Decatur has been named the No. 1 Foodie City by Livability.com, a national website that ranks quality of life and travel amenities of America’s small and mid-sized cities.
For the list of Top 10 Foodie Cities, Livability.com editors sniffed out cities with a high ratio of acclaimed restaurants, innovative chefs and strong regional culinary styles to their population size.
Following the lead of Livability.com’s first Top 10 Foodie Cities list, editors veered away from well-known food-lovers’ cities like New York, Chicago, San Francisco and New Orleans, instead focusing on smaller towns with unexpected epicurean delights.
The cities that made this year’s list have invigorating restaurant scenes, chefs adapting traditional dishes into edible art, and communities supporting local farmers and food producers.
Editors also considered the city’s overall quality of life when compiling the list, having found that the best foodie cities offer a high quality of life, in which restaurants are just one of the amenities that help residents thrive.
“A city doesn't become a great place to live solely because it has quality, diverse restaurants, but it's hard to imagine a great city without a wealth of options,” says Matt Carmichael, Livability.com editor and spokesman. “These cities excel on many measures. Having unique places to eat adds to the overall culture and personality of the place.”
Decatur’s restaurant scene separates this town from all other Atlanta suburbs.
Each block brings a new set of edible gifts, easily accessed by wide walkways and pedestrian-friendly street crossings.
Decatur has one of the nation's largest clusters of highly rated, independent restaurants, cafés and pubs.
As innovative restaurateurs like Billy Allin of nationally acclaimed Cakes & Ale and Federico Castellucci and Chad Cretebring of The Iberian Pig bring attention to Decatur, local officials quickly credit the city’s growing collection of fine dining as the catalyst for city-wide reclamation.
Top 10 Foodie Cities 2013
2. Hoboken, N.J.
3. Bloomington, Ind.
4. Berkeley, Calif.
5. Madison, Wisc.
6. Lafayette, La.
7. Chapel Hill, N.C.
8. Santa Fe, N.M.
9. Alexandria, Va.
10. Burlington, Vt.