The methodology behind our reader's choice contest.
  • How were the 10 Tastiest Towns in the South selected?
  • Editors selected the towns based on the following criteria:
  • Food as a cultural identity: The unique food or ethnicity that defines a particular Southern region
  • Growth of a culinary-minded community: The influence that the culinary industry has on the local community and tourism
  • Diverse cuisine at a variety of price points: Accessibility to hearty, flavorful meals at any budget
  • Local, sustainable food practices: The focus on sourcing products from local purveyors to geographically define where each meal comes from
  • Hot chefs on the rise: The influence of the area's culinary talent in the media and pop culture
  • Abundance of buzz-worthy food events: The number of festivals in the area that celebrate all things food and drink

When does the voting end?
Voting ends at 11:59 EST January 31, 2012 to determine The South's Tastiest Town.

How often can you vote?
You can vote for your favorite town online once a day by entering the sweepstakes at To prevent duplicate votes, one unique email address from a single IP address is allowed per day.

How can a city's vote count go down?
The results may fluctuate as duplicate entries are periodically removed. We work with an outside vendor to ensure results are accurate.

What's the difference between the voting and the sweepstakes?
When you enter the sweepstakes selecting a favorite town through January 31, 11:59 EST, you'll help name The South's Tastiest Town to be announced in the April issue of Southern Living magazine. You can enter the sweepstakes through April 30, 2012 for a chance to win a $2,500 cash prize for a trip to any Tasty Town of your choice.

When will the winner be announced?
The winner will be the city with the most votes on January 31, 11:59 EST and will be announced in the April issue of Southern Living magazine.