Top 10 Vegan-Friendly Cities of 2016
1. Portland, Oregon
This year, Portland, Oregon, takes the top spot on People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) list, thanks in part to its array of vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants. For example, Back to Eden Bakery serves up egg- and dairy-free baked goods and ice cream sundaes. Vtopian Cheese Shop & Deli offers more than 20 vegan artisan cheeses, plus vegan pepperoni melts, paninis and cheesecake. Homegrown Smoker Vegan BBQ features meat-free barbecue and cheesesteak subs, tempeh ribs and Mac No-Cheese. Portobello Vegan Trattoria prepares lobster mushroom potato cakes, ravioli, tiramisu and house-made coconut ice cream—all-vegan, of course. Petunia’s Pies & Pastries serves everything from vegan biscuits and gravy and Belgian waffles to blue corn tacos and vegan grilled cheese. Even Portland’s iconic Voodoo Doughnut now offers vegan doughnuts.
In addition to many meat-free restaurants, Portland’s all-vegan enterprises include a bed and breakfast, a summer camp, a punk-metal bar, a strip mall, a tattoo shop and even a strip club for those seeking a bit more excitement!
And that’s not all. It’s fairly easy to find vegan family medical practitioners, vegan counselors, vegan real-estate agents and other lifestyle services offered by vegans in Portland.
2. Los Angeles
The City of Angels has more listings on HappyCow—a website that lists regional vegan and vegan-friendly eateries and events—than any other U.S. city. LA is home not only to an animal rights–related museum but also to PETA’s West Coast headquarters, so you can rest assured that the vegan options have been thoroughly, um, tested.
Crossroads is a star-studded vegan restaurant that serves mouthwatering fare, including Scaloppini Marsala and artichoke oysters, prepared by celebrity chef Tal Ronnen. PETA’s pal Moby recently opened little pine, a Mediterranean-inspired vegan restaurant and donates a portion of proceeds to support our work. Gracias Madre, eLOVate Vegan Kitchen & Juicery, Ramen Hood and Sage Organic Vegan Bistro are just a handful of other popular vegan eateries in the city. Locals also love Mohawk Bend, where all menu items are vegan unless marked “NV” for “not vegan”; the all-vegan Japanese restaurant Shojin; and Spork Foods, a vegan food company and culinary school that conducts cooking demonstrations and in-home teaching. It also provides vegan culinary services, as does Veggie Fixation.
Looking for vegan guilty pleasures? Stop by Donut Friend, which offers a wide variety of unique vegan doughnuts and vegan fillings, such as coconut cream, cream cheese and more. Erin McKenna’s Bakery LA, Scoops and Donut Farm are just a few others that offer mouthwatering vegan desserts. Anyone looking for late-night vegan cheeseburgers and chili cheese fries can head over to Doomie’s Home Cookin’.
It would take ages to mention all the vegan-friendly spots in the city, but BuzzFeed’s “21 Vegan Places in Los Angeles That’ll Make You Want Seconds” should help convince you that vegan options abound in LA.
3. New York City
Is it any surprise that the Big Apple made the list again this year? In 2014, PETA named the city the most vegan-friendly spot in the nation and actor Alan Cumming presented the mayor with a sculpture of the New York skyline made entirely of vegetables.
In addition to Candle 79, Blossom and the other restaurants mentioned in PETA’s 2013 list of top vegan-friendly cities, there is by CHLOE, a vegan restaurant featuring locally obtained ingredients and Franchia Vegan Cafe, which is one of the best Asian-fusion restaurants in the country. VSPOT, which has a location right next to New York University, serves scrumptious Latin fare and Blossom du Jour, V Burger, VLife and Terri have locations throughout the city where diners can get an inexpensive and delicious vegan lunch.
Plant-based eating has become so popular that famed restaurant owner Ravi DeRossi is making his 15 bars and restaurants vegan! Vegan pop-ups appear throughout the city as chefs rent out locations to try cutting-edge new vegan fare. New York City has a plethora of animal advocates who routinely speak out against horse-drawn carriages, fur and using animals for food. There’s even a Veggie Pride Parade each April.
Detroit is going through a revitalization and vegans are being welcomed with open arms. Residents rave about Detroit Vegan Soul, which offers mac and “cheese,” “catfish” tofu, barbecue tofu sandwiches, collard greens and okra stew, among other vegan dishes. Seva serves vegan buffalo tempeh wings and Thai noodles. Whether you live in this former “meat and potatoes town” or are just passing through, be sure to check out these noteworthy vegan-friendly spots:
- Russell St. Deli offers vegan options, including a TLT—a tofu, lettuce and tomato sandwich with house-made vegan mayo. Brooklyn Street Local has a vegan Reuben with house-made seitan and vegan poutine (a Canadian dish that’s typically made with French fries and cheese curds topped with a light brown gravy).
- Detroit is known for its bar scene, so we have to mention that dive bars and fancier establishments alike are offering up delicious fare—like beloved PJ’s Lager House, which offers up vegan fried pickles, veggie burritos with spicy vegan queso and po’ boys. And popular bars Jolly Pumpkin, HopCat, Green Dot Stables and others have vegan options.
- Pizza fans can get vegan pies at well-known Buddy’s Pizza, the Majestic’s Sgt. Pepperoni’s Pizzeria & Deli and metro Detroit’s Hippies Pizza.
- Nearby Om Café serves a Quinoa Protein Salad and Loaded Vegan Mac and Chive Kitchen focuses on fresh and local products.
- You can get sweet potato–black bean chili and vegan nachos at the Shimmy Shack, among other yummy dishes and the Mac Shack will make mac ‘n’ cheese and French fries with vegan cheese sauce, upon request.
- Avalon International Breads offers several vegan items, including savory sweet potato bánh mì sandwiches; a variety of vegan muffins; and more.
5. Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee, is perhaps best known for country music and vegan country star Carrie Underwood has helped put vegan living on the map. It’s now easier than it’s ever been to find vegan options in the Grand Ole Opry state, which is why Nashville is on our list for the first time. You can find vegan offerings everywhere, from Vegan Vee bakery to Avo, a new vegan restaurant that offers vegan wine and tree nut cheeses. Coco Greens café went from vegetarian to vegan in 2014 and the ever-popular vegan-friendly Sunflower Vegetarian Cafe has “more vegan and gluten-free options than you can shake a stick at!” Frothy Monkey lists tofu as a meat, The Urban Juicer is one of the many spots offering almond and soy milk and Mad Donna’s offers a vegan black-bean burger.
You can get vegan cheese pizza at many pizza places, including Five Points Pizza, Mellow Mushroom and Two Boots. You can find vegan offerings at other restaurants, too. Bagel Face Bakery offers agave and vegan sausage. The Post East offers a chickpea salad sandwich, vegan Caesar salad, buffalo-style tofu and vegan ranch dressing. Sloco serves a vegan meatball sub and a seitan sandwich. And MyVeggieChef is Nashville’s popular plant-based meal-delivery service.
6. San Diego
Los Angeles isn’t the only vegan-friendly city in California. A lot of restaurants in San Diego now offer vegan options. Take, for example, Civico 1845 in Little Italy, which offers an entire vegan menu, including desserts. And if dessert is your thing, you’ll probably also like Moncai Vegan, a vegan restaurant and bakery that sells vegan cupcakes, vegan cinnamon rolls and vegan doughnuts. Speaking of vegan doughnuts, they can also be found at Donut Panic.
Who’s up for Mexican? Ranchos Cocina is a vegan-friendly Mexican restaurant that offers vegan cheese and a variety of faux meats and be sure to check out Casa de Reyes, a restaurant in Old Town. Pokez Mexican eatery also offers various vegan options. If you’re in the mood for Thai, try Veganic or the vegan-friendly Plumeria. If you’re looking for vegan fast food, try Evolution and Plant Power Fast Food. Want fresh fruits and veggies? Check out Sol Cal Cafe, a vegan-friendly market and juice joint, which was created in part by former NFL great Jacob Bell.
Kindred is a vegan death-metal cocktail bar that serves everything from Seared Cauliflower Steak to Memphis BBQ Jackfruit sandwiches and Peace Pies is a vegan spot that practices a “strict zero waste” policy. Other vegan-friendly places in San Diego include The Purple Mint Vegetarian Bistro and Sipz Vegetarian Fuzion Cafe.
Because California has had a drought for so long, local activists persuaded many “meaty” restaurants in town to put up signs encouraging customers to choose their vegan options as a way to help conserve water. Vegan food is everywhere you look in San Diego, including at Petco Park, which made PETA’s annual list of vegan-friendly stadiums last year and peta2 named the University of California–San Diego a vegan-friendly campus in 2015.
What’s paradise without vegan food? Hawaii’s capital is becoming more and more vegan-friendly every year and it’s currently home to these and other vegan-friendly restaurants:
- Simple Joy is all-vegan and offers barbecue drumsticks, vegetable lasagne and more.
- Greens & Vines is a gourmet vegan restaurant offering vegan sushi, “living” lasagne, vegan cheesecake and more.
- Peace Cafe is an all-vegan café serving up curry egg-free salad, teriyaki tempeh sandwiches, vegan Caesar salad, homemade vegan ice cream and more.
- Govinda’s Under the Banyan is an inexpensive vegetarian buffet with many vegan options and a botanical atmosphere.
- Downbeat Diner & Lounge is a sports bar that offers vegan hot wings, vegan barbecue wings, a vegan burger and more. The place isn’t exclusively vegan, but every menu item can reportedly be made vegetarian or vegan.
- Ruffage Natural Foods is a casual spot that offers vegan chili, a tofu scrambler and other healthful vegan options.
- Blue Tree serves several vegan options, including a tofu curry wrap and oatmeal made with almond milk.
- Down to Earth is an organic and natural-foods store.
- Banán is a dairy-free food truck featuring vegan ice cream.
- Water Drop Vegetarian House is a vegan-friendly restaurant with a Chinese flair.
- Nickie-Café is a small spot with popular vegan options, including vegan pho.
- Loving Hut is an all-vegan chain restaurant with locations around Honolulu.
8. Austin, Texas
It may be in cattle country, but Austin, Texas, has plenty of places that serve cow-free food. It even took the top spot on PETA’s list of vegan-friendly cities in 2013. In addition to all the vegan food trucks, vegan-friendly restaurants and the vegan ice cream parlor that we raved about in 2013, there is now Counter Culture restaurant, which serves meat-free and dairy-free food featuring produce from local farmers. Locals love vegan food trucks, The Vegan Yacht, The Vegan Nom, Guac N Roll and BBQ Revolution. And there are even more all-vegan businesses: Arlo’s, Bistro Vonish, Capital City Bakery, Casa de Luz, Cool Beans, Happy Vegan Baker, Rabbit Food Grocery, Skull and Cakebonesand Unity Vegan Kitchen.
Not only is Seattle full of vegan-friendly coffee houses and cafés, including 701 Coffee and Chaco Canyon Organic Café, it also has an all-vegan grocery store called Vegan Haven. Vegan options are available throughout the city, including at Pizza Pi, the country’s first vegan pizza place; Plum Bistro; Cycle Dogs, a bicycle-pulled vegan hot dog cart; Wayward Vegan Cafe; and Thrive, which serves raw and vegan food that’s gluten- and peanut-free. It’s clear that no amount of rain can dampen Seattle’s hard-core vegan spirit!
10. Richmond, Virginia
Virginia’s “River City” is packed with many vegan-friendly eateries. Among them is Strange Matter, a popular hangout that has vegan nachos, vegan mac ‘n’ cheese, vegan chicken cheesesteak sandwiches and much more. Phoenix Garden, a Vietnamese noodle house featuring plenty of filling vegan food is another not-to-be-missed restaurant. Harrison St. Café, Ipanema and 821 Café all offer mouthwatering vegan options. For the Love of Chocolate even caters to vegan chocoholics.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
A rare yellow penguin has been photographed for what is believed to be the first time.
- World-Renowned Photographer Documents Most Remote ... ›
- This Penguin Colony Has Fallen by 77% on Antarctic Islands ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Stuart Braun
We spend 90% of our time in the buildings where we live and work, shop and conduct business, in the structures that keep us warm in winter and cool in summer.
But immense energy is required to source and manufacture building materials, to power construction sites, to maintain and renew the built environment. In 2019, building operations and construction activities together accounted for 38% of global energy-related CO2 emissions, the highest level ever recorded.
- Could IKEA's New Tiny House Help Fight the Climate Crisis ... ›
- Los Angeles City-Owned Buildings to Go 100% Carbon Free ... ›
- New Jersey Will Be First State to Require Building Permits to ... ›
By Eric Tate and Christopher Emrich
Disasters stemming from hazards like floods, wildfires, and disease often garner attention because of their extreme conditions and heavy societal impacts. Although the nature of the damage may vary, major disasters are alike in that socially vulnerable populations often experience the worst repercussions. For example, we saw this following Hurricanes Katrina and Harvey, each of which generated widespread physical damage and outsized impacts to low-income and minority survivors.
Mapping Social Vulnerability<p>Figure 1a is a typical map of social vulnerability across the United States at the census tract level based on the Social Vulnerability Index (SoVI) algorithm of <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1540-6237.8402002" target="_blank"><em>Cutter et al.</em></a> . Spatial representation of the index depicts high social vulnerability regionally in the Southwest, upper Great Plains, eastern Oklahoma, southern Texas, and southern Appalachia, among other places. With such a map, users can focus attention on select places and identify population characteristics associated with elevated vulnerabilities.</p>
Fig. 1. (a) Social vulnerability across the United States at the census tract scale is mapped here following the Social Vulnerability Index (SoVI). Red and pink hues indicate high social vulnerability. (b) This bivariate map depicts social vulnerability (blue hues) and annualized per capita hazard losses (pink hues) for U.S. counties from 2010 to 2019.<p>Many current indexes in the United States and abroad are direct or conceptual offshoots of SoVI, which has been widely replicated [e.g., <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13753-016-0090-9" target="_blank"><em>de Loyola Hummell et al.</em></a>, 2016]. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) <a href="https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/placeandhealth/svi/index.html" target="_blank">has also developed</a> a commonly used social vulnerability index intended to help local officials identify communities that may need support before, during, and after disasters.</p><p>The first modeling and mapping efforts, starting around the mid-2000s, largely focused on describing spatial distributions of social vulnerability at varying geographic scales. Over time, research in this area came to emphasize spatial comparisons between social vulnerability and physical hazards [<a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-009-9376-1" target="_blank"><em>Wood et al.</em></a>, 2010], modeling population dynamics following disasters [<a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11111-008-0072-y" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><em>Myers et al.</em></a>, 2008], and quantifying the robustness of social vulnerability measures [<a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-012-0152-2" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><em>Tate</em></a>, 2012].</p><p>More recent work is beginning to dissolve barriers between social vulnerability and environmental justice scholarship [<a href="https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2018.304846" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><em>Chakraborty et al.</em></a>, 2019], which has traditionally focused on root causes of exposure to pollution hazards. Another prominent new research direction involves deeper interrogation of social vulnerability drivers in specific hazard contexts and disaster phases (e.g., before, during, after). Such work has revealed that interactions among drivers are important, but existing case studies are ill suited to guiding development of new indicators [<a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2015.09.013" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><em>Rufat et al.</em></a>, 2015].</p><p>Advances in geostatistical analyses have enabled researchers to characterize interactions more accurately among social vulnerability and hazard outcomes. Figure 1b depicts social vulnerability and annualized per capita hazard losses for U.S. counties from 2010 to 2019, facilitating visualization of the spatial coincidence of pre‑event susceptibilities and hazard impacts. Places ranked high in both dimensions may be priority locations for management interventions. Further, such analysis provides invaluable comparisons between places as well as information summarizing state and regional conditions.</p><p>In Figure 2, we take the analysis of interactions a step further, dividing counties into two categories: those experiencing annual per capita losses above or below the national average from 2010 to 2019. The differences among individual race, ethnicity, and poverty variables between the two county groups are small. But expressing race together with poverty (poverty attenuated by race) produces quite different results: Counties with high hazard losses have higher percentages of both impoverished Black populations and impoverished white populations than counties with low hazard losses. These county differences are most pronounced for impoverished Black populations.</p>
Fig. 2. Differences in population percentages between counties experiencing annual per capita losses above or below the national average from 2010 to 2019 for individual and compound social vulnerability indicators (race and poverty).<p>Our current work focuses on social vulnerability to floods using geostatistical modeling and mapping. The research directions are twofold. The first is to develop hazard-specific indicators of social vulnerability to aid in mitigation planning [<a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-020-04470-2" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><em>Tate et al.</em></a>, 2021]. Because natural hazards differ in their innate characteristics (e.g., rate of onset, spatial extent), causal processes (e.g., urbanization, meteorology), and programmatic responses by government, manifestations of social vulnerability vary across hazards.</p><p>The second is to assess the degree to which socially vulnerable populations benefit from the leading disaster recovery programs [<a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/17477891.2019.1675578" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><em>Emrich et al.</em></a>, 2020], such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) <a href="https://www.fema.gov/individual-disaster-assistance" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Individual Assistance</a> program and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) <a href="https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/cdbg-dr/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Disaster Recovery</a> program. Both research directions posit social vulnerability indicators as potential measures of social equity.</p>
Social Vulnerability as a Measure of Equity<p>Given their focus on social marginalization and economic barriers, social vulnerability indicators are attracting growing scientific interest as measures of inequity resulting from disasters. Indeed, social vulnerability and inequity are related concepts. Social vulnerability research explores the differential susceptibilities and capacities of disaster-affected populations, whereas social equity analyses tend to focus on population disparities in the allocation of resources for hazard mitigation and disaster recovery. Interventions with an equity focus emphasize full and equal resource access for all people with unmet disaster needs.</p><p>Yet newer studies of inequity in disaster programs have documented troubling disparities in income, race, and home ownership among those who <a href="https://eos.org/articles/equity-concerns-raised-in-federal-flood-property-buyouts" target="_blank">participate in flood buyout programs</a>, are <a href="https://www.eenews.net/stories/1063477407" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">eligible for postdisaster loans</a>, receive short-term recovery assistance [<a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2020.102010" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><em>Drakes et al.</em></a>, 2021], and have <a href="https://www.texastribune.org/2020/08/25/texas-natural-disasters--mental-health/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">access to mental health services</a>. For example, a recent analysis of federal flood buyouts found racial privilege to be infused at multiple program stages and geographic scales, resulting in resources that disproportionately benefit whiter and more urban counties and neighborhoods [<a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/2378023120905439" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><em>Elliott et al.</em></a>, 2020].</p><p>Investments in disaster risk reduction are largely prioritized on the basis of hazard modeling, historical impacts, and economic risk. Social equity, meanwhile, has been far less integrated into the considerations of public agencies for hazard and disaster management. But this situation may be beginning to shift. Following the adage of "what gets measured gets managed," social equity metrics are increasingly being inserted into disaster management.</p><p>At the national level, FEMA has <a href="https://www.fema.gov/news-release/20200220/fema-releases-affordability-framework-national-flood-insurance-program" target="_blank">developed options</a> to increase the affordability of flood insurance [Federal Emergency Management Agency, 2018]. At the subnational scale, Puerto Rico has integrated social vulnerability into its CDBG Mitigation Action Plan, expanding its considerations of risk beyond only economic factors. At the local level, Harris County, Texas, has begun using social vulnerability indicators alongside traditional measures of flood risk to introduce equity into the prioritization of flood mitigation projects [<a href="https://www.hcfcd.org/Portals/62/Resilience/Bond-Program/Prioritization-Framework/final_prioritization-framework-report_20190827.pdf?ver=2019-09-19-092535-743" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><em>Harris County Flood Control District</em></a>, 2019].</p><p>Unfortunately, many existing measures of disaster equity fall short. They may be unidimensional, using single indicators such as income in places where underlying vulnerability processes suggest that a multidimensional measure like racialized poverty (Figure 2) would be more valid. And criteria presumed to be objective and neutral for determining resource allocation, such as economic loss and cost-benefit ratios, prioritize asset value over social equity. For example, following the <a href="http://www.cedar-rapids.org/discover_cedar_rapids/flood_of_2008/2008_flood_facts.php" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">2008 flooding</a> in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, cost-benefit criteria supported new flood protections for the city's central business district on the east side of the Cedar River but not for vulnerable populations and workforce housing on the west side.</p><p>Furthermore, many equity measures are aspatial or ahistorical, even though the roots of marginalization may lie in systemic and spatially explicit processes that originated long ago like redlining and urban renewal. More research is thus needed to understand which measures are most suitable for which social equity analyses.</p>
Challenges for Disaster Equity Analysis<p>Across studies that quantify, map, and analyze social vulnerability to natural hazards, modelers have faced recurrent measurement challenges, many of which also apply in measuring disaster equity (Table 1). The first is clearly establishing the purpose of an equity analysis by defining characteristics such as the end user and intended use, the type of hazard, and the disaster stage (i.e., mitigation, response, or recovery). Analyses using generalized indicators like the CDC Social Vulnerability Index may be appropriate for identifying broad areas of concern, whereas more detailed analyses are ideal for high-stakes decisions about budget allocations and project prioritization.</p>
By Jessica Corbett
Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday was the lone progressive to vote against Tom Vilsack reprising his role as secretary of agriculture, citing concerns that progressive advocacy groups have been raising since even before President Joe Biden officially nominated the former Obama administration appointee.