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Taste Test: Rating The Most Popular Ethnic Cuisines
Trends data by the international foodie magazine Chef’s Pencil found that certain foods are especially popular among diners, with Chinese being the most searched for food.

The United States is often described as a melting pot because it’s home to people from many backgrounds. That diversity is a badge of honor for many in the United States, and it’s one that foodies in particular may be especially thankful for. All sorts of ethnic cuisines are available throughout the United States, and a recent analysis of Google Trends data by the international foodie magazine Chef’s Pencil found that certain foods are especially popular among diners.

Chinese: Chinese food is the most searched for cuisine on Google. Chinese food is especially popular in the northeastern United States, and New Jersey in particular. Residents of Delaware, New York and Connecticut also are enamored with Chinese food.

Mexican: The U.S. and Mexico share a border, but the experts at Chef’s Pencil note that Mexican food didn’t catch on in the United States until 1910. Despite that, Mexican cuisine is the second most popular in the U.S. based on Google trends data. That popularity might be why 9 percent of restaurants in the United States are Mexican restaurants.

Italian: Italian cuisine rounds out the top three. Residents of New Jersey and New York find Italian cuisine especially hard to resist, but this beloved ethnic cuisine is wildly popular in various parts of the United States, including Tampa, Florida, and San Diego, California.

Thai: If the popularity of Chinese, Mexican and Italian food does not raise an eyebrow, the fourth most popular ethnic cuisine just might. Thai food does not have as lengthy a relationship with American diners as the top three styles of cuisine on this list, having not taken off until the early 2000s. But the popularity of Thai food is undeniable. Readers may be surprised that Google Trends data indicates Thai food has its highest popularity score in Alaska.

Indian: The popularity of Indian food is a testament to the allure of spice. Though it’s only the fifth most popular ethnic cuisine in the United States, Indian food is wildly popular on both coasts. In fact, Google Trends data indicates its highest popularity scores are in New Jersey and Washington state.

It’s worth noting that these delicious ethnic cuisines are not only popular in the United States. Canadians also favor many of the same ethnic cuisines that their southern neighbors enjoy. According to Chef’s Pencil, Chinese food is the most popular ethnic cuisine in Canada, followed by Italian, second; Thai, third; Indian, fourth; and Mexican, fifth.