Worcester Ranked Near Bottom for Best Foodie Cities in U.S.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018
GoLocalWorcester Lifestyle Team

When it comes to the best cities for food in the U.S., Worcester is ranked near the bottom.

According to a recent study completed by WalletHub, Worcester is ranked 123rd for food out of 182 ranked cities.

“Americans today apply the term “foodie” to anyone who loves gourmet dining. But foodie culture isn’t limited to restaurants. More importantly, far fewer than the many who claim to be foodies truly deserve the label. “Authentic” foodies, according to experts, not only crave new and different flavors but also savor the exploratory experience of eating, learning and discovering food,” said WalletHub.

Worcester’s Rankings

  • 140th Best - Affordability
  • 110 Best - Diversity, Accessibility and Quality


The Rankings

Worcester is ranked behind Akron, Ohio and Huntington, West Virginia, who rank 121st and 122nd overall.

Worcester is ranked ahead of Chula Vista, California, and Oceanside, California, who rank 124th and 125th overall.

Portland, Oregon is ranked as the best city for food, while Pearl City, Hawaii is ranked as the worst city in the U.S. for food.

See the full rankings in the map below

Source: WalletHub

The Method

In order to determine the best and cheapest local foodie scenes, WalletHub compared 182 cities — including the 150 most populated U.S. cities, plus at least two of the most populated cities in each state — across two key dimensions, “Affordability” and “Diversity, Accessibility & Quality.”

They evaluated those dimensions using 29 relevant metrics. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions and costs for foodies.

Finally, they determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order the cities in our sample. In determining our sample, we considered only the “city proper” in each case and excluded surrounding cities in the metro area.

Affordability – Total Points: 30

  • Cost of Groceries: Double Weight (~6.67 Points)
  • Accessibility & Affordability of High-Quality Restaurants: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
  • Restaurant Meal Cost: Double Weight (~6.67 Points)
  • Sales Tax: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
  • Food Tax: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
  • Restaurant Tax: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
  • Average Beer & Wine Price: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)


Diversity, Accessibility & Quality – Total Points: 70

  • Restaurants per Capita*: Triple Weight (~9.44 Points)
  • Ratio of Full-Service Restaurants to Fast-Food Establishments: Full Weight (~3.15 Points)
  • Growth in Number of Full Service Restaurants (2016 vs 2011): Full Weight (~3.15 Points)
  • Restaurant Diversity: Full Weight (~3.15 Points)
  • Presence of Michelin-Starred Restaurants: Quarter Weight (~0.79 Points)
  • Average Ranking of Restaurants on Yelp’s “Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S.” List: Full Weight (~3.15 Points)
  • Food Trucks per Capita*: Full Weight (~3.15 Points)
  • Access to Healthy Food Options: Full Weight (~3.15 Points)
  • Farmers Markets & CSA Programs per Capita*: Full Weight (~3.15 Points)
  • Food Freshness: Full Weight (~3.15 Points)
  • Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt Shops per Capita*: Full Weight (~3.15 Points)
  • Craft Breweries & Wine Bars per Capita*: Full Weight (~3.15 Points)
  • Coffee & Tea Shops per Capita*: Full Weight (~3.15 Points)
  • Gourmet Specialty-Food Stores per Capita*: Full Weight (~3.15 Points)
  • Grocery Stores per Capita*: Full Weight (~3.15 Points)
  • Butcher Shops per Capita*: Full Weight (~3.15 Points)
  • Herbs & Spices Stores per Capita*: Half Weight (~1.57 Points)
  • Kitchen Supplies Stores per Capita*: Full Weight (~3.15 Points)
  • Food Festivals per Capita*: Full Weight (~3.15 Points)
  • Cooking Schools per Capita*: Full Weight (~3.15 Points)
  • Food & Drink Meetups per Capita*: Half Weight (~1.57 Points)
  • Food & Wine Tours per Capita*: Full Weight (~3.15 Points)


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