Veganism is growing exponentially all across the US. With the introduction of Impossible Burgers at Burger King, and now Kentucky Fried Chicken test-marketing Kentucky-fried Beyond Chicken, restaurants are getting the hint that the vegan population is hungry and here to stay.
While it’s good news that fast-food chains are stepping up to the plate, the quality and flavor is not exactly everyone’s choice. Fortunately, there are many restaurants across the US hitting it out of the park with quality, creative cuisines that have people returning time and again.
From take-out to candlelit, let’s take a look at ten of those places — the best places, to get vegan food in the U.S.
10 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The City of Brotherly Love has become well-known for its vegan scene. You can stop by Blackbird Pizza for a slice, or enjoy their vegan version of Philly's iconic cheesesteak sandwich. Plan ahead to snag a reservation at the popular Vedge, which fills up fast or, if you're looking for "small plates and strong drinks," you may want to check out Charlie Was A Sinner, where the drinks are as unique as the food.
If you're looking for unique and hard-to-find vegan foods, pay a visit to the friendly and knowledgeable owners of one of South Philly's newest vegan spots — V Marks The Shop is the first vegan convenience store of its kind.
9 Portland, Oregon
Oregon's largest city is well-known for its microbreweries, coffeehouses, and now, its vegan goodies. Portlandians are flocking to places like Food Fight! Grocery, an all-vegan grocery store, or to Veggie Grill for "fish" tacos. Soon, there will be a new way to satisfy your sweet tooth when the new cinnamon roll shop Hail Snail opens.
The City of Roses is also home to the Tofurky Trot, a 5K held every Thanksgiving, giving vegans something fun to do while everyone else is in a tryptophan-induced coma. Proceeds go to various animal charities.
8 San Francisco, California
In The City by the Bay you'll find plant-based dining galore. A restaurant that goes by the name The Butcher's Son doesn't sound like anything close to a vegan spot, but there you'll find roast beef Reubens, BBQ pulled pork, and steak bánh mi — all veganized.
For special occasions you'll enjoy fine dining at the Michelin-awarded Millenium in nearby Rockridge where menu items like saffron risotto cakes and white chocolate cannolis will tempt your tastebuds.
If you're looking for healthy alternatives, Peña Pachamama delivers, with a delicious combination of raw and cooked menu items. Plus, you'll get a chance to dine where Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio had their wedding dinner.
7 Omaha, Nebraska
When you think of Nebraska, you may think of endless cornfields and cattle. Think again.
Omaha is the home of Modern Love, the first restaurant from cookbook author and vegan chef Isa Chandra Moskowitz. People are also flocking to its sister restaurant in Brooklyn, New York and it's no wonder why. Modern Love's claim to serve "swanky vegan food" can be proven by tasting any of its delicious menu offerings.
If "swanky" doesn't describe your palate, perhaps you can try Fauxmaha Hot Dogs, a food truck that sells plant-based dogs with all the fixings.
6 Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis may be known for cheese curds and cheese-stuffed burgers, but they're making way for a plethora of vegan offerings.
You may remember the sibling-owned Herbivorous Butcher when it was featured on the Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Guy Fieri declared the food from this food truck "groundbreaking" and you'll agree when you try their sandwiches piled high with vegan meats and cheeses.
Started with the help of a Kickstarter campaign, the people behind the restaurant Trio Plant-Based advocate for social equality while serving up scrumptious foods like chili mac, and a Southern crunchwrap — food that's certain to keep you warm on the coldest Minneapolis winter night.
5 Chicago, Illinois
To many vegans, Chicago immediately summons thoughts of The Chicago Diner. An iconic eatery for vegans and omnivores alike, popular menu items include the Radical Reuben, and poutine. While not strictly a vegan restaurant, all items are vegetarian or have vegan alternatives.
Fans of Upton's Naturals products won't want to miss Upton's Breakroom, where they can have the company's delicious seitan made into Korean tacos, or a piled onto a "Chicago-Style" Italian sandwich. The restaurant was converted from a breakroom for Upton's employees to enjoy a free lunch. How's that for a company perk?
4 Austin, Texas
Austin was named #1 Place To Live in America three times in a row and is the center for a wide variety of vegan restaurants. Austin happens to also be home to a huge fleet of vegan food trucks such as Revolution Vegan Kitchen, Cool Beans, and Arlo's Food Truck.
Looking for some creative Tex-Mex eats? Counter Culture has you covered. Mouth-watering menu items such as BBQ jackfruit and bean quesadilla, and raw butternut tacos will satisfy your cravings.
Another all-vegan grocery store makes its home in Austin, Rabbit Food Grocery was founded in 2008 and carries a large variety of must-have items for vegans and vegetarians.
3 Detroit, Michigan
Dr. Joel Kahn, the cardiologist, author, and plant-based guru is behind Greenspace Café in Detroit. His goal was to create deliciously nutritious comfort foods everyone can enjoy. Choose to start your meal with a cashew cheese platter, or maybe end it with a slice of rich chocolate chip cheesecake.
Or, if you're looking for food like mama used to make, look no more. Detroit Vegan Soul has two locations where you can order entrees such as The Soul Platter, which includes mac and cheese, collards, and yams, or try their "Catfish" tofu sandwich.
2 Los Angeles, California
Crossroads Kitchen will not disappoint if you're looking for upscale, special occasion fine dining. Chef Tal Ronnen brilliantly creates seasonal menu items to thrill and satisfy discerning vegans. How does Scallopini Milanese or fettuccine & truffles sound?
If you're hungry for breakfast, Organic Wild Blueberry Pancakes topped with blueberry maple syrup are a breakfast lover's dream come true, and you can find them at Sage Plant Bistro.
You may want to consider planning your visit to LA around the time of Eat Drink Vegan, a vegan beer and food festival held every June. Over 10,000 people attend this event with over 250 beverage offerings and 40+ vendors.
1 New York, New York
The Big Apple is a mecca to many who enjoy the best in plant-based eating. In fact, Dun-Well Donuts, which has two New York locations to satisfy your vegan donut craving, was named Best Donuts in NYC by The New York Daily News.
But, if you're looking to impress your date, take them to Candle Café West where you can indulge in Seitan Piccata, or Four Cheese Mac N' Cheese. Watching your budget? Grab an Original World Famous Burger at Marty's V-Burger where you'll get "fast food, no bull."