What makes a great food city isn't necessarily Michelin stars or food trucks per capita. While NYC, LA, and Chicago have always shined brightest, and upstarts like Austin and Portland might be the kings of meals on wheels, there are a ton of cities out there where tradition and innovation mix into unique melting pots... full of melting food.
So, to shine light on some of our country's more shrouded food scenes, we asked seven experts to give us the deets on why their cities are considered underrated, and what spots you should be sure to try when you visit.
Tuna "old fashioned" bourbon ceviche at Seviche
, the spicy sorghum, bourbon Blood Money cocktail at RYE
, Yucatec salbutes at Mayan Cafe
, and Kentucky/Asian-fusion brisket at MilkWood
Beer can fried-chicken at The Monterey
, the mezcal/fernet Midnight in Mexico at The Esquire Tavern
, lamb osso bucco at Paesanos
, and anything from Taco Taco Cafe
Dan Gentile is a staff writer on Thrillist's national food and drink team. He resides in Austin, TX, a city whose food scene sucks. You would hate it, so don't move there. To see all the fun stuff you're definitely not missing, follow him at @Dannosphere.