Travel

24 Vegan Restaurants That Belong On Your Culinary Bucket List

Let the meat-free feasting begin.

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

1. Vegeria

 

Where: San Antonio, Texas
What To Order: Sweet Potato Sundried Tomato Enchiladas with Sunflower Cream

This place prides itself on “serving and preserving Tex-Mex and Latino culture with plant-based cuisine.” Their mouthwatering menu proves anyone can help pass on heritage through food, regardless of their diet.

2. Elizabeth’s Gone Raw

Lavanya Ramanathan/The Washington Post / Via washingtonpost.com

Elizabeth's Gone Raw / Via yelp.com

 

Where: Washington D.C.
What To Order: Rotating tasting menu, but the Turmeric Saffron Risotto is extra drool-worthy.

This is definitely one of the fanciest vegan restaurants around, serving dinner only on Friday nights from a deliciously seasonal and rotating menu.

3. Gracias Madre

 

Where: San Francisco, California
What To Order: Tostadas De Ceviche, made with coconut ceviche.

Gracias Madre professed a deep love and reverence for food, and it definitely shines through in their meals. Their creative vegan answers to traditional Mexican favorites are beyond impressive.

4. Plant

 

Where: Asheville, North Carolina
What To Order: The coconut cornbread with grilled baby green onions, sauce romesco and hazelnuts.

Plant loves Asheville, where they feel they can share a “deep concern for the environment, our individual and collective health, and ethical and compassionate lifestyles.” But those serious undertakings don’t take away from the always light and refreshing food.

5. Candle 79

 

Where: New York, New York
What To Order: The Live Crystal Rolls (above, left) are a house favorite.

Candle 79 is a favorite for vegans craving comfort food. From the spaghetti and wheatballs to the over-stuffed manicotti, you’re sure to leave this place full and satisfied.

6. Vedge

 

Where: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
What To Order: The Asparagus Crepe

Walking into Vedge feels like entering any ol’ elegant, impress-your-parents eatery. But the food is far from cliché, taking vegetables smothered in spice and sauce to a whole other level.

7. Watercourse Foods

Kaylen S. / Via kaylansblog.com

Allie R. / Via yelp.com

 

Where: Denver, Colorado
What To Order: Cauliflower wings

The OG of vegan dining in Denver has “won over the hearts and stomachs of people from all types of dietary backgrounds.” One bite of their Tofish n’ Chips and you’ll taste why.

8. Café Gratitude

 

Where: Kansas City, Missouri
What To Order: The Liberated: Kelp noodle pasta with walnut pesto, tomatoes, and almond parmesan.

With locations all over Cali, the Kansas City café stands out as a vegan haven in the heart of the Midwest. The menu lets you choose your meal based on how you ~feel~, which sounds corny but somehow totally works.

9. Natural Selection

 

Where: Portland, Oregon
What To Order: The raspberry almond oat cake.

Yup, the name is totally a nod to evolutionary theory, and this place might convince you that vegans come out on top. The menu “combines both rustic and modern cooking techniques, highlighting the flavors of France, Italy & Spain.”

10. Plum Bistro

 

Where: Seattle, Washington
What To Order: The El Besito Caliente burger, with pastrami-style tofu and jalapeño aioli.

If their Instagram isn’t enough to make you drool, rest assured that Plum Bistro is bringing their vegan A-game. With amazing burgers and American favorites, this place will convince you that vegan brunch is the only brunch worth having.

11. True Bistro

 

Where: Somerville, Massachusetts
What To Order: The Phyllo Purse (above, left), stuffed with brandy-braised tempeh and summer squash.

This upscale bistro in the hip part of Somerville is pretty much the only fine dining spot for classy vegans in the Boston area. But thankfully is got more than enough delicious food to keep the conscientious eater satisfied.

12. Millennium

 

Where: Oakland, California
What To Order: The chocolate hazelnut espresso torte (above, left).

If you’re looking for award-winning vegan cuisine, look no further than Millennium, leading the Bay Area’s vegan scene since 1994. The dishes are always changing with the seasons, and their cocktails frequently feature freshly-squeezed juices. Yummm.

13. Three Carrots

Three Carrots / Via Facebook: threecarrots

Three Carrots / Via Facebook: threecarrots

 

Where: Indianapolis, Indiana
What To Order: The Thai Seitan Salad (above, right).

This 100% plant-based cafe in Indianapolis is perfect for a quick bite or the vegan on-the-go. Their hearty portions and delicious breakfast treats are the perfect fuel for a plant-powered day.

14. Dirt Candy

Melissa Hom / Via grubstreet.com

 

Where: New York, New York
What To Order: Three words: Korean. Fried. Broccoli.

Award-winning chef Amanda Cohen knows how to fry: She could probably deep-fry a cinderblock and you’d still savor every bite. She thinks of veggies as “candy from the earth,” and her comforting menu of hush puppies and puddings will make you inclined to agree.

15. Buds

 

Where: Salt Lake City, Utah
What To Order: The Barbacoa sandwich, with chipotle BBQ’d jackfruit, black beans and guac on a sourdough hoagie.

This sub shop features all veggie sandwiches all the time. They’re just as sloppy and drool-worthy as any deli; in fact, it’s really hard to tell they’re vegan! Truly delicious and nutritious.

16. Veggie Galaxy

 

Where: Cambridge, Massachusetts
What To Order: Build your own black bean or mushroom-chickpea burger with fresh and creative toppings, like corn & apple salsa, red pepper purée, or corned beef seitan.

If you thought being vegan meant giving up greasy spoon diners, Veggie Galaxy is here to prove you wrong. You can veganize all your comfort food favorites, and then treat yo self to some Boston Creme Pie (a vegan New Englander’s dream).

17. Beyond Sushi

 

Where: New York, New York
What To Order: The Spicy Mang roll.

So sushi without fish might sound totally pointless, but it really just means you replace fish with deliciously marinated veggies and fruits! These rolls are almost too pretty to eat…almost.

18. Crossroads

 

Where: Los Angeles, California
What To Order: “Chicken” & Waffles.

Though L.A. is swarming with vegan options, few are as sleek and refined as Crossroads. And the elegant decor is the perfect backdrop for these subtle but flavorful dishes that are always so freaking colorful!

19. Fruitive

 

Where: Virginia Beach, Virginia
What To Order: The Harvest Salad Steamer, which is like part salad, part soup.

Fruitive may seem like another run-of-the-mill juicery, but their crisp and clever food options cover everything from breakfast to dessert with veggie goodness. They have also somehow mastered the art of the kale chip, a feat not easily accomplished.

20. Counter Culture

 

Where: Austin, Texas
What To Order: Any one of their seasonal and delicious tarts.

When you’re deep in the land of barbecue and ribs, it’s tough for a vegan outpost to stand out. But Counter Culture lives up to its name by creating flavorful and hearty meals that are clearly made with as much love as that brisket from the food truck nearby.

21. Champs Diner

Champs Diner / Via champsdiner.com

 

Where: Brooklyn, New York
What To Order: Breakfast enchiladas

Champs has become a beacon of glorious vegan gluttony in the heart of Brooklyn. The amount of plant- and bean-based deliciousness they pack into their burritos, sandwiches, and bowls is mad impressive.

22. The Cheeze Factory

 

Where: Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
What To Order: The Tropical Chimichanga (above, left).

This place has everything you’d want in a warm, nostalgic Midwestern restaurant, but it’s all vegan! Even the cheese! They have an adorable jukebox, a (vegan!) ice cream soda fountain, and regular dinner & a movie nights upstairs in the “Starlight Ballroom”.

23. Raw

 

Where: Chicago, Illinois
What To Order: Chili Croquettes

This bright, cheery, vegan cafe and bakery has everything you could want for lunch and beyond. All their classic platters, sandwiches, and treats are light and crips but dense with nutrients, so you’ll never walk away with that I-could-eat-that-three-more-times pit in your stomach.

24. Luna’s Living Kitchen

 

Where: Charlotte, North Carolina
What To Order: The arugula harvest salad (above, right).

This raw bar is all about keeping the kitchen ~alive~. Their combinations are always on point, often pairing sweet, creamy nut “cheeses” or energy balls with crisp, refreshing fruits and veggies.

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