Top 10 Cities for Vegans and Vegetarians
Whether you are a longtime vegan or you are just dipping a toe into vegetarianism, these 10 veggie-friendly American cities show the exploding options for foodies looking for plant-based dining.
Photo By: George Foreman Grills
Photo By: Armature Works
Photo By: Courtesy of By Chloe/Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen
Photo By: Patrick Heagney
Photo By: Jeff Stafford
Photo By: Dahlia Lounge
Photo By: Disney
Photo By: Teodora D
Photo By: Jeremy Pawlowski
Vegetables Are the New Protein
There's a reason chefs are spending more time and effort creating interesting, innovative dishes with vegetables like meat-less buffalo cauliflower (pictured). According to a Harris Poll, six to eight million Americans have eliminated meat, fish and poultry from their diets and two million Americans follow a vegan diet, meaning they have also excluded animal-based products like eggs, milk, cheese and gelatin from their diets. And with a growing number of Americans simply adopting a more plant-based diet for health or environmental reasons, chefs are taking note. Restaurant menus and grocery store shelves these days are loaded with vegetarian and vegan options, from trendy Impossible Burgers to the variety of milk-alternatives clogging store shelves from soy to almond to oat. WalletHub has selected the top 10 best American cities for vegans and vegetarians. To calcuate the most vegan and vegetarian-friendly cities, WalletHub looked at the largest share of restaurants serving meatless options, the cost of groceries for vegetarians as well as the number of salad shops per capita. What our list of restaurants in each of these veggie-friendly cities shows is that meat-eaters, vegans and vegetarians alike can now enjoy the same restaurant options, with more and more traditional spots featuring plant-based entrees and also vegan and vegetarian options.
10: Tampa, Florida
The food hall Armature Works is part of a growing trend for multipurpose food halls across the country where a variety of food options are on offer so that friends with varying food preferences can enjoy a communal meal that suits everyone. In a nice acknowledgement of its vegan and vegetarian customers, Armature even offers a drop-down menu on its website listing vegan options (as well as gluten-free menu choices) at the various restaurants that make up this space.
See More Photos: The Best Local Restaurants in West Coast Florida
9: San Diego, California
With an emphasis on fresh, organic ingredients — many sourced from an on-site organic garden — chef Brian Malarky's Green Acre locations in San Diego offer, depending upon the location, vegetarian pizzas, curries, black bean burgers and salads, among other plant-centric, healthy options.
See More Photos: Top Things to Do in San Diego
8: San Francisco
Plant-based Mission Street Mexican restaurant Gracias Madre (which also features two Los Angeles locations) caters to both vegetarians and vegans and uses nuts to make its milks and cheeses. Menu ingredients are sourced from the nearby organic Be Love Farm in Pleasants Valley, California.
See More Photos: 20 Ways to Eat Like a San Francisco Local
7: New York City
Inventive vegan cuisine is the focus at By Chloe in New York City named for chef and founder Chloe Coscarelli (winner of Food Network's Cupcake Wars) and founded on great food, gorgeous Instagrammable design and a millennial-friendly vibe. By Chloe is part of a growing vegan empire that has extended to Los Angeles, Providence, Rhode Island, and Boston as well as London (with a Toronto location coming soon).
6: Atlanta, Georgia
Even high-end, white-tablecloth restaurants like Atlas located in the tony, celebrity-favorite St. Regis Hotel in Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood are getting in on the vegetarian trend and catering to guests who prefer healthier options with an extensive vegetarian menu in the main dining room that changes daily.
See More Photos: New for 2019 Atlanta Restaurants and Hotels to Try
5: Austin, Texas
Austin foodie favorite Maudie's specializes in Tex-Mex cuisine and particularly prides itself on their brunch offerings like their breakfast plate of migas (scrambled eggs with tomatoes, onions, serrano peppers, cheese and tortilla strips), which are even better with refried beans (shown here with a side order of sausage or bacon for the carnivores in your group). All beans on the Maudie's menu are vegetarian (expect the Borracho beans) and vegetarian options are indicated with a green star on the menu and include Veggie Chile Relleno, Spinach Tomatado Enchiladas, Vegetable Burrito and Veggie Fajita.
See More Photos: 5 Unique and Beautiful Coffee Shops in Austin, Texas
A sophisticated downtown restaurant opened by well-known restauranteur Tom Douglas in 1989, Dahlia Lounge has always emphasized sustainable, organic food and features several vegetarian main dishes as well as numerous vegan and vegetarian sides on its seasonal menu.
3: Orlando, Florida
Disney Grand Floridian Resort and Spa's fine dining spot Victoria and Albert's wouldn't necessarily be the first place you'd think of for a vegan or vegetarian meal. But the Chef's Degustation menu offers a vegetarian option and, with advance notice, a vegan menu can be prepared.
2: Los Angeles
Raffi's Place in Glendale doesn't take reservations (except for large groups), but it's a great choice for family-style group meals and also offers plenty of vegetarian options on its Persian/Mediterranean/Armenian menu. After dinner, stop by the famous Porto's Bakery up the street for dessert and a life-changing guava-cheese strudel.
1: Portland, Oregon
As might be expected in a town as hip as Portland, there are plenty of vegan and vegetarian-centric restaurants in this creative hub. In addition, spots like the cozy brunch favorite The Hazel Room feature plentiful vegetarian variations on its breakfast classics.