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Texas’ Top Foodie Cities Revealed, But Why is Only One in America’s Top 10?

BY // 10.12.18

If you’re craving a true foodie city, look no further than Texas. The Lone Star State is ripe with restaurants and up to our ears in eateries. There’s no denying Texas boasts some of the best food in the US of A.

You may cross state lines not hungry, but once you hear what we have to offer, it’s all over for your diet.

But there is one culinary point of contention: Just which city is the most mouthwatering, the ultimate in appetizing?

For years, it seemed like that was Austin, no caveats. But in the past 15 years or so, Houston has been coming for the crown. It’s been one delicious debate. GQ magazine recently championed Houston in a very public, gushing love letter.

Now, a new study seeks to settle the score once and for all. And the verdict is just as juicy as some Black Angus steak.

Austin is hands-down, no doubts about it, the greatest foodie city in all of Texas. Maybe.

According to the study, which ranked 182 cities across the country, Austin landed at a sweet No. 10 spot. Houston didn’t trail too far behind at No. 18 in America.

In Houston, you can bet there’ll be major beef.

Portland took Best Foodie City in America honors. San Francisco, Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Orlando (Orlando?), Las Vegas, Seattle, San Diego and Austin round out the Top 10.

In all, 16 different Texas cities made the cut. San Antonio also came in in the Top 25 at No. 21. Dallas was the next at No. 31. Then, it’s Fort Worth (80), Irving (84), Laredo (90), El Paso (100), Arlington (102), Plano (105), Amarillo (111), Corpus Christi (112), Garland (118), Brownsville (119), Lubbock (133) and Grand Pairie (169).

So, just what made the difference? Well, Wallethub entered the game with a whopping 29 factors in their criteria. It’s not all about culinary awards and gourmet dining. Instead, the study looked into “authentic” foodie culture, which goes beyond your reservation at the likes of Theodore Rex. It transcends the typical, and goes for craving new and different flavors, along with savoring the “exploratory experience of eating, learning and discovering food.”

To calculate food-friendliness, they looked at everything from cost of groceries to affordability and accessibility of high-quality restaurants, diversity, Yelp ratings, number of food festivals per capita and even the ratio between fast food and dine-in restaurants.

So, what does that mean? Did Whataburger do Houston dirty?

Here’s the breakdown. While Houston is more affordable than Austin — H-Town’s ranked at No. 8 and the Capital of Weird is No. 15 in that category, respectively —  but Austin is ranked higher in diversity, accessibility and quality, coming in at No. 15 to Houston’s No. 25.

Space City landed in the No. 5 spot for most affordable groceries, and Austin didn’t make a showing in any of the other four spots. In Houston, the cash-strapped have greater opportunities for some in-home foodie artistry. But it looks like the authentic Austin foodies beat out the Bayou City in some pretty clutch categories.

Austinites took a bite out of the competition. Houston, it’s your move.

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