TOP CULINARY SCENE
Food & Wine commends Austin among best food cities in new global ranking
Local naysayers of Austin’s food scene will need to change their tune after hearing our beloved city was regarded as one of the best in the nation in a new report by Food & Wine.
The first-ever 2023 Global Tastemakers Awards is a reader’s choice collection of the best culinary experiences, restaurants, bars, cruises, destinations, and airlines and airports around the world. Categories for Food & Wine’s rankings can range from the most creative bars to best cities for neighborhood restaurants, to best cruises for onboard culinary experiences, and many more.
In the overall report for best cities in the United States for food, Austin ranked No. 10. The report specifically calls the city a “Tex-Mex paradise” while giving recognition to our food truck scene, local barbecue, and talented chefs.
Special consideration was also given to Austin’s many local breweries, such as Live Oak Brewing Company, Oddwood Brewing, and Meanwhile Beer (which won our own CultureMap Tastemaker award in 2022).
Other cities that made it on Food & Wine’s best U.S. cities for food list are (predictably) from well-established food cities like New York City, which earned the No. 1 spot, and more diverse cultural areas like New Orleans (No. 2) and Miami (No. 8). Ever the dominant presence in national reports on food scenes, California cities earned three places in this year’s ranking: San Francisco (No. 3), Los Angeles (No. 4), and San Diego (No. 9).
The 10 best cities for food in the U.S. are:
- No. 1 – New York City, New York
- No. 2 – New Orleans, Louisiana
- No. 3 – San Francisco, California
- No. 4 – Los Angeles, California
- No. 5 – Portland, Oregon
- No. 6 – Chicago, Illinois
- No. 7 – Charleston, South Carolina
- No. 8 – Miami, Florida
- No. 9 – San Diego, California
- No. 10 – Austin, Texas
In Food & Wine’s “10 Best Food Truck Cities in the U.S.”, Austin came in much higher with the third best food truck scene in the nation. The report states there are over 1,000 food trucks operating in the city, all offering some of the most unique dining experiences for their patrons. Accessibility is the dominating factor that gave Austin its No. 3 spot. Food trucks have lower overhead costs than traditional restaurants do, giving vendors the ability to provide high-quality food options at lower prices. The report recommends visiting Thicket South Austin Food Park and trying one of their many eateries.
Houston was the only other Texas city to make the list, ranking No. 8. The city’s renowned culinary scene is amplified by the lack of zoning restrictions, which lets food truck vendors operate anywhere around the city. This has also led to culinary gatherings like Food Truck Fridays at Axelrad Beer Garden. Recommendations include Vietnamese-Mexican Pho-jita Fusion, known for their pho tacos and banh mi burritos, and The Waffle Bus.
Many of the overall best food cities also earned top spots on the best food truck cities list, including two that outranked Austin on both lists: Portland, Oregon (No. 1) and Los Angeles (No. 2). However, the Texas Capital City outranked New York City (No. 4), San Francisco (No. 5), and San Diego (No. 7).
The 10 best food truck cities in the U.S. are:
- No. 1 – Portland, Oregon
- No. 2 – Los Angeles, California
- No. 3 – Austin, Texas
- No. 4 – New York City, New York
- No. 5 – San Francisco, California
- No. 6 – Honolulu, Hawaii
- No. 7 – San Diego, California
- No. 8 – Houston, Texas
- No. 9 – Oakland, California
- No. 10 – Raleigh, North Carolina
The full list of Food & Wine’s 2023 Global Tastemakers award winners can be found on their website.