The 5 Most Vegan-Friendly Cities In The US

While a vegan lifestyle has become much more common in the United States, it still takes some planning and forethought to guarantee there's something animal-free (and delicious) at a restaurant when you make reservations. As a vegan, you likely know all the hidden ingredients to avoid already, but some venues make it even easier for you by guaranteeing all-vegan menus or dishes.

From plant-based meat alternatives to apps mapping out vegan options nearby, choosing to abstain from animal products is more easily accomplished in some regions than others. It could be the rising cost of meat, the health benefits when you stop eating meat, or the desire to live a lifestyle that's cruelty-free, but, for one reason or another, veganism is rocketing sky high.

According to Forbes, 9.7 million Americans now adhere to a plant-based diet, hence the growing number of restaurants and grocery stores offering vegan options. From oat milk lattes at Starbucks to Beyond Breakfast Sausage sandwiches at Dunkin', vegan options are rapidly expanding from local farm-to-table spots into the mainstream.

And, in terms of vegan-friendliness, it likely won't come as a surprise that the West Coast ranks very well. Here are the top five vegan cities in the U.S.

Portland, Oregon

The Rose City comes in first for its wide variety of vegan eateries, from food trucks to fine dining spots, according to Forbes. The widespread community of vegans in Portland also makes it a less lonely journey as a vegan. You're sure to find like-minded company at some of the top vegan spaces, such as The Bye-and-Bye and Blossoming Lotus. Portland was one of the first cities to make a name for itself as a vegan destination, and it's abundantly easy to see why (via Vegan Vs Travel).

Los Angeles, California

As a longstanding mecca of health, wellness, and spirituality, Los Angeles comes in at No. 2 for vegan dining, per Forbes. If you travel to the City of Angels, you may even experience your first bout of decision anxiety as a vegan. The options are nearly endless! This city is always ahead of the curve and makes life as a vegan incredibly easy. Check out Bare Burger and Plant Food + Wine for some top-tier vegan food (via Vegan Vs Travel).

San Francisco, California

A leader in animal rights activism, it's no surprise that San Francisco ranks No. 3 on the Forbes list of friendliest vegan cities. The city was one of the first to instill a ban on selling animal fur for profit and continues to inspire animal lovers worldwide (via Vegan Vs Travel). With many fully vegan dining spots on the must-eat list, you'll surely be back to eat your way through the hilly landscape of this great city on the bay. Try Greens Restaurant for an upscale experience or Shizen Vegan Sushi Bar for out-of-this-world sushi.

Orlando, Florida

Florida may not be a state that comes to mind when thinking of vegan-friendly spots, but Orlando has grown to be quite accommodating to those wishing to eat a plant-based diet, and Forbes ranks it No. 4 on the list. According to HappyCow, if you're vegan and traveling through this tourist mecca, you must try the vegan spins on Southern comfort food classics at Dharma Southern Kitchen. The Vegan Hot Dog Cart is also a dream for any vegan foodie. Even non-vegans will be tempted to try these hot spots popping up all over Orlando.

Seattle, Washington

With rich green forests and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, the Emerald City obviously draws people in with its natural beauty, but, if you're vegan, there's even more reason to visit Seattle. Forbes ranks it No. 5 on the vegan-friendly list. While vegan options are more readily available on the West Coast to begin with, Seattle offers a plethora of restaurants, food carts, and fine dining spots for the plant-based eater. According to World of Vegan, you won't want to miss Plum Chopped and Viva Tacoma, where nutritious takes on classic American dishes abound.