This Is the Worst City for Foodies in the U.S.
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.
Grand Prairie, Texas
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Moreno Valley, California
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.
Pearl City, Hawaii
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!