range of cuisines, concentration of culinary talent, and sheer magnitude of world-class restaurants, it's easy to argue that New York is the one to beat. Gotham's diversity means the city is rich with ethnic food—Russian vareniki dumplings in Brighton Beach; fragrant Indian curries in Jackson Heights; antojitos and over-stuffed tacos in Sunset Park; not one, but two Chinatowns. But New York is also a fine dining mecca, and many of the country's most celebrated chefs have passed through the city's kitchens. There are haute cuisine masters like Eric Ripert, whose seafood-focused bastion of boom-time luxury Le Bernardin (pictured) still feels fresh after nearly 30 years. There are intimate tasting counters, such as Carlo Mirarchi's Bushwick jewel Blanca and David Chang's progressive Momofuku Ko. And there are cool downtown restaurants like Estela—a casual showcase for chef Ignacio Mattos's quirky, global flavors. All this, plus unbeatable pizza, vintage steakhouses, and some of the country's best cocktail bars puts New York City at the center of the culinary cosmos." —Jordana Rothman, Click here for the full list at CNTraveler.com

2. Kansas City

Big barbecue is a favorite nationwide, but holds a special place in our hearts here in Texas. Kansas City, known for that slow-cooked comfort, appeared on two of our lists, including Thrillist's Top 7 Most Underrated American Food Cities.

"Chefs can get creative in Kansas City, and diners are receptive to new concepts. For example, the owners of a local sandwich shop, Happy Gillis, just completed a successful Kickstarter campaign to open an authentic ramen shop next door. It seems there’s a new craft brewery popping up every month, and we frequent world-class cocktail bars like Manifesto and Julep. Butcher shops like Broadway Butcher and Local Pig, along with carefully curated provision shops like Season + Square and The Sundry, make it easy to create a sustainably sourced home-cooked meal. And with so many conscientious coffee roasters -- Oddly Correct, Thou Mayest, and Messenger, to name a few  -- it’s hard to pick a place for a caffeine fix." — Emily Farris, food writer & creative director at Feed Me Creative,  Click here for the full list at Thrillist.com

3. Providence

Also appearing on two of our lists, Rhode Island's capital is the epitome of elegance, and makes a big splash with seafood lovers. While it was lower on the "underrated" list from Thrillist, Providence actually earned No. 2 in TIME Magazine.

"Ranking highly in the survey for its pedestrian-friendly streets and cool architecture, the Rhode Island capital makes it easy to work up an appetite. The city also landed at No. 2 for its legendary street food—likeHaven Brothers, which serves lobster rolls, fries and shakes next to City Hall until 4 a.m.—and the local “grilled” pizza, perhaps topped with spicy soppressata at downtown’s Bacaro. To see why the city won the survey for bakeries, go to the Scialo Brothers Bakery, which first opened in 1916, and order one of the beloved sfogliatelle—a seashell-shaped cookie made with paper-thin layers of dough and sweet cream. The locals, meanwhile, won the survey for seeming geeky." —Katrina Brown Hunt/Travel + Leisure, Click here for the full list in TIME

4, 5, 6 - Best in the World?

Our next three made NatGeo's Top 10 Food Cities in the world! Out of the 10, only three American cities made the list, so we through it would be appropriate to include them. Here's the breakdown.

4. Louisville

Ranked No. 1 on the NatGeo list, Louisville features the Hot Brown - an open-faced turkey delight with a twist (and one of this author's favorites to serve in bite-sized form at parties).

"Invented as a midnight snack for revelers at the Brown Hotel (335 W. Broadway), Hot Brown, an open-faced turkey sandwich on Texas toast with bacon, tomatoes, and a cream sauce, gives eaters plenty to get excited about, day or night."

5. Buffalo

New York boasts a second city on our list, this time we head a far ways north, where the hot, "Buffalo wing" was created. Buffalo ranks third on NatGeo's world list.

"Spicy, tangy buffalo wings, a favorite of bar crawlers the world over, owe a debt to the city’s Anchor Bar Restaurant (1047 Main St.), where the chicken finger food was born in 1964."

6. Cincinnati

Another food favored here down South is a good ol' chili. Cincannati, sixth on NatGeo's list, is known for the bowl of steamy, spicy goodness!

"
Famed for their chili, Cincinnatians chow down on two million pounds of the city’s spicy stew (beans optional) a year. Order like a local: three-way (on spaghetti topped with cheddar), four-way (add onions or beans), or five-way (all of the above)."

Click here for the full National Geographic list.

7. San Francisco

Although it only made one of the Top 10 lists, it did appear in TIME's Top 20, as well. Therefore, San Francisco, with its diverse range of foods, makes our Top 10. It was fourth on CNTraveler's list.

"
Conscientious cooking has long been the zeitgeist in the Bay Area; the American obsession with local and seasonal ingredients radiates from here. Although one of its earliest practitioners, Judy Rodgers, passed away in 2013, her restaurant Zuni Café soldiers on in that tradition, serving what is still one of the country's best roasted chickens. Newer to the scene is the ascent of the marathon tasting menu, designed to showcase surprising flavors and progressive techniques—the province of chefs like Daniel Patterson at Coi, Corey Lee at Benuand Josh Skenes at Saison. On the other end of the spectrum are casual spots like chef April Bloomfield's Tosca Cafe (pictured) and State Bird Provisions, where dim sum–style service means you can flag down dishes like green-garlic steak tartare as they are marched through the dining room. In a city that's famous for sourdough, it follows that there's a deep well of excellent bakeries to choose from as well: places like TartineCraftsman & Wolves, and B Patisserie." Jordana Rothman

8. Coral Gables, Fla.

There are more than 140 restaurants in this beautiful city. On top of that, the reputation outweighs the real estate! Livability put out a Top 10 Best Foodie Cities for 2015, and crowned Coral Gables as king.

"
Coral Gables, Fla., tastes as good as it looks. Tree-lined boulevards, mansions covered in ivy, Mediterranean Revival-style architecture and a large freshwater Venetian Pool make Coral Gables one of the most delicious looking cities on our foodie cities list. Strict zoning regulations and building standards ensure the city doesn’t lose its visual appeal. Chefs in Coral Gables are held to the same high standards, often being judged by their counterparts in Miami. A writer for the Miami New Times wrote, “Coral Gables heralds a cool era of dining. There are cocktails, funky foods and young chefs.” The city's range of outstanding restaurants, discerning diners and availability of healthy foods makes Coral Gables our top pick out of the Best Foodie Cities 2015."

9. Baltimore

Our final "underrated" inclusion was the top on its list. While connotations have been more on the negative side in recent past, the city has much beauty and tourism to be enjoyed, especially by the calm waters. Yet another city with a taste for seafood, the most notable thing about Baltimore is its new restaurants.

"Over 40% of Baltimore Magazine’s top 50 restaurants weren't even around five years ago, with many opening within the last two or three years. Tiny, chef-owned spots like Puerto 511 (Peruvian) and Bottega (salt-of-the-earth Italian) are the perfect examples of people living out their dreams, Union Brewing is turning out national award-winning suds, nose-to-tail butchery (and cooking) is going down at spots like Clementine and Parts & Labor, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg because we can’t give away all our secrets." - Ryan Detter, freelance food writer at City Paper

10. Houston

We had to give some big Texas love, and although some more local venues couldn't be highlighted, we found Houston at the very top of TIME's list, which called the ranking a "Texas-sized upset" for 2015!

"The business-travel hub staged a Texas-sized upset this year, winning the food category by offering an irresistible combination of refined tastes and downhome comfort. The city ranked at No. 1 in three separate food categories: burgers, brunch, and specialty food shops (likeRevival Market, where local gourmands stock up on artisanal cheeses, charcuterie and house-made pickles and jams). Houston also knows how to break free of American-style convention: one hot new place, Dak & Bop, does Korean-style fried chicken with spicy sauces, paired with blackberry chili margaritas. Speaking of burgers, though, it’s hard to leave town without enjoying one of the old-school, mustard-laced big boys at Lankford Grocery, or the acclaimed 3-oz. sliders atLittle Bigs in the Museum District, which also offers a respectably long wine list—after all, the city ranked at No. 3 for vino."

Note: TIME's list originally came from Travel & Leisure. Click here to read the original.

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