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Top 5 Foodie Cities Off The Beaten Path

When people think about destinations where food is king, some of the most popular responses are New York, Chicago, New Orleans, and even San Francisco, but these metropolis areas are not the only place to find supreme cuisine.  Foodie travelers are flocking to these cities and towns that are just off the beaten path but provide experiences that may be better than those you would find in the big cities listed above.

Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
Foodie1Located in the heart of California’s Central Coast, Carmel-by-the-Sea features a quaint downtown area that is easily walkable, allowing you to enjoy the wide variety of food offered in this area.  Mundaka, a Spanish tapas bar has a rotating paella of the day, featuring freshly caught seafood you simply must try.  Sushi lovers will marvel at the attentive staff at Akaoni and their top-quality, traditional rolls.

Looking for something a little different, or a new spin on an old favorite?  La Bicycletta spins out inventive thing crust pizzas with combos like butternut squash and speck (a regional variety of bacon).

Telluride, Colorado
Foodie2Many travelers who head to Colorado are doing so to enjoy the majestic slopes of the Rocky Mountains, but those who head to Telluride know that is not all you will find in this state.  There are a couple of spots you cannot miss in this mining-boomtown includingBon Vivant, 221 South Oak, and the New Sheridan Bar.

Bon Vivant features an al fresco atmosphere and elevates French comfort food to a level that is befitting of the local elevation.  Gruyere-smothered onion soup served with slow-braised short rib meat will provide you with a new meaning to the word comfort.  221 South Oak is actually owned and operated by a formerTop Chef contestant, Eliza Gavin, and features and extensive wine list in a cozy restored Victorian home.  New Sheridan Bar has been serving locals, celebrities, and travelers since 1895.

Portland, Maine
Foodie3Portland has become Maine’s economic capital because it has the state’s largest port, highest population, and maintains a close proximity to Boston (115 miles to the South).  However, it is the great restaurant options that are making travelers take notice of this picturesque port city.

If you are in Portland, you have to make a stop at DiMillo’s, an old-school staple of the area that simply cannot be missed.  Polish off a fresh lobster roll and then get ready for your next gastronomical adventure.  Sam Hayward’sFore Street is widely considered to be the restaurant that kick off Portland’s food revolution nearly 20 years ago.  A rustic-style, wood-burning oven creates masterpieces that are not only visually inspiring, but will have your taste buds doing summersaults with the tremendous flavors.

Savannah, Georgia
Foodie4Savannah is a city the represents the epitome of southern hospitality.  That might be one of the reasons that the readers of Conde Nast Traveler named the city the third friendliest in the United States.  It’s also a great place to find a sampling of Southern cuisine that may literally knock your socks off.

Hugh Acheson, a James Beard Award winner and Top Chef judge owns and operates five restaurants in the state of Georgia including an Italian restaurant in Savannah called The Florence that features great entrees like a whole roasted snapper, Fisherman Stew, and a wood fired half-chicken or sirloin.

The Olde Pink House is another popular spot that serves up a wholesome helping of comfort food.  Enjoy a juicy bourbon-molasses grilled pork tenderloin with collard greens and sweet potatoes in an 18th century mansion.  When you are done with your meal, head downstairs and enjoy a cocktail in a bar that inspires thoughts of the colonial era.

Naples, Florida
Foodie6Because of its tropical climate and proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, the likelihood of enjoying at least one seafood dish during a trip to Naples in pretty high.  However, limiting yourself to only fresh fish during your foodie getaway would be a monumental mistake.

Naples truly has a restaurant for every taste and appears to have become a melting pot for foods from many cultures.  For French Provencal, Cote d’Azur is a great option.  IM Tapas serves fresh Spanish tapas in an off-the-beaten path locale.  Caffe dell’Amore is a top area choice for Italian food, and if you are looking for something unique, try Inca’s Kitchen which serves up authentic Peruvian dishes like lomo saltado (sautéed beef loin) in a comfortable setting.