Austin made the top 10 in a new survey of the top vegan cities in the U.S., coming in at No. 8 on the list — well ahead of Dallas, San Antonio, and Fort Worth.
That shouldn't be a surprise to anyone familiar with Austin's longtime vegan scene, but the shocker is that Austin got beat out by Houston, which came in at No. 6. Boo.
The survey by the team at Meal Delivery Experts set out to determine which cities have the most vegan food options. They compiled the 20 most populous cities in the U.S., then used data from TripAdvisor to count how many restaurants or food venues offer at least one vegan option.
New York came in at No. 1, blowing everyone else away with 1464 restaurants or food venues offering vegan options — more than double the number than any other city on the list.
Los Angeles was in second place, with 705 restaurants or food venues offering vegan options. Los Angeles has among the widest variety of cuisines including vegan Korean, Ethiopian, and Thai food.
No. 3 was Chicago, with 489 restaurants or food venues offering vegan options, surprising since Chicago is such a meaty town, although the city is best known for deep-dish pizza, and many Chicago restaurants now offer a vegan alternative.
Houston has 312 vegan or vegan-friendly restaurants, compared to Austin's tally of 286 restaurants.
Among other Texas cities, Dallas came in at No. 12, with 209 vegan- or vegan-friendly establishments, followed by San Antonio at No. 13, boasting 202 restaurants that are vegan or offer vegan options.
Poor Fort Worth came in last place, with 68 restaurants or food venues offering at least one vegan option. Despite what the numbers say, Fort Worth has a buzzy vegan scene with places like Pizza Verde, Zonk Burger, and Mariachi's Dine-In; it's also home to Texas' most famous vegan restaurant, Spiral Diner.
Austin has a long history dating back to 1979-1980, with the opening of pioneering vegan-friendly restaurants such as Magnolia Cafe and Kerbey Lane Cafe. Its vegan prowess began to coalesce in the 2010s with the debut of hipster spots like The Vegan Nom and Counter Culture; the city is especially known for its vegan food truck scene. It's also home to Rebel Cheese, one of the best vegan cheesemakers in the U.S.
Whether motivated by health, environmental, or ethical reasons, the number of vegans in the US is rapidly increasing, reaching new heights in 2022. One in ten, or 10 percent, of Americans now consider themselves vegan or vegetarian.
The dollars are also there, with the plant-based industry worth over $7 billion in the US in 2022.
The milk substitute market is valued at over $3 billion in 2022.
The meat substitute market is valued over $1 billion in 2022.
The full list, by ranking:
- New York - 1464
- Los Angeles - 705
- Chicago - 489
- San Francisco - 467
- San Diego - 385
- Houston - 312
- Seattle - 309
- Austin - 286
- Denver - 261
- Philadelphia - 258
- Phoenix - 234
- Dallas - 209
- San Antonio - 202
- Charlotte, NC - 176
- Jacksonville, FL - 140
- Indianapolis - 140
- Columbus, Ohio - 137
- San Jose - 80
- Oklahoma City - 80
- Fort Worth - 68