Not a day goes by that we don’t hear about brand new vegan eateries all across the US opening their doors and dishing out delicious cruelty-free cuisine, and nothing gets our mouth watering more than discovering the latest vegan fusion fare, veganized classics, or simply a solid plant-based meal. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just casually lunching, be sure to check out these eight fresh faces on 2013’s vegan food front.
1. Crossroads Kitchen – Los Angeles, CA
If you’re a regular VegNews reader, you know just how we feel about celebrity vegan chef Tal Ronnen’s chic new West Hollywood fine-dining establishment. From the sophisticated Artichoke Oyster Mushroom starter to the towering Kale Salad, this is where we’d go to rub elbows with the beautiful and famous––or just to get a bellyful of scrumptious Mediterranean bites!
2. Dig Foods - Jacksonville, FL
Dig Foods is fresh-from-the-farm vegan fare done in a casual, welcoming setting. From its Coconut French Toast with Ginger Syrup brunch special to its crowd-pleasing sandwich of cornmeal-encrusted tempeh, red pepper relish, arugula, and homemade aioli, we can’t help but fawn over this new Florida pop-up turned café.
3. Dr. J’s Vibrant Café – Los Angeles, CA
With a T-shirt that reads, “Make Love, Not Beef” and a mission of serving healthy, pure plant-based food, what’s not to love about this new downtown Los Angeles café? Founded by holistic healer Dr. Juliet Tien and her son Charles Tien, Dr. J’s bring happiness in the form of veggie bowls, juices, and gluten-free baked goods.
4. Kitchen 17 – Chicago, IL
When self-described meat lover Kevin Pang of the Chicago Tribune wrote that he’d happily chow down on Kitchen 17’s tomato-cucumber salad without a single complaint, our interest was piqued; and when we read that everything with the exception of its cheese was made from scratch, we got really excited. And finally, when Pang compared talking to owner Don Clements about veganism to “a warm embrace,” we couldn’t help but declare our love for Kitchen 17.
5. Peacefood Cafe – New York City, NY
As if the swanky original location on the Upper West Side of Manhattan—with its eye-catching desserts and décor—wasn’t enough, Peacefood Cafe opened a second location in downtown Manhattan with more space and more sweets. While the healthy entrées are divine, it’s the new location’s custom cakes and vegan take on the much talked about NYC Cronut that has us lined up outside.
6. Petunia’s Pies & Pastries – Portland, OR
Don’t take its adorable name too literally––Petunia’s offers more than just pies and pastries. With a menu full of sandwiches, soups, and salad––plus wine, signature cocktails, and coffee––this is our kind of bakery!
7. Root – Boston, MA
New Bostonian vegan restaurant Root is all about simplicity. From its sleek and minimalist aesthetic to its classics menu featuring vegan burgers and fries, Root is where the locals gather to enjoy hearty, healthy meals or a fresh cold juice over good conversation.
8. Terri – New York City, NY
We love long-running vegan favorite Candle 79 so naturally we’re fans of fast-food chain Terri, which was started by former Candle managers. Terri recently opened its second location in Manhattan’s Financial District, promoting the platform that healthy vegan fare should be as widely available as other fast food options, something we think the busy folks in NYC’s FiDi can agree on.
Photo credit: Peacefood Cafe