Veganism has grown dramatically in popularity over the past decade. An increasing number of people are choosing to avoid animal products for ethical, environmental or health reasons. This has led to a huge boom in vegan restaurants popping up across the globe. But which cities have the most vibrant vegan food scenes?
10 Cities with the Most Vegan Restaurants
Here are the top 10 cities around the world with the highest number of vegan restaurants:
|Number of Vegan Restaurants
|New York City, USA
|Los Angeles, USA
|Tel Aviv, Israel
London takes the top spot with over 80 dedicated vegan eateries. The UK capital has seen a surge in plant-based dining options, appealing to its large vegetarian and vegan population. From upscale restaurants to casual cafes and takeaways, London offers limitless choices to please herbivorous taste buds.
New York City comes a close second with over 70 vegan establishments spread across its five boroughs. The Big Apple is well-known for its ever-evolving food scene, and veganism is now firmly embedded into its culinary culture. From classic NYC staples like pizza, bagels and deli sandwiches, reinvented in animal-free forms, to swanky downtown eateries boasting innovative menus, New York has something for every vegan.
Rounding out the top three is Berlin with 65+ vegan places. The German capital is fast becoming one of Europe’s hottest spots for plant-based cuisine. Berlin offers an assortment of cuisines drawing from Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Asian influences in its diverse vegan fare.
Other major cities making the top 10 list include Los Angeles, Paris, Toronto, Portland, Melbourne, Amsterdam and Tel Aviv. This reflects how vegan dining has expanded across North America, Europe, Australia and the Middle East as vegetable-focused eating goes global.
Why These Cities Lead in Vegan Dining
Certain factors help explain why these particular cities have emerged as places with the most vegan restaurant options:
- Large urban populations – Major global cities have millions of residents as well as visitors to support numerous dining establishments.
- Affluent inhabitants – Wealthier urbanites generate demand for new food trends like veganism.
- Tourism – Cities like London, Paris and New York attract tens of millions of international tourists annually looking to enjoy the local food scene.
- Foodie culture – Cities renowned for innovation in dining like Melbourne and Portland embrace veganism as the next wave in culinary evolution.
- Ethnic diversity – Multicultural cities such as Toronto, Los Angeles and New York have residents introducing international influences into vegan menus.
- Media and arts communities – Creative cities like Berlin have communities of artists, musicians, students and progressive thinkers who value vegan lifestyles.
- Startup scenes – Youthful entrepreneurial spirit in cities like Tel Aviv and Amsterdam foster novel vegan companies.
These factors combine to drive the rising numbers of all-vegetarian eateries in global hubs. As veganism continues growing as a worldwide phenomenon, more major metropolises will vie to become leaders in plant-based dining.
The Growth of Veganism Fueling Restaurant Demand
Veganism has experienced tremendous growth over the past decade, providing the customer base to sustain all the new vegan restaurants emerging:
- The number of vegans in the United States has increased 600% since 2014.
- Approximately 10% of Americans now identify as vegan or vegetarian.
- In the United Kingdom, veganism rose 350% between 2006 and 2018 with over 600,000 vegans.
- Germany, France, Canada and Israel have all seen massively growth in vegetarianism and veganism in recent years.
- In Australia, searches for vegan food increased by 75% in 2018 alone.
- Even in Asia, interest in vegan dining is rising fast in cities like Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Bangkok.
As more people opt to avoid meat, eggs and dairy, demand for plant-based dining options keeps rising. This has led entrepreneurs and restaurateurs to open eateries catering specifically to vegans and vegetarians.
The growth of veganism globally stems from several key drivers:
- Animal welfare concerns – More people avoiding animal products on ethical grounds
- Environmental motivations – Reducing meat intake viewed as eco-friendly choice
- Health and fitness – Vegans perceived as slimmer and more active
- Holistic wellbeing – Balance and vitality associated with plant-based lifestyles
- Food safety fears – Concerns over hormones, chemicals and antibiotics used in modern farming
- Accessibility of ingredients – New plant-based meat and dairy substitutes making veganism easier
- Celebrity influence – High profile stars adopting and promoting vegan diets
- Social media buzz – Curation of stylish vegan living on Instagram and food blogs
These multifaceted drivers indicate veganism is more than just a passing fad. It reflects deeper shifts in societies globally in how people view food, nutrition, sustainability and modern living. This bodes well for continued expansion in plant-based eating – and for more vegan restaurants opening worldwide.
Major Vegan Cuisines Found Around the World
When dining at the top vegan restaurant cities, visitors can experience an incredible diversity of plant-based cuisines. Some of the major types of vegan fare found globally include:
Mediterranean vegan meals make abundant use of vegetables, pulses, grains, fruits, nuts and healthy fats like olive oil. Dishes feature ingredients grown in the Mediterranean region’s rich fertile soil under its sunny climate. Menus may include:
- Vegetable soups and gazpacho
- Chickpea stews and risottos
- Roasted vegetable platers with hummus, baba ganoush and tapenades
- Pasta primavera showcasing seasonal vegetables
- Hearty grain bowls topped with beans, lentils or tofu
- Salads of quinoa, couscous or farro with medley of produce
- Pizza, flatbreads and focaccia with cheeseless veggie toppings
- Olive oil-drizzled bruschettas on crusty bread
- Decadent plant-based tiramisu for dessert
Vegan versions of classic Asian cuisines exclude ingredients like fish sauce, oyster sauce, chicken stock and egg while keeping the flavorful spice blends. They utilize traditional ingredients like:
- Tofu and tempeh
- Coconut milk, lemongrass and kaffir lime
- Ginger, garlic, chilies and tamarind
- Noodles and rice
- Sesame oil, soy sauce and miso
Asian vegan offerings can include:
- Noodle soups like pho, ramen and laksa
- Pad thai, drunken noodles or lo mein using vegan oyster sauce
- Stir fries with tofu, veggies and plant-based meat
- Curries such as Thai red or Malaysian rendang
- Sushi rolls wrapped in cucumber or marinated shiitake mushrooms instead of fish
Much Indian food is already vegan or can be easily adapted. Staples include:
- Lentils and beans like chickpeas, moth beans and urad dal
- Aromatic spices like cumin, turmeric, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves
- Basmati rice and whole grain flatbreads
- Coconut milk and tomato-onion sauces
- Vegetables like potatoes, peas and cauliflower
Menu items may consist of:
- Dals – Soupy lentil stews
- Sabjis – Mixed vegetable curries
- Biryanis – Seasoned rice dishes
- Raita – Yogurt sauces and marinades
- Pakora – Vegetable fritters
- Samosa – Fried pastries stuffed with spiced potato and peas
Vegan Mexican food utilizes the vibrant flavors of:
- Beans like pinto, black or kidney
- Corn tortillas and whole grains
- Chilies like jalapeno, poblano or ancho
- Salsa with tomato, onion and cilantro
- Avocado, lime, cumin and chili powder
Dishes take inspiration from:
- Burritos and tacos filled with grilled veggies or jackfruit carnitas
- Enchiladas rolled up with mole sauce minus the chicken
- Quesadillas with melted vegan cheese
- Nachos loaded with vegan refried beans, guacamole and cashew crema
- Chili sin carne made with textured vegetable protein
Middle Eastern Vegan
The plant-based cuisine of this region utilizes ingredients like:
- Chickpeas, lentils, beans, hummus
- Tahini, olive oil, nuts and seeds
- Vegetables like eggplant, okra and tomatoes
- Za’atar spice, sumac and saffron
- Pita, flatbread and rice
- Falafel, dolmas and stuffed grape leaves
Signature dishes include:
- Mezze spreads of babaganoush, tabbouleh, labneh and stuffed vegetables
- Lentil and vegetable soups
- Grilled and roasted eggplants, peppers, squash and cauliflower
- Hearty stews and tagines over couscous
- Ful mudammas – Simmered fava beans
- Koshari – Mix of rice, lentils, pasta and nuts
These diverse cuisines all celebrate vegetables, grains and legumes in vibrant and flavourful preparations. They offer ample inspiration for chefs in vegan restaurants everywhere to craft menus spanning eclectic global tastes and textures.
Examples of Popular Vegan Chains
Several plant-based restaurant chains with locations in multiple cities around the world are doing their part to grow the vegan dining scene:
|Sample Menu Items
|Burgers, fries, flatbreads, salads, desserts
|New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, London
|Vegan comfort food, bowls, burgers, desserts
|California, Chicago, Seattle, Boston
|Ramen, rice/noodle bowls, curries, sushi
|UK, US, Middle East, Asia
|Israeli fusion food, hummus, sabich, falafel
|Singapore, Hong Kong, Manila, London
|Lord of the Fries
|Burgers, hot dogs, fries, nuggets
|Australia, New Zealand
|Ice cream, burgers, wraps, pizza, bakery
|Germany, Austria, Czechia, Hungary
These growing brands help make tasty vegan fast food and casual dining accessible in both vegan-friendly cities as well as less plant-based places looking to improve their offerings.
Innovative Dining Concepts at Vegan Restaurants
Beyond familiar cuisines, vegan restaurants in leading cities are trying out innovative dining concepts to enhance the eating experience:
Haute vegan cuisine applies refined plating and elegant atmospherics to multicourse tasting menus of plant-based food. Patrons can enjoy a special night out minus animal products.
Raw vegan restaurants serve uncooked and dehydrated vegetable items to preserve nutrients and enzymes. Offerings include cold soups, raw pizza crusts, spiralized zucchini noodles and desserts using nuts, coconut and dried fruit.
Shared spaces allow visitors to sample from different vegan vendors and cuisines like pizza, ramen, acai bowls, doughnuts and more under one roof.
Mobile kitchens bring plant-based fast food like arepas, kebabs, kathi rolls and dumplings to the streets for hungry crowds on the