food

The 25 best plant- based dining options in the not-so-obvious cities.

We all know the usual suspects for food cities. We know places like New York and San
Francisco lead the country on culinary trends. We know places like Los Angeles and Portland
practically invented healthy eating. If not invited, then elevated it to what it is today. But what if
you don’t live in those cities? Where can one find reliable, even decadent plant-based foods
when dining outside the more obvious culinary cities? Here’s a list of some of the best plant-
based dining options that are located in the not-so-obvious cities.

1. Plant-Based Pizzeria (Atlanta, GA)

Billed as “Atlanta’s first all-vegan pizzeria”, this local and celebrity-favorite also nixes
white sugar, white flour, and soy. Everything is made in-house, except for the vegan
cheeses and Beyond Meat products. Check out the food truck in addition to their
permanent location. Carry-out only.

 

2. True Bistro (Boston, MA)


True Bistro is a “sophisticated restaurant that happens to be vegan”. (Boston Globe).
Upscale and elegant, True Bistro is the type of place everyone–vegans and non-vegans–
can thoroughly enjoy. Enjoy a modern, upscale take on plant-based dining in a sleek,
candlelight setting.

3. Gnome Café (Charleston, SC)

A stand-out in a city that doesn’t caterer to a plant-based clientele, this hip café serves up
100 percent vegan and plant-based foods that even the heartiest carnivore will enjoy.

4. Bean Vegan (Charlotte, NC)


100 percent vegan comfort food. Think chicken fingers, burgers, BBQ, queso dip…all the
stuff you crave, all vegan and plant-based. Be sure to check out the attached grocery store
for all your vegan pantry needs.

5. Santana Vegan Grill (Colorado Springs, CO)
What started as a small drive through, this hit vegan fast-food restaurant has recently
expanded to include a sit-down space. Grab a plant-based “burger” and fries and enjoy!

6. Portia’s Café (Columbus, OH)


Considered to be one of the O.G.’s of vegan cuisine in Columbus, this restaurant/deli
serves up vegan and plant-based food all day long. They take their commitment even
further by making sure everything is GMO-free, gluten-free, organic, and local. They
even purify their own water for cooking and serving.

7. Detroit Vegan Soul (Detroit, MI)


Detroit Vegan Soul is Detroit’s first 100 percent plant-based soul food restaurant, created
to make healthy food accessible to everyone. With things like okra stew, mac and
cheese, collard greens, this local organic restaurant has become an instant hit and is
expanding across Detroit to additional locations.

 

8. Peace Café (Honolulu, HI)


This local, organic, plant-based gem is a favorite among locals. Rooted in their
commitment to peaceful minds and eating, Peace Café strives to bring harmony among
man, animals and nature. Their Instagram-worthy dishes blend Japanese and America
cuisine for a uniquely harmonious menu.

9. The Traveling Carrot by Raw Chef Renee (Houston, TX)
Not a restaurant, but a traveling trailer, this first and only raw vegan food truck in
Houston creates comfort classis like pizza, nachos, and even cheesecake. Since it is a
traveling trailer, be sure to call ahead to see where they are located each day and ordering
ahead of time is a must.

10. Three Carrots Fountain Square (Indianapolis, IN)

A fun spot for cocktails, craft beers and elevated plant-based comfort foods. They offer
their take on midwestern classics like chili cheese fries and Shephard’s Pie. They even
have a kids menu, which is relatively uncommon.

11. Trumpet Blossom Café (Iowa City, IA)


A cozy, all day café in the middle of the heartland. They specialize in creative,
seasonal, plant-based dishes and source as many local ingredients as possible.
Check out their daily happy hour with drink and appetizer specials.

12. Murray Hillbilly (Jacksonville, FL)


Not your typical sandwiches and wraps place, this vegan/plant-based restaurant started as
a food truck and expanded into a brick and mortar restaurant a few years ago.
Specializing in southern comfort foods like buffalo chicken sandwiches and mac and
“cheeze”, they’ve quickly become a local favorite, no matter what you like to eat. Try
their take on the fast food classic, The Whopper.

13. Café Gratitude (Kansas City, MO)


Almost like a co-op, this 100 percent plant based, organic restaurant is built by the
community, for the community. They support local farmers, use reclaimed wood from a
farm in Kansas, and is run partly on solar power. Their menu is rather hippy in its format,
but overall, you can’t beat their mission or commitment to plant-based offerings.

14. Vege Nation (Las Vegas, NV)


When you think of the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas, you think high-rolling casinos,
champagne, huge steaks. But there’s another side of Las Vegas at Vege Nation. This 100
percent plant-based restaurant serves fresh street food from around the globe. Even their
meats, cheeses, and ice cream are made from plants. They work with local small
businesses to source their alcohol, coffee, tea, cheeses, seasonal herbs and vegetables,
and even the restaurant’s art. Be sure to try their take on the African Yam Stew.

15. Plant Miami (Miami, FL)


More than just a restaurant, Plant Miami is part of an entire plant-based movement. It’s
located inside a wellness facility that has classes and workshops to strengthen the
movement, a culinary academy that focuses on live and raw foods, and a biodynamic
farm that supplies the center with their foods. Also, they have 57 varieties of edible
flowers on their menu and are certified Kosher.

16. Café Manna (Milwaukee area, WI)


One of the first vegan restaurants in Milwaukee, this eco-friendly restaurant is committed
to reducing their carbon footprint. They use energy star efficient equipment, the walls are
covered with 100% non-toxic paint, the sconces are made from recycled metal, and the
floor, vestibule and countertops were made with renewable bamboo. They even use
reverse osmosis water for cooking and drinking. All of the carryout containers are
fabricated from recycled paper, potato or vegetable starch, corn or sugar cane. And there
are no deep fryers or microwaves on the premises. Even better, it’s consistently praised as
one of the best restaurants in Milwaukee.

17. Herbivore Butcher (Minneapolis, MN)


Founded by a brother-sister culinary team, the Herbivore Butcher operates like a
traditional deli/butcher shop, but for plant-based meats and cheeses. The super small-
batch artisanal offerings include a variety of plant-based sausages, Korean ribs, brats, deli
meats and cheeses.

 

18. Southern V (Nashville, TN)


The city that brought us the famous Nashville hot chicken sandwich also brings us this
100 percent plant-based southern restaurant with their own version of the famous
sandwich. What started as a pop up at local farmers markets has turned into one of the
hottest restaurants for vegans and non-vegans alike. Make sure to try their Nashville Hot
Chick’n and their personal twist on the classic Chick’n and Waffle.

19. Modern Love (Omaha, NE)


With not a lot of vegan options in Omaha, finding quality plant-based foods can be a
challenge. Luckily, Modern Love is a cozy café that serves up classic comfort foods that
are 100 percent plant-based. This “swanky vegan” spot even has a weekday happy hour
offering discounts on their craft cocktails and appetizers.

20. Vedge (Philadelphia, PA)


Vedge serves up innovative, seasonal vegan & vegetarian small plates in a charming
historic mansion. Run by James Beard nominated Chefs Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby,
Vedge is a standout experience. It’s been recognized by Food & Wine magazine as one
of the 40 most important restaurants in the last 40 years and has been called one of Wine
Enthusiasts top wine restaurants in America.

 

21. Green New American Vegetarian (Phoenix, AZ)


Try this low-key restaurant pairs creative plant-based versions of New American comfort
food with interesting beers & natural wines. Everything is organic, GMO-free and made
in house—even their famous soft-serve ice cream.

22. Senor Veggie (San Antonio, TX)
This colorful BYOB restaurant features an eclectic menu of organic, locally sourced
vegan eats. Enjoy southwestern and BBQ fare at this family-run eatery. There’s even a
kids menu available.

23. Wayward Vegan Café (Seattle, WA)


A classic American diner serving 100 percent plant-based fare. Their extensive menu
mimics a traditional diner menu but is entirely plant based and vegan. Check out their
version of ham and eggs, country-fried steak and even pulled pork sandwiches. All
vegan, all plant-based.

24. Annapurna’s World Vegetarian Café (Santa Fe (NM)


Santa Fe is known for being a community that focuses on a holistic approach to living
and Annapurna’s World Vegetarian Cafe takes it even further by creating an Ayurvedic
approach to eating. The menu is divided among the four doshas-pitta, vata, kapha, and tri-
doshic, the biological energies found in the body and mind.

25. Elizabeth Gone Raw (Washington D.C.)

Consistently rated as one of the best vegan restaurants in the world, this elegant venue
offers an extraordinary multi-course seasonal tasting menu. Complete with craft
cocktails and natural wines, Elizabeth Gone Raw the ultimate dining experience for
vegan and nonvegans alike. Only open Friday and Saturday nights, this is a can’t miss
experience.

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