Like any New Yorkers, we here at Grub Street are overly fond of statistics that demonstrate our city’s dominance over the rest of the country. Hence our pleasure to have found some simple calculations, based on readily available public figures, on New York Restaurant Reminder, a blog more commonly devoted to recounting big meals. Listen to this:
The New York City Department of Health lists more than 20,000 restaurants on its “Restaurant Inspection Information” web site. In a city of more than 8 million people that amounts to one restaurant for every 400 people. New York City’s area of about 305 square miles gives a restaurant density of 65 restaurants per square mile – greater than the population density per square mile of Vermont, Minnesota and Colorado and 17 other states.
Now, admittedly, as a commenter notes, this figure is a little inflated, including as it does “any company cafeteria down to the smallest establishment, any takeout shop, bodegas, convenience stores & markets,” but consider this: The figure includes all of New York! That includes vast stretches of suburban Staten Island, the rolling green hills of Riverdale, the vast co-ops of the Bronx. Were it limited merely to Manhattan, surely the venues-per-square-mile figure would be so astronomical as to beggar the imagination even of the most hardened claustrophobe. Unfortunately, the city doesn’t break down the number of restaurants by borough on the DOH Website — but maybe that's for the best. We're not sure if we could wrap our heads around those kinds of hard numbers
Restaurant Density Analysis [New York Restaurant Reminder]