Depending on how you read the list they provide, Burlington might be "above" Portland, ME and Boston-Cambridge in the list. ;) It's not clear if the list is counting down or up, though. :)
From the article (http://www.cnbc.com/id/41315888/Ameri...):
A city’s food appeal is not just measured by fine dining or Michelin stars; you have to also consider the everyday eating experiences. Is there a unique regional cuisine? Have ethnic enclaves left edible legacies on the area’s tables? The availability of fresh local produce, meats and seafood are other major considerations.
In such discussions, certain major cities such as New York and New Orleans tend to be named, but Sperlings Best Places crunched numbers, using the following city data: ratio of local restaurants to chain restaurants, number of Whole Foods and cooking stores, number of wine shops, wine bars, craft breweries, and brew pubs; and the number of CSA (community supported agriculture) farms and local farmers markets. (Note: given populations are for metro areas.)
The result is a top ten that isn’t dominated by the usual suspects. To see the top picks, including more than a few you probably didn’t expect, dig in.