You don’t need us to tell you that Seattle is serious about its seafood—but it’s also a pretty good place to be a vegan. Whether you want grain bowls, tacos, a special occasion tasting menu, or you just want to get out of a tofu pad thai rut, these spots can help. And omnivores, this list is for you, too. Because vegan or not, when you want to eat some plants, that doesn’t necessarily mean a head of lettuce.
Plum Bistro is a sit-down spot with an entirely vegan menu that encompasses everything from complex salads to crispy fried oyster mushroom "calamari." Eating here feels like eating at an urban yoga studio, but one that smells like pastrami-spiced tofu reubens instead of sweat. The cajun-spiced mac and yease alone is worth a trip. Afterwards, skip dessert and head to Frankie & Jo's around the corner for plant-based ice cream we'd eat every day for the rest of our lives.
If you need a vegan spot for a special occasion, this is the place. Harvest Beat serves a five-course tasting menu for $112 a head including wine pairings, and there’s only one 7pm seating per night (Wednesday to Sunday). At the beginning of dinner, the chef rings a ceremonial gong, monologues about the menu, and mentions the purveyors and foragers who helped supply the ingredients. Then you’re off on your fancy vegetable journey involving things like roasted hasselback butternut squash over purple carrot risotto with fried sunchokes.
If your friends eat meat, take them to Cafe Flora anyway, and maybe just conveniently forget to mention that the menu is 100% vegetarian (with many vegan customizations available). This place is a reminder that naturally meatless things like dairy-free kale artichoke dip, nettle risotto, and Italian black bean burgers with sun dried tomato jam and basil pesto aioli are tasty no matter what you think about tofu. And you’ll feel like you’re eating in a greenhouse.
The vegan options in South Lake Union are few and far between, but we really like Kati’s entire menu. From garlic fried jackfruit on sticky rice to pumpkin curry with tofu, it all makes for a tasty lunch. Say you’re in charge of planning a lunch and you want to do something kind-of-healthy without resorting to Evergreens—this is your spot.
We could write sonnets about Kezira Cafe’s slow-cooked potatoes with carrots and cabbage. But we could also write some romantic stanzas about the yekik alicha too. And the garlicky green beans. OK, every vegetable in this fantastic Ethiopian restaurant is getting a love note. Kezira is a great place to scoop split peas up with injera, and while there are a ton of meat options, this is the best place in the neighborhood for vegans. Especially considering they have a $12 meatless lunch special with an assortment of lentils, potatoes, and greens.
If you’re trying to eat more plants, sometimes a salad isn’t the answer. From the chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie to the artichoke melt sandwich, everything on the menu at Broadfork cafe is satisfying and totally vegan. It’s a great choice for a quick lunch or a healthy snack, whether you’re coming from the office or your bed.
There are few things more inherently Seattle than eating a vegan cheeseburger inside of a Whole Foods, which is what you’ll be doing here. Luckily, Next Level Burger delivers in the form of tasty plant-based burgers, fries, hot dogs, and milkshakes. There are plenty of different house-made patties to choose from (like black bean or mushroom quinoa), and a lineup of fries, from sweet potato to crinkle. Save room for the incredible cookies and cream shake made with house-made coconut soft serve ice cream, and don’t be surprised if you get the urge to buy Whole Foods' entire stock of Oatly. That is, if it isn’t already sold out.
Even non-vegans will love the meatless chorizo tacos with spicy cashew cheese sauce at Pablo y Pablo, or a pile of nachos covered in that same delicious queso. The cool, dark space here is great for an early-in-the-game date, especially if your date made it clear in their profile that they only eat plants.
Somehow, King Philly transforms Beyond Meat crumbles and faux cheese into a completely vegan cheesesteak that proves to be one of the greatest animal-free sandwiches in town. The griddle creates a bunch of tasty crispy bits, and the non-dairy American slices they use are creamy, melty, and taste incredible in the same bite as savory “meat,” sweet grilled onions, and chewy bread.
Chu Minh’s BBQ vegan “pork” bánh mì is a convincing stand-in for the real thing. Not only that, but they have nine different plant-based meat substitutes to fill your sandwich with, from “spicy lemongrass chicken” to “sesame beef.”
Wayward Vegan Cafe is the friendly greasy-spoon diner that would be a massively successful franchise on a meat-free planet. Breakfast is served all day, and the menu covers everything from fake chicken and waffles to fried faux mozzarella wedges and meat-less-ball subs. Whatever you do, don’t skip the tempeh bacon—it has enough crunch and liquid smoke to taste like the real thing. Well, almost.
There are many Indian dishes that naturally work out for a plant-based meal—and if you're looking for something on the quicker side, Spice Waala is a good choice. They specialize in kathi rolls with various fillings, and while there's meat and dairy in the building, they serve an aloo tikki roll. If that somehow doesn't fill your fried potato quota for the day, Spice Waala's hand-cut fries are delicious dunked in their terrific green chutney.
Damoori Kitchen is a great Lebanese spot in Magnolia whose finest gift to the Earth is their muhammara khibz. It's a thick slice of wheat toast slathered in a sweet walnut paste and covered in earthy oregano, an olive oil drizzle, and more walnuts for crunch. We'd eat three orders and call it a day, but you could also grab some falafel dunked in tahini, or a roasted eggplant sandwich with harissa.
If you thought french fries were the best plant-based drinking food, this spot in Ballard will make you reconsider. They serve vegan burgers, chick'n sandwiches, and Field Roast hot dogs that are actually tasty, like a breakfast-inspired version with hash browns, meatless chorizo, grilled onions, and chipotle aioli. But get some fries, too.
Tofu doesn't have a stellar reputation, but we're here to let you in on the fact that Tamarind Tree's lemongrass grilled tofu is phenomenal, and the best iteration of coagulated soybean curd in town. Eating it feels like driving a brand new convertible home right off the sales floor, without paying interest ever. It has a charred sear from the grill, and it’s flavorful with salty, grassy heat, even throughout the middle—a place that tofu marinade seldom reaches.
When it comes to plant-based potstickers, sometimes you aren’t in the mood for spinach, mushrooms, or a combination of spinach and mushrooms. Allow us to point you in the direction of this Chinese spot in Wallingford. They serve a variety of wontons, but the best ones are stuffed with a mixture of napa cabbage, tofu, and carrots. The result is this incredibly savory, sweet, and salty filling that pairs perfectly with a side of vinegar for dipping. If carrot's not your thing, maybe the eggplant brussels sprout dumplings can be your thing. Add on a scallion pancake or garlic tofu rice noodle soup.