Pakistani, Caribbean and Halal cuisines experienced the greatest growth in order volumes in US restaurants over the past year, although Italian, Chinese and Japanese remain the top three most popular ethnic cuisines in America, according to digital food ordering service GrubHub.
An analysis of orders from GrubHub’s database of 20,000+ restaurants in more than 500 US cities also revealed that while New York, Chicago and LA have the greatest diversity of ethnic offerings, Miami, Denver and Houston also make it into GrubHub’s list of the most food-diverse cities.
Women much more likely to order Japanese and Thai food than men
As for gender differences in food ordering preferences, women are 32% more likely to order Japanese food, 27% more likely to order Thai food and 18% more likely to order Vietnamese food than men.
Meanwhile, men are 13% more likely to order Middle Eastern food and 11% more likely to order Greek food than women.
The ten most popular ethnic cuisines
But what are the most popular ethnic cuisines by national order volume?
- Middle Eastern
What’s hot? Pakistani, Caribbean, Halal, Spanish, African...
As to what’s growing, GrubHub has also created a top 10 list of ‘trending ethnic cuisines’:
- Pakistani - almost 97% more popular this year
- Caribbean - more than 68% more popular this year
- Halal - almost 40% more popular this year
- Spanish - almost 37% more popular this year
- African - more than 31% more popular this year
- Jamaican - more than 26% more popular this year
- Kosher - 25% more popular this year
- Korean - more than 22% more popular this year
- Peruvian - almost 5% more popular this year
- Greek - almost 5% more popular this year
What’s not? Cajun, French, Brazilian, Chinese...
As to cuisines losing some of their luster, GrubHub has also come up with a top 10 list of ethnic cuisines that are declining in popularity (based on year-over-year change in orders placed between 4/1/12-6/19/12 and 4/1/13-6/19/13):
- Cajun - down more than 55% this year
- French - down almost 30% this year
- Brazilian - down more than 25% this year
- Szechwanese - down more than 25% this year
- Cantonese - down more than 16% this year
- Mandarin - down almost 16% this year
- Italian - down more than 12% this year
- Persian - down almost 9% this year
- Lebanese - down more than 8% this year
- Vietnamese - down almost 7% this year
The 10 most food-diverse U.S. cities:
Moving onto which cities are ahead of the game when it comes to the diversity of the ethnic cuisine on offer, GrubHub has also come up with a top 10 of the most food-diverse U.S. cities (based on the number of ethnic cuisines available):
- New York City (56 ethnic cuisines)
- Chicago (53 ethnic cuisines)
- Los Angeles (45 ethnic cuisines)
- Boston (44 ethnic cuisines)
- San Francisco (42 ethnic cuisines)
- Washington (41 ethnic cuisines)
- Philadelphia (35 ethnic cuisines)
- Miami (35 ethnic cuisines)
- Denver (31 ethnic cuisines)
- Houston (28 ethnic cuisines)
The 10 least food-diverse U.S. cities:
- Charlotte, NC (8 ethnic cuisines)
- Greensboro, NC (10 ethnic cuisines)
- Providence, RI (10 ethnic cuisines)
- Syracuse, NY (11 ethnic cuisines)
- Charlottesville, VA (12 ethnic cuisines)
- Lansing, MI (13 ethnic cuisines)
- Ann Arbor, MI (13 ethnic cuisines)
- San Antonio (13 ethnic cuisines)
- Nashville (14 ethnic cuisines)
- Bloomington, IN (14 ethnic cuisines)
- Raleigh, NC (14 ethnic cuisines)
For more information, check out GrubHub’s interactive map detailing the cultural diversity of American takeout.
For GrubHub's analysis of fruit trends, click here.
For GrubHub's analysis of gluten-free trends, click here.
For GrubHub's analysis of burger ordering trends, click here.