Best Cities for Foodies

Last updated on 06/04/2024

From east to west, the diversity of cuisines in the United States means there is something delicious for everyone. It houses extraordinary variety in its food culture with its famous fast-food chains but also hundreds of the best Michelin-star restaurants in the world. Each state takes pride in their unique cooking styles, from Louisiana’s Cajun food to the barbecue of Texas, so there is always something to enjoy when visiting a new destination.

To find out more about the best places to explore, InsureMyTrip looked at different aspects of foodie culture such as the average rating of restaurants, cafés, bakeries and the prices of cooking classes across 99 of the most populous cities in the U.S.

Map of the Top Ten Best Cities for Foodies

Top 10 Best Cities for Foodies & Food Lovers

Our top ten cities for foodies are as follows:

  1. St Petersburg, Florida – 7.16 overall
  2. Richmond, Virginia – 6.67 overall
  3. Milwaukee, Wisconsin – 6.33 overall
  4. Cincinnati, Ohio – 6.22 overall
  5. Fort Wayne, Indiana – 6.17
  6. Madison, Wisconsin – 5.96
  7. Kansas City, Missouri – 5.95
  8. Durham, North Carolina – 5.92
  9. Lexington, Kentucky – 5.82
  10. Cape Coral, Florida – 5.72

Top Three Best Cities for Foodies: St Petersburg, Florida

Best City for Foodies - St. Petersburg, Florida

Coming in on top with an overall score of 7.16/10 is St. Petersburg, FL. This is the perfect city for foodies to explore with some of the best ratings in the study for their cafés and restaurants. Their cafés have an average rating of 4.52 and restaurants have an average of 4.41, demonstrating the high quality of service and food for tourists and residents in which to indulge.

Known for the most consecutive days of sunshine, St. Petersburg’s coastal location means it offers fresh seafood right from the Gulf. For foodies on a budget, it has a relatively low cost of a three-course meal at an estimated average of $57.50.

Top Three Best Cities for Foodies: Richmond, Virginia

Best City for Foodies - Richmond, Virginia

In second place, Richmond, VA has an overall score of 6.67/10. It boasts 56 farmers markets in the area, almost double the amount of the city ranked below it. The 17th Street Market has been around for more than 275 years – a historical landmark for any foodie to visit. There is also the discovery of Richmond’s outstanding café culture. The average price for a cup of coffee is just $4.08, among the lowest in the study. Cafés in the city also have an impressive rating of 4.41/5.

Top Three Best Cities for Foodies: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Best City for Foodies - Milwaukee, Wisconsin

In third place is Milwaukee which is also known as ‘America’s Dairyland.’ Cheese curds are a popular delicacy to sample when visiting. It has an overall score of 6.33/10, with one of the highest averages for café ratings at 4.5/5.

Furthermore, Milwaukee is one of the most affordable cities for foodie experiences like cooking classes or food tours. These activities cost an average of $56.37.

The Remaining Top Ten Cities for Foodies

Cincinnati known for its chili parlors, comes in fourth with an overall score of 6.22/10. The city has the second-best average price for cooking experiences at $44.18.

Fort Wayne, Indiana comes fifth with an overall score of 6.17/10. It has a low estimated cost for an average mid-range meal of $50 for two people. Fort Wayne’s bakeries also have some of the lowest priced bread out of all the cities at $2.23.

In sixth position, Madison, WI has an overall score of 5.96/10. The Midwest city has the best price for their cappuccinos at $2.43.

Kansas City, MO takes the seventh spot with an overall score of 5.95/10. It is the proclaimed capital of barbecue but also has the best average rating in the study for its cafés with a score of 4.53/5.

Durham, NC, prides itself on its notable food truck culture. It is ranked the eighth best city for foodies with an overall score of 5.92/10. It has one of the lowest priced coffees at $4.08.

In ninth place is Lexington, KY with an overall score of 5.82/10. This is down to the highly rated bakeries at 4.57/5, reflecting the southern comfort this city offers. For more adventurous food lovers, it also has a low cost for cooking classes and food tours downtown at an average cost of $48.82.

Rounding up the top 10 is Cape Coral, FL, also known as the ‘Venice of America.’ It has an overall score of 5.72/10. Their restaurants have an average rating of 4.38/5 and a respectable price of an estimated $57.50 for a three-course meal.


America has so much opportunity for foodies, with many of the cities, both in our top 10 and across the country, taking pride in their cuisine and food service industries. Traveling for food is an excellent way to explore new places or even branch out in local areas. This ranking of cities will hopefully add a new unknown destination to travel to for those who are wanting to expand their palate.


Each data point consists of the latest research available from reputable sources. All sources are destination specific level data points. The data was standardized using minmax normalization. The minmax normalization value is multiplied by 10 to create a score (between 0-10). A score of 10 is always the best result, while a score of 0 is the worst. Each city is then ranked on their overall rating across all romantic data points, to find which city is the best for meeting foodie interests.


Average Rating of Restaurants
The average rating of restaurants in each city.
Google Maps

Average Cost of Food for a Mid-Range Meal
The average cost of a mid-range, three-course meal for two people.

Average Rating of Cafés
The average rating of cafés across each city.
Google Maps

Average Cost of a Cappuccino
The average cost of a cappuccino in each city.

Average Rating of a Bakery
The average rating of bakeries across each city.
Google Maps

Cost of a Loaf of Bread
The cost of a one pound loaf of fresh white bread in each city.

Average Cost of Cooking Classes
The average cost of cooking classes/food tours in each city.

Number of Farmers Markets
The number of farmers markets available in each city.
Local Food Directory