The 2023 Food City of the Year Is in…Florida?

Even we can't deny that this is one of the best places to eat in the world

The waterfront of the famous Ocean Driver Art Deco district of Miami Beach
Miami is known for a lot of things. Add food tourism to that list.

A wise man once said: Chi-town got it goin’ on, New York is the city that we know don’t sleep, we all know that L.A. and Philly stay jiggy…but on the sneak, Miami bringin’ heat for real.

That man would, years later, go on to slap Chris Rock across the face at the 94th Academy Awards, calling into question his sanity — but you can’t deny that he was onto something in regards to the Florida destination. Of course, Will Smith wasn’t talking about food cities when he released “Miami” back in 1997, but — being that Bon Appétit just named Greater Miami and Miami Beach the 2023 Food City of the Year — the sentiment still applies.

It’s hardly a surprising appellation — you can’t throw a rock without hitting a world-renowned restaurant in Miami, and it’s previously been recognized by both the Michelin Guide and the James Beard Awards. While it’s been widely considered one of the best places to eat in the U.S. for a long time now thanks largely to its cultural diversity, the influx of money to South Florida has helped to usher in a number of high-profile restaurants from other cities, as well as other countries, to some of the previously more unsuspecting neighborhoods — Wynwood, chief among them.

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As Mariette Williams put it, “Whatever you want to eat, Miami has it: Cuban cafecito, Turkish manti, Southern fried chicken, made-from-scratch Italian pasta, Peruvian seafood. The city is buzzing with a sense of opportunity right now, and a wave of up-and-coming local and new-to-town chefs have picked up on that air of possibility.”

It’s paid off, too. According to data from the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, in 2021 the city saw a 50% increase in food and gastro-tourism, as reported by Thrillist.

“These recent recognitions by leading voices in the culinary space validate Greater Miami and Miami Beach’s work and dedication to building and supporting a vibrant food and beverage community,” said David Whitaker, president and CEO of the Visitors Bureau. “Culinary tourism is a strong motivator for travel, and we remain incredibly thankful to the chefs, restaurateurs, mixologists, and event producers who have helped make our local hospitality industry one of the best in the world.”

Further, before you scoff at the idea of the best food city in the country being in Florida, you should know that a recent analysis from the personal-finance website WalletHub ranked Orlando as the best food city in America behind only Portland, Oregon. In short, it’s high time we gave the Sunshine State the respect it deserves (well, the culinary scene at least).

In the event you need a little inspiration ahead of your next trip to the 305, be sure to check out our guide to the best places to eat in Miami right now — particularly if you’re new to the area.


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