Best 3 mid-sized towns in the Mountain West for Foodies
Even folks who love to cook enjoy going out and letting someone else cook for them on occasion. It’s pretty easy to find restaurant reviews online, but it is much harder to figure out what cities or towns you might want to move to that have a restaurant scene to your liking. What are you supposed to do, randomly choose a city and start looking at restaurant reviews?
Well – that’s exactly what we’ve done for you.
Before we get started, let’s cover some definitions and metrics so we are all on the same page. Our definition of a mid-sized city is one whose population is between 10,000 and 74,999 (we’ll cover smaller and larger cities in a different post). We know that there is a different definition that covers larger cities, but those mid-large cities might be just too large for some so we shrunk things a bit for you. For those who aren’t sure what the Mountain West covers, it is the states of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming.
There are three metrics we look at when evaluating a city’s Foodie score. First is the total number of restaurants a city has. This includes restaurants of all types. Next, we look at how many highly rated restaurants a city has. To be considered a highly rated restaurant, it must have an average rating of at least 4.5 and have been reviewed by a minimum of 20 people. Lastly, we look at the number of highly rated restaurants per capita. This allows us to level the playing field between the cities at the low end of the population range and at the upper range. It is far more impressive for a city of 10,000 to have 20 highly-rated restaurants than for a city of 75,000 to have 30 highly-rated restaurants. With that in mind – here are the best 3 mid-sized towns in the Mountain West for foodies.
Santa Fe, NM – Population 67,947. Sante Fe is our top pick and no other city of this size even comes close. Santa Fe has over 400 restaurants and 90 highly rated restaurants, both high water marks for any city in this population range. With so many great restaurants, it is literally impossible to get bored with your restaurant choices.
Bozeman, MT – Population 46,596. In second place is Bozeman Montana. With 209 total restaurants and 65 of them highly rated, Bozeman has a varied and vibrant restaurant scene. You could visit a different great restaurant once a week for over a year before you walked into a restaurant twice.
Jackson, WY – Population 10,532. Rounding out the top three is Jackson, WY. Jackson has 107 total restaurants with 45 of them being highly rated. It is amazing that a city this small makes the top three. What’s even more remarkable is how it got here. Jackson has more than twice the per capita highly rated restaurants of any other city. It also has the highest percentage of highly rated restaurants vs the total number of restaurants.
Maybe you are thinking that none of these mid-sized cities sound just right, or maybe a great restaurant scene and a great coffee scene should both be considered when relocating. That’s why we created the NextDiggs quiz so that you can decide what features are “the best” for you. We profiled every city in America with 5000 or more residents with 61 criteria. You can choose to answer all the questions, or only the ones pertaining to criteria that are important to you. So go ahead and take the quiz and find your own “top 3”.
Speaking of coffee, read about the best small towns in the NW Region for coffee lovers.