New Yorkers eat more pizza than Italians, and other lessons from this Instagram food map

Mmmmm. Bacon. Image: Photoworld.

Everyone has that one friend - or these days, possibly, more than one - who whips out their phone as soon as their food arrives, and proceeds to take “artistic” photos of it to upload to Instagram, before taking the first bite of what is presumably now a cold meal. Many of these people include helpful hashtags – “#pizza”, say, or “#NYC” – presumably so that any hypothetical food photography researcher would have a well-indexed source of data to work from.

But now, thanks to this map, we can find out which cities have residents who really love Instagramming their food. For a bit of free marketingfun, the British photography services firm Photoworld has created a world food map showing which cities hashtag their food the most

To help us make sense of the data, Photoworld produced 18 maps, showing the relative popularity of different foods in cities around the world. (For what it’s worth, New Yorkers provided the largest number of photographs; the next two biggest cities were London and Los Angeles.)

So, now we can tell that New Yorkers produce double the number of pizza snaps than Bologna, Naples, Rome and Milan combined.

New York City (6.1 per cent) and Los Angeles (3.2 per cent) take the top two positions ahead of Naples, Italy (2.1 per cent) for #pizza snaps.

The big apple’s jerk chicken obsession was another surprise: neither London, with its sizeable Caribbean community, nor Kingston, Jamaica, where the food originates, could budge it from the top spot.

New York’s 8.5 per cent and London‘s 8.1 per cent trump #jerkchicken’s home town of Kingston, Jamaica (6.9 per cent).

Of all the different food types, Germany’s currywurst travelled the worst. (Sorry.)

All the top five cities Instagramming their currywurst were within Germany itself; in all, Berlin produced nearly 40 per cent of the relevant photos.

Currywurst doesn’t get out much.

The Canadian delicacy Poutine, aka chips with cheese and gravy, doesn’t get about much, either. All five of the cities that hashtag poutine the most are in Canada.

That’s not a surprise: ask most non-Canadians and they won’t have a clue what ”poutine” is. (Which is a shame, as chips, cheese and gravy sounds a lot like the perfect post-night out meal.)


Love the food, don’t recognise the name. Try marketing it better.

Burgers are more universal, with a heavy presence in countries as far apart as the US, UK, France and Australia.

London (4.7 per cent) came out on top ahead of New York City (4.5 per cent) and LA (3.4 per cent). Melbourne just missed fourth position, coming just 0.1 per cent behind Paris (2.7 per cent)

Tough competition on the #burger front – but London stole the crown.

Australia’s sizeable Asian community provides a rich choice of dishes such as the Vietnamese baguette, banh mi. Melbourne (8.8 per cent) beat off giant New York City (8.2 per cent) and Vietnam’s largest city Ho Chi Minh City (5.1 per cent) to take the lead position.

Mmmm. Banh mi.

This is not exactly a scientific survey: it doesn’t tell you where a food is popular, merely where ordering that food and then sticking a picture on social media is. The dominance of New York and London in so many categories probably reflects the fact they’re large, rich cities with a lot of smart phones in them.

All the same – we’re hungry.

Kat Houston is web editor at Design Curial.

Images: Photoworld.


CityMetric is now City Monitor! Come see us at our new home

City Monitor is now live in beta at

CityMetric is now City Monitor, a name that reflects both a ramping up of our ambitions as well as our membership in a network of like-minded publications from New Statesman Media Group. Our new site is now live in beta, so please visit us there going forward. Here’s what CityMetric readers should know about this exciting transition.  

Regular CityMetric readers may have already noticed a few changes around here since the spring. CityMetric’s beloved founding editor, Jonn Elledge, has moved on to some new adventures, and a new team has formed to take the site into the future. It’s led by yours truly – I’m Sommer Mathis, the editor-in-chief of City Monitor. Hello!

My background includes having served as the founding editor of CityLab, editor-in-chief of Atlas Obscura, and editor-in-chief of DCist, a local news publication in the District of Columbia. I’ve been reporting on and writing about cities in one way or another for the past 15 years. To me, there is no more important story in the world right now than how cities are changing and adapting to an increasingly challenging global landscape. The majority of the world’s population lives in cities, and if we’re ever going to be able to tackle the most pressing issues currently facing our planet – the climate emergency, rising inequality, the Covid-19 pandemic ­­­– cities are going to have to lead the way.

That’s why City Monitor is now a global publication dedicated to the future of cities everywhere – not just in the UK (nor for that matter just in the US, where I live). Our mission is to help our readers, many of whom are in leadership positions around the globe, navigate how cities are changing and discover what’s next in the world of urban policy. We’ll do that through original reporting, expert opinion and most crucially, a data-driven approach that emphasises evidence and rigorous analysis. We want to arm local decision-makers and those they work in concert with – whether that’s elected officials, bureaucratic leaders, policy advocates, neighbourhood activists, academics and researchers, entrepreneurs, or plain-old engaged citizens – with real insights and potential answers to tough problems. Subjects we cover include transportation, infrastructure, housing, urban design, public safety, the environment, the economy, and much more.

The City Monitor team is made up of some of the most experienced urban policy journalists in the world. Our managing editor is Adam Sneed, also a CityLab alum where he served as a senior associate editor. Before that he was a technology reporter at Politico. Allison Arieff is City Monitor’s senior editor. She was previously editorial director of the urban planning and policy think tank SPUR, as well as a contributing columnist for The New York Times. Staff writer Jake Blumgart most recently covered development, housing and politics for WHYY, the local public radio station in Philadelphia. And our data reporter is Alexandra Kanik, whose previous roles include data reporting for Louisville Public Media in Kentucky and PublicSource in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Our team will continue to grow in the coming weeks, and we’ll also be collaborating closely with our editorial colleagues across New Statesman Media Group. In fact, we’re launching a whole network of new publications, covering topics such as the clean energy transition, foreign direct investment, technology, banks and more. Many of these sectors will frequently overlap with our cities coverage, and a key part of our plan is make the most of the expertise that all of these newsrooms combined will bring to bear on our journalism.

Please visit going forward, where you can also sign up for our free email newsletter.

As for CityMetric, some of its archives have already been moved over to the new website, and the rest will follow not long after. If you’re looking for a favourite piece from CityMetric’s past, for a time you’ll still be able to find it here, but before long the whole archive will move over to City Monitor.

On behalf of the City Monitor team, I’m thrilled to invite you to come along for the ride at our new digs. You can follow City Monitor on LinkedIn and on Twitter. If you’re interested in learning more about the potential for a commercial partnership with City Monitor, please get in touch with our director of partnerships, Joe Maughan.

I want to thank and congratulate Jonn Elledge on a brilliant run. Everything we do from here on out will be building on the legacy of his work, and the community that he built here at CityMetric. Cheers, Jonn!

To our readers, on behalf of the City Monitor team, thank you from all of us for being such loyal CityMetric fans. We couldn’t have done any of this without you.

Sommer Mathis is editor-in-chief of City Monitor.