Long gone are the days when vegetarians had to settle for measly salads or side vegetables when going out with friends for a meal. Nowadays, vegetarian dishes are as flavorful, inventive and satisfying as any of their meaty counterparts.
However, this doesn’t mean it’s always easy for veggie-loving tourists to find good eats while on vacation. That’s why we’ve assembled our list of some of the best cities in the United States for vegetarian travelers.
1. Asheville, NC
Located in western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains lies the hippy gem of Asheville. The town not only boasts a vibrant arts scene, but is also a great destination for vegetarian travelers. Restaurants like the Laughing Seed Cafe and Plant offer up scrumptious veggie eats and the annual VeganFest celebrates the meat-free lifestyle with local food vendors and speakers.
2. New York, NY
New York City is known for its wide array of cuisines, so it’s no surprise that the city that never sleeps is home to some of the best vegetarian restaurants in the country. Eateries such as Superiority Burger, Avant Garden and Blossom Vegan Restaurant keep vegetarian diners well fed while the city’s annual Vegetarian Food Festival brings veggie lovers together to share art, music, and ideas centered on the concept of vegetarian living.
3. Portland, OR
With its plethora of local farms and bountiful gardens, Portland has long been a haven for vegetarians. Restaurants like Mother’s Bistro & Bar and the Tin Shed Cafe are just a few of the many eateries that offer vegetarian options that aren’t just afterthoughts, but fully satisfying meals that even carnivores would be hard-pressed to pass up. Plus the Portland Farmer’s Market is one of the largest in the country, offering up great healthy vegetarian eats from local vendors.
4. San Francisco, CA
California has long been at the forefront of innovative vegetarian cuisine, so San Francisco is a natural pick for any list for vegetarian travelers. Visit in October for the city’s annual World Veg Fest, which features speakers, cooking demos, performers and vendors. If you can’t make it then, visit any number of the bay’s tasty vegetarian restaurants including Greens, Gracias Madre and Herbivore.
5. Austin, TX
Though the lone star state is best known for its bbq and tex-mex fare, Austin provides a great retreat for vegetarian travelers. Swad offers up scrumptious vegetarian versions of classic Indian dishes, Bouldin Creek specializes in vegetarian breakfast tacos and BBQ revolution is the place to go for an all-vegan barbecue experience. Plus the city’s proximity to rivers, lakes and mountains makes it a lovely spot for any earth-lover.
6. Minneapolis, MN
This funky midwestern city not only has a great arts and music scene, but also a bevy of tasty food options for vegetarians. Birchwood Cafe, for example, gathers its vegetables not only from farmers, but from friends and locals who bring whatever’s in season to the cafe’s kitchen. For more international fare, World Street Kitchen provides delicious vegetable eats from around the globe.