Foodie havens, like New York and Los Angeles, are known for their virtually endless plant-based meal options. Yet, herbivorous travel is no longer restricted to these coastal hotspots. From Texas to Minnesota, many of the top vegan-friendly cities are now spread out across the U.S. If you want to enjoy a getaway without sacrificing food quality and taste, visit one of these five destinations.
1. Portland, Oregon
Known for its punk-like mentality and appreciation of all things unique, it should come as no surprise that Portland, OR, is a haven for vegans. The city even hosts two vegan festivals every year — the VegOut! Vegan Beer & Food Festival in the summer and VegFest in the fall. If you don’t end up making it to either event, there are still plenty of eatery options available year-round.
Whatever style of cuisine you’re in the mood to eat, there’s an incredibly high chance that Portland offers it. Enjoy freshly brewed coffee and waffles at the Nectar Coffee Bar or juice and avocado toast at Tiny Moreso. For local flavors, reserve a table at Farm Spirit for a tasting or stop in for vegan-twists on classic dishes at Canteen. When your sweet tooth gets a craving, go wild at Doe Donuts.
Portland even boasts a vegan mini-mall on Stark Street. The site features an eclectic selection of businesses, all of which are dedicated to providing animal-free products and services. Grab groceries and snacks at Food Fight! Grocery; coffee and pastries at Sweetpea Baking Co.; and a new wardrobe at The Herbivore Clothing Company. Finish off your Rose City shopping trip with some commemorative ink at Scapegoat Tattoo — and yes, it’s vegan-friendly too.
2. Minneapolis, Minnesota
Cheese curds have long held the position as Minneapolis’ signature food. Yet, a rise in demand for alternative dish options has given way to an impressive selection of vegan fare in the Twin City. One of the most popular spots is The Herbivorous Butcher. The entirely vegan shop sells unique retail products, like Bee Free Honee, as well as deli “meats,” non-dairy cheeses, jerky, and ready-to-eat sandwiches. If you end up falling in love with one of their offerings, you even have the option to order it online after you get back home.
While the plant-based food options in Minneapolis cover the spectrum, the culinary scene makes a name for itself with mouth-watering vegan comfort food. Devour sloppy joes and PLTs (pastrami, lettuce, and tomato) sandwiches at Vegan East; BBQ ribs and creamy macaroni and cheese at Trio Plant-Based; or mozzarella sticks, wings, and craft beer at J. Selby’s. When it comes to dessert, the selection of non-dairy ice cream and crepes at Crepe & Spoon is sure to hit the spot.
3. Kansas City, Missouri
While it may have a reputation for barbecue, Kansas City, MO, has embraced the vegan cuisine scene with open arms. Café Gratitude is a staple for locals, offering an organic, completely plant-based menu. Along with salads and wraps, patrons have a wide selection of healthy entrees, including sweet potato tacos and eggplant parmesan. For heartier options, grab a black bean burger and side of onion rings at Happy Apple Cafe, or enjoy a frappe and cupcake at Mud Pie Vegan Bakery and Coffeehouse.
Even if you don’t end up at a vegan restaurant, the vast majority of eateries in the area offer plant-based options. For instance, Beer Kitchen offers an entirely separate vegan menu, all of which pairs perfectly with their craft beer selection. Alternatively, canihaveabite specializes in organic carryout dishes with a long list of vegan entree options, like cashew meatloaf.
4. Austin, Texas
Watch out, Portland — Austin is coming for you. Both cities already share the same motto of keeping it weird, but soon, Austin may take the spot as the unofficial top vegan-friendly city in the U.S. There is already a long list of plant-based eateries in the Texas capital, but more and more pop up every year.
When it comes to burritos, The Vegan Yacht is untouchable with its Freeto Burrito and Buffalo Burrito. The eatery also offers gluten-free bowl variations. If pizza and sandwiches are what your taste buds are craving, stop by the dog-friendly patio at Counter Culture for a Jerk Seitan or Tempeh Reuben. Or, wrap up an unforgettable night on the town with the taco selection at The Vegan Nom.
5. Oakland, California
Even with its close proximity to San Francisco, the incredible vegan food scene in Oakland, CA, catches many travelers by surprise. The city not only offers a plethora of plant-based restaurants, but many of the vegan eateries also infuse culture into their menus to create a culinary experience — not just a meal.
Specializing in Ethiopian dishes, Cafe Dareye is beloved by both herbivores and omnivores with its Veggie Combo and seasonal juices. Core Kitchen offers a twist on traditional vegan meals by creating dishes only using organic produce, and the innovation continues at the gourmet Millennium Restaurant. However, if you need some old-school comfort food, Donut Farm has your back with a curation of sweet vegan treats.
Enjoy a Vegan-Friendly Getaway without Breaking the Bank
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