Which U.S. Cities Boast The Best Diners?

Rankings are the buzz at Business Facilities this week. If access to great food is on your site selection checklist, this ranking from Upgraded Points might be a great addition to your research!

Throughout this week, Business Facilities will announce previews of its 20th Annual Rankings Report, which will be published in full in the July/August 2024 issue of the magazine. Measuring everything from Best Business Climate to Outdoor Recreation to Film & Television, these state, metro, and global rankings are comprehensive and a great resource for any company looking for the perfect place to relocate or expand.

One thing Business Facilities doesn’t rank? U.S. cities with the highest-rated diners.

Thankfully, Upgraded Points has that covered! The Austin, TX-based travel company analyzed Yelp ratings to uncover which U.S. cities boast the highest-rated diners on average. The results also showcase each state’s most beloved diner, revealing where to find the best examples of this classic American eatery.

“Diners are far more than just places to eat — they’re iconic slices of Americana that offer comfort, familiarity, and a sense of community for travelers,” said Keri Stooksbury, editor-in-chief at Upgraded Points. “Whether you’re grabbing a quick breakfast before hitting the road, stopping for a bite after a flight, or savoring a late-night milkshake, diners are the heart and soul of many road trips and travel experiences.”

To identify the cities with the best diners, Upgraded Points analyzed thousands of Yelp listings from the 100 largest metro areas in the U.S., averaging their star ratings out of 5. Only establishments where “diner” was the featured function on Yelp were included. The study also determined which cities have the most diners per capita and identified the highest-rated diner in each city, requiring at least 10 reviews. In cases of tied scores, the diner with the most reviews was awarded the “highest-rated” title.

Best Diners
The U.S. Cities with the Highest-Rated Diners (Source: Upgraded Points)

Fast And Delicious: Top-Rated Cities Across the U.S.

From coast to coast, high-quality diners thrive in all pockets of the U.S., with the average Yelp star rating for diners being 3.55 out of 5. But the cities that stand out most for top-rated diners include:

  • Las Vegas, NV: Known for its late nights and early mornings, Las Vegas reigns supreme with an impressive average star rating of 4.29.
  • Des Moines, IA: Des Moines boasts an average rating of 4.15, making it a standout destination for classic American fare.
  • Indianapolis, IN and Orlando, FL: Tied for third, both Indianapolis and Orlando offer an exceptional eating experience with an average rating of 4.08.
  • Charleston, SC and Tampa, FL : Charleston and Tampa both shine with an average rating of 4.07, solidifying their place as top diner destinations.
  • Worcester, MA: Worcester rounds out the list with a strong average rating of 4.06.
best diners
(Photo: Adobe Stock / BGStock72)

Standout Cities With Unique Features

  • Buffalo, NY: Buffalo not only makes the top 10 list with a rating of 4.01 but also boasts one of the highest ratio of diner options to residents, with about 3.44 diners per 100,000 residents.
  • Orlando (4.08 stars); Tampa (4.07 stars): As the only state with multiple cities in the top 10, Florida shines by making early mornings a delight in the Sunshine State.

Site Selection & Quality Of Life

Community involvement and access to a rich variety of activities and amenities have climbed the list of factors for site decisions. Read more…

Other Iconic Diners Across America

  • Boston: Billy’s Sub Shop (4.6 stars)
  • Chicago: Nick’s Hi-Ho Cafe (4.5 stars)
  • Houston: Nate’s Diner (4.7 stars)
  • New York: Florence Prime Diner (4.8 stars)
  • Washington, DC: Sweet Sweet Kitchen (4.4 stars)

Hungry for more? Visit the full study online to find the complete list of the top cities and best diners in each state.

Click here to read more about quality of life as a site selection factor. 


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