Houston earns new food designation that shocks some but is well-deserved

This June 9, 2014 photo shows black pepper and honey fruit salad in Concord, N.H. The combination of honey and black pepper can give fruit salad some zing. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Houston’s restaurant scene is arguably one of the best in the nation, and a new study is proving that the Bayou City really does have something for everyone.

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Wallethub evaluated 100 of the largest American cities to determine which ones were the most vegetarian- and vegan-friendly. While Texas may have a reputation for cowboys and ranches, two Texas cities made the top 25, including Houston.

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Houston ranked No. 17 in the nation, while Austin took the 13th spot.

The results come as no surprise to people who’ve gone meat-free, as most Houston restaurants include at least a few veg-friendly dishes. Unlike many areas, Houston also has completely vegetarian and vegan restaurants, with dishes so good even meat-eaters count among their customers.

To determine the rankings, Wallethub considered the number of restaurants that served vegetarian and vegan options, the number of farmers markets and co-ops per capita, local access to vegetarian food production, vegetable nurseries per capita, and the number of juice/smoothie bars and salad spots. Affordability was also considered.

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While Houston ranked high on most criteria, it fell when it comes to the “eat local” movement, with fewer farmer’s markets, co-ops, and nurseries than other large cities.

Although Austin ranked higher, it offers far fewer restaurant options for vegetarians and vegans than does Houston. However, ATX does offer more farmer’s markets and affordable produce.

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