The Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Boston
Plant yourself in a seat at these awesome (and creative) meat-free spots.
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Meat is not on the menu at these vegetarian (and vegan) restaurants throughout the Boston area. Whether you’re searching for fast-casual grain bowls, street food-style snacks (falafel dog, anyone?), or fancier, more refined fare, we know a place to plant yourself.
This New York City import opened its first Boston location in the Seaport in 2017. Since then, it’s added locations in the Fenway and, most recently, Back Bay. A former Best of Boston winner, it offers an entirely vegan menu of salads and sandwiches—such as a pesto “meatball” sub, which is actually made with portobello mushroom and veggies. Exclusive to the Boston locations are vegan takes on local favorites like clam chowder and lobster rolls.
399 Boylston St., Boston, 617-336-7566, and other locations, eatbychloe.com.
Clover Food Lab
This vegetarian standby has become almost ubiquitous in Boston ever since a pair of Harvard and MIT grads founded it as a food truck back in 2008. Clover Food Lab has moved on from its mobile days and currently has 12 locations scattered across the city—the Central Square location is even open 24 hours a day. (And the brand is only becoming bigger, with news that a Back Bay location is imminent.) Each spot features a rotating menu of inventive items including soy BLT sandwiches, African peanut soup, and fresh meatballs made with the Impossible burger meat substitute (made entirely from plants, but with a similar mouthfeel to meat).
496 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, and other locations, cloverfoodlab.com.
Billing itself as a “vegetarian fusion” outfit, this Union Square-side setup brings together North Indian, South Indian and Indo-Chinese cuisines to create a menu that covers everything from curries to dosa to pancake-like uttapam. Can’t decide what to try? Sample around during popular lunch-time buffets.
447 Somerville Ave., Somerville, dosa-n-curry.com.
This Allston favorite serves up an entirely vegan menu of Chinese dishes for any occasion. Enjoy simple snacks like vegetarian dumplings and spring rolls or dive into a more substantial meal like the Grasshopper Supreme, a hearty vegetable medley that includes eggplant, asparagus, and mushrooms in a savory chili-basil sauce. Grasshopper is also known for its exceptional meat substitutes, incorporating things like veggie “beef” and veggie “squid” into its rice and noodle dishes.
1 N Beacon St., Allston, 617-254-8883, grasshoppervegan.com.
No list of local veggie restaurants is complete without a mention of Life Alive, a funky fast-casual that just opened its fifth Boston-area location in Back Bay. (It’s also the second Life Alive location to debut under the guidance of investor Ron Shaich, the Brookline-raised founder of Panera Bread and Au Bon Pain.) The menu is different at each location, but customers are bound to find delightfully creative salads, wraps, and grain bowls wherever they decide to go—plus, at the latest Back Bay iteration, CBD drinks and a non-alcoholic “free spirited cocktail bar.”
431 Boylston St., Back Bay, 857-239-8239, and other locations, lifealive.com.
My Thai Vegan Cafe
Offering traditional Thai cuisine with solely vegetarian options, this Chinatown joint is light on frills but heavy on spice and robust flavors. You’ll find familiar Thai dishes, like Bangkok fried rice, totally meat-free. But My Thai also employs some awesome veggie-based meat substitutes in their dishes, including a green curry “chicken.” Bonus points for the great slay of bubble teas.
3 Beach St., Boston, 617-451-2395, mythaivegancafe.com.
Oasis Vegan Veggie Parlor
Healthy, affordable vegan fare—plus a big dose of good vibes—awaits at this friendly counter-service Dorchester spot. Build plates of seasoned grains, like African couscous; lentil and other stews; and veggie sides like curry cabbage. There’s also salads and sandwiches, a daily-changing porridge, and some vegan desserts. Juices and shakes help you wash it all down, including the Ginger Bomb, augmented with cayenne pepper, lime, and apple juice.
340 Washington St., Dorchester, 617-237-9033.
It’s worth heading to Watertown for this simple but spiffy little gem, where the menu features vegan shepherd’s pie, sesame encrusted seitan strips with sweet miso-horseradish dressing—and of course, red lentil soup. (Also notable: most of the menu is gluten-free.) Chef Pankaj Pradhan is clearly passionate about veggie cooking: You can taste it in his food, and see it in his commitment to university-based vegan cooking programs he runs to turn young people on to meat-free eating.
600 Mt. Auburn St., Watertown, 617-972-9188, theredlentil.com.
Red White Japanese Vegan
A young entrepreneur from Japan with a track record of successful overseas restaurants has arrived in Boston—and launched Red White, a fast-casual spot with an emphasis on create-your-own (red or white) rice bowls. An umami vinegar gives the rice a little kick, and vitamin-rich toppings like broccoli and brown beans offer health-conscious appeal. There are also smoothies that blend up brown rice and oats with savory ingredients like burdock and miso.
294 Newbury St., Boston, 857-277-0609, redwhitevegan.com.
Rhythm ‘n’ Wraps
Rhythm ‘n Wraps has expanded from its two food trucks to an Allston brick-and-mortar location formerly occupied by Cookin’ Café and Grille. You’ll still find its beloved selection of vegetarian wraps, along with pizzas (topped with fire-roasted red peppers and caramelized onions, among other fixings); tacos of crispy fried tofu topped with pears and toasted peanuts; and a fun punch, available by the quart, of hibiscus, sorrel, ginger, and lime. Rhythm makes strong use of spices, even highlighting their health benefits on its website.
1096 Comm. Ave., 857-829-1090, rhythmnwraps.com.
Saus at Bow Market
Saus, a Faneuil Hall-side favorite for its French fries and gravy-covered poutine, recently opened a second location in Somerville’s Bow Market, a courtyard stuffed with food hall-style vendors. This time, though, the team decided to build an entirely-vegetarian menu, with the selections also available for vegan diets, by request. Impossible Burgers are topped with BBQ sauce and crispy shallots, a cauliflower-falafel sandwich receives pickled cabbage and chickpea mayo—and of course, there’s plenty of poutine slathered with miso mushroom gravy.
1 Bow Market Way, Somerville, bowmarketsomerville.com/saus.
Taco Party was founded in food truck form, and you’ll still find it roving city streets. But it’s worth celebrating the awesome tacos at the funky brick-and-mortar restaurant, where you can pick up a T-shirt testifying your love for the brand’s chorizo seitan, jackfruit tinga, or Burmese tofu tacos, among other varieties. You’ll also kind some festive nachos, covered in sunflower seed cheese, cashew crema, Sriracha, and other fixings.
711 Broadway, Somerville, 617-764-0683, tacopartytruck.com.
A relatively rare entry in the local world of vegan restaurants with fine-dining environs, True Bistro is an elegant option for vegan and vegetarian dining. Settle in at the white linen-covered tables for refined notions like cornmeal-crusted oyster mushrooms with horseradish-dill aioli, toasted farro tagliatelle with pesto, and trio of roasted beets with herbed cashew cheese. (Many dinner options are also available on a particularly refined takeout menu.)
1153 Broadway, Somerville, 617-627-9000, truebistroboston.com.
Vegetarian and vegan pizzas are the focus at this pair of restaurants in Somerville and Brookline. These pies get creative with their toppings: fresh corn is paired with coconut alfredo sauce and smoked mozzarella; pineapple is coupled with red onion and spicy Manchurian sauce; and paneer is complemented by fresh ginger and house-made BBQ sauce. You’ll also find pasta dishes and panini, as well as a fresh juice bar and ice cream courtesy of FoMu.
445 Somerville Ave., Somerville, 617-764-4605; and 8 Cypress St, Brookline, 617-383-5884, vegcrust.com.
Veggie Galaxy has long been one of the most popular vegetarian destinations in the city, thanks to its meat-free spin on a classic diner atmosphere. The service is friendly, the decor is delightfully retro, and the kitchen serves up veggie takes on greasy spoon standbys: think breakfast omelets and tempeh bacon for breakfast, black bean burgers topped with roasted garlic mayo for lunch, and dinner plates like a “loaded” mac ‘n’ cheese with an herbed panko crust. And the Southern-style, seitan “chicken” and waffles? That’s available all day long.
450 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, 617-497-1513, veggiegalaxy.com.
This Newton restaurant crafts highly creative, seasonal menus using ingredients sourced from local farms. The results? Well, you’ll taste the freshness—and finesse—in artichoke hearts stuffed with sundried tomatoes and spinach; soy-based “chicken” breast served piccata-style, with white wine, capers, and wilted spinach; and portobello steak with truffled mashed potatoes. A nice little selection of organic wines rounds it out.
1203 Walnut Street, Newton Highlands, 617-964-1029, walnutgrille.com.
Whole Heart Provisions
Chef Rebecca Arnold’s fast-casual veggie spot has something for everyone. The menu emphasizes street food-inspired snacks and composed (as well as build-your-own) bowls, all jam-packed with vibrant flavors. Witness the falafel dog topped with tahini and local Grillo’s Pickles; or the Tazon bowl filled with pineapple-corn salsa, Korean black beans, and pickled jalapeno. The charming local chainlet recently launched its third location at the Harvard Smith Center to supplement its Allston and Central Square storefronts.
487 Cambridge St., Allston, 617-945-8991, wholeheartprovisions.com.