Foodie News

Houston's food scene rates high — and low — in national rankings by Living Social and Travel + Leisure

Houston's food scene rates high — and low — in national rankings by Living Social and Travel + Leisure

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Courtesy of Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau

What's the best city to eat in? I guess it depends who you ask.

Coupon site Living Social published the results of their first-ever "Dining Out" survey of 4,000 consumers in the top 20 national markets, and Houston represented pretty well.

Respondents ranked Houston as the city with the fourth-best dining scene, behind perennial faves New York, Chicago and San Francisco and just ahead of Dallas. Does this mean we have some of the country's best food or just a high opinion of ourselves? Maybe a little bit of both.

 Houstonians are also more likely than residents of any other city to eat Cajun/Creole cuisine — yes, even more than New Orleans. Also hot in Houston are Mexican food (what, Tex-Mex didn't make the survey?), seafood, barbecue and delis, while pizza, sushi, Ethiopian and Irish cuisine got less-than-average play.

 Houston's results also showed that when it comes to food, we like to mix business with pleasure, dining out for business at a higher rate than any other city, with 12 percent of all meals out eaten with business colleagues — that's 150 percent higher than No. 2 Dallas.

Houstonians are also more likely than residents of any other city to eat Cajun/Creole cuisine — yes, even more than New Orleans. Also hot in Houston are Mexican food (what, Tex-Mex didn't make the survey?), seafood, barbecue and delis, while pizza, sushi, Ethiopian and Irish cuisine got less-than-average play.

Landing in the top four (and beating Dallas) is a nice boost, especially since Travel + Leisure is republishing the results of their America's Favorite Cities survey that ranks Houston near the bottom — No. 24 — in "Best Cities for Foodies." That's below such esteemed culinary scenes as Santa Fe, Denver and Minneapolis, and significantly behind San Antonio (No. 10), Austin (No. 15), though we did once again top Dallas, which ranked a pitiful No. 32.

Although considering Travel + Leisure equates the new foodie scene in Houston with Washington Avenue, it's no wonder they got it wrong. At least we still have the knowledge that Houston burgers and barbecue are among the best.