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From coast to coast and street food stand to trendy café, America has a foodie hot spot for every palate. Experiencing food is a great way to soak up the culture of a locale. The following cities work hard to please both locals and food critics to stay on this list of top foodie cities to visit in the U.S.

San Francisco

San Francisco became the world’s leader of farm-to-table cuisine in 1971 when chef Alice Waters opened Berkeley’s Chez Panisse, the city’s first fresh, farm-to-table restaurant. It was inevitable since Northern California leads the country in a bounty of year-round fresh produce sold at dozens of farmers markets in the Bay area.

New Orleans

This deep South city is famous for its Cajun and Creole cooking with a combination of French, Spanish, Italian and African influences. The result is tasty dishes like jambalaya and gumbo made with meat or seafood, southern-grown veggies, and Creole spices. Sample them along with po’boys and red beans and rice at one of the city’s many food festivals like the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience.

New York City

It’s no surprise to find NYC at the top of the best foodies list for the east coast. From New York-style pizza to freshly-baked bagels, the city that never sleeps is jam-packed with places to eat. The sheer number and variety of dishes to sample are responsible for the city’s place on the list.

Charleston

Heading back down south, Charleston, SC is a place reminiscent of a by-gone era with antebellum mansions, cobblestone streets, and unique flavors found in their now-famous Lowcountry cuisine. It’s similar to New Orleans fare but with more true-southern influence. Restaurants like Husk and Magnolia’s feature down south egg rolls, buttermilk fried chicken, and collards flavored with ham hock.

Chicago

Nobody puts the Windy City in the corner when it comes to a top foodies list. While New Yorkers serve their pizza wide and flat, Chicagoans prefer theirs with a deep crust and room for loads of toppings. Hotdogs are thick beef franks on poppy seed buns with yellow mustard and smothered in white onions, pickles, and diced tomatoes. Chicago’s old school steakhouses are big on the list of places to eat. Some of the most renowned include Lawry’s Prime Rib House and Gibson’s.