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