The New Bedford area has come into its own as a region full of culinary treats. There are so many new and diverse cultures are on the restaurant scene on the SouthCoast.

Joking with a friend the other day, I noted that except for several great Portuguese restaurants that existed at the time, when I was growing up in New Bedford Charlie Wong's and Chuck's China Inn were about it for diversity – but all of that has changed significantly.

New Bedford has always had some mighty tasty Italian restaurants such as Pa Raffa's, Ma Raffa's, Riccardi's, and Cafe Roma. Recent additions to the local Italian food scene include Cafe Italia Ristorante and Carmine's at Candleworks.

Many great Portuguese restaurants remain in the New Bedford area, such as Cafe Europa, Cafe Portugal, Alianca, Algarve, Churrascaria Novo Mundo, Top Shelf, and Cotali Mar Restaurante, to name a few.

Of course, Izzy's continues to serve up the best in Cape Verdean food, and Patti's Peirogi's in Fall River takes care of your thirst for Polish treats.

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The international influence continues to expand, too. As immigrants from different and exciting places find their way to the area, they bring their customs, traditions, and cookbooks.

There are several fabulous Mexican restaurants in the area, including Frontera Grill, No Problemo, Taqueria La Raza, Mi Antojo, and Cali-Rito's.

The Lebanese Kitchen operates in Mattapoisett, Delicias de Anita serves Guatemalan food in Downtown New Bedford, and Celia's Restaurant offers Dominican fare on Kempton Street.

If you are into Korean food, try From The Seoul in Dartmouth. For lovers of Chinese food, there is Gumbo's, Ying Dynasty, Jade Garden, Hong Kong Restaurant, Kam's in Acushnet, and many more. For devotees of Chinese and Japanese food, there is the New Taipei on Rockdale Ave, and there is Azuma Asian Bistro located on Route 6 in Dartmouth.

Ayur Shri serves East Indian favorites, and there are several great Thai restaurants around, including Sivalai Thai Cuisine, The 9th Monarch, and The Spicy Lime.

There are also many great restaurants in our area that serve traditional seafood dishes. There are just too many fine restaurants for me to list them all. Perhaps I can do that in a future article. Maybe you can add your favorite that might have been excluded in the comment section.

Ian Abreu, Director of Business Development & Small Business Engagement at the One SouthCoast Chamber of Commerce, says Greater New Bedford is a "wonderfully diverse melting pot," that has allowed us to "experience some of the tastiest foods in the world."

We have a wide range of culinary options available on the SouthCoast. Let's hope you will remember this article the next time you are stumped for someplace new to eat.

The Dishes to Try Most at Over 100 SouthCoast Restaurants

From the freshest seafood you can find to some of the best dang Portuguese dishes outside of Portugal itself, there are so many dishes to enjoy and love here on the SouthCoast, and we put 'em all into one spot. Check out more than 100 of the SouthCoast's favorite restaurants, and let us know if your favorites made the list.