These Are Our Picks for Houston’s Best No-Meat Eateries
Ever walk into a café and think, I could hang here all day? This recently renovated coffee shop and eatery—full of sofas and floor lamps, with a centerpiece dining table—offers a full roster of vegan fare. We love the sweet and fresh Raw Razzle smoothie with spinach, kale, cucumber, banana, blueberries, agave, and apple juice, and the wholesome Artisan Grill panini, full of meaty artichokes, hummus, garlic, onions, mushrooms, and sun-dried tomatoes.
Hidden in a strip mall off Wilcrest, this mom-and-pop restaurant specializes in vegetarian Vietnamese food. Standouts include a vegan banh mi that’s just as tasty as any other version of the sandwich; com bo luc lac chay, or orange fried rice with chopped soy beef; and mi dau hao, irresistible egg noodles with tofu in oyster sauce. Get here early, because ingredients often run out.
Located in a quiet shopping center off Bellaire, this vegetarian Vietnamese spot gets high marks for its perfectly fried “shaking” tofu and deliciously herbaceous mushroom spring rolls. The atmosphere, with its teahouse motif, ferns, and soothing music, is nice, too.
Leaf & Grain
This little eatery inside the Shops at Houston Center offers a good number of vegan and vegetarian options. We recommend the satisfying MFH Veggie Boost salad packed with roasted sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, pepitas, and dried cranberries. Or get the Seoul Food grain bowl with your choice of brown rice or quinoa, plus portabella mix, green onions, carrots, and ginger dressing.
This new concept at food hall Politan Row offers a short menu of plant-based food and drinks. Rev up your day with one of the cold-pressed juices—the So Fresh & So Green is chock-full of ginger and lemon, plus cucumber, apple, and cilantro. Avocado toasts are tasty; we especially like the Explorer, rich with rosemary butter and bright with pops of lemon, cumin, and basil. There are smoothies and smoothie bowls on offer, too.
Soul Food Vegan
This counter-service spot serves up plant-based Southern comfort. Try the Cajun pasta melt—rotini in tomato sauce with cashew cheese and pea protein—and the oyster mushroom po-boy on crunchy spelt flour French bread. It’s true that the mac ‘n’ cheese could be zippier and the prices are on the high side, but where this place succeeds, it succeeds big.
Make one visit to this vegan Tex-Mex joint, and you’ll be going back every time you crave gooey enchiladas without the guilt. Veegos offers jackfruit and soy-powder-based pastor in all of its dishes, and the crumbly, chile-spiced pastor is excellent. For an extra-indulgent treat, get a plate of nachos topped with cashew cheese and sour cream, and wash it down with a tamarind agua fresca.
Vegan Donuts & Gelato
The dairy-free doughy treats at this Cambodian mom-and-pop shop are airy and soft—simply heavenly. Favorites include tart orange-glazed doughnuts and a maple-iced cake version topped with sprinkles. Elsewhere find vegan klobasneks, gelato, and, on the savory side, mushroom-packed egg rolls.
Chef Stephanie Hoban’s Ripe Cuisine vegan food truck now has its own hip brick-and-mortar spot in the Heights Waterworks development. Menu highlights include the outrageously creamy spinach artichoke dip, spicy carnitas with cherrywood-smoked jackfruit, and a Bistro Burger featuring a tasty mushroom, lentil, and walnut patty. Verdine offers wine and beer, by the way, plus a refreshing homemade lavender lemonade.
Not only is this restaurant vegan-friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined-sugar-free, it’s also pretty as a postcard, with a minimalistic, sun-drenched dining room. You’ll pay a bit more here, but few dishes beat the veggie-packed greens-and-grain bowl packed with field greens, quinoa, fennel, broccolini, and macadamia-cashew cheese. Cozy entrées like a green curry bowl with shiitake mushrooms, green beans, and rice are perfect for the chilly winter.