Much of the fun of travel is exploring new foods. Sure, some of us opt for less expensive meals in a hotel room equipped with kitchens but for most travelers, we take in local food experiences. Thanks to Zagat’s most recent survey, we have some insight about dining across America.
So what kinds of foods do we like? Overall, the first choice is Italian (ok, is Zagat watching me eat pizza in Brazil as I write this??) followed by American, French, and seafood. Placing lower were Japanese, Mexican, Thai, and Chinese. However, certain cities had different preferences. For example, Austin and Minneapolis placed American food first while Portland, Oregon’s favorite was seafood (probably Portland, Maine, also). In Los Angeles, there was a stronger preference for Japanese food.
Healthier foods are definitely on the rise. It was interesting to read that Brussel sprouts and beets and popular trendy foods while bacon fell into the “over it” camp. I know, I know . . . you’re probably not in the Brussel sprouts camp.
Not surprising, New York was the most expensive city to dine in, followed by Boston and Miami. Least expensive was Austin, not unusual by itself but Austin also happens to be the city that tips the highest, according to this survey.
As Americans, we eat out an average of 4.5 times a week (not counting breakfast). At the high end was Atlanta (5.2 times) while those in Portland, OR and Minneapolis choose to eat out only 3.4 times a week.
Not surprising at all, the number one complaint from diners is service followed by noise, prices, and crowds. An exception was noted where eaters in Portland complained more about the noise than service. Interestingresults from Portland given that they are also the stingiest tippers according to the survey.
For more information, click on their interactive map to learn tidbits about each city in the survey.