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blog | August 20, 2019

Best Cities for International Cuisine in the U.S.

The Best Cities for International Cuisine in the U.S. Because most of us aren’t able to jet off to exotic destinations on a regular basis, we are forced to...

By WorkWiseSoftware

The Best Cities for International Cuisine in the U.S.

Because most of us aren’t able to jet off to exotic destinations on a regular basis, we are forced to settle for a taste of our favorite destination, whether it’s a great plate of Italian pasta or some not-so-traditional Chinese food. In spite of the fact that everyone has to eat, however, restaurants are one of the trickiest businesses to keep up and running. 

The food scene is always evolving, tastes (both literally and figuratively) are always changing, and it’s difficult to grapple with upcoming food trends and age-old favorites that will never go out of style. This is all before the actual customer walks into the restaurant with their own idea of what their meal should look like. 

Since restaurants have some of the trickiest customer requirements, we thought it would be interesting to take a snapshot of what kinds of establishments are the most popular among restaurant-goers. We analyzed Yelp to find the number of restaurants open in the top 50 cities in the US based on the 31 types of restaurants it features. Here’s what we found out.

US Map of the Most Popular Food Types by State

As it turns out, the most common restaurant in every city serves either Mexican or Italian. Apparently, people can’t get enough of burritos or meatballs. However, Mexican was the most popular cuisine in 34 of the top 50 cities, making it by far the most popular international food type overall.

US Map of the Second Most Popular Food Type by State

Since everyone tended to go for Mexican or Italian first, it seemed only fair that we also look at the second-most-common restaurants to see what kind of establishments are thriving after the top two favorites. Sushi was incredibly popular, particularly in Californian cities, and Chinese was the second-most-common in 18 cities across the US. Comfort food, however, was the favorite of 19 cities, making it the second-most-common restaurant type overall. 

Miami, Florida and Houston, Texas were the outliers, each with their own unique second-most-common restaurant type. Miami, Florida has plenty of Cuban restaurants and Houston, Texas had tons of Thai options.

 List of cities in the US that have International Cuisine

Out of the 31 restaurant types we looked at, New York City has the vast majority of international cuisine restaurants with the highest number of locations. In 22 of 31 restaurant types featured on Yelp, New York City had the highest number of options. Meanwhile, 5 restaurant types were most common in Los Angeles, 2 in Miami, and 2 in Baltimore.

List of international restaurant density by cuisine

If you’re wondering which city has the highest percentage of each restaurant type for their international cuisine options, look no further! The chart above shows you where each cuisine has the highest percentage of restaurant options in the top 50 cities in the US.

Whether you stick to the same pizza joint every week or you’re constantly looking for the newest foodie trend to try out, you are a customer that a business is trying to keep by meeting your needs. Restaurants rely on customer feedback from a simple return visit to a loyal regular diner. 

Our team uses these same principles to help our clients understand their own customers and target audiences to see how they need to communicate with them to build trust and loyalty. If you’re looking for a way to build the same loyalty with your customers that you have to your favorite Italian bistro, contact our team here. We’d love to help you out!

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