Sorry not sorry, butter and bacon, but animal-based proteins and products aren’t requisites for creating vibrant and flavorful recipes. Case in point are these 13 restaurants for new vegan dishes that won’t have you missing meat. Not near one of these eateries? Check out our just-released lists of the 50 Best Restaurants America for Vegetarians in America 2018 and the 50 Best Restaurants for Vegetarians in Canada 2018, or browse menus and more restaurants on OpenTable.com to find your next best dining experience near you.
China Poblano, Las Vegas, Nevada
Coconut gets the ceviche treatment. Generous chards of pure white young coconut are presented with verdant avocado, bright red teardrop peppers, slivers of purple-accented onion, and cilantro sprigs. This colorful panoply is dressed with coconut water and fresh citrus juices. Make a reservation at China Poblano.
Edwins, Cleveland, Ohio
The short stack gets a savory twist. Portobello mushrooms are piled up with roasted red peppers, squash, and zucchini. This tasty tower sits in a pool of red pepper coulis and is ringed by cauliflower florets. Make a reservation at Edwins.
The Victor, Vancouver, Canada
Take a break from steak. This hefty cauliflower presentation is bolstered by Romanesco broccoli, king oyster mushrooms, asparagus, and salsa verde. Perfect for #MeatlessMonday or any day you want to veg out. Make a reservation at The Victor.
Sans, Brooklyn, New York
This is not like the Hungry-Man Selects you ate when your parents were too tired to cook. The vegan TV dinner comes with mushroom farce, peas and carrots, and pomme puree. All that’s missing is the awkward conversation as the M*A*S*H reruns are playing in the background. Make a reservation at Sans.
True Food Kitchen, Bethesda, Maryland
Korean goes vegan. A tumble of sweet potato glass noodles is tossed with bok choy, kale, cucumber kimchi, mango, and bean sprouts. The deeply flavorful salad is dressed with tangy almond lime vinaigrette. Make a reservation at True Food Kitchen.
BòCàPhê, New York, New York
This bahn mi subtracts the animal protein and adds generous chunks of tofu. It’s dressed up with the usual suspects: pickled daikon, carrots, cucumbers, jalapeños, and cilantro. Homemade taro chips arrive on the side. Make a reservation at BòCàPhê.
Barbusa, San Diego, California
You don’t need cheese or meat to make a zesty ‘za. The gluten-free vegan pizza features vegan mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes, soy chorizo, onions, black olives, and basil. You’ll be so smitten you won’t miss a thing. Make a reservation at Barbusa.
WATR at 1 Rooftop, Miami, Florida
Meet some magical mushrooms. No, not those kind of shrooms. These are featured in a winning ceviche, along with fennel, tomato, red onions, avocado, and conserva. Make a reservation at WATR at 1 Rooftop.
Equinox, Washington, D.C.
Chops don’t need to be made of pork. This one is half a head of red cabbage. After getting pan seared, it’s gussied up with chestnut puree, confit leeks, and hazelnut dukkah. Make a reservation at Equinox.
Artisan, West Hartford, Connecticut
Golden Romesco sauce adds the finishing touch to this tasty tian. The veg-centric dish is made with a mix of zucchini, navy beans, spinach, eggplant, and tomatoes. It’s a garden in a ramekin. Make a reservation at Artisan.
Iron Gate, Washington, D.C.
Just beet it. The baby root veg come roasted, pickled, raw, pureed, and powdered. Pistachios, purslane, orange zest, olive oil, honey, and tahini sauce complement them. Make a reservation at Iron Gate.
Palm House, San Francisco, California
Family-style fajitas are the jam. This version comes with chorizo-spiced cauliflower, grilled bok choy, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, grilled onion, jalapenos, cilantro, oregano, grilled lime, yams, and pineapple. On the side, there’s rice and beans, tortillas, and a trio of sauces: mojo rojo, fermented coconut cream, and charred onion relish. Make a reservation at Palm House.
What are your picks for restaurants for hot new vegan dishes? Let us know where in the comments or over on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter. And, remember to snap + share your #dishpics with us on Instagram for a chance to win in our weekly giveaway.
Nevin Martell is a Washington, D.C.-based food and travel writer and the author of several books, including Freak Show Without A Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations. Find him on Twitter @nevinmartell and Instagram @nevinmartell.