Hungry? Collingswood, N.J. was voted the Best Small Town Food Scene!

Abingdon, Va. takes runner-up spot

Tasty things sometimes come in very small packages. These 10 small towns – each with a population of under 25,000 – have big food scenes with chef-driven restaurants, local flavors and plenty of variety, especially given their small size.

  • Frankenmuth
    Michigan

    Frankenmuth's German heritage is evidenced in its cuisine, but the culinary scene here goes far beyond Bavarian. The town boasts Michigan's oldest brewery and winery (Frankenmuth Brewery and St. Julian Wine Company), as well as a wine bar (Prost Wine Bar & Charcuterie) and a cocktail bar and pizzeria (Tiffany's Food & Spirits). Willis Sausage Company makes more than 100 varieties, and the Frankenmuth Fudge Kitchen is on hand to satisfy a sweet tooth.
    Photo courtesy of Steven Depolo / Flickr

  • Naples
    Florida

    Gourmet chefs abound in Naples, where the culinary scene is dominated by seafood and Italian. Sicily-born Chef Vincenzo Betulia's creations at Osteria Tulia are as good as they come, while small plates are the name of the game at Sea Salt, a restaurant by Venice-born Fabrizio Aielli and partner Chef Jason Goddard. Besides Italian, you will find everything from French to Persian cuisine in the Naples area.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / Juanmonino

  • Hudson
    New York

    Hungry travelers in the town of Hudson face a tough decision: where to eat! The Rivertown Lodge shines at brunch, while Tanzy’s serves baked goods, sandwiches and afternoon tea. Take a journey to the tropics at Lil Deb’s Oasis, grab a farm-to-table burger at Grazin’ or splurge at the James Beard-nominated Fish & Game, housed in a former blacksmith shop.
    Photo courtesy of Doug Kerr / Flickr

  • Whitefish
    Montana

    While best known for its menu of outdoor adventures, the small town of Whitefish knows how to satisfy big appetites as well. Four-time James Beard nominee Chef Andy Blanton takes the helm at Cafe Kandahar, known for its modern, seasonal cuisine, while Chef David Lewis cooks up “Mountain Mexican” at Pescado Blanco. Find breakfast and American comfort food at Loula’s, Mediterranean flavors at Latitude 48, Cajun fare at Tupelo Grille and pit BBQ at Piggyback.
    Photo courtesy of Brian Schott/ Explore Whitefish

  • Yountville
    California

    Think Yountville, and three words come to mind: The French Laundry. The self-proclaimed "Culinary Capital of Napa Valley" has plenty of other worthy eating establishments; in fact, the tiny village has more Michelin stars per capita than any other place in North America. With options like Ad Hoc, Bouchon, Bottega and Bistro Jeanty, it's hard to go wrong!
    Photo courtesy of Visit California

  • Covington
    Louisiana

    While the town of Covington certainly serves up plenty of Cajun flavors in the form of crawfish boils, fried oysters and Louisiana blue crab soup, the 100-plus restaurant offerings also include freshly roasted coffee, hand-rolled sushi, Thai, Greek and Cajun fusion.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / Jenniveve84

  • Winters
    California

    The small town of Winters, a hidden culinary gem in the already delicious California culinary landscape, is home to several travel-worthy restaurants, including Buckhorn Steakhouse, Putah Creek Cafe, Ficelle’s Tapas Bar, Preserve Public House and Turkovich Family Wines.
    Photo courtesy of Discover Winters / Facebook

  • Orange Beach
    Alabama

    The sugar white sand beaches aren’t the only draw in coastal Orange Beach, Alabama. A lineup of creative chefs have taken inspiration from the Gulf of Mexico bounty, including three-time James Beard nominee Chef Bill Briand with his upscale Fisher’s Upstairs. Anchor bar serves up seafood-centric bar fare (think fried oysters and seared sea scallops) while The Gulf pairs stellar views with a mean grouper sandwich.
    Photo courtesy of Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism

  • Abingdon
    Virginia

    While Abingdon is perhaps best known for its performing and visual arts, its culinary scene is equally creative. Local chefs draw inspiration from the area’s farming heritage as they craft an eclectic mix of cuisines. Satisfy a sweet tooth at 149 Sweets, sample some smokey barbecue at Bone Fire Smokehouse, enjoy afternoon tea at Camella’s or dine on raw plant-based dishes at Chef Jennifer’s Raw Life Giving Cuisine.
    Photo courtesy of Visit Abingdon

  • Collingswood
    New Jersey

    Hungry travelers will find flavors from around the world coming from the kitchens of Collingswood, known as South Jersey's "Restaurant Row." Eateries run the gamut from casual (Bobby Chez Famous Lump Crab Cakes, Collingswood Diner, Primo Hoagies) to upscale (Hearthside, Bistro di Marino) and everything in between.
    Photo courtesy of Gannett, Douglas Bovitt/(Cherry Hill, N.J.) Courier-Post

The top 10 winners in the category Best Small Town Food Scene are as follows:

  1. Collingswood, N.J.
  2. Abingdon, Va.
  3. Orange Beach, Ala.
  4. Winters, Calif.
  5. Covington, La.
  6. Yountville, Calif.
  7. Whitefish, Mont.
  8. Hudson, N.Y.
  9. Naples, Fla.
  10. Frankenmuth, Mich.

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Marla Cimini (USA TODAY), Beth D'Addono (100 Things To Do in New Orleans Before You Die), Deborah Fallows (Our Towns: A 100,000 Journey into the Heart of America), Eric Grossman, Anna Hider (Roadtrippers), Gerrish Lopez and Chelle Koster Walton were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of travel in the United States.

Congratulations to all these winning small towns!

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AlertThe Experts

Marla Cimini

Marla Cimini

Beth D'Addono

Beth D'Addono

Deborah Fallows

Deborah Fallows

Eric Grossman

Eric Grossman

Anna Hider

Anna Hider

Gerrish Lopez

Gerrish Lopez

Chelle Koster Walton

Chelle Koster Walton