If you’re thinking about opening a restaurant and you’re scouting locations, some cities in the U.S. might be better suited to a new restaurant opening than others.
There are considerations ranging from the current culinary landscape in the city to logistical issues like taxes and how hard it would be to get a new restaurant up and running in any given city, as well as whether the demand is there.
The following are some of the best cities to open a restaurant right now.
Savannah, Georgia is one of the premier tourist destinations in the country and even the world.
Visitors flock to the city for the amazing homes and squares, the rich history and the food.
It’s an inherently beautiful city, and it’s dubbed the “Hostess City of the South.”
For foodies, there is so much to enjoy and much of it centers around classic southern fare, often with a modern twist. The cocktail scene is also strong in Savannah.
While there’s room for new names to enter the scene, there are some existing culinary gems in the city like The Grey Restaurant. The Grey Restaurant is in a former Greyhound bus terminal, and it’s operated by the 2019 James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Southeast and also the star of Chef’s Table on Netflix—Mashama Bailey.
Taxes and the general cost of living are relatively low, adding more reasons that you might consider opening a restaurant in Savannah.
Northern Virginia’s food scene is thriving, and Arlington is part of that. Many renowned chefs from around the world are putting down roots in Arlington, and the northern Virginia area is starting to offer culinary options on par with some of the world’s biggest cities.
Nearby Fairfax is also a hot spot in terms of the culinary scene.
Arlington and Fairfax counties are across the Potomac River from D.C., and you’ll still see a lot of the D.C. power players dining and also living in the area.
Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville is a charming, small city tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Along with the fresh air and mountain scenery, the foods scene has grown tremendously in recent years.
A lot of the fare you’ll find at the eateries in Asheville is derived from Appalachian mountain culture, but there’s also modern elements of the food scene to enjoy.
Asheville is a city that doesn’t just love great restaurants but has an appreciation for all things food and in particular, locally-sourced food.
A new event called Chow Chow is taking place this month, and it will be led by some of Asheville’s James Beard chefs. The event will celebrate not only the chefs of Appalachia but also the farmers and artisans who have a role in the culinary scene of Asheville.
The area isn’t new to farm-to-table dining concepts, with The Market Place celebrating 40 years of family-style farm-to-table dining.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Another place in North Carolina that’s booming in terms of its economy, population and demand for eateries is Raleigh. Raleigh is a city close to the Research Triangle Park, so there’s a lot of innovation and industry, and it’s an area that draws a lot of new residents every year thanks to the job opportunities, fairly mild weather and low cost of living.
Raleigh is near Durham and Chapel Hill, both with major universities and the whole area has great energy that makes it perfect to open a restaurant.
As compared to some of the other cities on this ranking, Raleigh is less tourist-centric, but no less appealing if you’re scouting places to open a restaurant.
Plano, like many places in Texas, has a lot of population growth right now, and that means there’s more of a demand for places to eat.
Plano is a suburb of the massive Dallas metro, and it’s around 20 miles north of downtown Dallas. Plano is home to quite a few corporate headquarters, and the cost of living is low.
Some of the companies that have a headquarters in Plano include Capital One Finance, Bank of America Home Loans and Toyota Motor North America.
While Plano isn’t considered a tourist city, it actually does get a fair amount of visitors in the form of business travelers, which is just one more reason you might want to add this Texas city to your list of places to open a restaurant.
If you need more convincing, Plano recently ranked fourth among the top cities in the country for food lovers.