MAY 2013

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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Page 10 of 52

TheSouth's FOODIEST Destinations 30 Cities That Lure Groups Through Their Cuisine Tropical climates, inviting landscapes, charming hospitality are all reasons why the South is a hot bed for meetings and events, but let's be honest, it's the lip-smacking Southern cuisine that attendees really want. Southern cooking is distinguished yet diverse with recipe variations often dependent on which state, city or neighborhood that you're in. Just look at barbecue. The South is known for its BBQ, from pulled pork sandwiches to baby back ribs, and everyone claims to serve the best, but the type of BBQ that you get vary from city to city and from restaurant to restaurant. Cities like Memphis and Charleston are undeniably known for their foodappeal, but along with these, we've highlighted 30 cities on this map that will offer your groups a wide selection of intriguing and delicious cuisine within its restaurants and with their inventive chefs. And to put the debate to rest, or possibly to create more debate, we asked you to select the city within four sub-regions of the South that should hold the title of "South's Best Foodie Cities for Groups." Out of nearly 5,000 votes, you picked Memphis and Alexandria in the Mid-Atlantic states, Charleston and Savannah in the Mid-South states, Baton Rouge and Jackson in the Gulf states, and Austin and Dallas in the Western states. >To help you find great foodie cities, the map shares voter comments, explaining why they think the following destinations are the foodiest. "BBQ, BBQ, and BBQ. Tulsa has some of the best BBQ restaurants in the country—where youʼll find a fusion of Texas, Kansas City, and Memphis-styled BBQ." "For a one-of-a-kind dining experience, you can't get better bison or buffalo than in Oklahoma City! Many of the restaurants serve buffalo burgers, meatloaf or rib-eye. This is great for groups who are seeking something different!" OKLAHOMA ARKANSAS "For a city its size, Little Rock is amazing.There is a great number of privately owned restaurants with top-notch chefs. And, there are several good dining areas such as the River Market, Hillcrest, the Heights, and West Little Rock, not to mention Argenta across the river." LOUISIANA "Hot Springs is home to some of the stateʼs finest fare with upscale restaurants creating a memorable dining experiences with imaginative dishes." RUNNER UP - Western States "Downtown Dallas has a mix of local and regional cuisine as well as the latest trends in fine dining from expert chefs. For more casual fare, the city has the best tacos! Iʼve tried them everywhere and Dallas is the clear winner." Learn more on page 12. TEXAS TOP PICK - Western States "The only place for real chili, real BBQ, the best Tex-Mex, and even some fried catfish is Austin. This is the no beans capital of the universe—and they keep it hot! Hallelujah to Jalapenos!" "Houston has really blossomed as a foodie destination in the past five years with both home cooking-styled fare and more metropolitan fare, and youʼll find Texasfocused cuisine such as Tex-Mex and steaks." 10 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ M AY 2 0 1 3 TOP PICK - Gulf States "The food is outstanding! I truly believe that Baton Rougeʼs Louisiana-styled cuisine is superior to that of New Orleans. Jubans, Mansurs, Louisiana Lagniappe are just some examples of Baton Rougeʼs most distinctive restaurants." Learn more on page 13. "Louisiana is home to some of the best cuisines in the world, but itʼs the desserts of New Orleans that makes it my pick of this region. Places like Café du Monde make the city an easy pick."

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