Saturday, April 20, 2024

The 15 Best Cities to Eat Local Food

Must read

Oakland, California
Todd A. Merport / Shutterstock.com

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on LawnStarter.

Where in America can you easily find farm-fresh food?

Cook up a locavore feast with our ranking of 2023’s Best Cities to Eat Local Food.

To mark National Small Business Week starting April 30, LawnStarter compared the 200 biggest U.S. cities based on three categories.

We looked for cities with great access to community-supported agriculture (CSAs), u-pick farms, local dairy farms, and on-farm markets. We also considered the number of local food movement groups, among 17 metrics.

Dig into our ranking below. To learn how we ranked the cities, see our methodology at the end.

1. Portland, OR

Portland, Oregon
photomatz / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 51.297
  • Access Rank: 1
  • Convenience Rank: 2
  • Support Rank: 27

2. Baltimore, MD

Baltimore, Maryland
ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 47.613
  • Access Rank: 10
  • Convenience Rank: 1
  • Support Rank: 2

3. Alexandria, VA

Pedestrians in Alexandria, Virginia
Albert Pego / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 47.497
  • Access Rank: 2
  • Convenience Rank: 18
  • Support Rank: 4

4. Washington, D.C.

Washington DC streetcar
Kristi Blokhin / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 43.032
  • Access Rank: 13
  • Convenience Rank: 26
  • Support Rank: 1

5. Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis Minnesota
photo-ua / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 41.927
  • Access Rank: 8
  • Convenience Rank: 4
  • Support Rank: 50

6. Seattle, WA

Seattle, Washington
Edmund Lowe Photography / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 41.248
  • Access Rank: 7
  • Convenience Rank: 7
  • Support Rank: 53

7. Boston, MA

Boston, Massachusetts
Roman Babakin / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 40.731
  • Access Rank: 3
  • Convenience Rank: 34
  • Support Rank: 77

8. Madison, WI

Madison, Wisconsin
Big Fish Drones / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 37.248
  • Access Rank: 17
  • Convenience Rank: 21
  • Support Rank: 18

9. Providence, RI

Providence, Rhode Island
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 36.494
  • Access Rank: 9
  • Convenience Rank: 24
  • Support Rank: 170

10. Vancouver, WA

Vancouver, WA - May 27th, 2019 Residents of Vancouver Washington enjoying the new waterfront
Reinhardt and Co / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 36.165
  • Access Rank: 6
  • Convenience Rank: 53
  • Support Rank: 107

11. Worcester, MA

Worcester, Massachusetts
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 36.009
  • Access Rank: 4
  • Convenience Rank: 69
  • Support Rank: 189

12. New York, NY

couple walking in New York City
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 35.979
  • Access Rank: 33
  • Convenience Rank: 3
  • Support Rank: 20

13. Salem, OR

Salem, Oregon
James Curzio / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 35.865
  • Access Rank: 14
  • Convenience Rank: 23
  • Support Rank: 95

14. Durham, NC

Durham, North Carolina
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 35.321
  • Access Rank: 18
  • Convenience Rank: 11
  • Support Rank: 184

15. St. Paul, MN

St Paul Minnesota
Henryk Sadura / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 35.116
  • Access Rank: 12
  • Convenience Rank: 59
  • Support Rank: 50

Methodology

Investing
crazystocker / Shutterstock.com

First, we determined the factors (metrics) that are most relevant to rank the Best Cities to Eat Local Food. We then assigned a weight to each factor based on its importance and grouped those factors into three categories: Access, Convenience, and Support. Here are the categories:

  • Number of CSAs (Community-Supported Agriculture)
  • Number of Dairy Farms in County
  • Number of Farm Stands
  • Number of U-Pick Farms
  • Number of On-Farm Markets Within 50 Miles
  • Number of Food Hubs Within 100 Miles
  • Seafood Markets per Square Mile
  • Butcher Shops per Square Mile
  • Bakeries per Square Mile
  • Craft Breweries per Square Mile
  • Wineries per Square Mile
  • Urban Gardening-Friendliness
  • Number of Local Farms Offering On-Farm Pickup
  • Number of Local Farms Offering Delivery
  • Number of Slow Food USA Local Chapters
  • Has Buy Fresh, Buy Local Chapter
  • Agricultural Workers per 100,000 residents

For each of the 200 biggest U.S. cities, we then gathered data on each factor.

Finally, we calculated scores (out of 100 points) for each city to determine its rank in each factor, each category, and overall. A city’s Overall Score is the average of its scores across all factors and categories. The highest Overall Score ranked “Best” (No. 1).

More articles

Latest article