Whether you’re looking to make a lifestyle change or just curious about plant-based and vegan food options, there’s certainly no shortage of restaurants in the United States that offer delicious dishes.
Plant-based and vegan restaurants provide guests with an array of flavors from all across the globe, offering diners creative meals free from animal proteins and certain dairy products.
Eating at a plant-based or vegan restaurant can be a great way to get out of your comfort zone and try something new!
In this blog post, we’ll guide you to the best plant-based restaurants in the US according to trusted publications like The Michelin Guide and Food Network.
All of these restaurants celebrate an ethos we follow in our whole food plant-based Whole Harvest meal delivery service. We believe eating healthy should be more of a celebration than a chore. Plant-based and vegan cuisine open up new flavor adventures and new possibilities for people, and the choice to eat this way isn’t about what you sacrifice. It’s about how much you have to gain along the way!
They’re also sharing our heart for innovation! We are constantly looking for new, exciting ways to celebrate flavor in plant-based food, and clearly these restaurants are as well.
Let's dive in!
Plant-Based vs Vegan Restaurant
When it comes to plant-based and vegan restaurants, there are some differences worth noting.
Plant-based restaurants focus on providing meals that are made from plants and do not contain any animal products such as meat, fish, eggs, or dairy. These restaurants typically offer a variety of dishes featuring vegetables, legumes, grains, and fruits as the main ingredients. Sometimes, a plant-based menu will include small amounts of animal-based products.
Vegan restaurants, on the other hand, avoid all animal products in their food preparation, including ingredients like honey and bone broth. The menus at these establishments often feature mock meats or faux cheeses that give diners an alternative to traditional proteins while still enjoying the flavors they know and love.
What is a Plant-Based Restaurant?
When it comes to eating out, plant-based restaurants offer diners a unique experience that’s both healthy and delicious. You can expect to find creative meals with flavors from all over the world. They may also feature:
- Fresh salads or bowls filled with colorful vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds
- Hearty soups made without animal stocks
- Sandwiches on artisanal breads
- Flavorful curries packed with plant proteins like tofu or tempeh
- Tacos piled high with beans and veggies – the possibilities are endless!
Better yet, many foodies are looking for restaurants that offer whole food plant-based recipes. This means nothing processed every touches your plate, only real, fresh ingredients. It’s amazing how flavors come to life when vegetables are freshly chopped and preservatives used in processing are left behind.
What is a Vegan Restaurant?
A vegan restaurant is a type of eatery that offers only dishes prepared with plant-based ingredients, excluding all animal products such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy. This can include items like:
- Soups made without stock or cream
- Salads featuring beans and grains instead of proteins like chicken or beef
- Sandwiches filled with vegan deli slices rather than cheese or ham
- Tacos stuffed with veggies instead of ground beef
- Desserts crafted from plant-based alternatives to traditional dairy ingredients.
Vegan restaurants often feature creative menus designed to appeal to both vegans and non-vegans alike.
Where Are the Most Plant-Based / Vegan Restaurants in the US?
Plant-based and vegan restaurants can be found in all 50 states, with major cities like New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and Miami having an especially high concentration. You can also find many plant-based or vegan establishments dotted throughout smaller cities as well.
Keep an eye out for these eateries – you never know when a delicious vegan meal might be just around the corner!
Top Plant-Based Restaurants According to Michelin Guide
The Michelin Guide is an internationally renowned series of books that rate restaurants on their quality, service, and atmosphere. Restaurants are awarded one to three stars based on these criteria, with three stars being the highest honor a restaurant can receive. In recent years, there has been an influx of plant-based establishments receiving recognition from the prestigious guide, proving that vegan dining can be just as delicious and luxurious as traditional cuisine!
For those looking for top-notch vegan fare worthy of a Michelin star – here are some of the best plant-based restaurants in the US according to the guide:
Eleven Madison Park in New York City
Eleven Madison Park, a culinary icon in New York City, has boldly redefined fine dining with its innovative plant-based approach. Located in the historic Metropolitan Life North Building, the restaurant holds multiple Michelin stars and a coveted spot on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list.
In 2021, Chef Daniel Humm and his team embraced sustainability and environmental consciousness by committing to a plant-based menu. This groundbreaking transformation showcases their creativity and culinary artistry, as they craft dishes that challenge conventional notions of plant-based cuisine.
With thoughtfully sourced ingredients and expertly curated sustainable and biodynamic wines, Eleven Madison Park delivers a symphony of flavors and textures, captivating palates and pushing the boundaries of gastronomy. This trailblazer has emerged as a beacon of innovation in the world of plant-based fine dining.
Dirty Candy in NYC
Long before it became trendy, Chef Amanda Cohen championed plant-based and vegetable-focused cuisine. Her Lower East Side culinary sanctuary continues to thrive as a leader in ethical dining, showcasing refined techniques. Embarking on a thrilling new chapter, the restaurant offers a singular tasting menu, presenting a diverse array of dishes that don't pretend to be meat. The exquisite beet carpaccio with horseradish and pecorino is a standout, while the enchanting carrot marinara pizza with carrot pepperoni casts a spell.
Desserts follow the same inventive path, with creations like the espresso cookie crowned with Brussels sprout-caramel and white chocolate, exemplifying the team's imaginative prowess. A dining experience of this caliber is truly memorable, leaving guests feeling gratified and nourished.
Oyster Oyster in Washington DC
Dive into the delightful world of Oyster Oyster, a Washington, D.C. culinary treasure showcasing plant-based dining with a playful twist. Led by the ingenious Chef Rob Rubba, this eatery transforms seasonal produce into mouthwatering masterpieces. From smoky, umami-rich mushroom "oysters" to vibrant vegetable-centric dishes, the evolving menu promises a gastronomic adventure. Surrender to the enchanting flavors at Oyster Oyster, where every bite is an irresistible celebration of nature's bountiful gifts.
Fancy Radish, Washington
Discover Fancy Radish, a contemporary haven for vegetable enthusiasts. Established in 2018 by the James Beard-nominated culinary duo, Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby, this plant-based oasis is nestled in the bustling H Street Corridor of Northeast Washington, D.C. Currently, reservations for dinner service can be made via Resy. For those who prefer to savor Fancy Radish's exquisite creations at home, carryout is available through their website, and delivery is offered via Caviar and DoorDash, Tuesday through Saturday, from 5 pm to 10 pm.
Le Comptoir, Los Angeles
Top 5 Plant-Based Restaurants in the Country According to the Food Network
The Food Network is a great resource for finding some of the best plant-based restaurants in the US. Here are our top 10 picks according to their ratings:
Blossom Restaurant & Bar in New York City
Located in Chelsea, this restaurant offers diners an elegant experience full of flavor and nutrition. Their menu features seasonal dishes made with locally-sourced ingredients like creamy soups crafted without dairy, hearty salads featuring roasted vegetables, and sandwiches stuffed with tempeh or portobello mushrooms instead of meat. They also feature delicious desserts such as vegan ice cream sundaes topped with salted caramel sauce!
Vedge, located in Philadelphia, is a plant-based restaurant that offers an exceptional dining experience. Focusing on fresh, seasonal ingredients, the menu features inventive dishes that highlight the natural flavors of vegetables. With its warm ambiance and attentive service, Vedge provides a welcoming atmosphere for both vegans and non-vegans alike, ensuring a memorable meal that showcases the endless possibilities of plant-based cuisine.
The Beer Plant, Austin, Texas
Beer Plant, situated in Austin, combines the best of plant-based dining with an extensive craft beer selection. This gastropub offers a cozy atmosphere where guests can enjoy delectable vegan comfort food with a creative twist. With a diverse menu of dishes and an impressive array of beers on tap, Beer Plant caters to a wide range of tastes, providing a unique and enjoyable experience for all.
Kindred, San Diego in San Diego
Kindred, nestled in San Diego, is a distinctive vegan eatery that merges inventive plant-based cuisine with a stylish, eclectic atmosphere. The menu showcases creative dishes with bold flavors, from mouthwatering appetizers to satisfying entrees. Paired with a thoughtfully curated selection of craft cocktails, Kindred offers a memorable dining experience, perfect for those seeking a vibrant, cruelty-free culinary adventure in a trendy, welcoming setting.
Plum Bistro, Seattle
Plum Bistro, located in Seattle, presents a delightful fusion of plant-based cuisine and Pacific Northwest flavors. With a focus on locally sourced, organic ingredients, Chef Makini Howell crafts scrumptious dishes that cater to vegans and non-vegans alike. In a warm and inviting atmosphere, guests can savor creative, mouthwatering meals while enjoying the restaurant's commitment to sustainable and compassionate dining. Plum Bistro offers a memorable culinary experience for all food lovers.
What If You Can’t Make It to One of These Plant-Based Restaurants?
There isn’t always time to go out to eat and enjoy the kinds of innovative, exciting menus mentioned above.
But there is a way to have the same level of cuisine sent straight to your front door.
Whole Harvest’s whole food plant-based meal delivery service delivers a mix of cutting-edge, innovative dishes and reimagined comfort foods to your front door.
Everything Whole Harvest delivers is:
- Fresh, never frozen
- Prepared by expert chefs, not machines
- Ready to eat, no prep involved
- Made with 100% whole food, plant-based recipes, no compromises.
Whole Harvest is distinguishing itself in the meal delivery field by refusing to compromise on either the quality of the ingredients used or the recipes themselves. They’re delivering high-end, restaurant-quality meals to homes around the country.
They have also become a lifeline for people trying to maintain a healthy diet while recovering from cardiac events or looking to reverse the effects of conditions like diabetes.
Explore the menu at Whole Harvest’s site and order your first week’s delivery to bring the plant-based restaurant experience home!