Travel + Leisure's just released its list of America's favorite cities, which conveniently leaves Dallasites a few hours to get to Austin for dinner.
Dallas-Fort Worth didn't fare well in the food and dining categories, finishing 32nd out of 35 cities ranked in the online survey conducted this summer. San Francisco, New Orleans, Providence and New York claimed the top four spots. Austin, the top Texas city, took 15th place.
In Dallas' defense, Las Vegas - widely acknowledged as one of the nation's most exciting cities for eaters - took last place.
Dallas and Las Vegas likely sunk to the bottom of the pool because "big-name restaurants" only counted for a portion of the score. Dallas finished in the bottom five in the "pizza", "microbrew beer", "neighborhood joints", "farmers' markets", "coffee bars" and "ethnic food" categories, although its barbecue cracked the top ten.
Participants in the online poll were asked to rank 35 major cities on a 1 to 5 scale. Visitors' and residents' responses were tabulated separately. While DFW locals and tourists came to the same conclusion on nearly every culinary category, residents gave the city's "big name restaurants" a whopping 4.56 rating, putting it between Houston and Los Angeles.
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For readers who appreciate head-to-head comparisons, Travel + Leisure's web site offers a Face-Off function. (Quick hint: If you like seeing the word "winner" next to Dallas, wage a virtual battle with Memphis. Hah!)