Life, Travel

Top 10 Cities for Vegans

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10. Richmond, VA

Yes, this relaxed and friendly city is a vegan-friendly oasis of the South. In fact, Richmond boasts many great vegan restaurants including Phoenix Garden Vegetarian Restaurant and RVA Vegan. (Um, where else will you find a hot pink food truck selling raw vegan cupcakes and tacos? Nowhere.) Richmond also hosts their own annual Vegetarian Festival, getting some serious vegan cred.
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9. Boulder, CO

This beautiful city just has so many things going for it. It's close to trendy Denver, has plenty of young people thanks to U of Colorado, and is home to some of the best skiing and hiking in the country. It's practically the ideal habitat for vegans. Make sure to check out Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant, which is one of the best in the city.
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8. Las Vegas

Surprised? Sin City hosts a surprising enclave of local vegans, sorta like sea gulls that drifted inland and lost the way back to the beach. If you visit, head over to the Wynn, one of Las Vegas’s swankiest hotels, where you can find a whole menu devoted to vegan food. Steve Wynn, the billionaire owner of the Wynn, is obsessed with healthy living so he created a food utopia for vegans at his hotel.
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7. Salt Lake City, UT

Clean? yes. Crime rate? Low. But vegan-friendly?! Why, yes, of course. Salt Lake City has some of the best vegan bakeries and restaurants in the country, and its star is on the rise: in 2012, it was named America’s Next Great Vegan City by VegNews. If you are ever in The City of the Saints, make sure to visit Sage’s Café, which serves insanely good vegan and raw comfort foods.
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6. Seattle, WA

Eclectic and cultural like its cousin Portland but more cosmopolitan and urban, Seattle has long been the hub of alternative culture. Vegans don’t have to be sleepless in Seattle since there are many great restaurants here. Check out vegan hot spot Plum Bistro (pictured), or if you are extra hungry (or if you're a starving college student), go to Wayward Vegan Café for their massive waffles and pancakes.
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5. Chicago

The Windy City may be known for its pizza, but it's home to a growing, lively vegan community and plenty of exclusively vegan restaurants. One can't-miss local favorite is The Chicago Diner has been serving its famous burgers and gooey cinnamon roll French toast since 1983--winning 6 (!) VegNews Magazine Veggie awards along the way. But man can't live on vegan food alone, and the breathtaking architecture, public art, vibrant nightlife, culture, and waterfront public spaces are not so shabby either.
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4. New York City - Brooklyn

New Yorkers are obsessed with a lot of things--theater, art, fashion--but most of all, they love food. This means an endless amount of vegan options, from gourmet street food to cozy cafes and bakeries to upscale dining, in any neighborhood. If you're in midtown, grab a grilled seitan ban mi with wasabi aioli at Cinnamon Snail, the city's favorite vegan food truck; dozens of vegan restaurants can be found downtown, but Wild Ginger is a standout with its cozy, charming ambience and unbelievable General Tso's "chicken"; in fancy West Village, don't miss pan-Asian splurge Gobo; and finally, if money is no object to you (lucky duck), Candle 79 on the Upper East Side is the place to go. And that's just Manhattan. In Brooklyn--Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Bushwick--warm, handmade bagels from every bagelry come with a dozen varieties of tofu cream cheese.
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3. Los Angeles

No one cares more about looks than your average LA inhabitant, so veganism is de rigueur, natch. If you have a movie to get in shape for, go to Flore Vegan Cuisine for its "chicken" and waffles dish, or Shojin for some delicious vegan sushi. When you're done eating, don't forget to check out LA's myriad cultural events and outdoor activities, or just the simple pleasure of going to the movies. When in Rome.
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2. Austin, TX

Texas… really?? Well this may come to a surprise, but Austin has a huge vegan following. You will find lots of delicious vegan food trucks and restaurants in this Longhorn town. Some of its local hits include The Vegan Nom , The Vegan Yacht , Counter Culture , and vegan donut heaven Red Rabbit Cooperative Bakery . Quirky and offbeat, Austin is quickly becoming the new Portland.

Photo: Red Rabbit Cooperative Bakery
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1. Portland, OR

...Which isn't to say that the original motherlode of vegans isn't still Portland, Oregon. ("Keep Austin Weird"? Please.) The home of Portlandia ("One vegan bacon cheeseburger, Two vegan bacon cheeseburger...") is still the bona fide vegan central. Check out the farmer's market on the beautiful downtown waterfront, have lunch at vegan trattoria Portobello, ride around the streetcar and take in the scene. With some of the best urban planning in the country with tons of bike routes and public parks, vegan food trucks and restaurants in every corner, and gorgeous mountains and beaches just a stone's throw away, the City of Roses might as well be renamed the City of Vegans.

Photo: jpellgen via Flicker
David Shaw

David Shaw

Co-Founder at Peaceful Dumpling

What do vegans need to thrive? Plenty of green space and bike lanes; farmer’s markets; energy, excitement, and culture; likeminded people; and lots of vegan restaurants. You might want to move to one of these cities.

David Shaw

David Shaw

Co-Founder at Peaceful Dumpling
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