WalletHub Lists 2022’s Best Cities for Vegans & Vegetarians

Above: Sizzle Pie offers a range of vegan-friendly options in the No. 1 vegan-friendly city, Portland, Oregon.

As we gear up to celebrate World Vegan Day on November 1, and with 15.5 million U.S. adults now claiming a vegetarian or vegan diet, the personal-finance website WalletHub recently released its report on 2022’s Best Cities for Vegans & Vegetarians, as well as accompanying videos and expert commentary on this still-growing subset of Americans.

To determine the best and cheapest places for following a plant-based diet, WalletHub compared the 100 largest cities across 17 key indicators of vegan- and vegetarian-friendliness. The data was determined by looking at everything from the share of restaurants serving meatless options to the cost of groceries for vegetarians to salad shops per capita. Here are their findings.

Top 20 Cities for Vegans & Vegetarians

  1. Portland, OR
  2. Orlando, FL
  3. Los Angeles, CA
  4. Phoenix, AZ
  5. Austin, TX
  6. Seattle, WA
  7. San Francisco, CA
  8. Tampa, FL
  9. San Diego, CA
  10. Lexington-Fayette, KY
  11. Boise, ID
  12. Miami, FL
  13. Cincinnati, OH
  14. El Paso, TX
  15. Plano, TX
  16. Las Vegas, NV
  17. Bakersfield, CA
  18. Washington, DC
  19. Fort Wayne, IN
  20. Chicago, IL

Best vs. Worst

  • Plano, Texas, has the highest share of restaurants serving vegetarian options, 63.65%, which is 21.6 times higher than in Laredo, Texas, the city with the lowest at 2.95%.
  • Scottsdale, Arizona, has the highest share of restaurants serving vegan options, 16.26%, which is 19.6 times higher than in North Las Vegas, Nevada, the city with the lowest at 0.83%.
  • San Francisco has the most community-supported agriculture programs (per square foot of population), 0.0182, which is 22.8 times more than in San Antonio, the city with the fewest at 0.0008.
  • Atlanta has the most salad shops (per square foot of population), 0.2296, which is 17.8 times more than in San Bernardino, California, the city with the fewest at 0.0129.

How did your city rank—and how can you do your part to make your community more plant-forward? First, education is key! “A common mistake I see is that people just cut out animal foods and do not replace them with other plant-based foods,” says Jane Burrell, M.S., RD, CDN, associate teaching professor at Syracuse University in New York, who weighed in on the WalletHub findings. “This can leave someone without enough calories to be satisfied. Also, being vegetarian does not mean that whole food groups should be eliminated; instead, look for alternatives in each one. For example, replace meat or chicken with beans and rice and substitute soy milk or yogurt for cow’s milk and yogurt.” You can also incorporate whole foods alongside any plant-based replacements, to minimize consumption of processed foods—think legumes, tempeh, tofu and meatlike mushrooms!

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