Kansas Among the 15 Worst States for Foodies

Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

Despite getting two semifinalist nominations at this year’s James Beard Awards, the Sunflower State appears to be one of the worst in the nation for foodies, sandwiched between places like Alaska and Oklahoma nationally.  

Thanks to Kansas’ low James Beard Award count and a host of other food-centric metrics, we can determine that the Sunflower State is the fifth worst state for foodies, with a total score by our count of 33.52.  

With summer right around the corner, foodies across the United States will have access to the fresh, vibrant, unique foods that come with the season. BetKansas.com paused Kansas sports betting updates and ranked the 15 least foodie-friendly U.S. states based on the total number of “best food cities,” average cost of food at a restaurant in each state, number of James Beard 2024 nominations, and local farms/farmer’s markets per capita.  

Worst 15 States for Foodies

Rank 

State 

Total Score 

North Dakota 

24.20 

Wyoming 

25.27 

South Dakota 

26.34 

Alaska 

26.77 

5 

Kansas 

33.52 

Oklahoma 

34.29 

Iowa 

37.90 

Nevada 

40.87 

Arkansas 

42.08 

10 

Nebraska 

44.54 

11 

Alabama 

44.98 

12 

Utah 

45.24 

13 

Delaware 

49.43 

14 

Virginia 

50.05 

15 

Kentucky 

50.67 

Where Kansas Ranks Nationally

Across America, Kansas’ foodie score of 33.52 ranks ahead of four other states, in North Dakota (24.20), Wyoming (25.27), South Dakota (26.34) and Alaska (26.77), while finishing behind others like Oklahoma (34.29), Iowa (37.90) and Nevada (40.87).  

Throw in Arkansas at 42.08, Nebraska (44.54), Alabama (44.98), Utah (45.24), Delaware (49.43), Virginia (50.05) and Kentucky (50.67) and you have the full rundown on which American states are the worst for food lovers across the board.  

In Kansas, it seems that the KC area’s barbecue chops aren’t quite enough to get the state out of the national purgatory when it comes to food rankings, though Sunflower State locals can only hope that the region’s emerging culinary scene can help it climb the ranks in the years ahead. 

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Author

Christopher Boan is a lead writer at BetKansas.com specializing in covering state issues. He covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years.

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