Vegans may have hoped but likely never expected so many vegan friendly restaurants—heck, whole cities—to litter the globe. But cruelty-free options are indeed expanding to all corners of the world. Now more than ever before, it’s becoming more and more common to find hearty meat-free grilled burgers, decadent dairy-free cheesecakes, and savory, milk-free cheeses. Vegan friendly establishments also make it easier (and tastier) than ever for omnivores to choose sustainable, animal product free meals.
Every vegan friendly city on this list is making the world a better place for animals, the environment, and human health. Here are my top picks to travel to if you’re vegan.
1. Berlin, Germany
In a land of Bratwursts, Berlin is quickly becoming the vegan capital of the world. There are 50 pure vegan restaurants, including one called Culinary Misfits that focuses on “ugly vegetables” and food waste. It also seems like nearly 300 restaurants have some vegan options on their menus. McDonalds even offers veggie nuggets as an option, perfect for late-night drunchies.
2. Tokyo, Japan
The macrobiotic diet, consisting of plant based foods, was actually developed and popularized in Japan. Happy Cow lists Tokyo having almost 60 pure vegan restaurants, the most of any city in the world.
3. New York City, New York
There is no better place to be vegan than The Big Apple. The food options are as diverse as the people that live there. Whether eating on the cheap at By Chloe, or dining extravagantly at Candle 79 or Blossom, NYC offers many exotic choices for veggie food lovers. New York City also has a plethora of animal advocates who speak out against luxurious horse-drawn carriages and fur. Stop by MooShoes for your leather-alternative clothing needs and you’ll never have to worry about finding the right belt and shoes again.
4. Portland, Oregon
No vegan list is complete without quirky Portland. Roughly one in six Oregon restaurants is vegan, including a bed and breakfast, a summer camp, a mini mall, a cheese shop, and several bakeries. The iconic Voodoo Doughnuts even serves vegan donuts. If that’s not enough for you there’s even a vegan strip club.
5. Los Angeles, California
Although spread out, LA’s vegan scene has really taken off in the past few years. The city has more than 600 vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants (among other businesses). Top picks include Crossroads (especially among celebrities), Cafe Gratitude (where servers literally ask customers what they are grateful for), and Sun Cafe which offers both raw and cooked foods.
6. San Francisco, California
San Francisco has always been a city of healthy living, reflected by how easy it is to get around by public transit, bicycle, or foot. There are dozens of cozy vegan cafes and trendy restaurants. Eating is easy here, and so is getting around. In fact, San Francisco was the first U.S. city to embrace the meatless Monday philosophy.
7. Taipei, Taiwan
Whoever said that vegan food tastes bad has never been to Taipei. Because of the city’s large Buddhist presence, there are plenty of vegan options available. From small mom-and-pop eateries to extravagant buffets, the country offers an insane variety of vegan food despite the seemingly restricted ingredients of the lifestyle.
8. London, England
Since the outbreak of mad cow disease in the early 2000s, a lot of Brits have been embracing vegetarianism. Once named the most vegetarian-friendly city in the world by PETA, London has moved further beyond its reputation to being more vegan friendly. In between your visits to the Tower of London or Buckingham Palace, you’ll find numerous ways to fill your appetite, with even pubs now offering meatless fare and even raw food options.
Singapore is a great place to find a large selection of vegan dishes. Tofu is used frequently in Singaporean foods so you’ll have no problem getting the protein your body needs. With a large South Indian immigrant population, there are numerous Indian vegetarian restaurants as well. Additionally, there is Mediterranean and Taiwanese cuisine to be found as well. Visit the Singapore Vegetarian Society’s website for a full list of places to eat.
10. Austin, Texas
If Berlin is the vegan food capital of the world, Austin is the vegan food truck capital of the world. The region is known for its plentiful vegan food trucks and Tex-Mex offerings. Guac ‘n’ Roll, one of the vegan friendly food trucks, may be the best in the world. Even get a Glitterbeast sundae, made with salted caramel sauce, strawberry sauce, and edible glitter at vegan ice cream joint, Sweet Ritual.
11. Glasgow, Scotland
Glasgow is swamped with vegan food and drink. In fact, it’s been voted the most food friendly place for vegan travelers in the UK. Must-see visits for tourists include The 13th Note for a gorgeous vegan breakfast and The 78 for a beer-battered seitan burger.
12. Vancouver, Canada
One in 10 Canadians now identify themselves as non-meat eaters. When in Vancouver, you won’t have to worry about where you’re going to fuel up for hiking the towering mountains that provide a magnificently scenic backdrop, or paddling the glistening waters that surround this beautiful city. Vegetarians, vegans, gluten-free and raw foodies will want a taste of the seasonal menu created with fruits and legumes at The Acorn, Indigo Food Cafe, and Edible Flours are just a few popular places to get you fix.
13. Chennai, India
South India is considered the ancient birthplace of vegetarianism. Of the entire population of roughly 1.2 billion in the country, nearly half are vegetarian. Veganism might be a new concept in America, but vegetarian and vegan lifestyles have been a part of Indian culture for thousands of years. South Indian cooking typically utilizes rice, legumes and coconut milk. It’s rare to see a menu that doesn’t have rather extensive vegan option. Some dishes may even be cheaper and healthier than a frap from Starbucks.
14. Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok is the capital city in the Land of Smiles, a place where you will always be happy to visit a great range of delicious vegan places. You have to know where to look, but you can just search for the little red on yellow “jay” flag at the entrance of cafeteria-style Buddhist eateries, which means there are vegan options there. Spend your time in between sightseeing adventures enjoying tasty, vegan food.
15. Tel Aviv, Israel
Almost 1 in 20 Israelis describe themselves as vegan. Tel Aviv’s vegan craze seems to have really taken off after it was noticed by Table Magazine in 2012—though it’s almost always had a wide, delicious range of food options. In fact, you can even get vegan pizza at Domino’s. Staples like falafels can be found pretty much anywhere, and you can also get tasty veggie shawarma as well.
16. Honululu, Hawaii
Honululu is the perfect place to say aloha to tasty vegan fare. Despite being a city where seafood and Asian food are most common, Honolulu landed itself on PETA’s list this year, thanks to a huge rise in delicious plant-based meals that are kind to animals, the environment, and health-conscious diners alike. Most spots offer vegan options as well. Everyone should enjoy a smoothie bowl next to the beach at least once in their lives.
17. Detroit, Michigan
Perhaps the most surprising city on this list, Detroit is rapidly undergoing an urban-farming and food-justice movement. Restaurants like Detroit Vegan Soul, a resident favorite that serves mac and “cheese,” “catfish” tofu, barbecue tofu sandwiches, collard greens, and okra stew among other comfort food vegan dishes, are a perfect example of that.
18. Toronto, Canada
Plant-based menus and vegan friendly options are sprouting up in eateries across Toronto, dispelling the myth that vegans live on salad and bird food. Substantial options like veggie burgers, pizza, and sandwiches are now available at many fast food restaurants across the city. From fine dining delicacies to greasy comfort foods, there’s a vegan dish on offer for every taste and occasion.
19. Mumbai, India
Mumbai is home to the largest vegetarian population in the world. You will still need to watch out for dairy as Indian vegetarians are mostly lacto-vegetarians—they don’t eat meat, eggs or fish, but they do consume dairy. Still, you certainly won’t go hungry with the multitude of vegan dishes to be found at places such as Birdsong Café and Under the Banyan Tree. For dessert, enjoy an extensive range of dairy-free sorbets at Amore Gourmet Italian Gelato.
20. Warsaw, Poland
Unlike a few years ago, when vegetarian travelers in Poland had to survive on a diet of potatoes or peanuts, today, vegetarian and vegan restaurants are easy to find. There are many small restaurants which offer a wide selection of local, seasonal, organic vegetarian and vegan dishes. Warsaw’s vegan restaurants are even visited by meat eaters who know just how good vegetarian food can be.
21. Asheville, North Carolina
The vegan dining scene is quite eclectic in the “happiest city in America.” Asheville’s first vegan bar, The Block Off Biltmore, collaborates with local vegan “food artists” to offer a rotating menu of meatless eats. Plant was named one of the best vegan restaurants in America, and is a must-visit if you find yourself in the city.