a healthy ranking

Houston tops Texas as the best place for vegans in new report

Houston tops Texas as the best place for vegans in new report

Verdine food overhead shot
Houston is home to Verdine, which is a big deal in the vegan restaurant scene. Photo by Michael Ma Photography

Houston made the top 10 in a new survey of the top cities in the U.S. where it's best to be a vegan, coming in at No. 6 on the list — making it the best city in Texas, ahead of Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, and Fort Worth.

The survey by the team at Meal Delivery Experts set out to determine which cities have the most vegan food options. They compiled the 20 most populous cities in the U.S., then used data from TripAdvisor to count how many restaurants or food venues in each city offers at least one vegan option.

New York is No. 1, blowing everyone else away with 1,464 restaurants or food venues offering vegan options — more than double the number than any other city on the list.

No. 2: Los Angeles is in second place, with 705 restaurants or food venues offering vegan options. Los Angeles has among the widest variety of cuisines including vegan Korean, Ethiopian, and Thai food.

No. 3: Chicago, with 489 restaurants or food venues offering vegan options, which is a surprise since Chicago is such a big meat town, although the city is best known for deep-dish pizza, and many Chicago restaurants now offer a vegan alternative.

Houston earned its No. 6 ranking thanks to its total of 312 restaurants. Diners have a range of options, from dedicated vegan restaurants like Verdine and Mo' Better Brews to vegan-friendly fine dining options like Theodore Rex and Le Jardinier, the restaurant at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston with sisters locations in New York and Miami that each hold one Michelin star. The city's Indian and Pakistani restaurants offer plenty of vegan fare — think of chef Anita Jaisinghani's Meatless Mondays at Pondicheri as one example. 

Whether motivated by health, environmental, or ethical reasons, the number of vegans in the U.S. is rapidly increasing, reaching new heights in 2022. One in ten, or 10 percent, of Americans now consider themselves vegan or vegetarian.

The dollars are also there, with the plant-based industry worth over $7 billion in the US in 2022.

The milk substitute market is valued at over $3 billion in 2022, and the meat substitute market is valued over $1 billion in 2022.

Austin was the only other Texas city to make the top 10, coming in at No. 8 with 286 restaurants.

Dallas was No. 12, boasting 209 restaurants that are vegan or offer vegan options, followed by San Antonio at No. 13, with 202 vegan- or vegan-friendly establishments.

Fort Worth came in last place, with 68 restaurants or food venues offering at least one vegan option, despite Fort Worth's buzzy vegan scene with places like Pizza Verde, Zonk Burger, Mariachi's Dine-In. Fort Worth is also home to Texas' most famous vegan restaurant, Spiral Diner.

The full list, by ranking: 

  1. New York - 1464
  2. Los Angeles - 705
  3. Chicago - 489
  4. San Francisco - 467
  5. San Diego - 385
  6. Houston - 312
  7. Seattle - 309
  8. Austin - 286
  9. Denver - 261
  10. Philadelphia - 258
  11. Phoenix - 234
  12. Dallas - 209
  13. San Antonio - 202
  14. Charlotte, NC - 176
  15. Jacksonville, FL - 140
  16. Indianapolis - 140
  17. Columbus, Ohio - 137
  18. San Jose - 80
  19. Oklahoma City - 80
  20. Fort Worth - 68