NEW YORK – Providence was ranked the best foodie city in Travel + Leisure Magazine’s “America’s Favorite Cities” poll that ranks the vacation-worthiness of 35 cities from across the United States.
Providence came in first for Food/Drink/Restaurants, just ahead of New York, New Orleans, Chicago and Portland, Ore.
“Providence’s national reputation as a culinary powerhouse is a cornerstone of our marketing efforts,” said Martha Sheridan, president and CEO of the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau, in a statement. “The depth and breadth of our culinary offerings is phenomenal, and we are fortunate to have so many talented people in our city.”
“Travel + Leisure confirmed what we already know: Providence has the best restaurants and the best food in America,” said Providence Mayor Angel Taveras. “Our restaurants, cafes, bars and food trucks are vital parts of our creative economy and make Providence a more attractive city for students, professionals and innovative industries.”
But visitors may find it difficult to drive to those culinary hot spots, as Providence also ranked 26th for driving ability and a less-than-welcome mat as residents ranked their city 25th for residential pride.
The city ranked in the top 10 in all food-related categories, including fine dining, ethnic foods, cafes and microbrews, except for barbecue, where it ranked 20th.
Providence did well in other category rankings, too, according to visitors. It ranked fourth for theater and performance art, first as a base for day trips, ninth as an offbeat destination, and sixth as a gay-friendly destination. Visitors ranked Providence 27th for lots of hotel options and 20th as a Valentine’s destination.
Separate rankings are made by residents, who ranked their city eighth for architecture, 13th for diversity, and seventh for street and food trucks. They also said Providence was the 9th best city for quality of life and visitor experience.
Residents, however, ranked the state’s capital 26th for friendliness and 29th as the best city to visit during Christmas.
Providence did well on Travel + Leisure’s overall list of “America’s Favorite Cities,” a compilation of the many specific lists, tying for 12th on the list with Austin, Texas, and Boston.