What are the Top 10 Most Popular Ethnic Cuisines in the USA?

America is a land of immigrants. Therefore, there have always been many different types of cuisine to try. But with travelling getting easier a few years back and a generation that is not afraid to try new things (Millenials), suddenly exotic cuisine is all the rage in all major US cities. With a rising demand, the offer has grown, and today new restaurants and take-away are opening everywhere on American soil. Which ones are up-and-coming, and what cuisine figures in the top 10? Keep reading, and you will soon have the answers.

Ethnic Food on the Rise

Have you ever tried Korean food? That is one of the up-and-coming cuisines in the USA. There is no doubt that ethnic food is on the rise and it show in the numbers, as close to 80% of Americans say they eat food from other countries at least once a month, at the restaurant. A large portion of them (35%) do it on a weekly basis, with the younger generation leading the way (between 18 and 34 years old).

The other cuisines particularly on the rise are: Moroccan, South-east Asian, Cuban, Vietnamese and Peruvian. It would seem like friends are the ones that tend to have the strongest influence, when it comes to people trying new food. Shows on TV are also helping, as there are more and more every year. The fact that travelling has become much easier for the younger generations have also helped, as they search for food they ate on one of their trips, once they are back on U.S. soil.

This trend has started in the largest urban areas of America, especially the ones located on both the East and West Coasts. Cities such as Los Angeles (California) and New York (New York) have had a longer history of ethnic restaurants, but now it is becoming popular even in rural counties, all around the USA.

TOP 10

Number 1: Chinese

That is no surprise, especially to anyone living in the U.S. Chinese cuisine has long been a favourite in America, but also around the world, in general. It is also the most popular when it comes to home delivery orders.

Number 2: Mexican

That one was also quite easy to figure out. With all the people of Mexican descent living in the USA, it is quite normal that this food finds its way on the podium.

Number 3: Italian

Italian cuisine is one of the most popular around the world. Anywhere you travel, you are bound to find many Italian restaurants. Over 70% of Americans say they enjoy Italian food.

Number 4: Japanese

Sitting just outside the Top 3 is Japanese cuisine. The last couple of decades have seen sushi take over the world. Many restaurants featuring this dish have opened up, and those who love to eat raw fish simply can never get enough!

Number 5: Greek

The Greeks have been one of the first to immigrate to North America. They are well-established in the community and have opened many restaurants over the years. It has become a staple when it comes to eating out.

Number 6: French

It may not yet be on the podium in America, but in most countries, French cuisine is often at the very top. French cuisine serves refined food that 25% of Americans say they eat on a regular basis.

Number 7: Thai

If you think Thai cuisine is similar to Chinese, you need to find a restaurant and try it. The spices used and the vegetables are quite different, even though they are both Asian cuisines. Only 24% of Americans declare eating Thai food.

Number 8: Spanish

It is important not to confuse Mexican and Spanish food, as they are completely different from one another. Some of the best restaurants, according to various guides about cuisine, are based in Spain. However, it is harder to find Spanish restaurants in the USA, which explains why it is not so popular yet. The best-known dish is paella.

Number 9: Indian

If you are British and you see Indian cuisine at number nine, you may be surprised. This cuisine is one of the favourites for UK citizens. However, it still has a long way to go to be on top of the list, in America.

Number 10: Mediterranean

That is the cuisine most talked about, when it comes to diet in America. That is because it uses fresh ingredients and features mostly vegetables and fruits. Fish is preferred to meat, which for an American can still be quite difficult to do. Today, only 16% of Americans say they eat Mediterranean.

It is not tomorrow that Americans will completely change the way they eat. You can be sure that hot-dogs, hamburgers and steaks will remain at the top of their food list, in the short term. But it is also quite clear that different cuisines have taken their place in America and will continue rising in the years to come. It will be interesting to look at that list in another five years and see if any of the new cuisines have made their way in the Top 10.

Adrian F.

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