How Local Restaurants Can Determine the Fate of Cities and Neighborhoods

agustin kitchen tableWe love local restaurants for plenty of reasons, but now we have one more to add to the pile. According to a new study, when researchers asked city residents "what aspects of urban life enchanted them, food kept popping up in their responses. Eighty-two percent of urbanites appreciate their city's culinary offerings!"

As CityLab reports: "Restaurants are the leading force behind reclaimed waterfronts and regenerating neighborhoods, and are a key component of mixed-use development and urban retail. When a part of the city puts itself on the map, it’s often because of a wave of trendy eateries have opened there."

We are definitely seeing this trend across the Phoenix Metro and and in Tucson. As restaurants continue to open in the city centers, they contribute to urban infill, bring residents and visitors downtown, and have truly transformed Arizona into a foodie destination. We're even seeing it in more rural areas such as Flagstaff and Cottonwood, where the restaurant scenes continue to be a driving force of tourism to those areas.

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Local restaurants not only offer a boost to the local economy, but also contribute to a city or neighborhood's "sense of place." These independent restaurants offer a unique character to an area, and this leads to residents being proud of their neighborhood and happy to live there. In a article from earlier this year in The Arizona Republic titled "West Valley's independent restaurants, pubs can offer sense of place," residents of the area have a special attachment to local restaurants and pubs in the area. "This always feels like home," was a response from one resident talking about a local pub he's been visiting since the 1990s.

Next time you're dining out, remember to think local and thank your favorite local restaurant for all that they contribute to your local community!

What's your favorite local restaurant? Find your new favorite today!