The U.S. is full of up and coming cities that offer flourishing job opportunities, great social scenes and possibly the most important, fantastic food. When deciding to move to a new city or explore the one you’re currently in, food and restaurant variety seems to be a driving factor in the decision making process.
As more people become aware of the cruel treatment of farmed animals in the agriculture industry as well as Big Ag’s devastating impact on the environment, more people are seeking out vegan restaurants and lifestyles. With more than 9.7 million people in the United States turning to veganism, the race for cities to become more vegan-friendly is on. Here are the top 10 most vegan-friendly cities in the U.S. that should be considered when picking your next city to explore.
#10 and #9: New York and Los Angeles
New York and Los Angeles are two of the most vegan-friendly cities in the world; however, this blog post is about up-and-coming cities that need some recognition. It’s time for NY and LA to share the spotlight, but we couldn’t go without at least giving them spots on our top 10 list.
New York truly brings all the glitz, glamour and vegan restaurants. The city has more than 140 vegan restaurants spread out from Times Square to the outer boroughs–there are 75 vegan restaurants on the island of Manhattan alone. The massive city also boasts one of the largest fleets of vegan food trucks in the country, making on-the-go vegan fare more accessible than ever. However, the over-the-top price of living in New York put the concrete jungle in 79th place in affordability on the WalletHub ranking of most vegan-friendly cities.
Los Angeles has been considered the best city in the United States for vegans. California was ranked second in a list of best vegan states, and with more than 200 vegan restaurants, the City of Angels was crowned the best vegan city in the state of California. LA even offers all-vegan grocery stores, including Besties Vegan Paradise. While LA may offer a plethora of vegan options it ranked 38th in affordability on the WalletHub ranking of the most vegan-friendly cities.
#8: Fort Wayne, Indiana
While the east and west coasts are concentrated with the majority of the vegan population, Fort Wayne, Indiana should not be overlooked. Fort Wayne has two completely vegan restaurants, Loving Cafe and Savery Vegan Grill. These eateries have made their mark on the Fort Wayne community and continue to attract new customers with their delicious food. Even though there are only two all-vegan restaurants, Fort Wayne ranked #4 in overall affordability for vegans in the WalletHub survey of most vegan-friendly cities. Even better than that, Fort Wayne was ranked #1 for the lowest cost of groceries, a great thing to keep in mind if you’re looking to save up for that new car.
#7) Seattle, Washington
No surprise here — Seattle ranks #7 in our top 10 vegan-friendly cities. Seattle is famed for its beautiful landscapes, but Seattle is also the place to be when it comes to finding vegan food options. WalletHub ranks Seattle #5, however, the city is ranked #92 for affordability. Wayward Vegan Cafe and Plum Bistro both have been noted for the best vegan food in Seattle, and are must-try restaurants if you’re passing through or looking for your next vegan eats. Even people who don’t identify as vegan are shouting from the rooftops at how tasty the food options are in Seattle.
#6) Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta is home to the famous Centennial Olympic Park, the World of Coca-Cola and the busiest airport in the entire country. But, it is also home to one of the largest percentages of vegan takeout options in the country. Atlanta boasts 36% of takeout options that offer vegan fare, a feat that deserves some recognition. Atlanta is not traditionally known for its support of the vegan movement; however according to WalletHub, the city ranks at #13 for its diversity, accessibility and quality. Atlanta is home to 27 all-vegan restaurants, and that number is rapidly increasing. Atlanta also stands out because the cost of living is lower than the national average, and the cost of housing is six percent lower than the national average, meaning that if you’re looking for a city that offers vegan eats without dropping all your dough, Atlanta may be your next stop.
#5) Washington, D.C.
D.C. is one of the best cities to find tons of diverse vegan options. D.C. ranks 26th overall on the Wallethub most vegan-friendly cities in America and 10th in diversity, accessibility and quality. D.C. is also home to Animal Outlook’s DC VegFest, the largest vegan gathering on the east coast. DC VegFest attracts thousands of vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters and features vegan vendors, celebrity speakers, cooking demonstrations and so much more.
#4) Austin, Texas
Austin surprised us. According to Patch.com, Austin ranks 10th in the cost of groceries for vegans and 33% of the restaurants in Austin serve vegan options. Wallethub ranks Austin as the tenth-most vegan-friendly cities. Overall, Austin provides a vegan-friendly environment with plant-based food trucks located all over the city, vegan options available at restaurants and even pop-up vegan markets. Although Texas is known for its barbeque and Tex-Mex style meats, Barbeque Revolution serves up the traditional BBQ vibes and eats without the side of animal cruelty. Barbeque Revolution is a food truck that is changing the BBQ game with classic “meats” made out of seitan, soy curls and local tempeh. Austin also offers many plant-based food trucks all over the city that make accessibility for vegan food even easier.
#3) Orlando, Florida
When thinking of Orlando, we know your mind goes straight to the obvious — Disney World. However, Orlando also offers all kinds of options for vegan eaters. WalletHub ranks Orlando overall at #4, and #4 in diversity, accessibility and quality rank, but #39 for overall affordability. As a matter of fact, not only does the city of Orlando have 14 all-vegan restaurants, The Magic Kingdom also has vegan options including vegan hotdogs on Main Street, vegan Sloppy Joes in Tomorrowland, and vegan Southwest Cheeseburgers in Frontierland. Next time you’re in Orlando, make sure to hit up Disney World and try the vegan eats.
#2) San Francisco, California
San Francisco ranks #2 on our list of vegan friendly cities in the country, but the city takes first place in overall diversity, accessibility and quality according to WalletHub. Unfortunately, for those who may be trying to save money or not looking to drop hundreds of thousands of dollars on an apartment, San Francisco may not be the place for you as it has one of the highest costs of living in the country. Its 24 all-vegan restaurants are some of the most diverse and tastiest restaurants on the west coast. San Francisco is also home to one of the largest selections of vegan markets and health food stores in the country.
#1) Portland, Oregon
Taking the cake at #1 is Portland, Oregon. Did you know that Oregon is home to the most vegans of any other state in the country? Not only would you be surrounded by tons of vegan food and stores, you would be surrounded by fellow vegans. Portland has a wide selection of vegan food options from casual grab and go to high end fine dining. The city also has six, yes six, “vegan meetups” with over 100 members apiece.
Join a meetup here → https://www.meetup.com/topics/vegan/us/or/portland/
Portland is also the headquarters of Northwest Veg, one of the country’s largest and most effective vegetarian advocacy groups. Northwest Veg puts on successful VegFests across the country that draw in thousands of visitors. The mid-sized city offers 49 different vegan restaurants that dominate a large portion of the restaurant industry.
Looking for new vegan recipes to try at home? Head over to Tryveg.com/recipes and start browsing ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and more.