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Asheville named best foodie town in U.S. (and in Southeast)
Thursday, 05 October 2017 10:52

From Staff Reports

Asheville recently was ranked No. 1 on RewardExpert’s national list of 2017’s Best American Foodie Towns, which compared 100 cities and towns with populations below 100,000.

Asheville, sometimes referred to as “the Paris of the South,” also was ranked as RewardExpert’s top foodie town in the South Atlantic region.

Meanwhile, Chapel Hill placed third on the national list and second regionally. (Burlington, Vt., was ranked No. 2 nationally.)

RewardExpert is a free web service that helps travelers fly for less money by maximizing their frequent-flyer miles and points — and credit-card rewards.

RewardExpert used a number of key metrics to complete the report, including restaurants per capita with five stars on Yelp and TripAdvisor; presence of award-winning chefs and restaurants; total number of food festivals; and breweries and wineries per capita.

The number of restaurants per capita was also a major factor in the ranking, and Asheville, with more than 700 restaurants, had the most of any town analyzed in the region. 

“Food travel has become increasingly popular,” RewardExpert CEO and co-founder Roman Shteyn said. “Many travelers go to far-flung and big, urban destinations to experience culinary delights.”

While many travelers feel they need to visit big cities to find the best food, Shteyn said, many who dine in Asheville know better.

The survey recommended 12 Bones Smokehouse and White Duck Taco Shop in Asheville for lunch and afternoon snacks. For fine dining, RewardExpert recommended the Corner Kitchen.

RewardExpert recommended Chapel Hill restaurants Elements and Lantern Restaurant for fine dining. Elements won the OpenTable Diners Award in both 2015 and 2016, as well as awards of excellence from Trip Advisor and Wine Spectator. For a classic Southern chicken biscuit in Chapel Hill, RewardExpert recommended Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen or Time-Out.

Other towns that were ranked No. 1 in their region were Burlington, Vt., in the Northeast; Traverse City, Mic/h, in the Midwest; Santa Fe, N.M., in the Mountain West; Healdsburg, Calif., in the Pacific West; and Tuscaloosa, Ala., in the South Central region.

Other area towns earning national ranking were Hilton Head, S.C., No. 11; Charlottesville, Va., No. 12; and Myrtle Beach, S.C., No. 13.



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