Most Popular Restaurant in Every Major City 2022
You know the feeling: it’s the weekend, the work week is done, and you’re looking for the perfect restaurant to go to for dinner.
Whether you’re sick of having the same thing over and over, or you’re ready to treat yourself to a delicious meal, or vacationing for the weekend somewhere: you want to know what the top cuisine is, and which restaurants make the best food.
To help make the decision easier, we found the top restaurant in every major U.S. city in 2022. We analyzed Yelp and Google search data to find the top 1,200 restaurants across the nation, then narrowed these down by major metro city.
From sushi to Tex-Mex to pizza, which major city has the best taste when it comes to eating out?
The most popular cuisine across the nation was breakfast food, with many local cafes and brunch spots topping the list across many regions from Los Angeles to Atlanta.
For a city full of foodies and world-renowned restaurants, it’s surprising that New York’s favorite place to grab a bite is Shake Shack. Sometimes it’s best to stick to what you know, and New Yorkers clearly love their locally-born burger chain.
Another big city known for its great food is Chicago, who also prefer a chain restaurant: Portillo’s. Similar to Shake Shack in New York, Portillo’s actually started in Illinois. The Chicagoland staple, which specializes in Chicago-style hotdogs, Italian beef, and chocolate cake shakes, opened its first location in Villa Park, which isn’t too terribly far from our offices in Algonquin, Illinois.
Tex-Mex was the favorite in both Dallas and Houston. San Antonio went a whole other direction with their favorite being a pancake house, and Austin also switched it up with their favorite being a pizza joint.
While many cities love American-style food the most, there are some that have an appetite for international cuisines. San Francisco’s top restaurant specializes in Burmese food, while Seattle loves Taiwanese food. Tampa favors Spanish food, while Charlotte loves Peruvian food. A sushi restaurant was the top choice for those in Denver.
America’s Restaurant Preferences
So, how do Americans decide what to have for dinner when they want to go out to eat? The most common ways that people find somewhere to eat are on Google (76%), through word-of-mouth recommendations (64%), on Yelp (39%), and on social media (30%).
When asked where Americans get dinner, most (77%) commonly eat at home or cook for themselves. 50% say they regularly get takeout or pick up, 31% say they go to restaurants, and 3% say they use a meal subscription box.
The age-old debate of chain versus local goes on, with just over three-quarters (77%) of Americans preferring local restaurants, while 23% prefer chains.
Whether it’s chain or local though, it’s no secret that the past two years have been tough on restaurants. 40% of Americans say that at least one of their favorite restaurants has closed permanently since the onset of the pandemic.
With more Americans venturing out to dine in person this summer, customers are being hit hard by inflation. 50% of Americans are actually getting takeout less and going out to eat less due to inflation.
So, if you’re trying to balance saving money with supporting local businesses, try to eat out a few times a month. This list will help you find the best places to eat this summer. Plus, leaving a review is a great (free) way to help restaurants too.
Are you a restaurant owner or looking to start your own restaurant? From refrigerators to ovens, Bid-on-Equipment offers a variety of commercial kitchen equipment to help you serve up the best meals in town.
We found the top 20 highest rated, and top 20 most reviewed restaurants on Yelp for each of the top 30 metro cities in the U.S. We compiled this list of 40 restaurants per city, then used Google search data to find which was the most searched between January 2022 and March 2022. We also surveyed 1,008 Americans about their restaurant preferences. Those surveyed range in age from 18-84 years old, and were 49% female, 49% male, and 2% transgender/non-binary.
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