More than 5 percent of Americans consider themselves vegetarian, according to a 2018 Gallop poll. That may not seem like a lot until you realize that 5 percent of the U.S. population is more than 16 million people.
I won’t waste your time with any more numbers. I just wanted to highlight that many people out there don’t eat meat, and plenty of restaurants across the country cater to them.
Carnivores shouldn’t overlook this delicious cuisine, however. The amount of love, care, and seasoning that chefs put into their meatless food is amazing.
Check out the list below for the best vegetarian restaurants in America. There are many talented chefs from coast-to-coast hooking up vegetables in ways that will make even the most steak-loving person take a break from meat.
Best Vegetarian Restaurants in America
I’m happy to share with you my favorite vegetarian restaurants.
1221 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA 19107, United States
Vedge is located in Philadelphia’s Gayborhood. The neighborhood received its name in 1995, but the area has been an LGBTQ residential and culture hotspot since WWII.
Vedge features an eclectic vibe of cool modern colors around the bar and warm vintage colors in the dining area – which I think fits the renovated old brownstone mansion well.
This restaurant is a great place to hang out with friends and have a good time. I recommend ordering their mushroom carnitas tacos to pair with your drink of choice.
It doesn’t matter if you prefer beer, wine, or cocktails you’ll have plenty to choose from at Vedge.
Check out our full review of Vedge before you visit!
2211 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110, United States
Gracias Madre is situated in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District.
The restaurant perfectly fits in with the neighborhood’s relaxed hipster feel. The area is home to a variety of used bookstores, live-music clubs, and local eateries.
Eating at Gracias Madre will quickly prove that quality Mexican food doesn’t have to include meat. I recommend trying their flautas de camote.
This dish features deep-fried corn tortillas filled with caramelized onion and sweet potato topped with pico de gallo, guacamole, cilantro, and spicy nacho cashew cheese.
They even throw some black beans and fried potatoes on the side!
1084 Flushing Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237, United States
Bunna Café serves delicious vegetarian fare in the heart of Brooklyn.
The restaurant began as a coffee shop, Bunna means coffee in Amharic, and has since grown into a community-focused gathering place with great Ethiopian coffee, food, and drinks.
I recommend trying the butecha. This vegan scramble features ground chickpea stuffing, onion, peppers, ginger, and garlic served with a side of Kita.
You have to visit Fridays at 5:30 p.m. to fully experience Bunna Cafe. They host an Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony that transports you to East Africa for an unforgettable experience.
111 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009, United States
Cadance is unique even among the variety of eclectic and international food served in NYC’s East Village.
Executive Chef Shenarri Freeman has merged her Southern food culture and vegan commitment to creating a vegan soul food menu that is organic and soy-free.
You have to try the jackfruit sliders. Jackfruit is a common pulled pork substitute, but when smothered in Freeman’s smoked tamarind BBQ sauce, topped with housemade slaw, and served in between a perfectly toasted pretzel bun, it becomes anything but common.
Enjoy your meal with a Queen Irma. This cocktail features homemade limoncello, hazelnut, lemon, and pastiche bitters.
3411 N Halsted St Chicago, IL 60657
The Chicago Diner is an old-school vegetarian eatery that’s been “meat-free since ’83.” You can’t go wrong grabbing lunch at this Windy City staple before catching a Cubs game at historic Wrigley Field.
The diner takes great pride in serving traditional American comfort food, such as burgers and shakes, with a veggie twist.
Speaking of those burgers and shakes …
The cajun black bean burger is where it’s at. I enjoyed the black bean patty, mushrooms, tomato, spinach, fried jalapeno, sauteed onions, Teese cheddar, and creole mustard.
The Chicago Diner serves nearly ten different shakes. Try one, and you’ll want to try them all, but considering you won’t have room for that after your burger, I recommend the strawberry.
3315 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647, United States
Ground Control is located in Logan Square, a hip and quirky Chicago neighborhood.
The vegetarian restaurant fits in perfectly with surrounding stores and eateries with its vibe that perfectly meshes hip and modern with traditional diner.
I recommend the tofricken royale. I know it’s a cool name, but it’s also a delicious “chicken” sandwich that does things with crispy tofu you didn’t know were possible.
The sandwich comes with pickles, garlic mayo, and spicy slaw. You can get the tofu regularly seasoned, but if you like heat, I say go spicy.
1503 30th St, San Diego, CA 92102, United States
It doesn’t get better located than Kindred. You’ll have no trouble finding things to do with the San Diego Zoo, Japanese Friendship Garden, 28th Street Playground, and much more just minutes away.
This is the perfect spot to grab a meal before or after a fun day of entertainment.
Kindred is the perfect place to enjoy a light meal and a great-tasting adult beverage. You have to try their Fried and Pickled if you’re a pickle fan.
This combo of beer-battered dill slices and buffalo-pickled cauliflower served with ranch is the perfect pre-drink appetizer.
You’ll find some delicious cocktails here, but I recommend going with whatever their “Seasonal Oddity” is. This rotating seasonal beer is selected by restaurant staff who knows their beer.
1710 Pearl St, Boulder, CO 80302, United States
Leaf is a great place to stop for vegetarian cuisine in Downtown Boulder.
Those free-range eggs make a mean huevos rancheros. They are served with pepper jack, corn tortillas, black beans, Spanish rice, pico de gallo, and green chili.
If you want to go completely vegan, you can substitute the eggs with organic tofu and forgo the cheese.
Leaf has an extensive family-friendly drink selection to enjoy with your meal. I suggest pairing your huevos rancheros with a delicious matcha lemonade.
165 Merrimon Ave, Asheville, NC 28801, United States
Asheville, North Carolina, is a popular mountainous hipster haven.
Plant is the perfect representation of the area’s earthy vibe, featuring an inviting outdoor patio, a state-of-the-art air purification system for those eating indoors, and a strong commitment to serving dedicated vegan fare. This is one of those places that thinks of food as both sustenance and art.
Plant serves plenty of delicious food, but I recommend going full-on plant-based and enjoying a fresh gem and carrot salad.
This salad features baby gem lettuce and roasted carrots combined with hazelnut, cocorino cheese, and creamy lemon dressing.
Plant’s drink menu is too extensive to provide a recommendation, but you won’t be disappointed with the number of wines, cocktails, and local craft beers to choose from.
1429 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122, United States
Plum Bistro is located in Seattle’s Capitol Hill district, a neighborhood saturated with indie boutiques, artisan coffee roasters, and restaurants of all flavors and styles.
I recommend taking the 10-minute drive to Lake View Cemetery to see Bruce Lee’s grave site after your delicious lunch if you’re a martial arts fan.
No matter what entree you order, make sure to save room for dessert at Plum Bistro.
Their citrus cheesecake is smooth and creamy, featuring notes of lemon-lime and served on a gluten-free graham cracker crust with coconut cream.
Red Lentil Vegetarian & Vegan Restaurant
600 Mt Auburn St, Watertown, MA 02472, United States
Red Lentil Vegetarian & Vegan Restaurant is located in Watertown, a laid-back suburb east of Boston.
The restaurant has a warm and welcoming vibe that reflects its neighborhood. This is the place to go if you’re looking for a relaxing community spot to enjoy some delicious vegetarian cuisine.
I recommend the Indonesian stir fry. This dish features tempeh cubes cooked with ginger root, onions, peppers, scallions, green cabbage, udon noodles, and white button mushrooms sauteed with soy sauce and topped with bean sprouts and toasted sesame seeds.
Enjoy your meal with a berries blaster smoothie with wild berries, goji berries, hemp seed, agave, and coconut yogurt.
1422 Nogalitos St, San Antonio, TX 78204, United States
Viva Vegeria is located in the Collins Garden neighborhood in San Antonio’s near-south side.
The neighborhood and restaurant have an open-air rural vibe that feels so incredibly Texas that you can’t help but kick back and enjoy some vegan tacos and a cold Mexican Coke on a brightly colored patio.
You can’t go wrong ordering the flautas de camote. The dish comes with three sweet and spicy taquitos stuffed with mashed sweet potatoes, stewed tomato, green chili, and garlic served with Mexican rice, charro beans, and house salad.
Viva Vegeria also makes a delicious tortilla soup that will have you begging for the recipe.
618 Oak St, Baraboo, WI 53913, United States
The Cheeze Factory is situated in the rural woods of Wisconsin in the small city of Baraboo.
The area features many fun activities, from visiting the Circus World Museum to hiking in nearby Devil’s Lake State Park.
Vegan food may not be the first thing that comes to mind in the land of meat and cheese, but The Cheeze Factory has been serving locals and visitors since 1992.
I recommend ordering the Bangalore Bowl. This dish serves a hearty portion of lentils seasoned with an Indian spice blend topped with sweet potatoes, grilled veggies, and seasoned vegan meat strips.
They garnish the meal with cranberry chutney and vegan sour cream to add even more flavor.
Best Vegetarian Restaurants in America
- Gracias Madre
- Bunna Cafe
- Chicago Diner
- Ground Control
- Plum Bistro
- Red Lentil
- Cheeze Factory
I love meat as much as the next person, but there’s something about a perfectly seasoned veggie-focused meal that I crave.
The love and attention-to-details vegetarian and vegan chefs put into their food is impressive, and that dedication is apparent in their tasty dishes.
It doesn’t matter if you’re in San Francisco enjoying views of the Golden Gate Bridge or New York looking up at the Empire State Building, from the Pacific to the Atlantic and every state in between, you’ll find delicious meatless cuisine.
I hope you have the chance to enjoy some of the best vegetarian restaurants in America soon! If you’re fully vegan, check out the best vegan restaurants as well!