WalletHub considered 150 U.S. cities in things such as cost of groceries, restaurants per capita, and specialty stores per capita. Orlando topped the list. Tampa was number four.
To anybody with even a mild interest in high-quality food, this would seem a bizarre result. Three Florida cities ranked in the top five! Consider that New York, San Francisco, and Oakland all took big hits because they ranked among the worst in the nation for food affordability.
Orlando was number one and Miami fifth in terms of ice-cream and frozen yogurt stores per capita. Can you say tourist cities in the Sunbelt?
There were no categories for freshness, but there were for craft breweries per capita — and Tampa tied with San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle (tenth overall, BTW).
In the study overall, affordability counted for 30 percent, and three other categories — diversity, accessibility, and quality — accounted for the rest. Food festivals and cooking schools (thank you, Johnson & Wales) clearly worked in Miami's favor. The Magic City also killed it in diversity and food trucks per capita.
So you can debate this ranking — call it the tourist town advantage — but there is a statistical backing to the whole thing.
For more on the study, see WalletHub.