Ever wondered which American city has the most vegan food? Among the 100 largest cities in the United States, Scottsdale, AZ, ranks best for its share of vegan options at restaurants, according to a new report from financial website WalletHub. According to travel website TripAdvisor, about 16 percent of Scottsdale’s restaurants offer vegan options. In comparison, the city with the lowest percentage of vegan restaurant options is North Las Vegas, NV, which had 20 times fewer offerings at 0.83 percent.
The cities that fill out the top 5 list of cities with the highest percentage of vegan restaurant options are St. Petersburg, FL (at nearly 14 percent); Washington, DC (13 percent); New Orleans, LA (12 percent); and New York, NY (12 percent).
Regarding vegetarian options, the report finds that Plano, TX has the highest percentage of restaurants offering vegetarian options (nearly 64 percent), which is 21.6 times higher than Laredo, TX, the city with the lowest proportion of only about three percent.
America’s most vegan-friendly city
WalletHub also ranked the best cities overall for vegans and vegetarians, and unsurprisingly, Portland, OR took first place. Portland scores well for its organic farms, community gardens, and restaurant options, but the study found that it has higher food costs for vegans and vegetarians than most other cities.
Portland is known for its plant-based food scene, including several vegan carts dotted around the city, with options ranging from budget-friendly falafel to upscale gourmet fare. Popular dining offerings include Homegrown Smoker BBQ, Blossoming Lotus and The Bye-and-Bye. And then there’s the country’s first vegan mini-mall, which opened in Portland in 2007 and features a bakery, grocery store, clothing store, and tattoo parlor.
Cities following Portland for the highest score include Orlando, FL; Los Angeles, California; Phoenix, Ariz.; and Austin, TX. To determine the best and cheapest places for vegans and vegetarians, WalletHub compared the 100 largest cities across three key dimensions – affordability, variety, accessibility and quality, and vegan/vegetarian lifestyle – and ranked those dimensions against 17 relevant metrics for vegans and vegetarians – Friendliness ranging from the share of restaurants with meatless options to vegetarian food costs to salad shops per capita.
Each metric was rated on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for vegans and vegetarians. Finally, the experts at WalletHub took each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate their overall score and used the resulting scores to rank their sample.
Similar findings came in WalletHub’s 2019 report, in which Portland took first place, closely followed by Los Angeles and Orlando. Notably, Scottsdale, AZ, also had the highest proportion of restaurants offering vegan options (11 percent), which was 26 times higher than Newark, NJ, the city with the lowest options at 0.4 percent.
What is the best vegan city in the world?
Last year, a ranking by professional chef website, Chef’s Pencil, ranked Portland as the most popular city for vegans around the world, based on Google search data in 2020. Portland reclaimed its title as the vegan capital of the world after being Bristol has surpassed the UK for the last two years.
For Portland, Google data showed that eating at vegan restaurants declined in 2021, with restaurant searches falling by a quarter year over year. However, the decline in restaurant visits has been offset by an increase in searches for vegan recipes and vegan foods such as cheese and ice cream.
Google Trends allows you to rank the popularity of veganism around the world by providing popularity scores for different topics. For example, Portland, OR, had a Veganism Popularity Score of 100 and Berlin, Germany, a score of 86, meaning a higher percentage of Portlanders compared to Berliners searched for vegan foods and products.
Despite Portland earning the top spot as the world’s best vegan country in 2021 and previous years, Chef’s Pencil’s 2022 ranking shows that the seaside city of Brighton, UK, is the new vegan capital of the world. It’s the first time a city other than Portland or Bristol has ranked first.