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10 American Cities That Are Paradise For Vegetarians

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10 American Cities That Are Paradise For Vegetarians

There are many benefits to being a vegetarian, but there are some issues that come with it. Eating at a friend’s house, getting enough protein, getting numerous questions about your lifestyle, and eating out can all be factors when it comes to your vegetarian lifestyle.

With some locations, it can be a nightmare to live a meatless lifestyle, but there are some that can be a total paradise. We’ve narrowed it down to 10 cities in America where it’s a breeze to be vegetarian.

1. Portland, Oregon

Portland, OR

    This city has a long list of vegetarian and vegan-friendly establishments, from bed-and-breakfasts to a-la-carte restaurants. This city also has the world’s first-ever (and only) all-vegan strip mall. When in Portland, you might want to stop at Natural Selection, a European-style restaurant built on vegetables, fruits, and grains, featuring finely crafted meals paired with choice wines and spirits. Plus, their menu changes weekly so eating meat-free dishes is more exciting at this particular restaurant.

    2. New York, New York

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    NYC-Vegan

      Are you aware that the chances of stumbling into a vegetarian restaurant are highest when you are in New York? It’s no secret that restaurants in the city that never sleep are diverse. Some restaurants serve raw dishes, others have farm-to-table dishes, while still others prefer a mix of the two, resulting in such a creative and delectable dish. For starters, you can try Candle Cafe or Dirt Candy.

      3. Los Angeles, California

      LA_Cali

        In the city of the stars you will not have any problems finding restaurants offering vegetarian dishes. The only problem you’ll face is the presence of too much paparazzi! At vegan restaurant, Crossroads, choose from a delectable menu of vegan pasta, sandwiches, and other vegetarian-friendly selections curated by vegan chef to the stars, Tal Ronnen.

        4. San Francisco, California

        San Francisco

          Of course, if you don’t feel like going to the city of the stars but still want to go to vegan paradise in California–visit SF. San Francisco has plenty of amazing restaurants and it’s rare to find one without a separate vegan menu for every budget and style. For starters you can try Flying Falafel or La Folie.

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          5. Denver, Colorado

          Denver_Vegan

            Denver is known to have over 65 vegetarian-friendly restaurants in the city. What is even more amazing is that most of the restaurants have embraced and mastered the art of preparing healthy and delicious meals in anticipation of their vegetarian guests. You also get a breath-taking freebie: a perfect view of beautiful mountains.

            6. Asheville, North Carolina

            NC_Vegan

              For vegetarian southern-style cooking, visit Asheville, North Carolina. This place has at least 35 vegetarian-friendly restaurants. For example, you have the Rosetta’s Kitchen, a family favorite. This place is perfect for vegetarians who are still bound to be picky when it comes to their meals. The place has a wide variety of dishes to choose from.

              7. Austin, Texas

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              AustinTX

                Austin in itself is a city flocked with restaurants offering a wide variety of cuisines. Even though Texas has become famous for its love of meat, the city of Austin has somehow built a reputation for loving vegetables and offering cuisines that vegetarians would surely love. When visiting Austin, check out a local favorite, The Vegan Yacht, for a taste of true vegan comfort food.

                8. Chicago, Illinois

                Chicago-Vegan

                  Waving the banner of being “meat-free since ’83,” The Chicago Diner is just one of the examples of the sprouting vegetarian-friendly dinners in the area.  Chicago also has Greek, Indian, and Korean inspired dishes that are specially prepared for vegetarians. Another must-try restaurant with southern-style cooking is the Soul Vegan. You surely won’t regret doing so.

                  9. Minneapolis, Minnesota

                  Minneapolis, MN

                    Hard Times Café, Heartland, and Ecopolitan are just three of the restaurants in Minneapolis, that are vegetarian-friendly. They use 100% raw food and some offer cooking classes and educational lectures. Thus, aside from enjoying their mouth-watering dishes, you also get to learn how to prepare a new favorite dish!

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                    SLC_Utah

                      10. Salt Lake City, Utah

                      VegNews proclaimed Salt Lake City as the “Next Great Vegan City” in 2012. This place also caught the attention of PETA due to the way they select their dishes. Check out several establishments around the city, including Vertical Diner (the country’s best), City Dogs, Sage’s Café, Buds, Brewvies Cinema Pub, and Omar’s Rawtopia.

                      Featured photo credit: AHealthierMI_Veggies/A Healthier Michigan via flickr.com

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                      Last Updated on January 27, 2022

                      5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

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                      5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

                      Food plays an integral role in our lives and rightfully so: the food we eat is intricately intertwined with our culture. You can learn a lot about a particular culture by exploring their food. In fact, it may be difficult to fully define a culture without a nod to their cuisine.

                      “Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1825).

                      Don’t believe me? Here’s why food is the best way to understand a culture:

                      Food is a universal necessity.

                      It doesn’t matter where in the world you’re from – you have to eat. And your societal culture most likely evolved from that very need, the need to eat. Once they ventured beyond hunting and gathering, many early civilizations organized themselves in ways that facilitated food distribution and production. That also meant that the animals, land and resources you were near dictated not only what you’d consume, but how you’d prepare and cook it. The establishment of the spice trade and the merchant silk road are two example of the great lengths many took to obtain desirable ingredients.

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                      Food preservation techniques are unique to climates and lifestyle.

                      Ever wonder why the process to preserve meat is so different around the world? It has to do with local resources, needs, and climates. In Morocco, Khlea is a dish composed of dried beef preserved in spices and then packed in animal fat. When preserved correctly, it’s still good for two years when stored at room temperature. That makes a lot of sense in Morocco, where the country historically has had a strong nomadic population, desert landscape, and extremely warm, dry temperatures.

                      Staples of a local cuisines illustrate historical eating patterns.

                      Some societies have cuisines that are entirely based on meat, and others are almost entirely plant-based. Some have seasonal variety and their cuisines change accordingly during different parts of the year. India’s cuisine is extremely varied from region to region, with meat and wheat heavy dishes in the far north, to spectacular fish delicacies in the east, to rice-based vegetarian diets in the south, and many more variations in between.

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                      The western part of India is home to a group of strict vegetarians: they not only avoid flesh and eggs, but even certain strong aromatics like garlic, or root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. Dishes like Papri Chat, featuring vegetable based chutneys mixed with yoghurt, herbs and spices are popular.

                      Components of popular dishes can reveal cultural secrets.

                      This is probably the most intriguing part of studying a specific cuisine. Certain regions of the world have certain ingredients easily available to them. Most people know that common foods such as corn, tomatoes, chili peppers, and chocolate are native to the Americas, or “New World”. Many of today’s chefs consider themselves to be extremely modern when fusing cuisines, but cultural lines blended long ago when it comes to purity of ingredients.

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                      Black pepper originated in Asia but became, and still remains, a critical part of European cuisine. The Belgians are some of the finest chocolatiers, despite it not being native to the old world. And perhaps one of the most interesting result from the blending of two cuisines is Chicken Tikka Masala; it resembles an Indian Mughali dish, but was actually invented by the British!

                      Food tourism – it’s a whole new way to travel.

                      Some people have taken the intergation of food and culture to a new level. No trip they take is complete with out a well-researched meal plan, that dictates not only the time of year for their visit, but also how they will experience a new culture.

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                      So, a food tourist won’t just focus on having a pint at Oktoberfest, but will be interested in learning the German beer making process, and possibly how they can make their own fresh brew. Food tourists visit many of the popular mainstays for traditional tourism, like New York City, San Francisco, London, or Paris, but many locations that they frequent, such as Armenia or Laos, may be off the beaten path for most travelers. And since their interest in food is more than meal deep, they have the chance to learn local preparation techniques that can shed insight into a whole other aspect of a particular region’s culture.

                      Featured photo credit: Young Shih via unsplash.com

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