NYC & The Bay Area: Episodes 4 & 5 of VGEF

VGEF is shorthand for Victory Garden Edible Feast.  I was remiss and missed posting an episode so this week you can watch two episodes back to back about the two best food cities in America, one on each coast.  Well, I’m calling the Bay Area a city when in fact it’s made up of San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley.

When I say the best food cities I am showing my obvious bias.   Yes there are many amazing food cities in this great land, but to my mind these two have the greatest diversity of restaurants (ethnic and otherwise), cultures, markets and bounty.  I’d even stick my neck out and say in all the places I have travelled in the world these two places rank among the best.

Not that I am one for making lists, I can never really narrow things down and be pithy or imperious enough to say: these are the best. But If I had to, Oh OK, twist my arm, my top 5 cities/Countries for food would be, in no particular order:

Thailand (Bangkok and Chiang Mai)

Mexico (DF and Oaxaca) though the seafood on the Pacific coast can really blow your mind.

The Bay Area



I know, I know France and Italy, but the truth is even though I have had amazing food in those places I have had equally good food in Greece (Thessaloniki & Athens) Berlin (don’t fall over) and London. The Brits have really made great strides since the fish n chips and mushy peas in a cup days.  In no small part because of the diverse group of people who have immigrated there.

It’s been ages since I have spent any serious time in France and when I was last there I had a lot of really un-memorable food.  Probably because I was a poor twenty something on a budget.  Italy, when I was last there I had a few spectacular meals, thanks to my friend Jane who showed us around Rome and gave us spot on recommendations for Florence.  I hate to admit it though, so please don’t tell anyone, I prefer the Italian food in NYC.  You probably all just unfriended me for saying that, but it’s the truth. A lot of the food I have eaten in Italy I find kind of bland. And I find it so annoying how each region has its dish and you can t get that dish in Rome because it’s only made in Napoli or Venice or Umbria.  Really? Come one loosen up kids it’s 2015.  Then there was the time I had this one pasta dish at a famous place I went to that tasted exactly like Chef Boyardee Beefaroni to me. Seriously.

Who knew Chef Boyardee was so authentic 😉

See I told you I was shit at making lists.  And I have still never been to India so there is that.  What about y’all?  What’s your list?


About urbanfoodguy

I'm a self taught cook with a dedication to buying and eating food that is as humanely and sustainably raised as possible. Which is why in addition to recipes you will see a lot of environmental/political reporting here. I started cooking when I was about 6, it's something I always loved to do. Watching Graham Kerr - aka "The Galloping Gourmet" - was what got me started and I have never really looked back. Over the years I've been a private chef, a caterer, and a food stylist for magazines such as Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Oprah, Martha Stewart's Everyday Food and many more. I've also worked in the prep kitchen for the Food Network on the Bobby Flay and Paula Deen shows. Now I work at home in my kitchen sharing with you here recipes that I create or that other people have created that inspire me and I think you will like. I love my neighborhood (the Lower East Side of Manhattan) and I love to travel. Because NYC is such a big place I tend to focus mostly on my 'hood and the ones that are close by: The East Village, Bowery, Chinatown and Williamsburg. My love of travel has no limits really, I'm always ready to get on a plane. I was lucky enough to have a business for many years that allowed me to spend a lot of time in South East Asia. These days I've been spending time in Mexico, Germany, Canada and the West Coast of the U.S., but check back you never know where I might end up. I do consulting, cooking classes, and freelance lifestyle writing so if you are interested please send me a note:
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