When asked what the ultimate “foodie” city is in all of Arizona, most residents around the state would likely guess Scottsdale, or Tucson, Mesa, or maybe Phoenix itself. There might even be a few random guesses in there as well, like Lake Havasu City or Bisbee. However, according to a recent study performed by data scientists at Insurify, the ultimate foodie destination in Arizona isn’t what most in the state would suggest.
According to the analysis at Insurify, which is made up of a group of technological data analysts who have aided in the development of companies like Amazon, JP Morgan, KAYAK, and TripAdvisor, the top “foodie” city in the entire state of Arizona is Flagstaff.
To come up with these findings, the organization put together a very specific scoring algorithm. Some of the factors included the number of full-service restaurants per 100,000 residents, the number of mobile establishments (food trucks, carts, and stands) per 1000,000 residents, special food stores per 1000,000 residents, the number of grocery stores, as well as the overall cost of food and eating at a restaurant in the given city. All of this went into determining not only the overall access individuals had to food and restaurants but the affordability of eating both in and out.
Ultimately, the findings show that Flagstaff scored 53 percent better than the state average, which helped elevate the city above the competition. There are 123.4 restaurants per 100,000 residents in the city, which is one of the highest in the nation (Fort Collins, which was recognized as the top foodie city in Colorado, has just 83.8 restaurants, although Ocean City, New Jersey, had the highest at 349.9 restaurants per 100,000).
Insurify did not release the full data regarding non-winning cities, so it is not possible to see how Flagstaff exactly stood up to the competition within the state. However, there were some surprises in terms of state winners and, in general, the largest cities in the country did not win their states. New York City, Los Angeles, nor Miami took home the title in their given states. In California, Ukiah was dubbed the ultimate foodie city in the state, while in Florida, Key West came out on top. Key West has the second-highest level of restaurants to residents. Middle-sized tourist cities performed the best, as there are generally more restaurants to accommodate the influx of visitors. In Georgia, for example, Atlanta did not win, but instead visitor-favorite Savannah did.