Food & Drink

Las Vegas' Legitimately Great Vegetarian- and Vegan-Friendly Restaurants

Published On 08/10/2016 Published On 08/10/2016
Bronze Cafe
Courtesy of Bronze Cafe
Amelinda Lee

VegeNation

Downtown

Ask around for a vegetarian restaurant in Las Vegas, and VegeNation will be among the first ones mentioned. The food is 100% plant-based and features locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, including the herbs growing from an indoor garden hanging off the wall. The idea is to recreate street food in alternative vegan forms. Thus, you get tacos, sushi, burgers, and other cool stuff without any of the meat, eggs, or dairy. There's even a brownie sundae, featuring a brownie made from black beans.

Courtesy of Bronze Cafe

Bronze Cafe

Downtown

After first opening inside the LGBTQ resource facility known as The Center, the Bronze Cafe opened a second Downtown location, taking over The Market neighborhood grocery store on Fremont Street. About 75% of the menu at both spots is vegan, including the pastries. Among the favorites is The Tree of Life, an open-faced pita sandwich that's loaded with fruit, but has the taste and feel of a vegetable dish (and yes, a tomato is a fruit). Wheel of Fortune fans will want to order The RSTLNE, a meatless spin on a BLT with a "bacon" jam made from coconut.

Go Vegan Cafe

Southwest Valley

The idea here is to make comfort food as clean as possible, with burgers, burritos, and pastas given the full-on vegan treatment -- for example, a BBQ sandwich made with jackfruit in place of pulled pork. We recommend eating outside by the water fountain. The Go Vegan Cafe also shares a building with a yoga studio and a sensory deprivation tank, so you're definitely in the right place to get your health kick on.

Courtesy of Simply Pure

Simply Pure

Downtown

After working in artist development for Universal Music, chef Stacey Dougan moved to Atlanta and then ended up in Las Vegas, where she started her own vegan restaurant at the Downtown Container Park. She struggled to stay open, and was about to shut down, until former president (and famous vegan) Bill Clinton paid a visit earlier this year. The attention led to a meeting with Hillary Clinton, and business has been booming ever since, which is good news for a small restaurant with just 10 or 11 seats. Apparently, Bubba had an appreciation for the vegan lasagna and zucchini pasta with cashew alfredo sauce.

Rob Kachelriess

Veggie House

Chinatown

Located on the second floor of a Chinatown strip mall, Veggie House comes with a sign and a stern warning on the front door that says, "Please do not bring in any meat or seafood to this restaurant" -- leaving no doubts about the nature of the menu. That includes items like the crispy beef and kung pow chicken, which are made with soy and other meat substitutes. The kitchen is run by chef Kenny Chye, formerly of San Diego, who also has plans to open a drive-thru vegan burger joint later this year in the southwest valley.

Courtesy of Panevino

Panevino

Off the Strip

One of our favorite Italian restaurants in Vegas offers completely separate plant-based menus for both lunch and dinner. Stuffed pastas like the spinach dumplings and ravioli are made with a "ricotta" that's completely dairy-free, while the "meatloaf" is made from organic legumes, mushrooms, and herbs. And if you still find it hard to break the habits of a carnivore, try the vegetable burger, made with mashed potatoes, eggplant, mushrooms, bell peppers, and breadcrumbs with white truffle oil drizzled on top. A vegetable broth is served on the side in place of French fries.

Rob Kachelriess

Violette's Vegan

West Valley

Violette's Vegan is an organic juice and smoothie bar with great food at any time of day. The breakfast menu is heavy on tofu scrambles, tacos, and burritos served alongside tempeh bacon strips and plant-based sausage (with free coffee thrown in for good measure). The lunch crowd leans towards sandwiches, salads, and meatless burgers, while a lemon scampi made with vegetables and tofu -- or a seitan beef & broccoli -- are both perfect for dinner.

Barbara Kraft

SW Steakhouse

Wynn Las Vegas

Wait. Hold on. Why is a steakhouse on this list? OK, it may be known best for its red meat, but SW Steakhouse could be the best place for a vegetarian to enjoy some fine dining on the Strip. That's because every restaurant at the Wynn and Wynn Encore resorts is required to have a full vegetarian/vegan menu on standby. So instead of an 18oz rib-eye, sink your teeth into a full serving of roasted corn quinoa cakes, black truffle risotto, or meatballs made from vegetable protein.

Rob Kachelriess

Komol

Off the Strip

Thai restaurants are generally safe for vegetarians, but Komol has one of the largest selections of vegetarian Asian cuisine in Vegas. Open for 30 years now, Komol serves food that is based on family recipes and is cooked without MSG. Vegetarian options include pad Thai, spring rolls, fried eggplant, noodle soups, and a wide variety of curry. Wash it down with a sticky-sweet coconut milk iced tea, and finish things off with a dairy-free coconut ice cream for dessert.

Courtesy of Nacho Daddy

Nacho Daddy

Downtown (& Summerlin)

One of the best places for a vegan to bring non-vegan friends, Nacho Daddy can make anything with tofu or vegan "chick'n" as a meat substitute, including tacos, nachos, and burritos. There's also the Skinny Dip -- a vegan queso dip that was recently added to the menu, as well as salads and vegetable bowls where there isn't a trace of meat to be found. Plans are in the works to add a vegan "steak" to the menu soon, as well.

Courtesy of Origin India

Origin India

Off the Strip

A longtime locals’ favorite for Indian cuisine, Origin India offers a compelling and diverse flavor profile for vegetarians looking to shake things up. The shakahari (or "vegetarian") menu is heavy on vegetables and paneer cheese mixed with spicy and savory sauces. Try the Yellow Daal Tadka, a bowl of lentils with cumin, tomato, onion, and green chilies.

Rob Kachelriess

Cheffini's

Downtown

A hot dog joint isn't an obvious spot for people looking to avoid meat, but every option on the menu can be served vegan-style, with franks made from grains, vegetables, and herbs. That's good news, because Cheffini's gets fun and clever with its creations. A top choice for vegetarians is the Moshi-Moshi, topped with seaweed, onions, and jalapeños. Even the buns are vegan. Sometimes diners will head around the corner to Simply Pure to track down some vegan cheese for their dogs and fries (but you didn't hear that from us).

Veganbites bakery & Coffee house

veganbites

Henderson

A healthy meal isn’t really worth enjoying with a healthy dessert to follow. veganbites specializes in cakes, pies, brownies, cookies, and all sorts of sweet treats with natural ingredients -- and no eggs, dairy, chemicals, additives, or artificial sweeteners. The bakery also uses organic coconut palm sugar instead of cane sugar, which is less likely to jack your insulin levels into the stratosphere. Other snacks include date bites, granola, and crackers.

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1. VegeNation 616 E Carson Ave Ste 120, Las Vegas, NV 89101 (Downtown)

Two core values are at the heart of VegeNation: 100% plant-based ingredients, and a big interest in the local community of Las Vegas. This vegan eatery tries to source as much as possible from the surrounding desert environs -- the interior of the restaurant is flush with vibrant fauna, décor which doubles as an actual herb garden used by the kitchen. The menu is influenced by nondenominational street food, boasting standout dishes like the “Save the Tuna” mock sushi and the “Muchos Gracias,” a sweet potato quesadilla with savory chipotle crema. Combined with the list of craft beers from Sin City breweries and a regular line-up of live music, it's a Downtown destination.

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2. Bronze Café 401 S Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas, NV 89101 (Downtown)

Situated within The Market, Bronze Café is a must for any Vegas vegan. This counter service spot has artisanal cheeses and meats for your carnivorous friends, as well as a menu of vegan sandwiches and salad options, including the standout Tree of Life Pita (roasted red peppers, avocado, greens, tomatoes, mango-ginger vinaigrette, and BC’s signature cashew crema). While the truly dedicated detox-ers will head straight for the fresh juice bar, we have a feeling no one -- regardless of dietary creed -- will be able to resist the vegan baked goods.

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3. Go Vegan Café & Juice Bar 5875 S Rainbow Blvd #104, Las Vegas, NV 89118 (Downtown)

In a literal desert, Go Vegan Café offers an oasis of clean eats that taste good. It’s a bare-bones counter service spot, minimalist beyond a handful of bubbling, neoclassical fountains, but the flavors here are fresh and bold. Regulars rave about the brunch offerings, with standouts ranging from gluten-free pancakes and the Mexicali tofu scramble, but a slew of vegan and gluten-free pizzas make it a decent meal option around the clock.

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4. Simply Pure 707 Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101 (Downtown)

This earthy, cute counter service spot is owned and operated by Stacey Dougan, an Atlanta-born chef whose own experiences with clean eating as a means of curing illnesses led her opening Simply Pure. The entirely plant-based menu features standouts like zucchini pasta with cashew Alfredo sauce and lighter bites like the jicama chili cheese fries, both of which have regulars returning regardless of whether they’re vegan or not. If you won’t take our word for it, consider this: during Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign in Las Vegas, both she and Bill made a point of stopping in for some vegan lasagna.

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5. Veggie House Vegetarian Restaurant 5115 Spring Mountain Rd Ste 203, Las Vegas, NV 89146

Teal tablecloths and a tropical cabana in the middle of the room might not seem like traditional furnishings for a Chinese restaurant, but this isn't your run-of-the-mill General Tso's dispensary. All the dishes here are vegan or vegetarian, with all meats, in dishes like kung pao beef and curried fish, made with soy, tofu, or gluten. And if you have room, even the plant-based dessert menu delights with creative meal-toppers like vegan mango ice cream.

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6. Panevino Italian Grille 246 Via Antonio Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89119 (Off Strip)

With sweeping panoramic views of the Strip, this Italian restaurant embodies the sultry, sophisticated ambience that is quintessentially Vegas (dim lighting, plush circular booths in bright red leather, polished glassware glinting on crisp linen-covered tabletops). Bold Tuscan flavors reign, whether you opt for classic plates like the Linguini Seafood (a mélange of shrimp, scallops, clams, and mussels, gloriously drenched in a white wine-garlic sauce) or order from the 100% plant-based menu, where favorite dishes like the “Ricotta” and Spinach Ravioli consistently delight vegan appetites.

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7. Violette's Vegan Organic Eatery and Juice Bar 8560 W Desert Inn Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89117 (Downtown)

It’s easy to see that Violette’s Vegan is tuned into the needs of their millennial audience: if the USB chargers at every table weren’t enough indication already, the vegan fare here is aimed at contemporary appetites. Tempeh and seitan reign in popular dishes like the hot and spicy barbecue Sassy Wings and the Buffalo Tofu Timbers, while the Hippie Chick Burger combines hemp pesto, alfalfa sprouts, and avocado on a homemade black bean-quinoa-sunflower seed bun. With psychedelic artwork and inspirational quotes mounted throughout the purple and orange space, the overall effort to leave diners feeling good -- both inside and out -- is evident and successful.

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8. SW Steakhouse 3131 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (Strip)

Another dining outpost within the Wynn resort, the culinary breadth of Chef David Walzog’s SW Steakhouse reaches far beyond that of just steak. While the chili-rubbed double rib eye is the ultimate highlight of the menu, small bites like the black truffle cream corn and the sautéed Hudson Valley foie gras are equally decadent. Unlike other steak-obsessed spots in the area, SW also boasts solid vegetarian opens, like savory red quinoa and farro salads and rich entrées like roasted maitake mushrooms with eggplant caponata. The space manages to be cavernous while still feeling like a chic, classy bistro; diners seated at a table with views of the infamous “Lake of Dreams” and vibrant waterfall should feel especially lucky.

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9. Komol Restaurant 953 E Sahara Ave Ste E10, Las Vegas, NV 89104

Offering one of the widest selections of vegetarian Asian cuisine in Las Vegas, Komol offers diners a healthful menu of Thai bites, including pineapple fried rice, panang curry, and varied salads. The space is decorated in a traditional manner, with flower paintings, and potted flowers creating a serene ambience in which to enjoy savory MSG-less courses.

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10. Nacho Daddy 9560 W Sahara Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89117 (Downtown)

Vegan queso. Let it sink in, and then hear us out. In the interest of preserving friendships, everything on Nacho Daddy’s menu can be made with tofu or vegan “chick’n,” so your squad can feast together on a budget whether carnivorous or not. And while the notorious vegan queso (also known as the Skinny Dip) might not be for everyone, it’s worth trying should you find yourself Downtown or in Summerlin and within short distance of this hip, divey joint.

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11. Origin India 4480 Paradise Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89169 (Off Strip)

Situated in a refined yet unpretentious space, Origin India is Sin City’s answer to authentic Indian cuisine. Staples like lamb pakhtooni kebab and chicken tikka continue to be timeless, but it’s the solid vegetarian offerings that ensure the spot’s longevity: the vegetable samosas are consistently flaky, and list of paneer curries is quite robust. Lit by overhead candles and furnished with dark wooden tables, it’s the perfect option for classy dinners (chef’s tasting menu, anyone?) and quick take-out nights alike.

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12. Cheffinis Hot Dogs 707 Fremont St, Ste 1050, Las Vegas, NV 89101

Because vegetarians shouldn't have to do without that most American of street foods -- the common hot dog -- Cheffini's delivers on the dream with myriad variations on the bun-and-wiener classic. Offerings include everything from the moshi moshi (served with jalapeno, seaweed, and wine sauce), to the panchero (served with chimichurri, caramelized onions, and red bell pepper aioli), as well as beer and milkshake beverages to wash it all down.

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13. Veganbites 8876 S Eastern Ave Ste 101, Las Vegas, NV 89123

This sweets shop specializes in treats made with zero additives, dairy, eggs, or artificial sweeteners. You'll find cases filled with cookies, cupcakes, and cakes, all prepared with organic coconut palm sugar instead of cane, so your insulin levels don't skyrocket, and you can consume even more sweets, of course.