Food around Subways

Geospatial Analytics Lab

Location Analytics  -  GIS Maps  -  Data Dashboards  -  Remote Sensing 

Manhattan's Subway Stations and nearby Restaurants

This study focuses on gathering intelligence about restaurant characteristics around Manhattan’s subway stations. It is also a proximity or distance analysis because it only considers restaurants within a 330 feet range (1 ½ city block in avg). Through geospatial analytics some questions can be addressed:

If a subway could be described by one cuisine or food type, what would it be? and Which subway station(s) has more cuisine options?

NYC has a large selection of cuisine types – 78 ! (see city Table1), so it would be expected that the subway entrance surrounding area would capture part of this diversity.

But the best way to see the outputs of this analysis is to visualize it on a map:

Legend: Main cuisine/food type, Cuisine Diversity and the Total number of restaurants (within 330 feet distance from subway entrance),

Subway Name and Line & NYC Neighborhoods 

Web Map features: Search button for cuisine type search 

How safe is Food around subway stations?

NY City food safety and sanitary inspections granted an A grade to 55% of restaurants located near subways.

For all restaurants (total of 1783), up to 330 feet from all subway stations, 988 (55%) are A graded, restaurants with grade B and C comprise 4% of the total. 40% are missing recent data*.

*Only restaurant food inspections between Jan 2017 to Feb 2018 were considered, otherwise these restaurants were included in the “no grade” inspection class.


- Restaurant point locations with Grade Info (A, B, C, nyg - not yet graded);

- Cluster of Restaurant locations (number of restaurants surrounding X subway entrance). 

- Additional Layers: Subway Entrance point; 330 ft Subway Limit; Subway Lines; City Neighborhoods.

Web Map links:  Full screen link 

Mobile version - retracted legend, optimized for small screens <smartphones>

Where are restaurants concentrated the most in Manhattan?


Manhattan’s Restaurant Density Map

From this map immediate insights can be taken, e.g.:

- Which city’s neighborhood is best served by local restaurants?

- Are denser areas / hot spots properly covered by the subway system?

- What's the correlation with resident population density and other variables?

Analysis result Tables


1. Number of different cuisine types for all Manhattans' Restaurants

N(rest)=10.662, N(cuisine types)=78


2. Cuisine Type Frequency table for all Restaurants within 330 ft from subways.

N(rest)=1770, N(subway entrance)=x


3. Main food type, food diversity and the total number of restaurants BY subway entrance.


>> link for full tables <<


Methodology Notes: For each subway perimeter, the most frequent cuisine type was identified*, the number of different cuisine types was calculated, as well as the total number of restaurants (subway restaurant density).

 *Around 30% of the restaurant area classified as “American cuisine”, it is also the most frequent cuisine for a great number of subway’s perimeter. Additionally, there is an overgeneralized use of this class, since it includes incorrectly classified restaurants – e.g. steak and barbeque houses, fast-food, pizza, food courts, pubs, etc.). For this reason, and to better unveil the city’s cuisine diversity, this class was excluded for the determination of main cuisine type by subway and zip code, except for the case that there is no other cuisine type. UPDATE: the analysis for ALL classes can be seen on the subway 330ft limit area pop-up window, labeled as “cuisine_al”.

Data sources:

NYC Open Data > 1. NYC Restaurants by type; 2. DOHMH New York City Restaurant Inspection Results; 3. NYC Subway Entrances and Lines. access date: 03/2018

NYC BYTES of the BIG APPLE > 4. Neighborhood Tabulation Areas, NTA. access date: 03/2018

Vanessa Mateus, Geospatial Analyst


Copyright © All Rights Reserved