Retail and restaurant real estate markets may share economic indicators but this does not always lead to a direct correlation of their successes, according to results from consumer analytics firm Buxton’s 2020 Retail and Restaurant Real Estate Outlook.

For example, Atlanta and Salt Lake City both made the top 25 restaurant real estate markets but did not make the top 25 in retail.

According to Buxton, here are the top 10 large real estate markets for restaurants:

  • San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose
  • New York City
  • Los Angeles
  • Boston
  • Seattle-Tacoma
  • Washington D.C.
  • Portland, Ore.
  • Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Pittsburgh
  • Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, Calif.

California again had more cities in the Top 25 markets in the report than any other state, but given its size, that is not surprising. Texas fared similarly.
The Top 10 Small Real Estate Markets for Restaurants: 


  • Honolulu
  • Buffalo, N.Y.
  • Charleston-Huntington, W.V.
  • Albany-Schenectady-Troy, N.Y,
  • Providence, R.I.-New Bedford, Mass.
  • Tri-Cities, Tenn.-Va.
  • Spokane, Wash.
  • Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Lexington, Ky.

Tucson (Sierra Vista), Az. In smaller markets, the southern U.S. is notably strong. Twelve of the top 25 small markets are in the south. 
Buxton used GPS data from opted-in consumer devices to assess market performance over a two-year period to develop the report.