Photos: Top ten vegan-friendly cities -- and where Boulder placed

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Big photos below.
We recently shared a list of the ten worst travel cities -- a roster on which Denver finished first -- as judged by inexpensive flights, short travel times to popular destinations and accessibility. But what if you're more interested in another type of accessibility -- such as the ease of finding vegan-friendly food? The folks at PETA, who know a little something about avoiding meat, have come up with their top ten for 2013 -- and one Colorado city made the grade. Check out the choices below, featuring text by PETA.

Number 10: Richmond, Virginia
It's somewhat ironic that a city that's historically been a focal point of the tobacco industry is increasingly being known for health-promoting vegan fare. Richmond, Virginia, is packed with meat-free restaurants, including Phoenix Garden, Rooster Cart, Harrison St. Cafe, Ipanema, and RVA Vegan, a compassionate bakery. Not to be missed are the curried "chicken" salad and fried artichoke hearts at 821 Cafe. For late-night eats, both vegans and meat-eaters will enjoy Strange Matter, a live-music venue that doubles as an arcade and features cruelty-free dishes with such names as The Revenge and Famous Uncle Paul's Vegan Mango Donut Holes.

For more than a decade, vegetarians and vegans in the commonwealth have gathered each June for the Richmond Vegetarian Festival. Admission to the 2013 fest is free!

Number 9: Boulder, Colorado
A half-hour from Denver and a popular destination for outdoorsy types, Boulder has no shortage of hearty vegan options to fill you up after a long day of hiking. Vegans and meat-eaters alike love the customizable pizzas at Sun Deli & Liquor, which offers mouthwatering toppings such as Daiya cheese, dairy-free pesto, vegan chicken breast, and seitan sausage. Locals recommend the veggie pancake sauté and hummus pizza at Julia's Kitchen, and Tsing Tao offers a full menu of Chinese-style dishes made with soy meats, including orange "chicken" and Mongolian "beef." For lighter fare, try the mushroom-avocado tartar or raw manicotti made from zucchini noodles at Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant.

Boulder's many vegan-friendly restaurants, bakeries, bars, and grocery stores helped it edge out other college towns, including Gainesville, Florida; Madison, Wisconsin; Athens, Georgia; and Lawrence, Kansas, to make our list of the top 10 vegan-friendly cities in the nation.

Continue to keep counting down the top ten vegan-friendly cities.

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Sara Harper
Sara Harper

For the size/population of Boulder versus all of the other cities, I think we did pretty well :)

Missy Rhysing
Missy Rhysing

You could just cook your own food, and make it vegan. Anywhere.


I always thought Vegans were these healthy looking people in great shape, of course until I met a few.... To many carbs make you not so healthy.... I think I'll stick to my diet, I'm a whole lot healthier....

Sarah Elizabeth Korus
Sarah Elizabeth Korus

Yeah try living in Nebraska while being vegetarian. It's difficult in the largest city in that state...nevertheless the rural areas where I grew up. I couldn't imagine trying to be vegan in the Midwest, overall.

Pam Stiffler
Pam Stiffler

gluten free's getting a little better, but not much

michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@Sarah Elizabeth Korus Interesting, Sarah. Thanks for sharing your experiences, which we're going to feature in an upcoming Comment of the Day. Much appreciated.

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