The Best Food Cities In The US, According To Andrew Zimmern - Exclusive

Chef, writer, and TV personality Andrew Zimmern has built an entire career centered around traveling and eating for the sake of improving the world. As he himself describes it, his life's work is dedicated to "exploring and promoting cultural acceptance, tolerance and understanding through food." That would suggest that Zimmern knows a thing or two about where to get good food, and he has had a front-row seat to the ever-evolving and expanding culinary landscape in America and beyond.

Of course, as a native New Yorker, it would be understandable for Zimmern to hold firmly that New York is still the best food city in the U.S. As one of the most diverse melting pots in the country where so many industries' best and brightest want to end up, it probably is the ultimate restaurant destination in America. But Zimmern has been all over the country — and the world, for that matter — whether it be for business or pleasure, and he'll be the first to tell you that you can find incredible food cities across the nation. Speaking exclusively with Tasting Table at the New York City Wine & Food Festival, Zimmern revealed what he thinks are the best food cities in the U.S. right now.

Andrew Zimmern says his current hometown is finally worthy of a shoutout

While this may not have been the case in previous decades, you don't have to travel to the biggest or most prominent cities in America to have access to unforgettable food experiences. Just ask Andrew Zimmern. "I love all the little small ones that are exploding ... I'm amazed at the small cities. That's where the action is," he told Tasting Table. 

According to Zimmern, one of the top destinations for hungry travelers is right in his own backyard. "My hometown of Minneapolis now is one of them," he said. The sprawling metropolis has grown its restaurant scene in recent years, featuring a diverse range of delicious and elevated cuisine. Zimmern admitted, "Two years ago, I would always apologize and say I'm not going to list where I live. But Minneapolis now can carry its weight with any town in America, food-wise." While you're planning your next foodie road trip, Zimmern listed a few others to add to your list, including Birmingham, Alabama, and the Portlands on both coasts.

Of course, Zimmern couldn't fully discuss the best food destinations without mentioning New York in some capacity. He did mention that at the end of the day, he strongly believes that "the best food place on planet Earth is Queens, New York. You have 170 different ethnicities and cultures and populations of 5,000 or more. It's amazing."

For the latest from chef Andrew Zimmern, follow him on Instagram, and catch him on "Andrew Zimmern's Wild Game Kitchen" on Mondays at 9:00 p.m. ET on the Outdoor Channel. Plus, click here to learn more about the annual Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One, and be sure to check out the highlights from this year's event.