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Approximately 10% of U.S. Restaurants Offer Mexican Cuisine

Approximately 11% of restaurants in the United States offer Mexican cuisine, as per a Pew Research Center analysis of SafeGraph data, showcasing the widespread influence of Mexican culture in American dining establishments.

Food serves as a significant aspect of cultural identity, offering insights into a community’s heritage, familial traditions, and values. In the United States, Mexican cuisine stands out as one of the most favored, with approximately 1 in 10 restaurants specializing in Mexican food, as per recent Pew Research Center data. This culinary trend mirrors the growth of the Mexican American population, comprising 37.2 million individuals, or 11.2% of the total U.S. population, with roots tracing back to Mexico.

Via Pew Research Center

In the 2010s, the U.S. Hispanic community saw a remarkable 23% growth, surpassing the nation’s 7% overall population increase, as reported by the Census Bureau. Almost 60% of the U.S. Hispanic population identifies as Mexican American.

According to the Pew Research Center, 85% of U.S. counties boast at least one Mexican restaurant. The remaining 15% of counties without such cuisine typically have smaller populations, accounting for just 1% of the entire U.S. population. This data, sourced from SafeGraph and Yelp reviews, highlights the widespread presence of Mexican eateries across the country.

Via Pew Research Center

California and Texas boast the largest Mexican American population and host 40% of all Mexican restaurants in the U.S., with 22% in California and 17% in Texas. Approximately 30% of California’s Mexican restaurants are concentrated in Los Angeles County, while in Texas, 17% are in Harris County, home to Houston.

Ten U.S. counties have over a third of their dining establishments as Mexican restaurants, and eight of these are in Texas, mostly near the U.S.-Mexico border.

Via Pew Research Center

Among U.S. Mexican restaurants, 22% are labeled as “fast food,” 12% specialize in tacos, and 8% operate as food trucks. Tex-Mex cuisine, blending American and Mexican flavors, is offered by 6% of these establishments, influenced by Tejano culture.

The majority of Mexican food in the U.S. is moderately priced, with 61% rated with one “dollar sign” on Yelp. Less than 1% nationwide have three or four dollar signs, and 25% of these upscale restaurants are in Los Angeles County, Cook County, Illinois, and New York County, N.Y., according to Pew Research Center.

Pew Research Center

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