Good Eats: Our Top 10 Bucket-List Destinations for Foodies
Updated: 8.18.16 Entertainment

Good Eats: Our Top 10 Bucket-List Destinations for Foodies

By: Lindsey Carman

One of the perks of traveling across the U.S. is enjoying unique cuisines in each state. From savoring lobster clambakes on the coast of Maine to turning up the heat at Southwestern hot spots in Arizona, foodies can test out some of the best restaurants from coast to coast and everywhere in between.

In this feature, we’ve compiled a list of 10 destinations that are perfect for the next adventure across state lines. Our rankings are based on a number of factors, such as the average cost of meals, types of cuisines, and unique atmospheres in each city.

10. Chicago, Illinois

Chicago may be known for its deep-dish pizza and classic hot dog, but this city is also home to unique eateries and upscale dining. Nearly every street and corner has at least one hidden gem that serves up spectacular dishes where foodies can check out world-renowned restaurants or light-fare spots.

Average Costs of Chicago’s Dining Out Expenses:
Meal for One (Inexpensive Restaurant)3-Course Meal for Two (Mid-Range Restaurant)Domestic Beer (1 Pint)Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)Cappuccino

However, travelers might need to make a list of “must-try” places to fit everything in. Averaging around $70 for a full-course date night (including a bottle of mid-range wine), this city is a foodie’s haven for memorable meals at excellent prices.

Chicago’s Restaurant in the Spotlight: Geja’s Cafe

Geja’s Cafe is a great place for friends and family, or couples celebrating a milestone, to savor a night of fondue dining. With a low-key atmosphere and decadent food selections, Geja’s Cafe is just one of Chicago’s quaint restaurants that will impress most travelers.

A snapshot of seating in Geja's Cafe

Foodies can experience a night of fine dining at restaurants like Geja’s Cafe in Chicago, Illinois.

The cafe is open 7 days a week, which makes it incredibly convenient for a last-minute date night. Children under 10 aren’t allowed to dine at Geja’s Cafe because of safety precautions, so guests can be sure that the atmosphere will be just right. Geja’s accepts reservations online or by phone at (773) 281-9101.

9. Cincinnati, Ohio

Tucked away in the Buckeye State, Cincinnati offers a mix of delicious cuisines, from good ol’ BBQ to authentic Italian fare. Travelers and locals can enjoy the sounds of live music at night or stop by Hofbrauhaus, an authentic German brewery, for a cold brew throughout the year.

Average Costs of Cincinnati’s Dining Out Expenses:
Meal for One (Inexpensive Restaurant)3-Course Meal for Two (Mid-Range Restaurant)Domestic Beer (1 Pint)Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)Cappuccino

From downtown dining to eating by the Kentucky River, Cincinnati is a great place for sampling delicious food. Locals and travelers enjoy the wide selection of cuisines, as well as meal prices, in this city. Whether dining out alone or sharing a bottle of wine with friends, most travelers will love Cincinnati’s specialty dishes — especially if juicy burgers are on their list of must-try foods.

Cincinnati’s Restaurant in the Spotlight: Terry’s Turf Club

One of Cincinnati’s best eateries is Terry’s Turf Club. This eclectic restaurant, capturing the essence of a casual atmosphere, is home to some of the juiciest hamburgers and freshest fries. Foodies shouldn’t leave Cincinnati without stopping by here first.

A photo of Terry's Turf Club

This gargantuan burger is a snapshot of the tasty dishes at Terry’s Turf Club.

Open until 11 p.m. on most week days, Terry’s Turf Club is a great place to grab a quick bite if it’s getting late. Customers don’t have to dress fancy for this neon-lit restaurant; instead, it’s probably best to grab a bib and get ready to handle a giant burger. Anyone can stop by Terry’s Turf Club without a reservation or call at (513) 533-4222 to book a table.

8. Fresno, California

Fresno, the fifth largest city in California, is filled with appetizer aficionados and food lovers who have a craving for unique flavors. From small plates to several course meals, foodies can indulge in different cuisines in this city without emptying their pockets.

Average Costs of Fresno’s Dining Out Expenses:
Meal for One (Inexpensive Restaurant)3-Course Meal for Two (Mid-Range Restaurant)Domestic Beer (1 Pint)Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)Cappuccino

Just like other cities on this list, foodies should scope out the dining scene in Fresno for sampling culinary delights. A typical meal costs about $12, so it’s no wonder Fresno is a great dining destination for food lovers. Travelers can stop by for a great night out during the week or weekend.

Fresno’s Restaurant in the Spotlight: Oliver’s Pub and Restaurant

When hungry travelers enter Oliver’s Pub and Restaurant, a cozy English pub greets them with comfort food and refreshing beer. From fish and chips to a slab of steak, foodies will savor each bite at this establishment.

Oliver's Pub and Restaurant

Travelers and locals enjoy authentic pub food at Oliver’s Pub and Restaurant in Fresno.

With an enticing Happy Hour and laid-back ambiance, Oliver’s Pub and Restaurant serves up a great time. Customers can call the restaurant at (559) 348-5520 for call-ahead seating, but it isn’t needed for this pub. Oliver’s Pub and Restaurant offers different seating options, such as the bar or a table.

7. Richmond, Virginia

History buffs and Revolutionary War reenactment fans can’t get enough of Richmond, and the same can be said for most foodies. With a metro population of more than 1 million hungry mouths and as many as five times that number of ravenous visitors each year, Richmond offers plenty of restaurants — like diners and Southern fare hot spots — that satisfy hungry travelers.

Average Costs of Richmond’s Dining Out Expenses:
Meal for One (Inexpensive Restaurant)3-Course Meal for Two (Mid-Range Restaurant)Domestic Beer (1 Pint)Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)Cappuccino

On top of delicious cuisines, travelers can dine out on a budget. There are great eateries peppered throughout the city, such as lunch cafes to fancy lounges, that offer excellent prices. Richmond is a spectacular destination for foodies who have a refined palate and love to indulge in one-of-a-kind dishes.

Richmond’s Restaurant in the Spotlight: Heritage Restaurant

Heritage Restaurant, a fine dining experience in the heart of Richmond, doesn’t just serve exquisite bites on a plate; most foodies encounter an overall unique experience, from food presentation to hand-crafted drinks.

Dining in Heritage Restaurant

Heritage Restaurant handcrafts specialty drinks and one-of-a-kind dishes in Richmond, VA.

Whether enjoying a relaxing night out to an early brunch, Heritage Restaurant offers a range of small plates and main dishes that are packed with flavor. For parties of 15 or more, call (804) 353-4060 or shoot an email to to make reservations by email.

6. Minneapolis, Minnesota

International flavors, award-winning chefs, and farm-fresh flavors have a majority of food lovers flocking to Minneapolis’ farm-to-table meals. With dining experiences like these, it’s no wonder Minneapolis, Minnesota attracts many culinary connoisseurs with a sweet spot for delectable dishes.

Average Costs of Minneapolis’ Dining Out Expenses:
Meal for One (Inexpensive Restaurant)3-Course Meal for Two (Mid-Range Restaurant)Domestic Beer (1 Pint)Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)Cappuccino

Despite the chilly weather, travelers can cozy up in Minneapolis’ eateries and cafes all year round. From Brazilian steakhouses to gourmet pizzerias, Minneapolis serves up tasty dishes for a variety of foodies. Whether dining near the water or in the heart of Minneapolis, there is a wide range of eateries that are great to stop by and try out.

Minneapolis’ Restaurant in the Spotlight: Sea Change

Sea Change isn’t a typical seafood and raw bar. Each dish starts with sustainable seafood bought from environmentally responsible fisheries and then is crafted into a superb meal. From exquisite cocktails to tasty desserts, first-time foodies will praise Sea Change.

Chefs preparing dishes at Sea Change.

Sea Change only serves environmentally conscious seafood dishes that are bursting with flavor.

Located on the historic Riverfront District in downtown Minneapolis, Sea Change is a great atmosphere for sampling exquisite seafood dishes. Guests can make a reservation online or call (612) 225-6499 for call-ahead seating.

5. Riverside, California

Citrus and classical ballet are few of the attractions travelers would expect to see in Riverside, California. As if Californian wine wasn’t already alluring enough to attract visitors, foodies can pick up a bottle of a favorite wine for a mere $7 while enjoying fresh food at a number of restaurants.

Average Costs of Riverside’s Dining Out Expenses:
Meal for One (Inexpensive Restaurant)3-Course Meal for Two (Mid-Range Restaurant)Domestic Beer (1 Pint)Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)Cappuccino

Riverside is home to restaurants that are not only wallet-friendly but also offer great atmospheres for dining with family and friends. Whether foodies want to grab a beer on the beach or cap the night off a California Citrus State Historic Park date with a meal deal for two, they’ll experience some of the finest flavors in this town.

Riverside’s Restaurant in the Spotlight: La Campanas

La Campanas puts a fresh twist on cantina classics while delighting guests with beautiful, outdoor scenery. If foodies aren’t blown away by the margaritas, table-side guacamole usually does the trick.

Customers eating outside at Las Campanas

La Campanas’ outdoor seating area sets the perfect ambiance for dining in Riverside, California.

The restaurant, located in The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, whisks guests away into a sultry oasis filled with authentic Mexican cuisine and refreshing drinks. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, La Campanas welcomes walk-ins and also accepts reservations online.

4. Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids, the second largest city in Iowa, is making an even bigger mark on the dining scene. Travelers can grab a beer for only $5 or test out an award-winning winery at a cheap price, which is quite an affordable deal for travelers.

Average Costs of Cedar Rapids’ Dining Out Expenses:
Meal for One (Inexpensive Restaurant)3-Course Meal for Two (Mid-Range Restaurant)Domestic Beer (1 Pint)Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)Cappuccino

Besides American classics, there are other great cuisines in Cedar Rapids, like sushi or pizza. Locals and travelers alike enjoy eating at any of these locales in Cedar Rapids. Quickly becoming a popular choice for vacationers and residents alike, Cedar Rapids is an up-and-coming city filled with great restaurants, cafes, and bars.

Cedar Rapids’ Restaurant in the Spotlight: White Star Ale House

If any foodie is in the mood for classic American staples, White Star Ale House offers affordable, scrumptious dishes. Travelers should try the Wisconsin Wontons or Lobster Sherry Bisque to get an overview of food in Cedar Rapids.

A bar in the While Star Ale House

Customers can enjoy a cocktail or two with their meals at the White Star Ale House.

Featuring an event every night, White Star Ale House encourages people to stop by and enjoy special discounts throughout the week. To make a quick reservation, customers can call the restaurant at (319) 362-2000.

3. San Antonio, Texas

Get world-class munchies — and authentic Mexican cuisine — in San Antonio. Whether it’s Hill Country wine or Tex-Mex wrapped in a European-milled tortilla, San Antonio’s restaurants offer distinct dishes and specialty drinks.

Average Costs of San Antonio’s Dining Out Expenses:
Meal for One (Inexpensive Restaurant)3-Course Meal for Two (Mid-Range Restaurant)Domestic Beer (1 Pint)Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)Cappuccino

As a growing city in Texas, new restaurants pop up all the time, which makes San Antonio a great place to dine. Travelers should try a restaurant or two before leaving this city. The eats are typically bigger in San Antonio, so foodies should get out their wallets and loosen their belts for an overall exceptional experience.

San Antonio’s Restaurant in the Spotlight: La Gloria

For foodies who are looking for a unique Southwestern experience in San Antonio, La Gloria (which means “the heavens”) is a no-brainer. Guests can chose from tacos, tortas, tlayudas, ceviche, and other dishes that’ll satisfy any spicy cravings. La Gloria is just one snapshot of delicious restaurants in San Antonio.

Nighttime at La Gloria in San Antonio

Even late at night, foodies can grab a quick, delicious bite at places like La Gloria in San Antonio.

With three locations in San Antonio, La Gloria is a bustling hot spot for savory Mexican dishes that are made with fresh ingredients every day. Customers can check out the website for directions to each location wherever they are in San Antonio.

2. Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha, a hub of Western culture, can cook up some awesome restaurants that serve more than just comfort food. From tiny cafes to luxurious dining areas, most foodies have fun exploring eateries in Omaha. Travelers will be surprised by the number of Italian and seafood restaurants in this city.

Average Costs of Omaha’s Dining Out Expenses:
Meal for One (Inexpensive Restaurant)3-Course Meal for Two (Mid-Range Restaurant)Domestic Beer (1 Pint)Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)Cappuccino

Visiting Omaha means travelers get the opportunity to sample a variety of flavors, cuisines, and atmospheres. Most foodies will enjoy picking a place to eat at in this city.

Omaha’s Restaurant in the Spotlight: Twisted Fork

Known for a funky, contemporary atmosphere, Twisted Fork is a great place to sit down to a succulent meal after having a busy day. Between the savory cocktails to American classics cooked with a “twist,” foodies will get lost in the flavors at Twisted Fork.

Dining at the Twisted Fork

Savor scrumptious bites from the Twisted Fork in Omaha.

In the heart of Omaha’s historic Old Market District, Twisted Fork serves not only delicious meals but also some Midwestern hospitality. Guests can make a reservation online or call the restaurant at (402) 932-9600.

1. El Paso, Texas

El Paso surpasses the rest on this list with a bursting variety of restaurants. Even in the Texan heat, this city offers smooth beers, authentic Tex-Mex, and fun environments that most foodies can appreciate. If travelers can’t take the heat, there are plenty of other places that offer a cool atmosphere.

Average Costs of El Paso’s Dining Out Expenses:
Meal for One (Inexpensive Restaurant)3-Course Meal for Two (Mid-Range Restaurant)Domestic Beer (1 Pint)Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)Cappuccino

Besides Mexican food, El Paso serves up a sample of authentic Greek food, steaks, and pho. When travelers make a pit stop in this Texan city, they’ll most likely stumble upon a killer eatery. This Lone Star city wins five stars for taste, price, and atmosphere. If any foodies are in the area, they shouldn’t pass up great bites that are exclusively in El Paso.

El Paso’s Restaurant in the Spotlight: Andale Restaurant

Customers can step into Andale Restaurant and wet their whistles with refreshing margaritas and sangria, then fill up on yummy Mexican classics. This eatery is anything but ordinary; travelers will feel like they’re on vacation in Latin America when they eat at Andale Restaurant.

Sampling a Mexican dish at Andale Restaurant

Satisfy your Mexican cravings at Andale Restaurant.

Happy to host any event, Andale Restaurant offers all guests a memorable time, as well as well-priced food and drinks. Guests can either place a reservation online or call at (915) 590-5999 to book a table before they get there.

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