America boasts a solid handful of transcendent food cities — LA, Chicago, New York, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Seattle all deserve their hard-earned spots on national “best of” lists. But over the past few years, a dark-horse contender has been steadily rising in the ranks. It’s grown in fame amongst people who follow the restaurant scene, while remaining under the national radar. Well, that’s about to change if two of America’s food demigods have their way. Primo chef David Chang and raconteur punk Anthony Bourdain have officially anointed Houston “America’s next great food city.”
Chef Chang recently wrote a short essay in GQ — in which he offered a mea culpa for ever dismissing the food prowess of Texas’s biggest city. Then he dove into what so many of us have been missing. Throwing haymakers right outta the gate, Chef Chang puts it this way, “Houston is the U.S.A.’s most ethnically diverse city (a bunch of New Yorkers just choked on their halal kebabs reading that, but it’s true), and when you get a collision of immigrants, the food scene is guaranteed to be bonkers.”
This of course goes beyond the taco-trucks-on-every-corner that make certain white people shutter. HOU is a city that has been gloriously welcoming to migration (legal, illegal, refugee, or otherwise), and the whole food culture is better for it.