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The outdoor patio at Reverie.
Theresa Scarbrough

13 Twin Cities Restaurants With Great Vegan and Vegetarian Options

Jackfruit tacos, chana masala, and every Beyond burger you could ever dream of

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The outdoor patio at Reverie.
| Theresa Scarbrough

Vegan and vegetarian eating has transformed in recent years, as a growing number of chefs and restaurants eschew meat, dairy, and other animal products in favor of vegetables, fruits, and proteins made from plants. And the Twin Cities — home of the Juicy Lucy, no less — has embraced the tide of cauliflower wings, egg-free cinnamon rolls, and clever seitan dupes that have become hallmarks of the plant-based scene. As vegan and vegetarian restaurants continue to pop up around the Cities, here’s a list of some essential spots.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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J. Selby's

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Vegetarian restaurant J. Selby’s is all about playful and innovative takes on fast food and pub food. Try the crunchwrap, made with vegan taco meat and marinated cabbage on a tostada, the fried lions mane mushrooms (sourced from local farm Minne Mushrooms), and the “Dirty Secret,” a triple-stacked burger with secret sauce. For dessert, J. Selby’s offers dairy-free shakes and soft-serve, floats, halva, and cookies.

A vegetarian burger made with three buns and two patties, with a toasted sesame bun, lettuce, pickles, and melted vegan cheese.
A triple-stacked vegetarian burger from J. Selby’s.
J. Selby’s

Khyber Pass Cafe

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This Afghan restaurant near Selby Avenue in St. Paul has a variety of vegetarian plates, sides, and appetizers: try the vegetarian shola made with mung beans, or the aushak (leek dumplings). The chutneys are stellar — add the cilantro and walnut chutney, or the tangy apricot and peach. Khbyer pass also sells desserts like baklava and daygcha, a cardamom and rose-scented rice pudding, with pistachios and walnuts.

A plate of vegetarian shola made with red lentils and chopped vegetables.
Vegetarian shola from Khyber Pass Cafe.
Khyber Pass Cafe

Advellum Vegetable Eatery

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Advellum Vegetable Eatery’s menu makes the most of veggies grown by local farmers, using dairy and proteins only minimally. The result is dishes like nachos borrachos, loaded with chorizo from the Herbivorous Butcher, black beans, jalapeños, and corn; mung bean pancakes with bok choy kimchi; and miso, wild rice and mushroom burgers. For dessert, grab a mango raspberry push-up pop at their Prospect Park location.

Himalayan Restaurant

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Himalayan Restaurant on Lake Street delves into India, Nepalese, and Tibetan cuisine, and has extensive vegetarian offerings. Start with the kothe — steamed momos that are pan-fried and served with a savory tomato-cilantro chutney. You can’t go wrong with the chana masala or creamy Kathmandu curry, either. As a side order, savor the dense, flakey layers of a fresh-made aloo paratha, or extra-buttery naan. Save room for desserts like kheer and mango pudding.

Hard Times Cafe

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If food can be punk, Hard Times has it. Since 1992, the cafe — known for its hand-painted, bright green façade on Riverside Avenue — has been a classic haunt for vegan and vegetarian bites. The menu is currently takeout only, but not pared down in size: check out Hard Times’ Facebook page or pick-up orders. Breakfast classics are the vegan helper skelter with hash browns and tofu, vegan biscuits with mushroom gravy, and the vegan “big fat pancake” with maple syrup. The lunch menu features a seitan Philly and a Korean barbecue tofu bun.

The exterior of the Hard Times Cafe, which is painted green and yellow with white a black block lettering. There is a snowbank in front of it.
Hard Times Cafe is a Minneapolis go-to for vegan food.
Photo by Joey McLeister/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Reverie Cafe + Bar

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In a vibrant little corner of Minneapolis’s Powderhorn neighborhood, Reverie Cafe and Bar features monthly specials like jackfruit bulgogi tacos loaded with cabbage slaw, garlic aioli, pickled red radish, and mainstays like coconut achiote beans with coconut rice and lemongrass tofu tacos. Its desserts — dark chocolate beignets, cashew cheesecake, and ice cream from Northeast’s Crepe and Spoon — are worth ordering. Specialty coffees can be made with oat, almond, soy, or house-made cashew macadamia milk options.

The Herbivorous Butcher

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This revolutionary butcher shop produces upwards of 15 homemade meat-free meats and an array of plant-based cheeses. Founded by a brother-sister duo, the Herbivorous Butcher is a great place for a vegan pantry restock — but it also offers hot in-store specials like red miso ribs made with a tofu and jackfruit base, or hot chili cheese dogs made with seitan, and shepherd’s pie. Grab a vegan porter cheddar or mint chocolate truffles from its case.

The Stray Dog

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New American diner The Stray Dog has a separate vegetarian menu. Classic bar favorites are transformed into black bean patties and fries, “not” dogs in chili cheese, Chicago, and Venezuelan varieties, vegetarian breakfasts like fully loaded chilaquiles, and a whole range of Beyond burgers: the “Beyond Junk” with vegan bacon and garlic aioli, the “Beyond Bourbon Brown” with butter bourbon glaze, and the “Beyond New Yorker” on a bialy bun.

Herbie Butcher's Fried Chicken

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A new venture by the brother-sister duo behind the Herbivorous Butcher, Herbie Butcher’s Fried Chicken offers a vegan seitan dupe that is as crispy and salty as its meat counterpart (though not a good match for gluten-free eaters). The restaurant serves buckets of chicken, tots, biscuits with maple butter, mashed potatoes, and oat-based shakes out of a tiny window off of Chicago Avenue. Order online if you can — in the summer, the line runs down the block.

Hark! Cafe

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Hark! Cafe’s breakfast and lunch menus are entirely gluten-free, vegan, and celiac-safe. Highlights are the “spice boy,” a bagel sandwich made with cold-smoked “sausage,” tofu, egg, and pepper jack, the panelle sandwich, made with a fried chickpea fritter, and the winter’s bounty bowl, which mixes beets and chickpeas with sautéed burdock root. Hark also serves coffee drinks and cocktails — for brunch, try the Rind Midnight with mezcal and watermelon juice, or a Kokomo with flavors of orange, coconut, and thyme.

Vegan East

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With locations in Uptown, White Bear Lake, and Northeast Minneapolis, Vegan East is one of the Cities’ pre-eminent vegan bakeries. There are lunch items on the menu, too, like a spicy mustard club and a “turkey” pesto, but the real standouts are the vegan baked goods: cinnamon rolls and S’mores bars, pop tarts, cupcakes and cake slices, cake jars, and more. (Gluten-free treats are also available.) Vegan East also offers holiday cookie decorating kits and beautifully decorated seasonal dessert options — the bakery takes pre-orders for cinnamon rolls, specialty cakes, and cupcakes by the dozen.

Namaste Cafe

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This former Victorian home-turned cozy restaurant in Uptown is an excellent stop Indian and Nepali cuisine. The whole menu here is organic: Start with light and crispy bhel puri or little flavor parcels of golgappa. The aloo bodi or Punjabi spinach paneer make for hearty vegetarian entrees. If you aren’t in any hurry, take a seat on Namaste’s patio, and enjoy a homemade chai.

Trio Plant-based

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Known as Minnesota’s first Black-owned vegan restaurant, Trio Plant-based serves 100 percent vegan soul food out of its Lake Street storefront. (Dine-in services are currently closed, but Trio is open for takeout and delivery.) Build a soul bowl with Mac and cheese and collard greens, crumbled cornbread, and jackfruit barbecue riblets, or order a platter and add yams and southern slaw. With an entire menu dedicated to Beyond burgers, Trio also serves highlights like the vegan “Mac attack,” the double cheezeburger, or the fiesta, topped with guacamole, shallots, and pepper jack.

Seed Plant-Based Cafe

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Near Bde Maka Ska on West Lake Street, Seed Plant-Based Cafe is a go-to for easy, all-day rice bowls, smoothie bowls, salads, and wraps. Try a golden child rice bowl made with turmeric, sweet potatoes, and roasted cauliflower, or for breakfast, an ancient grains granola bowl with dates, and a matcha latte with vanilla and agave. The cafe is also offering spring equinox meal kits, which include an appetizer, main course, and dessert, available for pickup on March 18, 19, and 20.

A bowl of grains, slices of kiwi, and dates on a wooden table.
An ancient grains bowl from Seed Plant-Based Cafe.
Seed Plant-Based Cafe

J. Selby's

Vegetarian restaurant J. Selby’s is all about playful and innovative takes on fast food and pub food. Try the crunchwrap, made with vegan taco meat and marinated cabbage on a tostada, the fried lions mane mushrooms (sourced from local farm Minne Mushrooms), and the “Dirty Secret,” a triple-stacked burger with secret sauce. For dessert, J. Selby’s offers dairy-free shakes and soft-serve, floats, halva, and cookies.

A vegetarian burger made with three buns and two patties, with a toasted sesame bun, lettuce, pickles, and melted vegan cheese.
A triple-stacked vegetarian burger from J. Selby’s.
J. Selby’s

Khyber Pass Cafe

This Afghan restaurant near Selby Avenue in St. Paul has a variety of vegetarian plates, sides, and appetizers: try the vegetarian shola made with mung beans, or the aushak (leek dumplings). The chutneys are stellar — add the cilantro and walnut chutney, or the tangy apricot and peach. Khbyer pass also sells desserts like baklava and daygcha, a cardamom and rose-scented rice pudding, with pistachios and walnuts.

A plate of vegetarian shola made with red lentils and chopped vegetables.
Vegetarian shola from Khyber Pass Cafe.
Khyber Pass Cafe

Advellum Vegetable Eatery

Advellum Vegetable Eatery’s menu makes the most of veggies grown by local farmers, using dairy and proteins only minimally. The result is dishes like nachos borrachos, loaded with chorizo from the Herbivorous Butcher, black beans, jalapeños, and corn; mung bean pancakes with bok choy kimchi; and miso, wild rice and mushroom burgers. For dessert, grab a mango raspberry push-up pop at their Prospect Park location.

Himalayan Restaurant

Himalayan Restaurant on Lake Street delves into India, Nepalese, and Tibetan cuisine, and has extensive vegetarian offerings. Start with the kothe — steamed momos that are pan-fried and served with a savory tomato-cilantro chutney. You can’t go wrong with the chana masala or creamy Kathmandu curry, either. As a side order, savor the dense, flakey layers of a fresh-made aloo paratha, or extra-buttery naan. Save room for desserts like kheer and mango pudding.

Hard Times Cafe

If food can be punk, Hard Times has it. Since 1992, the cafe — known for its hand-painted, bright green façade on Riverside Avenue — has been a classic haunt for vegan and vegetarian bites. The menu is currently takeout only, but not pared down in size: check out Hard Times’ Facebook page or pick-up orders. Breakfast classics are the vegan helper skelter with hash browns and tofu, vegan biscuits with mushroom gravy, and the vegan “big fat pancake” with maple syrup. The lunch menu features a seitan Philly and a Korean barbecue tofu bun.

The exterior of the Hard Times Cafe, which is painted green and yellow with white a black block lettering. There is a snowbank in front of it.
Hard Times Cafe is a Minneapolis go-to for vegan food.
Photo by Joey McLeister/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Reverie Cafe + Bar

In a vibrant little corner of Minneapolis’s Powderhorn neighborhood, Reverie Cafe and Bar features monthly specials like jackfruit bulgogi tacos loaded with cabbage slaw, garlic aioli, pickled red radish, and mainstays like coconut achiote beans with coconut rice and lemongrass tofu tacos. Its desserts — dark chocolate beignets, cashew cheesecake, and ice cream from Northeast’s Crepe and Spoon — are worth ordering. Specialty coffees can be made with oat, almond, soy, or house-made cashew macadamia milk options.

The Herbivorous Butcher

This revolutionary butcher shop produces upwards of 15 homemade meat-free meats and an array of plant-based cheeses. Founded by a brother-sister duo, the Herbivorous Butcher is a great place for a vegan pantry restock — but it also offers hot in-store specials like red miso ribs made with a tofu and jackfruit base, or hot chili cheese dogs made with seitan, and shepherd’s pie. Grab a vegan porter cheddar or mint chocolate truffles from its case.

The Stray Dog

New American diner The Stray Dog has a separate vegetarian menu. Classic bar favorites are transformed into black bean patties and fries, “not” dogs in chili cheese, Chicago, and Venezuelan varieties, vegetarian breakfasts like fully loaded chilaquiles, and a whole range of Beyond burgers: the “Beyond Junk” with vegan bacon and garlic aioli, the “Beyond Bourbon Brown” with butter bourbon glaze, and the “Beyond New Yorker” on a bialy bun.

Herbie Butcher's Fried Chicken

A new venture by the brother-sister duo behind the Herbivorous Butcher, Herbie Butcher’s Fried Chicken offers a vegan seitan dupe that is as crispy and salty as its meat counterpart (though not a good match for gluten-free eaters). The restaurant serves buckets of chicken, tots, biscuits with maple butter, mashed potatoes, and oat-based shakes out of a tiny window off of Chicago Avenue. Order online if you can — in the summer, the line runs down the block.

Hark! Cafe

Hark! Cafe’s breakfast and lunch menus are entirely gluten-free, vegan, and celiac-safe. Highlights are the “spice boy,” a bagel sandwich made with cold-smoked “sausage,” tofu, egg, and pepper jack, the panelle sandwich, made with a fried chickpea fritter, and the winter’s bounty bowl, which mixes beets and chickpeas with sautéed burdock root. Hark also serves coffee drinks and cocktails — for brunch, try the Rind Midnight with mezcal and watermelon juice, or a Kokomo with flavors of orange, coconut, and thyme.

Vegan East

With locations in Uptown, White Bear Lake, and Northeast Minneapolis, Vegan East is one of the Cities’ pre-eminent vegan bakeries. There are lunch items on the menu, too, like a spicy mustard club and a “turkey” pesto, but the real standouts are the vegan baked goods: cinnamon rolls and S’mores bars, pop tarts, cupcakes and cake slices, cake jars, and more. (Gluten-free treats are also available.) Vegan East also offers holiday cookie decorating kits and beautifully decorated seasonal dessert options — the bakery takes pre-orders for cinnamon rolls, specialty cakes, and cupcakes by the dozen.

Namaste Cafe

This former Victorian home-turned cozy restaurant in Uptown is an excellent stop Indian and Nepali cuisine. The whole menu here is organic: Start with light and crispy bhel puri or little flavor parcels of golgappa. The aloo bodi or Punjabi spinach paneer make for hearty vegetarian entrees. If you aren’t in any hurry, take a seat on Namaste’s patio, and enjoy a homemade chai.

Trio Plant-based

Known as Minnesota’s first Black-owned vegan restaurant, Trio Plant-based serves 100 percent vegan soul food out of its Lake Street storefront. (Dine-in services are currently closed, but Trio is open for takeout and delivery.) Build a soul bowl with Mac and cheese and collard greens, crumbled cornbread, and jackfruit barbecue riblets, or order a platter and add yams and southern slaw. With an entire menu dedicated to Beyond burgers, Trio also serves highlights like the vegan “Mac attack,” the double cheezeburger, or the fiesta, topped with guacamole, shallots, and pepper jack.

Seed Plant-Based Cafe

Near Bde Maka Ska on West Lake Street, Seed Plant-Based Cafe is a go-to for easy, all-day rice bowls, smoothie bowls, salads, and wraps. Try a golden child rice bowl made with turmeric, sweet potatoes, and roasted cauliflower, or for breakfast, an ancient grains granola bowl with dates, and a matcha latte with vanilla and agave. The cafe is also offering spring equinox meal kits, which include an appetizer, main course, and dessert, available for pickup on March 18, 19, and 20.

A bowl of grains, slices of kiwi, and dates on a wooden table.
An ancient grains bowl from Seed Plant-Based Cafe.
Seed Plant-Based Cafe

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