A recent survey from LivingSocial indicates that there are as many carnivores as herbivores.

The economy isn’t having as large of an impact on Americans’ eating out as one might think. In fact, LivingSocial’s survey discovered that on average, Americans eat out almost 5 times a week, with lunch being the most popular meal for dining out. 45% of those surveyed would describe themselves as “meat lovers” as well as 19% labeling themselves as “fast food junkies.” Only 18% viewed themselves as “health nuts” and 5% called themselves “vegetarians or vegans.”

In a section called “A Growing Group of Gourmands,” over 70% referred to themselves as either “experimental eaters,” “foodies” or “locavores.” I’m thinking these were the options given by LivingSocial; I’m having a hard time believing regular survey participants would come up with such lofty terms as descriptors. Also, only 4% frequented food trucks, even though that seems to be the hot trend in dining as of late.

The numbers for food trucks may be small, but they will most likely be growing in Atlanta due to recent television coverage and legislation from the Atlanta City Council. Before the council’s vote, food trucks could only operate at special events. Now they are allowed on private property in commercial areas between the hours of 5 a.m. and 2 a.m. Mobile vendors have gained nationwide popularity primarily through social media, and Food Network even has the show “The Great Food Truck Race.” The program averages 2.1 million viewers per episode, and it filmed in Atlanta over the Memorial Day weekend. The episode aired September 18, and the program’s consistently strong numbers could result in more local consumer interest.

A few more quick stats from the LivingSocial survey:

  • Best Cities for Dining Out: New York, Chicago and San Francisco
  • Worst Cities for Dining Out: Seattle, Sacramento and Detroit
  • Most frequented types of restaurants: Italian, Mexican, Chinese and Pizzerias
  • Boston likes Irish faire, Atlanta is big on delis, Detroit likes Middle Eastern and Seattle loves Vietnamese
  • The “new” cuisine everyone’s trying: Thai (followed by Sushi, Greek, BBQ and Indian)
  • Los Angeles has the most “fast food junkies”
  • New Yorkers view themselves as the “most experimental” and as “foodies”
  • Washington, DC has the most vegetarians in the survey

To view the complete survey findings, click here.

So what do you think? Are any of these findings surprising? We’d love to hear your take on these survey results.