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This NC city ranks among the nation’s best places to eat — again. Why visitors love it

In World
January 10, 2024

A popular North Carolina destination was named a top city for food lovers — again.

Asheville ranks No. 9 on a list of the nation’s best places for travelers to eat, according to the vacation website Tripadvisor.

“If your itinerary is centered around breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with plenty of stops for snacks in between, these destinations will keep you busy (and full),” the website wrote in its Jan. 9 report.

To create the list of top food destinations, Tripadvisor said it studied the “the quality and quantity of reviews” that website users left for U.S. cities for a year leading up to October 2023. Each location was considered for several categories, including up-and-coming places to visit and the places that travelers love the most.

What makes Asheville a top food destination?

Asheville was the only place in North Carolina to make its mark on the resulting lists of “Travelers’ Choice Awards Best of the Best Destinations.” The popular mountain tourist town earned a top 10 spot in the food category, which focused on places with several highly-reviewed restaurants and at least 400 dining listings on Tripadvisor.

“If you’re into eating locally and supporting sustainable agriculture, go to Asheville — and eat, eat, eat,” Tripadvisor wrote. “This town of less than 100,000 people has 17 farmers’ markets, and the local restaurant scene is all about taking advantage of the seasonal produce sold there.”

In addition to food, Tripadvisor told McClatchy News in an email that visitors give Asheville high marks for shopping, art and outdoor activities. The website also gave the region a nod for its breweries, just months after the city’s beer scene reigned as one of the best in the country.

Asheville has made its mark on the national food and drink scene after earning a spot on last year’s dining-focused Tripadvisor list. In 2023, the city’s restaurants ranked on several national lists, and one new of its newest places to eat was a finalist for the prestigious James Beard Awards, McClatchy News reported.

In the latest rankings, the nation’s No. 1 foodie destination was New Orleans.

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