Americans love a burger

Jake GammonHead of Omnibus, US
August 07, 2015, 5:04 PM UTC

Americans surveyed from 13 of the country’s main cities are still in love with their patties on buns, with 75% citing hamburgers as a food they enjoy. The American staple is followed by Mexican food (72%), thin crust pizza (67%) and lasagna (65%).  Regional variations exist with the hamburger being the most popular in Eastern cities like New York (77%), Boston (72%) and Philadelphia (83%) while Mexican is liked by the most in Southern and Western cities like Austin (85%), San Diego (82%) and Los Angeles (71%).

Asked which hamburgers they preferred, the largest number from the cities surveyed recognized Five Guys (17%) and In-N-Out (17%) as the two chains serving the best hamburger. In distant third (11%) came Whataburger.

Regional chains have created regional differences with Whataburger overwhelmingly favored in Texas (Houston, 35% - Austin, 27%) while Five Guys has created a fan base on the East Coast in Washington D.C. (35%), Philadelphia (30%) and Boston (25%). In-N-Out wins on the West coast, with Los Angeles (47%) and San Diego (42%) citing the chain as serving the best hamburger.

When it comes to choosing a side with their burgers, however, Americans from the cities surveyed overwhelmingly choose  McDonalds, with 29% of those surveyed claiming Ronald’s fries are the best. Five Guys is second (11%) followed by In-N-Out (9%). Preferences, however, do reflect the presence of the smaller regional chains in the, as Five Guys is favored over McDonalds in the nation’s capital (32% Vs 29%) and In-N-Out is preferred in San Francisco (29% Vs 22%).

Healthy eating trends vary considerably by city with San Francisco home to the largest number of potential vegetarians. 16% attempted a vegetarian diet in the last year, compared to only 4% in Houston or Chicago.  Texas is however the hub of low and no carb diets with nearly one third (31%) of San Antonians attempting to reduce their carbs in the last year, along with a quarter (24%) of Dallas locals, and 22% from Houston.  Only 10% of New Yorkers attempted to drop their carb consumption in the last year.

Alcohol consumption also varies widely. Almost half of Bostonians (47%), 43% of New Yorkers and 42% of Washingtonians typically drink alcohol once a week or more.  In Houston, Dallas and Phoenix one in five (19% for each city) have never touched alcohol compared to only 6% in Boston.

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