You may think that Cleveland, Ohio, is all about kielbasa, corned beef sandwiches and bratwursts. But the city has become an eclectic culinary destination in recent years, with plenty of healthy vegetarian and vegan options popping up. Here are eight of the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Cleveland and its surrounding suburbs.
Helio Terra Vegan Cafe caters to a wide variety of specific nutritional and dietary needs, such as keto, raw, oil-free, soy-free, paleo, nut-free, and gluten-free diets, as well as offering an all-vegan menu in a bright, cheery atmosphere. Smoothies, wraps, juices, sandwiches, noodles, and flatbreads are on offer here. Popular dishes include the Sun Melt Sandwich with tomato Cleveland kraut, sunflower almond spread, stadium mustard, and tomato aioli sourdough bread, as well as the sweet raw vegan truffle balls in a rotating range of flavors.
Hodge’s, a spacious modern American restaurant in downtown Cleveland run by a former food truck owner, is best-known for whipping up fun takes on traditional comfort food. There’s also a generous wine menu and lots of handcrafted cocktails to get the night going. The best-loved meatless dishes at Hodge’s are the smoked corn bisque with spicy popcorn and lime creme fraiche, the locally-sourced goat cheese and leek tart, a potato and truffle pierogi, and gnocchi with wild mushrooms and charred scallions. Vegetarian sweetcorn Johnny cakes and a variety of salads are also great meat-free choices.
The Flying Fig is one of Cleveland’s most critically renowned and sought-after restaurants, specializing in locally and regionally sourced foods from area farmers as well as creative cocktails. There are a variety of healthy, vegan, and vegetarian options on the menu, including tofu Banh mi bowls and Hoisin-glazed tofu with fried rice, cilantro, and caramelized broccoli. There’s also a local vegetable of the day on offer and a vegan grilled eggplant dish with mozzarella, tomato pesto, roasted peppers, pickled fennel, arugula, foccaccia, and caramelized onions. The artisanal cheese board paired with crostini is also a big seller.
The Greenhouse Tavern is a trendy hotspot for craft cocktails, local sourced foods, and new American eats in downtown Cleveland. Vegetarians flock here for the top-notch veggie burger, topped with aged cheddar cheese, crafted from brown rice, beets, and beans, and served alongside a homemade pickle. The roasted beets, with pistachio panna cotta, arugula, bull’s blood beets, and roasted golden beets, are to die for, while the fried brussels sprouts with fresh mint and maple aioli are a favorite of carnivores and vegetarians alike. Other vegan and vegetarian dishes include the rigatoni with foraged mushrooms and vegan Tonkotsu ramen. The Tavern menu also boasts a number of gluten-free and gluten-free-optional dishes, like the Greenhouse Tavern salad and pea tartare.
Pura Vida is a trendy, vegetarian-friendly hotspot in downtown Cleveland with an exciting atmosphere and trendy lighting. Perfect for date night, Pura Vida offers a variety of sharable plates like vegan nachos and a chickpea jar with grilled bread, as well as a vegan caesar salad, African peanut stew (a popular favorite), vegan tostadas with sweet potato and red pepper hash, and a vegan samosa burrito with curried cauliflower and white beans. Pura Vida’s creative cocktails and lengthy wine list also get rave reviews from diners.
Cleveland Vegan, located in Lakewood, OH, started as a vegan catering company, but recently opened a afé and bakery with more vegan options than almost any other restaurant in the Cleveland area. Every item on the menu is vegan, and many are raw and gluten-free as well. From cookies and muffins in a wide variety of flavors (like strawberry rhubarb, buckeye, double chocolate, and apple walnut oat) to bars, brownies, scones, donuts, croissants, cinnamon rolls, and even custom cakes and “cheezcakes,” the bakery has virtually any vegan treat you could imagine. The café specializes in small plates and vegan takes on comfort food, like buffalo cauliflower dip, chickpea piccata, beet burgers, and vegan biscuits and gravy.
The Earth Bistro Cafe, in Cleveland’s Edgewater neighborhood, is a small eatery with a Cuban-inspired menu that can be made entirely vegan upon request. In addition to quesadillas, wraps, tacos, sandwiches, and vegan chicken wings, the café boasts smoothies, juices, and vegan cakes. Diners rave about the variety of options here, as well as the generous portions and affordable prices.
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