Austin leads way, but Texas tumbles in vegetarian-friendly rankings

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Austin leads way, but Texas tumbles in vegetarian-friendly rankings

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Ricardo Brazziell/AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN
The combination vegetarian platter at the Habesha Ethiopian Restaurant in north Austin is among Austin's vegetarian-friendly options.

When WalletHub released its list of “2017’s Best Cities for Vegans & Vegetarians” it was probably too much to hope that a Texas city would make the Top 10. Beef … it’s what’s for breakfast lunch and dinner in a state that elevates barbecue to a minor religion.

But two Texas cities made the top 20, with Austin (predictably) leading the way at No. 13 and Houston following at No. 17. The top five were New York, Portland, Orlando, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The credit and financial advice website’s rankings gave cities scores for Affordability; Diversity, Accessibility & Quality; and “Vegetarian Lifestyle” (Anaheim had the top spot in that category). 

Dallas and Plano made the top half of the 100-city list at Nos. 37 and 49, respectively. El Paso was the lowest-ranked Texas city at No. 81. At the bottom of the list were Toledo, Ohio, and Greensboro, NC. Amarillo? It didn’t make the top 100.

Though San Antonio was No. 73 on the list, it did lead a Texas-dominated Top 5 list of “Lowest Cost of Groceries for Vegetarians.” The next four were Corpus Christi, Houston, Louisville KY and Austin.

In other side rankings, Texas bottomed out. El Paso, San Antonio and Laredo were in the bottom five for “lowest percentage of restaurants serving vegetarian options,” and Laredo led the way “fewest salad shops per capita.”

A few surprises: Steak capital Omaha made the top 100 at No. 85. And buffalo wings and cheesesteaks didn’t keep Buffalo (13) or Philadelphia (24) from making the Top 25.

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