Cued by chefs who are constantly combing the globe for new inspiration — from Nordic forage to Patagonian game — restless foodies are increasingly drawn to unsung destinations worldwide, savoring local foodways from Jamaican barbecue to Korean kimchi. Now clusters of new hotels, restaurants, food products, and tours have given critical mass to the following six up-and-coming food destinations.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS
TASTE OF THE PLACE: LATINO CUISINE AND BARBECUE
DIG IN: San Antonio showed the world how to redevelop its urban core with its famous River Walk, one of the most popular attractions in Texas and one that dates back to 1962. This summer San Antonio expanded the pedestrian and cycle way from three to 15 miles, connecting to four of the city’s Spanish colonial missions and ensuring visitors work up an appetite for its emerging food scene. A satellite of the Hyde Park, New York, original, the Culinary Institute of America San Antonio this year graduated its first class. The Texas branch has embraced all things Latino and has become the go-to school for foodies — professional as well as enthusiast — interested in learning moles and tamales. It resides in the former Pearl Brewery redeveloped as a live/work/play space, also home to a farmers market and popular restaurants.
CAN'T MISS MEALS: The Granary takes Texas barbecue global with exotic rubs and makes everything from the pickles and the pies to the beer in-house. Nao Restaurant at the CIA showcases Latin ingredients and techniques from Caribbean ceviche to Peruvian rice cakes and Argentine steak. The quaint Bird Bakery crafts from-scratch treats, such as salted-caramel cupcakes, daily.
MARK THE DATE: Held each May, Culinaria Wine & Culinary Arts Festival delivers a lively five-day feast of events ranging from a food truck competition to a regional Mexican barbecue showcase.
SHACK UP: Luxurious modern meets colonial at the Hotel Valencia Riverwalk. Its Citrus restaurant deftly mashes styles too; consider the sous vide egg with ham-crackling gravy.