Where to Find the Best Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants in Boston Right Now
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.
Formerly known as By.Chloe, but recently rebranded after the ousting of co-founder Chloe Coscarelli (the first vegan chef to win a Food Network show), this New York City import is a former Best of Boston winner for its all-vegan menu of salads and sandwiches—including sandwiches stuffed with BBQ jackfruit, fried tempeh “chicken,” and burger patties of lentils and pea protein.
399 Boylston St., Boston, eatbeatnic.com.
Clover Food Lab
This vegetarian standby has become almost ubiquitous in Boston ever since Ayr Muir, a grad of MIT and Harvard Business School, founded it as a food truck back in 2008. Clover Food Lab has moved on from its mobile days and currently has about a dozen locations scattered across the city. Each spot features a rotating menu of inventive items including soy BLT sandwiches, fresh meatballs made with the Impossible burger meat substitute (made entirely from plants, but with a similar mouthfeel to meat), and a new line of themed meal boxes for preparing food for the beach, brunch, or simply a dinner in.
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, obviously—less expected, though, are the pizzas topped with everything from paneer tikka to fresh corn with coconut alfredo sauce.
447 Somerville Ave., Somerville, 617-764-3152, dosa-n-curry.com.
One of the country’s most famous vegan chefs has arrived in Boston, bringing with him a location of this sleek, contemporary pizza restaurant, which got its start in NYC’s East Village. Named for the super-high-quality flour that sets these wood-fired pies apart, Double Zero tops them with macadamia ricotta, cashew mozzarella, and almond Parmesan, and lemon vinaigrette, to name a few things, and washes them down with a menu of exclusively natural wines.
163 Newbury St., Boston, 857-350-3405, matthewkenneycuisine.com/double-zero-boston.
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.
The mother-daughter team behind this Egyptian street-food eatery radiates a friendly warmth that is reason enough to order curbside pickup from its vending space at Bow Market. Add to that richly flavored dishes like the titular koshari: garlicky bowls of rice, lentils, pasta, deep-fried onions, and chickpeas served with sauces—from the mildly tangy NuNu to the five-alarm-fire Narr.
1 Bow Market Way, Somerville; 617-229-9230, kosharimama.com.
No list of local veggie restaurants is complete without a mention of Life Alive, a funky fast-casual guided in part by 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.
431 Boylston St., Back Bay, 857-239-8239, and other locations, lifealive.com.
Littleburg Vegetable Kitchen
A popular vegan pop-up just landed a permanent home, serving its scratch-made plates—inspired by Greek, Turkish, and other Mediterranean cuisines—out of a roll-up door at a former auto garage. The open-air Union Square operation is frankly, awesome: Try the saffron fried rice with preserved lemon, seitan gyro with almond tzatziki, or chocolate olive oil cake with orange blossom whipped cream, and then try to tell us otherwise. (The place offers an entire prepared-meal delivery service, too.)
5 Sanborn Ct., Somerville, 617-863-6652, littleburgveg.com.
Sisters Mary and Nada Lattouf planted Lulu Green in Southie last year, tapping their healthy-living know-how—plus the talents of chef Brian Corbey—to grow a delightful cafe specializing in vegan, Middle-Eastern-inspired fast-casual. Shawarma sandwiches, fresh salads tossed with za’atar croutons, and indulgent baked goods (like cherry compote cheesecake) are all on the agenda. So are smoothes and cold pressed juices like the “Mood Ring,” a “calming mood balancer” of lemon, lavender, maple syrup, and butterfly-pea flower.
246 W Broadway, South Boston, 617-420-4070, lulugreen.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, oasisveganveggieparlor.com.
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 Buddha Ramen
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 that recently pivoted from offering rice bowls to vegan ramen. Soy meat, tofu, spinach, mushrooms, corn, and alfalfa sop up broths that range from super-spicy (the “Dragon Breath”) to truffle-tinged (the “King & Queen”).
294 Newbury St., Boston, 857-277-0609, redwhiteboston.com.
Rhythm ‘n’ Wraps
Rhythm ‘n Wraps has expanded from its food truck to an Allston brick-and-mortar location formerly occupied by Cookin’ Café and Grille. You’ll still find its beloved selection of strongly spiced vegetarian eats, including our recent Best of Boston winner for fried “chicken”; 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.
1096 Comm. Ave., 617-566-4144, rhythmnwraps.com.
Saus at Bow Market
When Saus, a Faneuil Hall-side favorite for French fries and gravy-covered poutine, opened a second location in Somerville’s Bow Market courtyard, its team decided to build an entirely-vegetarian menu (vegan diets can be accommodated 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 or jackfruit tinga, 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 and golden 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; sweet pineapple is coupled with 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.
The first East Coast location of a West Coast-founded chain of vegan restaurants, Harvard Square’s fast-casual Veggie Grill covers a lot of standard territory: Sandwiches range from burgers—both Beyond-branded and grilled tempeh patties topped with white bean chili—to a reuben on rye made with plant-based slices of corned “beef.” There’s salad bowls and starters like Southwestern-style nachos, too, plus special food kits (like a plant-based BBQ setup, for instance) that are perfect for takeout-oriented times like these.
57 John F. Kennedy St., Cambridge, 617.430.4004, veggiegrill.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.