igor_kell / Getty Images

The Las Vegas Strip is almost twice as expensive as Little Rock and Cranston, according to one new study.

Mike Pomranz
January 10, 2018

Everyone understands that where you eat – even generally speaking – can significantly affect the price of your meal. In all likelihood, the prices in Manhattan are going to be higher than if you take a road trip out to Morristown, New Jersey. But just how much more? The financial services company CreditLoan wondered that exact question: Obviously, eating out has an effect on your personal finances, but how much does that effect vary based on where you live? The answer may surprise you – with menu prices at the most expensive city on its list coming out to nearly double those of the least expensive cities.

To construct their lists, CreditLoan dug into the Foursquare Menu API, looking specifically at the menu prices in cities with at least 50 food menus and 1,000 menu items. Granted, none of this data or the methodology used to compile it is foolproof, but the results do paint an interesting picture of prices across America.

Based on their findings, the most expensive city in the United States was Paradise, Nevada – also known as the part of Las Vegas that contains the majority of the Las Vegas Strip. The somewhat unsurprising result showed that the “average menu price” in this glitzy gambling mecca was $16.02. What is surprising, however, is just how much higher that average price is compared to the average menu price in the two least expensive cities. In Little Rock, Arkansas, and Cranston, Rhode Island – the two cities that tied for cheapest in the country – the average menu price was just $8.76.

Of course, the Las Vegas Strip is a bit of an anomaly; however, it’s not that far off from the other most expensive cities. Rounding out the top five most expensive locales were Miami Beach ($15.33), Manhattan ($14.37), Boca Raton ($14.10) and Miami ($13.98). Meanwhile, Rochester ($8.78), Tucson ($8.81) and Syracuse ($8.82) were the rest of the five least expensive cities.

Beyond breaking down the most and least expensive cities, CreditLoan also looked at prices by state and region, as well as the prices for specific foods like tacos and pizza. Additionally, the company created a searchable guide letting users see the average price for a specific food of their choice in cities across the country. If you’re interested in digging deeper into CreditLoan’s findings, you can check out all the data on its website.