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Best Vegetarian Places to Travel in the U.S.

Best Vegetarian Places to Travel in the U.S.

While more and more Americans are turning vegan or vegetarian (and more businesses are taking note), plant-based eaters still might face problems finding great food options when traveling.

Luckily, there are plenty of places throughout the country that know how to make vegetarians happy. Here are 5 U.S. cities where vegetarian travelers can revel in the delicious and creative plant-based food options.

Austin, Texas. While people might think of Texas as a meat-lover’s paradise, Austin, home of Whole Foods Market, has become known for its wide variety of vegetarian food and beverage choices. This includes the famous all-veg Mother’s Café, and a variety of veggie cafes and food trucks. Austin is also home to the University of Texas’ Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center that focuses on sustainability and conservation of native plants and wildflowers. And if you want a little musical entertainment while munching on your soy chorizo tacos, there are plenty of music venues to choose from.

Minneapolis, Minnesota. Minneapolis may be known for its cold winters, but it is also home to lots of local farms. Increasingly, its residents and restaurants want to support this locally grown produce. That means there are lots of great choices including food co-ops, natural food stores and veggie-friendly restaurants. Being so close to farm country, the East Lyndale Farmers’ Market boasts over 200 members and is open seven days a week from mid-April to mid-November. The Twin Cities (St. Paul/Minneapolis) region is also known as one of the country’s most bike-friendly, and has a public bike-sharing program that’s affordable and covers most of the area.

New York City. Fabulous restaurants are nothing new to New York; there are choices for nearly every palate and pocketbook. Fortunately, this also extends to vegetarians and vegans. HappyCow lists over 150 strictly veg restaurants. New York is also home to one of the largest and oldest Farmers’ Markets in the nation; The Green Market, now has a network of over 50 farmers markets throughout the city. Not only can you support family farmers by shopping there, but there are many food-related events including book signings, film festivals, cooking classes, and local food tours.

Portland, Oregon. This green town tops most vegetarian travel lists. Portland is known as one of the most livable cities in the world due to its excellent public transit, family-friendly destinations, and its environmentally friendly policies. It’s not surprising that this also includes being a veg-friendly destination. HappyCow lists over 110 restaurants and there are also plenty of organic and fair-trade restaurants and food stores, as well as annual events to choose from.

San Francisco, California. The City by the Bay is long known for its healthy eating, particularly organic and fair trade establishments, and for an increasing number of vegetarian and vegan choices. San Francisco was the first U.S. city to enthusiastically adopt the Meatless Monday idea. And AT&T Park, home to the San Francisco Giants, just opened the first organic garden in any major U.S. sports facility, not only to provide produce for concession stands, but as an educational garden for Bay Area kids. There is a farmer’s market somewhere in the city nearly every day of the week, so you can pack up your own picnic and head off to some of the city’s popular green spots including Golden Gate Park, Dolores Park and Fort Mason Great Meadow. For a list of veg friendly restaurants, farmers’ markets, and natural food stores check Veg SF.

Did I miss your favorite veg-friendly destination? Share it in the comments section.

Image credit: sodaniechea via Flickr

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Judi Gerber

Judi Gerber is a University of California Master Gardener with a certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She writes about sustainable farming, local foods, and organic gardening for multiple magazines. Her book Farming in Torrance and the South Bay was released in September 2008.


+ add your own
5:02AM PST on Feb 3, 2015

Austin? Thanks.

3:43AM PDT on Jul 29, 2014


4:05PM PDT on Jul 28, 2014

Have gotten good vegetarian food in San Fran and NYC, will check out the other places when I stop by. Thanks.

5:34AM PDT on Jul 14, 2014

Hmm, interesting

2:36AM PDT on Jul 9, 2014

Nice sandwich, except for the white bread.

12:00PM PDT on Jul 7, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

6:32AM PDT on Jul 7, 2014

thanks for good tips :):)

4:10PM PDT on Jul 6, 2014

Thanks. Great for a Kiwi who loves America to know.

10:11PM PDT on Jul 5, 2014

Great to know! I'll remember this while traveling in the future!

9:14AM PDT on Jul 5, 2014


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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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