Updated January 2020
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Last year, rather than updating the running list of the most vegan friendly cities I’ve had for the last couple of years (and published in my book – click here to find out more about my vegan travel guide), I wanted to do something a little bit more numbers-based/technical to figure out the most vegan cities worldwide, by the numbers. You can find lists of the most vegan friendly cities in Europe and the world based on the number of vegan restaurants in the city. However, I didn’t want to determine the best vegan cities solely based on the number of vegan restaurants alone. A vegan city or vegan town should have a lot of vegan restaurants relative to their population size.
How I measured vegan friendliness
So, I decided to use a slightly different metric. I calculated the vegan restaurants per capita (that is, the number of 100% vegan restaurants listed on Happycow per 100,000 people in the city). This is, of course, not a foolproof method of measuring a city’s vegan credentials.
Some cities might have a huge number of vegetarian, but not vegan, restaurants. Or they might have a lot of restaurants with vegan options, or naturally vegan-friendly local cuisine.
Even measuring the population of a city is complicated! Wikipedia usually lists the population of the city, urban area and metropolitan area. Where possible I used the city population.
I couldn’t measure all the cities in the world, either, so I had to rely on several lists of vegan friendly cities, a list of the cities with the most vegan restaurants, and lists of the biggest and most visited cities in the world, to calculate this. However, I think this is a good starting point.
Looking at vegan restaurants per capita should give an idea of how vegan friendly a city feels. For example, a big city might have more vegan restaurants listed in total than a smaller city, but those restaurants could be really spread out, and taken per capita their number might be much lower than a smaller city. A smaller city, on the other hand, that has fewer vegan restaurants in total could have a high number per capita, which likely means more residents are vegan or there’s more demand for vegan food, making the smaller city feel more vegan friendly.
This list shows you the cities that have a high proportion of vegan restaurants in comparison to population, which also means you’re likely to see a lot of vegan restaurants just walking around.
Find out more about each city
For each city, I’ve linked to the best vegan guide I could find online, and where possible a recommended vegan-friendly or eco-friendly place to stay.
You might notice some cities you’d expect to find on a veg city list — such as NYC and LA — missing. That’s because in comparison to the population, their vegan restaurants per capita are actually lower than the other cities on this list. Yes, New York has a lot of vegan restaurants, but also a big population to match. And in comparison to its population, it just doesn’t match up to the vegan restaurants per capita in Portland, Austin or Warsaw.
London, which currently has the highest number of vegan restaurants in total for any city in the world, didn’t make it onto the list for the first time ever (it was 44th). That’s because this list is per capita, and London’s vegan restaurant scene, while extensive, hasn’t kept up with the huge population. Of course, as mentioned before, this list only takes into account vegan restaurants, and if it included restaurants with vegan options London might rank much higher (since pretty much every chain and lots of independent restaurants in London now have vegan options).
A growing list
The first year I made this list, back in 2015, I only chose 10 vegan friendly cities. After several years of huge growth in the number of vegans and vegan restaurants around the world, I couldn’t narrow it down to just 10 cities. The world is becoming more vegan-friendly than ever, and these 25 cities, some of them unexpected, prove it.
The list has shifted this year, with some cities dropping out and ten cities making the list (some for the first time!). See 2019’s list here.
And now…onto the list of the top vegan cities!
1. Chiang Mai, Thailand
30 vegan restaurants per 100,000 residents
Topping the list of best vegan cities in the world is Chiang Mai, Thailand. Chiang Mai has a reputation as a haven for digital creatives and eco travellers and as a result, is one of the best places to be vegan. Take a vegan cooking class at Mai Kaidee, enjoy a fermented mushroom sausage at Pun Pun or visit the city during the annual Vegetarian Festival for widely available vegan food. To find out all you need to know during your story in Chiang Mai, check out Dee’s site Veggie in Chiang Mai — Dee lives in Chiang Mai and updates her site regularly as a resource for vegans in Chiang Mai and Thailand.
Where to stay: Green Tiger Guesthouse, a vegetarian hotel in the Old City attached to a vegan restaurant, Reform Kafe
Find out more: Brenda de Groot’s Ultimate Vegan Food Guide to Chiang Mai.
2. Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
19 vegan restaurants per 100,000 residents
As a hub for tourists and digital nomads, Ubud is very vegan-friendly. Since it’s in the tropical paradise of Bali, you can of course find tropical fruit galore, as well as a variety of vegan-friendly restaurants. Try a vegan naamlette (vegan omelette) at Sage, a vegan crepe at Earth Cafe and Market or design your own smoothie bowl at Alchemy.
Where to stay: BeingSattvaa vegetarian retreat, an all vegetarian and vegan resort in Ubud
Find out more: Veggiekins’ Vegan Guide to Bali.
3. Phuket, Thailand
13 vegan restaurants per 100,000 residents
Picture a tropical paradise with clear blue waters and white sand beaches surrounded by mountainous cliffsides jutting into the water. You might just be picturing Phuket, pictures of which have become screensavers around the world. A mountainous island, Phuket has many of Thailand’s most popular beaches and in additional to the tropical fruits you might imagine eating on the beach, its capital Phuket City is also home to many vegan restaurants. Like Chiang Mai (see above) it also hosts the annual Vegetarian Festival. At Phuket’s Vegetarian Festival, you’ll find plenty of vegan food and, if you can stomach it, see various acts of self-mutilation and piercing in worship. Street food stalls spring up selling vegan food all around the city. If you’re not visiting during the Vegetarian Festival, head to Sai Than Boon to try their vegan ‘fried egg’ or a vegan Thai buffet such as Hesan Vegetarian or Mae Orathai.
Find out more: Vegan Food Quest’s Vegan Guide to Phuket
4. Tel Aviv, Israel
8 vegan restaurants per 100,000 residents
Israel has become massively vegan-friendly in recent years, and it’s now one of the most vegan countries in the world, boasting the highest percentage of vegans in the world. With over 400 vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants, alongside a cuisine that has plenty of naturally vegan options, you’re in for a treat. Dine on Georgian-inspired food (the country, that is, not the US state) at Tenat, an all vegan Ethiopian restaurant, or order sweet potato quiche with walnut cheese at Anastasia. At Zakaim, a farm-to-table restaurant, the focus is on fresh, seasonal vegetables, and if it’s in season when you visit, try the burnt aubergine (eggplant), served with tahini and homemade challah bread. Or, take a vegan tour of the city.
Where to stay: The Sheraton is vegan-friendly and offers vegan options in all its vegan restaurants, room service and breakfast buffet. Located on the beachfront, the Sheraton has Mediterranean sea views and all rooms are air conditioned. Check the latest prices and availability here.
Find out more: Read the Vegan Guide to Tel Aviv by The Tasty K.
5. Portland, Oregon, USA
7.5 vegan restaurants per 100,000 residents
Portland’s well-deserved and long-standing reputation as a vegan heaven continues in this city, where nearly every eatery offers plant-based options. Portland even boasts a vegan mini-mall! There, you’ll find a vegan clothing store, food shop, bakery and tattoo parlour. At Homegrown Smoker, you can chow down on vegan barbeque. Head to Vtopia Cheese Shop and Deli for vegan cheddars, bries or cheese platters. If you’re after vegan fine dining, don’t miss upscale vegan restaurant Blossoming Lotus, where you can dine on almond ricotta bruschetta and roasted delicate squash tacos.
Where to stay: The Portland Vegan Guesthouse has two affordable rooms in an all-vegan shared space in one of the most vegan friendly cities in the US. The host provides complimentary tea, coffee substitute and non-dairy milks and creamers. Of course, having a vegan host means you can get all the local vegan tips! Find it here on Airbnb. New to Airbnb? Click here to get $25 off with my referral code.
Find out more: Don’t miss the Epic Guide to Cheap Vegan Food in Portland by Alternative Travelers.
6. Lisbon, Portugal
7 vegan restaurants per 100,000 residents
The sunny capital of Portugal, like many cities, has become much more vegan-friendly in the last few years, with many vegan restaurants opening. You can even enjoy vegan pasteis de nata (a famous egg custard tart) from Zarzuela or Princesa do Castelo while wandering the streets admiring Lisbon’s colourful architecture.
Find out more: Check out The Best Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants in Lisbon, by The Nomadic Vegan
7. Brighton, UK
6 vegan restaurants per 100,000 residents
Brighton has long held a reputation as one of the most vegan-friendly cities in the UK, and with good reason! Brighton has a ton of vegan options — from 100% vegan eateries to pubs serving vegan fish and chips, you can a vegan dish almost anywhere in Brighton these days. Go for a vegan Sunday roast at Green Kitchen or a full English at Longhouse Cafe. If you’re in the mood for pizza, Purezza is a 100% vegan pizzeria; head to vegan-friendly Boho Gelato for dessert — they have some of the best vegan ice cream in town!
Find out more: Check out my Vegan Brighton Guide.
8. Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
5 vegan restaurants per 100,000 residents
Salt Lake City is a new addition to my list this year, and a deserving one. This mid-sized city is increasingly vegan friendly — and it might surprise you to know it has more vegan restaurants per capita than NYC or LA! Head to Vertical Diner for vegan apple-stuffed French toast, find vegan Vietnamese at All Chay or a vegan croissant at Passion Flour Croissant. You won’t be hungry here!
Find out more: Check out the Ultimate Vegan Guide to Salt Lake City by Alternative Travelers.
9. Amsterdam, Netherlands
4.6 vegan restaurants per 100,000 residents
In December 2018, I went to Amsterdam for a friend’s wedding and stayed for a week to explore the vegan scene. I was absolutely bowled over by the food I ate there. Not only was it really easy to find vegan restaurants (I seemed to keep stumbling upon them as I explored the canals), but the attention to detail, sourcing of quality produce and careful thought about balancing flavours and textures produced some of the best food I had all year. Have the fried tempeh and avocado sushi at Caribbean-Japanese fusion restaurant TerraZen or a bowl of the house ramen at the most unique restaurant I’ve seen in awhile, the all vegan ramen restaurant Men Impossible. For a more traditional experience, try the hagelslag (traditional Dutch breakfast of sprinkles on toast–yes, it really is a popular breakfast with children and adults alike!) or the roze koek (pink cake) at Beter & Leuk, or get a cream-filled tompouce cake at Dutch Weed Burger Joint.
Where to stay: De Bedstee Hotel is a vegetarian boutique capsule hotel. Like capsule hotels, it makes use of limited space to provide well-designed and small budget sleeping areas; however De Bedstee does it in vintage Dutch style (featuring old-style Dutch beds). All food served onsite, including breakfast, is organic and vegetarian, with vegan options. Click here to check the latest prices and availability.
Find out more: my vegan Amsterdam guide covers everything you’ll need to know!
10. Prague, Czech Republic
4.1 vegan restaurants per 100,000 residents
The beautiful city of Prague appears much higher on this list than even I expected. When I visited a few years ago, it was fairly easy to eat vegan but these days, it’s extremely popular, one of the highest ranked vegan cities in Europe! Pop into Moment cafe, which was my favourite find when I was in Prague. A very vegan cafe, go there for coffee, cake and brunch/light food options such as leek tart or vegan scrambled eggs. If you’re in the mood for something heartier, find vegan lasagne at Pastva.
Find out more: Check out the Vegan Prague Guide by Veggie Visa
11. Vancouver, BC, Canada
4 vegan restaurants per 100,000 residents
Vancouver topped the list of Canadian cities, beating out Toronto in terms of vegan restaurants per capita. There are plenty of plant-based options in Vancouver to choose from. Head to Meet on Main for vegan comfort food like burgers, fries and poutine. For a more upscale meal, Acorn vegetarian restaurant is one of the go-to places in Vancouver for fancier vegan meals, serving seasonal food using produce from local farms.
Find out more: Check out Vegan Eats in Vancouver by Easy Animal-Free.
12. Bristol, UK
3.7 vegan restaurants per 100,000 residents
Bristol has long been known in the UK for its vegan scene. It was even named vegan capital of the world in 2018 by site Chef’s Pencil! Cafe Kino is a well-known vegan cafe and workers cooperative serving up full English breakfasts and more. Or, for something a bit different, head to fully vegan Persian restaurants Koocha Mezze Bar to try gaymeh (a tomato-based lentil and aubergine stew), Persian style potatoes or a traditional Persian salad with tomatoes, cucumber, onion and pomegranate.
Find out more: Check out the extensive guide to vegan eats by area of the city on Vegan Bristol.
13. Montreal, Quebec, Canada
3.6 vegan restaurants per 100,000 residents
Montreal surprised me the first time it appeared on my list of vegan friendly cities per capita, but then I met up with a vegan friend and former colleague who lives there. Hearing her descriptions of all the varied and inventive vegan food in the city, it doesn’t surprise me at all to find it in the top vegan cities again. Don’t miss the inventive vegan sushi at 100% vegan Sushi Momo, which gets rave reviews. Here you’ll find sushi such as Jardin hibiscus: fried avocado maki with hibiscus confit, avocado, fried leeks and maple syrup. If you have a sweet tooth, Sophie Sucree will sate your desire for baked goods with almond croissants and salted caramel cheesecake.
Find out more: Check out The Ultimate Vegan Guide to Montreal by Two Market Girls.
14. Washington, DC, USA
3.6 vegan restaurants per 100,000 residents
The US capital made its first appearance on this list this year. Home to a number of animal organizations, it’s also home to plenty of plant-based restaurants. Fare Well is an all-vegan diner where the Humane League hosts monthly drinks. Its sister restaurant, Sticky Fingers, is a well-known vegan bakery — head here for sticky buns, cookies and more. If you love Middle Eastern food, don’t miss Shouk, a vegan Israeli restaurant where you’ll find falafel, mushroom shawarma and more.
Find out more: Check out The Vegan Guide to Washington, D.C. by Green & Growing.
15. Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
3.4 vegan restaurants per 100,000 residents
Sin City makes it first appearance on this list. Vive, Las Vegas Vegan? You bet! Ronald’s Donuts is a donut place that has had vegan options for many years, including classics like glazed donuts and apple fritters. Pancho’s Vegan Tacos, as you may have guessed, is a vegan taco place with three locations (two in Vegas and one in Henderson). As well as tacos, they have enchiladas, burritos and more, with lots of vegan meat/protein choices (including mushroom, jackfruit and cactus if, like me, you’re not a fan of vegan meats).
Find out more: Check out The Ultimate Vegan Guide to Las Vegas by Vegan Voyagers.
16. Paris, France
3.4 vegan restaurants per 100,000 residents
France might not have a reputation as one of the most vegan friendly countries in the world, but the French capital is changing. From veggie burgers at Hank’s to healthy vegan fare at Cafe Ginger, Paris is becoming more plant-based. For a treat, brunch at Le Potager de Charlotte, where you can get a multi-course brunch menus with specialties such as a chickpea and rice pancake with cashew cream, ‘hard boiled egg’ style avocado and pancakes with chocolate hazelnut spread! If you love French pastries, then you MUST visit VG Patisserie, an all vegan traditional French pastry shop.
Where to stay: Chambres de la Grande Porte is a B&B in the 10th arrondissement where you can have organic vegan breakfast on request. It’s near the 9th arrondissement which has been nicknamed Paris’s Veggietown because of the concentration of vegetarian and vegan restaurants here. Click here to check the latest prices and availability.
Find out more: See my full vegan guide to Paris here.
17. Da Nang, Vietnam
3.3 vegan restaurants per 100,000 residents
A coastal city between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City popular with visitors to Vietnam travelling between the two, Da Nang is also very vegan-friendly. At Roots, you’ll find healthy bowls with wakame, turmeric tofu and pickled ginger. Annen Beach cafe is a must-visit if you like banh mi for the vegan sandwich with lemongrass tofu, pesto and mushroom.
Find out more: Check out A Guide to Vegan Food in Da Nang by Miss Filatelista.
18. Glasgow, UK
3.2 vegan restaurants per 100,000 residents
Voted by PETA as the most vegan-friendly city in the UK a few years ago, Glasgow is home to multiple vegan bars and pubs. Get a pint and vegan grub at vegan bars Mono or Stereo, a full cooked breakfast or sandwich at Soy Division. You can even get a vegan version of haggis (a very non-vegan Scottish dish) with the vegan haggis fritters, which come with chips, pea and mint puree and tartare sauce at Saramago Café.
Where to stay: The Blythswood Square Hotel is one of the most eco-friendly hotels in the UK, with rainwater use, solar roof panels and geothermal heating. It offers a luxurious stay in a historical setting (the 1823 building was formerly home of the Royal Scottish Automobile Club). Click here to check the latest prices and availability.
Find out more: Read The Best Vegan Restaurants in Glasgow by Justin Plus Lauren.
19. Seattle, Washington, USA
3.1 vegan restaurants per 100,000 residents
Not just a rainy city with good coffee, Seattle is also incrediby vegan-friendly. While Portland’s spot probably didn’t surprise anyone, Seattle coming out ahead of Los Angeles and New York (which didn’t even make the top 25) might come as a surprise. However, relative to population, Seattle has a lot of vegan restaurants! From classic diner food veganized at Wayward Cafe to the Instagram-ready Plum Bistro (and their most famous dish, spicy cajun mac and cheese), Seattle has vegan spots to suit everyone.
Find out more: the Seattle Vegan site is full of information on vegan friendly restaurants, events and more.
20. Warsaw, Poland
3 vegan restaurants per 100,000 residents
Moving beyond its Soviet history, Warsaw has embraced the plant-based movement, with more than 40 completely vegan restaurants. Grab a burger at Krowarzywa, described by a reviewer on Tripadvisor as the “best burger ever” and on Youtube as “the best vegan burgers in Europe”, or feast on a vegan version of traditional Polish and Eastern European food like pierogis, blini and borscht at Vege Bistro. Treat yourself to a bottle of red after dinner at the all-vegan and organic wine shop Solvino Bio.
Where to stay: Sound Garden, a hotel near the airport, is eco-friendly and offers competitive rates. Water at the hotel is from sustainable sources including recycled rainwater and the hotel uses energy-saving technology too. All rooms have free wifi, a flatscreen TV and a bathroom with underfloor heating. Click here to check the latest prices and availability.
Find out more: Check out the Foodie’s Guide to Eating Vegan in Warsaw on Vegans with Appetites.
21. Atlanta, Georgia, USA
3 vegan restaurants per 100,000 residents
Atlanta might not usually spring to mind when thinking of vegan travel destinations in the US, but the city ranks as one of the most vegan friendly in the US by vegan restaurants per capita. Whether you’re craving a vegan Chinese meal (head to Harmony Vegetarian), or a BBQ seitan sandwich (at Cafe Sunflower), Atlanta delivers.
Find out more: Check out The Best Vegan Food in Altanta by the Vegan Voyagers.
22. Palma de Mallorca, Spain
2.9 vegan restaurants per 100,000 residents
Palma tops the list for Spain, beating out the vegan scenes in Barcelona and Madrid (living in Barcelona and having written a vegan guidebook for it, I’m slightly surprised — but pleased as I plan to visit Palma!). But I have to admit I’m not wholly surprised, having heard about Palma’s vegan hotels, cooking school and shops as well as restaurants for a few years. Bon Lloc, Palma’s oldest vegetarian restaurant, opened in 1978 and is now fully vegan. Head there for tagliatelle carbonara or raw cannellonis. For a healthy takeaway option, Ziva to Go sells breakfasts and salads in biodegradable takeaway containers.
Where to stay: Villa Vegana is a 100% vegan hotel in Mallorca. Click here to check the latest prices and availability.
Find out more: Check out The Vegan Guide to Mallorca by Tasty K.
23. Manchester, UK
2.9 vegan restaurants per 100,000 residents
Manchester beat out London for its spot in the top 25 thanks to spots like V-Rev, which offers a fully vegan junk food menu, Indian street food at Bundobust and vegan full English breakfasts at Vertigo. Head over to The Allotment for vegan, seasonal fine dining (including a 7 or 10 course taster option).
Find out more: Check out The Best Vegan Restaurants in Manchester by Mostly Amelie
24. Tallinn, Estonia
2.8 vegan restaurants per 100,000 residents
Tallinn is a high-tech, Old World city with a wealth of vegan restaurants, thanks to the tech developers and digital nomads it attracts. At Vegan Restoran V, you can have a vegan slow food experience and try fusion dishes such as mushroom pate with smoked plum and sauerkraut seed chips or a spicy peanut tempeh burger. Head to Tru Kitchen in north Tallinn for celeriac steak or pasta of the day with vegan panna cotta for dessert, and you can even pay with Bitcoin, Litecoin or Dash.
Find out more: Check out The Tallinn Vegan Food Guide by The Simplicity Diaries.
25. Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2.7 vegan restaurants per 100,000 residents
Satisfy your junk food cravings with vegan chicken waffles at Hogtown Vegan or vegan pizza and doughnuts at Apiecalypse Now! Toronto is also home to the largest vegetarian festival in North America, Veg Food Fest, which takes place every year.
Find out more: See the Ultimate Toronto Vegan Guide on Justin + Lauren.
Interested in a relaxing vegan holiday? Click here to see my list of vegan all inclusive resorts.
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Planning a trip but your destination isn’t on this? Lots of cities like Athens and Barcelona didn’t make the list but are still vegan-friendly and I’ve got guides to a growing list of cities (see the vegan travel section of my site).
Want to stay in a vegan hotel on your next trip? Click here to see my guide to the best vegan hotels worldwide.
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