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Why These Are the Best Cities for Vegans to Move To

Posted in City Guides on June 5, 2024

Tired of chasing down the only plant-based option on a menu full of bacon-wrapped everything? Ready to live somewhere that doesn’t consider iceberg lettuce a gourmet vegetable? Well, you’ve reached the right place – we’re breaking down the best cities for vegans to move to! Here’s our pick of urban paradises where plant-based living isn’t just accepted – it’s celebrated.

#1 Portland, Oregon – Where Vegans Rule and Avocados Reign

According to IBISWorld, the number of vegan and vegetarian restaurants has been on a steady rise – 3.8% each year since 2018, to be exact. There are nearly 30,000 such businesses across the US. Wondering where a good chunk of them are? Well, you’ve already read it – Portland, Oregon, the most vegan-friendly big city in America.

Portland is a true haven for plant-based eaters. One of the top spots is Blossoming Lotus, known for its mouth-watering vegan nachos and inventive brunch menu.

The Homegrown Smoker, The Bye and Bye, and Rabbits Cafe are definitely worth checking out too.

Around 4% of Americans follow a vegan diet

It’s Not Just About Dining – It’s a Whole Lifestyle Here

However, it’s not just the restaurants that make Portland one of the top vegan cities. There’s the famous Portland Farmers Market, where you can find fresh, organic produce, plant-based cheeses, and bakeries such as Petunia’s Pies & Pastries. There’s also the annual VegFest, where you can discover plenty of tastes, culinary tricks, and hey – even some new friends.

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Portland’s eclectic neighborhoods, eco-friendly vibe, and strong sense of community make it an excellent choice for anyone looking for a reason to move and change the scenery. Those planning to pack their bicycle will be delighted to know that this city boasts over 400 miles of bike lanes. You won’t be just eating healthy – you’ll be living healthy, too.

Moving boxes, plants, and a bike in an empty room
It's not just about the diet here - it's a whole lifestyle

#2 Los Angeles, California – Where Kale Meets the Red Carpet

Welcome to Los Angeles, the city where even the movie stars go green! LA’s vegan scene is as star-studded as its red carpets, with a plethora of plant-based dining options that will make your taste buds sing.

One of the hottest spots is Crossroads Kitchen, where you can indulge in upscale plant-based dishes that feel like a Michelin-starred experience. Craving something more casual? Gracias Madre serves up a Mexican-inspired menu that’s perfect for a sunny Los Angeles afternoon. And let’s not forget Cafe Gratitude, a beloved spot where every dish is named with a positive affirmation – because who doesn’t want to order some “I Am Strong” pancakes?

There’s Nothing Quite Like the California Sunshine

Living in Los Angeles is much more than just great food. The city’s beaches, hiking trails, and endless sunshine make it a paradise for anyone planning to move. With its diverse neighborhoods and bustling entertainment scene, it really is the perfect spot for anyone, especially those long-distance moving alone in their 20s. And don’t panic – affordable places in Los Angeles aren’t just a myth.

A view of the Hollywood sign
LA brings an academy-award-winning plant-based scene

#3 Orlando, Florida – One of the Most Vegan-Friendly Cities With a Side Dish of Sunshine

The magic of the city of Orlando isn’t just at Disney World – it’s in the food, too! The plant-based scene is growing faster than a kid’s excitement at the sight of Mickey Mouse. Besides so many great spots for stopping by and enjoying a sweet treat, Orlando is the home to the Central Florida Veg Fest, one of the largest festivals of this kind in the Southeast.

Prepare for a Taste Bud Explosion While Long-Distance Movers Handle the Rest

As you prepare taste buds for Orlando’s vibrant cuisine, professional movers can handle the heavy lifting. They offer comprehensive cross-country moving services, giving you the option to take care of various aspects, your prized ride included.

Let’s be real – a scenic road trip down to the iconic Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys sounds like a dream come true. With expert car shipping, it’s a step closer to reality. Having someone like Cross Country Movers by your side, relocating to Florida has never been this deliciously easy.

#4 San Diego, California – Sun, Surf, and Superb Plant-Based Eats

Known for its laid-back lifestyle and beautiful beaches, San Diego is also one of the best places for vegans to live. It has the most juice and smoothie bars per capita out of all entries, but it’s not lacking when it comes to restaurants, either. Kindred is a favorite among the plant-based residents. It’s a quirky bar and restaurant offering creative dishes like their famous herbed fries and jackfruit tacos. The funky decor and punk rock vibe make every visit an adventure.

If you’re craving a burger, Plant Power Fast Food is your go-to. This eco-friendly fast-food joint serves up delicious burgers, fries, and shakes that rival any traditional drive-thru. There’s also the aforementioned Cafe Gratitude, where you can enjoy organic, plant-based meals with a side of positive affirmations. Here, it’s located in Little Italy, one of the most lively neighborhoods of San Diego – taking a stroll through it is a treat in itself.

 A set table at restaurant
San Diego is another one of California's prime spots

#5 Phoenix, Arizona – Sizzling Plant-Based Goodness in the Heart of the Desert

The sun might be hot in Arizona, but the plant-based scene is even hotter! In the heart of the desert, Phoenix boasts a vibrant and diverse dining landscape that will make anyone feel right at home. Start the culinary adventure at Green New American Vegetarian, a local favorite serving up comfort food classics like spicy buffalo “wings” and BBQ “chicken” sandwiches, all 100% vegan.

For a taste of the Southwest, head to The Coronado, where you can enjoy dishes like jackfruit flautas and the famous tofu scramble. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, Nami offers a delightful selection of pastries, and their almond milk latte is to die for. No need to bring the coffee maker – you won’t be using it!

The Plant-Based Lifestyle Is Spreading Fast Through the Desert

On top of the mentioned restaurants, the famous Seventh Street has a total of six amazing spots along a 3.4-mile stretch. It’s also home to the Downtown Phoenix Farmers Market, the perfect place to stock up on ingredients for the next plant-based feast. All in all, you definitely won’t get hungry in this part of the desert.

Beyond the food, Phoenix offers a dynamic lifestyle that’s hard to beat. The city’s stunning landscapes provide endless opportunities for outdoor activities. From hiking in Camelback Mountain to exploring the beautiful Desert Botanical Garden, the warmer climate allows you to enjoy these activities year-round.

Vegetables in the produce aisle
Having plenty of ways to get fresh produce is important, too

#6 San Francisco, California – Gourmet Vegan Delights by the Bay

Once again in California, and the third time really is a charm because we’re taking a culinary journey through San Francisco. You can start at Shizen Vegan Sushi Bar & Izakaya, where the sushi rolls are as artistic as they are delicious. From spicy tofu rolls to unique creations like the “Open Invitation” roll, this place is a must-visit.

For something hearty, Gracias Madre offers mouth-watering Mexican-inspired dishes, including their famous jackfruit carnitas tacos. Craving some comfort food? VeganBurg serves up burgers so good they will leave you wondering why you ever thought you needed meat. The city is also famous for the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, where you can find literally anything you could think of. It’s a great place to explore on a Saturday morning.

It’s All About Diversity and a Healthy Lifestyle in This Amazing City

With over 800,000 residents, San Francisco’s living is intertwined with its diversity. More than a third were born outside of the US, around 34%, to be more exact. This is almost as many people as there are California-born San Franciscans. It’s also a tech powerhouse, with thousands of IT companies calling the Bay Area home.

But despite popular opinion, techies like to go outside too. Of course, it helps that there are just so many things to do in San Francisco. You can hike through the stunning Muir Woods, bike across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, or relax in the beautiful Golden Gate Park. The bottom line – whether you’re a tech enthusiast or a foodie, San Francisco is a city that truly has it all.

A view of San Francisco from the water
San Francisco offers so much to someone with an active and plant-based lifestyle

#7 Seattle, Washington – Green Eats in the Emerald City

Seattle – where the coffee is strong, the air is fresh, and the plant-based diet is thriving. This city’s options are as abundant as its rainy days, with spots such as:

  • Plum Bistro,
  • Araya’s Place,
  • The Wayward Vegan Cafe.

A quick bite at any of them is all it takes for you to find yourself moving across the country. Seattle is also famous for its markets, with the Pike Place Market being a must-visit. Here, you can find fresh produce, vegan-friendly vendors, and plenty of local goodies to take home. It’s a foodie’s paradise and a great way to explore what this amazing city has to offer.

Practicing Sustainability Has Never Been This Easy

When we’re talking about the greenest cities in the US, Seattle is always a part of the discussion. It’s home to around 500 parks, and its streets are really pedestrian and bike-friendly. Whether you’re kayaking on Lake Union, hiking in the stunning Mount Rainier National Park, or enjoying a concert at the historic Paramount Theatre, there’s always something to do.

Living here means being part of a community that values health, sustainability, and innovation. With its diverse neighborhoods, bustling food markets, and stunning natural landscapes, Seattle is a fantastic place for anyone looking to embrace a greener lifestyle.

A salad on the table
In Seattle, everything's green

Moving Cross Country to One of the Best Cities for Vegans Is Not as Crazy as You Might Think

It’s clear by now – these cities aren’t just about fantastic plant-based food. They offer vibrant lifestyles, stunning landscapes, and communities that embrace sustainability and innovation. All that’s left to do is find the one that gets your vibe. Ready to dive into a new adventure, savoring every plant-based bite along the way?

When you’re ready to make the move, let Cross Country Movers handle the logistics. From comprehensive packing services to transporting your car, they’ve got you covered. You can focus on exploring and settling into the vegan paradise. So, pack your bags, prepare taste buds, and contact us to make your transition seamless and stress-free.

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