The 5 Most Vegetarian-Friendly Cities In The US

About 10% of the American adult population considered themselves vegetarians or vegans in a January 2022 online survey (via Alliance For Science). The survey was considered representative of the country's population regarding "gender, education, age, and income," so they're assuming there are about 16.5 million vegetarians and vegans in the country. In an earlier study done in 2020, only 2% of Americans considered themselves vegetarians, and 0.5% were vegans, Vegan Bits reported. The numbers are constantly changing as some people choose to go vegetarian or vegan while some go back to eating animal products because a strict vegan diet can be restrictive, expensive, and lacking enough nutrients.

While vegetarians don't eat any meat derived from living organisms, veganism is an entirely plant-based diet, according to Vegan Society. Vegans avoid all animal products (including dairy and honey), and strict vegans don't even use skincare or household products that use any animal products to make them or have been tested on animals.

Some people have reasons to be vegetarians, while others choose it due to their love for animals or a healthier lifestyle. However, being a vegetarian now is easier than ever due to the options available in grocery stores and restaurants- making the trip to eat out with your family more enjoyable. Certain cities have more restaurants and events catered to vegetarians, so they have reasons to rejoice as the selection isn't as limited as before.

These cities take the cake on being the most vegetarian-friendly in the country.

5. Miami, Florida

While Florida is known for its fresh seafood selection, Miami is recognized for being vegetarian-friendly. It is the fifth best vegetarian-friendly city in the country —  where veggie alternatives to meat are affordable locally, and plenty of vegetarian events and festivals are held. Keep in mind, however, it is among the top 10 cities with the most expensive vegetarian meal in the U.S. (per Nestpick's Vegetarian Cities Index). It stands at number 25 in the whole world.

If you're vegan, you'll have more options here than in three other cities that score higher on being more vegetarian-friendly (via Wallet Hub). Perhaps the tofu tacos here are as good as the shrimp tacos.

4. Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta is known for their barbeque with all the slow-cooked tenderness, but it's also a pretty great place for vegetarians. Standing proud at number four in the Nestpick's Vegetarian Cities Index in the country and number 22 in the world, Atlanta is a fan-favorite for its plentiful number of vegetarian-friendly events, with the second highest number in the country along with the low prices of vegetables and plant-based proteins. 

It has many options for vegetarians but falls a little short when it comes to its vegan representation — a bit limited on vegan restaurants compared to how vegetarian-friendly it is (via Wallet Hub). Their barbecue seitan might be tastier than their barbecue pork.  

3. New York, New York

According to U.S. News, New York City takes the cake as being the city with the highest number of restaurants with vegetarian options at 30.3%, but that also has to do with its high population.

It comes third as the most-vegetarian-friendly city on Nestpick's Vegetarian Cities Index in the U.S. and number 12 in the world. The city also has the highest number of vegetarian events and festivals. However, the one downfall is the cost of vegetables in the city, as the standard of living is pretty high.

If considering both vegan and vegetarian options available, it's at number 30, per Wallet Hub. Though it might not have the most options for vegans, vegetarians should be all set when they step out in the Big Apple for a tasty bite.

2. San Francisco, California

As U.S. News reported, 21.6% of restaurants in San Francisco have vegetarian options — an impressive number for those following a vegetarian diet.

While San Francisco is a mecca for vegetarians and vegans, it is one of the most expensive cities in the country to buy groceries for vegetarians (via WalletHub). However, they offer a diversity of meatless options and salads, being both vegetarian and vegan friendly. San Francisco is pretty affordable for plant-based protein products and is the second-best city with the number of vegetarian-friendly restaurants per person in the country, according to Nestpick's Vegetarian Cities Index, with an average rating of almost 85% on their top vegetarian restaurants.

You won't have any trouble finding quality vegetarian options on your next trip here. This city even has its own vegetarian community called San Francisco Veg Society.

1. Los Angeles, California

California might just be the most vegetarian-friendly state in the country. Though only 9.3% of restaurants in the city have vegetarian options (via U.S. News) Los Angeles is the top vegetarian-friendly city in the country according to Nestpick's Vegetarian Cities Index; considering the cost of vegetables, the number of restaurants with the best ratings, and vegetarian events and festivals. It stands at number eight in the world, with London topping the list. It scores pretty high due to the affordability of plant-based meat alternatives, which can be expensive due to supply and demand in other cities.

LA stands at the third spot when combining vegetarian and vegan restaurants as it has fewer vegan eateries in comparison, per Wallet Hub.