Vote For The Tastiest Town in the South!

January 11, 2013 | By | Comments (19)
Photo by Robbie Caponetto

Photo by Robbie Caponetto

As a friend would say, it was worth every sit up.

For the second consecutive year in a row, we’ve eaten our way across the South and come up with our short list for the Tastiest Towns in the South in our February issue. We’ll profile each of the towns and reveal the ultimate Tastiest Towns in the May issue, which hits newsstands April 19th.

At a time when Southern cooking has never been more revered or nationally celebrated, it wasn’t easy to narrow down our list to a mere 10. But after a flurry of herbaceous cocktails, pork belly benders, belt busting charcuterie platters, noodle bowls, fancy tasting menus, and rowdy food festivals, our criteria came down to a few crucial details.

Which Southern destinations have serious swagger when it comes to Food as a cultural identity (a unique food or ethnicity that defines a particular Southern region); the Growth of a culinary-minded community (the influence that the culinary industry has on the local community and tourism); Hot chefs on the rise; and an Abundance of buzz-worthy food events? Where can you eat exceedingly well at a variety of price points?

Our roster includes some surprises (Greenville?!?), as well as a few no brainers (Charleston, New Orleans, and Louisville are repeats from last year). If you have passionate opinions surrounding your hometown flavors or favorite food destination (and we know you do) cast your vote for the “Tastiest Town in the South,” from January 10 to February 28 on or via smartphone by downloading the free Digimarc Discover app and scanning the corresponding image in the magazine. Each daily vote allows a user to be entered for a chance to win $1,500 toward a trip to the Tasty Town of his or her choice.

Introducing the Southern Living Top 10 “Tastiest Towns in the South” for 2013:

Asheville, NC: This bohemian brewtopia has a buzzy scene flavored with local bounty.

Atlanta, GA: The city’s multicultural explosion makes Atlanta an essential food destination.

Austin, TX: With a posse of star chefs, there are ample opportunities to swill and chomp in style.

Charleston, SC: The city’s top chefs are moving indigenous ingredients to the center of the plate.

Durham, NC:  The town boasts a mix of pioneers alongside a new generation of bootstrap cooks.

Greenville, SC: Features luscious Lowcountry cooking with a surprising international flair.

Louisville, KY:  With a bourbon-infused larder, the city is experiencing a culinary renaissance.

Memphis, TN: The town’s latest riffs on soul cooking rock.

Miami, FL: The fusion flash of the ’80s has evolved into a diverse, refined eating town.

New Orleans, LA: The sultry confluence of old world and innovation maintains our adoration.


  1. Pretty Tasty « NCHomesbyLarryT

    […] Vote For The Tastiest Town in the South! ( […]

    February 3, 2013 at 6:14 am
  2. Vote for the Tastiest Town in the South! | Cooking Culinary Arts Schools

    […] The mountain town of Asheville, North Carolina tops the list of tasty towns because of its residents who appreciate local produce and unusual fare. No one will be surprised to learn that tourist haven and culinary hotspot New Orleans made the list, which is due in large part to the mix of the city’s exceptional gourmet chef as well as the rich cultural heritage present. To find out which of the many other southern destinations made the list of tastiest towns in the South, read the full article. […]

    January 28, 2013 at 7:33 pm
  3. Miami Makes List of ‘Tasty’ Towns « AlexandraEater

    […] Southern Living: Miami on Top Ten Tastiest Cities [Southern Living] […]

    January 18, 2013 at 4:09 pm
  4. New Year New Food Trends; Miami Makes List of ‘Tasty’ Towns « AlexandraEater

    […] Southern Living: Miami on Top Ten Tastiest Cities [Southern Living] […]

    January 18, 2013 at 3:43 pm
  5. Dr. Harris, did you see that Greenville is one of the “Ten Tastiest Towns in the South”? | Dr. Roger Harris, III, DMD
    January 17, 2013 at 8:57 am
  6. RE:Icall

    Icall…… you should come to Birmingham…. best food city in the south right now…..

    January 16, 2013 at 10:10 pm
  7. ER

    Is it just me or does the top picture have a severed foot in the background?

    January 16, 2013 at 4:12 pm
  8. Mel


    January 15, 2013 at 5:03 pm
  9. Austin named one of the Top 10 Tastiest Towns in the South by Southern Living | ATX Post

    […] year, Austin joins other culinary cornerstones like New Orleans and Louisville on the elite list. Based on the aforementioned criteria, it’s no surprise to local foodies that the Capital […]

    January 15, 2013 at 2:56 pm
  10. icall

    Greenville and Durham but not Savannah, huh? And exactly which city in Alabama would knock any of these off the list?

    January 15, 2013 at 5:36 am
  11. Danielle

    Greenville doesn’t surprise me. My parents lived there a decade ago and I’ve passed through a couple of times since, including once that I had business in nearby Easley and dined downtown. They’ve done a lot, not unlike my adopted home town – Durham, NC.

    January 13, 2013 at 4:00 pm
  12. Michele Paul

    Where is Nashville? The restaurant community is thriving all over the city and is as varied as the people who live there.

    January 12, 2013 at 6:17 pm
  13. Kim

    Get with the times people. Food is always evolving. The new Southern Cuisine is amazing! So happy to see Greenville on the list. Definitely a great town for food and a beautiful atmosphere while walking off any indulgences after dinner.

    January 12, 2013 at 4:32 pm
  14. Nanny

    I have to agree – real Southern food is not fusion – it is home grown veggies and meat. I have to say that many of the recipes in Southern Living are definitely not Southern cooking. I still subscribe to the magazine for the occasional recipe that is really good but most of them are not what I came to expect of the magazine.

    January 12, 2013 at 2:43 pm
  15. Dixie

    Where the heck is Savannah? That is real southern food, take infused, international and bohemian foods and put them where they belong north of the Mason/Dixon. Give me chicken fried and homemade biscuits with honey any day. Also where is Virginia???

    January 12, 2013 at 11:50 am
  16. Zachary H.

    I’m disappointed that they chose Miami for my state. Why not St. Augustine, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, or anywhere on the Gulf Coast? That’s real Floridian food. Not the weird stuff down in Miami.

    January 12, 2013 at 10:25 am
  17. Amber H

    I agree. I would much prefer the traditional Southern food. I am also very surprised my state (Alabama) didn’t make the list.

    January 12, 2013 at 9:56 am

    I agree with Deb. I want to eat Southern food, not art. We can get new art fusion food in Cali or NYC. Gimme southern food!!! If it wasn’t different and special, Cracker Barrel wouldnt be so popular.

    January 12, 2013 at 9:44 am
  19. Deb Taylor

    I for one am NOT interested in ” new / fusion” foods…….I want what the south is famous for! And by the way……..where is Alabama???

    January 12, 2013 at 9:37 am

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