Once upon a time, good vegan restaurants in America were few and far between. The times they are a-changin’, and now there is no shortage of vegan-friendly eateries from coast to coast. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) recently compiled their list of the top 10 vegan-friendliest cities in the US of A. New York, Los Angeles, and Portland naturally make the list, but do any of the other cities surprise you?
10. The ten spot on the list is given to Richmond, Virginia. For over 10 years, vegans and vegetarians have flocked to the city for the Richmond Vegetarian Festival, proving that there is indeed a vegan-scene here. Some of the city’s meatless restaurants include Phoenix Garden, Rooster Cart, Harrison St. Café, Ipanema, and RVA Vegan, a cruelty-free bakery! Night owls should check out Strange Matter, a live music venue that doubles as an arcade, and offers vegan dishes with fun names such as The Revenge and Famous Uncle Paul’s Vegan Mango Donut Holes.
9. A must-visit for outdoorsy types and nature lovers, Boulder, Colorado comes in at #9. All palates can feast on customizable pizzas at Sun Deli & Liquor, which offers Daiya cheese, dairy-free pesto, vegan “chicken breast,” and seitan sausage among their plethora of toppings. If Chinese is what you please, check out Tsing Tao, where you can choose from a full menu of Chinese-style dishes made with soy meats, such as orange “chicken” and Mongolian “beef.” For a lighter meal, head over to Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant and try their mushroom-avocado tartar or raw manicotti made from zucchini noodles.
8. Vegans can win deliciously big in Las Vegas! Hotel mogul Steve Wynn made news in recent years when he embraced plant-based living and upgraded menus with gourmet vegan fare for all of his Wynn resorts. Even the room service is vegan-friendly! If you have a sushi craving in Sin City, check out Miko’s Izakaya Sushi or Go Raw Café for artistic, fish-free rolls, among other raw living foods at GRC. Pura Vida Bakery & Bystro proudly claims the title of Las Vegas’ “first and only 100% cruelty-free kitchen,” since opening in 2011. Before you leave the city, you’d be remiss if you didn’t at least sample some vegan pastries from Ronald’s Donuts.
7. POP QUIZ: Which city in America was named “Next Great Vegan City” by VegNews Magazine in 2012? Salt Lake City! From the edible works of art at Sage’s Café to the potatoes au gratin and Mac and Chezah! at City Cakes & Café, the award-winning “chicken” sandwich at Vertical Diner to City Dogs, the vegan hot dog cart, it’s clear that good vegan things are happening in SLC.
6. The Pacific Northwest is known for its clean, green, vegan-friendly style, and Seattle certainly represents that. There’s no shortage of amazing vegan fare throughout the city. In fact, their University District has been called one of the most vegan-friendly neighborhoods in North America! Can’t-miss restaurants include Araya’s Place (get the avocado curry with seitan); the cozy Chaco Canyon Organic Café (eggless asparagus-mushroom quiche, please!); Wayward Vegan Café (tofuevos rancheros, por favor); and Pizza Pi, home of the Tropic Thunder pizza (white garlic sauce, Canadian “bacon,” spinach, pineapple, red onion, and coconut). Grab a cocktail and nosh on some vegan pub fare during happy hour at Highline.
Is your mouth watering yet? Before you pack your bags to jet off to any of these delicious destinations, check out the rest of PETA’s list and salivate over all the details of Chicago, NYC, LA, Portland, and PETA’s #1 vegan-friendly city, Austin, Texas!