A new report from WalletHub places New York City at No. 18 in a list of the Best Foodie Cities in America. And while we’re a little miffed at not being No. 1, we agree that NYC is one of the best places to be for food hounds.
The study compared 182 U.S. cities across 29 key metrics, from affordability and accessibility of high-quality restaurants to food festivals per capita to craft breweries and wineries per capita. NYC got as high as it did because of its diversity, accessibility and quality of food, according to the report.
NYC got its score because it came in 12th for restaurants per capita, first for affordability and accessibility of highly-rated restaurants, 50th for craft breweries and wineries per capita, 15th for the percentage of residents who have the COVID-19 vaccination and first for butcher shops per capita. That’s a lot of meat!
It also came in second for the most expensive groceries in the U.S. behind literal outposts of the county—Juneau, Alaska, Honolulu, Hawaii and Pearl City, Hawaii—which tied for the costliest groceries.
Such high prices would knock us down a few pegs on the list for sure. In general, across the country, restaurant prices rose 8% just between August 2021 and August 2022, according to WalletHub. Grocery store prices rose 8.3% between August 2021 and August 2022.
All that being said, NYC is ranked higher because it does have “plenty of affordable options for cash-strapped foodies.” Did you know NYC is actually home to three of the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurants in the U.S.? Check out which ones right here.
For those looking to save some cash but still enjoy dining out, Dr. Darryl L. Holliday, an associate professor and the director of the Food Science Program at the University of Holy Cross, recommends veering off the obvious path.
“Many places catering specifically to tourists are generally in neighborhoods with higher rents and therefore have higher food prices,” he told WalletHub. “Using proper safety, do not be afraid to deviate from the beaten path and find smaller neighborhood establishments that market to locals or find food trucks that can deliver some of the same flavors you are looking for but with a lower sticker price. However, some foods are just naturally expensive due to ingredients used, seasonality, or captive market locations such as festivals.”
We’re all about exploring other neighborhoods and trying out their respective offerings! Check out our neighborhood guides if you want to plan your own foodie adventure.