Restaurants

The following list is not meant to be an all-inclusive vegan restaurant list. Rather, my goal is to tell you about some of my favorite places that not only have excellent vegan options but also have good drinks, cozy atmospheres, and friendly crowds.  I will update this page regularly as I try out new places and discover new favorites!


Detroit

Avalon International Breads - Fresh baked bread and desserts, monthly specials, lots of vegan options.  Seating is limited and it gets crowed inside but when weather is warmer try to grab a seat outside.  Or take your treats to go!  
  • Favorite: Date Bar - hands down!
  • Location: Midtown

Detroit Vegan Soul (D.V.S.) - Detroit's first all-vegan restaurant!  Healthy soul food using mostly local and organic produce. In addition to using no animal products, D.V.S. prepares their food without any GMO's, refined flours, sugars, additives, or preservatives. The space small so it's not a good place to go with a large group.
  • Favorite: Coconut BLT Wrap
  • Location: West Village

Green Dot Stables - Sliders, fries, salads, and soups - all for just $2 and $3!  Even the drinks are cheap.  Most of the sliders are meat but there are a few vegan options.  The old menus used to indicate vegetarian/vegan but the new ones do not. If you aren't sure ask - the servers are very knowledgeable.  And I'll let you in on a little secret - the best place to sit is at the bar!  Be prepared to wait when you go here, especially before or after any local sporting event.  Or if college football is on TV.  Or a good horse race.  So yeah, just be prepared to wait.
  • Favorites: Kale Salad, Tempeh Slider (hold the mayo), Black Bean Slider (hold the sour cream), and Truffle & Herb Fries
  • Location: Corktown "Shores"

Johnny Noodle King - What will you find at Johnny Noodle King?  Why, noodles, of course!  While the majority of their noodle bowls are meat-based, you will find one delicious veggie bowl on the menu.  Their seaweed salad is also amazing!!  The restaurant is great - super cute and the staff was friendly, attentive, and knowledgable about the dishes.  There aren't many tables, however, so expect to wait at peak lunch and dinner hours.  But it's worth it!  Oh, and you might as well grab a sake while you're there.  It's not my usual wine but hey, when in Rome...
  • Favorite: Carrot Ginger Bowl (hold the egg) & Seaweed Salad
  • Location: Corktown "Shores"

Jolly Pumpkin Detroit - If you're a fan of sour beers, Jolly Pumpkin is the place to go.  Personally I'm not a beer drinker but there's a nice Michigan wine - Peninsula Red - that I recommend.  As for food, Jolly Pumpkin Detroit has a smaller menu than the locations in Ann Arbor and Traverse City but there are some good veg choices.  Nothing vegan as is but you can leave the cheese off the most salads, pizza, and sandwiches and be good to go!  The staff is friendly and knowledgable so be up front with questions and concerns.  TIP: Try 2 small salads for more variety.
  • Favorite: Brussels Salad & Pickled Beet Salad (without cheese)
  • Location: Midtown

Mercury Burger Bar - I held off on going here for a long time, thinking there wouldn't be anything for me to eat.  Finally I checked it out because they actually have 2 vegan burgers - a black bean burger and a portabello burger.  Just leave off the cheese! 
  • Favorite: Eastern Market Burger (black bean burger - made in-house daily)
  • Location: Corktown

Motor City Brewing Works - In the winter, you can get warm and cozy inside with your pizza and beer (or red wine for me).  In the summer try to snag a spot on the rooftop patio. There are many pizzas to choose from but vegans will need to build your own and hold the cheese.  The pizzas aren't huge - if I'm hungry enough I can eat the whole thing myself.
  • Favorite: tomato basil sauce, spinach, artichokes, black olives, tomatoes
  • Location: Corktown

Mudgie's - If you are in the mood for an amazing sandwich made with the best, most fresh ingredients, look no further than Mudgie's.  There are 2 vegan wraps on the menu and both are delicious.  Or you can build your own salad or sandwich if you want something different.  They offer at least 2 soups a day and more often than not one of them is vegan.  They serve Perkins Pickles, which are THE best pickles around!  For dessert you can get a cookie from Pinwheel Bakery in Ferndale.  They have an extensive beer and wine list and great Happy Hour specials.  Plus the place is just so darn cute!
  • Favorite: Hippie Dippie Sh*t Man (full) - sub spicy mustard for raspberry vinaigrette
  • Location: Corktown

Ottava Via - A slightly more upscale but still relaxed Italian place, you can get pizza, pasta, salads, and small plates.  There are a few vegetarian options that can be easily veganized.  Things are a bit pricier here but it's definitely worth checking out. In warmer weather you can sit on the patio.  Plenty of parking but be prepared to wait for a table at peak times.
  • Favorites: Fungi Pizza (hold the cheese), Small Plates - asparagus and beets (without cheese)
  • Location: Corktown

Selden Standard - This just might be my new favorite food in Detroit.  And the best part about it is you won't even believe you're in Detroit!  I felt like I was in Chicago or San Fransisco.  The food is nearly indescribable in terms of nailing down a type.  It's small plates and entrees that are just damn good.  The flavor combos and how everything is cooked is what makes it amazing.  Everything I had was amazing - some dishes were even too delicious to share!  It's a bit pricey but well-worth it.  The only parking is on the street and be prepared to wait for a table.
  • Favorites: Roasted Beets (without ricotta) & Roasted Cauliflower
  • Location: Midtown (2nd and Selden Streets)

Seva - Seva is exclusively vegetarian and vegan.  The regular menu is pretty extensive and there is also a weekly specials menu that features a couple of soups, appetizers, and entrees, so you definitely have a lot of variety here.  I have also noted changes to the regular menu over time.  Some items that are not vegan can be ordered vegan.  The space is modern and rather large, with outdoor seating in warmer months.  I've never had to wait.
  • Favorite: Spinach Salad, Tempeh Burger
  • Location: Midtown

St. Cece's - A warm and cozy Corktown pub that serves an eclectic seasonal menu using local produce.  They also serve Michigan beer and wine.  There are usually a few vegan items on the menu along with a special of the evening.  I've sampled the chef's food at events outside of the restaurant and been highly impressed, as well. I've also found the servers to be knowledgeable and friendly so feel free to ask questions. This is the kind of place you could have a nice dinner for 2 or hang out with a group for hours.  I've done both!
  • Favorites: Fresh Roll, Build Your Own Noodle Bowl (w/soba noodles, tempeh, market vegetables
  • Location: Corktown

Supino Pizzeria - You want the best pizza outside of Italy?  You want the best pizza in Detroit?  You want the best pizza PERIOD?  You go to Supino.  Dave Mancini knows how to do pizza right.  The crust is thin and light, chewy yet crisp.  The toppings are fresh and creative.  Always perfection.  The space is small and basically busy at any time.  The pizza is best eaten fresh from the oven while it's still steaming.  Eat it in your car if you have to.  You won't regret it!
  • Favorite: red sauce, mushrooms, spinach, eggplant
  • Location: Eastern Market

Woodbridge Pub - This may be the last one my list but it's only because I alphabetized it! Woodbridge is another favorite and a great place for mixed-diet couples.  Their seasonal, local menu has meat as well as vegetarian and vegan options.  It's a cozy comfortable atmosphere with friendly servers and bartenders. We love to hang out at the bar, especially on Tuesday nights when they have signature handcrafted cocktails for only $5. On Sundays they have brunch and pizza night (both with vegan options).
  • Favorite: Stever McFever (black bean burger)
  • Location: Midtown

Dearborn

Buddy's Pizza - There are 10 locations for Buddy's across Southeast Michigan but I most often go to the Dearborn location.  I actually don't eat here too often (it doesn't stack up to Supino or Motor City) but it's a good option.  The crust and sauce is vegan and you can either go cheese-less or get it with Daiya (not my fav but GO BUDDY'S for having vegan cheese!)
  • Favorite: regular crust, mushrooms, spinach, black olives, diced tomato, extra sauce
  • Location: West Dearborn

La Pita - Dearborn has countless Middle-Eastern restaurants.  I haven't been to enough to say that La Pita is the best but I've been there often and I like it.  The prices are pretty good, their bread is fresh and warm, and the hummus is creamy and not too garlicky. That's how I like it.  I don't find the waitstaff particularly friendly but they get the job done. 
  • Favorite: Fattoush Salad
  • Location: West Dearborn

O'Sushi - This is our go-to carryout dinner for a night in watching Brian Williams.  It's convenient and close and the sushi is good.  It's not your fanciest sushi around but we're not fancy people.  The owners expanded the restaurant and it's never busy so there is plenty of room to eat in.  We just prefer to eat ours in pajamas in the comfort of our own home.  That way when I have a coughing fit from too much wasabi only my Brian is there to see.
  • Favorites: Asparagus Roll, Vegetable Roll (extra wasabi)
  • Location: West Dearborn

Ann Arbor

The Lunch Room - The Lunch Room serves up a hearty slice of vegan heaven on earth in Ann Arbor, MI.  Everything on their menu is vegan and from the things I tried, I don't think you'll be disappointed with anything you order.  There are plenty of gluten free options, as well.  I haven't eaten here often enough to have favorites - yet.  
  • Location 1: Restaurant & Bar
  • Location 2: Bakery & Cafe

Chicago

Karyn's Cooked - Karyn's is a great little place that is worth seeking out. It's touted as "conscious comfort food."  The menu has a lot of variety so there are plenty of choices. We only got to eat there once but I'm listing it here because I'd love to return to try more things.   
  • Favorite: Southern Greens
  • Location: Near North Side

Revolution Brewing - A craft brewery worth the drive or El ride from downtown! Their menu features your usual brewpub food with a few vegetarian/vegan sandwiches - Tempeh Reuben and Tofu Revolution.  When we were there I had a pizza with vegan seitan that isn't on the menu anymore but perhaps they could make a vegan pizza if you ask.  It was so good I had it twice!
  • Favorite: Italian Seitan Pizza
  • Location: Logan Square

Native Foods Cafe - This has become my favorite place to eat when we visit Chicago.  It's fast, fresh vegan fare in a casual environment.  The menu offers appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps, and burgers.  Everything is vegan; everything is amazing!  The place is always busy but we've never had to wait for a table after ordering.  Friendly staff.  There are 3 locations in Chicago, several more in other states out west.  
  • Favorites: Nuevo Native Nachos, Twister Wrap, Oatmeal Creme Pie
  • Locations: Wicker Park, Loop, West Loop

On the Road

Potbelly - There aren't many sandwich and salad options here (check the menu, however, because it does change) but there are a few vegan soups.  You can veganize items if you omit ingredients but it doesn't always leave you with much. Note that only the white bread is vegan.
  • Favorite: Mushroom Melt Skinny on White (hold the cheeses) with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and Italian seasoning

Starbucks - If you're out and need a quick vegan breakfast, turn to Starbucks for their Perfect Oatmeal (either Classic or Blueberry.)  Both are made with steelcut oats and you have options of nuts and dried fruit, agave or brown sugar.  Their plain and multigrain bagels are also vegan. Don't forget your coffee!
  • Favorite: Classic Oatmeal w/dried fruit, nuts, and brown sugar

Subway - Pretty much if we're out somewhere without other vegan options this is my go-to dinner.  You can find a Subway just about anywhere.  On vacation in northern Washington State?  Subway.  Great Lakes Relay and the Marquette Marathon? Subway!  As far as I can tell from my research, the only vegan breads are Italian and Sourdough - but I've never actually seen Sourdough being served so I always get Italian.
  • Favorite: Veggie Delight on Italian (w/spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, green peppers, yellow peppers, black olives, yellow mustard)

4 comments:

  1. Check out Inn Season in Royal Oak!

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    Replies
    1. I've only been there once, years ago. I'll have to get back again. What do you recommend?

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  2. Check out The Lunch Room in Ann Arbor! So good!

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    1. I've been wanting to get there ever since it opened!! I need to make it my mission during Christmas break! :) Thanks!

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