Juneau in Alaska has topped the list of US cities where people like to eat out.
San Francisco, New York and New Orleans are great cities for dining, with some of the most acclaimed and beloved restaurants in the world, but none of them even merit a medal in the restaurant city Olympics judged by a new measure of dining density.
The Huffington Post Food used data from The NPD Group’s annual ReCount survey, which takes a yearly census of the number of restaurants in the country, to rank United States metropolitan areas by the number of restaurants per capita.
The country’s top 10 restaurant-crazy cities are:
1. Juneau, Alaska with Population: 31,094, Restaurants: 112, Restaurants Per 10,000 Residents: 36.0
2. Salisbury, Maryland with Population: 425,748, Restaurants: 1165, Restaurants Per 10,000 Residents: 27.4
3. Bend, Oregon with Population: 166,347, Restaurants: 431, Restaurants Per 10,000 Residents: 25.9
4. Panama City, Florida with Population: 373,224, Restaurants: 925, Restaurants Per 10,000 Residents: 24.8
5. New York City with Population: 21,094,218, Restaurants: 51,511, Restaurants Per 10,000 Residents: 24.4
6. Florence-Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with Population: 743,383, Restaurants: 1781, Restaurants Per 10,000 Residents: 24.0
7. Anchorage, Alaska with Population: 428,041, Restaurants: 1012, Restaurants Per 10,000 Residents: 23.6
8. Portland-Auburn, Maine with Population: 985,514, Restaurants: 2319, Restaurants Per 10,000 Residents: 23.5
9. Medford-Klamath Falls, Oregon with Population: 429,744, Restaurants: 996, Restaurants Per 10,000 Residents: 23.2
10. Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-San Luis Obispo, California with Population: 704,573, Restaurants: 1625, Restaurants Per 10,000 Residents: 23.1
One important note: The NPD Group broke its findings into metropolitan areas larger than the ones used by the Census Bureau or the one comparable study of restaurants per capita, which was conducted by Trulia. So it’s possible that the list favored sprawling, low-density areas in the West, where cities are few and far between, compared to more tightly-packed regions such as New England.
Like the Trulia list, it leans a little heavily toward touristy areas, which tend to attract many more restaurant customers than full-time residents.
Still, it’s a fascinating, unusual list, otherwise who knew Alaskans liked to eat out so much.
To put the numbers on there in perspective, the NPD Group’s ReCount Census for Fall 2012 indicated that there are now 616,008 restaurants operating in the country, up .7 percent from the year before. That means that the average density in the country is about 20 restaurants per 10,000 people