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#The Lowdown

Best Cities For Vegans And Vegetarians

By Travel Savvy

There was a time not long ago when being a vegan traveler meant you packed nuts and granola in your suitcase, and you’d be forced to settle for a side salad and fries when dining out.

Today, the idea of going meat-free has taken hold of destinations all over the globe.  Some cities have truly managed to cultivate a culture of sustainability for all their citizens, supporting a better-for-the-earth lifestyle that goes beyond local farmers’ markets and vegetarian-friendly restaurants. Check out some of the best vegan-friendly cities here.

Vegan Cheeses at Vromage 1

Photo Credit: Vegan Cheeses at Vromage

Los Angeles

LA is famous for sunshine, celebrities, juice bars, and vegetarians. Famous folks who don’t eat meat include Steve O, Alicia Silverstone, Lea Michele, Pamela Anderson, and the list goes on. Frankly it’s easy to embrace healthier options when there’s even a vegan cheese shop in town. Head over to Vromage for a fully dairy-free selection of delightful cheeses -- all made from nuts -- as well as light menu options including vegan sandwiches and salads!

Vendors at the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival 2

Photo Credit: Vendors at the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival, Photo Credit inhabitat.com

New York City

New Yorkers don’t mess around when it comes to food. Why should they? There’s an endless supply of dining options on every corner across the metropolis. And on top of that, this city hosts an annual “Vegetarian Food Festival” each May -- a delicious celebration of meatless eating and green lifestyles.  Don’t miss out on your chance at an NYC tradition -- eating dim sum in Chinatown. Check out one of favorite vegetarian dim sum spots, Buddha Bodai.

Photo Credit: Dave Berkowitz Flickr 3

Photo Credit: Dave Berkowitz Flickr

Portland

In a city where everything is weird and artisanal, vegans and vegetarians will feel right at home given the range of lifestyle options. You’ll find a Vegan mini mall,  an apothecary specializing in vegan and ethically sourced soaps and skin care products, and even a vegan strip club. When you’re in PDX, be sure to take a photo under the “Keep Portland Weird” mural (pictured), which is located at the corner of SW 3rd Ave and West Burnside Street.

Veganz Grocery in Berlin 4

Photo Credit: Veganz Grocery Store in Berlin

Berlin

This Old World city’s vegan and vegetarian population has exploded over the past decade, so it’s no wonder that renown culinary magazine Saveur named Berlin the “New Vegetarian Capital” of the world. Vegans will be especially happy to discover a dedicated street, casually known as 'Vegan Avenue'! You’ll find eateries, cafes, groceries, and retailers that completely eschew animal products, lined up along bustling Schivelbeiner Strasse, located in Northeast Berlin. Stop into Dear Goods at 35 Schivelbeiner Str.  for fair trade and vegan clothing, shoes, and home goods.

Israeli Soldiers eating Vegan 5

Photo Credit: Israeli Defense Forces During Passover

Tel Aviv

The coastal city of Tel Aviv is known for being Israel’s party city, offering locals and travelers alike days and nights filled with beaches, dining, and nightlife. The excellent climate of the region also influences the wide range of crops that locals can enjoy, meaning that vegetarians and vegans are especially happy here. It’s not just a trend either; even the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) offers soldiers vegan ration packs, as well as leather-free boots and wool-free uniforms.

Hungry vegan tourists should absolutely check out Abu Hassan featured in Jackie Gebel's Top Tel Aviv Restaurants for their famously delicious hummus.

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