Dining With Denise Neil

Wichita gets a new nickname: ‘The cheapest drinking city in the U.S.’

Wichita is the cheapest drinking city in the country, according to a new study.
Wichita is the cheapest drinking city in the country, according to a new study.

Finally, a list is published where Wichita wants to be on top.

A survey put out today by travel site Wanderu.com says that Wichita is the cheapest drinking city in the United States.

The site used a complicated methodology to come up with its list of cheapest and most expensive drinking cities in the country. It first identified the 75 most populous cities using census data then looked for beverage prices using sites like Expatistan.com, Numbeo.com and Yelp. It pared the final list down to the 55 cities with the most complete data.

“Wichita, Kansas (aka ‘Cowtown,’ aka ‘The Air Capital of the World’) takes first place, providing the biggest city in The Sunflower State with a well-earned but probably not needed third nickname of ‘The Cheapest Drinking City in the United States,’” the study read. “Its wealth of high-quality drinking establishments at reasonable prices—for wine and cocktails and beer, oh my!— makes it perfectly poised to get the best punch for your pennies.”

The most expensive city to get a drink, according to the study — San Jose, California, which the study authors says has ”all the price inflation of San Francisco without the good dive bars of Chinatown or the Mission District to offset.”

According to the data, pints of beer in Wichita average $3.78 as opposed to $8 in San Jose. A cocktail is $7 in Wichita as opposed to $16 in New York.

Other inexpensive drinking cities included Cincinnati and Tampa. On the pricey end with San Jose was Washington, D.C., and Honolulu.

The study authors also address the question: Is a city with cheap drinks the ideal?

“...Unless you’re the sniff, swirl and spit type, when presented with two roughly similar glasses of wine, chances are you’ll order the cheaper option. It’s just a fact: Most of us middle-class plebeians are at least somewhat sensitive to price—and few things rack up as quickly as a bar tab,” the study read.

You can look at all the results here, including a map that charts the most- and least-expensive drinking cities in the country.