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by Hannah Hayes
When we added the Food Cities category to our South’s Best reader survey, we wondered if the winners would look like the usual suspects. Not so. After picking your favorites from a long list, this year’s first batch of food cities mix established scenes with others seeing revivals. Some are major hubs while others are under-the-radar locals. But they all share deep connection to hospitality.
The winner, New Orleans, combines 300 years of storied culinary tradition with the contributions of newcomers and new thinking. Legendary restaurants like Commander’s Palace, Antoine’s, Dooky Chase’s, and Upperline thrive in the same environment that has given rise to a new wave of restaurants like Turkey and the Wolf, N7, and Saffron that take cues from the classics but spin them in a way all their own.