Crepe & Spoon
The crêpes varieties are savory or sweet, and, like the waffle cones, have gluten-free options. Nut milks and coconut milk are ingeniously transformed to create rich, creamy ice creams that sport intense flavorsand vividly pretty colors.
339 NE. 22nd Av., Mpls., crepeandspoon.com
Hard Times Cafe
This long-running coffeehouse (the welcome late-night hours are on hold due to the pandemic) has been keeping the West Bank caffeinated and fed for 29 years with an easygoing menu of sandwiches, soups and snacks plus an ever-changing array of scones, rolls, muffins, cupcakes, doughnuts and cookies.
1821 Riverside Av., Mpls., hardtimescafe.com.tumblr.com
At this newbie, co-owners Lisa Neumann and Katherine Pardue feature bagel sandwiches, red peas with collard greens and rice, mac and cheese, biscuits and gravy and French toast with plum preserves, and the bakery counter is stocked with homages to Oreos, Pop Tarts, Rice Krispies Treats and other beloved favorites.
430 1st Av. N., Mpls., harkcafe.com
The popular go-to forrenditions of mainstream standards, including burgers, shakes, fried rice, mozzarella sticks, chicken and waffles, Philly-style steak sandwiches, gyros, chocolate chip cookies and more.
169 Victoria St., St. Paul, jselbys.com
Chef/owner Mykela Jackson runs a Tuesday night takeout pop-up out of Tori 44, with affordable fare that changes weekly (she posts the menu on her Instagram page, @keikoskitchen) but might include collard greens, mac and cheese, cornbread, candied butternut squash, fried chicken (made with oyster mushrooms) and Key lime pie. Next up: opening a wellness grocery store with a plant-based community kitchen. "So I can host pop-ups for other food entrepreneurs within my space," she said. "I want to serve my community and move forward in the realm of vegan food."
2203 N. 44th Av., Mpls., keikoskitchen.us
Plant-Based Pop Up Market
An enclave of vegan purveyors. The next markets are April 11, April 25, May 9 and May 23 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Check the market's Instagram page (@plantbasedpopupmarket) for details.
1729 N. 2nd St., Mpls.
Reverie Cafe + Bar
A popular food truck that grew into a brick-and-mortar establishment. Chef/co-owner Jeff Therkelsen's made-from-scratch menu includes his "Long Haul Burger," which just won the top prize at the highly competitive 2021 Twin Cities Vegan Comfort Food Challenge.
1517 E. 35th St., Mpls., reveriempls.com
Although currently closed, the restaurant is offering weekly meal kit subscriptions, as well as an a la carte pantry pre-order program.
3252 W. Lake St., Mpls., seedcafempls.com
Owner Louis Hunter presides over the state's first Black-owned vegan restaurant. His soul food dishes (collard greens, mac and cheese, yams, barbecue jackfruit "ribs") are popular, as are the burgers. A top seller is shredded jackfruit, dressed with barbecue sauce, pepper Jack cheese and slaw, wrapped in a tortilla and deep-fried. "I get tired of making them, because they're a lot of work," Hunter said with a laugh. "But people love it."
610 W. Lake St., Mpls., trioplant-based.com
Owner Sheila Nelson's handiwork includes festive cakes (with by-the-slice and special-occasion options) and cupcakes, cinnamon rolls and bars, along with a small array of sandwiches and soups.
2409 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls.; 1226 NE. 2nd St., Mpls; and 2179 4th St., White Bear Lake, veganeast.com
A friendly coffee shop with smoothies and breakfast sandwiches. Follow their Facebook page for hours.
3303 NE. Central Av., Mpls.
While these restaurants aren't all vegan, they do have a reputation for being vegan-friendly.
Brittney and Gerard Klass, the enterprising couple behind Soul Bowl, apply the chicken wings treatment to cauliflower and plant-based chicken, and feature a half-dozen vegan sauces (Buffalo to pineapple jerk) plus four vegan dipping sauces. There are vegan nachos and cheese fries, too.
520 N. 4th St., Mpls., in the Graze Provisions and Libations Food Hall, 612-545-5059, badwingz.com
The Bad Waitress
This throwback to the All-American diner shows its vegan side with whole wheat pancakes, fully loaded hash browns and tofu scrambles in the a.m., and sandwiches (cheeseburgers, patty melts) and salads in the p.m.
2 E. 26th St., Mpls., 612-872-7575, thebadwaitress.com
A vegan sensibility has long been a component of this farm-to-table favorite, exemplified by a root vegetable-packed fried rice bowl with kale and roasted peanuts, or a quinoa bowl bursting with black beans and grilled vegetables. The bakery contributes applesauce-enriched blueberry muffins and an apple-blueberry crisp, and the kitchen turns out a handful of handy pantry items, including granola, salsa, jams and a vinaigrette that changes with the seasons.
3311 E. 25th St., Mpls., 612-722-4474, birchwoodcafe.com
Crisp & Green
This fast-growing chain specializes in made-to-order salads and grain bowls (for the latter, try the mix of brown rice, roasted yams, tofu and mint) plus design-your-own options and a long list of smoothies.
Seven Twin Cities locations, crispandgreen.com
Chef/owner Erica Strait prepares traditional falafel but also makes (fabulous) curry and beet versions, incorporating them into platters, sandwiches, salads and rice bowls. The hummus, baba ganoush and stuffed grape leaves are all standouts.
791 Raymond Av., St. Paul, 651-888-2255, foxyfalafel.com
French Meadow Bakery & Cafe
There are vegan specialties from breakfast to dinner, including blueberry-corn pancakes, avocado toast, Caesar salad, a tempeh Reuben, mac and cheese, cauliflower wings, pappardelle with Bolognese and spinach ravioli. Menus vary slightly between locations.
1662 Grand Av., St. Paul, 651-789-8870 and 2610 S. Lyndale Av., Mpls., 612-870-7855, frenchmeadowcafe.com
This Lyn-Lake staple features 10 pizza options that can go vegan, along with vegan garlic-cheese bread and vegan "nuggets" with Buffalo sauce.
2917 S. Lyndale Av., Mpls., 612-824-9100, galacticpizza.com
Co-owners Arwyn Birch and Teresa Fox make room for a handful of vegan doughnuts in their daily mix, and the temptations range from classic (vanilla- and chocolate-glazed with sprinkles) to playful (peanut butter-chocolate). The version gleaming with an orange-ginger-cinnamon glaze is a gotta-have.
2605 S. Nicollet Av., Mpls., 612-345-7064, glamdolldonuts.com
Geek Love Cafe
Several house specialty pizzas can be vegan-ized, and a build-your-own option, with several vegan toppings, is also available.
3032 S. Minnehaha Av., Mpls., 612-642-1267, moonpalacebooks.com
The Good Earth
A half-dozen dishes can be adapted to vegan diets, including nachos, black bean-brown rice burritos and quinoa/sunflower-sprouts bowls with kale and edamame.
3460 Galleria, Edina, 952-925-1001 and 1901 W. Hwy. 36, Roseville, 651-636-0956, goodearthmn.com
Owners Rashmi Bhattachan and Sarala Kattel prepare so many delicious vegan dishes for their Nepali, Indian and Tibetan menu, starting with one of the Twin Cities' top-performing street foods: steamed dumplings filled with cabbage, ginger and onions. Don't miss the garlic roti, the aromatic chanaa saag (chickpeas and potatoes stewed in a tomato-onion sauce) or the hearty sautéed okra with potatoes.
23 NE. 4th St., Mpls., 612-886-3451, gorkhapalace.com
James Beard-nominated chef/co-owner Christina Nguyen (and spouse and business partner Birk Grudem) are a big food-truck-to-brick-and-mortar success story. Nguyen's menu is loaded with at least 10 vegan (or "vegan upon request") dishes, including plantain-pickled cabbage rice bowls, arepas topped with black beans and sweet potatoes, and a chia seed pudding finished with mango and coconut.
3501 S. Nicollet Av., Mpls., 612-345-5583, holaarepa.com
Krown Bakery & Eatery
The Saturday brunch menu features an ever-changing handful of vegan sandwiches that could be a tempeh Reuben, or a mushroom-packed grilled cheese made with vegan cheese and vegan cream cheese. Expect to encounter vegan chocolate doughnuts, and the daily menu always includes dairy-free smoothies and coffee drinks.
530 W. Main St., Anoka, 763-427-0506, krownbakeryandeatery.com
A lactose intolerance didn't prevent chef/co-owner Sameh Wadi from opening an ice cream shop. He and his crew create a small and highly appealing selection of nondairy ice creams, sorbets and Italian ices.
2743 S. Lyndale Av., Mpls., 612-424-4668, milkjamcreamery.com
Mill Valley Kitchen
A great-looking restaurant with a health-conscious menu that includes a handful of vegan temptations, including mango-carrot-mint spring rolls, hummus that hums with pine nuts and chermoula, a Korean-style wild rice bowl and a Caesar salad.
3906 Excelsior Blvd., St. Louis Park, 952-358-2000, millvalleykitchen.com
A wide selection of burgers (tempeh patties, with cashew spread topping), fried/scrambled tofu breakfast sandwiches and bowls, brown rice-based bowls and wraps, doughnuts (served Monday, Wednesday and Friday) and a kids' menu. Check out the selection of housemade hot sauces.
3200 S. Chicago Av., Mpls., 612-886-3882, moderntimesmpls.square.site
The quick-service menu includes salads, sandwiches, soups, all-day breakfast items (get the broiled grapefruit and the well-garnished steel cut oatmeal) and a few snacks, including fried cauliflower wings and guacamole.
Five Twin Cities locations, peoplesorganic.com
The chewy bagels, skillfully prepared, are naturally vegan, and owners and siblings Jen and Kate Lloyd stock a long list of vegan schmears and spreads (cashew cream cheese in plain, onion and garlic versions, plus vegan butter) and plant-based proteins.
530 N. 3rd St., Mpls., 612-354-3349, risebagel.com
Tao Cafe & Herbery
Start with miso-shiitake mushroom broth or the daily soup, then enjoy well-fortified brown rice bowls, roasted sweet potato-black bean burritos, salads, smoothies and hot and cold drinks made with cashew-date milk.
2200 S. Hennepin Av., Mpls., 612-377-4630, taoorganiccafe.com
Tongue in Cheek
Chef/co-owner Leonard Anderson has made it a habit to incorporate vegan dishes up and down his menu. Right now that means a pad thai-inspired cucumber salad, roasted cauliflower dressed with Fresno chiles and togarashi, scallion pancakes topped with a shiitake salad and a daily entree, plus plant-based renditions of cheeseburgers, patty melts and ramen. The date night deal ($69) includes one shared plate, two large plates, dessert and a bottle of wine.
989 Payne Av., St. Paul, 651-888-6148, tongueincheek.biz
World Street Kitchen
While tapping lively global street food traditions, chef/co-owner Sameh Wadi never ignores his vegan audience, offering Korean-influenced mushroom-filled lettuce wraps, two-fisted burritos packed with crispy marinated tofu and fried rice, a superb hummus, rice bowls brimming with charred squash and Chinese broccoli, an outstanding falafel sandwich and mushroom-squash tacos with pumpkin seed salsa.
2743 S. Lyndale Av., Mpls., 612-424-8855, eatwsk.com