City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Atlanta high on PETA’s list of veg-friendly cities

Credit: Wikimedia

Credit: Wikimedia

You would think a city where vegetables are usually simmered in porky goodness would prove problematic for the die-hard vegetarians who compile research for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

But on The PETA Files blog yesterday, Atlanta ranked fourth among large North American cities for its vegetarian-friendly menus in restaurants.

The site cited Cafe Sunflower (a pair of vegetarian cafes in Buckhead and Sandy Springs), Green Sprout (a vegetarian Chinese spot in Midtown) and Ria’s Bluebird (the veg-friendly breakfast and lunch spot across from Oakland Cemetery).

The blog editors ranked Atlanta above New York, San Francisco and Seattle for its veggie vibrancy, but they did not share their methodology.

The group PETV immediately decried the inhumane treatment of carrots in Atlanta. Okay, that was a stupid joke.

But, seriously, is Atlanta really that veg-friendly?

19 comments Add your comment

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Wise_Diva and ajcdinecritic, John Kessler. John Kessler said: Atlanta high on PETA’s list of veg-friendly cities [...]


July 15th, 2010
8:44 pm

John, I agree with you that we’re not. Once you step outside the tiny circle of those restaurants, it’s typical to find the only true veg dish on even the best menus is a plate of vegetables, with no protein as far as the eye can see. This indicates to me a crushing lack of imagination when so many of the world’s cuisines offer vibrant, spicy recipes to choose from. One restaurateur has told me I can always request that something be de-meatified, but it’s unlikely most diners will know that, as his menu doesn’t say so.


July 15th, 2010
10:56 pm

I do not think Atlanta is that veg friendly. It is hard to even find restaurants that don’t use pork and other meat to season the vegetables that they do serve. I would like to know how Peta came up with this ranking.


July 15th, 2010
11:19 pm

I don’t see how PETA could come to that conclusion because in the south if the veggies don’t have pork in it, the vegetables are not good. The veggies must be season with pork or smoked turkey.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Cathy Brickman, Sarah Gypsun. Sarah Gypsun said: Atlanta high on PETA's list of veg-friendly cities: Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)But on The PETA Files blog … [...]


July 16th, 2010
4:57 am


July 16th, 2010
10:27 am

I have been a vegetarian for 22 years in Atlanta. Our city has evolved. I love the selection I can get. I live in Marietta and I am thrilled with the new Loving Hut in Kennesaw. R. Thomas has been a staple for a long time. On the qquare in Marietta I love to go to Simpatico and just ask for a surprise veggie dish. I have never had a problem getting a proper meal in our city. Dynamic Dish is on my list for this weekend……


July 16th, 2010
5:28 pm

Odd. Besides a few all-vegetarian places like Sunflower Cafe, Atlanta is tough going. Especially the suburbs. See a cool new place open, look at menu, find nothing you can eat but a side salad…so disappointing.

There’s usually one token boring vegetarian entree, or sadly, none. Rice, pasta, potatoes, vegetables, and vegetable soups get cooked with chicken or pork broth. The “no meat” request brings a plate of plain steamed vegetables. Can’t a good chef do better?

5% of the population is vegetarian… that’s at least one out of every 20 potential customers, who bring along non-vegetarian friends…or not, if they can’t eat at your restaurant. Lots more people sometimes want interesting, creative meals without meat. I don’t think restaurants have a clue how much business they’re losing with no good choices.


July 17th, 2010
12:36 pm

I’ve been vegetarian in Atlanta for 20 years. It’s a great place for vegetarians. Tons of places to eat, particularly Indian restaurants.

The only difficulty I’ve encountered is wishing there was a place to get vegetarian pho. Haven’t found that.

I can’t stand whiney vegetarians. They give us all a bad name.

Monica Ricci

July 17th, 2010
2:03 pm

LUSH used to be a wonderful place not only for vegetarians but for VEGANS as well. In the 18 torturous months we tried veganism we went to Lush several times. AMAZING vegan food (apparently it is possible!) and a decent atmosphere, it was in a back alley across the street from Riccardo Ullio’s place, Fritti and and Sotto Sotto. Sadly, it couldn’t survive. Not sure if it was the crappy location, lack of marketing, or just not enough demand, but it’s gone. Tragic. (((sigh)))


July 18th, 2010
9:24 pm

atlanta is a great place to be a vegetarian or have any other eating restrictions.


July 19th, 2010
12:08 am

I was surprised to see we’re number 4, for sure, but I love Green Sprout, and Harmony, and Cafe Sunflower, and just ate a great vegan meal at Nicola’s with the Atlanta Vegetarian Meetup group on Friday night – Nicola was very accommodating! Atlanta also has more than its fair share of co-ops and health food stores, along with a plethora of Whole Foods locations. We’re no Portland, but this vegan is pretty happy to be in the metro Atlanta area.

Veggie Val

July 19th, 2010
7:02 pm

Agree w/ @Mary as I have been vegetarian for 20 years – mostly in Atlanta, thankfully, but it was tough in SC and FL for a few years. Also I cook – lots! However, I expect it’s the City of Atlanta itself that PETA considered because the rural outskirts offer little to no veg options. I have lived all around OTP and it’s mostly “veg-friendly”. No whining here though. Considering Georgia is such a big poultry producer, it’s a wonder we can find options at all. I <3 the ATL!


July 20th, 2010
2:11 am

Without going to ethnic restaurants this is a terrible vegetarian town. I’ve seen interesting stuff at Rathbuns, but the vast majority of the time if it isn’t specifically a vegetarian place the most you can hope for is a boring plate of vegetables or pasta. I used to eat out all the time, but almost everywhere we’ve been (notable exceptions of Dynamic Dish and Rathbuns) treats vegetarians as second class. It’s not really that hard to make a vegetarian happy. If a cook doesn’t feel like making a huge effort or doesn’t like the way tofu looks on the menu (pretty lame considering how great well prepared tofu can be) there’s always mushrooms. I can be tempted to eat vegetarian meals, but not with a half-assed “seasonal vegetable plate”.


July 20th, 2010
9:58 am

My parents live in Atlanta, and as a vegan, I’m always excited to eat out in ATL! Check out Soul Vegetarian for some of the best vegan soul food ever!


July 21st, 2010
7:44 am

The best veges places are ones that promote tasty, interesting veges- not fake meat. i’ve been to vegetarian restaurants that didn’t even offer vegetables only- just meat subs. yuck. for elegant vege dining hit wisteria, tamarind seed, one midtown kitchen, pasta de puchinella, pricci. for more casual, cafe di sol, dynamic dish, doc chey’s, spoon, 6ft under-killer salads & vege sides, bonegarden cantina, mediterranean kichen-10th &monroe & clairmont, metrofresh, el taco-vege mex pizza is excellent, flip- great veg sides, and leon’s full service- the chickpea and cherry side is amazing.


July 21st, 2010
12:34 pm

I’m not a vegetarian (yet), but I love veggieland in Buckhead. How could nobody have mentioned it? Sally’s Surprise is addictively good.


July 21st, 2010
8:09 pm

Atlanta has quite a few good vegetarian-friendly offerings relative to a lot of other Southern cities, or the Midwest where I relocated from. I agree about that Cafe Sunflower is a good example of an all-around vegetarian restaurant. There is an excellent vegetarian restaurant and James Beard nominee that I visited on a recent vacation trip to San Francisco/Napa Valley – Ubuntu. Ubuntu restaurant was both local and organic, and the all vegetable selections were a great example of true vegetarian dining. I plan to return there whenever I vacation or travel to the area.


July 25th, 2010
10:50 am

Wow, I missed this blog. I’m with Mary, I can’t stand whiny vegetarians. There have been many vegetarian only places here in Atlanta that closed because of lack of business. We went vegetarian for a year or so to lose weight and I never had a problem finding something to eat. Of course it wasn’t a religious thing or a political statement for me so maybe I wasn’t concerned or aware enough to see if there was some chicken broth in something. Still though, we have several Indian friends we eat out with that are Hindu (Hindu’s are usually vegetarians if they strictly follow the religion) and I haven’t noticed a problem finding places to go that cater to their needs.

Many (not all) Mellow Mushroom’s serve an awesome tofu sub or portabello mushroom subs. Althouhg not following a vegetarian diet now, I almost always get the tofu sub and the tortilla soup (the soup is even vegan “certified” I think) when I go to Mellow Mushroom. I think they serve a vegetarian pizza as well.

Doesn’t season’s 52 also have a wide variety of choices for vegetarians? I can’t imagine that if you went to Woodfire, that they wouldn’t whip something up for you. I discovered “puttanesca” when I was on my veggie diet. Most Italian places serve it. I dunno, maybe I was just lucky when I ate out, (which at that time was nearly every meal lol). Veggie quesadillo’s or burrito’s at Mexican joints, Puttanesca from Biba’s, soups and salads from steak places, veggie only stir fry stuff at Asian places………. I didn’t have many problems either ITP OR OTP.

I think I’ll go back on that vegetarian diet. I’ve gotten WAY fat again and we ate healthier and lost a lot of fat last time we did it.