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This Is the Worst City for Foodies in the U.S.

If you consider yourself something of a gourmet, you may want to set your sights elsewhere.
FACT CHECKED BY Meaghan Cameron

Whether you've got a taste for truffles or are a fiend for foie gras, countless people love nothing more than trying new foods and restaurants. In fact, according to a 2019 survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Eventbrite, 53 percent of U.S. residents polled said they considered themselves to be foodies. And while you may be able to find your favorite culinary delicacies at your local Whole Foods or specialty retailer, not everyone is so fortunate.

WalletHub just released its rankings of the best and worst foodie cities in the U.S., comparing 182 urban centers across 29 metrics, including the cost of groceries, the cost of restaurant meals, the average prices for beer and wine, and the diversity, accessibility, and quality of any given area's food offerings, among others. Read on to discover which city earned the dubious honor of being the least foodie-friendly city in the U.S. And for more local foodie news, check out The Saddest Restaurant Closures In Your State.

10

Grand Prairie, Texas

hammock hanging between two trees on a beach in grand prairie, texas
Shutterstock / Trong Nguyen

Total score: 35.68
Affordability rank: 151
Diversity, accessibility, and quality rank: 165

The Texas city, which has a population of just under 198,000 residents, ranked 151st in terms of affordability out of 182 cities on WalletHub's list, and was among the bottom 20 cities when it came to diversity, access, and quality of food offerings.

For insight into what you can expect on your next shopping trip, check out These 4 Beloved Foods Are Returning to Grocery Stores for the First Time in Years.

9

Nampa, Idaho

aerial view of nampa idaho
Shutterstock / Ninzie

Total score: 35.68
Affordability rank: 167
Diversity, accessibility, and quality rank: 156

Coming 174th out of U.S. 182 cities in terms of its foodie-friendliness, Nampa—a city of approximately 94,000—didn't earn high marks in terms of affordability or access to diverse or quality food.

RELATED: 35+ Easy Recipes Anyone Can Make at Home

8

Ontario, California

ontario california street scene during the day
Shutterstock / Matt Gush

Total score: 35.57
Affordability rank: 171
Diversity, accessibility, and quality rank: 146

While two California metropolises—San Francisco and Sacramento—were ranked among the 10 best cities for foodies, Ontario had no such luck. The city, located between Los Angeles and San Bernardino, had poor rankings in terms of diversity, accessibility, and quality, and only 13 cities were determined to have more expensive food offerings.

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7

Augusta, Georgia

waterfront in augusta georgia
Shutterstock / ESB Professional

Total score: 35.45
Affordability rank: 78
Diversity, accessibility, and quality rank: 181

Just one Georgia city—Atlanta—cracked the top 20 in terms of overall foodie culture and Augusta fared far less well. While Augusta was among the more affordable cities for food on WalletHub's list, there was just one city that ranked lower in terms of diversity, accessibility, and quality.

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6

Juneau, Alaska

aerial view of mountains in juneau alaska
Shutterstock

Total score: 34.97
Affordability rank: 180
Diversity, accessibility, and quality rank: 129

If you're looking for an affordable place to find great cuisine, don't look to Juneau, according to WalletHub's data. Just two cities ranked lower in terms of affordability and the Alaska city didn't fare too favorably when it came to diverse, accessible, or quality food offerings.

5

Shreveport, Louisiana

Shreveport, Louisiana, USA skyline over the Red River at dusk.
Shutterstock

Total score: 34.08
Affordability rank: 146
Diversity, accessibility, and quality rank: 180

Coming in just one slot behind Augusta in terms of diversity, accessibility, and quality, Shreveport's food offerings are also pretty pricey for those who call the city home.

RELATED: 10 Grocery Items That Are More Expensive Than Ever

4

Jackson, Mississippi

Jackson, Mississippi
iStock

Total score: 33.28
Affordability rank: 160
Diversity, accessibility, and quality rank: 179

While Jackson ranked extremely low in terms of both food affordability and diversity, accessibility, and quality, that's not the only disappointing news for foodies in this Southern city: Jackson also had the lowest ratio of full-service to fast-food restaurants.

RELATED: 100 Shocking Facts About Fast Food You Never Knew

3

Montgomery, Alabama

Montgomery, Alabama
Shutterstock

Total score: 33.05
Affordability rank: 133
Diversity, accessibility, and quality rank: 182

Montgomery, Alabama ranked dead last on WalletHub's list in terms of diversity, accessibility, and quality, and was among the bottom 50 cities in terms of food affordability, too. It also came in 178th out of 182 cities in terms of its full-service to fast-food restaurant ratio.

RELATED: 6 Best Fast-Food Salads in America in 2021

2

Moreno Valley, California

aerial daytime view of moreno valley california
Shutterstock / Matt Gush

Total score: 32.16
Affordability rank: 170
Diversity, accessibility, and quality rank: 168

Moreno Valley, a Southern California city of approximately 207,000, ranked among the bottom 20 for both affordability and diversity, accessibility, and quality.

1

Pearl City, Hawaii

aerial daytime view of pearl harbor at the edge of pearl city hawaii
Shutterstock / Steven Phraner

Total score: 25.13
Affordability rank: 182
Diversity, accessibility, and quality rank: 175

A city of just 45,000, Pearl City was ranked the single worst U.S. city for foodies by WalletHub. In addition to having the least affordable food and low marks for diversity, accessibility, and quality, Pearl City had the fewest gourmet specialty food shops, the fewest coffee shops, the fewest restaurants per capita, and the highest cost of groceries.

For more insight into how your city ranks, check out This Is the Most Caffeinated City in the U.S., New Study Says, and for more foodie news delivered to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter!

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Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more
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