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National Restaurant Association - Restaurant snapshots state by state

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Restaurant snapshots state by state

The nation’s more than 1 million restaurants are not just places to eat. They’re the gathering place for families, friends, colleagues … and politicians.

The National Restaurant Association has collected information on restaurant locations in every state based on our analysis of the latest government data. We also offer fact sheets on the restaurant industry in each state.

As we head into the election season, here’s a list of the top seven states for restaurant locations, plus a few fun facts on elected officials who frequent those restaurants.

States with the most restaurants:

  1. California. With nearly 70,000 restaurants – 69,908 to be exact – this state leads the pack in terms of number of establishments. Fun fact: When she’s home in San Francisco, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D) says two of her favorite restaurants are Rose’s Café, for brunch or Sunday dinner, and Balboa, where she often orders the Caesar salad. “If I’m not cooking on a Sunday, I’ll be in one of those,” she told Food & Wine magazine in 2014.

  1. New York. There are 45,681 restaurants in this state. That’s a lot of menu options. Fun fact: Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D) – whose district spans parts of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, and who has more restaurants in her district (4,898) than any other U.S. lawmaker -- once told the New York Times one of her favorite restaurants is Katz’s Deli, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The restaurant says it serves 10,000 pounds of pastrami, 5,000 pounds of corned beef and 12,000 hot dogs per week.

  1. Texas. This state boasts a total of 43,670 restaurants. Fun fact: Former President George W. Bush is a frequent diner at Rise, a French restaurant in Dallas that specializes in soufflés.

  1. Florida. There are 39,143 restaurants in Florida. Fun fact: Andy Reiss, former chairman of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association names sandwiches after his state’s elected officials at his Andrew’s Capital Grill. For example, the “Graham” burger, “Jeb” burger and “Marco Cubio” Cuban sandwich are nods to former Gov. Bob Graham, former Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio (R).

  1. Illinois. There are 27,189 restaurants located in the “Land of Lincoln.” A paradise for foodies, Illinois, and most especially Chicago, has been home to some of the restaurant industry’s most renowned chefs, including Rick Bayless, Grant Achatz, Rick Tramonto and the late Charlie Trotter. Fun fact: Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D) eats breakfast at the Apple Villa Pancake House in Hoffman Estates, Ill., after winning an election. She says it’s her favorite, and a “good luck” charm.

  1. Pennsylvania. With a total of 25,434 establishments, the Keystone state is restaurant friendly. Fun fact: In 1991 Sen. Pat Toomey (R) and his two younger brothers, Steven and Michael, opened the now-closed Rookie's restaurant in Allentown, Pa.

  1. Ohio. The Buckeye state is home to 22,023 restaurants. Fun fact: In 2015, Sen. Rob Portman (R) hosted an Ohio-centric lunch in D.C. for his Republican colleagues. The lunch was prepared by students of EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute, a restaurant and culinary academy educating former prisoners. EDWINS is located in Cleveland.

Download the NRA’s state restaurant-location information and industry fact sheets based on our analysis of the latest government data.

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