Photo: WalletHub

What’s a foodie?

person keenly interested in food, especially in eating or cooking, according to the dictionary.

The personal finance website WalletHub, which just ranked the Best Foodie Cities in America for 2017 goes a bit deeper.

Photo: Taste of Atlanta

Americans, it says, liberally apply the term “foodie” to anyone who loves gourmet dining. But foodie culture isn’t limited to restaurants. “Authentic” foodies, its experts say, crave new and different flavors and savor the exploratory experience of eating, learning and discovering food.

Atlanta, by the way, finished 12th on a list of 182 cities.

To reach their results, analysts examined the 150 most populated U.S. cities (plus at least two of the most populated cities in each state) and compared them for affordability and diversity/accessibility/quality, using such metrics as the cost of groceries, the average restaurant meal cost, high-rated restaurants per capita, food festivals and restaurant diversity.

Coming out on top: San Francisco. It ranks low (No. 151) in affordability but first in diversity, accessibility and quality.

At No. 12, Atlanta moves up two spots from the 2016 rankings. It rates 106th for affordability and 13th for diversity, accessibility and quality. Two other Georgia cities also made the list — Columbus (No. 150) and Augusta (No. 156).

Here are WalletHub’s Top 15 for 2017 (complete list HERE):
  • San Francisco
  • Portland, Ore.
  • New York
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Orlando, Fla.
  • Austin, Texas
  • Las Vegas
  • San Diego
  • Seattle
  • Tampa, Fla.
  • Atlanta
  • Chicago
  • Philadelphia
  • Sacramento, Calif.