These Are America's Best Plant-Based Cities, Survey Says
Vegetarians and vegans, this one's for you!
#meatlessMonday has taken the States by storm. According to a 2016 Harris Poll, 8 million Americans are vegan/vegetarian — Adele and Miley Cyrus included. Thankfully, it's no longer a serious mission for herbivores to dine in some of America's hottest travel destinations. Finding a restaurant that values both your ethics and wallet is becoming more accessible than ever. Here are WalletHub’s top five vegan- and vegetarian-friendly cities, and some of our noteworthy nosh spots to hit up next time you're in town.
New York, NY: No wonder it’s called The Big Apple. New York City tops the list, thanks to its vast, diverse and oh-so delicious options. You'll never go hungry between sightseeing and shopping, especially when craving a sweet sip or hearty bowl of chopped veggies. New Yorkers have their pick with the most juice/smoothie bars and salad shops per capita. Looking for a more upscale place post-Broadway show? Check out abcV, Candle 79 and Blossom.
Portland, OR: Think beyond the artisanal coffee and craft beer. Home to one of Rachael Ray’s favorites, Higgins, The City of Roses is dedicated to imaginative seasonal menus and sustainable farming. On our “to try" list: Vita Cafe, which offers comfort organic vegan and vegetarian food with a philanthropic pledge (they donate 1 percent of sales to local social and environmental groups).
Orlando, FL: Sunshine, theme parks and blooming cuisine. A record 72 million people visited Orlando last year, which generated a whopping $70 billion for their regional economy and earned the city America’s Most-Visited Destination title by a landslide. As the fifth largest vegetable nursery per capita city, it seems only fitting for there to be plenty of plant-based fare to fuel up on pre-theme park adventures. Our animal-free musts to taste-test include The Sanctum, Ethos Vegan Kitchen and southern-inspired Dixie Dharma (check out their Vegan Hot Dog Cart for a quick bite!)
Seattle, WA: Get ready to dig into the Pacific Northwest’s bounty. From America’s Oldest Vegan Pizzeria (Pizza Pi) to creative, clean and sustainable takes on traditional Thai (Kati Vegan Thai), Seattlites have their fare share of plant-based picks. Plum Bistro’s upscale comfort food might also strike your fancy. Their plant-based sweets shop, Sugar Plum, offers seasonal ice cream, milkshakes and cookies. Golden Milk Snickerdoodle and Avocado Lavender Ice Cream Sandwich? We'll take two.
San Francisco, CA: Despite the heftier price tags (topping the list for the highest cost of vegetarian groceries), San Francisco has the most farmers markets and CSA programs per capita — providing fresh ingredients for amateurs and restauranteurs alike. (Check out the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture’s year round markets all over the city.) Not in the mood to put on your chef’s hat? Check out VeganBurg, the world’s first 100 percent plant-based burger joint. For those wanting to break out their chopped sticks, Shizen’s experimental responsible dining harmonizes Californian and Japanese flavors while prioritizing their mission of ocean conservation.