What are some of the top vegan restaurants in America? I asked some of my favorite plant-based food and nutrition experts for their top picks for vegan restaurants in cities across the country, and I’m sharing some of my own too.
Are you traveling, and looking for some good plant-based eats along the way? Looking to learn more about the vegan scene in a new city? Check and check! I travel a lot, and I always needle my friends and fellow foodies for the best plant-based eating recommendations in a new city. That’s me featured above in my favorite vegan restaurant in my hometown of Ojai, California—Hip Vegan.
Plus, I always find those insider tips to be so much more valuable than your run-of-the-mill dining guide. That’s why I asked some of the top dietitians and food bloggers out there to share their favorite vegan restaurants in their cities.
Read on to be inspired to hit the road and eat well along your journey with these vegan restaurant recommendations!
Green. “I absolutely love Green! Their ‘crab’ puffs and karma curry are my absolute favorites. I went there a few times before I realized I was ordering vegan ‘meats’, they were unbelievable. Right next door is their sister restaurant Nami serving up vegan ice cream, desserts, and coffee!” says Michele Sidorenkov, RDN.
Udupi Indian Vegetarian & Vegan Cuisine. “Udupi Indian Vegetarian & Vegan Cuisine is the BEST vegan hole in the wall. The menu is a large variety of authentic South Indian cuisine. I like the special vegetable curry because it comes with so many different vegetables. Not only is the food amazing, but the staff is as well! Definitely a place to stop by if visiting,” says Rhyan Geiger, RD of Raspberry Rhy.
Seabirds Kitchen. “I am addicted to the Bibimbap Bowl at Seabirds Kitchen. It’s loaded with Korean jackfruit, steamed kale, fermented cauliflower, fried kimchi, and crushed peanuts over brown rice. It may not be authentic, but the combination of flavors and textures make my mouth water just thinking about it,” says Amy Katz of Veggies Save The Day.
Lotus Cafe. “Lotus Cafe is a vegan and vegetarian restaurant in a beach city just north of San Diego. While Encinitas has quite a few vegan restaurants, what I love about this one is that it has an extensive and affordable menu with options ranging from breakfast burritos to plant-based burgers and veggie-filled salads. Plus, they have a kid’s menu with nutritious and great-tasting options like whole wheat quesadillas that can be subbed with vegan cheese. My favorite dish is the harvest salad with grilled veggies, tofu and tahini dressing. Perfect after a trip to the beach!” says Jessica Spiro, RD.
Oliver’s. “Oliver’s has the most beautiful and delicious food ever. I love everything from their fancy cocktails on the patio, to the raw lasagna with macadamia ricotta, to the Impossible burger,” says Marina Delio from Yummy Mummy Kitchen.
Donna Jean. “In love with Donna Jean! Their agnolotti, fungazi pizza, house bread & butter, and chocolate pie! Everything, including the fresh pasta and cheese and butter is all vegan and homemade!” says Anjali Lalani from Vegetarian Gastronomy.
Watercourse Foods. “The chocolate chip pancakes at Watercourse Foods are my favorite!” says Valerie Esther Libutti of Vegan Travel Eats.
Vegan Kitchen. “Vegan Kitchen has all your classic Asian comfort foods from orange Chickin’ to Kung pao, sushi, sweet and sour Chickin’ stir fries,” says Florentina Lile of The Veggie Society.
Dulce Vegan. “Dulce Vegan is a go-to for me!” says Becky Striepe of Glue and Glitter.
Veggie Galaxy. “Veggie Galaxy is out of this world! It is a fun alternative retro diner style restaurant. My all-time favorite dish is their buffalo chicken mac and cheese followed by the coconut chocolate cream pie. Absolutely divine!” says Lindsay Schwartz, RD of Feel Good Flavors.
Wild Chestnut Cafe. Wild Chestnut Cafe is a 100% vegan cafe featuring a delicious variety of baked goods, sandwiches with house-made bread, and a delightful variety of other sweet and savory goods. There are also many smoothie and coffee drink options. The cafe donates a portion of proceeds every month to animal sanctuaries in the area and you can check out their Instagram to learn more about their events, which include dance-classes, musical performances and vegan pizza pop-ups.
J. Selby’s. “My favorite vegan restaurant is by far J. Selby’s. What I love most about them is that they offer plant-based items based on ‘familiar’ dishes, so there’s really something for everyone on their menu. It’s a great place for people who are just being introduced to vegan/vegetarian eating. My favorite dish is their buffalo cauliflower ‘wings’, they are absolutely delicious,” says Brianna Tobritzhofer, MS, RD, LD, owner of Bri Toby Nutrition Company.
Simply Pure. “The lasagna at Simply Pure is the ultimate comfort food, veganized. Chef Stacey Dougan has created a rich and hearty vegan lasagna (there’s even a gluten free version) that even omnis adore,” says Diana Edelman, founder of Vegans, Baby.
Veggie Heaven’s. “Veggie Heaven’s entire menu is delicious, but the Roast “pork” Lo Mein is unbelievable. It’s so flavorful and even though it’s not actual pork, carnivores would love it,” says Steven Seighman of The Nut Free Vegan.
From Seed to Sprout. “I love the creativity the chefs at From Seed to Sprout have with their menu. Everything is amazing! My all-time favorite is their grilled avocado sandwich topped with kimchi and a side of their massaged kale greens. So simple but so delicious! Other favorite are their sunflower burritos wrapped in collards, tempeh BBQ burgers with coconut bacon, and their seed bowls. Thursday night 3-course dinners are delicious and whatever theme the chef feels that day. A must-visit vegan spot at the Jersey Shore!” says Mandy Enright, MS, RDN, RYT, corporate wellness specialist & fitness instructor.
Strong Hearts Cafe. “I absolutely love Strong Hearts Cafe. The Ruben sandwich is amazing and as close in taste to the real deal as you can get. Everything I’ve ever had there is amazing!” says Monica Morgan Davis from The Hidden Veggies.
Delice & Sarrasin. “The Boeuf Bourguignon at Delice & Sarrasin. It’s a vegan version of the classic French dish that is rich, hearty and so satisfying,” says Michael Suchman of Vegan Mos.
Bunna Cafe. Stop by Bunna Cafe to experience a Bunna coffee ceremony and traditional Ethiopian food with a plant-based twist. Split a communal platter with friends and scoop up hearty, flavorful helpings of veggies and legumes using traditional injera. Susanne of The Chopping Block says “The food is amazing and very inexpensive. As they say at Bunna, Everything = Eshi – it’s all good!”
Rosetta’s Kitchen. “So hard to choose, but I’d have to say the Family Favorite at Rosetta’s Kitchen. It’s the ULTIMATE vegan comfort food. Peanut butter-baked tofu (which is even more amazing than it sounds), sautéed garlicky kale, smashed potatoes and their signature gravy. Their entire menu is heaven, though!” says Lori Rasmussen of My Quiet Kitchen.
Plant. “We have an amazing vegan restaurant called Plant. Their menu is seasonal so it changes frequently. One thing that I always love that they make is their plant cheese plate that includes a cashew one, an almond one, house made crackers & condiments,” says Denise Barratt, RDN of Vine Ripe Nutrition.
Pig Minds Brewing. “Pig Minds Brewing has great beer, great food, and a great atmosphere. Truly the best place to have vegan “comfort food.” The food never disappoints, for vegans and meat-eaters alike. I’ve had plenty of skeptical family members fall in love. My favorites are the Avocado Tacos with a side of the Sweet Spicy Brussel Sprouts,” says Stephanie Wagner, RDN, LDN of Stephanie Lee Nutrition.
Nourish by Mama. “Nourish by Mama is a local favorite, which just recently opened, is a welcome addition to our town’s food scene. Nourish’s popularity has soared because of their quick, healthy, plant-based, and affordable food made with local ingredients. It’s hard to pick a favorite dish as all the food served here is unique and delicious. If I had to choose just one it would be the Tumeric Cauliflower Bowl. While each dish, including this one, may not be 100% vegan, many plant-based substitutions are offered for the cheese and dairy ingredients,” says Kylee Pedrosa, MS, RDN, LDN.
Sprig and Vine. “Sprig and Vine is a quaint BYOB vegan restaurant and their menu changes often since it is based upon seasonal produce. I love sharing a handful of plates with whomever I am with, but the edamame falafel almost always makes the cut. The miso-maple glazed tempeh is one of the first tempeh dishes I liked, too!” says Kelly Jones, MS, RD, CSSD.
True Food Kitchen. “True Food Kitchen has many vegan options that even my non-vegan friends order and love. No boring salads, but hearty and delicious vibrant dishes. I love the Ancient Grains bowl. The miso glazed sweet potatoes are so delicious, as is the pesto, grilled onions and grains. Overall a hearty and satisfying meal,” says Brandi Doming of The Vegan8 blog. True Food Kitchen also has locations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, other parts of Texas, and Virginia.
Araya’s Place. “Araya’s Place is an all vegan Thai restaurant, and we have several locations in Seattle, as well as their original location in the LA area. They feature a huge menu, PLUS an all you can eat lunch buffet. My family has been enjoying their delicious food for many years—it’s always my 8-year old’s request when we have a special meal out. My favorite ‘dish’ is the peanut sauce—I could eat it by the bowlful!” says Sarah De la Cruz of Fried Dandelions.
Café Flora. “Cafe Flora is an amazing Vegetarian and Vegan restaurant! I love this restaurant because they have a rotating seasonal menu (with staple customer favorites on the menu year-round) and they use local and organic produce to support Washington farms. My favorite staple dish is the Italian Burger (grilled black bean burger, basil pesto aioli, sundried tomato jam, balsamic tossed arugula) because it’s packed with flavor, fiber and plant-based protein!” says Leah Swanson, RDN, CD of Got Nourishment.
For my take on the best of plant-powered eating in some of my favorite cities, check out the following:
Plant-Powered Eating in Austin
Plant-Powered Eating in Carmel
Plant-Powered Eating in Toronto