Sperlings Best Places crunched numbers, using the following city data: ratio of local restaurants to chain restaurants, number of Whole Foods and cooking stores, number of wine shops, wine bars, craft breweries, and brew pubs; and the number of CSA (community supported agriculture) farms and local farmers markets. (Note: given populations are for metro areas.)
The result is a top ten that isn’t dominated by the usual suspects.
Here is their list:
Santa Rosa CA., Portland OR., Burlington, VT., Portland, Maine, San Francisco, CA., Providence, RI., Boston-Cambridge, Seattle, WA., Santa Fe, NM., Santa Barbara, CA.
The Portland listing:
Local restaurant percentage: 79.6%
Breweries: 97, or 46.6 breweries per million
CSA Farms: 93, or 44.7 farms per million
Portland could probably be crowned the Pacific Northwest’s capital of –isms: locavorism (with 93 CSA farms and 56 farmers markets), vegetarianism (with an all-vegan market called Food Fight!), and considering it has 97 breweries, microbrewism. (That’s not a real word, but it’s nicer than the other “-ism” joke we refrained from making.) Popular eateries include Andina, Mother’s Bistro & Bar, Portland City Grill, Screen Door, and the evil twin to Portland’s local and organic virtuosity, the sacrilicious Voodoo Doughnuts. To wash down those doughnuts, Portland has the widely acclaimed Stumptown coffee.
Maybe it’s just me, but their list seems like a huge waste of electrons.