Just before taking the stage last Friday at Portland’s Moda Center during his “One on One” tour, Paul McCartney presented a special PETA award to Portland Mayor Charlie Hales: Most Vegan-Friendly City in the U.S.
PETA — whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” — scoured restaurant menus and reviews across the country to compile a list of the Top 10 Vegan-Friendly Cities in the U.S., which, among other cities, includes perennial honorees New York and Los Angeles, alongside newcomers Nashville, Tennessee, and Honolulu.
“American cities are doing more than ever to meet the skyrocketing hunger for hearty meat-free burgers, deliciously decadent dairy-free desserts, and other plant-based fare,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Every vegan-friendly city on PETA’s list is making the world a better place for animals, the environment, and diners’ health.”
Portland nabbed the list’s top spot, thanks to its prevalence of vegan-friendly eateries. Roughly one in six Oregon restaurants is vegan, according to a Yelp comparative analysis, which tracked trending terms such as “vegan strip mall,” “vegan cheese shop,” and “vegan bakeries.” First runner-up Los Angeles, by comparison, boasts more than 600 vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants and other businesses, including Crossroads, a celebrity favorite. And New York, in third place, is known for its fine vegan-dining options (such as Blossom and Candle 79) and its quick counter-service eateries (such as by CHLOE and Terri).
Rounding out the top five vegan-friendly cities on PETA’s list are the fourth-place Detroit, where the urban-farming and food-justice movement is in full swing (at establishments like Detroit Vegan Soul), and Nashville, in fifth place, thanks to all-vegan eateries (such as Vegan Vee Gluten-Free Bakery, Avo, and Coco Greens Vegan Café). San Diego, in sixth place, isn’t far behind (check out vegan death-metal cocktail bar Kindred), while Honolulu, where the vegan scene is hopping (with restaurants such as Simple Joy Vegetarian Cuisine and Greens & Vines), is number seven. Austin, Texas, comes in at number eight, thanks to its numerous vegan food trucks (such as the delicious BBQ Revolution), and Seattle—home of the country’s first vegan pizza place, Pizza Pi Vegan—follows at number nine. Richmond, Virginia, with its hip and vegan-friendly hangouts (such as Strange Matter), completes PETA’s list at number 10.