The Best Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants in Boston
From plant-based fine dining restaurants to fast-casual spots.
The case for vegetarianism and veganism is pretty iron-clad: healthier living, preservation of our environment—the list goes on. So where can you go in Beantown to get your meatless eating on?
Boston is awash in plant-based dining, from Asian restaurants to taco joints to fancy cloth-napkin eateries. So whether you’re after an upscale meal or poutine topped with plenty of vegan gravy and curds, we have you covered with this list of Boston’s best restaurants for vegetarians and vegans.
We’re cheating a bit here as the menu at this new spot is principally pescatarian. But the team behind Rebel Rebel and Field & Vine created a wine bar that spotlights natural wines in all their glory alongside a slate of meat-free snacks. Current offerings include a bay scallop crudo with salsa matcha, a panini with assorted mushrooms, and crispy pinto potatoes with apple puree, rosemary salt, and brown butter, but options will change with the seasons.
Double Zero is proof that veganism is something you should embrace even in pizzaland. Matthew Kenney’s vegan pies feature cashew mozzarella, almond parmesan, and macadamia ricotta, along with plant-based toppings like artichoke, Tuscan kale, and vegan spicy pepperoni so no matter what you like on your pie, there’s a vegan alternative at Double Zero.
Once a popular vegan pop-up, Littleburg finally put down permanent roots in a Union Square garage. Founder Graham Boswell’s takeout-only space focuses on seasonal, Mediterranean-inspired fare including gyros, saffron fried rice, and sausage pita. Take it to go home or enjoy your healthful bites at nearby Backbar.
Vegan pub fare may sound like a clear contradiction, but celebrated chef Mary Dumont of Cultivar and Harvest has pulled off the seemingly impossible: comfort fare that’s entirely plant-based. The new Kendall Square spot has reimagined all your game-day faves: buffalo wings, loaded nachos, pepperoni pizza, and burgers. Every dish is completely vegan, with tofu and cauliflower doing a lot of the work, and food options are complemented by a vegan wine list and craft beers, including some nonalcoholic options.
Clover Food Lab
Even your paleo pals occasionally go vegetarian for this mini food empire. Initially the food truck brainchild of an MIT grad, Clover has gone on to reinvent the city’s fast-food scene. With a bottomless commitment to food that is fresh, inventive, and, yup, vegetarian, every Clover outpost—currently at 13 and counting—proves that you just don’t need animal protein when classics like barbecue seitan and chickpea fritters are on the menu.
If you’ve been a vegetarian for any length of time in Boston, you’ve worshipped at the Grasshopper altar. It’s vegan Chinese food—pretty much the healthiest comfort food you’ll find. Lots of meatless staples dot the menu, including spring rolls, vegetarian dumplings, and stir-fried greens. But it’s actually the tofu and seitan dishes that give you that true Chinese food fix. Do you still dream of the stir-fried spicy garlic beef dish from your takeout-filled youth? It’s yours for the taking, now in a healthier form.
Time to break up your seven-day-a-week carb fest with something a little healthier. This Southie plant-based restaurant offers vegetarian lunch and dinner options that are as pretty as they are satiating: think chia pudding, avocado toast, protein shakes, seitan tacos, and organic quinoa bowls.
The city is now awash in juice bars that also turn out vegan and gluten-free options for breakfast and lunch. But we’ll forever have a soft spot for the ladies behind Mother Juice, if for no other reason than they have fully committed all three locations to the art of toast making. Plus they serve their breakfast bowls all day, and you can order salads by the half or whole bowl.
Oasis Vegan Veggie Parlor
Healthful things come to those who wait at this tiny corner cafe in Dorchester. All the made-to-order drinks and dishes, from the juice shots to the African couscous bowl to the vegan mac ‘n cheese pie, reflect the passions and affections of owners Jahriffe Mackenzie and Nahdra Ra Kiros. As you wait for your meal, breathe deep the warm atmospherics of the space, from the aromatic stewed lentils to the bright wall art.
It’s vegetarian, it’s certified kosher, and it’s certified green. In other words, Red Lentil is a place where you can relax knowing that a lot of work has gone into crafting a menu with exacting standards. The globally inspired lunch, dinner, and brunch items rotate according to seasonal produce offerings, but you might see dishes like an Indonesian stir fry, pulled jackfruit tacos, and Moussaka pizza. One of its greatest vegan triumphs? The shepherd’s pie is made with soy sausage and vegan cashew gravy.
A newer entry to the vegan fast-casual scene, Red White serves flavor-packed rice bowls to a health-conscious customer base. Start with a grain or greens, then choose your medley of protein and veggies—all of which boast plenty of spice and umami. Cool your tongue with an extra topping of avocado, or go full all in with some vegan spicy mayo on top.
Saus at Bow Market
Fans of this French fry mecca may not know that Saus at Bow Market is 100% vegetarian—and every dish can also be made vegan. The spot offers vegetarian poutine made with miso-mushroom gravy, a Beyond sausage sandwich topped with Impossible chili, and a BBQ Impossible Burger, proof that even the most indulgent comfort foods can be made veggie-friendly.
There are many evil geniuses in the world, and among them are the rapscallions who came up with a vegan taco food truck, thus upticking our taco consumption about a billionfold. Each five-buck concoction gives you a flavorful fix that turns out not to be made of meat at all, but instead rich meat substitutes like jackfruit, fried plantain, and chimichurri tempeh. The spot also offers vegan nachos, but the kicker may be the vegan torta with your choice of tofu or chorizo seitan.
Plant-based fine dining is most certainly a thing at True Bistro. You might start with a light beet salad before moving on to cornmeal-crusted oyster mushrooms, peppered pappardelle with chanterelles, or crispy polenta squares, but the seasonal menu is always changing at True Bistro. The restaurant also offers a brunch menu awash in waffle and seitan sausage sorcery, and there’s a bar for cocktails and vegan bites, too.
How to book: Make a reservation via wesbite
Sure, a lot of pizza is already vegetarian, but sometimes it’s nice to order from a place where you won’t be tempted by the meat-lover’s pie. Both takeout outposts of Veggie Crust dish out pizza and pasta made with homemade dough, sauces, and pestos, including the quirky but worthwhile falafel pizza. A little bonus: The Brookline location is also certified kosher.
The diner of your dreams doesn’t have to include a quart of leftover bacon grease coating the grill. At Veggie Galaxy, you’ll find all the breakfast basics sans meat, from Benedicts to egg sandwiches to pancakes. There’s a corned-beef seitan hash, too, as well as poutine with vegetarian gravy, the holy grail of the meat-free community. But it’s during lunch and dinner that things really get interesting with meatless BLTs, Reubens, and even shepherd’s pie. Your best bet is probably to eat your way through the entire menu.
VO2 Vegan Cafe
Once upon a time there was the Cambridge O2 yoga studio and the attached VO2. The former may be permanently closed (although the Somerville studio is still going strong), but the latter is thriving with some pretty fine vegan breakfast sandwiches and burritos. Lunch is even more exciting: soups, salads, pressed sandwiches, and vegan nachos, all prepared by a welcoming staff.
Suburbanites need plant-centric options, too. So Walnut Grille is saint and savior for the Mass Pike crowd, a sit-down spot that takes all the usual family restaurant entrees—chicken piccata, meatloaf, lasagna, pizza—and recreates them in vegetarian (and often vegan) form. Oh, and the restaurant doesn't shy away from adult beverages, including organic beer and wine. Add in the hearty brunch menu, and a weekend visit to the parents’ place just got a little less painful.
Zhu Pan-Asian Vegan Restaurant
“Eating healthy is important and can be enjoyable,” is this restaurant’s modest but accurate assertion. A vast menu of everyone’s favorite Thai, Indian, Korean, Mandarin, and Japanese dishes are done strictly veggie-style, with soy and seitan subbing for chicken and beef. It’s a takeout-centered lineup to suit all palates, from seaweed salad to pad thai to General Tso’s soy protein.