Traveling foodies, unite! If you’re known to scope out the newest “food city” to satiate your appetite for diverse eats, this Grub Lysst is for you. Based on brand-new data from Apartment Guide, we have your updated hit-list for the best food cities in the US that are serving diverse cuisines.
If you like eating outside the box, you know how tough it can be to find new foodie destinations. As your palate expands to try new cuisines, suddenly, boring ‘ol American dishes just won’t do it. At least, not when you’ve got a hankering for something unique.
As you plan your next food-inspired trip, start with your food city as the destination and work out the details later. Bold flavors abound in the below US food cities, yet they may not seem like obvious choices at first. That’s because this data took an interesting approach to find the best food cities in the US for adventurous eaters. We all know New York is a hub for adventurous cuisine, but what sets this study apart is the fact that it looks at the number of diverse dining establishments per resident. We like to think this levels the playing field (and the wait times) a bit.
The data looks at how many restaurants there are in each city in the following categories: Vietnamese, Latin American, Cajun/Creole, International, Middle Eastern, South American, Caribbean, and African. These categories are based on how the restaurants market themselves. Thus, Apartment Guide tells us that “International” is a catch-all category for the restaurants that feel they offer a wider range of international fare versus one specific specialty.
Are you ready to bite into something new and unusual? Cool, because we happen to be starving. We highlighted some of the most interesting findings, but to see Apartment Guide’s full report, head here.
The 10 Best Food Cities in the US for International Cuisine
1. Tampa, Florida
If you've been to this bayside city on Florida's west coast, you may already know about its robust Cuban food presence. And while the data shows that there are 44 Latin American restaurants, other notable presences are Caribbean food (29), Vietnamese (14), and Middle Eastern (13).
2. Baton Rouge, Lousiana
The capital of Lousiana, unsurprisingly, has a lot of Cajun spice to indulge in. With a whopping 62 Cajun/Creole spots to choose from, Baton Rouge also offers seven Vietnamese and six Middle Eastern places at which to eat.
3. Richardson, Texas
This suburb of Dallas surprisingly has much more than barbecue. Richardson, about 14 miles from Dallas, features 13 Middle Eastern, 12 Vietnamese, and four South American restaurants. There are also three each of African, Latin American, and Cajun/Creole spots.
4. West Palm Beach, Florida
Don't sleep on this sunny South Florida food city. With its proximity to the Caribbean islands, it's no wonder there are 16 Caribbean food spots in West Palm Beach (tied with the same amount of Latin American restaurants). Though there are zero Cajun/Creole restaurants, Vietnamese is the next most-notable cuisine with six restaurants in the city.
5. Garden Grove, California
There's more than just Mexican food in SoCal, especially in Garden Grove, which is at the intersection of the Korean District and Little Saigon. Thus, there are a staggering 57 Vietnamese places, where Hot Pot and Korean barbecue simply scrape the surface of Asian fare. Cajun/Creole food is second in Garden Grove with 10 restaurants, and the other cuisine categories rank at about one place each.
6. Cambridge, Massachusetts
The home of Harvard has a healthy variety of diverse cuisines on the food scene. In Cambridge, Mass., there are 17 Middle Eastern, seven African, six Latin American, and five South American restaurants. Additionally, there are four Cajun/Creole and four Vietnamese options. Take your pick in this northern-US foodie locale!
7. Lafayette, Louisiana
Quick, act surprised! Our second Lousiana city on this list is no stranger to Cajun/Creole fare, with 44 restaurants serving the cuisine in the area. Don't worry if you're not craving jambalaya, though—you've also got five Vietnamese, five Middle Eastern, and three Latin American places to try.
8. New Orleans, Louisiana
Ahh, NoLa. The city of debauchery, jazz music, and 195 Cajun/Creole restaurants. You can't visit this city without indulging in its famous cuisine at least a few times—whether that be a beignet, po'boy, seafood gumbo, or boudin on a biscuit. Though, if your taste buds are a little spiced out, you've got a few other diverse dining options in the Big Easy: Caribbean (18), Vietnamese (16), Latin American (14), Middle Eastern (8), and the like.
9. Orlando, Florida
Orlando has much more than theme parks. Locals know that the city has a bustling downtown and a multicultural food scene—tourists just never venture past Mickey Mouse's small world (see what we did there?). Try one of the 63 Latin American restaurants, 49 Caribbean spots, 27 South American eateries, or 24 Vietnamese places in this Central Florida city. If that's not enough, 12 Cajun/Creole and 12 International restaurants await, along with four African establishments.
10. Miami, Florida
Solidifying Florida as the state with the most cities on this list, Miami ranks at #1 with its undeniable Latin American influence (187 restaurants, to be exact). Of course there's incredible Cuban food here, but check out what else you can eat in this muy caliente melting pot: South American (61), Caribbean (60), Middle Eastern (18), International (17), Cajun/Creole (13), Vietnamese (12), and African (2).
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