I live in the suburb of a big city. I rarely go into the big city to eat--a couple times a year at the most--because it's a huge hassle.
Here in the suburb, we have:
Probably a dozen americanized chinese restaurants/buffets/takeaways
Probably a dozen somewhat-authentic mexican restaurants
A couple non-authentic chain mexican restaurants
Only one authentic pizzeria (vastly overpriced and not very good)
A few chain steakhouses, but no local/non-chain ones
Two chain BBQ joints
One Indian restaurant
Two Japanese/sushi restaurants
A few chain 'american'/homestyle restaurants
The usual Olive Garden, Red Lobster, TGI Friday's, Red Robin, etc
Sadly, NO thai food.
As you can tell, unless you want ethnic food, almost all your options are chain restaurants. Which are not necessarily bad options, but it would be nice to have other options. The first time I ever had thai food was last year on vacation, because we just don't have any thai places within 45 minutes of home. We usually eat Mexican, steak, or sushi.