20 Oct Plan a Vacation with Your Stomach? Check Out These Destinations

steak dinnerDo you eat to live, or live to eat? If it’s the latter or a combination of the two, you might savor a vacation centered on having unforgettable gastronomic experiences.

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The two keys to planning a vacation based around food, glorious food, are venue and cuisine. Venue is rather simple: Any major U.S. city is going to boast a dazzling array of restaurants more than capable of delighting your palate. Similarly, fine dining is part and parcel of taking a cruise on any large vessel with any major cruise line.

As for cuisine, aficionados looking for specific types of cooking naturally will be happiest visiting cities or regions known for those dishes. And within those locations, there are often a small number of restaurants specializing in the regional cooking that are not to be missed.


Barbecue. Top cities for the best restaurants featuring BBQ ribs, brisket, chicken, and sides, according to the Conde Naste 2015 Reader’s Choice Awards, including Knoxville, Tennessee; Montgomery, Alabama; Raleigh, North Carolina; Branson, Missouri; San Antonio, Texas; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Houston, Texas; and Birmingham, Alabama. [1]

Cajun. New Orleans, Louisiana is the premiere city for Cajun cooking with K-Paul, its most famous restaurant, featuring jambalaya, red beans and rice, gumbo, chicken creole, and other favorites. But there are many other great Cajun joints throughout the state including Prejeans and Mulates.

Seafood. Obviously, the cities with the best seafood are all on or near the ocean. The most coveted seafood dish is lobster, and the best lobsters are caught and served in Maine, where the cold water makes the meat whiter and tastier. Baltimore is famous for its crabs, both soft shell and hard shell. Boston is also known for its great seafood.

Italian. Few areas can rival Little Italy in Manhattan for great Italian food at surprisingly reasonable prices. According to foodie site Gayot.com, two of the best Italian restaurants in the US are LaMotta’s in Boston and Acquerello in San Francisco. [2]

French. The top spot for French cuisine is Paris. But if you want to stay in the continental United States, The Daily Meal lists among the top French restaurants here as Jean Jorges and Daniel, both in NYC; Joel Robuchn and Guy Savoy in Vegas; La Pichot in Seattle; and Everest in Chicago.

Beef. There is a lot of debate about who has the best steak. Cities near ranches, such as Wichita, Kansas and Houston, Texas, are famed for their beef. Peter Luger’s steak houses in Manhattan and on Long Island are not to be missed. And you can get a great filet mignon or ribeye wherever there’s a Ruth Chris.

Asian. Great Chinese food at reasonable prices is served in the Chinatowns on either cost, Manhattan or San Francisco. For Japanese, Timeout.com says that two of the top-rated are Raku in Las Vegas and Sushi Yasuda in Manhattan. [3]

Overall: If you just love good food with no preferred category, the Washington Post says the top 10 foodie cities in the U .S. are San Francisco, Portland, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Houston, Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, Washington DC, and Charleston. [4]
One tip: As much as the mouthwatering food on your plate may tempt you to do so, do not overeat – or at least do not overeat too much. Vacations involve a lot of walking, which is less enjoyable if you are weighed down by a few extra pounds.

lamb chopsBest tips for keeping your food consumption under control are to stop eating when you are full and drink an 8-ounce glass of water before every meal. If you finish everything on your plate, do not eat food your companions have left on theirs.

And don’t spend every hour of the day finding and sampling more food. Enjoy the cities you visit and their culture, architecture, museums, and other activities – which is best done without an overfull stomach.

Eat like a king or queen and save money like a travel agent with GTI. Let us sign you up for your trip to experience the best foods around the globe. Click here or call 1-800-250-7912 to get started.


[1] http://www.cntraveler.com/galleries/2016-04- 07/best-bbq-in-america-top-15-cities
[2] http://www.gayot.com/restaurants/top-10- italian/main.html
[3] https://www.timeout.com/usa/restaurants/best-japanese- restaurants-in- america
[4] http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/style/2015/12/21/the-10- best-food- cities-in- america-ranked/