How Diverse is Your City’s Cuisine?

Trying lots of different foods is something that many of us live for. The diversity of the food we eat can also go a long way to helping us discover new cultures and methods of cooking.

If you’re lucky enough to live in or frequent a city that offers up different cuisine from around the world, then trying something new should definitely be on your to-do list.

This set us thinking so we decided to dig a little deeper into what’s on offer out there. Using data provided by Trip Advisor, we collated information about what are considered to be the top-ten “foodie” cities in the world, and put all that information together in this striking visual. There are many factors that affect the diversity; location, traditions and even the use of technology to name a few.

We have to say, there were some surprises along the way too!

We all eat food, right? And taking great delight in the food we eat is something that has become a popular past time and even a career choice for some lucky folk. So, lets take a look at some of the factors that affect food diversity around the world.

Local Vs Non-Local

Here, the diversity of cuisine is defined by the number of restaurants that are considered “non-local”. So for example, a Turkish restaurant in an Italian city would be considered non-local as opposed to a pizzeria. That said, our focus was on the top three types of cuisine; Italian, Indian and Chinese. Though we chose to focus only on these three types of cuisine, they make up a small percentage of the total restaurants in many of the cities researched, indicating that the diversity is even greater!


It’s fair to say that the world loves Italian food! 62% of all the restaurants we looked at across the top ten cities, are Italian. And nowhere loves Italian food more so than Italy! In Venice for example, 76% of all restaurants is dedicated to home grown cuisine, with less than 1% being Indian cuisine. The same can be said for Florence, where 62% of all restaurants are Italian. Rome too with 58%. All three Italian cities go against the grain in terms of diversity, as on the whole across the 10 cities surveyed, 65% of all cuisine is considered non-local.

But why is Italian food so popular?

There are a couple of reasons for the increased popularity that we can draw from this as far as our research goes:

  • Firstly, three of the top ten cities are IN Italy
  • Pizza. It’s universally loved and whilst it has Italian origin, can a pizza shop as they are today still be classed as “Italian cuisine”?

Why Are Some Cities More Diverse Than Others?

We’ve looked at how diverse these cities are in terms of the types of food available, but WHY are some cities more diverse than others? These are the factors that we believe contribute to the diversity (or lack thereof):

Technology – As the data we’ve used has come from Trip Advisor, the propensity for technology and the use of mobile phones etc in every day life is much more prevalent, particularly in countries such as Japan. This will explain the amount of restaurants with an online presence and the fact that technology will enable customers to find, rate and order from these outlets much more easily.

Location – Some European countries share similaries in cuisine due to geographical proximity. Similar climates, cultures and produce may explain the popularity of Italian food in neighbouring countries as the ingredients and flavours are recognisable and easy to replicate.

Migration – A lot of the diversity within a city comes from migration. Cities such as New York, have a large population of Italian migrants, for example. Opening a restaurant or food outlet is often a smart and lucrative way to establish yourself in a new city, and what better way to meet like minded people from your own country?