For the first time, Dallas is one of the top 10 vegan-friendly cities in the United States, according to PETA’s ranking this year.
It might come as somewhat of a surprise, because it’s hard to go a week without someone who's vegetarian or vegan telling me Dallas doesn’t have enough options for them, but there are worthwhile places, and it's nice to see their work recognized.
"From tacos and tamales to a tofurky Italian sausage stack, Big D boasts one of the biggest vegan dining scenes around," PETA executive vice president Tracy Reiman said in the release. "The number of American vegans grew by 600% in just three years, and the cities on PETA's list are meeting the skyrocketing demand for animal-friendly fare."
It is true that we see more options that are plant-based in Dallas restaurants, from fast food to chefs being creative with entrees. On the latter, it’s refreshing to see vegetables rather than tofu making up something that’s supposed to resemble meat. Tofu can be great (and if you don't practice a plant-based diet, meat can be great), but something that’s not meat doesn’t need to try to be meat.
PETA sent Mayor Eric Johnson a certificate for the occasion.
“I am pleased to learn of this recognition, and I am proud of our city’s diverse dining scene,” Johnson told us Monday.
Unsurprisingly, San Francisco tops this list. Dallas, which comes in at No. 7, is one of three cities new to this ranking, along with Orlando (No. 6) and Tulsa (No. 10).
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In this list, PETA points to a number of Dallas restaurants:
- El Palote Panaderia, an all-vegan restaurant and bakery where you can find tacos, tamales and a Mexican tofu cream cheese Danish
- Nuno’s Tacos and Vegmex Grill, like us, they like the jackfruit there
- Tiki Loco in Deep Ellum
- D’Vegan for vegan Vietnamese food
- V-Eats Modern Vegan
- Spiral Diner and Bakery (because it would be a sin to not include the place doing this before so many others were)
- ITSO Vegan in Grand Prairie
- Da Munchies out of West Dallas
- Bam’s Vegan, which is serving a jackfruit ropa vieja
- Sankofa Kitchen, which is taking on alternatives to crispy fried fish, chicken tenders and fried shrimp
- Trinity Hall, which gets a call-out for its “phony bacon, ‘beef’ crumbles,” gravy, ranch dressing, vegan sour cream and Veganaise
- Al Biernat's, for expanding its menu to include items such as a tofurkey Italian sausage stack and a vegan cheeseburger
If it were up to us, we’d also throw out Peace, Love and Eatz, and there are plenty more to try something plant-based and as satisfying as a traditional protein.
Still, we know there’s room to improve, not just to get higher than we are on this list, but to keep our friends with plant-based diets happy in our local dining establishments. For now, we’ll take this nod for some progress accomplished.