The best food city in every state

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The United States has no shortage of premier culinary destinations and small-town food hotspots. As American foodies look forward to fall harvests and perfect outdoor dining weather, they should consider checking out these top food cities in each state.

Although the term “foodie” might spark thoughts of Michelin-star restaurants, being a true food lover is about so much more than fine dining. Being a foodie means seeking out new food experiences, engaging with different cuisines, and ultimately, taking a deep pleasure in the simple act of eating. As such, good food can take various forms for food lovers: a rich entrée in a cozy French bistro, a plate of authentic Mexican tacos, a fresh farm-to-table salad, or even a warm home-cooked meal.

A city with an inviting and exciting food scene should therefore offer not only diverse or upscale restaurant options, but also a great variety of specialty food establishments: bakeries and cheese shops, grocery stores with fresh produce and cooking staples, and exciting street food options like food trucks or farmers markets. Plus, a true foodie city must have affordable food and dining choices, so all food lovers are included.

Every city in the U.S. has something unique to offer restaurant-goers and food-focused shoppers alike. Certain metropolitan areas, however, provide a plethora of ways to engage with their local cuisine that are sure to attract almost any food lover. With this in mind, data scientists at Insurify crunched the numbers to identify the best city for foodies in every state.

Alabama road
DepositPhotos.com

Alabama — Daphne

  • Foodie Score: 61.1 (83% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 117.8
  • Food and dining price index: 75.5
Anchorage, Alaska
Chilkoot/istockphoto

Alaska — Fairbanks

  • Foodie Score: 21.0 (1% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 76.4
  • Food and dining price index: 84.3
Flagstaff, Arizona
Gogadicta / iStock

Arizona — Flagstaff

  • Foodie Score: 52.5 (53% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 123.4
  • Food and dining price index: 84.8
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Samuel Grant

Arkansas — Hot Springs

  • Foodie Score: 68.7 (79% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 118.7
  • Food and dining price index: 68.2
Ukiah, California
Ordinary Mario / iStock

California — Ukiah

  • Foodie Score: 79.5 (117% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 123.6
  • Food and dining price index: 100.0
Fort Collins Colorado
marekuliasz / iStock

Colorado — Fort Collins

  • Foodie Score: 51.1 (23% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 83.8
  • Food and dining price index: 85.3
Torrington, Connecticut
Alexander Farnsworth / iStock

Connecticut — Torrington

  • Foodie Score: 47.4 (3% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 112.0
  • Food and dining price index: 82.2
Dover, DE, capital building
Deposit Photos

Delaware — Dover

  • Foodie Score: 20.4 (1% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 59.7
  • Food and dining price index: 79.1
Key West, Florida
Pixabay.com

Florida — Key West

 

 

  • Foodie Score: 161.5 (254% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 305.8
  • Food and dining price index: 109.4

 

 

savannah georgia
Sean Pavone/istockphoto

Georgia — Savannah

  • Foodie Score: 62.1 (103% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 101.2
  • Food and dining price index: 76.0
Kahului Bay
Eric Broder VD / iStock

Hawaii — Kahului

  • Foodie Score: 24.5 (41% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 109.3
  • Food and dining price index: 123.8
Downtown Twin Falls, Idaho
Tommyers89 / Wikimedia Commons

Idaho — Twin Falls

 

 

  • Foodie Score: 40.8 (26% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 70.3
  • Food and dining price index: 71.3

 

 

Ottawa Illinois
EJ_Rodriquez / iStock

Illinois — Ottawa

  • Foodie Score: 64.6 (41% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 112.2
  • Food and dining price index: 67.7
south bend indiana
LeisureCowboy / istockphoto

Indiana — South Bend

  • Foodie Score: 49.8 (30% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 70.8
  • Food and dining price index: 68.1
Davenport, Iowa
Alexbaumgarner / iStock

Iowa — Davenport

 

 

  • Foodie Score: 47.6 (26% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 81.0
  • Food and dining price index: 68.1

 

 

Wichita, Kansas
Deposit Photos

Kansas — Wichita

  • Foodie Score: 60.1 (57% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 70.4
  • Food and dining price index: 56.4
Paducah, Kentucky
JT Crawford / istockphoto

Kentucky — Paducah

  • Foodie Score: 51.8 (53% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 93.5
  • Food and dining price index: 67.0
Historic homes in Louisiana
DepositPhotos.com

Louisiana — New Orleans

  • Foodie Score: 55.7 (35% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 92.1
  • Food and dining price index: 71.4
Maine
DepositPhotos.com

Maine — Portland

  • Foodie Score: 81.7 (77% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 133.0
  • Food and dining price index: 88.3
Salisbury, Md
Eric Fischer

Maryland — Salisbury

  • Foodie Score: 76.6 (81% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 135.4
  • Food and dining price index: 80.6
Barnstable Town, Mass.
John Phelan

Massachusetts — Barnstable Town

 

 

  • Foodie Score: 100.0 (75% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 203.3
  • Food and dining price index: 95.6

 

 

Traverse City, Michigan
@michigansherry / Instagram / TraverseCity.com

Michigan — Traverse City

 

 

  • Foodie Score: 76.5 (71% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 104.2
  • Food and dining price index: 77.8

 

 

Brainerd, Minnesota
Todd Murray / Wiki Commons

Minnesota — Brainerd

  • Foodie Score: 62.5 (50% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 119.2
  • Food and dining price index: 76.5
Tupelo Mississippi at sunset
The best photo is earned / iStock

Mississippi — Tupelo

  • Foodie Score: 40.3 (26% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 68.0
  • Food and dining price index: 68.1
Branson, Missouri
Ryan Lindbeck – Altitude Motion Media / iStock

Missouri — Branson

  • Foodie Score: 98.8 (106% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 223.5
  • Food and dining price index: 69.9
Great Falls, Montana
Montanabw / Wiki Commons

Montana — Great Falls

  • Foodie Score: 46.1 (29% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 78.7
  • Food and dining price index: 71.2
Omaha, Nebraska
Matt Bills / iStock

Nebraska — Omaha

 

  • Foodie Score: 42.2 (48% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 67.4
  • Food and dining price index: 68.2

 

 

Carson City, Nevada
johnrandallalves / iStock

Nevada — Carson City

  • Foodie Score: 52.1 (12% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 118.0
  • Food and dining price index: 80.5

 

 

Keene, New Hampshire
DenisTangneyJr / iStock

New Hampshire — Keene

  • Foodie Score: 29.4 (19% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 78.9
  • Food and dining price index: 79.8
Ocean City, NJ
Adam Moss

New Jersey — Ocean City

  • Foodie Score: 328.6 (168% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 349.9
  • Food and dining price index: 85.5
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Sean Pavone / istockphoto

New Mexico — Santa Fe

  • Foodie Score: 35.4 (27% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 114.4
  • Food and dining price index: 82.1
New York
Eloi_Omella

New York — New York

  • Foodie Score: 83.2 (44% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 108.3
  • Food and dining price index: 100.0
Wilmington, NC
Deposit Photos

North Carolina — Wilmington

  • Foodie Score: 62.4 (63% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 112.3
  • Food and dining price index: 77.3
Minot, North Dakota
Bobak / Wiki Commons

North Dakota — Minot

  • Foodie Score: 56.1 (68% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 70.0
  • Food and dining price index: 70.9
Sandusky, Ohio
Big Joe / iStock

Ohio — Sandusky

  • Foodie Score: 55.4 (36% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 114.5
  • Food and dining price index: 70.9
Enid, Oklahoma
Drobinson / Wikimedia Commons

Oklahoma — Enid

  • Foodie Score: 53.4 (20% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 62.2
  • Food and dining price index: 64.8
Eugene, Oregon
istockphoto

Oregon — Eugene

  • Foodie Score: 67.3 (49% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 88.2
  • Food and dining price index: 70.1
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Cwieders / iStock

Pennsylvania — Lancaster

  • Foodie Score: 64.3 (38% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 65.1
  • Food and dining price index: 77.7
Providence, Rhode Island
istockphoto/Sean Pavone

Rhode Island — Providence

  • Foodie Score: 45.6 (1% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 98.7
  • Food and dining price index: 87.1
Myrtle Beach
DepositPhotos.com

South Carolina — Myrtle Beach

  • Foodie Score: 61.7 (45% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 136.4
  • Food and dining price index: 74.0
Sioux Falls
Geoff Eccles / istockphoto

South Dakota — Sioux Falls

  • Foodie Score: 33.8 (1% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 64.9
  • Food and dining price index: 72.5
Sevierville, Tennessee
Brian Stansberry / Wiki Commons

Tennessee — Sevierville

  • Foodie Score: 95.7 (145% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 160.8
  • Food and dining price index: 80.9
Austin, Texas mural
Jim Nix / Flickr

Texas — Austin

  • Foodie Score: 66.5 (106% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 68.1
  • Food and dining price index: 66.6
Ogden, Utah
Scott Catron from Sandy, Utah, USA

Utah — Ogden

  • Foodie Score: 17.5 (15% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 39.9
  • Food and dining price index: 78.0
Burlington, VT
Deposit Photos

Vermont — Burlington

  • Foodie Score: 63.8 (1% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 52.6
  • Food and dining price index: 91.3
Charlottesville Virginia
jack looney/istockphoto

Virginia — Charlottesville

  • Foodie Score: 55.4 (33% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 104.8
  • Food and dining price index: 79.8
Aberdeen, Washington
Ingo Dörenberg / iStock

Washington — Aberdeen

  • Foodie Score: 84.1 (93% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 87.9
  • Food and dining price index: 76.3
Weirton, West Virginia
Famartin / Wiki Commons

West Virginia — Weirton

  • Foodie Score: 50.4 (37% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 65.5
  • Food and dining price index: 64.5
Milwaukee
istockphoto

Wisconsin — Milwaukee

  • Foodie Score: 58.2 (29% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 73.0
  • Food and dining price index: 72.4
Casper, Wyoming
Andrew Farkas / iStock

Wyoming — Casper

  • Foodie Score: 37.3 (29% higher than state average)
  • Restaurants per 100,000 residents: 87.7
  • Food and dining price index: 73.6
Eating fast food
Getty Images | Lisa Lake

Methodology & sources

Data scientists at Insurify, a site to compare homeowners insurance, referred to publicly accessible data to identify the best metropolitan area for foodies in each state. Cities were ranked based on a composite score of factors including the number of full-service restaurants per 100,000 residents, the number of mobile food establishments per 100,000 residents, the number of grocery stores per 100,000 residents, the number of specialty food stores per 100,000 residents, and the overall cost of food and dining. Bonus points were awarded to select cities with exceptional food culture and creative top-end restaurants.

Data on each city’s number of full-service restaurants, mobile food establishments, grocery stores, and specialty food stores per 100,000 residents were gathered from the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent economic census. Each metropolitan area’s total number of establishments in each category was compared against the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent estimate of that area’s population.

Food and dining price data come from Numbeo’s U.S. City Cost of Living Index. For each city for which data was available, the Insurify data science team averaged Numbeo’s Grocery Index and Restaurant Price Index to create a single index for food and dining costs. For cities not included in Numbeo’s data, Insurify data scientists approximated food and dining costs using AdvisorSmith’s City Cost of Living Index, which accounts for the cost of food, among other factors, in American cities. Both indices were weighted to the same scale for comparability.

Lastly, 21 cities, including San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta, Chicago, and Philadelphia, received bonus points for having both particularly creative restaurant fare and exceptionally delicious local food traditions. Cities earned this bonus if Cozymeal included them in their list of the best foodie cities to travel to in 2021.

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This article originally appeared on Insurify and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

Image Credit: Getty Images | Lisa Lake.

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