In Pittsburgh, elevated Japanese European consolation delicacies is warming stomachs and incomes James Beard nominations. In San Francisco, a totally vegan, TikTok-famous McDonald’s dupe has opened up immediately throughout from an precise McDonald’s. And throughout the nation, new and thrilling plant-based eating places are cropping up (pan-Latin American in Atlanta! Excessive-end sushi in Austin! West African in Los Angeles!), proving that there has by no means been a greater time for plant-based eating than proper now..
The state of the restaurant business
The very fact of the matter is, nevertheless, that for all of the innovation and homestyle consolation that our favourite eateries present, they nonetheless want our assist “It’s been a troublesome 12 months for many operators,” Tal Ronnen—proprietor of Los Angeles’ Crossroads Kitchen—tells VegNews. “Costs have skyrocketed for uncooked substances and other people have undoubtedly been consuming out much less to save cash. And in Los Angeles, we additionally had two huge business strikes that put lots of people out of labor.” These ongoing challenges—inflation and rising meals costs, labor shortages, third-party service charges, and operational prices, to call just some—are hitting the business exhausting throughout the board. And a current spate of vegan restaurant closures (together with VegNews Restaurant Award winners and finalists Ben & Esther’s, Mama Đút, and Souley Vegan) have been a bitter sting for restaurateurs and the communities that love them.
Easy methods to assist your favorites
However for all of the hardships and difficult selections, there’s hope. Polo Abram Bañuelos and Carlos Reynoso, homeowners of Portland’s vegan Mexican restaurant Mis Tacones, say that neighborhood is a saving grace throughout powerful occasions. At Mis Tacones, the duo works to nurture and supply refuge to town’s numerous and traditionally marginalized residents with community-focused occasions like lotería recreation nights and initiatives like Trans Folks of Coloration Eat for Free assist. And in flip, the diners that come out to take part and assist their enterprise encourage the 2 to maintain going. It’s an ideal instance of the important synergy between eating places and patrons that’s wanted to maintain locations like these alive. Additionally they stress how appreciated kindness and understanding is on this new period of eating.
“It’s additionally essential to be versatile and beneficiant to companies when they’re extraordinarily brief staffed or have to alter their hours because of lack of employees or provide shortages,” Bañuelos says. “Persistence and kindness go alongside approach.”
Mis Tacones / Linda Pianigiani Pictures / Alkebulan Moroski
Finally, vegan eating places are faring the identical as another type of restaurant in 2023, and their homeowners are working tirelessly to maintain doorways open and other people fed. However diners are making a distinction, and can proceed to be the make-or-break issue for a lot of of our favourite eateries.
“Patronizing small, independently owned eating places is one of the simplest ways to assist the vegan neighborhood,” says Alkebulan Moroski, proprietor of soul meals scorching spot Soiled Lettuce in Portland, OR. “We all know of us have tight budgets proper now and are consuming out much less, however while you do, we encourage you to choose an area enterprise.”
And if there was ever any doubt whether or not a fast takeout order might make a distinction, know that the small alternative of patronizing your favourite vegan restaurant has a giant ripple impact—and restaurateurs are able to obtain it and hold your abdomen glad on the identical time.
“Life is a collection of ups and downs, and we had a number of fairly difficult years,” says Tara Punzone, proprietor of Pura Vita in Los Angeles and Redondo Seashore, CA. “So we’re 100-percent prepared for the entire constructive issues coming our approach.”
So on this 12 months’s VegNews Restaurant Awards, we introduced 359 nominees throughout 28 classes collectively for one month of voting to find out that are the perfect of the perfect. And after practically 290,000 votes, we’re proud to announce your picks for 2023’s vegan eating places of the 12 months!
The 2023 VegNews Restaurant Award Winners
Plant Energy Quick Meals
Greatest Vegan Quick-Meals Restaurant:
Plant Energy Quick Meals (California & Las Vegas)
The world of quick meals is quickly altering, and this budding vegan empire of 11 eating places is main the business’s plant-based revolution. With a menu spanning from bacon-egg-and-cheese croissants to crispy rooster nuggets to vegan Blizzards, it’s no surprise vegans are flocking to Plant Energy Quick Meals.
2nd Place: Slutty Vegan (Atlanta, Birmingham, New York Metropolis & Dallas)
third Place: Monty’s Good Burger (Southern California)
Greatest Vegan Wonderful-Eating Restaurant:
Crossroads Kitchen (Southern California & Las Vegas)
From Los Angeles to Las Vegas, Crossroads Kitchen boasts a star-studded reservation checklist with a few of Hollywood’s elite. Much more spectacular? Chef Tal Ronnen’s delectable menu of artichoke oysters, stuffed zucchini blossoms, and spaghetti carbonara full with a runny, vegan egg yolk.
2nd Place: Vedge (Philadelphia, PA)
third Place: Miss Rachel’s Pantry (Philadelphia, PA)
Greatest Vegan Diner:
The Tasty (Philadelphia, PA)
Step into this Philadelphia mainstay and transport your self to the old fashioned diners of yesteryear. At The Tasty, the meat and dairy-laden menus of conventional diners are reimagined—sans animals—so you may get pleasure from tacky Monte Cristos, biscuits and gravy, and even a basic Philly cheesesteak. Forks on the prepared!
2nd Place: Vertical Diner (Salt Lake Metropolis, UT & Portland, OR)
third Place: Viva Vegan Diner (Upland, CA)
Monty’s Good Burger
Greatest Vegan Burger Joint:
Monty’s Good Burger (Southern California)
With the booming plant-based burger market valued at $5.1 billion, it’s clear there’s no scarcity of drool-worthy vegan handhelds. However for the perfect burger round, VegNews readers are flocking to Monty’s Good Burger to fulfill their cravings. Do like we do and make it a double.
2nd Place: Slutty Vegan (Atlanta, Birmingham, New York Metropolis & Dallas)
third Place: Subsequent Stage Burger (Nationwide)
Greatest Vegan Pizzeria:
Pura Vita (West Hollywood, CA)
At this upscale, Italian eatery, pizza is critical enterprise—and all of it begins with a standard, housemade Neapolitan crust that’s fermented and proofed for 48 hours. Chef-owner Tara Punzone stuns with 10 distinct pies spanning from the cashew mozzarella-dotted margherita to the luxe Black Magic made with black truffle cream sauce, crimini mushrooms, pesto, and cashew ricotta. Buon appetito!
2nd Place: Screamer’s Pizzeria (Brooklyn, NY)
third Place: twentieth Road Pizza (Philadelphia, PA)
Greatest Vegan Mexican Restaurant:
Mis Tacones (Portland, OR)
It’s official: For the perfect vegan Mexican round, sidestep the American Southwest and head straight to PDX for a style of Mis Tacones. Hand-pressed nixtamal tortillas, pollo asado produced from signature Portland soy curls, and from-scratch horchata and aguas frescas are a number of huge plusses Mis Tacones boasts. However what makes this queer-owned restaurant even richer is its deep dedication to neighborhood … and the al pastor French fry nachos.
2nd Place: Jajaja (New York, NY)
third Place (tie!): Gracias Madre (West Hollywood & Newport Seashore, CA) & Tacotarian (Las Vegas, NV & San Diego, CA)
Greatest Vegan Sushi Restaurant:
Past Sushi (New York, NY)
Since 2012, this vegan sushi haven has left diners awestruck with its expansive number of fish-free fare. Tuna- and salmon-stuffed rainbow rolls; eggplant unagi; and smoked salmon, cream cheese-filled Philadelphia maki rolls are only a sampling of Past Sushi’s huge providing. Undergo from choice fatigue? You may’t go unsuitable with a menu like this.
2nd Place: Shojin (Culver Metropolis & Los Angeles, CA)
third Place: Shizen (San Francisco, CA)
Greatest Vegan Asian Restaurant:
Spicy Moon (New York, NY)
2023 was the 12 months of milestones for Spicy Moon. After formally turning into NYC’s largest vegan restaurant, the Szechuan eatery has gained over the hearts—and stomachs—of VegNews readers with their Past Beef dan dan noodles, hen of the woods bao bun, and veggie wontons in chili oil. We’re trying ahead to what 2024 will deliver.
2nd Place: Mama Đút (Portland, OR)
third Place: Chef Kenny’s Vegan Dim Sum (Las Vegas, NV)
Greatest Vegan Soul Meals Restaurant:
Soiled Lettuce (Portland, OR)
When Alkebulan Moroski opened his Soiled Lettuce meals cart amidst the pandemic, he had no concept simply how profitable his vegan soul meals vacation spot can be only a mere three years later. Now, with a brick-and-mortar within the hip Beaumont Wilshire district, Moroski serves up “sinful Southern eats” like seitan-based ribs, loaded shrimp po’ boy sandwiches, and gravy-slathered mashed potatoes (no lettuce right here!).
2nd Place: Souley Vegan (Oakland, CA)
third Place: Cadence (New York, NY)
Greatest Vegan Italian Restaurant:
Pura Vita (West Hollywood & Redondo Seashore, CA)
Sorry, Italy. Higher luck subsequent time, New York—the perfect vegan Italian restaurant is in Los Angeles. Italian-American chef Tara Punzone started veganizing her household’s conventional dishes, and in 2018, Pura Vita was born. Step into her dimly lit eating room and discover the expansive menu consisting of a wide range of appetizers, 10 totally different pastas, and a wine checklist that may make any New York wine bar proud.
2nd Place: Lilla (Portland, OR)
third Place: Monster Vegan (Philadelphia, PA)
Ben & Esther’s
Greatest Vegan Deli:
Ben & Esther’s (Portland, Seattle & San Diego)
At this quintessential Jewish deli, cream cream cheese and lox with a wholesome dose of schmear, completely pan-fried potato latkes, and loaded corned beef Reubens are all a risk. One huge distinction? Every part is all vegan. With three areas in California, Oregon, and Washington all opening inside a span of 4 years, Ben & Esther’s is inching towards a deli takeover.
2nd Place: The Herbivorous Butcher (Minneapolis, MN)
third Place: The Butcher’s Son (Berkeley, CA)
Greatest Vegan Ice Cream Store:
Ice Queen (Portland, OR)
Rebecca Smith is ready on bringing a style of Chicana tradition to Portlandia by means of her uniquely flavored comfortable serve and paletas (conventional Mexican ice cream bars). With flavors like Malibu Shoreline Sherbert topped with salty pretzels, Oatchata with caramel drizzle, and Fresa with chamoy and watermelon Sourpatch Children, the toughest factor you’ll must do at Ice Queen is decide a favourite.
2nd Place: Whipped – City Dessert Lab (New York, NY)
third Place: Kate’s Ice Cream (Portland, OR)
Greatest Vegan Bakery:
Vegan Treats (Bethlehem, PA)
For the previous 24 years, Danielle Konya’s legendary vegan bakery has produced the tastiest of treats with veganism at its core. By the likes of 17 totally different flavors of muffins, seven variations of whoopie pies, and 16 sorts of doughnuts, something is feasible at Vegan Treats. Compassion has by no means tasted so good.
2nd Place: Maya’s Cookies (San Diego & San Marcos, CA)
third Place (tie!): Timeless Espresso (Oakland & Berkeley, CA) & Soy Concha (East Los Angeles, CA)
Greatest Vegan Doughnut Store:
Donut Pal (Los Angeles, CA)
Angelenos flock in droves to this hotspot for creative, handcrafted doughnuts made recent day by day. Punny names like Inexperienced Teagan and Sara, Jimmy Eat Swirl, and Saves the Danish are simply certainly one of many causes readers voted this 10-year-old doughnut store a favourite.
2nd Place: Doe Donuts (Portland, OR)
third Place: Dottie’s Donuts (Philadelphia, PA)
Greatest Vegan Espresso Store:
Grindcore Home (Philadelphia, PA)
This Philly espresso store isn’t only a café, however somewhat a neighborhood haven for vegans, musicians, authors, and Philadelphians as a complete (don’t skip the chance to nibble on a number of baked items from VegNews Restaurant Awards finalist Miss Rachel’s Pantry, both). Its demise steel affect bleeds into all points of the store, from uncommon books to occasions like film nights and guide discussions.
2nd Place: Timeless Espresso (Oakland & Berkeley, CA)
third Place: COFFEE BEER (Portland, OR)
Charlie was a sinner.
Greatest Vegan Bar:
Charlie was a sinner. (Philadelphia, PA)
With its horny, dimly lit, Prohibition era-style decor, elevated vegan fare, and consciously crafted cocktails, it’s no surprise this Midtown Village cocktail lounge by Nicole Marquis gained over the hearts (and style buds) of voters.
2nd Place: MOTHERSHIP (San Diego, CA)
third Place: COFFEE BEER (Portland, OR)
Greatest Vegan New York Metropolis Restaurant:
No person does vegan consolation meals classics like veteran chef Isa Chandra Moskowitz. At her beloved Brooklyn eatery, housemade renditions of gooey mac and cheese, crispy fried rooster, and piles of tacky nachos reign supreme within the minds of NYC foodies.
2nd Place: Blossom
third Place: Eleven Madison Park
Greatest Vegan Los Angeles Restaurant:
After an thrilling interval of enlargement with new areas on the Las Vegas Strip and in Kardashianland (aka, Calabasas, CA—the place Mr. Kourtney Kardashian Travis Barker is an investor), the flagship Melrose Avenue location of Crossroads Kitchen is getting its time within the highlight … and its second of three VegNews Restaurant Awards.
2nd Place: Pura Vita
third Place: Gracias Madre
Ben & Esther’s
Greatest Vegan Portland Restaurant:
Ben & Esther’s
Selecting the perfect of the perfect in a vegan paradise like Portland is not any easy job. However this vegan Jewish deli is proving that good high quality meals, unwavering pleasure (particularly essential with a current rise in antisemitism within the nation), and a dedication to from-the-heart consolation is greater than sufficient to clinch the highest spot. Matzo ball soup, anybody?
2nd Place: Mama Đút
third Place (tie!): Mis Tacones & Soiled Lettuce
Greatest Vegan Chicago Restaurant:
In case you hadn’t observed, smooth and horny vegan eating places are taking up the nation—and we’ve got PLANTA to thank. Its dumpling-forward Chicago outpost beat out some stiff competitors, however when certainly one of its menu gadgets garners a cult following, on-line discussion board discussions, and even its personal merch (crispy, saucy Bang Bang Broccoli, we’re you), you may’t be shocked.
2nd Place: Penelope’s Vegan Taqueria
third Place: Alice & Associates’ Vegan Kitchen
Greatest Vegan San Francisco Restaurant:
A newcomer to the San Francisco scene, what Mr. Charlie’s lacks in seniority it makes up for with novelty that’s completely scrumptious (in additional methods than one). The branding and menu of the TikTok-famous burger joint seems to be nearly precisely like a McDonalds … simply with out the meat. And when it boldly opened store immediately throughout from an present McDonald’s to sling its Frowny Meals, Huge Chucks, Not Rooster Nuggets, we knew there was one thing particular about Mr. Charlie’s.
2nd Place: Shizen
third Place: Wildseed
Greatest Vegan Philadelphia Restaurant:
Philly’s 12-year-old, fine-dining vegan scorching spot Vedge is a masterclass in greens. From smoky eggplant braciole with spinach salsa verde and black olive tapenade to gochujang-glazed tofu with miso potato mash, charred scallion and shiso radish salad, diners right here can anticipate a next-level dinner that doesn’t miss the meat and meat analogs even somewhat bit.
2nd Place: Monster Vegan
third Place: HipCityVeg
Greatest Vegan Austin Restaurant:
If you happen to thought this Central Austin cheese store was simply deli circumstances of dairy-free wedges prepared on your subsequent wine evening, effectively, that alone was in all probability sufficient to blow you away. However Insurgent Cheese’s unimaginable lunch, dinner, glad hour, and even drag brunch service takes it to a different stage. Now simply to resolve between the French dip smothered in melted Swiss or the garlicky bacon-cheddar egg breakfast sandwich on a pretzel roll.
2nd Place: Huge Nonna’s
third Place: Subsequent Stage Burger
Greatest Vegan Miami Restaurant:
From chilled hearts of palm ceviche with avocado, pineapple, and leche de piña to hoisin-slathered fried rooster bao sliders, the flavour, warmth, and vigorous spice of Miami is on full show at PLANTA in South Seashore. However do your self a favor and cargo up on the unagi eggplant and ahi watermelon nigiri.
2nd Place: The Cocinita
third Place: Vegan Cuban Delicacies
The Chicago Diner
Greatest Vegan-Pleasant Restaurant:
The Chicago Diner (Chicago, IL)
For 40 mind-blowing years, this vegetarian mainstay has been serving up meatless fare to hungry denizens of the Windy Metropolis, and making it look straightforward. From truffle mushroom lentil loaf to pierogi quesadillas to their well-known, thick-and-frosty vegan milkshakes, there’s all the time one thing delectably comforting available at The Chicago Diner.
2nd Place: Off The Griddle (Portland, OR)
third Place: The Butcher’s Daughter (New York Metropolis, West Hollywood & Venice)
Greatest Vegan Chef:
Thuy Pham (Mama Dút—Portland, OR)
She shot to vegan stardom after being featured on Netflix’s Road Meals USA—sharing her inspirational story of being a girl, immigrant, and mom forging a brand new path and opening her very personal restaurant to share her vegan tackle homestyle Vietnamese delicacies (together with her obsession-inducing vegan pork stomach). And now, Thuy Pham has shot to the highest of the polls, clinching the title of America’s Greatest Vegan Chef. And although she’s not too long ago introduced the closure of her beloved Portland restaurant Mama Đút, there’s zero doubt that no matter is subsequent on Pham’s horizon is destined to be a hit.
2nd Place: Isa Chandra Moskowitz (Trendy Love—Brooklyn, NY & Omaha, NE)
third Place: Rachel Klein (Miss Rachel’s Pantry—Philadelphia, PA)
Greatest New Vegan Restaurant:
Pietramala (Philadelphia, PA)
When Chef Ian Graye acquired the chance to helm the long-lasting Blackbird Pizzeria in Philadelphia throughout its last months earlier than closing in 2022, not solely did he take the reigns and assist shut out an epic chapter of Philly vegan historical past, he laid the groundwork to inherit the area to create one thing new that may make historical past but once more. Enter Pietramala—an impeccable, fine-dining expertise that makes use of native produce to place “vegetation on a pedestal” … as is evidenced by the fragile ravioli stuffed with lobster mushroom and vegan ricotta. Or the pudding-soft tofu topped with candy cherry tomatoes, crisped yuba, tomato tamari, maple vinegar, and purple sweet onion. Or the white lasagna layered with 4 kinds of greens, a nutmeg-spiked bechamel made with fermented white pepper, cashew ricotta, and “cured pungent tofu.”
2nd Place: PLANTA Cocina (Marina Del Rey, CA)
third Place: Ubuntu (Los Angeles, CA)
Greatest Vegan Restaurant in America:
Crossroads Kitchen (A number of Areas)
Possibly it’s the crisp, white linen desk cloths and heat, amber lighting emanating from the chandeliers at supper time. Maybe it’s the fun of an opportunity sighting of Joaquin Phoenix, Beyoncé, Alicia Silverstone, or Lizzo. However one factor’s for certain: VegNews readers have undoubtedly named Crossroads Kitchen the Greatest Vegan Restaurant in America due to the world-class meals; Chef Tal Ronnen and his crew can do issues with greens like no different.
The Eggplant Brief Rib surrenders the nightshade’s signature squishiness and takes on a sinewy, toothsome chew, contrasted by a mattress of truffley whipped potatoes and a luscious foraged mushroom bordelaise sauce. Artichoke “oysters”—artichoke purée, a buttery béarnaise sauce, crispy oyster mushrooms, and kelp caviar on artichoke leaf “shells”—have been a favourite on the menu since opening in 2013.
Quick ahead to in the present day, Crossroads Kitchen—now a 3 location empire—is dazzling visitors with a newly launched fall menu (that includes mouthwatering dishes like caramelized figs and whipped feta, celery heart-persimmon-blue cheese salad, and an indulgent chocolate hazelnut torte), whereas additionally rounding out its tenth 12 months in enterprise. And if the hundreds of votes that named it the Greatest Vegan Restaurant in America is any indicator, it will probably anticipate many extra to return.
2nd Place: Pura Vita (West Hollywood & Redondo Seashore, CA)
third Place (tie!): KINDRED (San Diego, CA) & Miss Rachel’s Pantry (Philadelphia, PA)