The Best Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants in DFW
For diners in Dallas-Fort Worth, going meatless need no longer be relegated to Mondays. Not only have plant-based proteins become so mainstream that they’re available in drive-thru-friendly taco and burger options, but they’ve also become so indiscernible from actual chicken, beef, pork, and seafood that even the most die-hard carnivores can be easily fooled -- or even convinced to experiment. Whether you’re craving Vietnamese, Mexican, Italian, or good ol’ Texas comfort food, you’ll find crave-worthy options at each of these 12 vegan and vegetarian spots worth adding to your dining-out repertoire.
North Lake Highlands
Plant-based cafe inside a Vietnamese market
From crispy egg rolls and soft spring rolls to pho and other hearty noodle soups, everything on the menu at this no-frills cafe inside a strip mall Vietnamese market comes packed with as much authentic flavor as meaty counterparts elsewhere. The kitchen uses mostly tofu and other soy-based proteins to recreate the taste and texture of animal proteins like chicken and beef, but when paired with complex sauces and vividly colored vegetables atop rice or noodles, animal products will not be missed.
Plant-based and whole food grab-and-go options
Weekly meal subscription services make menu planning a pain-free task, and Nature’s Plate does the same with a vegan, whole-food twist. Menus change weekly and customers can order as many or few meals as they need for the following week. A list of featured favorites offers calorie-portioned breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, including crowd-pleasers such as classic lasagna, “cheese” enchiladas, and Texas BBQ, as well as decadent-tasting desserts like fudge brownies. Even non-planners are covered with grab-and-go options available daily in the refrigerator cases alongside bulk items for anyone wishing to do their own cooking and smoothie kits ready to drop into the blender.
Classic diner comfort food with vegan ingredients
Old-school diners have a reputation for offering a wide range of food options to satisfy practically any craving, any time of day. Since 2002, Spiral Diner has taken the same something-for-everyone concept and masterfully crafted dishes featuring healthy (or healthier), plant-based versions of typically indulgent things like buffalo chicken nachos, chips and queso, Philly cheesesteaks, and Texas chili-covered Frito pie. All-day breakfast and weekend brunch are big here, too, as well as the bakery, which creates custom cakes and other desserts (with or without “Congrats on eating vegan!” written in icing).
Modern vegan bistro with skyline-view patio
Ask just about any born-and-raised Texan which dish would prevent them from going vegan, and the answer will likely be “chicken fried steak.” That staple doesn’t have to be forsaken thanks to V-Eats' convincing imposter made with an Impossible patty (or portobello mushroom) that’s deep-fried, topped with mushroom gravy, and served with a side of macaroni and cheese. There's also a variety of shareable plates, burgers, and sandwiches that do a superb job of mimicking meats while not shying away from powerful flavors and spice. Plus, the full bar takes cocktails to new levels with fresh-pressed juices and locally sourced herbs along with vegan wines and beers, all perfect for sipping on the patio with views of downtown Dallas and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.
Longtime vegetarian favorite specializing in Indian and Tex-Mex
Cosmic Cafe has turned a charming, wildly colorful old house into a place where Dallasites can nourish themselves with vegetarian delights as well as daily yoga and meditation sessions. The menu includes some classic Indian items like samosas and pappadums, but since this is Texas, you’ll also find quesadillas, tacos, and enchiladas as well. Vegan and non-vegan desserts round out the food options, while drinks run the gamut from herbal teas and chais to organic wines and beers from around the world.
Plant-based, all-vegan bakery with savory options on weekends
The list of indulgences here is long and sweet, with cookies, cakes, pies, cinnamon rolls, muffins, brownies, and cheesecakes among the 100% plant-based options. Customers can partake in more savory items on weekends, including a variety of “chicken” biscuits with toppings ranging from jalapeño honey butter to mashed potatoes and gravy. Whole cakes, pies, and large quantities of cupcakes can be custom ordered with at least 48-hours’ notice (longer for wedding cakes, of course).
Old East Dallas
Courtyard oasis with rotating menu of vegetarian Indian fare
For nearly four decades, the Radha Kalachandji Hare Krishna temple has offered a sprawling Indian buffet with food options that change daily. Diners gather in a lush courtyard setting and go through the buffet line as many times as they wish, grabbing soups, salads, curries, and different international dishes that can stray from the Indian genre to include enchiladas, barbecue tofu, and eggplant parmesan. Show up on Thursday nights for vegetarian cooking classes (you don’t even need to pre-register), at which dinner’s included.
Plant-based Mexican specialties and bakery
If you have a go-to dish at any Mexican restaurant in town, you’ll likely find it here with a plant-based spin. Street tacos, flautas, burritos, enchiladas, tamales, fajitas, sopes, and fully loaded nacho fries can be ordered with meatless versions of pork al pastor, chicken, and carne asada, then doused in one of several spicy homemade salsas. As for the bakery, traditional Mexican treats include cakes, pan dulce, and cookies, as well as cookies and cheerily decorated donuts.
Vegan juice and smoothie bar with light, savory fare
Perhaps best-known for its organic smoothies and pressed juices (also available in multi-packs for cleanses and daily use), this cafe, market, and rentable commercial kitchen space began as part of an initiative to get fresh food into the South Oak Cliff food desert. In addition to the line of nutritious drinkable meals, guests can also enjoy veggie-packed salads and bowls, as well as lettuce-wrap tacos, barbecue jackfruit platters and sandwiches, falafel bowls and wraps, and mounds of zoodles. Daily specials, grab-and-go items, and weekly meal plans can also be procured.
One-stop shop for plant-based burgers, bowls, grocery items, and more
What started as a concept where rotating guests chefs offering their own menu items has streamlined to feature one standard menu, with nearly everything made from scratch. The notable exception, as is the trend almost everywhere, is a beef substitute plant-based burger (the Beyond brand in this case). Other options include a housemade black bean burger or portobello mushroom cap topped with anything from the classic lettuce/tomato/onion to guacamole and grilled jalapeños. Salads and roasted vegetable bowls can be topped with the same proteins or veggie versions of al pastor, carnitas, and carne asada. Grab a pastry to-go while you're there, as well as various grocery staples and vegan personal care products.
Quick-service vegan Tex-Mex
From the same family behind El Palote Panaderia, this North Dallas Tex-Mex joint specializes in tacos, tortas, flautas, tamales, quesadillas, enchiladas, and giant chimichangas. Cruelty-free versions of chicken, beef, and other animal proteins are recreated using either jackfruit or textured vegetable protein (TVP). Vegan cheeses are made in-house, while culinary creativity extends to the salsas, too, which include unique options such as dried chile and grapefruit.
Casual joint serving vegetarian pizzas and boozy ice cream
Midtown Pizza's recent renovations were more than skin-deep; as of February 2020, the once-omnivorous menu has become strictly vegetarian for its pizzas, calzones, subs, and made-to-order sandwiches, with a few all-vegan options as well. For a little adult indulgence, diners can end their meal with Dizzi Brands alcohol-infused ice creams and pops, which can also be part of a luxury party-bus experience for a vegetarian experience on a much wilder level.
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