Favorite spots such as Cinnaholic, Café Gratitude, and Veggie Grill have always known that the path to success is paved with plants. But what are restauranteurs supposed to do if they opened their eateries before they discovered that food can be humane, eco-friendly, and healthy—and taste really, really good at the same time? Many business owners are deciding that their restaurants have to reflect their values, and they’re now changing to all-vegan menus. Here’s a list of restaurants that have made the compassionate choice to go completely vegan:
Eleven Madison Park, New York City, New York
After being closed for more than a year because of the pandemic, this three-star Michelin restaurant announced that it would be reopening for in-person dining with a new mostly vegan menu. Executive chef Daniel Humm stated that he “wanted everyone who comes into contact with Eleven Madison Park to become a part of doing good.” This philosophy informed his decision to remove ingredients made from killing animals and other environmentally harmful ingredients from his menus. While the restaurant’s multicourse prix fixe menu won’t use anything made from animals, it will still serve honey and cow’s milk with its coffee and tea service. We hope it will eventually ditch these in favor of the many delicious vegan sweeteners and milks available instead.
Manoushee Cafe & Bakery, Santa Clarita, California
Manoushee is a traditional Lebanese bakery that switched to a fully vegan menu after successfully introducing several vegan options. Now it offers seven delicious plant-based proteins that you can add to your wraps, plates, bowls, or salads. These include falafel, spicy potato, OG Shawarma, Garlic Herb Chik’n, Kebab Skewer, Chk’n Shawarma, and Lamb Shawarma. It even makes a custard baklava, which is egg-, dairy-, and honey-free.
Burgerlords, Los Angeles, California
After switching to a vegan menu during the COVID-19 pandemic, this classic burger joint decided to keep it vegan for good. It launched an expanded all-vegan menu with mouthwatering additions, such as the Sourdough Garlic Melt with a house-made veggie patty, double Follow Your Heart provolone cheese, double 2,000 Island dressing, grilled onions, and garlic oil on Bread Lounge rustic sourdough. The Buffalo Ranch Tofu Burger is a must-try. Order it with chili cheese fries and a strawberry shortcake shake for the ultimate cheat meal.
Peaceful ThaiBinh, Dallas, Texas
This Vietnamese restaurant with impressive vegan options dropped meat altogether after being shut down because of COVID-19. Upon reopening, owner ThaiBinh Ho rebranded the restaurant (formerly known as Pho ThaiBinh) with a new name and an all-vegan menu to promote healthy and compassionate eating within his community. Peaceful ThaiBinh’s menu features Vietnamese dishes such as pho and vegan chicken spring rolls alongside Thai-inspired favorites like pad Thai and curry.
Shoals Sound & Service, Dallas, Texas
This bar, “inspired by Southern Rock ‘n Soul,” is reopening with a new all-vegan menu after closing down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Owner Omar Yeefoon has teamed up with vegan chef Johnny Tran to offer a new menu with Caribbean- and Latin American–inspired vegan dishes such as Smoked Jackfruit Arepas and a Crispy Tempeh Po Boy, which pair perfectly with the bar’s classic cocktails.
Mozzarella Fellas, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
In search of traditional Italian fare with a plant-based twist? Mozzarella Fellas has what you’re looking for. Owner Brian Ricciardi has been working to make the menu animal-free, perfecting his homemade vegan mozzarella, almond ricotta, and other classic Italian ingredients. In addition to pizza, strombolis, and fried vegan mozzarella, the menu also features American eats such as Beyond Burgers and Buffalo “chicken” sandwiches.
Guacamaya Oasis, Downey, California
Guacamaya Oasis made the switch to an all-vegan menu, featuring a wide variety of delicious tacos, tostadas, tortas, burritos, and more. It even offers vegan versions of classic Mexican dishes like menudo and pozole. Wash it all down with one of the freshly made juices or vegan horchata.
Big Daddy’s Pizza, Venice, California
A Venice Beach Boardwalk establishment since 1997, Big Daddy’s Pizza has gone animal-free. The walk-up stand offers six different types of vegan pizza, available by the slice or as a whole pie, including BBQ Chick’n, Vegan Sausage, and Pepperoni made with Beyond Meat.
High Note Cafe, Boise, Idaho
What happens when a restaurant owner watches the documentary Dominion? She turns her café into a 100% vegan one, that’s what. Boise, Idaho, eatery High Note Cafe is now totally vegan, according to its Facebook page. Café owner Maria Bahruth took to Facebook on April 26 to notify customers:
“I will make the High Note Cafe into a completely vegan establishment in the coming weeks,” she promised. “I can no longer go forward knowing that I have supported great suffering and inexcusable practices by the meat/egg/dairy industry. I’m terrified, but I know I’m doing the right thing.”
Bahruth later posted in a comment, “I arrived at my decision because I watched the first 15 minutes of the Dominion documentary.” The film explains and shows how humans who eat animal flesh, dairy, or eggs; wear animal-derived clothing; or watch animals forced to perform exploit animals. Unsurprisingly, Bahruth and High Note Cafe have received a massive outpouring of support. “I’m so emotional right now with all of the positive feedback,” she commented. And with delicious dishes like vegan breakfast tacos and vegan breakfast potatoes (pictured below), we imagine she’ll have no problem keeping customers full and satisfied.
Bar Velo, Brooklyn, New York
One glance at Bar Velo’s all-vegan menu and you’ll be sold, even without the craft cocktails and live music. We’re dying to try the lentil walnut pâté with cornichon and truffle toast and the Dr-Cow aged nut cheese selection with a grilled baguette.
Breads On Oak, New Orleans
It’s easy to fall in love with one of the top bakeries in The Big Easy, Breads On Oak, which offers all-day breakfast, quiches (which one PETA staffer described as “PHENOMENAL”), and desserts such as Strawberry Cream Cheese Stuffed Brioche and Grand Ganache Chocolate Cake.
Mother of Pearl, New York City
In 2015, when restaurateur Ravi DeRossi announced that he wanted to turn all his restaurants and bars in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn vegan, starting with Polynesian-inspired Mother of Pearl, he was criticized by the skeptics. But he silenced the naysayers with bigger crowds and increased sales.
© Mother of Pearl
El Palote Pandería, Dallas
When this Mexican eatery opened, it featured “vegan Thursdays.” But when a customer wouldn’t support a restaurant that served animals, El Palote Pandería went all vegan! Soon after, the patriarch of the family went vegan to help heal a heart condition, and the whole family followed suit. How’s that for activism?
Beelman’s, Los Angeles
Beelman’s has perfected vegan pub grub, including “chicken” sandwiches, hot dogs, chili, fries, and sundaes.
VeggiEAT Xpress, Henderson, Nevada
Satisfy your craving for vegan pot stickers, “egg” rolls, sweet-and-sour “shrimp,” “chicken” fried rice, and so much more.
Epif, Portland, Oregon
Portland’s pretty all-vegan pisco bar features a menu inspired by the Andes region of South America.
Délice & Sarrasin, New York City
Your Instagram followers will never believe that the cheeses, crêpes, beef bourguignon, coq au vin, chocolate mousse, and many other French delicacies at this elegant eatery are all vegan.
Avant Garden, Brooklyn, New York
Avant Garden has created a culinary playground where vegetables can be vegetables.
Holiday, Portland, Oregon
Once famous for pizzas and meat hoagies, Holiday and its owner are discovering the prowess of plants. The nourishing plant-packed dishes are almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
Nick’s Kitchen, Daly City, California
Nick’s specializes in home-cooked, fool-your–taste buds comfort food.
The Happy Bakery, O’Fallon, Illinois
We’ll just leave this right here:
© The Happy Bakery
Pow Pow, Washington, D.C.
Pow Pow is D.C.’s go-to spot for “new Asian” cuisine, such as the Natalie Porkman sweet-and-sour seitan pork, the Disco Stick Egg Roll, and the Tokyo Roboto teriyaki grilled plant-based chicken.
Rooted, Walnut Creek, California
Rooted is a coffee company rooted in values that influence every decision, including using only fair-trade organic beans, dairy-free creamer, and compostable cups.
The Organic Grill, New York City
The Organic Grill, which has won multiple awards, has been an NYC favorite since 2001. We need its Sriracha Maple Cauliflower Pops. Like right now.
Black Flamingo, Brooklyn, New York
Fun, funky, and eclectic, Black Flamingo is equal parts taco haven and discotheque.
The Salad Box, Upland and West Covina, California
If your favorite adjectives are “fresh,” “local,” and “organic,” hit The Salad Box for açaí bowls, soothing soups, creative salads, and fresh-pressed juices and smoothies.
Julie Goes Green, Los Angeles, California
When Julie’s Pizzeria decided to become healthy, eco-friendly, and cruelty-free, it wanted to make sure that everyone knew why. So Julie’s Pizzeria became Julie Goes Green. Now, Julie is winning Italian food fans over to the kind side with pizza, pasta, chicken-free wings, and even coconut calamari.
Picky Wops, London
This Italian pizza–gone-vegan concept has been so popular that Picky Wops now has two locations and a food truck. Try the Take It Cheesy, which features coconut oil–based mozzarella, almond ricotta, coconut creamy cheese, coconut parmesan, and roasted potato.
The Caledonia Liverpool, Liverpool
We can’t help but think that if our favorite Liverpudlian, Paul McCartney, were still living in his hometown, he’d frequent this venue offering vegan food and live music eight days a week.
The Fields Beneath, London
After The Fields Beneath went vegan in March 2017, its Instagram account ballooned from 700 followers to 7,000 in just one month. And the coffee shop and café posted this awesome sign:
Little Aladdin, Manchester
Craving curry, naan, roti, and falafel? Then get thyself to Little Aladdin for all of the spicy and none of the pricey.
Ice Shack, Manchester
Ice Shack’s all-vegan ice cream, cakes, and pastries have been so popular that several other local restaurants now special-order them to offer on their own menus.
Sutton and Sons Fish & Chips, London
When the owners of Sutton and Sons rolled out their Veganuary menu, complete with fish and chips, fish cakes, scampi, and more, they weren’t prepared for the explosion in business that followed. Their Hackney Central branch didn’t have the space to support two full menus, so the London lads decided that the only logical choice was to create the city’s first all-vegan fish and chips shop.
Eden Café, Witney
What began in 2013 as a mobile coffee shop offering vegetarian and vegan snacks turned into a full-scale brick-and-mortar café in a year’s time. Listening to their customers and to their hearts, the owners ditched every ounce of dairy “products” at the start of 2019 and are now advocating for a vegan lifestyle with fun events and film screenings.
Soul Burger, Sydney, Newtown, Glebe, and Parramatta, New South Wales
Soul Burger has expanded to four locations on this tasty principle: “We believe plants are the future of meat!” Couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
Secret Creek Cafe & Restaurant, Lithgow, New South Wales
This café, nestled in the Secret Creek wildlife sanctuary, saw sales increase by 153 percent after switching to an all-vegan menu in January 2016. “We decided to put our values front and centre, work towards creating a future where all animals are valued and reduce the negative impact we have on our environment,” the eatery posted on its website. “I guarantee you will be delighted and surprised that vegan food can be so delicious and satisfying!”
Gigi Pizzeria, Sydney, New South Wales, and Miami, Queensland
Gigi’s made quite a name for itself over the 10 years when it served sought-after Italian food in Sydney. But after the owners learned about the cruelty, environmental devastation, and negative health impacts of animal agriculture, they knew that changing their entire business model was a risk that they had to take. It paid off. Sales are up, costs are down, there are still lines out the door, and they’ve even expanded to a new location in Miami, Queensland, with more on the way.
Gelato Blue, Newtown, New South Wales
Gelato Blue describes its decadent concoctions as “what dreams are made of,” and we’re in total talking-with-our-mouths-full agreement.
Check out the HappyCow online database or download the app to keep up with the best animal-free cuisine near you. And if you operate or patronize an establishment that has switched to an all-vegan menu and you’d like for it to be included on our list, drop us a line at [email protected].