Houston Community News >> Houston Tops List of Eating Out

11/2/2006 Houston-  When it comes to eating out in the United States, Texans do it the most, New Yorkers pay the most, and Italian is the country's favorite cuisine, a study showed Wednesday.

Zagat Survey released its "America's Top Restaurants," a guide covering 1,389 eateries in 42 cities, which is based on 21 million meals worth of experience by more than 123,000 people.

The survey showed that 83 percent of people eat out as often or more than they did two years ago and that people in Houston, Texas, eat out the most at 4.2 times a week, followed by the Texas cities Austin and Dallas-Ft. Worth, where residents dine out four times a week.

Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Miami come next, with people eating out 3.8 times a week.

It found that during 2006 restaurant openings have been far outpacing closings and that the cost of a meal increased 2.8 percent, less than the 4 percent rise in the country's Consumer Price Index.

In New York people eat out 3.3 times a week, which the survey said could be due to the high cost of dining there -- the city is the most expensive in the United States with an average meal costing $39.43.

Nearly a third of diners said Italian food was their favorite, with American food coming in second at 16 percent and French third at 12 percent. But when Japanese, Chinese and Thai were combined they ran a close second with 25 percent.

(Contributed by Reuters)