Food is always at the forefront of every city. Chicago and New York pride themselves on their pizza, Philly has their cheesesteaks, and Austin, Texas has barbecue. From east to west, Boston to Los Angeles, the local restaurant scene sheds light on the type of popular food the locals love to eat. And thanks to our friends over at the Google News Lab, it's easier than ever to take a look at how much each city and state loves a certain food.
Using Google data, the design studio Polygraph was able to digitally visualize the types of food we love in American cities across the nation. The data came from anonymous users who turned on Google Location History and visited the restaurant. Don't be too frightened, you can always turn the feature off on your phone or computer. It essentially helps you with recommendations and if you are using maps, predicts your daily commute time.
Let's get back to the food.
Popularity of BBQ Restaurants
It comes as no surprise that Texas is flooded with BBQ lovers. Big cities like Houston and Dallas hold the biggest concentration of barbecue restaurants, but we also can't forget our other southern neighbors like Nashville, Charleston and Atlanta. The type of barbecue varies greatly throughout the south, but one thing is for sure-we love it.
Popularity of Pizza Restaurants
Compared to barbecue, pizza is a popular choice in food cites across America. While it's expected that New York City would have a high concentration of pizza restaurant visits, it's actually Iowa and Kansas that hold the lead.
Popularity of Coffee Shops
If there's one thing the Pacific Northwest prides itself on (other than it's beauty) it's coffee. Seattle, Washington brought us Starbucks and Tully's. As a former resident of the PNW, I can assure you that coffee is the beverage of choice; especially in the winter. Heck, most places have multiple drive-thru coffee huts throughout the town.
And let's not forget that nothing goes better with coffee than Portland, Oregon's famous Voodoo doughnuts.
Popularity of Mexican Restaurants
Mostly popular in the states which are closest to Mexico, some Mexican restaurants have gained traction in recent years as fine dining in the food scene. One notable celebrity chef on the scene is Rick Bayless who has earned a Michelin star for his restaurant Topolobampo. And here in Texas recently opened Xochi celebrates the cuisine of Oaxaca, Mexico in a highly-refined menu.
Popularity of Seafood Restaurants
In regards of the other maps in the list, seafood restaurants are far and few between. The entire state of Florida is almost covered as well as New Orleans, Maine and the entire county of Miami. We can't forget the small bits of the Pacific as well.
Popularity of Italian Restaurants
If you want good authentic Italian, New York is the place to go according to this map. Delicious Italian food isn't only in the Big Apple, but throughout the entire upstate area including parts of New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Have you tried the cannolis in Boston? Life-changing.
Popularity of Sandwich Shops
If there's one type of restaurant that you can count on being present throughout different food cities in America, it's the sandwich shop. From the hoagie in Philadelphia to the grinder in New England, each city has their own version of the sandwich.
But it doesn't stop there. Now it's time to put all the cuisines on one map and compare which food is most popular in each city.
The Most-Visited Restaurant Cuisine in America
Mexican cuisine takes over states like California and New Mexico while Pizza reigns supreme throughout Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Missouri. In Texas it's a mix of Mexican, barbecue, pizza, burgers and steakhouses. A little bit of everything.
It's time to go in further.
Cuisine Capitals of the U.S.
If you want to eat at the best Mexican restaurant without having to use your passport, Texas is the state for you. San Antonio tops the list followed by Dallas, Houston, and Austin with their share of total restaurant visits. We can't argue with that.
We have to go deeper. (This is starting to feel like the movie Inception).
You can actually take a look at individual cities and the most popular cuisine in a neighborhood. Take a look at Austin:
While Mexican restaurants are the most popular in the city, neighborhoods like Parker Lane, East Congress, Rosewood and Wells Branch all agree that BBQ is king.