What Are The Best US States For Vegans?

More Americans than ever are embracing plant-based foods, so which are the best US states for vegans?


6 Minutes Read

Photo shows a young woman sat on a hay bale and taking a bite out of a burger Which US state is the best for vegans and flexitarians? - Media Credit: Adobe Stock

The plant-based sector is thriving, and despite a few errant headlines indicating the opposite, the uptake of plant foods looks set to continue in the coming years.

With around 70 percent of Americans now eating plant-based foods on a regular and semi-regular basis, the prospect of further growth is no surprise. Nearly half of all US restaurants now offer vegan options, with the perceived great taste of modern plant-based foods a key factor for those ordering them, regardless of diet or lifestyle.

But vegan-friendly restaurants are not necessarily spread equally across the country, and customers looking for plant-based foods might find them easier – or more difficult – to track down depending on their region. Here are the best states for vegan food in the US.

The rising popularity of veganism

A report published last year by Research and Markets predicted that the global vegan food sector would increase from USD $40.1 billion (2022) to $91.9 billion by 2027. 

The report links this continued rise in consumer interest to the growing research into – and support for – the environmental and health benefits of plant-based foods, in stark contrast to the negative impact of animal products and the unsustainable nature of animal farming.

The authors write: “New developments in the vegan sector emerge every year, paving the way for a global transition to a much more just, safe and sustainable food system.”

A separate report published by The Brainy Insights earlier this month estimates that the plant-based milk market alone could more than double by 2032 to reach $51.87 billion. It also suggested that North America will dominate the market over the next eight years of growth.

What are the best US states for vegans?

Photo depicts the skyline of downtown Portland, Oregon, with Mt. Hood visible in the background
Adobe Stock Portland, Oregon frequently appears on lists of the best vegan cities

As of 2023, there are nearly 30,000 vegetarian or vegan restaurants and food businesses in the US, reflecting a steady average increase of 3.8 percent per year since 2018.

Which regions are the best for vegans to live in and visit is subjective, and while several studies have been carried out on the subject, each one has approached the topic differently.  For example, a study by IPSOS monitored Google Searches in each state between 2004 and 2019 to determine which showed the most interest in vegan and plant-based foods.

Meanwhile, Wallet Hub cross-referenced metrics such as the cost of vegetarian groceries, meat-free restaurant options, and salad shops per capita to create this ranked list of cities. (The most vegan city in the US, Portland, contains a whopping 52 plant-based restaurants.)

The Vegan Review, on the other hand, collated data from Yelp, Happy Cow, and the US Census Bureau to find out which states had the most fully vegan restaurants per capita. Dedicated meat-free eateries are much less commonplace than conventional ones with vegan-inclusive menus, so states with a significant number may be plant-based havens…

Across the studies, coastal states generally show a higher number of all-vegan restaurants as well as scoring higher for overall accessibility and affordability. However, there are also some outliers, with West Virginia listed as not quite so good for plant-based food by IPSOS and as very good by The Vegan Review. The list below has been narrowed down to 10.


According to the IPSOS study, Oregon was the number one state for vegan searches and online interest. The state was also in second place on the list published by the Vegan Review based on plant-based restaurants per capita. (Portland, specifically, was also named the most vegan-friendly city in the US by Wallet Hub’s data analysis.)

Some plant-based highlights include Mis Tacones, a taqueria beloved for its all-vegan and extremely affordable menu, the Bye and Bye pub, Kate’s Ice Cream, and the authentic Sri Lankan curry house Mirisata which serves fritters, stuffed roti, and combo plates.


Hawaii also placed on both lists, at number 10 based on Google searches and at number one based on its number of dedicated vegan restaurants per capita. Some popular choices include the all-vegan sushi bar and izakaya (a dine-in sake shop) Tane, the Honolulu-based Juicy Brew, and beloved Italian eatery Floralia, formerly known as ‘What It Dough.’


The state of California also appears frequently on most lists of the best vegan-friendly regions of the US (perhaps unsurprisingly), and even the renowned Michelin Guide has curated a list of the top plant-based restaurants in the state. Some popular choices are San Francisco’s Gracias Madre, Santa Barbara’s Mesa Verde, and LA’s Plant Food + Wine.

New York

The state of New York is a whole lot bigger than just New York City, but when searching online for vegan options you would be forgiven for thinking that NYC holds all of the most popular plant-based destinations. According to Trip Advisor, the city boasts thousands of dedicated vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants, including the famous Vinnie’s Pizzeria, Chinese American eatery Fat Choy, Avant Garden, and many, many more.


The Sunshine State has a wide variety of vegan eateries, with Orlando frequently singled out – for good reason – in best-of lists and restaurant guides for its veggie and plant-based stops.

Popular destinations include Leguminati with its menu of toasted wraps, and Winter Park Biscuit Company for tenders, sandwiches, burgers, and of course, vegan biscuits. West Palm Beach also has a wide selection of restaurants, such as Malakor Thai Cafe, as does Sarasota with its Ka Papa Cuisine, Crop, and Green Zebra.

Rhode Island

Despite being the smallest state in the US, Rhode Island is packed with vegan and vegan-friendly eateries, including the beloved plant-based bakery Wildflour, vegan food hall Plant City, seasonal Italian restaurant Foglia, and dairy-free ice cream shop Like No Udder.


Maryland has historically been famous for its historic trading port and the fishing industry, but perhaps in the future it will be known for its wide range of vegan food options. Home to Great Sage in Clarksville, PHAT Vegan in Fort Washington, Dodah’s Kitchen in Mt Ranier, as well as The Land of Kush, My Mama’s Vegan, and Refocused, all of which are in Baltimore.


Generally considered an extremely vegan-friendly state, Colorado’s Boulder, Denver, and Colorado Springs are particularly good places to visit. Popular restaurants include Meta Burger, Saucy Cluckers, Thrive, Next Level, Bang Up to the Elephant, and Watercourse.

West Virginia

Rated highly by its number of all-vegan restaurants per capita, West Virginia is home to eateries such as Cocina Plantosaurus, Kelley Farm Kitchen, Black Bear Burritos, Chaang Thai, and El Gran Sabor, a Venezuelan and pan-Latin restaurant with a variety of options.


The Bay State has a huge selection of plant-based eateries, particularly in and around the Boston area, including Taco Party (formerly a food truck, now a brick-and-mortar), Egyptian restaurant Koshari Mama, international cafe Red Lentil, and beloved diner Veggie Galaxy.

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