The 100 Best Cities in the World to Eat a Vegan Burger
Vegan is the thing in 2019, especially among bearded craft-beer drinking hipster folks on bicycles living in the suburbs of big cities. Therefore, Dutch online moving platform ScanMovers.com decided to do some serious research into the matter, to determine the best place to move to for our vegan moving customers. We compiled a comprehensive in-depth report: The 100 Best Cities in the World to Eat a Vegan Burger (T100BCWEVB).
Our top 10 are:
- Los Angeles
- New York
- San Francisco
- Chiang Mai
- Ho Chi Minh City
We collected data on 10 different vegan burger-related categories in 100 vegan-friendly cities in this world. The categories are: vegan restaurants per 100k, average price of a vegan burger, vegan burger availability in supermarkets, vegan shops per 100k residents, vegan burger buzz, hipster ranker, known vegan burger recipes, and vegetarism per country. See below for more about our methods.
The report was compiled by the ScanMovers Vegan Burger Team (VBT), with help from dozens of vegan burger fans around the world. Before we began, we had to answer one very important question: What is a vegan burger?
A vegan burger, also known as a vegan hamburger, is a burger made entirely from vegan produce. What is vegan produce? Perhaps it is easier to list what is not: butter, cream, eggs, cheese from cows or goats, milk from cows or goats, fish, shellfish, shrimp, lobster, gelatin, and honey. If any of these ingredients sits in a vegan burger it is not really a vegan burger. It might still be a veggie burger, but we do not care about those. The most common produces replacing meat in a vegan burger are: tofu, seitan, chickpeas, seaweed, tempeh, and pulled jackfruit. If that doesn’t sound delicious, what does..? Much more on recipes in our Methods-section below.
One more question we had to ask was: why do people eat vegan burgers? The answer was more complex than expected. Roughly, vegan burger consumers can be divided into three classes:
1. Consumers who believe vegan hamburgers are healthier than hamburgers. These consumers are usually very fit and dedicated to it.
2. Consumers who believe vegan hamburgers save animals. These consumers are usually very fierce, going all the way to save a chicken, and very vegan-dedicated.
3. Consumers who believe vegan hamburgers make them look hip. These consumers are usually cool in a somewhat fun kind of way. They are not totally dedicated to the vegan cause.
The craft-beer drinking hipsters usually mix 3 with a bit of 1, and perhaps a tiny bit of 2. Ordering a vegan burger is very instagrammable, but at the same time they do believe they are doing something good, although they rarely know what exactly. A new phenomenom thanks to the internet is the “vegan lifestyle”. With vegan lifestyle, veganism isn’t just about eating vegan burgers. It is about everything in life, think about vegan clothes, vegan shoes, and even vegan sex toys.
To recap: Vegan hamburgers appear to be good for many things: human health, animal welfare, CO2 emissions, and arable land (less animals = more land for mangos). If vegan burgers are so good, why isn’t everybody a vegan burger eater?
For one thing, vegan burgers are very expensive. In many cities, a vegan burger costs up to 3 times more than a meaty hamburger and we see the same difference in supermarkets. This is a serious hindrance to mass market adoption of vegan burgers, but when veganism spreads further, prices will inevitably come down.
It also appears the masses are not always happy with the image of veganism, especially not the image associated with vegan-extremists, mostly found in animal rights groups. Luckily, these groups are being pushed to the fringes with the inclusion of veganism in the much more positive movement.
There are also quite some health issues. Vegans may believe their diet is healthy, but whether this is actually true is still very much under debate. This is especially true for the health-effects of a vegan diet for children, elderly, and other risk groups. Over the course of this research we have seen literally thousands of vegan websites and social-media pages. The people pictured on those pages mostly look very happy, but left the impression of being quite pale and skinny.
It seems likely that better additives-for-vegans will fix these problems sooner or later. When that is done, when prices go down and when the vegan movement goes mainstream; the vegan burger’s future seems bright. A very delicious future!
Perhaps this report may help. So let’s grab a greasy vegan burger and an ice cold craft beer, and check out our list:
Comments on the Top 10
Berlin takes first place, making it the capital of vegan burgerism. The Berliners are absolutely fanatical about veganism. There are more vegan festivals in Berlin than in any other city, they have trillions of vegan Facebook groups and lots of vegan shops. One that stands out particularily: a vegan sex shop, where vegans can get vegan sex toys. Yes, Berlin really deserves first place. Berlin furthermore scores high with recipes, shops, and buzz. But the city needs more vegan restaurants to secure its top position and lower vegan burger price would help a lot too.
The latest vegan news from Berlin: earlier this year, Berlin opened the first full-vegan canteen for students. The restaurant is called Veggie 2.0, and that is perfectly suited for the tech capital of the EU. Prices are friendly too; a vegan dish can be had for only €3.80.
The capital of Brexit takes second place. London is competing with Berlin to become Europe’s hippest capital and one battlefield is veganism. London has far more vegan restaurants than Berlin, and price points are about the same. But the Londoners are just not fanatic enough about veganism, best visible by a lack of vegan shops. More broadly speaking; the U.K. has only half as much vegetarians as Germany, making it harder for veganism to grow.
The latest vegan news from London: American fast-food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken launched a vegan burger in their restaurants in London. The burger sold out in four days, and outsold chicken burgers by 500%. The burger has a brilliant name: The Imposter. And that, of course, is exactly what it is, albeit a welcome one.
3. Los Angeles
Numbers 3, 4, and 5 are an all-American affair. The City of Angels takes third place. Los Angeles is famous for its vegan movie stars and singers, including such celebrities as Woody Harrelson and Miley Cyrus. That in turn creates massive buzz, and buzz makes for more vegans. L.A. furthermore scored strong with vegan restaurants, vegan shops, and of course with a high hipster index. And perhaps in L.A., with that hot sun, not every vegan needs to look so pale.
The latest vegan news from Los Angeles: L.A.-based company Juicebot launched vegan smoothie vending machines in the city. The machines dispatch 100-percent raw organic juice and smoothies. Naturally, the healthy wet stuff is served in compostable cups.
4. New York
Where veganism is like fashion in L.A., New Yorkers are more serious about it, almost like Berliners. There are clubs and festivals, with stern-looking folk spreading the gospel. The Big Apple scores strong with vegan restaurants, vegan shops, and with burger buzz. New York is actually only 0.1 point away from L.A., with only a few more burger recipes they could easily move up a place. We would love to see some more New York vegan smiles!
The latest vegan news from New York: The New York State Senate passed a bill requiring hospitals to have a vegan option at every meal. An interesting move, as the health effects of veganism are still very much in debate. One doesn’t want to fix up a patient, just to see him go ill again, because he had his lunch vegan.
5. San Francisco
Flowers in your hair, and food made from seeds. San Francisco is an interesting contender, as it is home to many food-tech companies, who want to better the world, and their wallets. At the same time, there is a very real vegan hippie culture, and a strong animal-rights movement. This somewhat combustible combination may lead to a vegan paradise or to vegan mayhem. San Francisco scores strong with shops, price point, buzz, and hipsterness, but they lack with restaurants.
The latest vegan news from San Francisco: a new two-story only-vegan Italian restaurant is about to open in the ultra hip Hayes Valley neighborhood. The restaurant will serve all the usual Italian fare, plus vegan burgers. All ingredients will be plant-based.
The high score of Paris was a bit surprising, as the city isn’t known for any strong hipster or vegan culture. The French love their meat, and there are persistent worries about vegan-related health issues. Still, they know how to cook in the City of Light, and Paris scores with recipes, restaurants, and vegan burger buzz. Paris could go even higher with a better price point and with some added hipsterness.
The latest vegan news from Paris: a medical research institute published a new study indicating a correlation between veganism and depression. It was already known that vegetarians had a knack for depression, and things are even worse for vegans. The researchers put the blame for depressed vegans on the consumption of legumes. So if you see a crying vegan running for the railway, get him to lay off the massive amount of beans.
7. Chiang Mai
The Thai city of Chiang Mai has long been a tourism hop spot for exciting stuff like vegetarian cooking classes and healthy-mountain tea. In this respect, Chiang Mai is rather different than the rest of the country, where booze and boobs seem to matter more. In recent years, the vegan business has been booming too, with lots of new vegan restaurants opening, catering to tourists and locals alike. Chiang Mai scores with lots of vegan shops, a very friendly vegan burger price, and a range-topping hipster ranking.
The latest somehwat-vegan related news from Chiang Mai: The Tuk-tuk has long been an iconic symbol of transportation in Thailand. They are also very bad for the elephants. Grab, a ride-hailing firm from Singapore, has started a project in Chiang Mai that will replace all the city's 450 polluting Tuk-tuks with electrical ones. The savings: 4.18 tons of greenhouse gas, per year, per vehicle! Soon, you will be able to eat your vegan burger under a crystal clear sky.
The city that gave its name to the hamburger makes it to eight place in our vegan burger list. Who would have thought? Like in Berlin, veganism is hot in Hamburg, with a notable lot of vegan festivals. In Germany, it seems, vegans like to do it together. Hamburg scores high with vegan restaurants, a reasonable burger price, and a high vegan burger buzz.
The latest vegan news from Hamburg: fanatic vegan and animal activists started an all-vegan circus. The animal acts have been replaced with funny human beings, including a drag queen. Naturally, the food and drinks are fully vegan too.
Copenhagen is a regular in our lists; scoring high with both craft beer and bicycles. Where we ever to make a comprehensive ‘Hipster Cities’ list, Copenhagen would probably win. With vegan burgers they grab ninth place. Copenhagen does well with restaurants, shops, and vegan stuff in supermarkets. What holds them down most is the price point, a problem that also affects the score of other Scandinavian cities.
The latest vegan news from Copenhagen: Late last year, a vegan-meal delivery company launched the world’s first ‘quit meat’ helpline. The line is staffed by doctors and nutritionist, and it open everyday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The team is ready to help callers to get meat off their menu and become a vegan, which of course is great for the company’s business. An interesting idea, but what’s next? Burger King launching a similar line to help vegans to get back to meat?! Let's hope not.
10. Ho Chi Minh City
Vegetarianism has long been part of Vietnamese culture, much more so than in Thailand. This was a good base for Ho Chi Minh City’s vegan burger score; mixing this tradition with more modern tourism and hipster influences. The city scores high in restaurants, price point, hipster ranker, and recipes. There is a lot of potential. Ho Chi Minh City could easily climb a few places by having more vegan produce in supermarkets and by having more vegan shops.
The latest vegan news from Ho Chi Mi City: A local company has developed edible drinking straws. The straws are made of totally vegan rice flour. After drinking your bio-juice you can just eat the straw and forget it ever existed. The company says they have the straws to save the environment and to promote a healthier lifestyle. We slurp to that!
There is a method behind the "non-meatness". To compile our list we look at 10 vegan-burger categories, gather lots of data, put them in a sheet and then we let loose a formula. This is how we get our results. These are the categories:
Vegan restaurants per 100k inhabitants
The more vegan restaurants, the better for eating a vegan burger. This category is a simple calculation: we count the number of vegan restaurants in a city, divided by the total population, times 100.000. We only count restaurants that advertise themselves as ‘vegan’. We do not count hamburger restaurants that also offer a vegan burger. Even McDonald’s is offering vegan burgers these days, but nobody would call it a vegan restaurant, right?
Average price of a Vegan Burger in Euro
Price matters, and, as mentioned above, veganism is an expensive hobby. The cheaper a vegan burger, the more people will eat one. For this category, we check the price of a vegan burger in 3 vegan restaurants and calculate the average price.
Vegan Burgers in the Supermarket
In this category we do a simple check: are vegan burgers available in a normal supermarket? This gives an indication how much veganism by the populace of a city. Supermarkets would not offer vegan burgers if they cannot sell them. To find out, we check supermarkets’ websites and check if a vegan burger is on offer.
Vegan shops per 100k city inhabitants
Veganism is more than just vegan burgers. Veganism is a lifestyle, with vegan-everything. Vegan-only shops cater to this lifestyle, offering wide ranges of vegan stuff, from vegan clothes to vegan coffee, and whatnot more. For this category, we simply count the number of vegan shops in each city per 100k inhabitants. Vegetarian shops and those shops selling 'some' vegan stuff, are totally excluded.
Vegan Burger Buzz
Our buzz-meter has been a quite successful measurement in our earlier research projects into craft beer or bicycling. So it is back again for the vegan burgers. In this category we check the number of websites, blogs, and posts on social media discussing vegan burgers and veganism in a city. The more buzz, the higher the score. Normally, we would use terms like ‘low, medium, high, very high’ to show the buzz level in a city. But in this case, to stay close to our subject, we use: Rare, Medium Rare, Medium, Medium Well, and Well Done.
Because vegan burgers are closely associated with hipsters, at least lately, we also bring back our popular city hipster check, albeit with a new name: Hipster Ranker. In this category we check the hipster level of each city by looking at the availability of typical hipster stuff like: craft beer bars, cargo bikes, vintage shops, and hipster events. The more hipster-friendly a city is, the higher the score. The lowest score is a 1 (Hipster Hell), the highest a 10 (Hipster Heaven).
Known Vegan Burger Recipes
This category is about variation. More recipes means more vegan burger buyers. More variation means higher vegan burger acceptance. For this category we check out 3 vegan restaurants in each city, and check to total of different vegan burger recipes between them. We mainly look at the meat-replacement; but also at herbs vegetables. The more different recipes we count, the higher the score a city gets.
Vegetarianism by Country
Originally, we wanted to check the number of vegans in each country, to get an idea how widespread the movement it. Sadly however, there are not enough data on this subject yet, as veganism is still a relatively new thing. So somewhat reluctantly, we decided to go for vegetarianism instead, where more data is available. The more veggies in a country; the higher the score.
It should be noted here that whereas India has the largest vegetarian population in the world, both total and relatively, the country isn't really into veganism yet. Like mentioned before, veganism is an expensive hobby and there is no real veganism-related tourism like in Thailand or Vietnam.
Vegan Burger Index
The categories are ranked, depending on their overal importance in relation to each other. Then, we device a formula to make sense of the numbers. Together, the categories and the formula make for the final score, called the Vegan Burger Index, which is where the ranking is based on.
fx=((H15/(max(H$3:H$102)/100)*H$1) +(I15/(max(I$3:I$102)/100)*I$1) +
(G15/(max(G$3:G$102)/100)*G$1) + (L15/(max(L$3:L$102)/100)*L$1) +
(N15/(max(N$3:N$102)/100)*N$1) +(O15/(max(O$3:O$102)/100)*O$1) +
(P15/(max(P$3:P$102)/100)*P$1) + (R15/(max(R$3:R$102)/100)*R$1))/sum($1:$1)
ScanMovers Best Vegan Burger Recipe
Based on our extensive research into vegan burgers recipes and lots of tastings, we have come up with, what we think, is the BEST vegan burger recipe. We call it the ScanMovers Best Vegan Burger Recipe (SMBVBR). Our dream burger has 11 ingredients, and takes about 40 minutes to make.
SMVBBR - What you need:
Sauteed onion - 2 (small)
Panko bread crumbs - ½ cup
Raw walnuts - 1.5 cups
Brown rice - 1 cup
Black beans - 2 cups
Paprika powder - ½ teaspoon
Rapeseed oil - 1 teaspoon
Vegan mayonnaise - 2 teaspoon
Sweetcorn - 1 cup
Tomato paste - 2 teaspoon
Canned chickpeas - 1 cup
SMBVBR - How to build:
Cut the onions into tiny pieces, add salt. Put the onion pieces in a bowl Add the panko bread crumbs and raw walnuts. Mix. Preheat the brown rice and black beans. Mix in a separate bowl. Add paprika powder and rapeseed oil to separate bowl. Mix. Wait ten minutes. Add content of separate bowl to main bowl. Mix. Add vegan mayonnaise and sweetcorn. Mix. When the mix thickens (keep mixing if it does not) add the tomato paste and canned chickpeas. Mix. Grab two handful of mix and mould into a shape resembling a burger. Shallow fry for 20 minutes, turning regularly. Your burger is ready! Add pickles or raw tomatoes as desired.
And? Wasn’t that a delicious vegan burger..? Oh lalala!
Most internet research projects merely copy-paste each other, without ever unveiling their data and sources (they don't have any). As you have seen above, we have published ALL our data, and we also publish ALL our sources, each and every one:
Thank you for reading and eet smakkelijk!