Vegan Sushi Omnivores Will Want To Eat

It's official: more people are turning away from meat and moving toward a healthier and more sustainable vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. According to The Guardian, meat consumption is on a stark decline, and what was once a more niche lifestyle is rapidly becoming mainstream. If you're vegan, vegetarian, or simply want to start incorporating more veggies into your diet, there are plenty of tasty vegetarian and vegan restaurants to sample all across the United States.

When it comes to Japanese food, it pays to think outside of the bento box and beyond that plate of standard nigiri. Traditional and vegan-centric Japanese restaurants serve up sumptuous dishes of cruelty-free sushi designed to tempt the eye and please your palate. Even omnivores won't miss the meat in these healthy, refreshing riffs on traditional sushi rolls. No matter where you are in the country, there's likely a healthy, meat-free, satisfying option near you.

Franchia Vegan Cafe: Vegan California Roll

New York City's Franchia Vegan Cafe serves gourmet vegan food with a decorative flair, creating a true feast for the eyes and stomach. Although you can tuck into a steaming bowl of vegan pho or one of their dairy and egg-free decadent desserts, most New Yorkers know that Franchia Vegan Cafe's sushi is truly where it's at.

Proving that the best dishes are often the most pared-down, Franchia Vegan Cafe's California Roll is a true winner. It's packed with plenty of creamy avocado, refreshing cucumber, and a hearty helping of all-vegan crab meat. Plus, the portions at Franchia Vegan Cafe are no joke, and you definitely will not leave hungry. Their California Rolls are multi-dimensional treats that scratch the sushi itch for vegans and omnivores alike. Franchia Vegan Cafe is a popular joint, so you might have to wait for your table. Once you taste their food, however, you'll realize that it's all worth it.

Beyond Sushi: Crab Roll

Beyond Sushi is another gem from the Big Apple, with plenty of locations around New York City where you can satisfy your craving for vegan sushi. Their wraps and rolls forgo the fish, opting instead for a healthy and delectable blend of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. At Beyond Sushi, they make inventive use of ingredients like jackfruit, transforming the versatile fruit into tasty replicas of your favorite shellfish, and their Spicy Jackfruit Crab is a shining example of this innovation.

The rolls start with fresh, white rice and get their punch from expertly seasoned jackfruit "crab meat." Throw in some seasoned and pickled onions, plenty of avocados, chili, ponzu, and a hearty drizzle of cayenne sauce, and you have a memorable meat-free meal that rivals any seafood sushi on the market. With an exciting blend of flavor and plenty of nutrients, Beyond Sushi's Spicy Jackfruit Crab ticks off all of the boxes.

Sabaku Sushi: Garden Veggie

Moab, Utah's Sabaku Sushi, strives to cater to all of its customers, so many of their best dishes are gluten-free or vegan. Using local produce in innovative ways is second nature for the sushi masters at Sabaku Sushi, and they can elevate even the humblest of ingredients. Although vegans will find several mouthwatering menu items, like tofu udon bowls and delicious salads at Sabaku Sushi, those in the know reach for the sushi rolls.

Their Garden Veggie is a fantastic dish full of greens, asparagus, tomato, and avocado. Top it all off with some homemade ginger dressing, and you have a multi-faceted, veggie-forward dish that's anything but boring. If you're extra-hungry, check out some of their other vegan-friendly rolls featuring additional local ingredients and styles, like the Mango Roll with cucumber, avocado, and mango, or their Freestyle Vegan Roll made of chef-selected fresh fruits and vegetables.

Blue Sushi Sake Grill: Vegan Sushi Box

At Blue Sushi Sake Grill in Westlake, Ohio, you can dine in or take a loaded box of vegan sushi to go, preparing it at home precisely to your liking. It's an excellent option for hands-on folks who like their vegan sushi just so. Their Build Your Own Sushi Boxes come in both vegan and traditional varieties, with detailed instructions that enable you to unleash your inner master sushi chef and create eight distinct maki rolls. They even include a sushi mat and some edamame to snack on while you're putting together your masterpiece.

Although Blue Sushi Sake Grill's vegan Build Your Own Sushi Box is easily the most innovative vegan item they offer, you can also let their chefs do the legwork instead. If you dine in, sample their Vegan Black Dragon with eggplant "eel," caviar, and vegan tempura "shrimp," or go full-on veggie with their dairy-free cream cheese, avocado, red pepper, and cucumber rolls.

Dragonfly Sushi & Sake Company: 7-Piece Vegetarian Nigiri

Dragonfly Sushi & Sake Company is an artisanal Japanese pub in the heart of Gainesville, Fla., with plenty of traditional and vegan-friendly sushi, plus a vast selection of sake. Although their flavors are always on point, they excel in dynamic and artistic presentation. For example, take their 7-Piece Vegetarian Nigiri. It's a simply stunning dish, a celebration of jewel-toned vegetables and fruits, all topped with creative sauces and hand-selected garnishes. Although the first thing you'll notice is the presentation, your visual awe will instantly be eclipsed by how tasty it is.

With razor-thin slices of avocado, fresh pickled vegetables, and a delicate bed of white rice cradling each piece, omnivores won't miss the meat at all. If you're looking for more veggie goodness, try their wakame or ginger salads, full of fresh vegetables and light, tangy dressing. You can also order individual vegetable sushi rolls à la carte.

Sunda Nashville: Garden Roll

If you find yourself traveling through Tennessee, make sure that you check out Sunda Nashville for their fruit-and-veg-packed, fresh Garden Roll. Sunda Nashville is a chic, modern sushi restaurant right in the heart of the city, serving up some of the best and most innovative Japanese cuisine around. Although they serve more traditional fare, they also have plenty of gluten-free and vegan offerings that will satisfy any omnivore's palate.

Take their Garden Roll, for example. This perfectly balanced bite is a bright combination of basil, greens, avocado, cucumber, and mango. All of the flavors play off each other beautifully, and Sunda Nashville's ponzu sauce ties it all together. If you want to mix-and-match, you can't go wrong with their Sweet Potato Caterpillar Roll either. Featuring Asian pear, potatoes, red pepper, and avocado, it's a nice blend of sweet, spicy, and savory crowed with delectable homemade teriyaki sauce.

The Yasai: The Believer Roll

The Yasai is one of San Diego, California's premier vegan sushi joints, with 4 locations in and around the SoCal city. Here, vegan entrees are not afterthoughts; instead, they're the stars of the show with an extensive menu featuring both traditional and whimsical sushi rolls. The Yasai does exceptionally well by elevating its ingredients with inspired preparations and unique pairings. For example, fermented eggplant steps in for fish and pickled tropical fruits give each sushi roll a punch of unforgettable flavor.

Although you genuinely can't have a bad meal at The Yasai, there is one roll that's a cut above, simply because of its unique flavor combination and loads of different textural elements. The aptly-named Believer Roll is full of faux shrimp, cream cheese, tuna, and ripe avocado. Plus, it comes with two sauces, crunchies, and deep-purple rice. Garnished with micro-greens and edible flowers, the Believer Roll is visually stunning and definitely decadent.

Kiku Sushi & Vegetarian: Vegan Lightning Roll

Kiku Sushi & Vegetarian is another California classic located in Lafayette, just a few minutes away from San Francisco. Although you can get super-fresh and classic sushi at Kiku Sushi & Vegetarian, their vegan offerings rival just about any in the country. If you're in the Bay Area and looking to get in on some meat-free goodness, definitely make a point of checking them out.

Their Vegan Lightning Roll is a prime example of how Kiki Sushi & Vegetarian doesn't put their veggie and vegan offerings on the back burner. This dish is bold and bright, with contrasting flavors and textures. One thing that we love about it is the creative usage of pumpkin. By preparing it tempura-style, Kiku Sushi & Vegetarian lends a whole new flavor to the humble gourd. Enoki mushrooms, avocado, and fresh asparagus round off the roll, and yuzu sauce takes it to the next level.

NOW Sushi: Crunchy Roll

While most of the sushi restaurants on our list offer a little something for the omnivores and vegans alike, NOW Sushi in San Diego, Calif., goes full-on vegan with its menu. According to their website, one of the restaurant's key mandates is to promote animal welfare and shine a spotlight on cruel wild animal practices across the globe. Their all-vegan menu reflects this mission and shows the artistry and craft of the sushi chefs at NOW Sushi.

Their faux crab, shrimp, fish, and meat are so tasty that even the savviest carnivore will think that they're sinking their teeth into the real thing. Topping the list for us are their Crunchy Rolls, a combination of "shrimp" and "crab" drizzled with sweet soy sauce and covered in a generous layer of crunchy topping. This roll is a masterpiece of texture, with the sweet soy playing off the faux fish brilliantly.

Daikon Vegan Sushi & More: Spider Roll

Sin City's Daikon Vegan Sushi & More shows that vegan cuisine can be just as outrageously tasty as anything meat-related. If you have an omnivore in your life who doesn't understand what vegetables can do, take them to Las Vegas and get them one of Daikon Vegan Sushi & More's famous Spider Rolls. Their Spider Rolls are crammed with goodies, so much so that perfectly prepared vegetables jut out the side of the rolls in all their crispy, crunchy glory.

This ultimate treat starts with meaty king mushrooms, fried and breaded to perfection in authentic tempura. Then, they add in some fresh jackfruit, cucumbers, and avocado for flavor and texture. The hearty texture of the mushrooms works well with the lighter, brighter vegetables and signature tang of jackfruit. The sushi chefs at Daikon Vegan Sushi & More top the whole shebang off with plenty of tasty soy sauce.

Shizen Vegan Sushi Bar & Izakaya: Crunchy California Roll

Shizen Vegan Sushi Bar & Izakaya in San Francisco, Calif., barely makes any missteps on their menu, pairing locally-sourced ingredients with tried-and-true techniques to create the perfect plat of sushi. Although you can step outside of the box and sample some of their more whimsical dishes, their Crunchy California Roll is genuinely a great dish, perfectly executed and packed with texture and flavor.

One of the primary reasons why this roll shines is its preparation. The sushi chefs at Shizen Vegan Sushi Bar & Izakaya use shredded tofu rather than imitation crab for the "fish" component of the dish. Texturally, the tofu really works, especially when paired with thinly sliced avocado and an addictively crunchy outside. Their Crunchy California Roll is delicately balanced but flavor forward. You'll taste every ingredient and love the contrast between the crispy outside, creamy inside, and expertly-cooked sushi rice.