Paul McCartney and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) may have named Portland as the most vegan-friendly city, but new data by Datafiniti has ranked the most--and least--veg-friendly cities throughout the United States.
Datafiniti used a dataset of more than "18,000 U.S. restaurants that either self-identify as offering vegetarian or vegan cuisine, or which have "vegetarian" or "vegan" in their names." While the data showed that "big metro areas offer the most vegetarian- and vegan-friendly restaurants in absolute terms", in terms of offering veg options by population, a different trend was noted:
"When we looked at vegetarian and vegan restaurants per capita, small western cities and college towns are the most welcoming to those who don't eat meat. Among large metros, Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle consistently rank at the top of the list. If you want to eat out and not eat meat, there is no better place to be than the Pacific Northwest and Northern California."
The analysis also looked at areas that specifically offer vegan options and noted "cities that cater to vegetarians generally cater to vegans as well: 46 of 50 cities appear on both lists." When comparing the different studies of large, medium and small cities, Datafiniti concludes:
"Our analysis shows that while big cities have the most vegetarian-friendly restaurants, vegetarians and vegans in mid-size metro areas like Portland and Seattle, or small, liberal cities like Santa Fe and Ithaca, may be better off. They are likely to face the least competition when it comes to finding a table at their cities' vegetarian eateries."
The analysis also looked at what type of cuisine the veg-friendly restaurants typically offered, with American coming in first, followed by Italian, Asian, Mediterranean, and Indian. While I do wonder if the results in general may have been slightly different if the dataset included the word "plant-based," it is still an interesting study that shows how accessible vegan food has become when dining out! To see all of the results and different categories, visit this link.