In celebration of World Vegetarian Day and Vegetarian Awareness Month, we’re thrilled to announce the 52 Best Restaurants for Vegetarians in America. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 20,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Featuring many of the restaurants that helped establish the vegan and vegetarian eating movements, such as Moosewood in Ithaca, New York, and Sublime in Fort Lauderdale, as well as newer vegetable-centric eateries that have moved plant-based cuisine into the mainstream, such as Al’s Place in San Francisco and Vedge in Philadelphia, the complete list features winning restaurants in 14 states and the District of Columbia. California has 15 winning restaurants, followed by New York with 13, Pennsylvania with six, and Maryland with four. Illinois, Oregon, and Washington all have two eateries. Arizona, Florida, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Vermont, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin are also represented.
Vegan restaurants represent 21 spots on the list, as do vegetarian-friendly eateries; vegetarian restaurants account for the remaining ten. While most of the winning restaurants have deep ties to growers and emphasize seasonal, farm-to-table dishes, a host of global cuisines proved popular, including Afghan, Chinese, Indian, Italian, Mexican, and Shojin. A significant percentage of honorees easily accommodate diners with gluten allergies or sensitivities.
More than half of the award winners were founded in the last five years, with seven winners opening their doors in 2015 alone, such as Plant Food and Wine in Venice, California, and Encantada Restaurant in Baltimore. Landmark vegetarian restaurants also dot the list, with some having been in business since the seventies, including Blind Faith Café in Evanston, Illinois, and Irregardless Café in Raleigh, North Carolina. Standout restaurants skew heavily toward providing an upscale casual dining experience as opposed to fine dining, though several winners cater to this affinity.
Of the vegetable-forward food movement, Matthew Kenney, renowned chef and CEO and founder of Matthew Kenney Cuisine and academy notes, “The market is blossoming all over the world for plant-based cuisine. It’s just now expected that all progressive restaurants will have a vegetarian tasting menu or vegan items on the menu.”