Best Places to Live — If You’re A Vegan

greetings portlandPlaying on the internet earlier today I Stumbled Upon, quite literally, Peta's Best Veg-Friendly City Award at Unfortunately, they don't date their articles, so I don't know when this list was compiled. I looked at Peta's site (GoVeg is a Peta website), but I couldn't find the list there even though I drilled-down quite a bit, so I'm not sure this list is current. But it is interesting nonetheless.

Portland tops the list, strip clubs and all. (Nothing against Portland here... I just find the idea of a vegan strip club utterly amusing. And please note, I held back on the pun here in the interest of social correctness, even though Jane said it was funny and okay for me to use.)

Here's the list, be sure to go to GoVeg's site (link above) for further details on the cities:

America's Best Vegetarian-Friendly Large Cities

  1. Portland, Oregon
  2. Seattle, Washington
  3. San Francisco, California
  4. New York, New York
  5. Atlanta, Georgia
  6. Washington, D.C.
  7. Minneapolis, Minnesota
  8. Austin, Texas
  9. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  10. Chicago, Illinois

America's Best Vegetarian-Friendly Small Cities

  1. Asheville, North Carolina
  2. Eugene, Oregon
  3. Salt Lake City, Utah
  4. Norfolk, Virginia
  5. Santa Monica, California
  6. Santa Cruz, California
  7. Boulder, Colorado
  8. Madison, Wisconsin
  9. Athens, Georgia
  10. Ann Arbor, Michigan

Canada's Best Vegetarian-Friendly Cities

  1. Vancouver, British Columbia
  2. Victoria, British Columbia
  3. Toronto, Ontario
  4. Montréal, Québec
  5. Calgary, Alberta
  6. Ottawa, Ontario

Jane and I live in Los Angeles... sometimes referred to by non-Angelenos (you know, the jealous folks who don't live here) as "the land of fruits and nuts." And yet, Los Angeles didn't make this list (note: Santa Monica is part of Los Angeles county so you could argue we are indeed on the list). That validates my feeling that things here aren't as they've been stereotyped, even though The New York Times doesn't seem to agree:

California has long led the country in the creation and fortification of urban food ways. The state was on the forefront of restaurants devoted to raw food and was the birthplace of the organic produce movement. In Los Angeles, vegan restaurants are nearly as prevalent as hamburger joints.

We've got a number of vegan restaurants in L.A., but let me state, emphatically, that they are nowhere near as prevalent as hamburger joints! Maybe one day...


  1. I’m pretty surprised that L.A. didn’t make the list. There are more vegetarian and vegan restaurants here than I can count. I think L.A. ranks better than many that made that list, including San Francisco in terms of both quantity and quality. Even the vegans I know up in S.F. seem to think so too!

  2. Good to see so many vegan restaurants in LA. There is definitely a trend here. More and more of my friends are going vegan. Once people experience the effects of healthy, karma-free food they want more.

  3. I’m surprised to see Philly on there, because I live near philly and haven’t seen a ridiculous amount of vegan restaurants rolling around. Sure, there are some (particularly badly named ones in Chinatown) that are great, but I didn’t think it was terribly special. Next time I’m home I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for the post.

  4. Wow, I can’t believe that we (Los Angeles) have better vegan restaurants than San Francisco, the restaurant haven of the US!

    Jason, yes that absolutely makes sense.

    Cookie, I couldn’t agree more.

    Benjamin, I feel that way about Los Angeles. There are pockets where you find a bunch, but for the most part, if you’re not near those areas, you’ve got a bit of a hike to get to one. However, I should reiterate the list was for vegetarian restaurants… and I’m not sure if that means vegetarian-friendly, which might not work for us vegans.

  5. Wow, Seattle’s number 2? I can see parts of it being good (Capitol Hill is fantastically veg*n-friendly), but there are still so many places that offer nothing but meat. But then I tend to frequent pubs more than restaurants, so that could be the reason I don’t see it! 🙂

  6. Lisa… Looks like you’ve got yourself a new entrepreneurial idea…. vegan pubs! I was so excited when they banned smoking in pubs. I know smoking and drinking go hand in hand, and I feel for the smokers. But not being a smoker I was thrilled not to have to be subjected to all the negatives associated with second hand smoke. I really can’t see a “negative” to vegan pubs.

  7. woo hoo asheville! i might also add that the completely veggie restaurants in town also specify if something is gluten free as well. we’re also starting to see the more obvious “vegan” and “gluten-free” labels in our health food stores too.

  8. zomg, I can’t believe how much press the vegan strip club is getting. The guy is nuts — and makes horrible food.

    Did you know we also have a vegan southern bar here in Portland, as well as the vegan minimall?

  9. Hi vj,
    Jane and I have no intention of actually visiting the strip club when we visit Portland (our trip is planned for some indefinite time in the future). I just found the whole idea so bizarre it merited attention.
    As for the food being bad, I don’t think good food is a requisite to get customers into a strip club.

  10. Hi Dawn,
    Portland sounds like an even better option. We still haven’t been though, so I can’t say for sure. Hopefully we’ll manage to get up there before 2020! 🙂

  11. I wish I lived in L.A.!I need vegan friends and a b/f! I live in Winnipeg Canada which one of the worst places ever ! God damn nightmare !

  12. Hi Kelly,
    What about Vancouver? If Winnipeg doesn’t work for you, I’d imaging Vancouver would be a better choice, and afford you more vegan options.

  13. Hi,I have been vegan for over 5 years and live in Winnipeg and love it. Winnipeg is vegan friendly you just need to know where to look. If you guys are interested we hold vegan potlucks and other events.

  14. ann arbor? are you kidding me? there are three restaurants that have vegan options in the entire city. an exclusively vegan restaurant does not exist in michigan. it’s pathetic.

  15. I’m glad to have stumbled upon this… I’m looking forward to moving to a place where I can be surrounded by like minded people. Even though Iowa has expanded their selections in the past couple years it doesn’t have enough places to eat, shop for food or people who can appreciate the life style of Vegetarians and Vegans. Just feeling a bit overwhelmed here. I considered Portland in the past, leaning now more towards Colorado or some place warmer throughout the year. 😀

  16. Lynda, I completely relate to what you are saying. I would not only would like to know acity, but what neighborhood would be vegan friendly. I feel desperate with the need to make connections with like minded people. I live on the Eastern Shore of MD, so Washington suburbs and Phila. are both possibilities. I would like to know what areas, though. Does anyone have suggestions?

  17. I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep
    it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back
    down the road. Cheers

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