fun for foodies
Austin earns top 10 ranking for the best foodie cities in the U.S., new report says
Just a week after Austin was deemed a top 10 city for vegans and vegetarians, the city is making waves as the No. 9 best city in the U.S. for foodies, according to a new study by personal finance experts WalletHub.
Major culinary events like the Austin Food and Wine Festival are a major draw for foodies, with more than 90 chefs and culinary experts providing signature bites from local, regional, and nationally-acclaimed restaurants. Austinites can catch the next fest on the first weekend in November.
WalletHub's study looked at more than 180 culinary hotspots from all over the U.S. and ranked them based on 28 different "foodie-friendliness" factors, including the accessibility and affordability of high-end restaurants; the number of restaurants, cafés, butcher shops, and kitchen supply stores per capita; the diversity of restaurants; and more.
"Naturally, being a foodie can be quite expensive, especially during times of high inflation," the report said. "Restaurant prices rose 6.5 percent just between August 2022 and August 2023.... These [top] wallet-friendly cities cater to diners who prefer to cook at home, explore the local flavors or both."
Much like Austin did in the report for vegans and vegetarians, the city had a high affordability ranking with the fifth-lowest cost of groceries out of all of the cities in the ranking. Three South Texas cities made it into the top three: Brownsville (No. 1), Corpus Christi (No. 2), and Laredo (No. 3). Fayetteville, North Carolina (No. 4) rounded out the top five.
In the category for the highest number of restaurants per capita, it was a five-way tie for No. 1 between Miami and Orlando, Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; and San Francisco and Los Angeles, California.
Austin's wide-ranging food scene can cater to nearly every culinary preference and budget. From a highly-anticipated Japanese spin-off restaurant opening in early October, to not one but two popular South Austin coffee shops expanding their reach to East Austin, there is something for all to appreciate around the city's network of restaurants, cafés, and local hangouts.
Five Austin-area barbecue hotspots were also recently recognized in the New York Times' "20 Best Texas Barbecue Restaurants From the New Generation" – including local favorite LeRoy & Lewis.
Austin was the only Texas city to make it into the top 10. Houston wasn't too far behind, ranking No. 19. San Antonio (No. 33) was the only other Texas city to earn a spot in the top 50.
The top 10 best food cities in the U.S. are:
- No. 1 – Orlando, Florida
- No. 2 – Portland, Oregon
- No. 3 – Sacramento, California
- No. 4 – Miami, Florida
- No. 5 – San Francisco, California
- No. 6 – Tampa, Florida
- No. 7 – San Diego, California
- No. 8 – Las Vegas, Nevada
- No. 9 – Austin, Texas
- No. 10 – Seattle, Washington