I adore eating out at restaurants. I’ll eat at fancy places and at dives, by myself or with other people … as long as the food is vegan and delicious, I’m in!
I travel around the country constantly for work, and one of the best perks is the ability to try out vegan and vegetarian restaurants in different cities. Here are some of my favorites … but I haven’t tried them all! If you have a favorite that’s not on this list, let me know and we’ll post your recommendations too!
SUTRA, Seattle: This place is so good, my husband and I become investors. Good thing – Chef Colin impressed the producer of the Food Network so much (without even knowing who he was until dinner was over!) that the Food Network spent 14 hours in the restaurant video taping Colin at work. He is a true master! Dinner only, prix fix, nearly all local, organic and vegan. Dinner is always different, and I have had some of the best meals of my life there
MILLENIUM, San Francisco: Millenium is famous. The food is incredible – you just want to stop and close your eyes and savor each bite! Yet, even as a 100% vegan restaurant, it’s so good that you can take work clients there for a “fancy” dinner, and they will absolutely love their dinner and feel completely satisfied.
SUBLIME, Fort Lauderdale: Another 100% vegan recipe on the high-end of the restaurant scale, Sublime has been written up as one of the best vegan restaurants in the country, and for good reason. If you miss the taste of real macaroni and cheese, veal piccatta and sushi, Sublime will give them back to you … and you won’t be disappointed! When I go to Ft. Lauderdale for a week every May for work, I will eat there 3 or 4 times!
WATERCOURSE, Denver: I go to Denver more frequently than anywhere else, and I pick my hotel based on its proximity to Watercourse! I’ve found their menu to be a little hit or miss, but when you hit it right, the food is amazing. I have eaten their vegan Caesar Salad and Portobello Cap three times in the last three days! If you want vegan “hot wings with ranch” – by god, you’ll never know you’re not having the real thing.
CARMELITA, Seattle: Carmelita isn’t 100% vegan, but most items on the menu can be made that way. They focus on in-season, organic food, and it absolutely shows in the taste. I ate there a few weeks ago by myself, and was actually “Mmmming” and “Ahhhing” out loud!
NATIVE FOODS, Los Angeles: If you like fast food, this is your heaven. The Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger is astounding, as are the Scorpion Burger and Pizzas. The do have healthy options – brown rice bowls with variations of veggies and sauces and some great salads – which are also delicious, so if you like “healthy food that’s fast,” you’ll love it here too!
CAFÉ GRATITUDE, San Francisco: Nearly 100% raw, what you’ll like about Café Gratitude even more than the food is the vibe. The raw lasagna is called something like “I am Adorable” and one of the brown rice and veggie bowls is called something like “I am Abundant.” Although it sounds hokey, you can’t help but feel that all is right when the world when the waiter puts your plates down in front of you and your dining partner, saying, “You are abundant … and you are adorable!”
HERBIVORE, San Francisco: A great diner-style restaurant, with delicious, fresh, inexpensive healthy vegan food. The menu is 100% vegan and stretches for miles, giving us vegans more options than we usually get all year. A great place to try!
ARAYA, Seattle: Speaking of menus that stretch for miles, Araya also complies. If you miss really good Thai, Araya is a Thai restaurant with very conscious and compassionate owners, dedicating to serving cruelty-free food. If you know Seattle and like Wild Ginger, I think Aray’s food compares! Perhaps not as high-end, but drop-dead delicious Thai. Make sure you try the Pumpkin Curry and the Drunken Mushrooms.
FRESH MINT, Pa’ia, Maui: Even on Maui and even in Pa’ia, known for it’s vegetarian community, it’s still hard to find a 100% vegan restaurant. Fresh Mint, a Vietnamese restaurant fits the bill nicely. It’s not fancy, but the food is good, and you’ll love how all the diners know each other, showing you the community side of Maui that the tourists haven’t found yet. If you reach out and are friendly, you’ll likely get invited to multiple parties and potlucks while you’re on vacation!