Auburn among 10 towns competing for the title


AUBURN — The Local Palate, a magazine that covers the food culture of the South, is seeking out The Best Culinary Town in the South.
Through a Readers’ Poll, open now through June 16, Auburn Opelika Tourism encourages the public to vote from a list of the Top 10 Culinary Towns in the South.
The selection will be narrowed to the Top Three towns, which will go head-to-head in a social media poll open June 17-21 to determine the winner. The final results will be revealed in the Best Culinary Towns of the South issue on stands Oct. 29, 2024.
The Top 10 towns competing for this year’s title include: Alpharetta, Georgia; Auburn, Alabama; Charlottesville, Virginia; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Columbia, South Carolina; Lafayette, Louisiana; Lexington, Kentucky; Oxford, Mississippi; St. Augustine, Florida; and Wilmington, North Carolina.
To determine the Top 10, the editors of The Local Palate researched more than 40 small towns across the South, from Washington, D.C. down to Florida and over to Texas with populations under 450,000. They looked at everything from the restaurant, bar and café scene to the towns’ farmers markets, educational classes, coffee shops, kitchen and home goods retailers, wine shops and more to determine which towns would make the Top 10.
The winner of the Reader’s Poll will be featured on the cover of The Local Palate’s new, annual issue, which will include as many as 20 Southern Culinary Towns, offering an essential guide to eating and drinking across the region.
“Our team of writers and editors are constantly digging deep into the culinary corners of the South for topics to cover in our magazines. This new issue gives us a chance to celebrate and highlight the towns that have become shining stars in the food space,” said Erin Byers Murray, editor in chief of The Local Palate. “We’re excited to hear from our readers, who know their towns inside and out, and even more excited to see which town comes out on top this fall.”
The Best Culinary Town in the South Reader’s Poll is live now at Follow the magazine on Instagram and Facebook for details.

The Local Palate is a print magazine that covers the food culture of the South, telling the stories behind the people, places, and foodways that make up this diverse and dynamic culinary region. Through its quarterly magazine, special interest publications, website, newsletters, events, videos, The Local Palate Marketplace, and other channels, The Local Palate explores Southern recipes, traditions, artisanal products, makers, chefs, getaways, and communities, using food as a lens to better understand this rich, storied region.

Auburn-Opelika Tourism a non-profit service organization dedicated to driving economic impact and enhancing the quality of life in our community through tourism and travel. Our mission is to create memorable experiences for visitors while fostering growth and joy within our team and the community.