America's Best: Top 10 Destinations

Food Network Magazine chose the top ten best food and drink destinations in the US.
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Alton Brings You the Top Go-To Spots for Food Lovers

Alton Brown delivers Food Network Magazine's picks for the top food and drink destinations in the country. Check out this sneak peek of the finalists, then tune in September 20 to 23, 2010, at 9 p.m. ET, when Alton will reveal the winners.

Sierra Mar, Big Sur, CA

Sierra Mar sits on the side of a sheer cliff, so diners are virtually suspended over the Pacific with just a glass wall between them and the ocean. The classic California cuisine is as outstanding as the view. For a real treat, go between December and May, when you can whale-watch while you dine. At the Post Ranch Inn, 47900 Hwy. 1, Big Sur, CA

Los Angeles Food Trucks

Food fanatics were chasing down taco trucks in Los Angeles long before the rest of us caught on to the food-truck trend, and now the city is home to the best mix of mobile eats, including The Grilled Cheese Truck, The Buttermilk Truck (it doles out pancakes and doughnuts) and Barbie’s Q.

Best Showstopper: Switch Steak, Las Vegas

Switch is the dining equivalent of a carnival fun house. Every 20 minutes, the decor changes before your eyes: Windows disappear, paintings turn into curtains, chandeliers come and go. And the chophouse fare — including a great jumbo crab cake — is good enough to attract a crowd with or without the show. At Encore Las Vegas, 3121 Las Vegas Blvd. South; 702-248-3463

Slappy Cakes, Portland, OR

What a smart business plan: Customers here make their own meals. They pick a pancake batter (choices include buttermilk and ginger), then cook the flapjacks on griddles built into each table, dressing them up with fun mix-ins like bacon and hazelnuts and a choice of syrups and butters. 4246 Southeast Belmont St., Portland, OR

West Side Market, Cleveland, OH

This Cleveland institution has been a one-stop shop for food lovers for nearly 100 years. Locals, including Iron Chef Michael Symon, can find almost anything they need, and tourists can get acquainted with Midwestern faves like bratwurst sandwiches, Buckeye chocolates and pierogies. 1979 West 25th St., Cleveland, OH

Culinary Institute of America (CIA) Boot Camp, Hyde Park, NY; Napa Valley, CA; San Antonio

If you think you have what it takes to be a chef, go to culinary school and prove it. This intense five-day course is a lot of work for a vacation, but the chef-instructors at the prestigious CIA will have you baking, broiling and boiling like a pro.

Greasewood Flat, Scottsdale, AZ

You missed your chance at a real cowboy cookout by about 150 years, but this is the next best thing: dinner under the stars in the middle of the desert. Build your own fire in a campfire pit and chow down on chili at this former stagecoach stop. 27375 North Alma School Pkwy., Scottsdale, AZ

Icebar, Orlando, FL

You'll have to leave this bar after 45 minutes, but don't take it personally: The place is too cold for a longer stay. It's 27 degrees inside and everything is made of ice, including the furniture and the cocktail glasses. There's a cover charge, but $20 is a small price to pay to escape the heat in such a cool way. 8967 International Dr., Orlando, FL

PDT, New York City

You'll feel like Superman accessing America's ultimate speakeasy bar: You have to slip into a phone booth, hidden inside a hot dog joint, and dial for entry. The name ("Please Don’t Tell") isn't serious, but the drinks — whether classic or newfangled (like bacon-infused bourbon) — most definitely are. 113 Saint Marks Pl., NY, NY

Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN

This breathtaking resort in the Smoky Mountain foothills serves some of the best food in the country, and most of it comes right from the farm. The staff includes a cheese maker, a butcher and even a jam maker. Staying here isn't cheap (prices start at just under $1,000 per night), but it is totally unforgettable. 1471 West Millers Cove Rd., Walland, TN