2019’s Best Cities for Vegetarians and Vegans: Where does Chicago rank?

2019’s Best Cities for Vegetarians and Vegans: Where does Chicago rank?
Veggies for breakfast at Cafe Robey. Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

Is it time to celebrate veggies? Yes.

With October 1, World Vegetarian Day and November 1, World Vegan Day–let the celebration begin.

2019 Harris Poll commissioned by the Vegetarian Resource Group, about ten million U.S. adults are vegan or vegetarian.

If you are a vegan or vegetarian you may be interested in the study by WalletHub that ranks 2019’s Best Cities for Vegans & Vegetarians.

So what city is #1? And where is Chicago (besides the midwest)?

For the study, WalletHub compared the 100 largest cities across 17 key indicators of vegan- and vegetarian-friendliness. The data set ranges from the share of restaurants serving meatless options to the cost of groceries for vegetarians to salad shops per capita.

Here’s the rankings for Chicago:

The Vegetarian & Vegan Lifestyle in Chicago (1=Best; 50=Avg.)

  • 55th – Cost of Groceries for Vegetarians
  • 20th – Juice & Smoothie Bars per Capita
  • 1st – Salad Shops per Capita
  • 27th – Community Gardens per Capita

We didn’t do too well with the cost of produce but we did get one #1 for Salad Shops per Captia. One stat that surprised me was that we are 37th for Farmers Markets & CSA Programs per Capita.

I find that hard to believe. In the city it is easy to find a Farmers Market everyday of the week (except Mondays). This being Tuesday–You may want to check out Chicago’s market at Federal Plaza and/or the one at Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) to celebrate National Vegetarian Day.

Loyola’s Urban Ag Program's booth at the market

Loyola’s Urban Ag Program’s booth at the market

Back to the rankings.

Not surprisingly, Portland, Oregon was first overall. Followed–again–not too surprisingly by Los Angelos, California. Orlando, Florida sneaks in at #3–must be all those orange trees. Next back to the left coast with Seattle, Washington coming in fourth. Austin, Texas rounds out the top 5.

But where is Chicago? Not 6th, that’s Atlanta, Ga. Next New York. Then it’s back to California with San Francisco and San Diego placing 8th and 9th respectively. Tampa, Florida follows at 10.

Chicago finishes respectively, nearer to the top of the list than the bottom at 13.

So now you know. For the complete report, click here.

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