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MEDFORD, ORE. – When people go on their summer vacations, more than likely the destination’s food helped them select the location. According to a survey commissioned by Harry & David, nearly two-thirds of consumers surveyed (62 percent) said that they would recommend a vacation destination based solely on its food or cuisine. And food is even more critical to millennials, with seven out of ten of those surveyed (71 percent) saying they would recommend a travel spot for its food alone.

People look forward to food no matter where they travel; 82 percent of the survey respondents agreed that they get most excited about trying the local food and restaurants when traveling to a new destination. And they don’t want to eat just anywhere in these cities either; 59 percent of those surveyed said that while on vacation they are most likely to seek out restaurants where locals eat to ensure they get the true flavor of the culture.

While men may not ask for directions to their vacation stop, they will swallow their pride to ensure they get the best eats. Men are more likely than women to seek out restaurants where locals eat (63 percent vs. 56 percent, respectively), according to the survey results.

So where are the top cities for food? Harry & David turned to consumers to share their viewpoint, and New York City was named the most “foodie” city – meaning a city that’s known for its unique food – in the United States. San Francisco, Chicago and Austin, TX rounded out the top four foodie cities.

For people who love the regional flavors of the top four food cities, Harry & David has curated a selection of regionally-inspired baskets that feature food items inspired by the cuisine these cities have to offer.

Harry & David is donating 20 percent of the net proceeds from the sales of the regionally-inspired baskets to be divided equally between the following local food banks in each of the cities: Food Bank For New York City, SF-Marin Food Bank, Central Texas Food Bank (formerly the Capital Area Food Bank) and the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

“While we know people travel for the experience, we are very excited to share these custom-curated baskets, making it easier for anyone to sample food inspired by the cuisines of these top cities,” said Steven Lightman, president of Harry & David. “As the authority for gifting and entertaining and delivering expertly crafted delight, we believe these gourmet baskets are yet another way we are providing consumers with a unique and enjoyable cuisine experience.”

Each of the regionally-inspired baskets includes items whose flavors are reminiscent of each of the cities and that are sure to make any food aficionado’s mouth water, such as:

  • New York City-Inspired Basket: Harry & David NY-style cheesecake, Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans, Harry & David Tiramisu Flavored Coffee, Wolferman’s Chocolate Babka
  • San Francisco-Inspired Basket: Harry & David Cheddar Corn Chowder Soup Mix, Harry & David Seafood Rub, Sourdough Loaf, Habanero Pineapple Seafood Glaze
  • Austin-Inspired Basket: Harry & David Texas-style BBQ sauce, BBQ Rub, Taylor’s Sausage Trailbuster Jerky, Monterey Jack Queso
  • Chicago-Inspired Basket: Stock Yards Chicago Beef Franks, Chicago-Style Relish, Sliced Jalapenos, Hefeweizen Lemon Garlic Mustard

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