What's the most restaurant-crazy city in the country?
Maybe... San Francisco? New York? New Orleans? All 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, published here for the first time.
HuffPost 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. Click through below to find out the results of our number crunching:
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. Who knew Alaskans liked to eat out so much?
(Also, for the record, because we know based on lists like this we've done in the past that it'll come up in the comments, New Orleans was at number 46, right between Los Angeles and San Angelo, Texas. Sorry guys. We love eating there, too.)
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.