Classy, date-worthy vegan restaurants are popping up across the country, which means choosing the perfect spot from all the options can be overwhelming. If we take the three most important elements of a romantic date into consideration—mood lighting (and definitely candlelight), top-notch food options (bonus points if they’re shareable), and a quiet and intimate setting—we can narrow down our choices considerably. Whether you’re looking for something budget-friendly or are willing to go the distance to impress your dining companion, we’ve found five vegan eateries that are sure to set the mood for a night to remember. 

 
 
 
 
 
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1. Avelo (Toronto, ON)
Avelo is the hidden gem of Toronto’s vegan food scene. Located inside Hazel Cottage—a charming heritage house in the center of the city—this fine-dining restaurant is intimate and welcoming with its 22-seat dining room. Avelo inserts a level of intrigue into its dining experience by offering five- and eight-course tasting menus that change regularly and aren’t revealed until they are served, such as gnocchi with sautéed Japanese artichokes and poached plum-infused coconut cream tarts. The restaurant’s staff operate as a collective, relying on collaboration to ensure that the restaurant consistently operates at a high level—providing a unique and upscale experience that basically guarantees a lasting impression.

 
 
 
 
 
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2. Sushi Momo (Montreal, QC) 
Sushi Momo is a beloved Japanese restaurant located in trendy downtown Montreal. Touting the best sushi you’ll ever have, this popular spot should be at the top of your list if you find yourself in the French-speaking city—but reservations are a must. Sushi Momo offers vegan versions of Japanese classics, from fried beef Gyu and Gyoza dumplings to shrimp tempura, but you can’t go wrong with their variety of inventive sushi. Order the “Omakase For 2” option and you’ll be delighting over a shared platter of beet tartare and 25 pieces of their best sushi pieces. A bright and modern space with exposed brick and lush plants hung up above the tables, Sushi Momo will give you an excuse to show off your chopsticks skills.

 
 
 
 
 
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3. LuAnne’s Wild Ginger (Brooklyn, New York)
With multiple locations across Manhattan and Brooklyn, Luanne’s Wild Ginger is a popular restaurant that serves revitalized, vegan, pan-Asian style eats. At the Fort Greene, Brooklyn location, diners nestle into a small, warm-toned room that features a large tiki bar. Known for its inventive use of soy and seitan in vegan meat dishes, LuAnne’s delivers on taste, quality, portion size, and atmosphere. Dig into the steamed dumplings, red curry ramen, or General Tso’s soy protein. With the evening’s internal lighting somehow resembling that of a romantic movie scene, it is essentially a picture-perfect setting for the ideal night out. 

 
 
 
 
 
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4. Pura Vita (Los Angeles)
There’s nothing more romantic than sharing a meal of vegan pizza, pasta, and the best red wine California has to offer. Pura Vita is an authentic Italian restaurant serving veganized family recipes that are made from scratch—such as mushroom-lentil polpettine, carbonara with avocado egg, and the most impressive tiramisu. The restaurant’s overall comfort is felt through its decor, food, and family-operated service. Regardless of whether you’re on a first date or the odd night out with your long-standing partner, this restaurant is a reliable date-worthy choice for a charming night out—just don’t fall asleep at the table after the inevitable carb-overload.

 
 
 
 
 
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5. Althea (Chicago, IL)
Althea is a tastefully decorated, high-class vegan restaurant boasting stunning views of downtown Chicago. This restaurant is a go-to for an elegant and upscale vegan meal. The creative takes on classics, such as coconut curry risotto, chickpea frittata, and kelp noodle Cacio e Pepe, are always colorful and aesthetically pleasing. Try to secure a table beside any of the large windows that highlight the city views, and start your evening by sharing the artisanal vegan cheese plate. Although the prices are on the higher end, they’re worth it for the quality and freshness of the organic food, attentive service, and posh dining experience. 

Alex Markwell is a Toronto-based psychology student who is passionate about women’s health, nutrition, and environmental sustainability.

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