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Travel and Leisure Ranks Chicago Food; We Win at Pizza, Lose at Farmers Markets

By Anthony Todd in Food on Nov 9, 2010 5:00PM

T&LFavs.jpg Travel and Leisure Magazine has just put out their yearly "America's Favorite Cities" issue. The new survey ranks cities in tons of different categories and, interestingly enough, splits the results into "visitors" and "residents." We're statistics nerds, so it was interesting to see the differences between how we see ourselves and how others see us. On the food side, the results were interesting and a little surprising.

Overall, Chicago was ranked as the 5th best food city in America by residents and visitors, just behind New York City. Somehow, Providence, RI managed to beat both New York and Chicago in the visitor rankings - do we need to take a trip to Providence? Chicago scored better for "big-name" restaurants, coming in 3rd, but our real embarrassment was farmers markets. We're not sure how many visiting tourists go to our markets, but apparently they didn't like them - we came in 21st! At least we beat San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The big upset of the year - Chicago came in #1 for Pizza, edging out New York by .09 points. But our pride is tempered by the results for almost every other local speciality. BBQ, Coffee Bars or Microbrew beer; we didn't even break into the top ten. Oh, and we're not stylish or attractive people either.

Coming on the heels of last week's discussion of what Chicago needs to eat, these results are interesting. If you have a few hours to waste at work, go and browse - but watch out, it gets addicting fast.