Everything is bigger in Texas” is a common phrase to describe the size of this massive state spilling over into its cultural realm, from ethnic diversity to oversized plates of food. No city better represents Texas’ big personality better than its most populous metropolis, Houston. Houston’s cultural diversity, sprawling surface area, and massive medical and museum districts make it a Texas-sized specimen of urbanity.
With so many people from so many cultural backgrounds, you can bet on Houston having one of the best restaurant scenes not just in Texas, but in the U.S.
During my most recent tour of Houston, I had the pleasure of trying plant-based dishes so delicious that even meat-loving Texans would tip their hats to them.
1320 W 34th St, Houston, TX 77018
Govinda’s is a casual vegetarian buffet in the Garden Oaks neighborhood right next to the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Inspired by the Krishna culture, Govinda’s specializes in Indian food like lentil stews, curries, raitas, samosas, and more. They offer a fully vegan buffet three days a week.
My favorite vegan options were Dal Fry, a mixture of Chana and Moong lentil dals with ginger and oil. There’s always fresh roti and puri to mop up all the delicious Indian stews that get better the longer they sit.
4320 Almeda Rd, Houston, TX 77004
Located a few blocks from the beautiful Herman Park and Houston’s wonderful museum district, green seed vegan is a trendy, casual, and friendly neighborhood juice bar, raw bar, and sandwich shop.
Its vast selection of fresh-pressed juices, smoothies, elixirs, and 100% vegan takes on American comfort food favorites have garnered national acclaim with a mention in Food and Wine’s list of best vegan restaurants in the U.S.
Their menu has a selection of raw food in the form of salads, bowls, and juices as well as a cooked selection of paninis and burgers. I had a big Tex burger made with buckwheat and quinoa topped with zucchini bacon, avocado, vegan cheese, jalapeno, red onions, tomato, and mayo on a whole wheat bun with a side of fries.
Save room for dessert! You don’t want to miss out on the raw cheesecake with a blackberry lemon cashew base and a coconut macadamia crust.
10932 Westheimer Rd #A, Houston, TX 77042
Veegos is a 100% Vegan Mexican food restaurant in Houston’s Westchase neighborhood in a bright and vibrant dining space with a gloriously colorful mural covering every wall with vibrant images of Mexican and graffiti-style imagery. Veegos has all the classic Mexican favorites made with fresh ingredients and plates as colorful as the restaurant’s walls.
I highly recommend starting with the classic chips and guacamole combo, but if you’re looking for a unique blend of Mexican and American comfort foods, try the Chili Cheese Fries with refried beans and plant-powered chili smothered in queso atop crispy French fries. I also recommend eating there on the weekends when they make their fresh vegan Pozole.
2825 S Kirkwood Rd #100, Houston, TX 77082
Loving Hut is the world’s fastest-growing international vegan food chain, beginning in California and spreading the vegan gospel around the U.S and to China. Loving Hut’s core intention is to provide customers with sustainable, healthy, and cruelty-free vegan food at affordable prices.
Their Houston location is in the Westchase neighborhood just north of the West Houston Medical Center. All dishes are made with non-GMO, high-quality ingredients and run the gamut from Asian to American cuisines.
I loved their Fabulous Pho, a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup with fresh rice noodles, soy protein, tofu, mushroom, green onion, garlic, cilantro, and vegetable broth with bean sprouts, Thai basil, and lime garnish.
10804 Bellaire Blvd Suite E, Houston, TX 77072
Quan Yin is a Pan Asian Vegan restaurant in a strip center in the Westchase neighborhood with a casual, modest dining room and an impressive menu of classic Japanese, Chinese, and Vietnamese dishes from noodles to stir-fries. Their generous portions and low prices make them a neighborhood favorite for dine-in and take-out.
I thought their vegetable egg rolls were perfectly crispy and flavorful. I recommend going in a big group to sample various dishes family-style, the way Asian food should be enjoyed. They make vegan versions of classic dishes like Peking Duck, Sweet and Sour Pork, and even Vietnamese fried fish.
449 W 19th St Suite C-200, Houston, TX 77008
Verdine is a hip boho-chic new American eatery by Chef and owner Stephanie Hoban who uses her expertise as a Natural Foods trained chef and a registered dietician to make a globally-inspired menu that is both nutritious and delicious.
The dining room is a beautiful industrial meets country-chic space with comfy blue faux-leather booths and a tiled bar in Houston’s trendy Heights neighborhood. Verdine’s food has won accolades from Texas Monthly, Eater, and the Houston Chronicle. You can dine for lunch, ordering at the counter for a more fast-casual service.
Dinner service is more formal, with wait staff and a full wine and beer list. I loved the Thai meatballs using Beyond Meat with a sweet tamarind glaze, sriracha aioli, green onion, cilantro, and coconut sticky rice.
412 W Clay St, Houston, TX 77019
Also known as Yaya’s raw RAH, Pat Greer’s Kitchen is a Montrose staple, opened over twenty years ago by mother, grandmother, and raw-enthusiast Pat Greer. Chef Greer uses local produce and seasonal ingredients to craft a unique menu of snacks, desserts, and meals that will fill you up and nourish your soul.
The menu has the coolest, quirkiest names like Pesto Party Geeze, Mocha Sutra, and Strawberry Geezcake. Pat Greer’s is also a food shop, with many crackers, house-made vegan cheeses, fudge, and many more packaged products. I bought a six-pack of tamales with stuffing like chilies, jackfruit, black bean, and tapioca cheese.
1714 Webster St, Houston, TX 77003
Located in the heart of Midtown Houston, Sinfull Bakery is Houston’s first all-vegan bakery, breakfast and lunch eatery, and jam shop. Its super cute space has great wall sketches of baking equipment, and the impressive bakery counter is filled with spectacular-looking pastries, cookies, muffins, monkey bread, and my personal favorite, kolaches.
Sinfull Bakery also makes all-natural jams and jellies, oatmeal, and granola mixes, and take and bake meal prep packages to throw in the oven at your convenience.
It’s near impossible to find vegan versions of a kolache, the polish sweet or savory stuffed bread that’s popular at most donut shops in Houston, so I had to try a variety of vegan egg, cheese, and sausage versions. They did not disappoint!
3419 Emancipation Ave, Houston, TX 77004
The Doshi House is a cozy neighborhood coffee house and vegan eatery in the heart of Houston’s historic Third Ward. Its marble floors, walls, and tables, along with a glorious flower garden surrounding a sunny patio is the perfect place to enjoy a fresh cup of coffee or tea while you study or chat with friends.
The coffee beans at The Doshi House are locally roasted, with delicious vegan espresso drinks like Pistachio or Coconut Cream lattes. They also bring in pastries from Sinfull Bakery. They have a small selection of vegan tacos using flavors from around the world.
I loved the Korean BBQ Taco with seasoned vegetable protein, cabbage, cilantro, onion, and a ginger tomato cream sauce.
1415 Murray Bay St, Houston, TX 77080
Located in the Spring Valley neighborhood, Cascabel is a fully vegetarian and vegan Mexican food restaurant with a full cocktail bar and a family-friendly atmosphere. Their location is inside a vibrantly painted old house with a huge outdoor patio shaded by large oak trees. They have a great taco Tuesday deal with street-style tacos under 2$ each.
They have truly perfected the art of transforming a meat and cheese-centric cuisine into a festive and flavorful celebration of veganism. It’s not Tex Mex without a sinfully decadent bowl of creamy queso, and Cascabel has managed to make it vegan using melted potato-based cheese topped with diced tomato, jalapeno, and onions with freshly fried tortilla chips.
I had their spicy tostadas de Tinga for my main dish, with chipotle marinated jackfruit, refried beans, and shredded purple cabbage.