The South's Best Food Towns 2019

Porch at Preserved Restaurant in St. Augustine, FL
Photo: Robbie Caponetto

Our readers are fiercely proud of our region's small towns, and when it comes to the South's Best survey, it is one of our most contested categories. This year, many of our previous food town winners made return appearances, but we were also pleasantly surprised to see some new tiny tastemaking towns make it into our top ten. St. Augustine, Florida, worked its way from the bottom to be our overall champion with their ever-burgeoning food scene anchored by restaurants like Preserved, which shows off the wealth of local ingredients in a modern way in the country's oldest city. Last year's winner, Oxford, Mississippi, dropped into second place, but not by much, a testament to its nationally acclaimed food community. And tiny towns like Kinston and Davidson demonstrate that it's not how many restaurants make a dining scene, but how great they are at serving a community and a purpose. See which towns made the list, and which spot might take first place next year. Travel and Culture Editor Hannah Hayes tells you where to explore in each one.

01 of 10

1. St. Augustine, Florida

Porch at Preserved Restaurant in St. Augustine, FL
Robbie Caponetto

Where to go: Preserved, The Ice Plant, The Hyppo, The Floridian

02 of 10

2. Oxford, Mississippi

Oxford, Mississippi
Robbie Caponetto

Where to go: St. Leo, Snackbar, City Grocery

03 of 10

3. Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina

Grace and Grit in Mt. Pleasant, SC
Courtesy Grace and Grit

Where to go: Graze, Grace and Grit, Bon Banh Mi

04 of 10

4. Charlottesville, Virginia

MarieBette Charlottesville
Courtesy MarieBette Cafe and Bakery

Where to go: MarieBette, Lampo, The AlleyLight

05 of 10

5. Kinston, North Carolina

The Chef & The Farmer
Baxter Miller

Where to go: The Chef and the Farmer, Benny's Big Time

06 of 10

6. Fredericksburg, Texas

Fredericksburg, TX: Pontotoc Vineyard Weingarten
Courtesy Pontotoc Vineyard Weingarten

Where to go: Pontotoc Vineyard Weingarten, Otto's, Emma + Ollie

07 of 10

7. Breaux Bridge, Louisiana

Maison Madeleine: Chef Manny Augello
Cedric Angeles

Where to go: Cajun Claws, Maison Madeleine

08 of 10

8. Winter Park, Florida

4 Rivers Smokehouse in Winter Park, FL
Courtesy of 4 Rivers Smokehouse

Where to go: 4 Rivers Smokehouse, Prato

09 of 10

9. Brunswick, Georgia

Brunswick, Georgia: Southern Soul Barbeque
Andrew Thomas Lee

Where to go: Indigo Coastal Shanty, Jerk Shack

10 of 10

10. Davidson, North Carolina

The South’s Best Restaurant in North Carolin: Kindred
Southern Living

Where to go: Kindred, The Pickled Peach

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