Whether you were converted by Veganuary, or you’re a seasoned veggie/vegan, it’s always nice to know that there will be plenty of things to munch when you travel abroad. You won’t suffer from hunger in USA, that’s for sure! Claire Sheridan, veg-lover and worldly traveller, is here to give you the low-down.
Now, it’s not possible to talk about every state (you know, with there being 50 and all), but thankfully, in the USA it’s now pretty easy to eat veggie or vegan without any problems. It’s a country with a lot of meat, sure, but sources suggest that there was a 600% increase in vegans back in 2017, and it’s been picking up ever since – so you’ll be A-ok.
If you’re going to major grocery stores, you won’t have much to worry about. There’s a wide range of meat substitutes from brands like Beyond Meat and Gardein, a range of meatless products called Yves, and plenty of dairy-free snacks and products galore.
The West Coast
California is by far one of the most veggie-friendly places to be, with a free-spirited, laid-back attitude. A lot of its residents are hot on the latest diet trends, as well as doing their bit for animals and the environment.
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Rub shoulders in Los Angeles with celebs and try eating at Sage, Veggie Grill, Butcher’s Daughter, a ‘veggie-slaughterhouse’ serving delicious juices and the most Instagrammable breakfast bowls. Also on the list, is Café Gratitude – with multiple locations in California’s trendiest neighborhoods, they serve up Asian inspired superfood salads, grain bowls and vegan Bolognese, made with cashew mozzarella and brazil nut parmesan.
Just a few hours south, you’ll find San Diego, California, where things are far from run-of-the-mill – how does a death metal bar ironically serving death-free food sound? Pop to Kindred if you’re curious to find out – their veggie take on the all-American BBQ joint has nabbed them the Best Vegan Restaurant in the US award.
Not feeling the heavy metal vibe? Try Plumeria Thai. Here’ the curries are so tasty, even the most avid carnivores won’t miss their meat fix.
In San Francisco, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Cha-Ya sets itself apart from the crowd with Japanese food that’s wholly veggie, and Gracias Madre brings the organic, vegan Mexican good stuff, while spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy’s café, Ananda Fuara deals in cruelty-free favorites like curries, burritos and pasta.
If you’re passing through Portland, Oregon, give Blossoming Lotus a go. This place isn’t just 100% plant-based, it’s often raw, and serves great wine.
In Seattle, Washington, it’s best to try Wayward Vegan Café, a cosy, family run spot serving hearty breakfast favorites done the vegan way: think ‘Tofuevos Rancheros’ and burritos stuffed with hazelnut and dairy-free cheese.
Nevada, Colorado and central USA
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Over in Las Vegas, Nevada you may be naughty in every other way, but that doesn’t mean you can’t eat nice. VegeNation has widely diverse offerings with a global, plant-based menu, or try Simply Pure by Chef Stacey Dougan instead.
If you happen to pass through Denver, Colorado, hit up hipster hangout and premiere coffee spot, City, O’ City. This café also exhibits local art and a revolving selections of local beers. Plus, they have kimchi pancakes and deep. Fried. Ravioli. With tomato dipping sauce.
Visiting Chicago, Illinois? Pick Me Up Café, now over 20 years old, is quirky and as colorful as the plant-based food it serves – and there’s everything from gnocchi to falafel on the menu. Be sure to hit them up during their weekend brunch hours, served until 3pm on both Saturday and Sunday. If you’re in the Oak Park area in the west of the city, pull up a seat outside Munch café.
Even further north, Detroit, Michigan has Detroit Vegan Soul. Here, the soul food feels naughty but is still 100% plant based and mostly gluten free. Our pick? Southern Fried tofu bites, black eyed pea hummus and seitan steak.
North Carolina and South Carolina are in on the action, too. Asheville, North Carolina and Greenville, South Carolina both have active vegan communities, and so head to Plant or Firestorm Books & Coffee (which doubles as a community space) in Asheville, and O-Cha Tea Bar or Swad Vegetarian Indian in Greenville.
In Florida, travellers will love Dandelion Communitea Café or Market on South in Orlando. Keep an eye out for the all-vegan restaurant from Blink 182’s personal road chef, Mary Mattern, Winter Park Biscuit Company – where all about the vegan ‘biscuits’ (aka. scones in the UK).
You can also try Plant Theory in sunny Miami.
The East Coast
Way over to the East you’ve got New York City as another popular vegan haunt. In fact, we could write an entire blog on veggie and vegan haunts just in New York. It’s got the likes of By Chloe, Beyond Sushi, and Blossom in Manhattan, as well as Champs Diner in Brooklyn.
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Nearby Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is a veggie haven, so try Charlie Was A Sinner to get to veggie cocktail heaven. Pair small plates like the caramelized eggplant bao buns, and the silken tofu and mushroom ramen bowl with killer cocktails in their sultry bar.
For something a little more filling, and a bit fancier, check out Vedge, run by award nominated chefs. And in Boston, Massachusetts, go to Cuong’s Vegan Sandwiches for Vietnamese inspired banh mi sandwiches and bubble teas.
Across the country, ordinary chain restaurants will provide a variety of options for you. So, no matter where you are, you will have yummy choices and no hassle.
Are you ready to give this veggie/vegan travelling a go? Search flights to the USA now!