13 of the best places to eat vegan (that aren’t vegan restaurants)

Funky Grits

Funky Grits City Pages

If you’re a Twin Cities vegan, you know J. Selby’s and Evan’s Organic Eatery and Eureka Compass and Herbivorous Butcher—and yeah, they’re all great.

But if you’re a Twin Cities vegan—or if you just want to eat fewer animal products—your options are wider than vegan-specific restaurants. Here are few places to go for a vegan-friendly experience where you can still find other stuff on the menu.

Everest on Grand

This cozy St. Paul gem specializes in Indian, Nepali, and North Indian cuisines, and a hefty portion of the menu is dedicated to vegan dishes of all kinds. Chow down on the tofu or veggie pakoras to start off your meal, and don’t forget to order some vegetable momos, perfect little dumplings you’ll want to eat forever. Almost all the vegetable curries are vegan, so you have lots of decisions to make. Eggplant curry or baby spinach and tofu? Add some vegan roti to round things out. 1278 Grand Ave., St. Paul; 651-696-1666

Funky Grits

This popular new soul food spot comes with all the trimmings you’d expect—and then some. There’s pulled pork and walleye cakes and Carolina Gold rice and sweet potatoes and, naturally, a wide array of grits. But you can also tuck into some tasty vegan dishes here, like the Hoppin’ John burger, which is made from that beautiful Carolina Gold rice and red peas and topped with vegan curry aioli, Bibb lettuce, and crispy shallots. Get some greens on the side, or, if you’re looking for something more vegetable-forward, nab one of the vegan salads. 805 E. 38th St., Minneapolis; 612-367-4978

Everest on Grand

Everest on Grand City Pages

The Sheridan Room

A chicken dinner special at the Sheridan Room isn’t complete without the vegan fried “chicken” special, courtesy of the ubiquitous Herbivorous Butcher. But the Sheridan Room doesn’t stop there. Order a VLT with vegan bacon, vegan mayo, tomato, and lettuce or the vegan pastrami sandwich. Stopping by for brunch? All of their scrambles can be made vegan. 337 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-886-1111

Tongue in Cheek

Tongue in Cheek’s menu is on the meaty side. (When the restaurant name includes two body parts, you know what you’re in for.) But they also whip up a rotating vegan special—the vegasm—and many items can be made animal-free. If you’re there for brunch—served Tuesday through Sunday, by the way—try the vegan hash or the vegan ramen. 989 Payne Ave., St. Paul; 651-888-6148

Foxy Falafel

Who wouldn’t want to eat at a restaurant with this name? Their falafel is foxy—and vegan, all four kinds of it. So is a good chunk of the menu, so you can have yourself quite a feast. Choose a format—sandwich, platter, bowl, or salad—and build your meal from there. Drizzle some spicy harissa over everything, and throw in some stuffed grape leaves and pickles and baba ghanoush. 791 Raymond Ave., St. Paul; 651-888-2255

Milkjam Creamery

Milkjam has vegans and lactose-intolerants with a sweet tooth covered, especially now that they’ve opened a second location in the former Dave’s Popcorn in south Minneapolis. Get your mitts on some Hibiscus Lemonade Italian ice or try the delightfully goth Black Magic ice cream. PB Vs. Everybody? Vegan. Toasted Coconut? Vegan. Remember: You’re an adult, and you can get a whole flight of ice cream if you want to. Multiple locations; 612-424-4668

Viva Mexico Taqueria

Tucked into the back of a convenience store, Viva Mexico gives you plenty of taco options and accommodates vegetarians and vegans with ease. Your food is made to order, meaning your tacos (or enchiladas, or burritos, or tortas, or, or, or...) are hot, fresh, and ready to be happily devoured. Oh, hey, you’ve got a bit of salsa on your chin. 2900 E. 42nd St., Minneapolis; 612-483-8052

Ramen Kazama

Pizza Nea

Pizza Nea City Pages

Winter is coming. (Yes, you can say that about 94 percent of the time in Minnesota.) When the wind whips through your clothes, find warmth and comfort and joy and brief freedom from darkness in a bowl of ramen. Ramen Kazama makes vegan broth and offers eggless noodles, and if soup isn’t your thing, order the veggie curry don. Round out your meal with some edamame and pirikara kyuri, a spicy cucumber salad. Multiple locations, 612-353-6160


Sink into a booth at Moto-i and relax: They’ve got the vegan front covered. Kick things off with the tofu lettuce wraps, the pickle jar, or the tofu buns. Want to dive right into something substantial? Order the yakiudon with tofu or mock duck, one of the vegetarian ramens sans eggs, or the Japanese fried rice. 2940 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-821-6262

Zakia Deli

This Lebanese deli has a stable of vegan dishes and rotating daily specials, some of which are vegan, too. Sandwich options abound with falafel, mjadra (a lentil-and-rice preparation), and burghul, and you should for sure try the spinach pie. The deli case, meanwhile, is so bursting with vegan sides that you could compose a small-plates meal out of those alone. We think some hummus, grape leaves, salad, and baba ghanouj sounds pretty perfect. 2412 Kennedy St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-379-0288

Bangkok Thai Deli

Vegetables, tofu, and mock duck for all! Bangkok Thai Deli is happy to accommodate vegan tastes upon request, and that’s if you can’t find something to eat in their already robust selections of meatless entrees. Get some veggie-heavy curry, the Stir-Fried Mango Delight, or the coconut milk soup. 333 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651-224-4300

Pizza Nea

“Make it vegan!” Pizza Nea’s menu proclaims. And you might as well: Any of their pizzas can be vegan-ized. Go ahead and sub in or add some Herbivorous Butcher “meats.” It’s a couple extra bucks, but the pizza’s so tasty, you might not even mind. That Melanzana pie with eggplant and peppers isn’t going to eat itself. 306 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-331-9298

Minnesota Nice Cream

This shop gives vegan ice cream some extra sparkle with edible glitter. Minnesota Nice Cream keeps the flavor options streamlined so you can focus on the toppings, many of which are also vegan (we’re looking at you, cookie dough). Of four recent flavors, two were vegan. We find pumpkin spice and black cocoa more than satisfactory. 807 Broadway St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-259-7053