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Las Vegas, North Las Vegas on WalletHub's foodie city list

Posted at 1:22 PM, Oct 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-12 10:53:52-04

People love to eat. There is even a word for people who really like to eat -- foodie.

FOODIE DEFINITION: A person with a particular interest in food; a gourmet.

People also really like to eat out. In fact, they like it so much that they spent more money on food at restaurants in 2015 than they did at grocery stores, according to the National Restaurant Association.

In honor of World Food Day on Oct. 16, WalletHub crunched the numbers to determine the best and cheapest foodie scenes among the 150 largest cities.

WalletHub looked at 21 different things to compile their list including cost of groceries, average beer and wine price, number of restaurants per capita, ratio of full-service restaurants to fast-food establishment, number of breweries/wineries, access to healthy food options, number of farmers markets and community-supported agriculture programs, number of coffee and tea shops, number of butcher shops and number of food festivals.

The cities of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas are on near opposite ends of the list.

Las Vegas came in at No. 15 on the list and city of North Las Vegas was ranked No. 150.

It's no surprise that Las Vegas came in so high. Las Vegas has become known over the last decade for its restaurants backed by celebrity and world-renowned chefs and quality buffets on the Las Vegas Strip. There's also the exploding food scene in Downtown Las Vegas which has restaurants like La Comida, Pinches Tacos, PublicUs, Carson Kitchen, MTO Cafe and Le Pho.

The Chinatown area is also known for its many restaurants and is a popular destination for local foodies who have a taste for Chinese, Japanese and Korean food. Good luck with parking on the weekends at some of the more popular spots.

There are also an abundance of grocery stores, coffee shops and farmers markets in neighborhoods like Summerlin, Spring Valley and Centennial Hills.

Sadly, that's not the case for the city of North Las Vegas. Although there are a few good restaurants, the area is not known for fine dining. There is also a lack of grocery stores for convenient and affordable shopping for many of the areas restaurants and they are forced to either shop at more expensive convenience stores or spend more on transportation to the nearest shopping center.

In fact, the United States Department of Agriculture has designated North Las Vegas as a food desert. That means that at least 33 percent of the residents of North Las Vegas live more than one mile from a supermarket or large grocery store and do not have ready access to healthy and affordable food.

In addition, there are few coffee shops and no breweries that are located in North Las Vegas.

Source: WalletHub

1. Orlando, FL
2. Portland, OR
3. Miami, FL
4. Tampa, FL
5. San Francisco, CA
6. Cincinnati, OH
7. St. Louis, MO
8. Salt Lake City, UT
9. Richmond, VA
10. Seattle, WA

141. Garland, TX
142. Fayetteville, NC
143. Jackson, MS
144. San Bernardino, CA
145. Aurora, IL
146. Fontana, CA
147. Montgomery, AL
148. Grand Prairie, TX
149. Moreno Valley, CA
150. North Las Vegas, NV

Best vs. Worst

Laredo, Texas, has the lowest grocery cost index, 79, which is two times lower than in Honolulu, the city with the highest, 158.9.

Orlando, Fla., has the most restaurants per 100,000 residents, 1,176.38, which is 9.8 times more than in Santa Clarita, Calif., the city with the fewest, 120.09.

Santa Rosa, Calif., has the highest ratio of full-service restaurants to fast-food establishments, 1.74, which is 3.1 times higher than in Jackson, Miss., the city with the lowest, 0.57.

Portland, Ore., has the most coffee and tea shops per 100,000 residents, 103.92, which is 29.5 times more than in Laredo, Texas, the city with the fewest, 3.52.

Miami has the most gourmet specialty-food stores per 100,000 residents, 117.46, which is 14.5 times more than in Gilbert, Ariz., the city with the fewest, 8.08.

Cincinnati has the most grocery stores per 100,000 residents, 128.29, which is 13.8 times more than in Santa Clarita, Calif., the city with the fewest, 9.32.

San Francisco has the most cooking schools per 100,000 residents, 6.36, which is 28 times more than in Raleigh, N.C., the city with the fewest, 0.22.

P.S. The city of Henderson actually didn't much better than North Las Vegas. It was ranked No. 139.