People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has named Frederick one of the top vegan small cities in the United States.

Frederick earned the number three spot on a list of 10 that PETA released late last year. The first and second spots were grabbed by Asheville, North Carolina, and Dayton, Ohio, respectively.

In years past, PETA has put out a list of the top 10 big vegan cities in the country but decided to shift their focus this year due to the pandemic, said Crystal Silmi, a spokesperson for PETA.

“With the pandemic, a lot of people were kind of exiting the big cities and moving out to small cities so we wanted to kind of push home the message that you don’t have to live in a major city to have vegan options available to you,” she said.

The top 10 was curated by analyzing data of vegan-eating options from PETA travel campaigners, Silmi said. Cities were placed on the top 10 list if they had both a variety of vegan-friendly restaurants and seemed to have been influenced by vegan culture.

Frederick had both, especially a number of specific, vegan-focused options for diners.

Vegan Glory

Glory Doughnuts & Diner’s oven baked cast iron vegan pancakes with strawberries on the side.

Hippy Chick Hummus and Glory Doughnuts & Diner were both mentioned in Frederick’s designation as two of the mainstays of vegan food in the city.

Hippy Chick Hummus, on Market Street downtown, offers a fully plant-based menu with no imitation meats and everything made in-house.

Vegan Hippy

The vegan ricotta grilled cheese panini with side salad from Hippy Chick Hummus.

Owner Erika Brown began selling hummus in farmers markets in 2015. The business has since grown exponentially to include a brick and mortar location that has 20 regular menu items including smoothie bowls and house-made falafel. Other notable items include a lentil “meatball” sub and a chicken sandwich with a patty made of chickpeas.

Brown said when she initially opened, she was worried about how the community would accept her business.

“I had so many people tell me that it would never be successful as a vegan café and that I need to offer some meat options. And that just went against what I personally believe and what I eat,” she said. “I ended up just going with foods that I knew I wanted to eat and offering that to start off with and it just kind of took off. People loved our funky creations.”

Glory Doughnuts & Diner at the corner of East Church and East streets has also seen vast success with their donuts known far outside state lines.

Founded by Alissa and Keirsten Straiter in 2013, Glory Doughnuts offers a full American-style diner menu that is 100 percent plant-based and almost completely almond-free.

Vegan Glory

Glory Doughnuts & Diner's vegan orange chipotle grilled "chicken" sandwich with home fried potatoes.

Menu items include salted apple pie stuffed French toast and a “just egg” sausage, and cheese griddlecake sandwich.

The whole mission of their restaurant is to destigmatize vegan food.

“We don’t advertise that we’re vegan very often, we don’t really scream it from the rooftops, we don’t have a big vegan sign on our front door. That’s on purpose, that’s for us to help normalize and destigmatize veganism,” Alissa said. “Showing people that it doesn’t all have to be salads and lettuce and beets; vegan food can be really good food.”

Good food is good food whether or not it’s plant-based, she added.

Vegan Glory

Glory Doughnuts & Diner's vegan pan-fried spinach ravioli.

Along with these main-stay vegan eateries in Frederick, Silmi said PETA was impressed by the number of meat-friendly eateries that had vegan options on the menu.

“You kind of have these mainstream eateries like Pistarro’s that offer vegan cheese, vegan crust, and a lot of vegan options for the pizza. There’s Hunan Gourmet that’s got vegan shrimp on the menu,” she said. “So it just looked like Frederick had a number of options and then people seemed to identify Frederick as a vegan-friendly city.”

Brown was thrilled to hear Frederick had made PETA’s list.

“Frederick is a different landscape than it was even five years ago ... now I can eat almost anywhere and they have a vegan option which is really nice to see in addition to the fully vegan places,” she said. “I’m just happy to see that Frederick is accommodating to the plant-based lifestyle because it’s the future.”

Silmi agreed and said the pandemic has shone a light on the importance of eating a plant-based diet.

“The pandemic started in a wet market so we know that animal agriculture and slaughterhouses are breeding grounds for diseases,” she said. “We really would love for everyone to take that stance not only for the animals but for the climate as well. We know that the number one contributor to climate change is animal agriculture.”

Vegan Hippy

The vegan buffalo “chicken” ranch sandwich with side salad from Hippy Chick Hummus.

And with more small cities like Frederick offering vegan dining options, adopting a plant-based diet is becoming easier.

Straiter said she is grateful that plant-based diets are gaining popularity and specifically for Frederick would like to see the “vegan-friendliness” grow outside the city.

“I do think that the bulk of our vegan options are located in kind of the immediate downtown area and so eventually what I would love to see is more vegan options around the county or past the city limits,” she said.

Follow Katryna Perera on Twitter: @katrynajill

(21) comments


[Once again, there was no "+ Add Reply" button]...

On Jan 21, 2021 @ 6:10am, C.D.Reid wrote:

"mrnatural1, part of the point I was making is just how many of those people who call themselves "vegans" are true followers of the practice? Do they actually adhere to the "rule" of not using absolutely anything animal based (did you see my link or do they just sit down to meals that don't contain a real burger, steak, chicken breast, etc. because it's the trendy, "in" thing to do for them?"


Just to be clear, I don't care whether people choose to eat meat or not -- although fish and poultry are better choices. Side note -- the frozen marinated salmon at Costco is excellent.

My wife and I are not vegetarians/vegans, but we did recently stop buying beef. Not only is raising cattle responsible for the slashing and burning of large swaths of rain forest, it turns out that in Central America people are run of their land so that it can be used for cattle -- and people are sometimes murdered if they resist. For those who think (as we did) "I'll just buy American beef", guess again. The beef industry successfully bribed legislators (in both parties) so that they no longer have to label beef with the country of origin. Most beef is American, but there is no longer any way to tell for sure, so we refuse to buy it.

To your point -- many things in life are not 'black & white'. Very few people of faith follow all of their religious tenets all of the time. It's hard to find a person who is 100% conservative or liberal on every single issue. People do their best to follow a weight loss program or exercise regimen but sometimes 'slip'. The fact that a self-proclaimed vegan takes medicine that has animal based components is really a non-issue. There is no rule that says if a person eats a gelcap they might as well switch to a paleo diet.

IOW, like so much else in life, it's not "all or nothing". There is no 'gotcha' involved with a vegan or vegetarian eating Jello. Anyone who suggests otherwise might as well say that anyone who commits even the slightest sin is not a "Christian" or any republican who supports just one "liberal" position is not a "true conservative" and can no longer be part of the party.

That said, as you suggest, there are people who latch on to various activities and beliefs because they are 'the latest thing' and/or they are trying to fit in with a certain crowd. Even then though, what's the harm?


There is no harm in doing that, mrnatural, and I never said there was. I just feel that people who "latch on to various activities and beliefs because they are 'the latest thing' and/or they are trying to fit in with a certain crowd," as you say, are the insecure ones of whom I was referring.And the other point I was making is just how many of these "vegans" actually follow all the "rules" to being one?


I very much enjoy highly processed organic plant material that tastes and bleeds like meat. Yum!!


Hippie Chick Hummus is an amazing spot. Their whole menu is delicious. I looooove the coconut curry hummus. Definitely a place to try. I try to eat less meat most days because of environmental reasons, but I'm a "flexitarian" with my diet. I've noticed for years that most of Frederick restaurants have at least one good veggie based dish on their menus. Frederick overall has some of the best restaurants of all the small towns in the area. If you're looking for foodie food, you don't have to go far!


From Acts, Chapter 11, verse 4: (Peter speaking) I saw a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was. I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles, and birds of the air. Then I heard a voice telling me, "Get up Peter. Kill and eat".

Paul Sobus

I love animals they're delicious !


I never realized just how reprehensible vegans are until I read these comments.

Perhaps there should be a law banning vegans from entering Maryland.

Meanwhile, I say we break out the pitchforks and Tiki torches and run 'em outta town!

Yee-Haw! [rolleyes]


Vegans are not reprehensible mrnatural. What they chose to put in their bodies, or not, is their choice. PeTA is reprehensible, and hypocritical to boot!


My comment was of course tongue in cheek.

The majority of the criticism here is of PETA, but there is plenty directed at vegans as well for some reason.

The article is about "veganism" and vegan restaurants, not PETA. PETA simply created the list.

It's as if the NYT published a list of "Great Small Towns", and Frederick was in the top 10. Then instead of celebrating the compliment/honor, people who don't like the NYT (because they think they are "fake news" or whatever) just focus on the Times.

I have issues with PETA myself, but they are just the messenger here. I see the article as positive -- something to celebrate.


mrnatural1, part of the point I was making is just how many of those people who call themselves "vegans" are true followers of the practice? Do they actually adhere to the "rule" of not using absolutely anything animal based (did you see my link or do they just sit down to meals that don't contain a real burger, steak, chicken breast, etc. because it's the trendy, "in" thing to do for them?


If it's "stigmatized" it happens when it's associated with PETA sxtremists. I admire people who stick to veganism. The learning curve is steep.


I don't mind anyone eating whatever they want, just don't be a fanatic and try to force it on me. Try making a leather belt out of a carrot and see how that works.


[thumbup] bosco. Or shoes. No Jello for you! (made from beef bones). Don't take capsules (gelatin capsules made from beef bones), or any pill whatsoever (Magnesium stearate derived from beef bones and tallow used as compression agent in pill formation). Magnesium stearate is also used as a mold release agent in plastics molding and forming. That includes plastic bags, bottles, etc. Many cell-based medicines use trypsin derived from porcine of bovine pancreas, as well as bovine or human serum. It is virtually impossible to escape animal use nowadays.


[thumbup] gabe - add frosted poptarts to that list, beef gelatin in that frosting! As you know, many biopharmaceuticals depend on synthetic growth medium contains recombinant molecules that have to do the job(s) of their natural counterparts. Orthodox vegans and Christian scientists - are they refusing all COVID vaccines and most of the treatments that work? Slippery slope.


Should say ...derived from porcine or bovine pancreas", not of bovine pancreas"


I don’t think it’s a matter of “destigmatizing veganism.” If people are that insecure that they refuse to eat anything animal based, including butter, milk, cheese, etc., or use any animal based product like leather, furs, etc. (see, traits of a “true” vegan, and doing so gives them both a “clear conscience” and a nice, warm, fuzzy feeling, that’s their option. But to be associated with, and endorsed by, an organization known for its hypocrisy and violence doesn’t help the image of any town with they who are familiar with the highly unethical tactics of PETA. For your reading pleasure:

These articles should all help vegans sleep better. That being said, I believe I'll have some blood pudding along with my eggs for breakfast this morning.


Hey, CD. Have you ever noticed the great lengths vegetarians go to in order to make fake meat out of vegetables. I think they suffer from meat envy. Have you ever seen a carnivore go to great lengths to make fake vegetables out of meat puree?

Give me a good fry up with some black sausage and haggis and I'm good for all day, with some bangers and mash for dinner followed by a wee dram of Finlaggen.


Good points, bosco. If they're so adverse to all things meat related, why does Glory Donuts call that a grilled "chicken" sandwich? Why do they list some ingredients on their menu as "butter," "maple sausage," "cheese," etc. if they aren't the real things? Granted, their menu does have a disclaimer that states "All of our foods are 100% plant based for everyone to enjoy." but it also includes the warm, fuzzy, feel good line of "We share fresh, made-to-order, plant-based foods to positively impact climate change, conserve natural resources, and respect animal welfare." Carnivores don't have the insecurities that vegans do, so we don't need to make fake vegetables out of meat puree. And I'm grateful that, while we can get real blood pudding in the States, I just wish the FDA would allow the import, or local manufacture, of real haggis here. Unfortunately, thanks to their being so damned narrow minded, they won't simply because of one ingredient; the lungs of the sheep. It's just a shame one has to go to Scotland to get the real thing. Scots have been eating it for centuries and I've yet to read of one dying from it.


hey bosco, you changed horses in midstream - vegan is absolutely not the same as vegetarian [tongue]


Vegetarian, vegan, raw food vegan, whatever. [beam][thumbup]


Agree with this CD. Also, PeTA runs a one-way "animal shelter" in VA Beach. Strays check in, but they don't check out. Over 97% of them are euthanized because PeTA's founder, Ingrid Newkirk, does not believe in companion animals. Those strays could have found a forever home if they were not taken to the PeTA shelter by PeTA volunteers. Compare PeTA's record with the Frederick Animal Shelter. Night and day! There is nothing "ethical" whatsoever at PeTA.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. No vulgar, racist, sexist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, not personal attacks or ad hominem criticisms.
Be civil. Don't threaten. Don't lie. Don't bait. Don't degrade others.
No trolling. Stay on topic.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
No deceptive names. Apparently misleading usernames are not allowed.
Say it once. No repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link for abusive posts.

Thank you for reading!

Already a member?

Login Now
Click Here!

Currently a News-Post subscriber?

Activate your membership at no additional charge.
Click Here!

Need more information?

Learn about the benefits of membership.
Click Here!

Ready to join?

Choose the membership plan that fits your needs.
Click Here!