A new study by WalletHub for 2023 has revealed the topmost vegetarian-friendly cities in the US, and Portland leads the list, followed by Los Angeles and Orlando. Surprisingly, New York did not make the top 20 cities. 

WalletHub ranked the cities using a 100-point system based on 17 indicators, such as the number of vegetarian restaurants, the cost of vegetarian groceries, access to farmer’s markets, vegetable nurseries, the number of smoothie bars, and the diversity of plant-based options. 

The top twenty cities with the highest score are Portland, Oregon; Los Angeles, California; Orlando, Florida; San Diego, California; Phoenix, Arizona; San Francisco, California; Seattle, Washington; Miami, Florida; Austin, Texas; Oakland, California; Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky; Tampa, Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Chicago, Illinois; Louisville, Kentucky; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Washington, D.C.; Irving, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia;  and St. Louis, Missouri. Clearly, the West Coast shows more vegan-friendly cities than any of the other regions, California being the state with the most cities on the top list.

The winner, Portland, scored 61.38 points due to its many vegetarian businesses, including 52 completely vegan restaurants and 17 vegetarian eateries. Portland also scored high because of its affordability (29 points), diversity, accessibility, and quality (6 points). Portland is known for its sustainability initiatives and infrastructure, with green streets, eco-roofs, trees to manage stormwater, etc. The second city, Los Angeles, scored a total of 61.24 points (so, not far behind), with 13 points for affordability and 15 points for diversity, accessibility, and quality. The third position was Orlando with 59,16 points, followed by San Diego with 57.45 points. New York only made it to 32 position with 47.47 points. The last city on the top 100 list was Greensboro, North Carolina, with 33.31 points. It would have been interesting to see how different the ranking would have been if they had looked a vegan-friendly factors instead of vegetarian-friendly.

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.