America loves bacon. We eat it for breakfast, dip it in chocolate, and even flavor our popcorn with it. But which city reveres smoky, sizzling swine enough to earn the title of The Bacon Capital of America?
We factored in the top bacon producers and consumers, and then sought out bacon-themed festivals, creative culinary uses of bacon, and bacon innovators to determine the top 13 cities for bacon lovers to live. Here are the results…
#13 Baltimore, MD
The Baltimore area is the fourth largest bacon market in the country so the smell of frying bacon is never far away. Only in Baltimore can you order bacon on a stick at the ballpark, chewing on delicious meat candy while watching the Baltimore Orioles play at Camden Yards.
- Local bar Bad Decisions hosts a monthly Bacon Happy Hour in which baskets of complimentary bacon are served from 5-11pm. There’s also an All Day bacon Brunch.
- Baltimore has two restaurants featured on the bacon-themed TV show United States of Bacon.
#12 Boston, MA
Boston baked beans call for a generous helping of bacon, but the city doesn’t stop there when it comes to its bacon enthusiasm. Beantown celebrates bacon with the popular Boston Bacon and Beer Festival, Bacon Palooza, and even Bacon de Mayo. But most importantly Boston is home to Harry’s Bar & Grill, which invented Irish Nachos—waffle fries covered in applewood-smoked bacon, sour cream, cheeses, and more.
- Home of the Boston Bacon Society, a small but determined group dedicated to the cause of bacon.
- Roxy’s Grilled Cheese in nearby brighton has the good sense to serve the Green Muenster Melt, which comes with a surprise slice of bacon inside.
- You can even buy a house on Bacon Street, or perhaps the Jeremiah Bacon House and convert one of the stone barns into a smokehouse for making bacon.
#11 Charleston, SC
The New York Times described Charleston as “a town afloat on bacon-washed bourbon,” which is kind of the sweetest thing anyone’s ever said about a city. But Charleston earns the compliment with its unique regional cuisine relying heavily on its beloved bacon.
- Jeremiah Bacon is Charleston’s nationally acclaimed chef and local boy made good. His restaurant The Macintosh offers a Bacon Happy Hour that’s just the tip of the culinary iceberg for Charleston.
- Ted’s Butcher Block offers 11 types of bacon, as well as a bacon of the month club.
- Take a trip to Camp Bacon with local author and James Beard Award-winner Ari Weinzweig’s with his book Zingerman’s Guide to Better Bacon.
#10 San Diego, CA
It’s a little surprising to discover San Diego of all places is so dedicated to the cause of bacon, but they earned a place on the list with inventive bacon creations that display genuine bacon enthusiasm. The city also hosts the Big Bite Bacon Fest, San Diego Bacon Fest, and smaller events at area restaurants.
- A Maple Bacon S’More Bar can be found at barleymash. It might just change the world forever.
- Sushi restaurant Sabuku offers seven types of bacon sushi rolls. Seven.
- Quality Social invented a bacon Manhattan cocktail that perfectly marries bacon and bourbon. And they lived happily ever after.
#9 Kansas City, MO
The legendary barbecue metropolis of Kansas City loves its meat. All meat. Especially bacon. They fry their cabbage in it, they take it tailgating at Arrowhead Stadium, and before they close their eyes at night they whisper softly to bacon that they love it. Don’t believe that? Well, check out Kansas City’s Bacon-Fest to witness that bacon devotion firsthand. The festival combines beer, bands, and bacon to create a sumptuous soiree of swine.
The area may be best known amongst bacon aficionados as the birthplace of the Bacon Explosion, a football-sized behemoth that’s essentially bacon wrapped in sausage and then swaddled in more in bacon and then cooked to bacony perfection.
- The Kansas City Annual Bacon Ball Tournament is a fundraiser in which law enforcement softball teams from throughout the Midwest battle it out.
#8 Portland, OR
Despite the high number of vegan residents eating soy bacon instead of the real thing, the carnivores make up for it with unbridled enthusiasm for Portland’s forbidden flesh. The city hosts bacon celebrations like the PDX Baconfest and Bacon Cup, as well numerous bacon-themed events.
- Home to online retailer Bacn.com.
- Bacon Skateboards is a local skate company’s brand.
- The local tavern Saraveza has a free bacon night.
- Bacon Lovers of Oregon offers inclusion and community to bacon enthusiasts.
- Was Voodoo Doughnuts the first to put bacon on a maple bar? It’s possible.
- Here’s a list of 37 things to consider before moving to Portland.
#7 Seattle, WA
No other city has as many influential bacontrepreneurs as Seattle. The city is home to J&D’s, creators of a host of bacon-themed products like Bacon Salt, Baconnaise, and even a bacon coffin—perfect for those who love bacon to death. Four area restaurants were featured on United States of Bacon, and there’s an excellent Bacon Happy Hour at Local 360. The city even hosts an annual Bacon Bowl in which local law enforcement battles it out in a game of tackle football.
- Want bacon from a true pot-bellied pig? Pike Place Market butcher William von Schneidau sells marijuana-infused bacon made from pot-fed pigs (article).
- There’s a giant metal pig named Maximus Minimus that roams the streets feeding pedestrians.
- Black Rock Spirits invented Bakon Vodka, and Skillet puts out a fantastic Bacon Jam.
- Local novelty store Archie McPhee has it’s own online Bacon Store.
- White Moustache puts on The Pork Parade, an urban adventure food tour where every stop includes a bite of pork because that’s awesome.
- Jones Soda makes Bacon Soda.
#6 Houston, TX
It seems everyday is Bacon Appreciation Day in Houston. The city’s culinary innovators keep finding new ways to celebrate the wonder that is bacon. Chicken fried bacon? BRC Gastropub thought that up long ago. House-made bacon onion jam? You can get it on a bacon-wrapped hot dog at The Burger Guys. Bacon-battered corn dogs? You can get that and BACON COTTON CANDY at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Carnival.
- Houston is the #7 bacon market in America.
- Can’t eat pork? Chef Bryan Caswell of Reef cures his own tuna bacon.
- Killen’s Steakhouse features bacon dust as an ingredient in some dishes.
- Houston bested Dallas because Dallas is disqualified for being home to Paul Quinn College, which banned all pork from campus.
#5 Madison, WI
Home to Oscar Mayer headquarters and a bacon-centric population, Madison may be a town that runs on bacon. The local university has a student-employed meat processing facility on campus, and a recent Bike-to-Work Day saw a local bike company handing out bacon slices to commuters.
- The Polka Fest and Beer, Bacon & Cheese Festival takes place in nearby New Glarus.
- Local shop The Pipefitter has an entire page dedicated to bacon on its online store.
- The city’s Underground Food Collective offers bacon-making classes.
- Wando’s Bar provides free bacon with drinks on Tuesday nights, as well as $1 canned beers.
#4 Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles would probably win the title of Bacon Capital of America were it not for the city’s ban on mobile food vendors serving Danger Dogs—a bacon-wrapped hot dog that’s the official hot dog of Los Angeles. On the upside, the city is the #2 bacon market in America, and it plays host to bacon-themed events like the LA Bacon Festival and a popular Bacon Social.
- The Institute of Domestic Technology and Cast Iron Gourmet offer classes on bacon curing for DIYers.
- You can buy “Bacon Crack” in Los Angeles for just $8 a hit.
- Home to BaconFreak.com, an online bacon retailer that began as a “Bacon Is Meat Candy” Bacon Club.
- Dozens of restaurants serve bacon-themed dishes like bacon-wrapped bacon, bacon sticky buns, bacon-wrapped matzo balls, popcorn bacon, and The ‘Merica—a 100% ground bacon burger topped with more bacon, bacon cheddar sauce, and bacon ketchup.
- Sweet Rose Creamery is famed for its bacon ice cream slider.
- Four restaurants featured on United States of Bacon.
- Los Angeles bested San Francisco because that city was disqualified after a local bacon restaurant called Bacon Bacon was shut down after neighbors complained about the smell of bacon. Seriously.
#3 Des Moines, IA
For those who truly love bacon, why not live as close to the bacon source as possible? Iowa produces more bacon than any other state by far, something this bacon-loving country owes them a debt of gratitude for.
Well before bacon became trendy, the good people of Iowa were celebrating swine. Since 2001, the state has hosted the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival, the world’s premier bacon festival. Unfortunately, the state is also home to the Bacon Bandit, a burglar who makes off with the family bacon and sausage. He or she remains at large.
- The High Life Lounge serves bacon-wrapped tater tots—tater tots stuffed in a jalapeño, wrapped in bacon and fried, and then smothered with cheese. It’s a beautiful thing and an integral part of living the high life.
- Des Moines is home to four restaurants featured on United States of Bacon.
- Legend has it “Des Moines” is an old Finnish phrase meaning “Bacon Paradise.” Having trouble verifying that.
#2 Chicago, IL
The cold wind off the lake simply spreads the smell of sizzling bacon all over Chicago. A city known for its sausage still finds plenty of stomach space for crispy, delicious bacon. Chicago celebrates this fat of the gods with bacon-themed festivals like Baconfest Chicago and Beer & Bacon Fest, bacon-themed restaurants like Paddy Long’s, and dozens of innovative bacon dishes from the city’s incredible restaurants.
- Illinois is the second largest producer of pork in America.
- Chicago-based Sky Full of Bacon is a James Beard Award-winning blog/vidcast that is pretty awesome.
- Try deep-dish bacon pizza at Gino’s, a triple-decker BLT at the Green Door Tavern, and the B-L-Turtle Burger at Morrie O’Malley’s.
- Chicago-based Big Fork invented bacon sausage and the world swooned.
Fargginay is a Chicago-based company hawking bacõn, a bacon-scented cologne that could get you attacked by hungry dogs.
#1 Philadelphia, PA
Like an overstuffed piñata, Philadelphia is postively bursting with bacon. They slip it in cheesesteaks, create restaurant color schemes based on it, heck, the city even raised actor KEVIN BACON up to be six degrees of celebrity he is today. Philly wraps its meat loaf in bacon, it crumble it on sticky buns, and it even chicken fries bacon because Philly’s chefs outrank the city’s cardiologists.
- Philly is the sixth largest bacon market in America.
- Three area restaurants have been featured on United States of Bacon.
- Local burger chain PYT made a taco shell out of bacon because this is Philadelphia and anything bacon is possible in Philadelphia.
- Dip your deep-fried oysters in bacon aioli at Cochon (French for “pig”).
- The father of modern Philadelphia was famed city planner Edmund Bacon, father of Kevin Bacon.
- Jake’s Sandwich Board is famed for its Turbacon, a sandwich version of a Turducken, but with smoked pork in place of duck.
- Click here if you want to move to this bacon metropolis.
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