Not quite Portland (yet), Boise now ranks among nation’s elite vegetarian cities?

Boise co-op vegetarian menu.jpg
Posted at 6:01 PM, Oct 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-01 20:01:07-04

This article was originally published by Michael Deeds in the Idaho Statesman.

When it comes to carrot chompin’ champion, Portland has few pears — er, peers.

Our crunchy Northwest neighbors are No. 1 in a newly released ranking of the nation’s Best Cities for Vegans and Vegetarians.

But don’t swallow that Slim Jim wrapper and sneer at Oregon hipsters just yet, Ted Nugent fan. Deer season or not, Boise is trending in an alarming direction for flesh-eating purists.

After ranking No. 47 in 2018 and No. 23 in 2019, the City of Trees swallowed a gallon of Miracle-Gro again.

Boise is now the nation’s No. 7 vegan- and vegetarian-friendly city, according to the study, compiled annually by WalletHub.

Put that in your corncob pipe and smoke it, Idaho. Assuming you’re done nibbling every kernel of corn, of course.

How did this happen?

The study’s methodology compared the United States’ 100 most populated cities using three main vegetarian standards: affordability; diversity, accessibility and quality; and lifestyle.

Those criteria were compiled using lots of plant-based metrics. You had cost of groceries for vegetarians. Availability of restaurants with vegetarian and vegan options. You had number of certified organic farms, community gardens, and juice and smoothie shops. And vegetable and fruit consumption.

For a breakdown, read the WalletHub article, which has more detail than a Whole Foods ingredients label.

WalletHub is a personal finance website. So it’s tempting to dismiss all this as a bunch of bull. (Speaking of which, a registered Angus steak sounds pretty good right now, right?)

But truth be told, Boise clearly is much more vegetarian-friendly than it was years ago. Case in point: Did you see who got third place for Best Vegetarian Menu in this year’s Idaho Statesman Best of Treasure Valley readers’ poll? BBQ4Life restaurant.

Yep, even our barbecue joints cater to vegetarians.

But don’t worry, carnivores. Even if Boise continues creeping up the annual list, we’ll never tap Portland on its PETA-tattooed shoulder. Still separating us in this year’s study are Los Angeles (No. 2), San Francisco (No. 3), Orlando (No. 4), Seattle (No. 5) and Miami (No. 6).

On the other hand, nothing is impossible.

Except for that tasty Impossible Burger, of course.