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U.S. Cities With the Highest-Rated Diners [2024 Data Study]

Alex Miller's image
Alex Miller
Alex Miller's image

Alex Miller

Founder & CEO

298 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 34U.S. States Visited: 29

Founder and CEO of Upgraded Points, Alex is a leader in the industry and has earned and redeemed millions of points and miles. He frequently discusses the award travel industry with CNBC, Fox Business...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

36 Published Articles 3298 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 47U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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Few American institutions are quite like the diner. It’s a real piece of Americana that transports you back in time. The best part? Diners are available off highways all over the country. 

Come along as we pinpoint where locals are enjoying the best diners across America according to Yelp ratings and where travelers should pull in for refreshment on their next road trip or before catching their flight home.

A U.S. map showing the cities with the highest-rated diners
Image Credit: Upgraded Points

From coast to coast, high-quality diners reside in all pockets of the U.S. Overall, the average Yelp star rating for diners is 3.55 out of 5 across the country. Let’s zoom in and see just which cities stand out for top-rated diners overall: 

  1. Las Vegas, Nevada – 4.29/5.00
  2. Des Moines, Iowa – 4.15/5.00
  3. Indianapolis, Indiana, and Orlando, Florida – 4.08/5.00
  4. Charleston, South Carolina, and Tampa, Florida – 4.07/5.00
  5. Worcester, Massachusetts – 4.06/5.00

Of the cities that shine in staple Americana dining, Las Vegas reigns supreme with an average star rating of 4.29 out of 5. As a city known for late nights that run into early mornings and a town lit up by fluorescent signage at every street corner, it’s only fitting that Sin City tops the list for best diners.

Buffalo, New York, notably cracks the top 10 list with an average star rating of 4.01 out of 5. Buffalo stands out among these front runners by also being one of the cities with the highest ratio of diner options to residents. With about 3.44 diners to every 100,000 residents, locals or visitors should have no trouble finding a seat. 

As the only state with multiple cities making the top 10 list, Florida makes its mark as a home for the best diner eating. At number 3 and number 4, Orlando, Florida, and Tampa, Florida, lend to why Florida is called the Sunshine State — early mornings are easier when you have a great diner to spend them in! With average star ratings of 4.08 and 4.07, respectively, these cities shine when it comes to supreme casual dining.

The Highest-Rated Diner in Every Major U.S. City

Burgers, milkshakes, fries, pancakes — all these and more come to mind when you think of a diner. However, diners can vary across the country based on local culture, cuisine, and people. Grab a seat and a menu as we take a closer look at which establishments stand out above all the rest in each major U.S. city as the top-rated according to Yelp star reviews.

Methodology

To determine the cities with the best diners, we scraped thousands of diner Yelp listings from the 100 largest metro areas in the U.S. and averaged their star ratings out of 5. To ensure diners were the focus of the study, we only used establishments where “diner” was their featured function on Yelp. 

We also found which cities have the most diners per capita and what the highest-rated diner in each city was. When determining the highest-rated diner in each city, the diner had to have at least 10 total reviews. For instances where ties occurred for the highest-rated diners, the one with more reviews was awarded “highest-rated.”

Final Thoughts

As travel enthusiasts ourselves, quick, low-stress dining at different hours of the day is just the fuel we need to keep going. Thankfully, diners are synonymous with the early-morning “pick-me-up.” Whether it’s catching coffee before an early flight, an egg sandwich before hitting the road, or a milkshake when you finally get into your hometown, these staples are a friend to locals and travelers alike.

At Upgraded Points, we’re not just about sharing unmatched travel and credit card information – we’re also about celebrating the experiences that make each stop along the way memorable and fun. From sharing a milkshake or fries to even just a conversation with the stranger on the stool next to you, we honor the classic diner pitstop as a source of familiarity and comfort, whether that be just down the street or on the other side of the country.

Alex Miller's image

About Alex Miller

Founder and CEO of Upgraded Points, Alex is a leader in the industry and has earned and redeemed millions of points and miles. He frequently discusses the award travel industry with CNBC, Fox Business, The New York Times, and more.

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