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What’s the best place to live based on your diet?

Written by Ben Gallizzi, Energy Expert

11 September 2020

We’re becoming increasingly health-conscious as a population, with diet trends rapidly changing and evolving every year. These shifts impact the cost and amount of energy we are using, the cost of food and our need for extended options when dining out.

Graphic to illustrate cooking

Our energy experts have conducted a study to find out the best and worst places to live based on dietary requirements across the USA and Europe.

For the study, we analysed four diet groups: Celiac, Vegan, Vegetarian and Omnivore. We then ranked cities based on five lifestyle factors: the number of speciality restaurants; the number of speciality takeaway services; the cost of a classic home-cooked meal for each diet; the cost of energy to cook a homemade meal; and the number of speciality cooking classes. 

City results

Our study shows that in Europe, four of the top 10 list is made up of Spanish cities; Madrid, Valencia, Seville and Barcelona.

Despite London and Glasgow ranking in the top three, they are the only UK cities in top 10.

Eastern Europe is one of the most affordable places for plant-based home cooking - in Moscow, Bucharest, Krakow and Warsaw it costs residents on average between €438.70 and €877.40 per year to cook a vegan meal. 

When it comes to the energy needed to cook a meal, it costs five times more to cook staple ingredients for a vegan risotto salad in the north and west of Europe than the rest of the continent. In Copenhagen, Berlin, Munich and Brussels vegans are faced with yearly energy costs of around €2,193.50 to cook their meals.

Our expert findings also show a shift in trends across both US and Europe, with cities known for traditional barbecue dishes ranking as some of the best places for vegans to live, whilst green-friendly and hipster cities were discovered to be some of the worst places for vegans to live. 

Diet destinations

Try out our new tool and filter the factors most important to you and your diet. You can compare energy costs, the number of food spots with diet-friendly menus and the cost of homemade meals for your city. 

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Data Methodology

We scraped the Google Maps API for specialty eateries such as takeaways tagged as gluten free or restaurants noted for veganism along with the places to eat data. We also wanted to find out what educational offers there were so we collected the number of cooking classes by Google Maps API. 

To add the cost of living element to the tool we used numbeo.com data to add the cost of specialist meals to the tool - this varies city by city based on the price of key produce. We also added the price it costs to cook these meals to allow for efficient comparisons of energy costs around the cities in the study. 

These key meals were taken from leading foodie website BBC Good Food and vegan specialists delightfulvegans.com. The amount of energy used was also taken from the relevant foodie sites with the time taken to cook each dish put into a formula to discover the amount of energy used (in domestic currency). We took the average energy cost for 10 minutes and then multiplied it by relevant values to find costs for energy consumption in an hour, a day and a year.

We then added in rankings from 74-1 (based on the number of cities in the study) to determine top ranked places per factor and diet.