If you’re trying to steer clear of meat, you might not want to move to Chicago. According to a recent report conducted by WalletHub, Chicago has the lowest percentage of restaurants serving at least one vegan option. But the same report, while revealing a bleak outlook for Windy City vegans, also uncovered some promising information for plant-based consumers in other American towns.
The plant-based movement is gaining traction, winning celebrity endorsements and spreading as a foodie phenomenon nearly everywhere. Ne-Yo, Jason Derulo, and dozens of other celebs have now made the switch to veganism — and with controversial films such as What the Health circulating on Netflix and other outlets, the critical spotlight on the meat industry is stronger than ever.
But actually going vegan isn’t as easy as just talking about it like a passing trend. Restaurants still haven’t fully caught up, and it seems many chefs are completely clueless when it comes to preparing a decent vegan meal. One woman was even served a large plate of raw onions — the most disappointing dinner of all time. No matter how many times it’s reiterated that vegans eat more than just spinach and almonds, venues keep on struggling to accommodate.
Ne-Yo believes that location makes a difference, admitting that his swap to veganism was way easier to do living in LA — and felt close to impossible in Atlanta.
It turns out that he’s onto something.
The WalletHub survey looked closely at the food scenes of 100 of America’s biggest cities and ranked them based on whether or not they were vegan-friendly. The report assessed 15 different factors to make their decision, such as vegan grocery cost, restaurant accommodation, and prevalence of farmers markets.
Taking all factors into consideration, New York City was revealed as number one. If you’ve ever been to New York, this makes sense — there are farmers markets everywhere, and its vegan restaurants are some of the best in the whole country.