Because no one wants to disappoint Michelle Obama, it's time you roll some more vegetables into your diet in Big D. Local restaurants are making veggie options more available, and they are far removed from the bland flavorless mush piles of yesteryear. These 15 places around Dallas make sure to knock it out of the park with flavor and give you a reason to come back and try more.
The Best Restaurants for Vegetarians in Dallas
“Be raw” only sounds like a solid idea when it comes to fruits and veggies; any other time that phrase is uttered, there’s more of a health risk. Be Raw Food and Juice covers a variety of diets and types of cuisines. Whether you’re looking for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and anything from pizza to Mexican to Asian, there’s something raw, vegan, or vegetarian, and maybe something that makes you feel like you lived life dangerously again.
Food trucks have gained notoriety around Dallas in the past 5 years, all of which have their quirks. However, finding that “healthier” option, or even one that is devoid of meat and still capable of filling you up can be trickier. The Nammi Food Truck brings Vietnamese cuisine to wherever you are (or wherever you find them). Choosing the Ginger Soy Tofu for your Banh Mi isn’t so much as an option as much as it is a necessity.
Hands down, one of the coolest places to eat in Dallas. Cosmic’s quaint size seats you close to the next table, but not where it becomes uncomfortable, but more like it’s with family. Once you’re in your comfortable seat, kick back and enjoy their portobello trance. But if that’s not in your wheelhouse, and mushrooms weird you out because it’s a “texture thing”, the rest of the menu is vegetarian and will have something still just as amazing. Here’s another incentive to head to Cosmic Café; you know that Indian guy in all of Wes Anderson’s movies? He totally used to own Cosmic Café and the Wilson brothers and Wes Anderson used to spend a lot of time there. That alone should be more than enough reason.
Spiral’s entire menu is chocked full of items that you, simply, wouldn’t think are capable of being vegan. A Philly-Cheesesteak? Hamburgers? A sandwich that references one of the best comic’s jokes involving food and frilly toothpicks? CHECK CHECK AND CHECK!
Before Small Brewpub opened, they made sure to find the best chef that was looking to bring 5 star food at amazing prices. The irony of the whole thing is that Chef Misti Norris even used to be a vegan. She’s made sure to bring aspect of her life into her menu. The Fried Wild Mushrooms are the perfect start to an evening at Small and great for sharing, but when it’s time to indulge in your entrées, their Strangolapreti bats one thousand.
Shoving food into other food is the American way. But until we get a veggie turducken, your best stuffed offering comes from Sundown at Granada in the form of gorgeous haas avocados filled with options ranging from tomato, feta, black beans, sweet corn, hemp seed, and agave, to sun-dried tomato, toasted almond, basil, and shaved Parmesan, to free-range chilled grilled chicken and candied nuts for the person that still wants meat. The Machu Picchu is another dish that you’ll need to try that sounds like it belongs in your Pokémon Go Pokédex and stomach.
If you ever want to experience Bishop Arts, but want to steer clear of the crowds, Nova is the place to go. Their veggie enchiladas are not like the typical ones you’ll find at any Tex-Mex restaurant. The house made red salsa perfectly coats a tortilla filled with black beans, corn, mushrooms, anaheims, cilantro cream, pepper-jack cheese. My favorite part of the dish is the fact that you won’t even need to add salt, which is a big plus.
Calling any of the food options at Barcadia is an insult. There have been nights where I’ve gone to Barcadia for the food alone with drinks as an afterthought. If you’re going to be surrounded by a great patio, life-sized Jenga, and classic video games, you’ll have to get the Frito pie with veggie chili. It brings patio food to a whole new level.
North Dallas (and other locations)
Tacos are one of the most versatile foods that there is. It can be breakfast, lunch, or dinner and every/all kinds are always good. AND THE VARIETY! You can always mix and match ingredients and flavors and have a different taco every time. But there may be one that you haven’t tried. Torchy’s Tacos has a fried avocado taco that has the perfect amount of batter around each piece to give great texture with each bite and that full flavor of avocado.
If you ever find yourself ranting “Whole Foods is corporate,” and you need a grocery store with the best vegetarian BBQ sandwich (after all, we are in Texas), then Ann’s Health Food Center is that stop. Their vegetarian options take up a good chunk of the menu, too, leaving you with the plenty of reasons to keep coming back at any time of the day.
Yucatan Taco Stand recently opened on Lower Greenville, by way of Fort Worth, and their food is nothing to scoff about. Their nachos stack as big as your head, maybe even bigger. If you think you've seen nachos piled high, you haven't seen these nachos yet. Plan to split these with another person, unless you think you have enough room in your stomach for the rest of the week.
Sushi has this reputation for only being raw fish. This misrepresentation limits the amount of people being able to experience amazing sushi without wanting meat. Blue Sushi Sake Grill has just the menu for those people. They have a full vegetarian/vegan sushi menu that has numerous options that all sound amazing. Their shojin maki comes with bbq seitan, grilled asparagus, pineapple, shallot, bibb lettuce, nori, soy paper, sweet soy and is one of the best sushi rolls that I’ve ever had.
Strangeways has become one of the most loved dive-bars in Dallas. Their drink menu is staggering, and if you’re really wanting to battle the night after a few shots of tequila and some cervezas, you’re going to have to get their elotes. The portion is huge and will give you enough energy to carry on with more liquid courage and a full stomach.
Pizza Lounge has always been THE go-to place for late night munchies. It’s hard to pass up pizza at 3am, and this is one place that knows that demographic. Their Nickel Bag/Dime Bag pizza is the night cap to end all night caps. It’s made with sautéed secretly (don’t ask because they won't tell you) raised spinach, mozzarella, sharp provolone, broccolini, rapine, freshly picked budsil, and a secret ingredient perfected with a lid of their house white sauce. It’ll send your late night hunger woes to rest.
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If that’s the case, then Good 2 Go Taco is the most important place to go to any day. If you’ve never been, you’re definitely missing out. While it is a hike past White Rock Lake, it’s one that’s well worth the reward. Nestled inside the building, you’ll also find Cultivar Coffee to get your day started as well as a huge list of the weirdest breakfast tacos that are capable of curing any hangover. The Green Machine is filled with sweet potato hash, spinach, charred broccoli, and super powers to soak up any residual grain alcohol.
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Lucas Buckels is a freelance writer in Dallas, TX who just learned seitan is pronounced like the lord of darkness.
1. Be Raw Food and Juice6005 Berkshire Ln, Dallas
2. Cosmic Cafe2912 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas
3. Spiral Diner & Bakery1101 N Beckley Ave, Dallas
4. Small BrewPub333 West Jefferson Blvd, Dallas
5. Sundown At Granada3520 Greenville Ave, Dallas
6. Nova1417 W Davis St, Dallas
7. Barcadia1917 N Henderson Ave, Dallas
8. Torchy's Tacos5600 SMU Blvd, Dallas
9. Ann's Health Food Center & Market2634 S Zang Blvd, Dallas
10. Yucatan Taco Stand Lower Greenville2023 Greenville Ave, Dallas
11. Blue Sushi Sake Grill7859 Walnut Hill Ln, Dallas
12. Strangeways2429 N Fitzhugh Ave, Dallas
13. Pizza Lounge841 Exposition Ave, Dallas
14. Good 2 Go Taco1146 Peavy Rd, Dallas
Aside from its fresh-pressed juices and smoothies, there's a reason this University Park strip mall joint is popular among all its nearby SMU students and suburban North Dallas moms -- its vegetarian fare. At almost any hour of the day, Be Raw can satiate any craving from Asian, to Mexican, to Italian with meatless creations like chia pudding, pad thai, greek-style pizza, and coconut tortilla wraps that more than slightly resemble quesadillas.
A former frequent haunt of Wes Anderson (Kumar Pallana, that dude in all his movies, used to own this place), this beloved Oak Lawn brick-house-turned-restaurant serves up inventive fusions of Indian, Mediterranean, and Mexican food, and they're all 100 percent vegetarian. No one ever had much trouble finding this place -- it's flamboyant, brightly colored murals on the outside and the wafting smells of samosas, squash tacos, and sage lentil wraps from the inside call out to you like a culinary siren.
Spiral's menu is full of things that vegans and carnivores alike will crave. The kitchen goes all-out in re-creating healthy versions of comfort food faves like mac & cheese, queso, burgers, Philly cheesesteak and even the occasional poutine. Both the Dallas and Fort Worth locations are popular brunch hotspots so line up early on a weekend.
This microbrewery's cute size (they've only got room for a handful of picnic-style tables) and bare, industrial interior certainly doesn't speak for how much a culinary powerhouse it is. Its constantly changing menu highlights an equal mount of game- and vegetable-based dishes, all rooted in American and Southern classics with modern spins that make them real game changers. Fruity ales and spicy peppered lagers brewed in tiny batches are what get your though the door, but the wild onion dumplings and rabbit bolognese are what keep you at the table.
Armed with a 30-foot mirrored bar, cozy leather seating, a retro lounge, a patio, and a wraparound roof deck, Sundown At Granada isn't playing around with their rustic Southwestern imagery. Same goes for the food and drinks: breakfast and brunch comes with a flood of quinoa- and avocado-laced eggs and sugary sweet French toasts, meanwhile at dinner, charcuterie plates and burgers make the rounds with plentiful local craft beer, draft ciders, wines, and sipping spirits while live music fills both floors.
From its star- and planet-shaped lighting fixtures and funky menu font right down to its '60s-esque signage, Oak Cliff's Nova absolutely nails the space theme its name suggests. And by keeping the names of their dishes self-explanatory and lightyears away from the space realm, they keep the theme just significant enough to be fun but not cringe-worthy. Chef-driven dishes draw inspiration from all over for an always unpredictable meal of short ribs, tandoori cabbage, gnocchi, or chicken udon.
Barcadia's name keeps no secrets -- it's a bar. It's an arcade. If that doesn't sell you, it's also a fully functioning restaurant serving food from all corners of the globe (and a lot of veggie options) like fish tacos, falafel, Texas-style chili, and nachos. Hopefully you're a better gamer after a few drinks -- the draft list is winding and full of Dallas-based names like Deep Ellum Brewery and each wall is lined with pinball, skeeball, and vintage arcade machines.
The SMU branch of one of Texas' most beloved Mexican franchises means it when they say they've got "a taco for every appetite." From the breakfast Ranch Hand (beef fajitas, eggs, cheese, Diablo sauce) to the Trailer Park (fried chicken, green chillies, queso) to the Mr. Orange (salmon, black bean relish), there's isn't much these guy won't or haven't put on a taco. And if there's a taco for everyone, the full-service bar will make sure there's a drink for them all, too.
This full-sized grocer is more than just a one-stop shop for all your organic produce and herbal supplements -- the cafe it houses is the ultimate spot for a guilt-free burger, wrap or sandwich. Placing health as a top priority, Ann's only serves up grass-fed beef and cage-free chickens and turkeys, so meat eaters get the same nutritional value in their cheeseburgers than the vegetarians do with their grilled mushroom caps and spinach wraps.
With gut-busting portions of tacos, burritos and bowls that take it one notch above the rest with toppings like tequila like chicken, tempura fish, and garlic shredded beef, Yucatan Taco Stand puts other Mexican chains to utter shame. The corner location makes for one big, wide-open space and a ton of mix-and-match wood seats and tables along with an umbrella-dotted patio that wraps around most of it.
This futuristic sushi joint in Vickery Meadow comes stacked with contemporary art, a massive film-poster mural, comfy black leather couches, and a menu that's ideal for both sushi newbies and the veteran raw-fish eaters. You can go for a ready-to-eat, cooked roll with shrimp tempura or grilled eel, but for the most part you don't order rolls here. Big groups fare well here because the menu's dominated by big platter with your choice of shellfish, white fish, tuna, and salmon.
If you're a fan of The Smiths, then you already know why you should check this place out. Otherwise, let its other features convince you: a 40-tap beer lineup featuring craft beer favorites like Prairie and Jolly Pumpkin, all written out in colorful chalk, a seedy basement feeling without the grime of a dive, ample tables, and a young, relaxed crowd. Bar snacks like yucca fries and charcuterie plates get passed around while everyone chatters of the sounds of '90s alt-rock all night long.
The words "pizza" and "lounge" together is tantalizing enough, but the vintage pin-up motif and additional vegan fare are more than enough reason to drop by this Deep Ellum pizza powerhouse. Pies worthy of five stars come topped with melty mozzarella and provolone blends, big basil leaves, and fresh pressed garlic -- or, if you're living la vida vegan, Diaya mozzarella and miraculously meatless pepperoni.
What began as hole-in-the-wall joint in an eco-conscious fueling station has grown into a locally treasured taco spot in East Dallas. The restaurant from owners Jeana Johnson and Colleen O’Hare is decked out in recycled and reclaimed trappings and puts out next-level breakfast tacos made with locally sourced ingredients. Prime among them is the SoCo, a flour tortilla hugging a Southern breakfast of scrambled eggs, chunks of biscuit, breakfast sausage and sausage gravy that gets a cap of shredded cheese.