With the focus shifting to clean and healthy eating, vegan and vegetarian tourism is a growing market sought by travellers with a penchant for plant-based gastronomy. We bring you the three cities at the forefront of this movement in the USA.
Portland takes the top spot on the list, thanks to its growing vegetarian population and the plethora of lucrative restaurants that support it. Here, you can truly live the lifestyle. The city is great for those who crave meat, but of the meatless variety. Enjoy a beet veggie burger made with seaweed and hazelnut at the White Owl Social Club, or chow down on tempeh ribs at Homegrown Smoker. Egg and dairy-free baked goods, confectionery and ice cream are available at bakeries and doughnut shops in every corner. Artisan vegan cheeses and pepperoni melts can be had at Vtopian Deli. Portland’s all-vegan enterprises include a summer camp, a bed and breakfast, a punk-metal bar, medical institutions and a tattoo parlour, among many others.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
The hometown of Hollywood is best known for its fast cars, celebrity glamour and swanky shops – but did you know that it is also a destination for superlative vegetarian fare? The options are endless. Delicious artichoke oysters can be had at Crossroads, and imaginative curries and wholesome bowl dishes of all kinds are on offer at Native Foods Café. After a long day on the town, veggie cheeseburgers and chilli cheese fries at Doomie’s Home Cookin’ is the ultimate comfort food. You can also learn how to whip up your own eats at Spork Foods, a gourmet food company and culinary school that conducts cooking demonstrations and in-home teaching.
ArtShare LA is where you can get your dose of all-things-art. Even the exterior of the building is great for photos.
Phantasma Gloria is a glittering sculpture created by artist Randlett Lawrence at the entrance of Echo Park and works as a giant sun catcher.
The Ensalada Azteca salad at Native Foods Cafe is packed with nutritious greens, seeds and veggies.
The Last Bookstore is a whimsical place that used to be the site for an abandoned bank. Books of all kinds can be bought here.
Take a seat in any outdoor cafe in downtown LA and you may spot a celebrity. Pictured – Selena Gomez.
Dresses in all colours and styles can be found at the world-famous shopping district.
The Universal Studios theme park guarantees a full day of fun and adventure.
This city is defined by its strong country music roots and, as of late, a booming plant-based food scene. Graze is known for its mac and chorizo – pasta covered in a cashew-based cheese sauce topped with seitan chorizo. Frothy Monkey lists tofu as a meat and Mad Donna’s offers a vegan black-bean burger. For something out of the box, try the peach pizza at City House. This is a seasonal offering available all summer long. In between discovering fine fare, we recommend checking out the enigmatic Johnny Cash Museum, the Adventure Science Center and the musical heritage of the Ryman Auditorium.
Brush up on your knowledge of country sounds with a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and adjoining museum.
Nashville is home to a wonderful street art culture. Old buildings are jazzed up with funky and interactive graffiti.
Cheekwood Botanical Garden hosts vibrant art exhibits during the summer.
Put on your cowboy boots and head to the Wildshore Saloon to bus a move with the line dance performers.
The Grand Ole Opry is a weekly, historic country music show where you can hear smooth, rustic tunes produced through the years.