Tampa ranks as a top vegan and vegetarian-friendly city

We have plenty of plant-based eateries to choose from.
Vegan broccoli slaw with vegan burgers in the background for Memorial Day.
Vegan broccoli slaw with vegan burgers in the background for Memorial Day. [ SHADD, DIRK | Tampa Bay Times ]
Published Oct. 9, 2019

Local animal lovers, rejoice. Tampa is the 10th-best city for vegans and vegetarians in America, according to a new ranking by WalletHub.

WalletHub came out with the list at the end of September. Experts ranked the 100-largest cities in the United States after considering factors like salad shops per capita, restaurants with meatless options and cost of vegetarian-friendly groceries.

Tampa did well because of its high score in the “diversity, accessibility and quality” category. To come up with this number, experts looked at the shares of restaurants serving vegan and vegetarian options, as well as the number of community gardens, access to fresh vegetarian food, and smoothie bars per capita. Of all the cities on the list, Tampa had the second-most vegetable nurseries per capita.

Tampa also had a high “vegetarian lifestyle” ranking. Experts came up with a score for this category by looking at the vegan meetups per capita, the availability of vegetarian festivals, and vegetable and fruit consumption.

Why didn’t Tampa rank higher? Experts gave it a low affordability score.

Orlando was the highest-ranked Florida city at No. 3. Other spots in the Sunshine State fell further on the list, with Jacksonville coming in at No. 24, Miami at No. 32 and St. Petersburg dragging toward the end of the list at No. 74.

Here are the top 10 most vegetarian- and vegan-friendly cities:

10. Tampa

9. San Diego

8. San Francisco

7. NYC

6. Atlanta

5. Austin

4. Seattle

3. Orlando

2. Los Angeles

1. Portland, Ore.

Source: WalletHub

Interested in plant-based food? Here’s our top vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Tampa Bay.