The Best Food Cities Around the World for Vegans
Vegan cuisine of the past got a bad rap. Who can forget Tofurky and plastic-y fake cheese? Luckily, those days are long gone. We’re in a new era in which eating a plant-based diet is cool, veggies are celebrated and finding a mouthwatering meat-free meal is easier than ever. Still, some places are embracing that herbivore life better than others. Here, the tastiest cities for vegans around the globe.
Ranked the "vegan capital of the world," Berlin boasts an unbelievable amount of plant-first restaurants, cafés and shops. Inventive recipes and an atmospheric cocktail bar make Kopps a dynamite date spot. Fine-dining enthusiasts flock to Michelin-starred Lucky Leek for multi-course menus with wine pairing. Adding to the allure of this vibrant metropolis is the world-famous Schivelbeiner Straße, otherwise known as Vegan Avenue. Fancy a guided culinary tour? Fork & Walk gets rave reviews.
This hipster paradise is a mecca of coffee shops, craft beer and veg-oriented eateries (it even received top marks from PETA). Grab a quick bite at Loving Hut or Off the Griddle (we have our eyes on the veggie Goddess Bowl or soy curl steak “French Dip”). The Asian-inspired menu at the Blossoming Lotus is mouthwatering (just look at that gluten-free bibimbap), and the area's first vegan tiki bar, No Bones Beach Club, means enjoying food like Rip Tide Salad with spiced jackfruit carnitas and Sticky Sugarcane Drumsticks (hey, vegans can indulge, too) without having to double-check anything with the waiter.
Los Angeles, California
La La Land has some of the most legit vegan eateries around. Gracias Madre in West Hollywood is renowned for plant-based riffs on Mexican classics. Bonus: There’s a good chance you’ll see a celeb digging into chilaquiles at the table next to you. Café Gratitude is a local institution with a massive menu of dishes with empowering monikers, ranging from young coconut ceviche (brilliant) to raw pesto kelp noodles (liberated). Also of note are Little Pine—founded by musician Moby—Crossroads Kitchen and Shojin.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
You don’t have to look far to find a great meal in NYC. The latest venture from Jean-Georges, abcV, is a veg-centric hotspot. Stand outs include grilled baby artichokes and roasted cauliflower with tahini. The carbonara at Avant Garden is so rich and creamy, even the most outspoken carnivore won’t be able to say a bad word about it. And, of course, no trip to the Big Apple is complete without grabbing a slice. Head to Double Zero for wood-fired pizza made with tree-nut cheeses.
Philly may be synonymous with cheesesteaks, but we’d argue that its vegan scene—which has been steadily gaining speed over the past few years—is every bit as awesome as its classic counterparts. Helmed by James Beard-nominated chefs Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby, Vedge dazzles with forward-thinking plant-based fare in a historic brownstone. Charlie Was a Sinner wins points for its strong drinks, yummy shareables and intimate ambiance. Veracruz-style empanadas and street corn are the move at the plant-based Bar Bombón.
London, United Kingdom
Afternoon tea is quintessentially British—a major must while in London, and La Suite West, a boutique hotel just off Hyde Park, hosts a vegan version that’s every bit as posh. Expect finger sandwiches and scones served with coconut cream. Kaspar's at The Savoy recently introduced a bespoke vegan menu. Kin Café is where the cool kids go for gluten-free cakes and almond milk lattes. Every Saturday, Broadway Vegan Market brings together 30 tasty food stalls, including Big V London and Dough Society.
The unofficial slogan is “Keep Austin Weird,” so it shouldn’t be a shocker that you’ll find plenty of spots to eschew traditional, meat-heavy Texas barbecue. BBQ Revolution is a local favorite. Tempeh ribs and no bull brisket? Yes, please. Elevated twists on hearty vegan dishes take center stage at Counter Culture. Weekly specials and a scenic outdoor patio up the appeal. And the ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls at Skull & Cakebones are not to be missed!
San Francisco, California
San Francisco is a diverse and delectable destination. Shizen is an izakaya and sushi bar with veggie rolls, ramen and small plates (think: agedashi tofu and kale kimpira). Cha-Ya also specializes in crave-worthy Japanese for herbivores. The recipes at Ananda Fuara are all vegetarian, mostly vegan and totally tasty. Spiritual guru Sri Chinmoy is behind the eatery, so it has that going for it too.
Sure, when you hear French cuisine, you probably envision butter-soaked escargot, steak frites and duck confit, but Paris has an impressive roster of veg-centric options. Seasonal produce is the star at Le Potager de Charlotte. Don’t miss the rice and chickpea pancake with cashew cream. 42 Degrés is the first crudivore, vegan bistro in France. This signature dish is the portobello burger—and it’s a revelation. Bon appetit!
Practicing abstinence from animal products is a breeze in Bali. No surprise, given that this tropical paradise is popular among yogis and wellness devotees. The Seeds of Life is a raw café and tonic bar. 9 Warung serves meatless versions of traditional Indonesian dishes. Sayuri Healing Food is a haven of high-vibrational, healthy delights—including an assortment of vegan aged-nut cheese. Mmm. Fresh-pressed juices, smoothies and nourishing bowls are the perfect post-vinyasa pick-me-up.
Amsterdam is more than just “coffee shops” and junk food joints. The playful presentations at De Culinaire Werkplaats are a feast for the senses. Alchemist Garden offers raw, vegan, organic and gluten-free goodness. And, yes, everything is delicious. Golden Temple bills itself as a “conscious kitchen.” Diners sit on colorful floor cushions, sip chai tea and savor functional, Indian-inspired cooking.
With the way the culinary scene is evolving in D.C., it’s clear the city wants to add “the capital of fast-casual vegan fare” to its list of accolades. Chaia is a farm-to-taco spot with a focus on seasonality. Fruitive holds the honor of being the first certified organic self-service eatery in North America. And we know that Sweetgreen isn’t herbivore-centric, but you’ve got to admit the millennial salad chain has some epic plant-based options—and it all started with a single storefront in Georgetown.
Forget meatless Monday; every day is party sans animal products in the Magic City. Dr Smood is a chic juicing concept with a cult following and five SoFlo locations. The scrambled tofu breakfast biscuit alone is worth a visit to Full Bloom. With its gorgeous garden setting, artful plating and biodynamic booze, it’s hard not to fall in love with Plant Miami. Satisfy your sweet tooth with fair-trade, vegan pastries at L'Artisane Creative Bakery.
Three hours southeast of Portland lies Bend, a sunny and unabashedly vegan-friendly city on the Deschutes River. Next Level Burger, the first 100-percent-plant-based patty spot in the U.S., should be on every foodie bucket list—regardless of dietary preference. Stop at Mother’s Juice Café for healthy soups, salads, sandwiches and wraps. A Broken Angel serves scratch-made Southern comfort food with Pacific Northwest flair out of a tiny truck.
Chennai is treasure trove of vegan eats. For a truly memorable experience, make a reservation at The Royal Vega. Housed in ITC Grand Chola, this fine-dining destination treats travelers to gourmet fare. If you’re craving authentic Southern and Northern Indian preparations, there’s Annalakshmi. Patrons can opt for the buffet or à la carte favorites, such as pakora (chickpea fritters) and chilly gobi (stir-fried cauliflower with chili-spiced veggies).