Hottest U.S. Cities for Vegan Dining

Hottest U.S. Cities for Vegan Dining

By Adria Valdes Greenhauff, Editor-at-Large

It’s a great time to be a vegan in America. With more health studies revealing the negative impact of meat consumption on our environment and our bodies, a growing number of consumers are gravitating towards more plant-centric diets — and the restaurant industry is definitely taking notice.

A vast number of people are seeking to reduce their meat intake, creating a rapidly growing market for all things vegetarian,” Bill Harper, vice president and publisher of Vegetarian Times, explained.

Eric Pierce, director of strategy and insights at New Hope Media seems to agree, telling audience members at the Natural Products Expo West, “the reality is we are beginning to see a lot of opportunity that might not have been obvious at the beginning.” Pierce also believes that most of the shift isn’t coming from vegans themselves, but rather meat-eaters who are cutting back.

Indeed, with everything from plant-based bacon to vegan cheese making its way onto restaurant menus all over the country, there’s no doubt that vegan eats are going mainstream. PETA even dubbed 2016 as the “Year of the Vegan.” What’s more, Foodable Labs data showed 11.2 million plant-based or vegan menu mentions on social media within the last four monthsand an impressive 81.24 average food sentiment on vegan menus.

Still, not all vegan options are created equal, and there are a handful of destinations that are quickly becoming known for vegan and vegetarian dining. Let’s take a closer look at what cities reign supreme among plant lovers.

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5 New England Style Seafood Joints Making a Splash in Los Angeles

5 New England Style Seafood Joints Making a Splash in Los Angeles

By Courtney Walsh, West Coast Editor

Los Angeles is a city of transplants, with many from all over the world coming to call the city home. As such, the city is home to a vibrant and diverse culinary scene that features influences from a number of cooking traditions. Yet one surprising culinary trend recently popping up in restaurants throughout the city is not from a distant shore but rather the other coast of our own country – that of East Coast seafood.

While Los Angeles is already home to a number of seafood oriented cuisines, over the last several years, the city has witnessed a surprising trend of East Coast themed seafood eateries opening in the area. A result of both hungry East Coasters pining for their familiar dishes alongside ambitious chefs looking to bring some of their favorite East Coast dishes out West, these New England seafood-joints have become all the rage amongst transplants and locals alike.

From food trucks to fine dining establishments, here’s a look into the top five concepts serving up the freshest New England style eats west of the Mississippi.

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Roaming Hunger Helps Revive Fading Interest in Local Food Trucks

Local Food Truck  | Facebook

Local Food Truck | Facebook

In Los Angeles, the birthplace of the food truck movement, the streets are lined with an ever growing number of these "restaurant on wheels" operations.  Yet despite the growing number of food trucks, consumer interest has been diminishing over the last few years.  LA based website Roaming Hunger, however, is hoping to usher in a second wave.  

By compiling an online directory of local food vendors, Roaming Hunger founder Ross Resnick offers potential customers real time information about over 6,000 mobile vendors. And best yet, no vendor is too small, with Resnick going to extreme ends to track down some of the city's best local street vendors.  

Resnick hopes that with this resource made accessible to hungry customers, it will make great street dining options easy to find as well as offer more avenues for these food trucks to make additional income.  Read More 

LA's Hottest Pizza Operators

LA's Hottest Pizza Operators

By Courtney Walsh, West Coast Editor

While New York and Chicago fight over who serves the best slice, a number of Los Angeles based restaurants have been quietly serving up pizzas with fresh, seasonal ingredients that would impress even the staunchest critics.  

From fast casual to white tablecloth dining - here is our round up of the top five pizza serving establishments in LA. 

Sotto

If Los Angeles had to pick one pizza to pit against the best pizzas around the world, that pizza would have to come from Sotto.  Opened by Steve Samson and Zach Pollack, Sotto serves up a number of other Southern Italian inspired dishes, but it is their Neapolitan pizzas that steal the show.  With a special dough recipe developed by Pollack, the pizzas are cooked in the restaurant’s specialty wood-burning oven, the first of its kind in LA that was built onsite by craftsmen hailing straight from Naples. 

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Hidden Gems: Los Angeles' Most Underrated Eateries

Photo Credit: Eater

Photo Credit: Eater

What is it that makes a restaurant underrated? Is it when an establishment's not the first to come to mind when thinking of where to go to dinner? Or that it has an off-the-beaten-path location? Perhaps the venue is not all over your Foursquare check-ins or the food blogs you religiously consume. Whatever it may be, an underrated restaurant cannot be defined by poor service or anticlimactic food. These hidden gems are sacred experiences in some way or another, and most likely away from the touristy hustle-bustle.

Last month, Eater did the work so you don't have to - mapping all the most notable, worth-checking-out gems in LA. Deciding what makes it so underrated is your call. Read More

Have you been to any of the mapped restaurants? Let us know what you think makes them so great in the comments below.