Pretzel

Let’s say you identify as a “foodie” and you want to find the world’s best place to brunch. The Internet is built for people like you: the people who will cross streets, cities and mountains to locate the highest ranking “eggs benedict and a side salad.” A quick Google search will return hundreds of results for the best cities to brunch, lunch and dine in. You have a need, and somewhere, a listicle has an answer.

But not all of us identify as “meal people:” some of us live our lives perfectly content just to eat snacks. Despite what the “meal majority” says, many snacks are quite nutritious, and even the medical community has recently come in out in favor of a snack-based society. Snacks taste good, they feel good and they often “cost good” too. Yet it can be hard to find out what cities to travel to (and eat in) if you identify as a snacker. The Internet doesn’t have easy answers. That’s why we—after an in-depth investigation and extensive amounts of round-the-clock-snacking—decided to identify and share the best 9 cities to travel to—if you love snacks (which obviously, you do).

 

1. Philadelphia, PA

It’s home to some of America’s most beloved landmarks, including The Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the world’s best pretzel stall—Miller’s Twist. For people who grew up with Rold Golds and Bachmann’s, pretzels bring up salty, dry, underwhelming memories. But Miller’s Twists, located in Reading Terminal’s glorious food market, reinvents the often abused snack. Slightly sweet, lightly buttered and just soft enough, Miller’s Twists are a must-eat-NOW in a must-see-soon city.

 

#NationalHotDogDay? Don’t mind if we do! #MillersTwist #PretzelDog #LoveRTM

A photo posted by Reading Terminal Market (@rdgterminalmkt) on

   

2. Madison, WI

Madison might have a fascinating and storied history, but all of their accomplishments pale in comparison to their chief regional export: cheese curds. Head down to The Old Fashioned to eat the city’s best soft-yet-stable, milky-yet-moist, cheesy pieces of heaven. Is it good for you? Irrelevant. It’s a cheese curd, and it is wonderful.    

3. Brooklyn, NY

Called the “snack capital” by snack-enthusiasts everywhere (this writer), there are so many reasons to head to Brooklyn for snacks—chief among them, donuts. While the city is home to many donut specialists, locals recommend Clinton Hill’s Dough, known for its strange and wild variety of flavors: hibiscus, chocolate salted, Earl Grey. Dough donuts are softer than traditional donuts, which makes eating them feel like you’re eating a really delicious pillow.        

4. St. Louis, MO

Bacon might have the best reputation, but people who care about pork know the best place to find it is in prosciutto. St. Louis is home to Volpi, a brand you might be able to find in your fancy supermarket, but originates in this bustling city. Head down to Volpi for freshly sliced slabs of joy, and the never-to-be-missed opportunity for free samples.

5. Chicago, IL

Chicago might be the restaurant capital of the Midwest, but their biggest culinary delicacy is a little more quotidien: popcorn. Sure, you might be able to find branches of Garrett Popcorn in other cities, but Chicago is home to the original legendary popper and flavors such as: Cashew CaramelCrisp, Macadamia CaramelCrisp, and the one and only—plain.

 

My favourite popcorn from where it originated.. straight outta Chicago!

A photo posted by YeeWen Tan (@yeewenscreams) on

   

6. Palo Alto, CA

Sometime in the last decade, hummus simply went viral in the United States. And while most supermarket shoppers are familiar with decent alternatives Sabra and Tribe, some people want and deserve the best. Oren’s Hummus Shop in Palo Alto, California, imports many of their organic ingredients from Israel, and their time and attention shows up in both their silky smooth hummus and five-star Yelp results.    

7. Hyannis, MA

Forget the stunning beaches and legendary families that travel here every summer: let’s talk chips. You might have seen or eaten Cape Cod Chips if you have access to a local Whole Foods or up-and-coming bodega. But seriously—why buy one bag when you can eat free ones in a factory, without shame, without judgment? Back in the 80’s, Cape Cod Chips–crispy, salty, and not full of poison—brought “kettle chips” into the mainstream.        

8. Las Cruces, NM

Las Cruces might have been rated one of the most boring places to live in America, but who cares: they’ve got nachos. Specifically, nachos covered with smoky-sweet brisket over at the infamous El Patron. That, combined with guacamole, salsa, cheese and homemade tortillas, will make all of your subsequent health problems seem totally worth it.

9. Portland, OR

No comprehensive snack list would be complete without Portland, home to some of America’s best healthy snacks, and yes—chicken wings. While there’s a bevy of socially conscious wing joints to choose from, we recommend Pok Pok, a Thai eatery with awesome, garlicky, fish-saucy wings and absolutely reasonable prices. Win-win, wing-wing.