A new interactive map from consumer insight platform Crimson Hexagon reveals the most popular food and drinks in New York City – all thanks to Instagram posts.
“New York is one of America’s top destinations for food lovers, so it’s hardly surprising to see such high levels of activity on Instagram given the diverse array of cuisines and dining options that the city boasts,” says Lou Jordano, chief marketing officer at Crimson Hexagon.
Just hit play on the interactive map and watch colorful food emojis – like whole heads of shrimp and strawberry-crowned layer cakes – burst onto the screen before promptly disappearing as time moves on. Pause the timer and click on the emojis to get a view of a wonderfully messy burger from Emily in the West Village, posted at 6.23am, or the bowl of ramen noodles from Ippudo that’s being slurped after a long night out. You can even view the post on Instagram to catch a brief glimpse into a stranger’s food habits.
“Whether or not it’s socially acceptable to Instagram food is a hotly debated and highly divisive topic,” Jordano says. “But this doesn’t seem to have stopped both NYC residents and tourists visiting the city from getting snap-happy with their meals morning, noon and night.”
According to the research, you’ll see far more photos in your Instagram feed of sushi, chicken, pasta and burritos at 8pm, while 10pm is prime time for noodles. Cocktails are the most-sipped beverage – and not just in the evenings (in fact, they are very popular between 2pm and midnight). Coffee comes next, which is naturally posted in the early hours of the day. The most popular food in NYC is seafood, which is a fairly unexpected result. To check out specific foods, you can filter by emoji – everything from the wine glass to the piece of steak – and you can also drag the map around to pinpoint a certain neighborhood or borough.
Unsurprisingly, the map is active for the entire 24-hour cycle. Someone is eating – or at least posting about eating – at all hours of the day, which isn’t too shocking considering NYC’s wealth of late-night dining options and early-morning coffee shops.
“This foodie culture is showing no signs of slowing down, and with many smartphone cameras now offering specific food photography settings, we’d expect to see pictures of food continuing to dominate Instagram feeds,” Jordano says.
So while it’s certainly surprising that seafood slides into first place as opposed to pizza or even bagels, one thing is certain: New Yorkers can’t get enough of sharing their food and drink on Instagram.