The Best Cities for Vegans in America

As of 2020, close to 10 million Americans follow a vegan diet, which means dairy-free, meat-free and void of any animal by-product. With more demand, more restaurants are offering vegan options to cater to this growing population.

Dishing out the best cities for vegans

Of course, not all cities are created equal when it comes to available vegan options. To create our top 10, we looked at the density of vegan businesses, the proportion of vegan businesses compared to all businesses and the proportion of restaurants that serve vegan fare compared to all restaurants in a city. We looked at every city with a population threshold of 50,000 people or more. Here's a quick map of the cities we looked at.

The top 10 cities for vegans in America

It's no surprise California leads the charge with three cities in the top 10 cities for vegans in the U.S. The average population among the top 10 is 450,000 residents, making the list lean toward more major cities, with an average monthly rent of $2,548 for a one-bedroom.

But there are a few cities that may surprise you on the list. Keep reading to get to know the best cities for vegans.

10. Portland, OR

There's no shortage of sketches by the show "Portlandia" about the vegan scene in Portland. Coming in at No. 10 on our list of best cities for vegans, the Rose City offers a plethora of plant-based options — yes, even doughnuts. You can even enjoy a full-vegan restaurant like Plant-Based Papi for jackfruit birria tacos or Virtuous Pie for a vegan pizza.

You can find a one-bedroom apartment for $1,896 per month on average.

9. Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh is quickly picking up on the cues of its residents to lead a more meat-free life. Currently, 1.4 percent of restaurants in the city are vegan. In between museums and a visit to the Phipps Conservatory, stop by the popular Apteka for inspired plant-based dishes or pick up a vegan al pastor taco at vegan Latinx food truck, Disfrutar.

If that sounds like the perfect meal, head to this Pennsylvania city and score a one-bedroom apartment for $1,551 per month on average.

8. Minneapolis, MN

While people tend to associate the West Coast with the rising popularity of vegan food, Minneapolis' dining scene has grown beyond meat-eaters. It has a higher density of vegan restaurants than even Chicago and New York. Commit to going beyond Meatless Mondays with Hard Times Cafe's delicious all-day breakfast. Or, if you want a treat, head to Vegan East for a vegan, gluten-free cookie.

Better yet, a one-bedroom in Minneapolis remains below the national average. You can rent one for $1,455 per month on average. Just get ready to bundle up during the winter.

7. Burbank, CA

With a little over 100,000 residents, Burbank has all the Hollywood glitz in the world, thanks to nearby studios like Walt Disney and Warner Bros. At only 12 miles from Los Angeles, you can find a one-bedroom apartment in Burbank for $2,502 per month on average.

It also takes the No. 7 spot as one of the best cities for vegans. Head to the Hummus Republic and enjoy a Mediterranean-spiced couscous bowl with all kinds of vegan toppings. Lotus Vegan offers Thai favorites that fit a vegan lifestyle.

6. Seattle, WA

The best part of Seattle's vegan scene is that it has permeated every section of the restaurant scene — from dive bars to coffee shops, diners and upscale dining. The so-called "America's oldest vegan pizzeria," Pi Vegan, has some delicious slices. If you're feeling more like take-out, don't miss Teapot Vegetarian House's mapo tofu and crispy "nuggets."

On average, you can find a one-bedroom in Seattle for $2,465 per month, with plenty of outdoor hiking opportunities in the area post-vegan meal.

5. Washington, D.C.

Is there anything more comforting than a good bowl of soup? If you're vegan, the nation's capital has plenty of options to fit your diet, like SouperGirl with an entirely vegan and kosher menu. For fried chicken lovers, NuVegan Cafe features delicious soul food in its many locations. There are many vegan choices beyond that — 1.55 percent of restaurants are vegan.

Washington, D.C. has one-bedroom apartments available for $2,431 per month on average.

4. Miami, FL

From Calle Ocho to Miami Beach's glamour, there's no place like Miami.

But the food, from Cuban to Argentinian, is truly unique to this Florida city. You'll be surprised to learn that it's also a great hub for vegan grub. Don't miss the veggie burger with marinated kale and cilantro aioli at Love Life Cafe, and then enjoy the art at Wynwood after. Then cool off with a vanilla almond milk latte from Miami's first and only fully vegan coffee shop.

You can enjoy all of this and more by renting a one-bedroom apartment in Miami for $2,825 per month on average.

3. San Francisco, CA

Sure, San Francisco is infamous for its high rents — right now, a one-bedroom apartment is $3,557 per month on average. But it's hard not to imagine enjoying its vegan cuisine on the weekend after a long hike. Vegan food isn't just casual — plant-based Wildseed boasts seasonal dishes with local ingredients. If you're looking for Italian vegan food, Baia features an all-vegan menu with delicious mozzarella sticks.

2. Santa Monica, CA

Santa Monica is famous for its pier, beautiful beaches and the festive environment — but it's not all amusement park cotton candy and fried Oreos. The city takes the second spot on our list of best cities for vegans. Santa Monica has a high density of vegan restaurants for its population. Thai Vegan and Chandni offer Asian vegan fare while Cafe Gratitude has a cozy patio to enjoy wraps and coffee.

You can enjoy the good California weather in a one-bedroom apartment for $3,094 per month on average.

1. Cambridge, MA

The best city for vegan eaters is Cambridge. Are you surprised that the home of Harvard University took the No. 1 spot? Newcomer PlantPub brings solid beer options and a delicious plant-based menu that includes pizza, burgers and even soft serve. There are 3.17 vegan businesses per square mile in this college town; this is just one of them.

A one-bedroom apartment in Cambridge will run you $3,700 per month on average.

The 50 best cities for vegans

Couldn't get enough from the top 10 best cities for vegans? Sprinkle some of that cashew cheese on your pizza and check out the 50 best cities for vegans.

RankCityPopulationVegan Business DensityProportion of Vegan RestaurantsProportion of Vegan Businesses
1Cambridge, MA 118,927 3.172.20%0.09%
2Santa Monica, CA 90,401 2.382.02%0.08%
3San Francisco, CA 881,549 2.231.30%0.12%
4Miami, FL 467,963 1.720.71%0.08%
5Washington, DC 705,749 1.021.55%0.06%
6Seattle, WA 753,675 0.951.89%0.05%
7Burbank, CA 102,511 0.821.61%0.12%
8Minneapolis, MN 429,606 0.781.52%0.05%
9Pittsburgh, PA 300,286 0.761.41%0.04%
10Portland, OR 654,741 0.712.03%0.08%
11Las Vegas, NV 651,319 0.681.06%0.10%
12Bayonne, NJ 64,897 0.671.52%0.07%
13Boca Raton, FL 99,805 0.661.11%0.10%
14Oakland, CA 433,031 0.641.57%0.14%
15Saint Louis, MO 300,576 0.651.24%0.03%
16Rockville, MD 68,079 0.641.00%0.06%
17Bradenton, FL 59,439 0.640.36%0.11%
18Boston, MA 692,600 0.631.11%0.04%
19Santa Clara, CA 130,365 0.611.14%0.15%
20New York, NY 8,336,817 0.581.05%0.09%
21Newport Beach, CA 84,534 0.580.80%0.14%
22San Mateo, CA 104,430 0.580.44%0.14%
23Glendale, CA 199,303 0.571.77%0.09%
24Chicago, IL 2,693,976 0.561.24%0.03%
25Long Beach, CA 462,628 0.560.80%0.15%
26Santa Ana, CA 332,318 0.560.41%0.15%
27Philadelphia, PA 1,584,064 0.531.25%0.03%
28Cincinnati, OH 303,940 0.531.31%0.06%
29Jersey City, NJ 262,075 0.530.42%0.09%
30Cleveland, OH 381,009 0.511.81%0.05%
31Atlanta, GA 506,811 0.521.14%0.08%
32Redmond, WA 71,929 0.502.78%0.05%
33Tempe, AZ 195,805 0.501.65%0.09%
34Walnut Creek, CA 70,166 0.501.57%0.10%
35Huntington Beach, CA 199,223 0.480.41%0.18%
36Richardson, TX 121,323 0.451.81%0.05%
37Richmond, VA 230,436 0.451.47%0.03%
38Fort Lauderdale, FL 182,437 0.460.64%0.06%
39Orlando, FL 287,442 0.450.81%0.06%
40Providence, RI 179,883 0.440.86%0.03%
41Lowell, MA 110,997 0.431.47%0.09%
42Baltimore, MD 593,490 0.431.17%0.03%
43Milpitas, CA 84,196 0.431.32%0.10%
44Doral, FL 65,741 0.430.58%0.10%
45Denver, CO 727,211 0.421.23%0.09%
46Sacramento, CA 513,624 0.420.85%0.10%
47Sunnyvale, CA 152,703 0.410.92%0.17%
48Los Angeles, CA 3,979,576 0.411.30%0.14%
49San Diego, CA 1,423,851 0.401.52%0.12%
50Ventura, CA 109,106 0.410.44%0.15%

Methodology

To find the best cities for vegans, we looked at all cities with more than 50,000 people according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau population estimates. Our team then looked at the number of vegan businesses per capita, the proportion of vegan businesses compared to all businesses and the proportion of restaurants that serve vegan dishes compared to all restaurants in each city. We weighted each category from a score of 0-1 and summed each weight to determine the best cities for vegans.

We excluded cities with insufficient inventory or if they did not have available one or two-bedroom apartments.

Total establishment counts are from a database of 8 million commercially available business listings. These listings may not reflect recent openings or closings.

Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.'s multifamily rental property inventory as of August 2021. 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.

Muriel VegaMuriel Vega is an Atlanta-based journalist and editor who writes mostly about technology and its intersection with food and culture. She’s the managing editor of tech news publication Hypepotamus, and has contributed to The Guardian, Atlanta magazine, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, VICE and more. She spends her time eating her way through Buford Highway and exploring Atlanta's arts scene.

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