By Mary Boone
Yearning for some mac and yease, chickpea polenta or, maybe, just a veggie burger? According to a recent survey, if you’re a vegetarian, Seattle is the place to live.
GrubHub, the nation’s leading food ordering service, identified the 10 most vegetarian-friendly cities in the country and Seattle came out on top, followed by San Jose, Calif., and San Diego. Two Texas cities – long known for their hearty steaks and barbecue – rounded out the Top 5: Houston and Dallas.
Meat-free options continue to grow in popularity among U.S. diners. According to the Vegetarian Resource Group’s May 2012 National Harris Poll, 47 percent of Americans eat at least one vegetarian meal per week.
More than 9 percent of GrubHub’s 15,000 ordering restaurants identify vegetarian as one of their primary cuisines.
GrubHub’s rankings are closely mirrored in a second veggie-friendly survey conducted by Harris Interactive Service Bureau for the Vegetarian Research Group and Vegetarian Times. That fall 2012 review reported that 7.3 million Americans are vegetarians and 22.8 million eat a “vegetarian-inclined” diet.
Seattle ranked No. 2 in the Harris survey of Top Vegetarian Cities, as determined by their number of vegetarian restaurants. Portland, Ore., ranked No. 1 and San Francisco came in third.
The Census Bureau doesn’t track exactly where vegetarians and vegans live but anyone who has been to Seattle knows the city is home to many restaurants that can accommodate meat-free diets.
According to the vegetarian online guide Happy Cow, Seattle is home to at least 59 vegetarian-friendly restaurants. Meatless meals can be found throughout the city. Wallingford, Queen Anne, Green Lake, Fremont and Ballard have earned reputations as particularly veggie-friendly neighborhoods.