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4 Unexpected Foodie Cities to Visit This Summer

With delicious and diverse culinary offerings, these underrated spots cater to epicurean travelers.

U.S. News & World Report

4 Unexpected Foodie Cities to Visit This Summer

Calling all foodies: these underappreciated destinations offer surprisingly cutting-edge culinary enclaves. (Getty Images).

When food lovers travel, they're not only plotting where to stay and what to do – they're planning for gastronomic success. They're following their stomachs to destinations brimming with breweries, wineries, high-end restaurants, colorful markets, bakeries and gourmet bites. And while they're searching for locales with star chefs and critical acclaim, foodies are also seeking out surprising, still-undiscovered destinations across America to cross off their travel bucket list.

If you're yearning to eat and drink in an under-the-radar culinary haven this summer, start planning your getaway to these can't-miss spots.

Providence, Rhode Island

Start your culinary tour of Providence's at Tallulah's Taqueria, an authentic Mexican outpost and bar. Here, you can savor mouthwatering dishes such as ceviche, tortas, tacos and shrimp cocktails. Another trendy local spot worth exploring: the Federal Hill neighborhood, where you'll find sublime Asian fusion dishes at Food by North, helmed by an expat of the acclaimed Momofuku.

For more casual fare, don't skip out on Providence's flourishing street food scene. In Providence, food trucks line the beach, and their popularity has soared in recent years. The annual Providence Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival in early August offers around 50 craft brews and 25 food trucks. From stuffed sopapillas (fried pastries) to loaded hot dogs, there's delectable fare for all.

Portland, Maine

Consider yourself a fry lover? At Portland's Duckfat, you can order traditional Belgian spuds fried in duck fat and presented in a cone with tasty dipping sauces. Aside from delicious potatoes, Duckfat dishes out classic homemade milkshakes as well as charcuterie, sandwiches and seasonally changing soups. Have a sweet tooth? Then you've probably heard of the cronut, but have you heard of the spudnut? Head to The Holy Donut to sample your first potato donut. Providence excels at the spudnut, prepared with white potatoes or sweet potatoes flavored as coffee brandy, maple and other varieties. There are sixteen flavors offered daily.

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville has an eclectic arts, food and beer scene that could easily rival restaurants in San Francisco and New York City. Set against the Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville offers beautiful and historic places to explore and flourishing microbreweries and Southern restaurants to visit. For a memorable slice of pizza, make your way to All Souls Pizza, where you'll sample interesting toppings like salted turnips and cream and garlic. Another must-try is the clam pie topped with mozzarella and chiles. If you consider yourself a meat lover, indulge in a delicious German-inspired meal at The Bavarian Restaurant and Biergarten, where you'll find more than 30 dinner and lunch entree options served in a lodge-like setting. Take your pick from homemade schnitzel, bratwurst, goulash, rolladen and sauerbraten and, of course, delicious beer.

Charleston, South Carolina

Along Charleston's culture- and cobblestone-filled streets, you'll find plenty of excellent low country, down-home restaurants. But don't just taste local staples such as buttermilk biscuits and gravy and shrimp and grits. Instead, make your way to Hominy Grill to order the Charleston Nasty: fried chicken smothered in gravy. Another can't-miss brunch and late-night spot: Butcher and Bee. There, you can sample artisan sandwiches (think: a grilled cheese sandwich filled with blueberry jam, gruyere cheese and toasted almonds). If you're still hungry, make your way to other institutions for top-tier Southern cuisine, such as Fig, Husk and Leon's Fine Poultry and Oysters.

8 Under-the-Radar Foodie Cities

Slideshow: 8 Under-the-Radar Foodie Cities

About En Route

Practical advice on the art of traveling smarter with tips, tricks and intel from En Route's panel of experts.

Contributors have experience in areas ranging from family travel, adventure travel, experiential travel and budget travel to hotels, cruises and travel rewards and include Amy Whitley, Claire Volkman, Holly Johnson, Marsha Dubrow, Lyn Mettler, Sery Kim, Kyle McCarthy, Erica Lamberg, Jess Moss, Sheryl Nance-Nash, Sherry Laskin, Katie Jackson, Erin Gifford, Roger Sands, Steve Larese, Gwen Pratesi, Erin Block, Dave Parfitt, Kacey Mya, Kimberly Wilson, Susan Portnoy, Donna Tabbert Long and Kitty Bean Yancey.

Edited by Liz Weiss.

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