Veg-Friendly Cities in North America
According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA):
With so many smart folks going veg, the number of restaurants and other business catering (often literally) to our appetites is booming, which makes our task of compiling lists of vegetarian-friendly cities tougher each time. But we never shrink from a challenge—or from the chance to discover totally delish new veggie eateries—so we're proud to present our list of the top 10 large North American cities for vegans and vegetarians:
Although Congress may be populated by purveyors of "pork," Washington is making a bid to become the nation's capital of veggie dining. Folks on both sides of the aisle could surely reach a bipartisan consensus on the faux turkey club sandwich from Java Green, ratify the vegan pepperoni and mozzarella pizza at Busboys and Poets, and put an end to the gridlock for a trip to Sunflower Vegetarian Restaurant in nearby Falls Church, Virginia, to enjoy Popeye's Favorite—a potato pie mixed with spinach, soy protein, and veggie bacon in a black-pepper sauce—followed by egg-free and milk-free organic pumpkin pie or almond-blueberry pie.
Portland's volcanoes may be extinct, but the city's vegan scene has erupted—enough to propel Portland into our number two position. From the luscious lasagne at Papa G's Vegan Organic Deli to the sizzling TLP (tempeh bacon, lettuce, and peppers) atRed and Black Café, to the barbecue tempeh platter at the Blossoming Lotus, vegan Portlanders have plenty of reasons to be happy with their hometown.
Albuquerque, New Mexico:
Going vegan in Albuquerque is easier than learning how to spell the city's name! You'll find vegan options aplenty, such as the veggie chicken nuggets and boba tea at the Fei Health Café and the tofu scramble at Flying Star Café. Also check out both locations of Annapurna's World Vegetarian Café, offering a selection of vegan bakery items and Ayurvedic cooking classes.
Life for Georgia's vegans is increasingly peachy, with restaurants such as Café Sunflower (offering stuffed mushroom caps in a miso mushroom sauce), Green Sprout (presenting veggie pork with tofu and Szechuan sauce), and Ria's Bluebird (serving up Southwest tofu scramble with veggies).
Seattle has a reputation for being rainy, but even when it's overcast, Seattle is a sunny place for vegans. For instance, Araya's Place curries favor with a Thai red curry with tofu,Thrive tops its fiery Chili con Marvelous with onion cashew cream, and Wayward Vegan Café dazzles with the Warlock, a faux-chicken sandwich spiced up with a savory chipotle-tahini sauce.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada:
While we had our differences with the recent Olympic Games held there, we can't hold that against this beautiful city. Especially not while they're serving up almond masala cakes at Organic Lives, spicy falafel wraps at Gorilla Food, and a golden rice bowl with marinated Gardein strips, mock shrimp, and sautéed tofu at Loving Hut.
San Francisco, California:
The City by the Bay has opened its Golden Gate to a wide variety of vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants and cafés. While celebrated spots such as Millenium and Greens are well worth a visit, don't miss out on the "Neatloaf" at Ananda Fuara, the Broccoli Beef & Black Mushroom entrée at Golden Era, or the grilled portobello mushroom over creamy polenta, sautéed spinach, and crostini at the all-vegan Herbivore.
Los Angeles, California:
The City of Angels offers a wide range of heavenly delights for residents and visitors alike. Start with Flore Vegan Cuisine, where you can indulge in vegan Griddle Cakes (with strawberries), or perhaps you'd prefer the signature "TV dinner"—with veggie loaf, mashed potatoes, golden gravy, and vegetables—from Real Food Daily. Better yet, try both, and then have a Santa Fe Crispy Chickin'—made with crispy fried chillin' chickin', lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado, and a southwestern-spiced vegan mayo—made by Veggie Grill.
New York, New York:
They may live in the city that never sleeps, but Big Apple residents are clearly using those extra waking hours to think up more great vegan stuff to eat. With choices like the pumpkin noodles with sautéed vegetables at HanGawi, a marinated and grilled Bamburger or spaghetti and "meatballs" at Red Bamboo, and spinach omelets, pesto noodles, or Unchicken Nachos at the all-vegan Caravan of Dreams, no wonder Gothamites are staying up nights!
Toronto, Ontario, Canada:
Canada's largest city comes through for the hungry vegetarians of the Great White North. No one who's had the raw vegan Pasta Bolognese at Rawlicious, the eggplant in ginger sauce atCommensal, or the beer-battered deep-fried tofu with cornmeal at Fressen would be surprised to find Toronto rounding out our list in style.
PETA states further:
Think your favorite metropolis should have been on our list? Tell us why in the comments. And if you live in a smaller city, don't worry—we've prepared a top-10 list for you too! Continue reading to check it out.
Blue Heron Bakery: Vegan spelt muffins, brownies, walnut chocolate chip cookies, and peanut butter cookies
Tofu Hut: Tofu Sweet and Sour (deep-fried tofu with pineapples, bell peppers, onions, cucumbers, wild mushrooms, and carrots in a tangy sweet and sour sauce)
Vic's Pizzeria: Vic's Vegan Calzone (stuffed with black olives, mushrooms, white onions, spinach, sweet-fried peppers, red sauce, and a choice of yellow or white sauce)
Magnolia Bistro: The Incredible Mr. Limpett (tuna salad sandwich with pickles—minus the tuna), Garbanzo Burger (garbanzo beans, oregano, and scallions), and Magnolia French Toast (organic bread with walnuts in a wash of soy, rice, vanilla, and cinnamon)
Bueno Y Sano: East/West Burrito (Asian stir-fried veggies, basmati rice, and grilled tofu topped with an Asian plum sauce)
Bite Me Organic Pizza: Vermont Intervale Ghosts Pizza (marinated tofu, baby spinach, squash, roasted peppers, red beets, caramelized onions, yellow and red tomatoes, and lemon oil drizzle—and no cheese)
Iowa City, Iowa
The Red Avocado: College Green Sunset (layered herbed white-bean pâté, tempeh sausage, tofu ricotta, and caramelized onions wrapped in a flaky filo pastry purse on spinach polenta with horseradish-root vegetable-sweet-corn relish, roasted red pepper sauce, and a fine drizzle of sweet balsamic reduction)
Fair Grounds Coffeehouse: Grilled Vegan Panini "Cheeseburger" (Boca burger with choice of vegan cheese and veggies served on panini-style bread)
Thai Flavors: Massaman Curry (cooked with coconut milk, onions, potatoes, and peanuts and served with cucumber salad and a choice of tofu or gluten-based meat substitute)
Siam House: Gang Garee (yellow curry with coconut milk, sweet potatoes, onions, and white, yellow, or fried tofu, served with jasmine rice) or any curry or stir-fry dish (ordered with tofu)
Bloomingfoods Market and Deli: Meatless Mondays at the Deli (menu varies)
Laughing Planet: Cuban Burrito (organic brown rice, black beans, salsa fresca, sweet potatoes, plantains, homemade barbecue sauce, and a choice of tofu or seitan, served with tropical fruit salsa on the side)
Syracuse, New York
Strong Hearts (all-vegan): "Meat" Lovers Vegan Pizza (four vegan meats and soy cheese with a tasty tomato sauce), Tofurky sandwich, grilled "cheese" sandwich, cookies, muffins, cupcakes, cakes, pies, and milkshakes
Alto Cinco: BBQ Tofu Burrito (rice, black beans, salsa, and crispy tofu with a chipotle barbecue sauce) and Vegan Quesadilla (grilled tortilla with roasted tomato pesto, sautéed spinach, roasted eggplant, guacamole, and salsa)
Sparky Town: The Jocko Sandwich (grilled tempeh, lettuce, tomato, artichokes, red peppers, red onions, black-bean paste, sun-dried tomato spread and avocado spread)
Blackbird Espresso Bar and Bistro: Hummus and veggie wraps and vegan bakery items such as chocolate-chip cookies and banana-nut bread
Globe: Baingan Bartha (fresh eggplant cooked over an open flame, with green peas and gently tempered with aromatic herbs and spices) and Chana Masala (whole chickpeas cooked with onions, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, herbs, and spices)
Tup Tim Thai: Thai Curry Triangles (golden wontons filled with veggies such as sweet potatoes and celery, flavored with turmeric and served with chili-garlic sauce) Massaman Tofu Curry (with peanuts, potatoes, and vegetables), or any curry (ordered with tofu and without fish sauce)
Belmont Vegetarian Restaurant: Spaghetti and veggie balls, macaroni and soy cheese, and barbeque "chicken" and rice (all items rotate)
Nancy Chang: Sesame Vegan Chicken, Mango Vegan Chicken, Sizzling Vegan Shrimp With Japanese Tepanyaki Sauce, and more than 50 vegan items on the menu
Loving Hut: Kung Pao Wow (soy chicken, baby corn, carrots, snow peas, bamboo, water chestnuts, onions, bell peppers, celery, cucumbers, and cashew nuts)
Maggie's Veggie Café: Baked Tofu Wrap (oven-baked organic tofu, red onions, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, and sweet mustard sauce) and Curried Tofu Wrap (organic tofu marinated in mild coconut curry with red onions, tomatoes, and lettuce, served cold)
Taj Mahal: Aloo Matar Tofu (potatoes, fresh garden peas, and tofu chunks in a sauce with exotic spices) and Mushroom Matar (green peas cooked with mushrooms in a sauce with exotic herbs and spices)
Grateful Bread/Freakbeat Vegetarian: Different soups every day (all are vegetarian and at least one per day is vegan, including all of the following: African Peanut, Moroccan Tomato, Cuban Black Bean, Egyptian Red Lentil, Irish Stew, Thai Carrot)
Providence, Rhode Island
AS220: Pulled Pork Sandwich ("pulled" tofu, spicy tomato spread, and vegan cheddar on a sourdough baguette), Spicy Chorizo Sandwich (homemade vegan chorizo, crumbled tofu, vegan cheddar, and R1 hot sauce), and Vegan Reuben (corned seitan, homemade sauerkraut, vegan Swiss, and thousand island dressing on rye)
Garden Grille Café: Chipotle-Seared Seitan (with wasabi mustard dipping sauce), Hearts of Palm "Crab" Cakes (with Veracruz sauce and saffron aioli over millet polenta and sautéed greens), and Eggplant Rollatini (grilled and stuffed with herb tofu nut cheese, crispy polenta, and garlic sautéed spinach with homemade pomodoro sauce)
Julian's: Vegan "Steak & Cheese" Wrap (with house seitan, onions, mushrooms, peppers, and soy cheese, served in a tortilla)
Shangri-La Tea and Deli: Corn Chowder (corn, potatoes, and a bit of onion, in a veggie broth seasoned to perfection), Mock Toona and Crackers (homemade Mock Toona spread and raw homemade crackers made with sprouted almonds and flax seed), and Curry Wrap (tofu, potatoes, and red peppers in a scrumptious red curry sauce and wrapped in a warm tortilla)
Boise Fry Company: Vegan Burger and Fries (from a choice of russet, white, gold, sweet, yam, purple, or Okinawa potatoes)
Mai Thai: Black Pepper Steak (veggie black pepper steak sautéed with mixed veggies in a vegetarian sauce), Vegan Orange Chicken (sautéed with mandarin oranges and mixed with veggies in a special sauce), And Veggie Citrus Spareribs (sautéed in a special sauce and served on a bed of fresh lettuce and pineapple chunks)
And we in the animal rights and veg community should not only patronize veg restaurants to keep them in business, we should patronize flesh-eating restaurants with a wide variety of veg items on their menu as well. Doing this will cause these restaurants to increase the number of veg options on their menu; to cater to their veg customers.
Restaurants, like all other enterprises, are in business to make a profit: if catering to the veg and animal rights community is profitable, they'll be courting us.
7 UP broke an advertising taboo in 1982 when it began openly advertising itself as a caffeine-free soft drink. The move forced its competitors to introduce decaffeinated sodas and put them on the marketplace as well. Similarly, over twenty years ago, Paul Mitchell hair care products were openly advertising their products as "tested by hair stylists -- not on animals!".
Cruelty-free businesses, especially those in the food industry, should wear the "cruelty-free" label proudly, and thus force their competitors to do likewise.
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