October 06, 2021

2021's Best Foodie Cities in America

Americans today apply the term “foodie” to anyone who loves gourmet dining. But foodie culture isn’t limited to restaurants. More importantly, far fewer than the many who claim to be foodies truly deserve the label. “Authentic” foodies, according to experts, not only crave new and different flavors but also savor the exploratory experience of eating, learning and discovering food.

Naturally, the foodie lifestyle can be quite expensive, considering that restaurant prices rose 5.4% just between July 2020 and July 2021. Even cooking your own gourmet meals can be pricy, as grocery store prices rose 3.5% between 2019 and 2020. Overall food spending decreased by $100 billion in 2020, though, in part due to financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fortunately, culinary hotspots across the U.S. offer plenty of affordable options for cash-strapped foodies. These wallet-friendly cities cater to diners who prefer to cook at home, explore the local flavors or both. To determine the best and cheapest foodie scenes, WalletHub compared more than 180 U.S. cities across 29 key indicators of foodie-friendliness. Our data set ranges from cost of groceries to affordability and accessibility of high-quality restaurants to food festivals per capita.

Best Food Cities in America

Best Food Cities in America

Note: With the exception of “Total Score,” all of the columns in the table above depict the relative rank of that city, where a rank of 1 represents the best conditions for that metric category.

Foodie Comparisons


Copyright 2021 Evolution Finance, Inc. All rights reserved. From https://wallethub.com. By Adam McCann, Financial Writer.

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