Food and Nutrition

Want To Live Your Best Plant-Based Life? These 20 Cities Make It the Easiest

Emily Laurence

Photo: Getty Images/ Oscar Wong
You don't exactly have to be a wellness insider to know that plant-based eating is uber-popular right now. The fact that you can get a vegan Whopper at Burger King and every local cafe is stocked with oat milk really says something, don't you think?

Of course, anyone who adheres to a specific way of eating knows that some places just don't have a lot of options for you. Particularly if you're vegan or vegetarian, it can be a major bummer when the only menu option that fits your dietary needs is the side salad. Just in time for World Vegetarian Day on October 1 (oh what, your calendar wasn't marked?), WalletHub released a report revealing the best cities for vegans and vegetarians—along with the worst.

To compile the report, the researchers took into account a full 16 factors. Some of these factors include the cost of groceries for vegetarians, the share of restaurants with meat-free options, the average cost of a meal, access to fresh food, vegetarian cooking classes offered, and vegan and vegetarian meetups—to name just a few. The factors were designed to pinpoint which U.S. cities not only had plenty of options for vegans and vegetarians, but affordable ones. They were also weighted differently. For example, the researchers felt that the cost of groceries was more important than the number of cooking classes offered, so more weight was given to the groceries factor.

You may expect trend-forward, coastal cities like New York City, Los Angeles, and Miami to dominate the top of the list. This, however, was not the case. Can you guess the very best city in the U.S. for vegans and vegetarians? It's Portland, Oregon. Some other surprises in the top 10 include Boise, Idaho (number five); Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky (number eight); and Oakland, California (number nine). In fact, Miami and New York City didn't even enter the list until numbers 13 and 14, respectively.

In terms of the cities where it's cheapest to grocery shop as a vegetarian, Laredo, Texas; Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Corpus Christi, Texas came out on top. The most expensive places to grocery shop are New York, San Francisco, and Fremont, California. And the city that has the highest percentage of restaurants serving vegetarian options is Scottsdale, Arizona.

At the very end of the list of the overall rankings is Greensboro, North Carolina; North Las Vegas, Nevada; and San Bernardino, California, numbers 97 to 100. If you're vegan or vegetarian and plan on visiting those cities, you may want to consider bringing some of your own foods or planning ahead.

Check out the list of the 20 best cities for vegans and vegetarians below:

1. Portland, Oregon
2. Orlando, Florida
3. Los Angeles, California
4. San Francisco, California
5. Boise, Idaho
6. Austin, Texas
7. Seattle, Washington
8. Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky
9. Oakland, California
10. San Diego, California
11. Tampa, Florida
12. Atlanta, Georgia
13. Miami, Florida
14. New York, New York
15. Madison, Wisconsin
16. Washington DC
17. Bakersfield, California
18. Chicago, Illinois
19. Fort Wayne, Indiana
20. Las Vegas, Nevada

Now you know: Portlanders are out there living their best plant-based life. Better luck next time, Los Angeles.

Oh hi! You look like someone who loves free workouts, discounts for cutting-edge wellness brands, and exclusive Well+Good content. Sign up for Well+, our online community of wellness insiders, and unlock your rewards instantly.

Loading More Posts...