Vegan Restaurant Guide


  • Vesuvius pizza – Ames: fast food vibe, just enough burn on the wood fire crust, and one of the only places in IA with vegan meat AND cheese options
  • Red Avocado – Iowa City: recently closed, but watch for reopening. Gem, all vegan, mid-scale restaurant in the meaty state of Iowa
  • Zanzibar Coffe Adventure – Des Moines: a utopia for coffee connoisseurs and a hang-our for Des Moines’ eccentric and armchair-philosopher types


  • Kayrn’s on Green – Chicago: order 2 bottles of wine, it’s going to be a long night. Order all the small plates and sides as possible, it may be the best vegan meal of your life.
  • Chicago Diner – Chicago: “Meat free since ’83” and worth the wait to get a spot at this famous Chicago vegetarian/vegan dinner. Order a burger and wash it down with a ‘milk’shake


  • Peace Coffee – Minneapolis:  upper middle class hipster, bike messengers, and bold expresso
  • Ecopolitan – Minneapolis: All raw juice bar where dreadlocks meet goddess’ meet inspiring novelists for lunch
  • Seward Cafe – Minneapolis: Park your bike to visit new age families, carve your name in a booth, and, if you listen, here  some LBGT philosophizing. AMAZING for brunch.
  • Pizza Luce – Minneapolis: have a local beer with the bike messengers while you choose from tons of vegan meat and cheese options


  • Sizzle Pie – Portland  …(commentary)
  • VooDoo Donuts – Portland: a japanese game show for you senses. Order an apple fritter and see how your normal ability to share fades away.
  • Cornbread Cafe  – Eugene:  Play with trivia cards while waiting for vegan comfort food. They are the sauce bosses, so order extra…and don’t leave without a whoopy pie!
  • Sweetpea Baking Company – Portland:  Lunch and pastry staple sitting in an all-vegan strip mall. Serves lunch and donuts on the weekend.
  • Food Fight Vegan Grocery – Portland: A few shops up from Sweetpea, FF has the layout of a small convenience store but the keeps at least one of about any vegan product you could imagine.
  • Papa G’s Vegan Organic Deli – Portland: In our top 5 FAVORITES – the vibe and selection of an italian New York deli that makes you feel like you are somehow cheating.
  • Back to Eden Bakery – Portland: In the heart of the eclectic Alberta neighborhood, this boutique bakery is one of the only places in town serving dairy-free soft serve and milkshakes – and their cinnamon rolls and sweets are pretty damn good too.
  • Red & Black Cafe- Portland … (commentary) IMPORTANT TO READ
  • Portobello – Portland: As upscale as vegan gets in PDX without all the pretentious stuffiness normally associated with ‘fancy dinners’. Thee best mixologists in town, a diverse and fresh menu using local ingredients, food classes, and a great hangover Sunday brunch menu. Cornbread waffles and a top shelf, soul soothing bloody mary? It’s reason enough to make you get wasted on Saturday in anticipation.
  • Los Gorditos – Portland: Taqueria that serves a variety of faux meats and cheeses along with a large salsa bar. If the line is too long at Portobello, walk across the street for Mexican food Sunday brunch.
  • The Bye & Bye – Portland: Get there before happy hour or you won’t be getting a seat. Thee most hipster hang out in town, this bar’s menu is unlike any other and includes items like veggie corn dogs, African peanut rice bowls, and vegan German chocolate cake. Put on your most ironic vintage T and your hemp capris – the night is about to get K-razy.
  • Vegetarian House – Portland: Four words…All.Vegan.Chinese.Food. Open 7 days a weeks, V-house has the coolest staff who go out of their way to recommend and serve. And there food? Invite your non-veggie friends, order the orange or General Tso’s chicken, and see if they notice it’s not real meat. (Bonus – dessert at Voodoo across the street! Fat kid fantasy!)


  • Bloom Bake Shop – Middleton: Everything has a southern belle sweetness, from the cutely decorated food to the decore to the owners.
  • The Root Note – La Crosse: Hit and miss on the vegan fair, but great college-y hang out vibe with live music
  • The Green Owl – Madison: My favorite vegetarian joint in Wisconsin – robust menu includes raw and rare options. Get the BBQ Jackfruit for lunch and see if you can resist going back for dinner.


  • Sage’s Cafe – Salt Lake City:  look deep into your eyeliner-wearing waiter’s eyes and ask for anything…because it will be good. DON’T leave without eating chocolate.
  • Vertical Diner – Salt Lake City: uber hipster – the apathetic and/or Fiona Apple kind. Take your friends with you for protection, and go for breakfast

4 comments on “Vegan Restaurant Guide

  1. We live about a half hour driving time east of San Francisco. The two vegan restaurants we eat out at the most are Herbivore (there are three in the Bay area — two in San Francisco and one in Berkeley) and Greens.

    I’m a vegan but my wife and daughter are not. However, they both enjoy eating out at either of these two places. We eat at Herbivore more than Greens due to price. Greens is way more expensive.

  2. Christine says:

    Update regarding Iowa City: One of the owners of Red Avocado opened a new vegan restaurant this spring called Trumpet Blossom ( It also has a great stage and live music. Woo hoo!

    • That is AMAZING news! Is that going next to 30th Century Bike? We had so many amazing at Red Avocado and had a mini day of mourning when it closed. Next time we are back in Iowa we should meet and check it out…thanks for the update!

      • Christine says:

        Yes! It is in the same building as 30th Century Bike. Katy makes the best darned frech fries with red pepper aioli (vegenaise). I’d be happy to eat them with you. 🙂


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