Growing awareness of the health benefits of a plant-based diet has prompted veggie-loving restaurants to pop up over the US. With a variety of influences, innovative twists, and world-class preparation, there is much more than salad on the modern vegan menu. We earmark 10 of the best vegan restaurants stateside.
Millennium is legendary among vegan restaurants. For over two decades, the restaurant has been serving wholesome, organic, plant-based dishes in the heart of San Francisco. The menu is seasonally driven, and changes often to reflect the fresh produce. Fusing flavors and preparations from a variety of cuisines, the chef provides an experience that is unexpectedly creative. To the dismay of its loyal following, Millennium will be closing its doors later this year. This giant in the vegan restaurant industry is not only well worth our mention, but worth the visit before it is too late.
It may be a disservice to preface any review of Vedgeas a vegan restaurant, as it might stir unfounded prejudices. It is true that the menu is entirely free of animal products, but this restaurant stands as a top-notch dining destination for customers of any food persuasion. The chefs at Vedge successfully create dishes so delicious that any carnivore won’t even think about the meat they are missing. Most dishes are small, and meant to be shared.
Sutra takes a refreshingly different approach to the vegan and vegetarian meal, by aiming to appeal to all of the senses. Before even tasting your first bite, this restaurant is a feast for the eyes. The interior is colorful and cheery, and the food’s plating is artistic and aesthetic. The menu is prix-fix, and changes frequently to accommodate the freshest seasonal ingredients. Guests enjoy five courses that marry flavors and techniques perfectly, for a unique overall experience. Sutra expands its good vibes outside of the restaurant as well, with community yoga classes and retreats, to nourish both body and soul.
Far from the big cities of its trendy cousins, Plant in Asheville, NC is rewriting all of the rules. From this small town, big ideas grew to create a restaurant that has visitors coming from near and far. The restaurant focuses on fresh ingredients that are locally sourced, building the community and reducing its impact on the environment. The menu at Plant allows for the quality of the ingredients to shine through, with simple, yet calculated, preparation.
Candle 79 artfully brings vegan cuisine out of its rustic roots, and sets it on a fine-dining stage. Located on New York’s posh Upper East Side, the restaurant is a stunning part of Manhattan’s dining scene. Beyond its commitment to veganism, Candle 79 strives to be as sustainable as possible. The restaurant serves only plant-based, organic food in an atmosphere that uses eco-friendly building and decor materials, cooking equipment, and cleaning supplies.
Natural Selection is nestled in the Alberta district of Northeast Portland; an area known for art, boutique shopping, and fantastic dining. This restaurant brings its vibrant community a vegan option that is far from the stereotypical rabbit food. The menu offers clean and modern dishes with decidedly European influences. The prix-fixe dinner experience is truly something to be savored.
In downtown Denver, a quaint and quirky café is getting some well-deserved attention. Watercourse Foods is a pioneer in Colorado’s vegan food scene. The restaurant has a playful and cool vibe, with bike racks right out front, and an unfussy, understated interior. Despite being completely meat-free, it delivers hearty comfort food that does not leave anyone hungry.
Crossroads has become well-known in Los Angeles, as a favorite for locals and celebrities alike. The restaurant’s interior has charming rustic elements, but remains chic enough for even the most discerning of Hollywood stars. The food is heavily influenced by Mediterranean flavors, and showcases small dishes that are easy to be shared. Pastas, risottos, and doughs are made in house daily, and serve as the bed for many dishes that bring vegetables to the forefront of the attention.
Canteen in Portland, is a small restaurant that is just as unassuming and cool as it could possibly be. The eclectic and artistic vibe of Portlanders and their city permeate this eatery. Canteen stands on a philosophy of providing great food, prepared from ingredients that are honest and sustainable. The fact that the menu is 100 per cent vegan is just an added bonus to the otherwise good-natured feeling of the restaurant.
From a small vegan bistro south of downtown Seattle to three restaurants and a food truck, this chain is founded on the principle of bettering the landscape of America’s food by expanding the availability of vegan dining options. The menus for each of the locations vary slightly, but they all feature organic ingredients, free from animal products. Plum Bistro’s food is influenced by American classics with a twist, creating a cuisine all of its own.