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The Most Googled Foods In America: The Top 10 Cuisines

General Tso's Chicken
[1] General Tso’s chicken, the most popular Chinese food (photo © Spicy Southern Kitchen).

[2] Tamales are ground meat, poultry, or vegetables stuffed into masa (corn dough) and steamed in a corn husk (photo © Mackenzie Ltd).

Chicken Pad Thai
[3] Chicken pad Thai, garnished with cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice (photo © Good Eggs).


A new study has revealed that Chinese food is the most Googled cuisine, according to Google search data.

The research, conducted by BBQ experts Food Fire Friends, analyzed Google search data related to the 40 most popular cuisines in the world, across the 50 U.S. states.

Here’s what Americans googled most. Can we assume it’s what Americans eat most? Not necessarily, but it’s food for thought!

#1: CHINESE FOOD. With an average of more than 3.35 million searches per month, Chinese is the clear winner by far. According to GrubHub, General Tso’s Chicken (photo #1) is not only the most popular Chinese dish; it’s the 4th most popular dish of all foods that are ordered through GrubHub [source]. Here are the Top 10 most popular Chinese dishes.

#2: MEXICAN FOOD. With an average of 1.22 million Google searches, Mexican food tickles the palate with hot salsas and spices that include allspice, cinnamon cloves, coriander, Mexican oregano, and thyme. Not to mention guacamole and Margaritas! The difference between authentic Mexican food and Tex-Mex.

  • Mexican food spans the regional cuisines of the entire country. Popular dishes include chilaquiles, chiles en nogada, mole, pozole, and tamales (photo #2).
  • Tex-Mex, on the other hand, evolved from Tejano culture (Texans of Mexican heritage). Tex-Mex uses some different ingredients; for example, yellow cheese (e.g. Cheddar). In Mexico, only white cheese is used. Cumin is a popular spice in Tex-Mex, but not common in Mexican cuisine. Here’s more about the differences.
    #3: THAI FOOD. More than 823,000 monthly Google searches puts Thai cuisine into third place. Yes, please, we’d love some tom kha gai (chicken in coconut milk soup) and pad Thai (photo #3—stir-fried rice noodles with shrimp or chicken, peanuts, scrambled eggs, sprouts, and other vegetables). We also recommend green papaya salad

    #4: INDIAN FOOD. Registering an average of 673,000 Google searches, Indian food favorites include biryani, curries, tandoori chicken, fish and shrimp, and great flatbreads.


    #5: KOREAN FOOD, with an average of 246,000 Google searches per month. Bibimbap, Korean BBQ, jjigae (Korean stew), kimchi, and Korean fried chicken are among our favorites.

    #6: JAPANESE FOOD, with an average of 201,000 Google searches per month. Beyond sushi and sashimi, cooked favorites include ramen, soba, tempura, teriyaki, and yakitori.

    #7: SOUL FOOD, 201,00 searches. Top ranking: collards, cornbread, fried chicken, fried pork chops, macaroni and cheese, and don’t forget the peach cobbler.

    #8: GREEK FOOD, 165,000 searches. We always start with a mezze plate (assorted spreads), Greek salad, or horiatiki, followed by kabobs, moussaka, pastitsio, or souvlaki, with baklava as our dessert of choice.

    #9: ITALIAN FOOD, 165,000 searches. In addition to antipasto, pasta, and pizza, we want bagna cauda, polenta, porchetta, ribollita, and a basket of focaccia with EVOO for dunking. For dessert: gelato? ricotta cheesecake? tiramisu? all of them?

    #10: HAWAIIAN FOOD, 90,500 searches. One reason we feel that Google searches don’t equate to foods consumed, is that who has had Hawaii’s #1 dish, poi (steamed or baked taro root)? More Americans have had poke, a type of sashimi salad. Loco moco is a favorite comfort food, a hamburger patty topped with gravy and a fried egg, all placed atop a heaping plate of white rice. Here are more Hawaiian favorites.

    Are you inspired to discover a new dish?

    We’ve had lots of the first nine cuisines, but with the exception of poke, none of the tenth.

    In search of Hawaiian food in New York City, we were so excited to find a restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, that “manages to cram all of Hawaii’s greatest hits onto one menu” [source]. Alas, the article was from 2013; the restaurant has closed. Another, in Harlem, is still open.

    Field trip!





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