(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

You’re grabbing grub in MA, RI, or CT. So you need to know: what are the most popular cuisines in Southern New England?


To answer that question, first we have to take a look at this new study from Grand Canyon University. The Most Popular Cuisines in the U.S. breaks down the top-rated cuisines in the 100 biggest cities in the United States. The full study gives you the full state-by-state breakdown, of course. But like you, I’m more interested in what’s cooking here at home. Southern N.E., specifically.


I’m fascinated by the methodology of these studies and I’m always looking to share that with you. So here it is:

“In order to evaluate the most popular cuisines in various U.S. cities, we started with a list of 50 of the most populous metropolitan statistical areas, according to the Census. Our analysis focused on the 10 most popular international cuisine categories, according to Statista. We also added in traditional American, bringing our total up to 11 cuisines.”


Cool. So what are the 11 cuisines in question? Aside from American, the study came up with this Top 10 of sorts: Chinese, Cuban, Greek, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mexican, Thai, and Vietnamese. Among the big picture findings, the biggest was this: Mexican food topped the list in 44 of the 50 states. And the Northeast, naturally, is a leader in Italian fare.


What Are the Most Popular Cuisines in Southern New England?

Again, you can dive into the full study to see what cuisines are leaders in which cities and regions. Three New England cities jumped out at me while I was reading it, though, and I want to share what I found below. What I’d really like to do, though, is go back in time 40 years and see what kind of trends a study like this would find. I bet the Hilltop Steak House would have topped the list.

  • Massachusetts

    Boston’s favorite cuisine is–you guessed it–Italian. The city also boasts 28 5-star restaurants. I’m guessing a few of those are in the North End.

  • Rhode Island

    Providence loves its Mexican food. And the city is host to an even dozen 5-star restaurants. And from the looks of it, East Providence is the place to be.

  • Connecticut

    Hartford, like Boston, is a hotbed for Italian cuisine. Their nine five-star restaurants are an impressive feat for being so close to New York City.

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