A new Pew Research Center study finds that Indian restaurants account for just 7 percent of all eateries that serve Asian food in America
Despite Indians accounting for the top three immigrant communities in the United States, with their numbers rapidly increasing, it comes as a surprise that Indian restaurants may not be as well represented in the country.
A new study by the Pew Research Center closely examines the influence of Asian food in the United States. One of the study’s key findings indicates that Indian restaurants account for only 7 percent of all restaurants serving Asian food in America.
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This means that at 7 percent, Indian food — along with Vietnamese food, which also accounts for 7 percent of the total Asian restaurant representation — is among the most underrepresented Asian food in America.
The Pew study reveals that Chinese, Japanese, and Thai food top the list of the most popular Asian cuisines in America. A staggering 71 percent of Asian restaurants in the US serve these three cuisines, meaning that 7 out of 10 restaurants serving Asian food in the United States offer one of these options.
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While the popularity of Chinese food is understandable, as about 24 percent of the Asian population in the US has Chinese heritage, the swift climb of Japanese and Thai food is remarkable.
As expected, the majority of Asian eateries are concentrated in areas with the highest Asian populations.
However, what comes as a surprise is that while most Indian communities are concentrated in five states — namely California, New York, Texas, New Jersey, and Washington — and these states account for only 45 percent of all Asian eateries. Interestingly, even in these states, it is Chinese and Thai eateries that continue to dominate the Asian food scene.
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According to Indian American foodies, the gap in the number of good Indian dining places could be due to the fact that Indians may have made more progress in service-based professions rather than establishing food businesses.
While a host of Indian fine diners, some with celebrity chefs and others with celebrity owners like Hollywood actor Priyanka Chopra’s Sona, continue to shine a spotlight on Indian food in America, the truth is that much more needs to be done to give Indian cuisine its rightful place on the gastronomic map in America.