With October 1 being World Vegetarian Day and November 1 being World Vegan Day, WalletHub has delved into 2021's best cities for people who follow both diets. To figure out this ranking, the personal finance website looked at 100 cities and 16 key indicators — such as affordability, accessibility, diversity, and quality — of vegan and vegetarian-friendly places.
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Number one on the list is Portland, Oregon, and after that, we have Orlando, Florida, in second place, and Los Angeles, California, in third. These cities make up the rest of the top ten list:
- San Francisco, CA
- Boise, ID
- Austin, TX
- Seattle, WA
- Lexington-Fayette, KY
- Oakland, CA
- San Diego, CA
Interestingly, WalletHub found that Scottsdale, Arizona, has the highest share of restaurants (22.99%) serving vegetarian options, which is ten times more than Laredo, Texas. The latter has the lowest share with 2.77%. Scottsdale also has the highest share of restaurants serving vegan options (16.41%), which is nineteen times higher than the city with the lowest share: North Las Vegas, Nevada (.84%).
When it comes to community agriculture programs, San Francisco ranks the highest per square foot of the population. The lowest, on the other hand, would be San Antonio, Texas, which has 20 times less programs per square foot of the population than San Francisco.
In terms of the cities with the lowest cost of groceries for vegetarians, we have: Laredo, Texas; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Corpus Christi, Texas; Lexington, Kentucky; and San Antonio, Texas. On the other end of the spectrum, Honolulu, Oakland, Fremont, San Francisco, and N.Y.C. have the highest cost of groceries for those following a vegetarian diet.
So really, when it comes to picking a vegan or vegetarian-friendly city to live in, it's all about weighing the different factors. Would you prefer a city with inexpensive groceries or a city that has a greater variety of vegetarian/vegan establishments? More affordable groceries would likely help if you actually lived in the city long-term, whereas more restaurants would be great if you're only planning to visit the area.
To see the complete list of 2021's best cities for vegetarians and vegans, click here.