Food travelers, 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, I 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 ‘ole American dishes just won’t do it. At least, not when you’ve got a hankering for something unique. That’s why we’re bringing you some of the best food cities in the US for International cuisine.
As you plan your next food-inspired trip, start with your food city as the destination. You can work out the other 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 report 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 the city is home to so many people, you expect the diversity.
What sets Apartment Guide’s study apart is the fact that it looks at the number of diverse dining establishments per resident. I like to think this levels the playing field (and the wait times) a bit. The data looks at the number of restaurants there are in each city in each category of international cuisine:
- Latin American
- Middle Eastern
- South American
These categories are based on how the restaurants market themselves. Apartment Guide tells me “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 I happen to be starving. Below, I’ve 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
Sure, it’s easy to look at the nation’s biggest municipalities for interesting meals, but sometimes, our travels don’t take us to those places. Whether you’re looking for some exotic eats in your own backyard or in a friend’s new hometown, here are 10 of the best food cities in the US for international eats. Thanks to their diverse populations (and despite city size), these unexpected spots are delicious foodie destinations.
10. Tampa, Florida
If you’ve been to this bayside city on Florida’s west coast, you may already know about Tampa’s 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). Yum.
9. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
To the surprise of absolutely no one, the capital of Lousiana has a lot of Cajun spice. 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.
8. Richardson, Texas
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This Dallas suburb has much more than barbecue. Richardson, about 14 miles from Dallas, features these types of international restaurants:
- Middle Eastern (13)
- Vietnamese (12)
- South American (4)
- African (3)
- Latin American (3)
- Cajun/Creole (3)
7. 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 places to eat in West Palm Beach (tied with the same number of Latin American restaurants).
You won’t find any Cajun/Creole restaurants here, but Vietnamese is the next most-notable cuisine with six restaurants in the city.
6. Garden Grove, California
There’s more than just Mexican food in SoCal, especially in Garden Grove. This city is at the intersection of the Korean District and Little Saigon, and thanks to the location, there are a staggering 57 Vietnamese places here. Hot Pot and Korean barbecue simply scrape the surface of the Asian fare you’ll find in Garden Grove.
Cajun/Creole food is second here with 10 restaurants, and the other cuisine categories rank at about one place each.
5. Cambridge, Massachusetts
The home of Harvard has a healthy variety of diverse cuisines to try. 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 palate’s pick in this northern-US food city!
4. Lafayette, Louisiana
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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.
3. New Orleans, Louisiana
Ahh, NoLa. The music and food city of debauchery, jazz, and 195 Cajun/Creole restaurants. You can’t visit this city without treating your tongue to its famous cuisine at least a few times—whether that be a beignet, po’boy, some seafood gumbo, or boudin on a biscuit, you can’t go wrong.
If your taste buds are 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)
2. 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. 😉
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, plus four African establishments.
1. Miami, Florida
Solidifying Florida as the state with the most cities on this list, Miami ranks at numero uno with its undeniable Latin American influence—187 restaurants, to be exact.
Of course there’s incredible Cuban food here, but don’t forget to check out what other types of cuisines you can eat in this muy caliente melting pot:
- South American (61)
- Caribbean (60)
- Middle Eastern (18)
- International (17)
- Cajun/Creole (13)
- Vietnamese (12)
- African (2)
Did any of these unexpected food cities in the US make your Grub Lysst? For more food travel inspiration and ideas for your next gastronomical getaway, be sure to sign up for The Short Lysst.