Being a vegan isn’t always a walk in the park. Cooking for yourself is a cinch, once you’ve got used to it – but dining out is another story. While the vast majority of UK restaurants now offer at least a handful of vegetarian meals on their menu, finding a joint that serves a wide range of delicious vegan dishes can be somewhat trickier.
And so Happy Cow, an online guide to vegan restaurants around the globe, polled its users to find out which were the most vegan-friendly cities in the world – and we’ve got the results right here.
Scraping in at number five is good old London town. With 112 vegan and vegetarian restaurants on Happy Cow, it's the second vegan capital of Europe.
4. San Francisco
San Francisco has long been a centre of hippie counterculture, and so it's no surprise that there are 147 vegan and vegan-friendly eateries in the City by the Bay. According to Happy Cow, many of San Fran's vegan restaurants and cafes also have an Asian influence – reflecting the city’s long history of immigration from China and Vietnam.
3. Portland, Oregon
This West Coast city’s impressive meat-free history stretches back to the late 1800s, when members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church – who stick to strict health and dietary rules – began to settle here. By the turn of the 20th century, Portland already boasted four vegetarian restaurants, according to Heather Arndt Anderson, the author of Portland: A Food Biography.
Like San Francisco, the city is well-known (and sometimes lovingly mocked, as in sitcom Portlandia) for its hippie vibe, and so it’s perhaps unsurprising that one of the world’s most eco-friendly cities also boasts a high proportion of vegan restaurants. In 2015, Portland also became the proud host of the world’s first vegan mini-mall, Food Fight!, selling everything from sweet-potato dog treats to coconut bacon.
2. New York
From Brooklyn to the Upper East Side, the Big Apple is full of vegan-friendly cafés, bars, restaurants and diners. Whether you fancy Chinese or Caribbean, falafel or burgers, you’ll able to find something to sate your appetite.
Ich bin ein... vegan? Yep: there are 415 vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants and an estimated 80,000 vegans in Germany’s hippest city, according to Happy Cow and vegetarian association Vebu. The uber-trendy neighbourhood of Prenzlauer Berg (pictured) even has its own ‘Vegan Avenue’, where animal products are used in none of the supermarkets, cafes, clothing or shoe shops.
“Berlin is younger, more hyped and more alternative than Munich, Paris or London,” Sebastian Joy, Vebu’s vice-president, tells AFP. “There’s a snowball effect: vegans attract vegans and more and more people come.”
But do you have a favourite vegan spot in London, the UK, or elsewhere in the world that you think we should know about? Don’t keep it to yourself – share in the comments below.
Images: iStock, Mildred's