Americans Love Mexican Food

There are more Mexican restaurants than Italian bistros, Chinese kitchens, chicken rotisseries, or seafood shacks in the US. We’re talking about no less than 38,000 Mexican restaurants dispersed all across the American landscape (as of 2011).

Mexican restaurants have become popular across the US and it is not always related to the presence or absence of a significant Mexican community. While less than two percent of the North Dakota population is any kind of Hispanic, a full seven percent of North Dakota restaurants greet guests with sombreros and maracas.

The states with the highest percentage of Mexican restaurants include Texas, New Mexico, California, Colorado, and Oklahoma, while New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Maine, and Vermont are among those with the lowest percentage.

It may be a surprise that UNESCO added Mexican cuisine to their lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Perhaps even more unexpected is that the USA has added “Mexican” to its own list of “What can we eat tonight?”

Methodology Note: Data was obtained from the 2011 US Economic Census of the US Census Bureau. Click the following link to download the complete data: