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Results Are In! These Are the Best and Worst Cities for Tacos in the US

A research study done by real state platform Clever just pulled all kinds of delicious data to figure out the best cities for tacos in America, and the results will surprise you. 

While many would expect states like California and Texas to dominate the top 10 (spoiler alert: they do), there are a few wild cards in the list we’re still scratching our heads at. And don’t even get us started on the 10 worst cities for the Mexican specialty— this list might just start a taco war if we’re not careful.

Clever used a wide range of data to make sure their findings were as accurate as possible, so even if you don’t agree, know the results have some serious weight to them before you go on a taco rant. The website evaluated statistics like the number of taco restaurants and taco trucks per 100,000 residents, Yelp ratings, affordability of taco ingredients, Google searches, and the percentage of all restaurants that are exclusively for tacos.

Taking that into consideration, these might really be the best and worst cities for tacos in America. Let’s find out the winners and the losers! 

Let’s start with the good. The best city for tacos in America is (drum roll please): Austin, Texas. The city has the most taco restaurants per capita out of any city involved in the study, with more than seven restaurants per 100,000 people. It also has a “Taco Passion” score (taken from Google searches) of 95.4 out of 100. So, if tacos are your passion, Austin is the place to be.

The Number One Taco city is followed up by San Jose, California, which comes in second place with 4.1% of restaurants focusing on tacos and cheaper-than-usual taco ingredients. Third place goes to San Antonio, Texas, with 130% more taco places than the average American city, and striking affordability when it comes to ordering the delicacy.

In fourth place is Oklahoma City, with (get this)— a perfect 100 Taco Passion score, with residents searching taco trucks on Google the most out of any other city (we’ve never identified more with a place). Los Angeles comes in fifth, followed by Las Vegas, which has an average taco restaurant Yelp rating of 4.16.

Seventh place goes to Houston, known for cheaper-than-average yet very high-quality tacos, with San Diego in the eighth place getting the crown for being the best city for Taco Tuesday in America (they also favor fish tacos!). Ninth place goes to Phoenix, which has an impressive 92.9 Taco Passion rating, and 10th place goes to Riverside, California, which has the second highest percentage of taco restaurants out of all cities in the study.

The next five best cities for tacos are Denver, CO, Raleigh, NC (one of the most affordable cities for the meal), Milwaukee, WI (also pretty cheap), Dallas, TX, and the 15th best place is Sacramento, California.

Now, time for the worst 10 cities (sorry, we had to). According to the study, the worst city for tacos in America is none other than Hartford, Connecticut, with only 0.7 taco restaurants per 100,000 people, which is 65% lower than average. While the northeastern city isn’t exactly the most shocking pick for worst taco city, some of the ones that followed caught us off guard.

The second worst city for tacos is Boston, followed by New York City, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Miami, St. Louis, New Orleans, and Cleveland. 

While the study gave less insight into just what makes each of these cities so specifically bad for tacos, it explains that their findings are based on the number of taco restaurants and passion for the food. Thinking of changing cities, anyone? 

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