Being a vegan or vegetarian isn’t always easy. There are often questions about your dietary choices from strangers and friends, not to mention the less-than-subtle judging from certain family members. One part of being a vegetarian or vegan that should be easy, however, is finding amazing places to eat. Luckily, the vegan and vegetarian restaurant scene is quickly expanding in the Twin Cities.
Birchwood Cafe, a Seward neighborhood gem, is known for its locally sourced fare. The menu changes each season but always includes several plant-based options that are nothing short of drool-worthy. Don’t believe us? Take one bite of the Tempeh Hash or the veggie-packed Birchwood Bowl, and we think you'll change your mind.
Minnesotans aren’t big on bragging, but The Herbivorous Butcher is just so incredible that our hearts swell with pride. We can’t help but tell everyone that the first vegan butcher shop in the country is here in Minneapolis, and it is amazing! Made with jackfruit and wheat flour, you’ll find meatless meat options from brats and bacon to BBQ ribs and breakfast sausage.
No need to study this menu in advance to figure out what you can eat. Everything J. Selby’s (and its food truck, the J. Mobile!) serves up is vegan, from the cauliflower-based buffalo wings to the Big Mac-inspired Dirty Secret made with beef patties from the aforementioned Herbivorous Butcher. This St. Paul newcomer also serves a pay-what-you-can Community Bowl with rice, beans, and seasonal veggies to ensure that everyone who wants to eat vegan can afford it.
Not much beats pizza, so naturally finding a pizza place with a clearly marked vegan/vegetarian menu is pretty much perfection. And we’re not just talking about one sad vegan pizza option tacked on to the end of the menu. Pizza Lucé has four specialty pizza options that can be made vegan upon request and—with two varieties of “cheese”, six meatless meats, and over two dozen types of veggies—a ‘Build Your Own Pizza’ option that allows for endless combinations (we’re still working out how many different pizzas we need to try).
With juices in every color of the rainbow and beautifully-decorated acai and grain bowls, South MPLS’s Whole Sum makes it almost impossible to chow down without taking a picture of your order first. Although not 100% vegetarian/vegan, this food truck turned cafe’s website writes out all of the ingredients in each dish to make ordering a breeze.
Usually finding decent vegan desserts is far from a piece of cake. Thanks to one St. Paul woman and her magical baking skills, it's now easy to get your hands on vegan cakes, cupcakes, cookies, brownies, muffins… the list goes on! Come get your sugar fix at Vegan East’s cafe in WBL. With cake this good, we won’t judge if you want to celebrate your birthday more than once this year.
French Meadow has apparently never heard the phrase, “You can’t please everybody.” With chalkboard menus spanning wall-to-wall with vegan, vegetarian, organic, and gluten-free options, there is bound to be something for everyone in your brunch group. Speaking of options, French Meadow has locations in St. Paul and Minneapolis. Choosing what to order may be difficult, but choosing French Meadow is a no-brainer.
On the short list of totally vegan/vegetarian restaurant in the cities, Hardtimes can almost always be counted on to serve up serious rock ’n’ roll vibes and killer vegan/vegetarian food. And we use “almost always” very literally — Hard Times is open 22 hours a day! This Cedar-Riverside cafe is a fave for its all-day breakfast, grilled bites, and sandwiches (like the incredible banh mi). Just make sure to hit up the bank beforehand; Hard Times is cash-only, but we promise it’s totally worth the ATM fee.
Everything this food truck serves up is rave-worthy, from the homemade vegan pop tarts to mac ’n’ cheese egg rolls and drunken noodles. Root to Rise stops at several local farmers markets each week, so make sure to check its Facebook page for up-to-date locations and menu offerings. We recommend trying the Vegan Virgin Mary, a plant-based twist on your typical bloody made with wasabi, ginger, and vegan Worcestershire.
Being vegan doesn’t mean giving up your favorite comfort foods. Seward Cafe is the prefect place to get vegan pancakes, bagel sandwiches, veggie burgers, gyros… we’re drooling just thinking about it. While the menu here isn’t totally meat-free, you can avoid foodie FOMO by ordering the vegan substitutions listed in the menu.
New to the TC vegan/vegetarian scene, this globally-inspired restaurant opened its doors in the Uptown hot spot of Calhoun Square at the beginning of 2018. fig + farro puts an equal emphasis on creating delicious takes on comfort food (vegan cheesy shells or mashed potatoes, anyone?) and being environmentally friendly. They use organic, locally-sourced ingredients in their dishes, including their brunch favorites. Four words: Giant Blueberry Cinnamon Roll.
Look out, Uptown! Brim is fresh on the scene with its largely plant-based menu packed with all the best Northern-grown produce. Most of the meals here come in the form of grains or greens bowls (think sticky rice and turmeric brown basmati) filled to the brim with organic, made-from-scratch ingredients that you can mix and match to your liking. Bonus: Brim is so close to Bde Maka Ska, you can basically walk across the street and be in the water, making it the perfect place to refuel post beach day.
Reverie is still searching for a building to call home, but instead of making hungry Twin Cities’ residents wait, it took its all vegan everything on wheels, and we couldn't be happier about it. When it comes to getting our hands on eats like Cubanos, polenta rancheros, and TLTs (tempeh, lettuce, and tomato!), waiting in line for the food truck is about all the waiting we can handle.