It seems like a lot of coverage on foodies -- that rarefied group who mentally pencils in ramp season and knows the best place within a five-block radius to find the best [insert dish here] -- focuses on 20 somethings posting stylized pictures of their food on Facebook.
But come on: post 50s know their way around gardens, farmers markets and kitchens too. And as the ultimate post 50 master of food Anthony Bourdain said in his book "Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly": "Your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.” What better way to enjoy the ride of retirement than eating, drinking and being merry?
Huff/Post50 consulted lists from Travel + Leisure, Fodor's and Food and Wine, along with checking in with New Jersey financial advisor and CPA Tom Corley to see which of the 15 retirement cities also had the added bonus of being affordable. Did your town make our list of retirement cities perfect for foodies? Or did we make an omission as glaring as eating at a chain restaurant? Let us know in the comments.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
One of our HuffPost/50 editors dashed down to Lauderdale during a winter weekend and was pleasantly surprised by the oasis of restaurants on Los Olas Boulevard, far from the maddening spring break crowds. According to <a href="http://www.ftlauderdalefoodtours.com/" target="_hplink">Fort Lauderdale Food Tours</a>, the city's diversity is a big part of its appeal, offering "dishes that blend Caribbean, Cuban and Mediterranean traditions that spawned our famous Floribbean cuisine." Ingredients that are freshly grown -- and caught -- don't hurt either.
This city hits a lot of retiree sweet spots, notes New Jersey CPA Tom Corley. Affordable housing -- the mean cost of a home is $148,800 according to the <a href="http://www.realtor.org/sites/default/files/reports/2012/local-market-reports-2012-q1-tn-nashville.pdf" target="_hplink">National Realtor Association</a> -- and the overall cost of living is 12 percent lower than the rest of the country makes it a retiree haven, <a href="http://www.areavibes.com/indianapolis-in/cost-of-living/" target="_hplink">according to AreaVibes</a>. That means you can afford the Kobe beef at Sensu, the unusual selection of cheeses at The Ball and Biscuit and the seasoned lamb and zucchini pancakes at the Istanbul Cafe -- <a href="http://indyfoodie52.com/" target="_hplink">all recommended by blogger IndyFoodie</a>. <br /> If you'd rather stay in and cook, you can stop by a farmer's market, a growing industry in town, according to <em>The Indianapolis Star</em> food and wine writer, Jolene Ketzenberger. "From 2010 to 2011, Indiana saw a 37 percent increase in the number of farmers' markets, placing it among the top five states in the nation in terms of growth of farmers' markets," she says.
This sweeping Montana town made Topretirement.com's list of best active communities in the state. For the foodie who can afford the higher than average housing prices -- <a href="http://www.bestplaces.net/housing/city/montana/bozeman" target="_hplink">around $272,000 in 2011</a> -- the wide open pastures are perfect for farm fresh foods found at organic farm <a href="http://www.fielddayfarms.com/index.html" target="_hplink">Field Day</a>. Get your CSA* shares ready!<br /> And carnivores never fear -- <a href="http://www.bozemanonline.com/restaurants.php" target="_hplink">Bozeman Online lists more than 200 restaurants</a>, with, not surprisingly, plenty of steak houses. <br /> <em>* That's community supported agriculture.</em>
Omaha may be in the heartland, but that doesn't mean its tastes are strictly meat and potatoes. "Omaha has such a rich ethnic history," Taste of Omaha event producer <a href="http://www.omaha.com/article/20120531/GO/705319977/1184#taste-of-omaha-returns-to-the-waterfront" target="_hplink">Mike Mancuso told the Omaha World Herald recently</a>. Ethnic restaurants mix their traditional flavors with American presentation, creating a new type of comfort food, Mancuso said. And since the cost of living is 12 percent less than the national average according to AreaVibes, you'll be able to afford seconds.
We've already shown that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/29/college-towns-draw-retirees_n_1431694.html" target="_hplink">college towns are great spots for retirees</a>. You can take classes at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Continuing Studies department and discuss your course work over a tasty "pasture to plate" dish at bistro <a href="http://www.apiginafurcoat.com/contact/" target="_hplink">A Pig In A Fur Coat</a>.
Kansas City, MO
For the retiree who loves blues, arts and lip-smacking barbecue, Kansas City, here you come! The growing city is undergoing a sort of food renaissance with underground supper clubs (Test Kitchen), farm-to-table restaurants (try West Side Local) and saucy barbecue (from Oklahoma Joe's) leading the way. Lower housing values (a whopping $124,400, <a href="http://www.realtor.org/sites/default/files/reports/2012/local-market-reports-2012-q1-mo-kansas-city.pdf" target="_hplink">according to the National Realtors Association</a>) and property taxes makes this city affordable as well, a must for the discerning retiree, says CPA Tom Corley.
Another college town makes our list, and with good reason. "It's basically impossible not to find good food [in Austin], from cheap tacos to high-end sushi," said Carey Polis, the associate food editor of <em>The Huffington Post</em>. "Chef Paul Qui of Uchiko just won the 2012 James Beard award for Best Chef: Southwest." Retirees can appreciate the Texas heat and mild winters -- <a href="http://www.areavibes.com/austin-tx/weather/" target="_hplink">the highest average temperature in Austin is in August at 85.4 degrees</a>, according to AreaVibes.
East coast living pretty much guarantees great seafood a stone's throw away, and Providence is no exception. <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/americas-best-cities-for-foodies/4" target="_hplink">Travel + Leisure</a> recommends Chez Pascal or Nick's for "'boat-to-table' seafood that comes direct from local fishermen." Or you can take your groceries finds back home -- the median asking price for a home in Providence is 20.6 percent less than the national average, according to <a href="http://www.areavibes.com/providence-ri/housing/" target="_hplink">AreaVibes</a>.
"Oregon has become a top state for retirement communities by virtue of its natural beauty, dynamic people and geography," <a href="http://www.topretirements.com/state/Oregon.html" target="_hplink">writes Topretirement.com.</a> "Oregon offers better value for your retirement dollar than California."<br /> That's great news for foodies who retire to Portland. The town's healthy, green and DIY culture has been soundly mocked in a sketch comedy called "Portlandia," but as <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/americas-best-cities-for-foodies/7" target="_hplink">Travel + Leisure points out</a>, its "farm-to-table dining, well-crafted microbrews, and 200-odd food trucks," are no laughing matter. The travel magazine recommends Korean-Hawaiian fusion restaurant Namu and the food truck "pods" at Pioneer Courthouse Square.
The pace of life, much like its denizens drawl, is much slower in Savannah. So take time to enjoy the local fare in this Georgia town. A best restaurant regular is the Green Truck Pub, and <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/bobby-flay-in-love-with-savannah" target="_hplink">Chef Bobby Flay of Food Network fame has made stops </a>at 700 Drayton and Muther's Old Timey Bar-B-Que. <br />You can take advantage of the mild climes (<a href="http://www.areavibes.com/savannah-ga/weather/" target="_hplink">an average high of 81.6 degrees, and an average low of 52.1</a>) on your porch -- <a href="http://www.areavibes.com/savannah-ga/housing/" target="_hplink">median home asking prices are 20 percent lower than the national average</a>, according to AreaVibes.
Lovely historic neighborhoods, sweet bed and breakfasts and great food. It's hard not to imagine settling down in Charleston -- especially once you learn the town is part of a food revival rolling through the South. <a href="http://www.fodors.com/world/where-to-go/2012/charleston/" target="_hplink">Fodor's recommends</a> two restaurants: McGrady's and Husk. Both are helmed by the same James Beard Award-winning chef Sean Brock. For a fee of just $25, people over 60 can take classes at the College of Charleston, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/20/fortune-magazine-best-places-to-retire_n_1609136.html?utm_hp_ref=fifty#s=1114800">Forbes reports</a>.
San Antonio, TX
We definitely "remember the Alamo," but who can forget this hub of great Tex-Mex food? It made <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/americas-best-cities-for-foodies/11" target="_hplink">Travel + Leisure's Best Cities For Food, coming in at number 10</a>. "If you want to get off the tourist grid, head to Southtown, south of downtown, to try the gastropub The Monterey or The Friendly Spot, an ice house with tamales, tostadas, and a dizzying long list of microbrews," Travel + Leisure recommends. Add the low home asking price (<a href="http://www.areavibes.com/san+antonio-tx/housing/" target="_hplink">$118,475 or 38.5 percent lower than the national average</a>, according to AreaVibes), and you can see why San Antonio is truly unforgettable for retiree foodies.
The Mile High City is making a name for itself as a booze town: craft beer enthusiasts can enjoy the gastropub experience at Euclid Hall. Or you can drink at home and amble over to one of the city's many food trucks. You can work off any beer gut by golfing or hitting up some of the nearby skiing towns.
A breadth of farmers markets makes Nashville a hub for locavore eating, a.k.a a foodie's dream. <a href="http://www.yelp.com/weekly?editorial_id=WKu8N3wK9k1sRfXCA3SZ8Q" target="_hplink">Yelp considers Joe Natural's</a>, which serves organic ingredients from the Schertz Middle Tennessee farm, to be one of the best. Tom Corley, a financial adviser and CPA from New Jersey, says the city is also a retiree's dream thanks to the town's great weather, which doesn't get colder than 41.1 degrees or hotter than 80.9, according to <a href="http://www.areavibes.com/nashville-tn/weather/" target="_hplink">AreaVibes</a>.
Salt Lake City, UT
Forbes has named SLC as one of the best retirement cities for its climate, but foodies will appreciate the fact that it has also shaken off its chain store and anti-booze leanings, with independent restaurants taking their place. <a href="http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/lifestyle/51562984-80/april-lodge-chocolate-dinner.html.csp" target="_hplink">Food & Wine has noticed</a>: Forage's chef tag team Bowman Brown and Viet Pham recently won its Best New Chefs honor. <a href="http://www.areavibes.com/salt+lake+city-ut/crime/" target="_hplink">Despite its high crime rate</a>, there's a lot of good tipping the scales in Salt Lake's favor: low cost of living and taxes, average home price of $183,000 and a good economy, <a href="http://www.forbes.com/pictures/mjf45gdef/salt-lake-city-utah-2/#gallerycontent" target="_hplink">Forbes reports</a>.