In China, the majority of food enterprises are small-sized and medium-sized. While the supervision costs are high, food safety issues are still emerging. Food circulation is an indispensable part in the entire food chain. At present, there are few studies on the regional spread of food safety risks in the circulation field from a macro perspective. This study combines GIS and social network analysis methods to deeply explore the regional circulation characteristics of substandard foods. First, we crawl the dataset of Food Safety Sampling Inspection Result Query System. Then we obtain the geographical locations of the manufacturers and distributors by GIS. Finally, we construct the province-level and city-level substandard foods' circulation networks, and employ social network analysis to target key cities and paths. The experimental results show that the circulations of substandard foods are characterized by dense province-level network and sparse city-level network, and they are mostly local and short-distance trafficking. 361 cities are divided into 13 city clusters considering the network connection characteristics. Chongqing, Beijing, Zhengzhou, and Changsha are identified as key cities by all measurement indicators, and at least four indicators can identify Shanghai and Wuhan. These cities have the highest priority for combating substandard foods' circulation networks.