Eat where the locals eat: That’s always the best advice for traveling to some of the country’s biggest tourist destinations. Otherwise, you might find yourself at one of the overpriced, mediocre chain offerings you typically find near the country’s biggest attractions. Here’s a look at some foodie hot spots—located in the least likely of places.
Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken: Memphis
While Memphis is known as the “Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll” and classic barbecue, don’t pass up dining at Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, located just steps from touristy Beale Street. The signature Fried Chicken plate features baked beans, coleslaw and white bread served on a Styrofoam plate. Tasty Southern sides also include fried pickles, fried green tomatoes and a knockout coconut pie for dessert.
Wolfgang Puck Express: Disney Springs, Orlando
Enjoy great flavors from a superstar chef in a casual atmosphere at Wolfgang Puck Express at Orlando’s Disney Springs. Located in the marketplace area, the restaurant is tucked away between tourist mainstays like Benihana and Rainforest Cafe, making this a hidden gem for quick-service dining. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, more popular items include the bacon wrapped meatloaf and spaghetti bolognese.
Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Company: Chicago
Ready for a pizza experience you’ve never had anywhere else? Don’t miss trying the pizza pot pie at Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Company in Chicago. Made up of a homemade sauce with onions, fresh garlic, green peppers, plum tomatoes and whole, fresh mushrooms and sausage, this individual-sized serving pie is a diamond in the rough near the Lincoln Park Zoo. Plan ahead: The restaurant doesn’t accept reservations and is a cash only. Order a frozen pizza pot pie to take home with you.
Fog Harbor Fish House: San Francisco
Located on the second level of PIER 39 in San Francisco, the city’s longstanding tourist attraction, Fog Harbor Fish House offers guests views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge paired with garlic roasted Dungeness crab, clam chowder, Cioppino, steaks and more. Fog Harbor prides itself on serving 100% sustainable seafood and guests can enjoy complimentary sourdough bread baked fresh every hour. Located in the heart of Fisherman’s Wharf, this hidden gem also features outdoor dining.
The Field: San Diego
In the mood for authentic Irish eats in San Diego? That’s exactly what you’ll find at The Field. Owners Daniel and Enda Drayne shipped the entire pub piece by piece direct from Ireland to the nightlife-oriented Gaslamp Quarter. With traditional favorites such as bangers and champ, Guinness beef stew and a boxty sampler, this pub style atmosphere features live music throughout the week and serves brunch on the weekends.
Daisy May’s BBQ USA: Midtown Manhattan
Craving hometown barbecue flavors while visiting New York? Check out Daisy May’s BBQ USA in Midtown Manhattan for favorites such as Kansas City ribs, Carolina pulled pork sandwiches, Memphis dry rubbed ribs, chopped brisket just like they serve in Texas and more. Enjoy a glass of Southern sweet tea and soulful side dishes, and you’ll almost forget you’re within spitting distance of Broadway.