The Absolute Best Vegan Restaurants In The US

Vegan food has become increasingly in high demand as many Americans look to get more plant foods in their diets. What may have once conjured up images of hemp seeds, wheatgrass, and steamed spinach now boasts a scene busting at the seams with plant-based comforting classics like biscuits and gravy, barbecue pulled pork, and Mexican favorites like tamales, chorizo, and enchiladas. We even found a few restaurants making impressive and delectable vegan queso. 

If it seems hard to believe that vegan food can be delicious and comforting, many restaurant customers don't even notice that the food is plant-based. More and more chefs are embracing local, organic, and seasonal ingredients and moving them from mere side dishes to the main course. Foodies, vegans, and meat-eaters alike are following them along on the journey. That's why we've compiled a list of the top vegan restaurants across the country. Whether you're a local or an out-of-towner, a plant-eater, or a meat-lover, don't miss these restaurants that are making waves in the culinary world.

The Vegan Nom - Austin

The Vegan Nom is a beloved local hotspot located in Austin, Texas. While it's hard to compete in the taco category in the taco capital of the world, Vegan Nom is doing just that. Founded by Chris Rios out of frustration over a lack of vegan taco joints, he decided to create his own restaurant featuring his favorite original recipes like a signature chipotle sauce, tofu scramble, and vegan chorizo (via The Vegan Nom).

Taking a look at the menu, it's clear the restaurant owner branched out beyond tacos to include burritos, nachos, queso, and even breakfast tacos you can order well past breakfast time (up until 4 pm). And that's not all. In addition to his commitment to being 100% vegan, Chris has created a menu that's nut-free and gluten-free, except for the plant-based chorizo, sausage, fish, and flour tortillas.

According to Yelp, top fan favorites are the Grilled Avocado Taco, the Del Rey Fish Taco, the Super Fresco Taco, and the Tofu Scramble. One happy customer says of the fish taco: "My favorite was probably the nachos, and the fish taco ... I love real fish tacos and this actually tasted like a fish taco." And if you're really enjoying their vegan queso, ask about taking a package home with you.

Kindred - San Diego

Kindred is kind of famous amongst the vegan foodies of San Diego. Taking on more of an upscale vibe, customers are just as excited about the cocktails as they are about the food. In fact, the menu dedicates equal space to the drinks and food. Even if you're not a big drinker, don't worry as they have a wide selection of non-alcoholic mixed drinks featuring ingredients like passionfruit, pineapple, turmeric, and winter melon.

After you get your drink order in, you'll have some tough decisions to make. From Memphis BBQ Jackfruit mimicking a classic pulled pork sandwich to patty melts on sourdough, not to mention homemade buttermilk biscuits smothered in jam or gravy, you may wind up with some serious decision fatigue. If you need help choosing, Yelp customers have given certain dishes a thumbs-up, including the Cauliflower Steak, Beet Risotto, and Jack BBQ Sandwich.

One superfan says of her experience at the restaurant: "Kindred is one of my favorite places to hit up in my neighborhood! Although I'm not vegan, their spread tastes amazing as if it weren't vegan. I'm a fan of their cosmo knots, grilled cheese (which I can not believe is not cheese and is better than most regular grilled cheeses I've had!), and their drinks."

SunCafe Organic - Los Angeles

SunCafe is located in sunny Los Angeles, California. Not only is it a fully vegan restaurant but it includes raw offerings as well. It truly has everything the health foodie in you could want for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Their main categories include juices, smoothies, salads, sandwiches, pizzas, and desserts (via SunCafe). They also have a wide selection of seasonal specials and various entrées featuring comfort classics like mac and cheese, lasagna, and teriyaki stir-fry. Don't feel misled by the cheese in the mac and cheese — it's actually a vegan version made from cashews. If you visit this restaurant you'll want to look out for the lettuce leaf tacos, barbecue cauliflower, and pesto pizza — the top three customer faves on Yelp. And don't miss out on the Guava Punch Kombucha on tap as it's a must-have beverage here.

Be sure not to stuff yourself to the point of having to miss out on dessert. SunCafe offers gorgeous and delectable vegan versions of your favorites, including strawberry or blueberry cheesecake, pumpkin, key lime, and apple pie, mud pies, and a brownie sundae. Fortunately for those who can't eat gluten, most of the desserts are gluten-free in addition to being vegan.

Plum Bistro - Seattle

Plum Bistro is definitely one of the most upscale restaurants on our list. Based out of Seattle, Washington, be sure to put this on your list of places to visit if you're in the area. Chef-owner Makini Howell has even been featured in The New York Times as a top chef changing food in America, and it's easy to see why her vegan culinary creations are such a hit. Dishes like the Double Cheese Meatball Bake, Fresh Lemon Ricotta Ravioli, and Black Truffle Sweet Potato Gnocchi show a high level of refinement with a spotlight on fresh and seasonal plant-based ingredients (via Plum Bistro). The chef is also mindful of gluten, nut, and soy sensitivities and has offerings for those who avoid these top allergens.

Yelp reviewers rave about the Mac & Yease, Mama Africa Salad, and the Buffalo Portobello Burger. One reviewer gave the restaurant five stars stating, "My husband eats meat and I am a vegetarian but we came here to get a taste of the Seattle vegan scene. Let me tell you ... we were not disappointed."

JaJaJa Plantas Mexicana - New York City

New York City is known for having some of the best food in the world, and vegan food is no exception. If you're in the city and in the mood for a tasty plant-based Mexican meal, be sure to check out local favorite JaJaJa Plantas Mexicana. With locations in the Lower East Side, West Village, Hudson Yards, and Williamsburg, it's easy to access for vegan food lovers all over (via JaJaJa Mexicana).

Not only does the restaurant serve lunch, dinner, and all-day brunch on the weekends, but it also has extensive offerings of tequila, mezcal, and Mexican beer. Their mixed drinks are fun and creative, so you might want to pair your meal with a health-conscious cocktail like the Matcha y Coconut or the Pineapple y Mezcal. If you're going the non-alcoholic route, you can choose from a selection of fresh-pressed juices, kombuchas, and teas depending on the location. 

JaJaJa also offers gluten-free and nut-free meals like the Crispy Chayote Fish made with a base of squash, Enchiladas Mole with a base of shredded palm, and Jackfruit Tamales. If enchiladas or tacos aren't for you, try the bowls that layer veggies, lentils, beans, sauces, crunchy toppings, dressings, and superfoods like turmeric cauliflower, dinosaur kale, red quinoa, rainbow chard, and hemp seeds. Fan favorites on Yelp include the Chorizo Burrito, Crispy Chayote Fish Taco, Palm Carnitas Taco, and the Mezcal Mushroom Taco.

Underground Vegan - Birmingham

According to its website, Underground Vegan started as a food truck back in 2019 in Alabama, attempting to fill a culinary void in the market. Among the company's business ambitions is the aim to spend 50% of the budget on local ingredients. Sounds like a pretty great mission and from the looks of the food, it would be hard to pass this restaurant up, vegan or not. Underground Vegan has mastered classic Southern comfort dishes like Fried Chickun and Waffle, Bakun Egg and Cheez Biscuit, and Cheez Grits. It's clear this restaurant doesn't want vegans to feel left out when it comes to Southern classics.

According to Yelp, dishes you don't want to miss are the Skrimp Po Boy, The Chickun Club, and the Nuggs. One five-star reviewer gushes, "OBSESSED with the vegan Philly cheesesteak and have thought about it every day since moving away from Alabama. Cannot wait to come back!" If you're in the Birmingham area, you will definitely want to check this place out.

Seabirds Kitchen - Various locations

Seabirds is another vegan restaurant straight out of the sunshine state. This former vegan food truck planted roots with brick-and-mortar locations in Orange County and Long Beach (via Seabirds). Since opening in 2010, they've committed to a menu made strictly from plant-based, seasonal, and organic ingredients. With dishes that include a regular rotation of fresh ingredients, it's hard to get bored. This restaurant's ethos suggests dining with them is more of a journey than a destination: "We are constantly experimenting with new ingredients and techniques to create dishes that elevate plant-based food beyond the standard. Try our seasonal menu today and join us on our culinary journey."

So what exactly is on the menu? If you're in the mood for something comforting, you may be inclined to order their Old Town Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup. The grilled cheese features a cashew gruyere spread and creamy basil avocado sauce on fresh sourdough bread. Or maybe you're in the mood for a burger. In that case, you'd probably want to check out the Beets Me Burger that combines house-made shiitake mushrooms, a beet and chia patty, grilled onions, arugula, pickles, and herb mayo on a whole wheat bun, served with natural-cut french fries. And don't forget to pair your meal with an organic local wine or craft beer.

The Wild Cow - Nashville

The Wild Cow in Nashville, Tennessee has been serving up vegan fare for over a decade now. They've consistently aimed to provide tasty, cruelty-free food that's purchased in its natural form. Pretty much all of their sauces, stocks, and dressings are made from scratch, which means they can proudly list every ingredient that goes into their dishes. As if that weren't enough, they also source their produce from local farms, most of which is organic. The magic happens when they transform these fresh ingredients into dishes like vegan queso, tofu-based wild Reuben sandwiches, black bean patty melts, and mixed veggie stir-fries.

Customers can vouch for their efforts and love the food they're served at the restaurant. One five-star Yelp reviewer says, "Really sad that it took me as long as it did to actually check out The Wild Cow. So far, I've had food from this spot a few times and both times have just been phenomenal." Some dishes that are not to be missed include the Buffalo Tempeh Strips, Veggie Burger, Chickpea Salad, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos, and Lentil Bowl.

Plant - Asheville, North Carolina

Plant is a super popular vegan restaurant in Asheville, North Carolina. Their website states that the cuisine they serve is 90% organic, mostly local, predominantly gluten-free, and contains zero animal products. They're also picky about the oils they use, opting for extra-virgin olive oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil, and toasted sesame oil. Basically, they won't use peanut, soy, or corn oil in their foods. In addition to food, they also serve craft beer, organic wine, and craft cocktails. And while the restaurant has a relaxed vibe without a dress code, skip the fur coat or you'll be asked to leave, as per the website.

If you make it to Plant and are looking for the best dishes on the menu, Yelp reviewers have given top ratings to Seitan Chile Con Queso, Blackout Pie, Red Curry, Raw Lasagna, and Applewood Smoked Mushroom. One Plant fan gave the restaurant a five-star review saying, "This place is absolutely incredible. My sister and I enjoyed dinner here on a recent trip to Asheville. We had high expectations and the meal absolutely surpassed them."

My Thai Vegan Cafe - Boston

If you find yourself in Boston, you're not going to want to miss My Thai Vegan Café. The restaurant website states that they're on a mission to create affordable dishes from healthy and clean ingredients that are nurturing and inspired by traditional Thai cuisine. They strive to perfect a balance of flavors including salty, sweet, sour, and spicy in combination with spices and sauces. Such dishes include fresh spring rolls, dumplings, golden triangles served with peanut sauce, Chinese leek dumplings, Bangkok fried rice, pad Thai, and curry.

Top dishes according to Yelp reviewers include Green Curry Chicken, Vietnamese Noodle Dish, Thai Mango Salad, Rice Noodles, and Pad Kee Mao. One happy restaurant-goer writes in a five-star review, "The food at My Thai is excellent! The experience is very authentic, and the meals are prepared fresh to order. I highly recommend My Thai Vegan Cafe, as a non-Vegan, that is how wonderful it was! Portion sizes are large too, as I had leftovers."

Full Bloom - Miami

Miami Beach not only offers up gorgeous beaches and incredible weather but it's also home to one of the country's top vegan restaurants. Full Bloom was established back in 2015 and was among the first of its kind, offering vegan dining in a fresh way. They have a wide variety of dishes they serve for dinner and lunch, and their menu boasts flavor-packed offerings like a Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich made with cauliflower, Tuna Wrap made with jackfruit, and a Breakfast Burrito made with chickpeas.

Yelp reviewers most love the Buffalo Cauliflower Wings, Jackfruit Ropa Vieja, and the Cashew Ricotta Ravioli. One happy Full Bloom customer rated their experience a 5/5 saying, "Delicious food and great service. It was easy to get a table on Sunday. I especially enjoyed the quesadilla and patacones with kimchi and bbq jackfruit. The chickpea tenderloin is more like a meatloaf consistency but it was really good. Nice to find a great vegan restaurant that even my non-vegan friend loved. Cocktails were well made." Sounds like this restaurant has everything vegan foodies are hoping for.