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May 11 2016 13618 1
HOBOKEN -- With more than its share of Zagat-rated restaurants and authentic Italian cuisine -- not to mention Carlo's Bake Shop -- Hoboken has been ranked as the second best non-metropolitan city in the country for epicureans byLivability.com.
Hoboken, the only New Jersey town to make it onto the Top 10 Foodie Cities 2013, came in just behind top-ranked Decatur, Ga. and ahead of third-place finisher Bloomington, Ind.
The web site ranks quality of life and travel amenities of America's small and mid-sized cities.
Carlo's City Hall Bake Shop -- the professional home of "Cake Boss" Buddy Valastro -- was cited in the study for its "massive, complex cakes for an assortment of celebrities, special events and weddings."
The fact that Hoboken's "Italian cooking dominates the city of Hoboken's dense culinary landscape" and the city has more Zagat-rated restaurants than anywhere else in the state, helped move the restaurant up the list.
Judges also liked the diverse range of choices from South American and Asian fusion to Middle Eastern and cheese steaks.
Having chefs like Maricel Presilla, a four-time James Beard Foundation award nominee, who owns the South American restaurant Cucharamama, also helped boost Hoboken's ratings, as did the fact that there are two farmers markets providing fresh produce in town.
Other eateries mentioned included Dom's Bakery Grand 506 Grand St, for its 120-year-old brick oven; La Isla Restaurant, 104 Washington St., for Cuban-style home cooking; and at Helmers Restaurant, 1036 Washington St. for its vintage decor and German specialties; and Leo's Grandevous, for its large selection of Italian comfort foods.
The editors also noted that aspiring chefs can learn the basics such as preparing for a dinner party or wine pairings at The Urban Kitchen's cooking classes.
To compile the Top 10 Foodie Cities list, editors with Livability.com looked at small towns and cities with a high ratio of acclaimed restaurants, innovative chefs and strong regional culinary styles to their population size.
Editors also considered the city's overall quality of life.
"These cities excel on many measures. Having unique places to eat adds to the overall culture and personality of the place." said Matt Carmichael, Livability.com editor in a statement.
The full list is as follows:
1. Decatur, GA
2. Hoboken, NJ
3. Bloomington, IN
4. Berkeley, CA
5. Madison, WI
6. Lafayette, LA
7. Chapel Hill, NC
8. Santa Fe, NM
9. Alexandria, VA
10. Burlington, VT