Top 20 Foodie Cities in America

Are you a foodie, a person with a particular interest in gourmet food and gourmet dining? If so, do you know the best foodie cities in America? In  California?

Three of the Top 20 Foodie Cities in America are in California.

  1. Portland, OR
  2. Orlando, FL
  3. Miami, FL
  4. San Francisco, CA
  5. Austin, TX
  6. Sacramento, CA
  7. Denver, CO
  8. Las Vegas, NV
  9. Seattle, WA
  10. Tampa, FL
  11. Los Angeles, CA
  12. San Diego, CA
  13. Portland, ME
  14. Oakland, CA
  15. Washington, DC
  16. St. Louis, MO
  17. Grand Rapids, MI
  18. Chicago, IL
  19. Atlanta, GA
  20. Houston, TX

“Authentic” foodies, according to experts, not only crave new and different flavors but also savor the exploratory experience of eating, learning and discovering food.

Naturally, the foodie lifestyle can be quite expensive, considering that restaurant prices rose 5.4% just between July 2020 and July 2021. Even cooking your own gourmet meals can be pricy, as grocery store prices rose 3.5% between 2019 and 2020. Overall food spending decreased by $100 billion in 2020, though, in part due to financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With Oct. 16 being World Food Day and restaurant prices rising 5.4% between July 2020 and July 2021, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2021’s Best Foodie Cities in America, as well as accompanying videos and expert commentary.

To determine the best and cheapest local foodie scenes, WalletHub compared more than 180 of the largest U.S. cities across 29 key metrics. The data set ranges from affordability and accessibility of high-quality restaurants to food festivals per capita to craft breweries and wineries per capita.

Best vs. Worst

  • Orlando, Florida, has the most gourmet specialty-food stores (per square root of population), 0.4529, which is 19.4 times more than in Pearl City, Hawaii, the city with the fewest at 0.0234.
  • Orlando, Florida, has the most restaurants (per square root of population), 7.23, which is 18.1 times more than in Pearl City, Hawaii, the city with the fewest at 0.40.
  • Orlando, Florida, has the most ice cream and frozen yogurt shops (per square root of population), 0.3566, which is 49.5 times more than in South Burlington, Vermont, the city with the fewest at 0.0072.
  • Santa Rosa, California, has the highest ratio of full-service restaurants to fast-food establishments, 1.72, which is 3.2 times higher than in Jackson, Mississippi, the city with the lowest at 0.54.

To view the full report and your city’s rank, click here.  

Image Sources

  • Homemade sandwiches: iStock