20 Top Cities for Vegans and Vegetarians

20 Top Cities for Vegans and Vegetarians

To celebrate National Vegan Day on November 1st, we’re sharing new data from Wallethub on the best American cities for plant-based cuisine. As of 2022, around 9.7 million Americans or 5% of the adult population considers themselves vegetarian, and about 3% consider themselves to be vegan. 

Many studies have shown that a vegetarian or vegan diet is beneficial to your health. Many of the  healthiest populations in the world consume a diet of mostly fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains and nuts. Entirely new brands selling vegan and vegetarian products have popped up in recent years, selling plant-based options for nearly every food group. According to the New York Times, plant-based products grew into an $8 billion industry in 2022. Studies have found that plant-based eaters have lower rates of cancer, heart disease, and other health issues. 

Plant-based diets are also better for the environment than carnivorous ones. Research from Oxford University found that people who eat a meat-free diet are responsible for 75% less in greenhouse gas emissions than their meat-eating counterparts. 

Luckily, over the past decade, cuisine that caters to a plant-based lifestyle has grown and expanded in cities and small towns around the country, but some cities have more options than others. According to recent reports from Wallethub, not all cities are created equal when it comes to vegan and vegetarian options.

Wallethub recently conducted a study to find the best cheap place for a plant-based diet, comparing 100 of the United States’ largest cities across 17 key indicators of vegan- and vegetarian-friendliness. The cities were also evaluated based on costs of groceries for vegetarians along with restaurants serving meatless options and salad shops per capita.

For vegetarians, the city with the highest share of restaurant options at almost 56% is Irving, Texas. Vegans can find the highest share of restaurants in Scottsdale, Arizona at 15%. San Francisco was found to have the most community-supported agriculture programs, while Atlanta had the most salad shops. 

Wallethub also ranked cities for their overall vegan- and vegetarian-friendliness. Coming in at number one is Portland, Oregon, a blue city known for its cuisine. It’s no surprise that they scored highest with 62 points out of 100 on Wallethub’s list. Following Portland in the top five are Los Angeles, Orlando, San Diego, and Phoenix. And if you’re wondering who’s last on the list it’s Greensboro, North Carolina. See the rest of Wallethub’s rankings here.

The top 20 cities for vegans and vegetarians are:

  1. Portland, OR
  2. Los Angeles, CA
  3. Orlando, FL
  4. San Diego, CA
  5. Phoenix, AZ
  6. San Francisco, CA
  7. Seattle, WA
  8. Miami, FL
  9. Austin, TX
  10. Oakland, CA
  11. Lexington-Fayette, KY
  12. Tampa, FL
  13. Las Vegas, NV
  14. Chicago, IL
  15. Louisville, KY
  16. Fort Wayne, IN
  17. Washington, DC
  18. Irving, TX
  19. Atlanta, GA
  20. St. Louis, MO

As far as affordability goes, the city with the lowest grocery costs for vegetarians was Laredo, Texas and and among the highest were Honolulu, San Francisco, Oakland, and New York.

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