Exploring a new city is the most exciting aspect of traveling, and discovering the culinary wonders of a place can keep us busy for days on end. But our wallets don’t always match our ambitions, so we at The Daily Meal wondered which of America’s cities is the country’s most wallet-friendly food city for our list of the Top 10 Food Cities for Your Wallet.
First, we had to determine what constitutes a food city. Number of restaurants is a pretty good indicator, as it leaves us with plenty of delicious choices. We also searched for cities that serve up a wide range of cuisines.
To judge wallet-friendliness, we looked at the price of restaurant meals in these cities, ranking them based on the cost of one average meal — we’re talking local pub, not high-end dining — and we also took into consideration the median cost of a moderately priced three-course meal for two. In order to assemble our rankings, then, we first looked at the cost of one average meal, then looked at the cost of moderately priced three-course meal for two.
Huntington Beach, Calif., ranked #1 as America’s most wallet-friendly food city.
The “O.C.” is often portrayed as an upscale beach haven for the rich and spoiled, so it may come as a surprise that this sunny California beach town is a great place to grab a cheap bite. Since there are 16 million annual beach visitors, restaurants in Orange County vie for tourist money, and food lovers reap the benefits of that competition. On average, a meal will cost around $10 per person, and a moderately priced meal for two will only run about $26.