Industry News
August 21, 2018

Ranking: The 50 Fastest Growing Restaurant Scenes (US + Canada)

Ranking: The 50 Fastest Growing Restaurant Scenes (US + Canada)

Ask any brunch- and gastropub-loving hipster. They will eagerly tell you all about the big food cities like Chicago, Toronto, New York and San Francisco. They’re booming (both in the streets and on the ‘gram).

But they’re not alone anymore.

For years, chefs from these huge markets have been making their way to smaller cities, lending their skills to exciting food booms across the continent. You no longer have to travel far to try the latest and greatest in cuisine. Someone might be cooking it up right in your backyard.

We have put together a list of the 50 U.S. and Canadian cities with the fastest growing restaurant scenes. Plus, check out the number of restaurants in these popular cities. The results may surprise you.

The 50 Fastest Growing Restaurant Cities (Full Ranking) 

Based on the data we collected, here is the full ranking of the 50 fastest-growing restaurant scenes in the US and Canada. Did your city make the list?

The Top 10 Fastest Growing Restaurant Scenes

Let's take a look at each of the top 10 fastest-growing scenes and what makes them unique.

1. Hamilton, Ontario, Canada: 6.1% New Restaurants

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada is seeing a boom in trendy taquerias, but also welcoming everything from high end gastropubs to fish and chip shops. 77 new restaurants in three months make Hamilton the fastest growing restaurant city on our list.

2. Durham, North Carolina: 3.14% New Restaurants

Seafood is having a major moment in Durham, but this North Carolina city is also borrowing flavors from all corners of the world: Korean, Mediterranean, Japanese and more were included in the 23 new restaurants Durham welcomed in three months, making Durham our second fastest growing restaurant city.

3. Newport News, Virginia: 2.87% New Restaurants

Burgers are king in Newport News, which has seen a wealth of upscale American kitchens opening in recent months. But there’s also new seafood, barbecue and more to try out of the 17 new restaurants that landed Newport News in the No. 3 spot on our list.

4. Elk Grove, California: 2.85% New Restaurants

Diners in this California town apparently can’t get enough of Asian cuisines right now — Thai, Indian, Korean, Japanese and more make up the 33 new restaurants Elk Grove welcomed in three months.

5. Tempe, Arizona: 2.74% New Restaurants

Tempe is proof that the best food isn’t always in the biggest cities. A trip into the Phoenix suburbs will bring you to 45 new restaurants, many of them already highly rated by diners, in Tempe.

6. Ontario, California: 2.55% New Restaurants

Diners are clearly clamoring for steakhouses in Ontario, where several are among the 34 new restaurants that opened there in three months. But there’s more than just beef here — sushi and cajun spots are also popular new additions.

7. Frisco, Texas: 2.34% New Restaurants

Sushi, poke, ramen and Korean barbecue are among the new international tastes that can be found in Frisco. But don’t worry if those aren’t your fave — with 67 new restaurants to choose from, you’re sure to find something to fit every palate.

8. Huntington Beach, California: 2.30% New Restaurants

Huntington Beach had no shortage of eateries before its recent rapid growth. But 156 new restaurants in three months make it a solid No. 8 on our list. With that many  new spots, there’s definitely something for everyone.

9. Columbus, Ohio: 2.27% New Restaurants

Landlocked Ohio may not seem like a hotspot for seafood, but among Columbus’ 43 new restaurants are plenty of options for pescatarians.

10. Garden Grove, California: 2.26% New Restaurants

Los Angeles is one of the biggest food cities in the world, so it makes sense that Garden Grove, located just south of downtown LA, would also deliver. Among its 187 new restaurants, hungry diners will find plenty of California coastal seafood, as well as international flavors from Korea to Peru.

About This Ranking

We used Yelp to analyze 250+ U.S. and Canadian cities.

We compared how many new restaurants opened in each city to the total number of established eateries. All of the cities included in this list have opened up the most new restaurants in the 3 months prior to August 1st, 2018 when the data was collected.

Please keep in mind that while the cities on this list might not have the highest total numbers of newly launched restaurants, they represent the cities with the highest percentages of growth in their overall food scene.

If you’re looking for a food scene that’s constantly changing, consider returning to these fastest growing restaurant cities! 

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