Chapel Hill 101: From outdoor cafes and public art murals to formal colonial residences fluttering Stars and Stripes, the University of North Carolina's hometown is classic Americana.
Why It Made Our List: Think of this city as one big food festival where farmers, chefs, and diners all come together in the name of local ingredients and Southern cuisine. Culinary events take over downtown streets and James Beard Foundation Award-winning chefs like Andrea Reusing think local. At her Lantern restaurant on West Franklin Street, she serves up Asian-inspired dishes.
Don't Miss: The Pig, a whole-hog barbecue joint owned by former Reusing-staffer Sam Suchoff, whose homemade frankfurters are a fresh take on what might as well be the official state food.