Does California have the best food in America?

California’s culinary prowess is renowned from San Diego to Mount Shasta.

But the question remains – does The Golden State offer better food than any other?

In a recent ranking of America’s Best Cities for Foodies, personal finance website WalletHub concluded that Portland, Oregon is the #1 food destination in the US based on affordability, accessibility, variety and quality.

Florida’s Orlando and Miami follow Portland in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.

California’s dominance begins at number 4.

San Francisco, Sacramento, and San Diego all appear in the top 10 on the list. And to break up with Florida, where Tampa landed at number 8, Los Angeles and Oakland appear at number 15 and 20, giving California five top 20 foodie cities, more than any other state.

Santa Ana, San Jose, and Anaheim also received favorable rankings, finishing 39th, 45th, and 49th, respectively.

“Our report included the 150 most populous U.S. cities, and many of them are in California,” said Jill Gonzalez, an analyst at WalletHub news week. “The state definitely has a lot of great foodie cities — San Francisco, Sacramento, and San Diego, to name a few.”

Despite an omission of insider‘s list of the top 10 food states in the US this year, California has also performed spectacularly on previous lists similar to WalletHub’s.

In 2018, Thrillist ranked California as the second best food state in the US, after Texas. And this year, travel website Far & Wide awarded California the country’s culinary crown, calling it its “Culture of Cultures.” [that] creates a culinary map that spans the whole world”, explains the number 1 placement.

Authentic fish tacos.
Shown above are authentic fish tacos with dollops of fresh guacamole and rice on the side. With five cities making it into a recent ranking of the best places to eat in the United States, the question must be asked: Is California the state with the best food in the country?
TraceRouda/iStock/Getty Images Plus

California is the most populous state in the USA

It’s also the most diverse, allowing for an endlessly sprawling, vibrant food scene.

With residents from numerous cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds nearby, the diversity of cuisine across California is amazing, both in terms of taste and the way food is presented and sold.

From street tacos to drunk noodles; From unique barbecue traditions to the famous In-N-Out Burger, California has something for every self-proclaimed foodie and has long been a contender for the best food in the country.

Still, WalletHub isn’t quite ready to call The Golden State the golden child of cuisine in the US.

“We can’t say for sure if California would lead the other states if we ranked the states,” Gonzalez said news week. “But it sure would be a strong contender.” Does California have the best food in America?

Rick Schindler

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