While some towns on our list might only have a population of a few thousand, that’s not stopping many nationally and internationally-recognized chefs from venturing to these hidden gems to test out new concepts or return to their roots. There are also quite a few local food masters that don’t have name recognition (yet) but could easily whip up Michelin-quality meals.
While there are dozens of ways to judge a city or town for its food — and everyone has an opinion — the variety of restaurants, for one, is certainly an important factor. But equally important is the creativity of the dishes coming out of these eateries, the chefs being drawn to the area, and how they’re pushing the culinary envelope. A great food city or town is not defined by just one flavor or a big name, but rather a combination of many different factors. These are America’s 50 best towns for food.