There’s definitely a lot of coastal rivalries when it comes to food (In-N-Out vs. Shake Shack, for example), so we polled our readers to see which city had the best food scene. Here are the broken down results:
1. New York: 27 percent
Of course. We’ve got the infamous thin-crust pizza, a huge array of ethnic food, restaurants representing almost every famous chef ever, and more restaurants packed in the tiny island (not to mention Queens and Brooklyn) than we can keep track of. New York City also ranked number one on our list of most gluttonous cities, and with more than 5,000 full-service restaurants, it's easy to see why. Case closed.
2. Chicago: 23 percent
Chi-town has an influential experimental cuisine scene, especially with Grant Achatz’s Alinea. Plus the Second City houses high-profile chefs like Top Chef Stephanie Izard and, of course, Rick Bayless. On the lowbrow end, we must argue that Chicago hot dogs are better than New York’s, and deep dish is in a category of its own.
3. Philadelphia: 22 percent
Philly’s been a sleeper for the past couple years, but nowadays there’s a huge craft beer scene and a larger variety of global cuisine. There’s definitely more to the city than Philly cheesesteaks.
4. San Francisco: 19 percent
SF is best known for its local produce and really fresh, artisanal products thanks to rock stars Thomas Keller and Alice Waters. Then there’s the oldest Chinatown in the US, and good Vietnamese and Filipino representation.
5. Los Angeles: 7 percent
Really? Los Angeles? Second to last? (Full disclosure, this writer is a native Los Angeleno). As the home to Umami Burger and reportedly the best sushi restaurant in the world, we think this great food city was overlooked by voters. But hey, it does have that fro-yo and salads-only reputation (albeit misleading).
6. Washington D.C.: 1 percent
Well, the capital has always been a bit of an underdog in terms of food, but it is getting better. There’s Eric Ziebold, formerly of French Laundry, the debut of Chipotle's new Asian concept, ShopHouse, and a slew of local and sustainable restaurants, gourmet burger joints, and food trucks.
The Daily Byte is a regular column dedicated to covering interesting food news and trends across the country. Click here for previous columns.