Prepare for a vacation that will be sure to delight any foodie! Cities that are voted as the up-in-coming for the food and drink scene are becoming popular vacation destinations every year. An array of five-star spots may come to mind when thinking about the restaurant options while staying in larger cities, but have you ever thought about spending some time in the lesser-known, smaller cities? Give these a try when researching where to go on your next culinary vacation.
As one of the oldest, most storied cities in America, Charleston has developed a rich culture shaped by distinct geographic elements (the city is flanked by two rivers and a beautiful harbor on the Southern tip). Due to its small size, it’s hard not to stumble across breathtaking views and picturesque rows of single houses on a post-dinner walk. What’s more, many of the newer restaurants, bars, and shops are housed in old buildings that have been beautifully converted to accommodate modern-day needs—while retaining their old-world charm.
Where to dine: Peninsula Grill, 112 N. Market St, Ansonborough, www.peninsulagrill.com
Portland, Maine is a foodie’s secret garden. Having won multiple culinary and cocktail awards in the past decade, it’s no surprise that this town has more restaurants per capita than any other small city in the United States. With local restaurants lined up on every street to feed any sort of appetite, there’s no way you can go wrong here. It’s also widely known among the top chefs of the world that Portland is where to go when starting up a brand new restaurant. Some of the best chefs in the world have collaborated on dishes and other restaurant ventures in town. From seafood sanctuaries to artisan Japanese noodles, let’s just say that eating well in Portland is easy.
Where to dine: Tempo Dulu, 163 Danforth St., www.tempodulu.restaurant
While Nashville is notorious for country music and small shops that are wall-to-wall cowboy boots, you may be surprised to learn that it’s not a difficult city to eat and drink your way through. The culinary happenings in Music City have been on the rise longer than almost any other city. The talent and creativity of the chefs working in Nashville’s food scene are more than enough to warrant a trip to Tennessee just for grabbing some bites to eat! There’s something for everyone here, but Nashville is most famous for their BBQ, hot chicken, patio dining, and food trucks. Have yourself the perfect date night at any of the fine restaurants this city has to offer. If you want to have the best burger in America, head on over the the Pharmacy where there is always a line out the door. Their classic and creative style burgers are sure to hit the spot, and you can wash them down by drinking a local brew in their beer garden patio seating.
Where to dine: The Pharmacy, 731 Mcferrin Ave., www.thepharmacynashville.com
Don’t just stop in Portland! Head on up northeast to admire the beauty of New England and the secret places to dine while exploring the Maine coastline. Perfect for any summer vacation and even better for the adventurous ones who enjoy some winter sports, Camden is a great place to let yourself wander both on and off season. Spend a weekend at the luxurious Camden Harbour Inn, where you will find yourself spoiled with superior customer service. Unwind at the Inn’s attached restaurant, Natalie’s, where some of the most renowned chefs from all over the world let their imagination run wild, creating beautiful entrees and specials. Many different packages and specials are available all throughout the year, so you won’t be missing out on any of these unique and local dishes no matter what the season.
Where to dine: Natalie’s Restaurant, 83 Bay View St., www.nataliesrestaurant.com
Besides being rich in both history and culture, this capital city is also experiencing a rebirth of culture. This city has been on the rise in for those travelers looking for a new under the radar spot to enjoy fine cuisine, artisan drinks, and eye catching art. Learn about the vast landmarks that any history fanatic would enjoy all within a few blocks from the downtown area where you can find live music on every corner. From the Broad Street Market, Midtown Scholar Bookstore, and Susquehanna Art Museum, there are historical attractions for everyone when the dining is done!
Where to dine: The Millworks, 340 Verbeke St., www.millworksharrisburg.com