In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a full-on vegan revolution going on. “Plant-based” is a buzzword that just about every food brand has picked up on, meatless “meat” from companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible are being cooked up in home and restaurant kitchens alike, and services like Purple Carrot and Plantable deliver vegan meal kits nationwide.
Vegan food – that is, food that is not just vegetarian but contains absolutely no animal-derived products (cheese, cream, honey, etc.) whatsoever – has gone downright mainstream over the past decade or so. A trip to your local grocery store will make that abundantly clear, and it seems as if every city today has restaurants that are completely vegan and delicious enough that even fully-fledged carnivores will love it.
According to WebMD, about three percent of Americans follow a vegan diet. Folks go vegan for a wide variety of reasons, including a desire to be healthier and concerns for the environment and for animal welfare. Whatever the reason, veganism is here to stay, and there are lots of restaurants that cater to vegans, some of them very good. (Vegan and otherwise, these foods have a strikingly low impact on the environment.)
Vegans can usually find plenty of options at restaurants that are vegetarian but not vegan, and many other kinds of restaurants today offer at least a few vegan options – and we’re not just talking about the clichéd plate of sautéed vegetables.
To compile a list of the best vegan restaurants in America, 24/7 Tempo reviewed articles and lists appearing in a wide variety of websites, including Food & Wine, Modern Farmer, The Culture Trip, Thrillist, Food Network, Mashed, and Eat This Not That, as well as local and regional sites. Of course, you’ll also notice that about a quarter of the places on our list are in California, which is home to several of the best American cities for vegans and vegetarians.