What are America’s best cities for foodies? New York, Los Angeles and Chicago come to mind immediately, but surprisingly, they didn’t make the top 10 in the new report.
Portland, Oregon ranked first, followed by Orlando and Miami. The report evaluates 29 criteria, including quality restaurants, food festivals, craft breweries and wineries, in 182 cities, including 150 with the most population.
According to WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez, Portland tops the list because it has no sales or food tax, and it’s home to many quality restaurants, microbreweries and wine bars.
“Portland, Orlando, and Miami are the best food cities because of the number and variety of restaurants, the high ratio of full-service restaurants to fast food restaurants, and the number of food trucks per capita. There is,” says Gonzalez.
Another recent WalletHub report ranked Portland and Orlando #1 and #2 as the best vegan and vegetarian cities, respectively.
A new report of the best cities for foodies of all kinds ranks three California cities in the top 10: San Francisco, Sacramento and San Diego. Other cities in the top 10 are Austin, Seattle, Tampa and Las Vegas. The top 10 cities and No. 11 Denver rank higher than No. 12 Chicago, No. 15 Los Angeles and No. 18 New York.
New York failed to rank high due to affordability. “The cost of groceries, restaurant meals, beer and wine is among the highest in the country,” says Gonzalez.
But New York and Los Angeles have plenty of excellent options for foodies.
“Los Angeles has a large number of reasonably priced, quality restaurants, no food tax, and a great variety of restaurants,” says Gonzalez. “There are also Michelin-starred restaurants, numerous farmers markets, and community-supported farming programs. Other factors that have contributed to the ranking include numerous herb and spice stores, kitchen supply stores, and cooking schools. Like New York, Los Angeles failed to rank high because of affordability, restaurant meals and groceries are expensive, and there is a high sales tax of 9.5%.”
New Orleans has a distinct and unique culinary scene and history, but it’s ranked 41st in the WalletHub report.
“The city has affordable, high-quality restaurants, numerous food festivals, coffee and tea shops, and cooking schools,” says Gonzalez. “New Orleans did not rank high because it has fewer international grocery stores and higher sales and food taxes, 9.45% and 5.1% respectively.”
Below are WalletHub’s top 25 gastronomy cities.
1. Portland, Oregon
4. San Francisco
9. Las Vegas
10. San Diego
15. Los Angeles
17. Portland, Maine
18. New York
19. Charleston, South Carolina
22. St. Louis
23. Richmond, Virginia
25. Grand Rapids, Michigan