It feels like just a few years ago that vegan options weren't so popular in India's tier-1 cities. But now, they are growing into shining examples of how veganism is booming across the nation.
In India, vegetarianism is common but veganism—a lifestyle in which one abstains from using animal products of any kind—is a distinction that's becoming more mainstream.
It's no surprise that the world's most vegetarian-friendly country is making it easier to go vegan. Even large chains like Starbucks, Baskin Robbins, and Blue Tokai are noticing—and providing their interpretation of dairy-, meat-, and egg-free options! But which city in India has the largest number of vegans?
Although there is no exact number of vegans in any given city, it's safe to say that their numbers are relatively small compared with the general population. So why do so many restaurants offer vegan options, then?
Most Indian food is naturally vegan so it’s easier to incorporate plant-based food into menus. Additionally, the shift toward healthier eating has made way for restaurants serve more clean, delicious plant-based foods.
And most importantly, there's a widespread interest in veganism. The number that really matters is the number of vegan restaurants and cafes there are, rather than how many vegans there are. Here’s the top 5 most vegan friendly cities in India!
India's second most populous city, Mumbai boasts a large number of restaurants and cafes that are vegan, vegetarian, or have vegan options. According to Happy Cow, there are 157 places to explore!
In addition, Mumbai is home to the country's largest vegan festival—the Ahimsa Fest.
In 2014, PETA named Bengaluru the most vegan-friendly city in India.
Not only is Bangalore a buzzing tech-hub, it's a heaven for foodies. We sum it up in four words: the South Indian breakfast. Think of piping hot idlis, crispy vadas, and perfectly cooked dosas.
Veganism is enjoying a growing number of people who are starting their own businesses to cater to the growing demand for vegan food. According to Happy Cow, there are a whopping 138 different cafes or restaurants that are either vegan, vegetarian, or have vegan options.
Check out local businesses like Angelo Vegan Cheese, Crave by Leena, Lucky Vegan, A Little Dipsy, Pudducakes, Bergamot, and Hello Tampayy just to name a few! You can view the best vegan spots in Bangalore in our other blog post.
In 2018, PETA recognised Chennai as the most vegan-friendly city in India. Happycow lists 77 different restaurants or cafes that are either vegan, vegetarian, or have vegan options.
We have to start with Cafe 28, the all vegan food court in Chennai that serves favourites like sweets, pizza, burgers, noodles, smoothies, and more! Other popular spots include Pumpkin Tales, Lyfe By Soul Garden Bistro, The Brew Room, Asian Station, Flower Drum, The Viridian Plate, and Wild Garden Cafe.
In 2017, PETA recognised Pune as the most vegan friendly city in India. There are 50 results on Happy Cow for restaurants or cafes that are either vegan, vegetarian, or have vegan options.
Hyderabad is known for its non-vegetarian foods, but it's also a great place for people who are vegan or veg-curious. A high demand for meat usually results in a high demand for alternatives—especially among consumers who are concerned about their health or the environment.
In fact, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) recognised Hyderabad as the most vegan friendly city in 2019. According to Happy Cow, there are 41 different cafes or restaurants that are either vegan, vegetarian, or have vegan options.
If you’re new to veganism, check out some of our other blogs and resources you might find helpful:
Tell us which city you think is the most vegan friendly below!