Vegetarianism is no longer relegated to that one-third cousin who lives on the other side of the country. While not exactly mainstream, consider that 22 percent of the world's population is vegetarian. Sure, that number drops to just 5 percent in the U.S., but that number is growing.
Considering that a vegetarian diet reduces the risk of heart disease by 40 percent and diabetes by 50 percent — not to mention that vegetarians are 12 percent less likely to get cancer — it's only a matter of time until the rest of the world catches on.
Fortunately, plant-based dining out is no longer limited to meat-shaped soy entrees and underwhelming salads. These 10 cities take “veggie-friendly" to a whole new level. Meat-free eating has never tasted so good.
Spread out across the country, the 10 best cities in America for vegetarians offer the most vegetarian, vegan and organic dining options per capita. They also score high when it comes to farmers' markets and retail produce. Read on to see which cities make it easy to embrace a plant-based lifestyle.
Oakland is the kind of California city you'd expect to see on a list of the best cities for vegetarians. From the sunny state's outstanding produce to that healthy California lifestyle, Oakland is an appropriate bookend to our top 10. From Wawa Thai Food to Veggie Lee's plant-based Chinese menu, vegetarian and vegan cuisine in the East Bay is as creative and global as the people who live here.
If Oakland sounds almost too good, we'd better talk about rent prices. Because they're high. You'll pay around $3,000 for a one-bedroom, and north of $4,300 for two in these parts. Good thing vegetarians save an average of $750 per year on groceries!
Good news for veg-heads living in Minneapolis. Plant-based menu items are becoming a mainstay. Finding plant-based fried chicken and burgers has never been easier, thanks to the “vegan wave" hitting the Twin Cities dining scene. If you're surprised to see a Twin City on this list, here are 10 more things you need to know about living in Minneapolis.
Compared to California rent prices, Minneapolis is a relative bargain. You'll pay a reasonable $1,300-ish for a one-bedroom here, and close to $1,800 for two.
So, we all know that Cincy is famous for its chili, but even beloved institutions like Skyline Chili have a vegetarian black bean version. And it's served up three different ways, including Cincinnati style: on top of a plate of spaghetti. But make no mistake, Cincy's plant-based dining scene goes way beyond beans on noodles.
Considering a move to Ohio? Good news: your dollar will go far in Cincinnati, where rent prices are as down-to-earth as the locals. Expect to pay around $1,300 a month for a one-bedroom apartment and around $1,500 for two. Start your exploration by getting to know Cincinnati's five most popular cities.
You probably know all about the incredible dining scene in Vegas, but look beyond the Strip to fully experience plant-based eating here in Nevada. The annual VegFest celebration is a great place to start, which includes Nevada Vegan Restaurant Week.
If you can stay away from the tables (like most locals), your dollar will go far here. When you compare Las Vegas apartment prices, don't forget to factor in a very important detail: No sales tax in Nevada.
Located just two hours from Chicago, Grand Rapids holds its own with all of the arts, culture and breweries you can handle. And yes, plant-based cuisine. The city has its fair share of vegan and vegetarian restaurants, including local favorites from Dank Street to Little Africa. This Michigan city is full of surprises waiting for you. We'll leave you with this gem: In 2020, Grand Rapids ranked No. 21 among the country's best places to live.
Orlando's dining scene goes well beyond Dole Whips, Kakamora Floats and all of the Disneyworld snacks of your dreams. With gems like Loving Hut, Leguminati and Market on South, Orlando's vegan and vegetarian scene is strong, to say the least.
If the extent of your knowledge about this Florida city starts with Mickey Mouse and ends with EPCOT, may we humbly suggest that you learn everything you can about living in Orlando? Ready to settle in for longer than a Spring Break stint? Budget in just less than $1,800 for a one-bedroom and a hair north of $2,000 for two.
Meatless meals are easy to come by in Portland, where you'll find no fewer than 96 vegetarian restaurants and 63 vegan eateries. With one of the country's strongest vegan scenes, you'll never want for “cheesy" vegan pizza, vegan ramen or coconut milk fro-yo. Add to that the city's killer coffee shops, craft beer scene and food trucks, and it's no wonder Portland cracked our top five.
If you don't mind a little rain (OK, more than a little) and like a slightly offbeat vibe, Stumptown could be the place for you. Learn all of the pros and cons about living in Portland, and budget around $1,600 for a one-bedroom (roughly $2,000 for two).
When you think of Pittsburgh, do you think of Pierogis? (Guilty.) Good news for plant-based eaters that also love savory fillings wrapped in dough. From beloved vegan eatery Apteka to the Pittsburgh Pierogi Truck, finding plant-based pierogis is a breeze.
The 'burgh boasts an eclectic assortment of plant-based eats, along with enough vegan eateries to keep up with the trend currently sweeping the nation.
Once you're worked your way through Pittsburgh's 62 vegetarian and 29 vegan cafés, rest your head at a one-bedroom apartment for less than $1,500 per month.
You know the best way to keep that beach bod year-round? Ditch the meat. Duh. So, no surprise that Miami is the second-best city in the country for veggie lovers. Plant-based eaters here won't want for creative cuisine that spans the globe — without the animal products. From Love Life Café to Organic Food Kings vegan comfort food, Miami is an embarrassment of riches for herbivores.
Sound too good? Well, there's the matter of rent prices (sigh). Remember this is a world-renown vacation destination with tons to offer beyond the culinary scene, from those beautiful beaches to cutting-edge culture. How much is it worth to you to live on a permanent vacation? Could you swing around $3,100 for a one-bedroom? Or, $3,600ish for two? Think about it while you're dreaming about that vegan bacon burger.
San Francisco is essentially ground zero for vegetarians and vegans. This is the OG when it comes to plant-based eating. Let's be honest, the competition is cutthroat when it comes to being named one of the best vegetarian restaurants in San Francisco — or one of the best vegan eateries, for that matter. Veggie roots run deep in the bay area, where the San Francisco Veg Society has been running strong since 1968.
We hate to kill the buzz, but as you likely know, finding an affordable apartment in San Francisco is — a little harrowing. Times have changed a bit since penniless plant-base hippies ran the city back in the '60s. But if you work at a successful startup or established tech institution, you could cover your rent with no problem.
Didn't see your favorite city on our top 10 list? Fret not. Cast a wider net with our top 50 cities for vegetarians.
|Rank||City, State||Veg. Rest. per Capita Score||Produce Markets per Capita Score||Veg. Rest. Density Score||Produce Market Density Score||Total Score|
|1||San Francisco, CA||14.83||14.46||25.00||25.00||79.28|
|6||Grand Rapids, MI||16.71||24.65||6.78||10.39||58.53|
|7||Las Vegas, NV||14.93||25.00||6.36||11.04||57.33|
|14||Saint Louis, MO||21.91||4.71||9.42||2.11||38.15|
|16||Saint Paul, MN||8.33||16.08||4.45||8.79||37.65|
|17||Salt Lake City, UT||21.75||10.59||3.43||1.76||37.54|
|22||Fort Lauderdale, FL||7.90||15.52||3.70||7.46||34.58|
|28||San Diego, CA||11.34||11.93||4.43||4.82||32.52|
|31||Jersey City, NJ||4.11||8.10||6.79||13.06||32.06|
|39||Huntington Beach, CA||5.52||10.66||3.74||7.25||27.17|
|40||Santa Ana, CA||1.91||10.65||2.37||12.09||27.02|
|42||Fort Wayne, IN||3.35||18.33||0.71||4.12||26.51|
|43||Chula Vista, CA||1.78||15.47||0.95||7.83||26.03|
|45||Long Beach, CA||5.61||7.65||4.78||6.53||24.57|
Cities were ranked based on a weighted scoring system using the number of vegan restaurants and produce markets per 100,000 residents, and the number of vegan restaurants and produce markets per square mile. All features were given equal weight.
Data for the number of vegetarian restaurants and produce markets are from commercially licensed business listings.
Population and land area data are based on 2019 estimates from the U.S. Census. Only cities with a landmass greater than one square mile and a population of more than 100,000 people were considered.
Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.com's multifamily rental property inventory. Our team uses a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.
The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.