Get Ready to Travel South
I’m a crowd-source type of traveler. Anytime I set off to explore a new city or region, I seek out recommendations from friends and colleagues and pore over local guides and magazines to start my list. But the real pearls come at the first restaurant stop, where I zero in on the nearest bartender, order a drink, and ask where they like to eat and drink around town. Every single time, I’m rewarded with off-the-radar gems and locals-only hangouts. Bartenders always know best when it comes to delivering a city’s true flavor.
It’s been nearly a year since I’ve done this kind of on-the-ground research, of course. But I’m as anxious as anyone to get back to the business of traveling for food. It will be a slow and cautious process, especially as we wait for vaccines to become more widespread—which is why we’ve put together a travel issue that doesn’t require getting up to go just yet. Instead of a list of hot, new destinations to rush to, we’ve covered the beach towns, mountain villages, and Southern cities we can’t wait to revisit, with an eye toward the very specific foodways and dishes that make up the soul of each place. If you’re not comfortable traveling yet, let this serve as an armchair getaway—and a guidebook to hold onto for when you’re ready to get back on the road.
Look to the issue for a trip to Miami for cubanos and a cortado. For the weekend warriors, we have three road-trip itineraries: through the Blue Ridge Mountains, along the Lowcountry coast, and across the great state of Tennessee. Plus, our regional snapshots reveal must-visit culinary stops, especially the key, community-bonding restaurants we highly recommend supporting as soon as you arrive.
To all the bartenders, I hope to see you out there again soon—I’ll be the one taking notes on where to go next.
Erin Byers Murray
Editor in Chief
PS – Huge thanks to this issue’s cover stars Mashama Bailey and Johno Morisano of Savannah’s The Grey and The Grey Market. In this issue, associate editor Lia Grabowski interviews the pair about their new book. Read the full story here.
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