Massive, 45-Minute Data Project Reveals Best City for Eating

Photographer: Photo Researchers/Getty Images

No wonder San Franciscans keep coming up with new food-delivery apps -- they've got the most eateries per capita in the U.S., according to Bloomberg Rankings.

But which U.S. city has the best places to eat?

You could spend a very pleasant, fully funded lifetime answering that question, if life were just a bowl of cherries. Facing reality, Loot picked up the Zagat guide, which awards as many as 30 points each for food, decor and service. We then took the Bloomberg ranking of most eateries per 10,000 people ...

1. San Francisco: 21.44
2. Seattle: 20.52
3. Boston: 19.63
4. New York: 19.57
5. Los Angeles: 17.38
6. San Diego: 17.36
7. Washington, D.C.: 16.69
8. Atlanta: 16.22
9. Philadelphia: 16.03
10. Chicago: 15.93

... and reordered it by the number of restaurants in each city awarded at least 75 points by Zagat:

1. Boston: 37
2. Los Angeles: 35
3. New York: 31
3. Washington, D.C. 31
5. San Francisco: 27
6. Seattle: 25
7. Chicago: 21
8. Philadelphia: 20
9. San Diego: 16
10. Atlanta: 11

The Zagat guide, which is based on user votes, is subjective. But it offers a decent overview of each city's fine-dining options -- even if you don't like a snooty French restaurant, you'll still give the decor higher points than a taco stand's.

And we would have gotten different results if we had applied our Zagat test to a broader range of cities, instead of limiting it to the 10 on Bloomberg's list. But this way we got a nice mix of quality and access.

Our conclusion: San Francisco is the best place to find something to eat. Boston is the best place for eating.

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