Americans are eating out more than ever, and that means more jobs for chefs.

In fact, last year consumer spending at bars and restaurants topped spending on groceries for the first time since people have been keeping track of such things.

There are a number of reasons for this according to Quartz: grocery store pricing has plunged amid a frenzy of competition, gender equality, increased urbanization and millennial habits among them.

In any case, Americans’ eating habits are creating more opportunities for chefs. Job prospects for chefs and head cooks is growing faster than average compared to other professions, expanding 9 percent from 2014 to 2024 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So what are the best cities for chefs to sharpen their knives? SpareFoot teamed up with Indeed, the world’s largest job site by users, to find the ten metro areas with the most job listings for chefs. Indeed also provided us with the average salary data for chefs in those markets. We then ranked those cities by the following factors:

                • Job availability

 

 

              • Average annual salary

 

 

              • Salary as a percentage of median home price

 

 

              • Median annual rent as a percentage of salary

 

              Finally, we combined the rankings (giving double weight to job availability) to determine an overall ranking. Median home prices and annual rent sourced from Zillow.

10. San Francisco, CA

 

San Francisco chefs command the highest average salary on our list at $72,000. On the flip side the city has the least affordable housing among the top ten cities.

Percent share of job listings (rounded): 8.1% (Rank 4th)
Average annual salary: $72,000 (Rank 1st)
Median home price: $1.2 million
Salary as a percentage of home price: 6.2% (Rank 10th)
Median annual rent: $52,728
Rent as a percentage of income: 73.2% (Rank 10th)

9. Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles has long been a culinary oasis, and its status is still holding strong. The city has the second highest share of jobs among the top ten, which means oppurtunities abound. On the other hand, it is only slightly more affordable than San Francisco. Percent share of job listings (rounded): 14.9% (Rank 2nd) Average annual salary: $57,000 (Rank 6th) Median home price: $699,000 Salary as a percentage of home price: 8.2% (Rank 9th) Median annual rent: $33,936 Rent as a percentage of income: 59.5% (Rank 9th)

8. Miami, FL

 

Miami is home to the best Cuban food outside of, well, Cuba. But tons of other culinary styles abound. Despite having the lowest salary on our list, chefs in Miami can find middle ground when it comes to housing affordability.

Percent share of job listings (rounded): 8.4% (Rank 4th)
Average annual salary: $51,000 (Rank 10th)
Median home price: $444,888
Salary as a percentage of home price: 11.5% (Rank 5th)
Median annual rent: $25,464
Rent as a percentage of income: 49.9% (Rank 7th)

7. Washington, DC

While Foodies-in-Chief Barrack and Michelle Obama are moving out of the White House, the dining scene in D.C. will continue–even if the incoming President prefers KFC to sous vide. Percent share of job listings (rounded): 11.3% (Rank 3rd) Average annual salary: $57,000 (Rank 7th) Median home price: $550,000 Salary as a percentage of home price: 10.4% (Rank 7th) Median annual rent: $30,768 Rent as a percentage of income: 54% (Rank 8th)

6. Dallas, TX

 

Dallas chefs might not command the highest salaries, but the city is relatively affordable when it comes to renting or buying a home.

Percent share of job listings (rounded): 8.3% (Rank 7th)
Average annual salary: $54,000 (Rank 9th)
Median home price: $369,900
Salary as a percentage of home price: 14.6% (Rank 4th)
Median annual rent: $16,356
Rent as a percentage of income: 30.3% (Rank 3rd)

5. New York, NY

NYC offers the most opportunities for chefs compared to the other top ten cities, by a wide margin. Buying a home may be a challenge, but rents are fairly reasonable. Percent share of job listings (rounded): 20% (Rank 1st) Average annual salary: $64,000 (Rank 4th) Median home price: $725,000 Salary as a percentage of home price: 8.8% (Rank 8th) Median annual rent: $28,200 Rent as a percentage of income: 44.1% (Rank 5th)

4. Boston, MA

 

Master your clam chowder and lobster rolls and seek out a job in Boston, where the average salary of $67,000 is the second highest on our list.

Percent share of job listings (rounded): 8.4% (Rank 5th)
Average annual salary: $67,000 (Rank 2nd)
Median home price: $629,000
Salary as a percentage of home price: 10.7% (Rank 6th)
Median annual rent: $30,744
Rent as a percentage of income: 45.9% (Rank 6th)

3. Chicago, IL

The culinary capital of the Midwest earns third place on our list thanks to its housing and rental affordability. Percent share of job listings (rounded): 8.4% (Rank 6th) Average annual salary: $64,000 (Rank 5th) Median home price: $269,900 Salary as a percentage of home price: 23.7% (Rank 3rd) Median annual rent: $20,256 Rent as a percentage of income: 31.7% (Rank 4th)

2. Philadelphia, PA

 

It isn’t just cheesesteaks. From the Italian Market to Chinatown, Philadelphia is a playground for chefs. The City of Brotherly Love is the most affordable on our list for both renting and buying a home.

Percent share of job listings (rounded): 6.4% (Rank 9th)
Average annual salary: $56,000 (Rank 8th)
Median home price: $159,000
Salary as a percentage of home price: 35.2% (Rank 1st)
Median annual rent: $14,544
Rent as a percentage of income: 26% (Rank 1st)

1. Atlanta, GA

You can stop soul(food)-searching, because Atlanta is our top choice for chefs. The city has the third highest salary on our list, and is the second most affordable overall. But you better be among the best; the city has the lowest share of available jobs on our list.

Percent share of job listings (rounded): 5.9% (Rank 10th)
Average annual salary: $67,000 (Rank 3rd)
Median home price: $272,900
Salary as a percentage of home price: 24.6% (Rank 2nd)
Median annual rent: $17,808
Rent as a percentage of income: 26.6% (Rank 2nd)

Alexander Harris