CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Two of North Carolina's most popular cities made the cut on a new list of the best cities for food in 2016, even beating out New York City.

The food and restaurant website, Zagat, created a list of 2016's best food cities by ranking the number of exciting new restaurant openings, award recognition and national media attention for cities with the biggest culinary innovation.

Charlotte came in at ninth place and Asheville in seventh on Zagat's list of the 26 Hottest Food Cities of 2016.

The foodie website said that the Queen City has emerged as the new destination for adventurous, landscape-driven cuisine. According to the list, many up-and-coming chefs are calling Charlotte home and with more openings anticipated for 2017, the city's food scene will be fit for royalty as 'it is only just getting started.'

"Even Wolfgang Puck couldn't resist the opportunity to land in Charlotte, entrusting longtime mentee Stephen Schmitt to oversee the kitchen at his brand-new concept, WP Kitchen + Bar," the article said.

Meanwhile, Asheville snagged number seven on the list due to the city's exceptional food concepts and well-known chefs.

(Photo: Buxton Hall BBQ website)
(Photo: Buxton Hall BBQ website)

Zagat said that Asheville restaurants such as Buxton Hall Barbecue are putting Eastern Carolina-style barbecue on the map, especially as it recently received a nod as Bon Appetit's #9 Best New Restaurant in America. Other restaurants in the city mentioned were Curate, Nightbell, TacoBilly and Local Provisions.

Cities like New Orleans, Seattle, Los Angeles and Denver beat out Charlotte and Asheville, while our nation's capital topped the list as the city with the hottest food of 2016.