Food Tourism

Joburg rated one of the world's most vegan-friendly cities

22 December 2019 - 00:00 By Elizabeth Sleith
15.5% of Joburg's restaurants qualify as being vegan friendly, according to research from a UK travel company.
15.5% of Joburg's restaurants qualify as being vegan friendly, according to research from a UK travel company.
Image: 123RF/Maksim Shebeko

Johannesburg has squeaked in to a top 10 list of the world’s most vegan-friendly cities, coming in at number 10.

The research, by UK-based travel company Hayes & Jarvis and based on data from TripAdvisor, aimed to identify the “world ’s vegan capital” from the 50 most-visited cities in the world, according to what proportion of its restaurants are classified as vegan friendly.

It awards the “most vegan-friendly” title to Dublin, saying 21.2% of the Irish capital’s restaurants qualify. That is followed by Phuket at number two (20.1%) and Amsterdam at three (19.8%). The rest of the top 10 are London (19%), Venice (18.6%), Florence (18.4%), Orlando (17.3%), Athens (17.2%), New York (16.4%) and Johannesburg (15.5%).

A second ranking, however, looks at the quality of vegan options in a city — based on what proportion of restaurants have been rated 4.5 stars or above by TripAdvisor users.

That list looks rather different, with Shenzhen, China, coming in tops, with 91.2% of voters having scored its vegan restaurants highly. Cancun, Mexico, comes in second with 85.2%.

Hayes and Jarvis, in fact, is keen on identifying what it calls “cuisine hotspots ” and has several interesting top 10 rankings on its website. As it explains: “We’ve trawled through TripAdvisor to find out which cities contain the greatest proportion of highly rated restaurants for specific cuisines, occasions and dietary requirements.”

Other rankings it has compiled include the world’s highest proportion of romantic-themed restaurants (Venice wins with 21%), the world’s “gluten-free capital” (Dublin, 23%), and the place with the most wheelchair-accessible eateries (Orlando, 53.7%).

They also have a ranking of “highly rated American cuisine”. The winner? Phuket, Thailand, where 72.7% of American cuisine-style restaurants are rated 4.5 stars or above.