Lantern in Chapel Hill, NC

Soft-Shell Crab with Roasted Chile and Lemongrass at Lantern in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Over the past few years, foodie cities have been popping up faster than you can say “microgreens” or “truffle fries.” Some cities are a given, such as New York, San Francisco and mid-sized up-and-comers such as Portland and Nashville. But some even smaller foodie cities – those with populations below 250,000 – are getting some recognition. just posted its Top 10 Foodie Cities for 2013, dubbed “A Second Helping,” following its original list.

As someone who believes you can find culinary paradise in the most unlikely places (and whose vacation itinerary revolves around mealtime), I enjoy learning about which destinations have a thriving restaurant scene. Some on the list are no-brainers, like Burlington, Vermont, while others are pretty surprising – for example, Hoboken, New Jersey.

But what exactly defines a foodie city? According to Livability, part of it is technical and driven by data – the ratio of top-rated local restaurants to residents – but they also incorporated cities with noted chefs, signature dishes and easy access to fresh ingredients. also lent a hand in developing the list and brought another concept to the table – that an abundance of microbreweries and wineries play a role in designating a city as food-friendly.

Oliver Winery in Bloomington Indiana

Oliver Winery in Bloomington, Indiana

After all, you do need a fresh, local beverage to wash down that gourmet meal.

Head over to their site to see the full list, and let us know which places make your personal list of foodie cities by leaving a comment below.

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