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The Top Eight Vegetarian Restaurants in America

Written by PETA | January 7, 2009
compass-group / CC
Fine dining

Let’s say you got a big check as a holiday gift. Or maybe you just have the post–New Year’s blues and need something to look forward to. Either way, we know what you need: a really great meal. But it can be tricky to find the right place—one that will bring the big vegan yum-liciousness in style. So we’ve put together a list (you know how we love lists) of the eight most outstanding veggie restaurants in the good ol’ U.S. of A.

  • Candle 79, New York City: I was lucky enough to eat here a couple of years ago—almost too yummy. It made me a seitan worshipper. And check it out: The food is not only vegan but also organic.
  • Madeleine Bistro, Los Angeles: OK, technically, it’s in Tarzana, but it’s definitely worth the trip! Hey, Proust wrote his seven-volume masterpiece after eating a madeleine—just imagine what you’ll accomplish after eating this Madeleine’s chocolate soufflé.
  • Green Zebra, Chicago: Chef and owner Shawn McClain won the 2006 James Beard award for Best Chef in the Midwest, so it’s no surprise that this veggie hotspot features phenomenal food.
  • Horizons, Philadelphia: Horizons specializes in “new vegan cuisine.” What does that mean? Well, the current menu features delicious dishes such as saffron cauliflower soup and Pacific Rim grilled tofu. If that’s new vegan cuisine, count me in!
  • Millennium, San Francisco: A pioneer in gourmet vegan dining, Millennium features multi-culture fusion food. Heck, the whiskey chocolate tiramisu cake may be worth a cross-country trek all by itself!
  • Sublime, Fort Lauderdale: A fine-dining experience like no other, Sublime offers exquisite, fresh vegan cuisine from across the globe. Known for its creative dishes and upbeat, unique atmosphere, Sublime’s delectable entrees—such as the sublime picatta, Bangkok raw, Tuscan quiche, and ravioli—will leave you begging for more.
  • Dragonfly Neo-V, Columbus, Ohio: Chef Magdiale Wolmark describes it as “fun, whimsical, and a great introduction to vegan cuisine.” That sounds just about right. And the first call any vegan Columbus resident should make after getting engaged is to Neo-V—it caters events too.
  • VegiTerranean, Akron, Ohio: Opened by rock legend Chrissie Hynde in her hometown, this sleek, modern eatery offers gourmet vegan fare with an Italian flare.

Of course, if you don’t live in any of these cities, don’t worry—there are more and more vegetarian (and vegetarian-friendly) joints popping up every day all over the place. And if you need help finding them, we can hook you up.

Know another restaurant that should be on our list? Tell us about it in the comments.

Written by Jeff Mackey

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  • Kari Nap says:

    There is a secret place that someone told me about. It’s in the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas in Ukiah, CA. The person who told me about it said the food was magical and like nothing she had ever tried. I later went there with a slightly closed mind and not expecting much. WOW, was I surprised!!!!! They make this secret sauce that is SO fantastic! It is really the best food I have ever had anywhere. I dream about returning there one day. It’s pretty far from my home, but I may make a pilgrimage just to eat at their restaurant.

  • Eata says:

    The waiter I had at Cafe Sunflower in Atlanta told me the they dream of being like Millenium in SF. Sunflower is good, but Millenium is more upscale, nuanced, and fancy. On the flip side, Sunflower can be great for casual dining too and their Thanksgiving meal is excellent.

  • Shahin Afsharian says:

    The best vegetaria-vegan restaurant I Know, is Cafe Sunflower in Buckhead, Atlanta, GA. I needs to be part of this list. It is just awesome! Check it out, http://www.cafesunflower.com

  • Clay says:

    I visited Asheville in the fall of 2011 and apparently, the chef behind Laughing Seed opened up Plant. I ate at both and really liked Plant a lot more (ended up eating there twice). Green Sage was nice too, as a coffee spot but Plant was just extremely impressive (a 100% vegan menu).

  • Subodh Sangar says:

    I saw a new Veg restaurant “Higher Taste” opening in Tallahassee, Florida. The address is 1350 Mahan Dr, Tallahassee, FL 32308

  • Steve Kelder says:

    Whenever I visit San Francisco I make a trip to The Greens. It’s on the water, new menu daily, and connected to Laurels Kitchen, the cookbook.

  • Maya says:

    OOOh, you missed a great veg destination. Mineral, in Murphys, an up and coming wine region in the California foothills, has epic vegetarian fine dining, mostly vegan. They make the best vegan burger on the face of the planet, guaranteed. http://www.mineralrestaurant.com http://www.facebook.com/mineralrestaurant

  • Maya says:

    OOOh, you missed a great veg destination. Mineral, in Murphys, an up and coming wine region in the California foothills, has epic vegetarian fine dining, mostly vegan. They make the best vegan burger on the face of the planet, guaranteed. http://www.mineralrestaurant.com http://www.facebook.com/mineralrestaurant

  • Casartemus says:

    Laughing Seed is the best I’ve had too. I went to Asheville for a weekend and ate there 4 times.

  • Burke Fletcher says:

    I second the mention of Laughing Seed Cafe in Asheville NC. I always eat there several times whenever I’m in town for a few days and I have never been disappointed.

  • Cris says:

    Laughing Seed Cafe in Asheville NC is the best I have had and I have been in many cities and states! Also a big thumbs up to Blind Faith Cafe in Evanston Ill.

  • cam says:

    Sunflower cafe in Atlanta is great. Vegan or vegetarian options.

  • VictorGalli says:

    So why in the hell has no one suggested Pure Food and Wine to be on this list for NYC?! The restaurant changed my life. I have never had food like that and I have been to almost every restaurant on this list and way more that aren’t on this list in some of the most major cities in the nation. Pure is like delicious delicious love made slowly and smoothly to your soul through your tongue… I cannot recommend it highly enough. If anyone if ever even near NYC I would recommend going there just for that. It’s located at 54 Irving Place literally one block off of Union Square.

  • pam brown says:

    Hi There I own a vegan restaurant in Woodstock Ny. Please check our menu out and try us if you are in the area. gardencafewoodstock.com

  • Michele says:

    In Ottawa Canada we have The Green Door and The Table. They are all vegetarian with mostly vegan choices. They are easily identified as to whether or not they are vegan. Also there is the Sacred Garden which is vegetarian and dairyfree with the option to request eggfree dishes with no hassle whatsoever. Yummy!

  • Nate says:

    Anyone know of any restraunts with a glutenfree menu preferably in northern NevadaCalifornia?

  • Melissa says:

    Any good vegan places in the Northern Virginia or D.C. area?

  • Kalee says:

    ROOTS in bloomington indiana. bloomington also has tons of allnatural restaurants and vegetarian options at the local restaurants. My favorite…Laughing Planet. mmmm

  • Pam, Joe, Gwen, Marty (PJGM) says:

    We’ve followed Horizons from the suburbs to the city. It’s a tradition 4 of us drive almost an hour each way every Fri. night. THE BEST anywhere and we’ve been to several. Nothing comes close! The ownerschefs are culinary geniuses!

  • Daisy! says:

    As to a great veganvegetarian restaraunt in Canada there is an adorable veggie cafe in calgary ab called “the coope” it’s delicious and so cute!

  • Ricky says:

    I can vouch for Millenium restaurant in San Francisco. Amazing food amazing service amazing atmosphere and great toilets P It is worth a trip back to SF alone for that.

  • Laura says:

    Sipz in San Diego is awesome. Asianfusion noodle and rice dishes they make their own faux meats and they have a vegan sushi bar. It’s fun and casual and affordable and always really busy. There is a thrift store next door run by an animal rights group so you can drop off donations for the animals before dinner. How fun is that!

  • KD says:

    Vegiterraean is 10 minutes away for me and it super yummy. But way overpriced.

  • Meg says:

    Suma Veggie in Richardson Texas near Dallas. The absolute best vegan asian cusine ever!!! Even my nonveg friends love it!

  • Ben Bradford says:

    Lovin’ Spoonfuls in Tucson Arizona is a terrific allvegan eatery. It has hearty and flavorful meals.

  • Jill Harper says:

    I love this. A bunch of vegetarians sparing on which restaurant is the best! This makes me so happy! I mean to know there are so many to spar about!

  • Catalina Huertas says:

    Im a vegan and I used to live in fort lauderdale Sublime is a great place to go. vegans and vegetarians will definitely appreciate it but others might not. it may seem a bit pricey but it’s definitely worth it.I give it a “two thumbs up”!!!

  • Ingrid Anderson says:

    The Cheese Factory in Wisconsin Dells is amazing. It has a great vegan menu as well. I could eat the Rattlesnake Tofu every single day.

  • Lianne says:

    I’m gonna have to throw my vote in for Red Bamboo and Foodswings in Brooklyn. Honestly the most delicious vegan food I’ve ever eaten. So good!

  • Ronnie says:

    Hooray for Madeleine Bistro! They deserve that spot on the list!

  • beth says:

    Seva in Ann Arbor Michigan is the best veg restaurant I’ve ever been to. Represent!

  • Catherine says:

    In NYC the Natural Gourmet Institute offer a 4course vegetarian almost always entirely vegan dinner Friday nights at 630 for $40 tax and tip included. It’s also BYOB so you can bring your own organic vegan wine. Visit their web site for more details. httpwww.naturalgourmetschool.com

  • Joan says:

    Horizons in Philadelphia is the BEST !! I drive a hour just to go to dinner there and it’s worth it believe me!

  • coll says:

    SOUL VEG!! here in the dirty dirty atlanta

  • david says:

    I would def choose Gobo over Candle 79 NYC. Candle is great but Gobo is amazaing.

  • brandie says:

    it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to dine at a vegan or vegetrain resteraunt. Spirla Diner in Ft Worth Texas is pretty good. Although I’m not sure why they can’t use real tomoato sauce on their fake meatball sub. ??? Anyway it doesn’t have to be “fine dining” to be good. Looks like you only traveled in the northern part of the U.S.. How sad for you. I’m sure you missed out on a lot of other great places.

  • Michelle Lindenblatt says:

    Angelica’s Kitchen in NYC is the best vegan restaurant in the city hands down. Candle 79? Are you kidding?!

  • Aneliese says:

    Awesome any top vegan restaurants for canada?

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