Which American City Has Best Asian Food?
Updated: Oct 27, 2021
Best city for Asian food in America. Honolulu is the best American city for Asian food
Methodology: I count the number of Asian restaurants that with a rating of 4 and above in each major cities by neighborhood using Yelp search functionality sorted by number of reviews. For example, here is a search for most reviewed restaurants in West Village, Manhattan, New York. The goal is to have more coverage of neighborhoods rather than downtown areas. These restaurants form a sample for each city. We look at the top 50 cities in the US. The requirements for cities and restaurants to be included in the comparison:
City must have many Asian restaurants: Sample must be at least 100
Restaurant needs to have at least 20 reviews for rating confidence
Asian food must be popular there: The proportion of Asian restaurant out of total must be high to limit the number of cities considered to approximately 10
The goal of this exercise is to find consistent quality.
The data collected are only samples and the metrics does not reflect absolute accuracy for the entire population. However, the samples are large enough to provide confidence.
This methodology will exclude smaller cities and cities where Asian food is not that popular. So if you have only a few amazing restaurants or live in a small city, you will not be counted.
The results are as follows.
With 75% of Asian restaurants having a rating of 4 or higher, Honolulu, Hawaii is the American city with the best Asian food, followed by four West coast cities - Portland, San Diego, Seattle and Los Angeles. The West coast also dominates the Asian food popularity chart as well.
On the other hand, Asian restaurants are popular in Boston, but Yelp reviewers don't seem to enjoy them too much.
Note: Asian cuisines considered here are East and Southeast Asian such as Chinese (and its regional components), Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Filipino, etc. That does not include countries like India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc., which are also in Asia or Hawaiian food, which is sometimes thought of as part of this group.
Please understand that the results are based on data. The point is consistency. We look at restaurants across neighborhoods and cover a wide range of them. Your personal opinion of a few favorite restaurants in a city does not matter here.