Vegan Ice Cream: Store-Bought & Homemade Info

Vegan Ice Cream: Store-Bought & Homemade Info

If you love ice cream, you’ve got a multitude of vegan choices. Vegan ice cream has gone mainstream to the point that even Ben & Jerry’s and Haagen-Dazs have gotten into the  business. The best vegan brands are extraordinarily good. This New York Times article chronicles the rise of gourmet dairy-free ice cream. And here’s another comprehensive piece featuring the newest vegan ice creams to hit the market. These products are perfect not just for vegans, but also for the millions of people who follow a dairy-free lifestyle.

Unlimited Possibilities

Can vegans eat ice cream? Absolutely! There are tons of delicious dairy-free ice creams on the market, and you can also make your own excellent versions at home.

What is vegan ice cream made of? Virtually any sort of plant-based milk, from almonds to soy to coconut. Just as dairy-based ice cream is loaded with fat, rich vegan ice creams likewise use plant-based milks that contain substantial amounts of fat.

The next section links to popular vegan brands sold in the United States. After that, we’ll cover all the information you need to make your own homemade vegan ice cream.

Vegan Ice Cream: Store-Bought & Homemade Info

Vegan Ice Cream Brands

Commercially-produced brands are made from soy, almond, cashew, coconut, or rice milk. These products deliver all of the delicious flavor and creaminess of ice cream without harming a single cow. Most supermarkets carry at least one brand of vegan ice cream. And a good natural foods store will stock numerous varieties, including pint-sized containers, ice cream sandwiches, drumsticks, fudge bars, and more.

  • Baskin-Robbins: Non-Dairy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Non-Dairy Chocolate Extreme
  • Ben & Jerry’s: Non-Dairy Pints
  • Brave Robot: Animal-Free Dairy
  • Daiya: frozen dessert bars (three varieties)
  • Double Rainbow: (Soy flavors only)
  • Dream: Almond Dream
  • Earth Grown Vegan: Bars and Pints (sold at Aldi Markets)
  • Forrager: Organic Cashewmilk Pints
  • Haagen-Dazs: Non-Dairy Collection
  • Mauna Loa: Macadamia Milk Frozen Dessert
  • Nada Moo: Deliciously Dairy-Free Frozen Dessert
  • Oatley: Non-Frozen Dessert Pints
  • Planet Oat: Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert (five flavors)
  • Ripple: Non-Dairy Frozen Desserts
  • So Delicious: Dairy Free Frozen Desserts
  • Tofutti: Premium Pints & Cuties
  • Trader Joe’s: Soy Creamy

Any of these brands can make a fully vegan ice cream sundae. Just pick up some vegan whipped cream and chocolate sauce, plus perhaps a banana or a jar or maraschino cherries.

How to Make Your Own Non-Dairy Ice Cream

You can make fantastic vegan ice cream at home with minimal effort. All you need is a great recipe (there are tons available) and an ice cream maker.

However, there is one important point you must understand about homemade ice-cream. Unlike the equipment used by commercial brands, consumer models do not inject air into the mix. As a result, your homemade ice cream will turn rock hard if kept in the freezer for more than a few hours, so you should eat it right away.

Ice cream makers are surprisingly cheap. If you’ve got a family, this 4-quart Nostalgia unit is a terrific choice. Or, if there’s just one or two of you, get this Cuisinart unit that makes small 1.5 quart batches.

Dairy-Free Ice Cream Recipes

The best thing about making ice cream at home is you gain total control over the ingredients. And it’s remarkable that any sort of vegan milk base works wonderfully. So if there’s ever a time to get creative and experiment, it’s when making vegan ice cream. You won’t have any problem finding fantastic recipes. Check out:

  • Incredible Vegan Ice Cream, by Deena Jalal
  • N’ice Cream, by Virpi Mikkonen
  • Dairy-Free Ice Cream, by Kelly V. Brozyna
  • Vegan à la Mode, by Hannah Kaminsky

If you’re apprehensive about trying to live without dairy-based ice cream, put your worries to rest. Whether you buy it at the store or make it yourself, you need not give up a thing when it comes to experiencing rich and creamy flavors.

Vegan Food Near Me: 16 Must-Try Spots in Orange County

Vegan Food Near Me: 16 Must-Try Spots in Orange County

Orange County occupies 42 miles of coastline in between the vegan mecca of Los Angeles and the more laid-back vibes of San Diego. It’s a largely suburban county that encompasses a handful of private and state college campuses, a hippy beach vibe, and just enough pretension to be worthy of its own reality show.

Despite its general health-and-fitness-oriented residents, this family-centric area has never matched the vegan innovations of its neighbor to the north (LA). However, that’s not to say that the OC doesn’t have its vegan hidden gems and downright destination eateries. It is also worth noting that Orange County is home to The Happiest Place on Earth, which has been continually upping its plant-based offerings over the past several years. Besides the boutique beaches, sunny weather, and Disneyland, here are 16 vegan restaurants that make Orange County a plant-based destination as‘s recommendation.

Vegan Food Near Me: 16 Must-Try Spots in Orange County

Orange County vegan food events and pop-ups

Prior to 2019, OC residents had to make the trek up to Los Angeles to participate in vegan community events outside of the annual SoCal Vegfest (a large-scale festival held in Costa Mesa, CA). However, beginning in 2019 and following a pandemic hiatus, vegan pop-ups ranging from a handful of vendors to dozens became “a thing” in Orange County.

The Plant District held regular monthly events in Santa Ana in 2022 (2023 dates are yet to be announced), featuring local OC vendors such as Two Birds Baking Company and the Donuttery alongside LA favorites like Cena Vegan.

We’ve also seen established vegan restaurants partnering with non-vegan popups, allowing them both space and plant-based ingredients to reach a new demographic of veg-curious eaters. In January, Baked Pizza partnered with Vegan by El Zamorano. The omnivorous, mobile pizzeria pops up Monday nights on the patio of El Zamorano with its portable pizza oven and slings Neapolitan-style pies using the eatery’s homemade vegan cheese.

In regards to food trucks, you can regularly find Tabay’s Mindful Kitchen parked at the 76 gas station in Capistrano Beach Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11 AM to 6 PM.

16 vegan-friendly restaurants in Orange County

It is becoming increasingly easier to dine out at any given restaurant in Orange County thanks to the growing inclusion of vegan-friendly dishes in omnivore restaurants, but if you’re looking for truly standout vegan spots, these 16 plant-based restaurants should all be on your “must-visit” list.

Au Lac

Fountain Valley is home to the original Au Lac—a Pan-Asian vegan restaurant serving both cooked and raw dishes in the OC since 1997. Its sister restaurant—Au Lac in Downtown Los Angeles, does have a more comprehensive menu, but we must pay the original its due respect.

The red-hued main dining room is always packed, and to-go orders of BBQ Pork Spring Rolls, noodle soups, and raw Sea Salads are consistently ticking away. This place is best enjoyed with a group in order to try the most variety of dishes. Local tip: they pay special attention to birthdays. For those celebrating, they’ll bring out an oversized plate of their famous raw cheesecake with the person’s name written out in chocolate.

Gracias Madre

While technically a transplant from LA, Gracias Madre in Newport Beach has finally convinced the “I buy organic chicken and bone broth” crowd that plant-based cuisine can be cool. The mixed indoor/outdoor atmosphere is reason enough to grab a drink or brunch here. Pricing-wise, it’s on the higher end, but the expertly crafted cocktails and cast-iron skillet of stretchy, gooey, molten queso fundido are more than worth it.

Local favorites include the Caesar Salad, Chef’s Salad (add marinated tofu), enchiladas verde, and the colossal Crunchwrap. No matter what day of the week it is, you’re bound to be in the company of a handful of birthday celebrations. Gracias Madre is the place to leave your stress at home, enjoy good food and company, and just go in knowing you’ll be a couple of twenties shorter at the end of the night.

Craving dessert? Opt for the pineapple upsidedown cake, or take a very short stroll to the nearby Salt & Straw for a vegan scoop or two.


Now with three locations in Orange County, this casual, allergen-friendly eatery is proving that healthy vegan food can be satisfying and craveable. Vibe is an all-day spot serving up juices, smoothies, hefty Buddha bowls, and jaw-unhinging sandwiches to the office-working lunch crowds and post-spin class groups. Everything is homemade, gluten-free, and organic, with several soy-free options as well.

For lunch or dinner, the Mediterranean Bowl crafted with greens, scratch-made chickpea frittata, hummus, cucumber, tomato, avocado, black lentils, and tahini is the thing to order for first-timers, though the burgers and all-day breakfast sandwich are solid contenders. Those brunching on the weekend must order the cauliflower-based Chicken and Waffles with roasted vegetable cashew gravy and sriracha maple syrup. It’s the healthiest and yet the best plant-based chicken and waffles we’ve ever had the pleasure to devour.


Seabirds Kitchen put Orange County on the map as far as vegan dining is concerned. The wildly popular Costa Mesa restaurant (with other locations in Long Beach and Los Angeles) got its start as a food truck, even appearing on the Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race in 2013. The place is known for its breezy outdoor seating, scratch-made menu, and elevated yet familiar dishes.

While the place nails both brunch and dinner, the uniqueness of the brunch options can’t be beat. Order a fried pickle-garnished Birdy Mary and the Biscuit Bomb—a savory (albeit small) sandwich made with a fluffy rosemary cheddar biscuit, addictively good tofu, and maple tempeh, wilted spinach, aji yolk sauce, and a light maple drizzle. We start thinking about that dish on Mondays, just waiting for Saturday brunch.

During the evening hours, you can’t go wrong with any one of Seabirds’ tacos, Old Town Grilled Cheese, or the Local’s Bowl (ask to add jackfruit, they do it really well here). Finish the night by splitting the Chaffle—a giant, fluffy, cinnamon sugar-coated Belgian waffle topped with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, and toasted walnuts.


Located in Old Town Orange, this airy bistro is perfect for lunch, dinner, and Saturday brunch. FreeSoulCaffe is a vegan gateway restaurant; it’s a place to take the omnivorous parents or your non-vegan couple friends. The kitchen offers soups, salads, sandwiches, and ramen—all of which are spectacular—but the pizzas are the crowning glory of this place. It’s painfully hard to decide which flavor to order, but the Brussels sprout pizza with the speckled, puffy crust and luxuriously creamy white sauce has become a favorite of ours. Don’t worry, you can’t go wrong here.

Vegan by El Zamorano

Unlike many vegan eateries, this fast-casual Mexican joint makes its own dairy-free cheese, and it melts and stretches like none other. Yes, it offers the standard Latin meats like carne asada, pollo, chorizo, and carnitas, but the winning protein in our minds is the seasoned hibiscus option. It’s unlike any seitan or mushroom-based meat we’ve ever had, and we love it. Try the Hibiscus Burrito or the Quesadilla Plate—it comes with fantastic refried beans and a side of Mexican rice.


When Naughty Panda shut down its flagship Santa Ana location and moved to Pasadena, CA, we had to find another vegan sushi spot in the OC. With locations in Westminster and Yorba Linda, Kenshō has addressed our craving for plant-based spicy tuna and spider rolls. The chefs have mastered vegan fish fairly well—it’s not rubbery or mushy like some faux fish renditions and it’s not bland in the slightest. Further, the eel sauce is well balanced and the spicy mayo provides enough flavor without blowing your head off.

Local tip: while we do encourage ordering a few different rolls to split, a non-negotiable is the I Lava You. It’s a California roll topped with seared oyster mushrooms and a generous drizzle of spicy mayo, sriracha, and eel sauce. If you’ve never had torched sushi, you’re in for a treat.


This vegan drive-thru took over a dormant building of a former Del Taco in 2021. Imagined by celebrity chef and restaurateur Matthew Kenney, Veg’d serves up health-minded versions of vegan fast-food classics including burgers, sandwiches, nuggets, and a few fresh bowls and salads for good measure. The drive-thru also operates a breakfast program for those craving breakfast burritos and smoothies in the AM.

Local tip: the classic fast-food combo is the way to go here. Order a burger, fries, and a cup of decadently creamy and nostalgia-inducing soft serve.

Nice Guys

Nice Guys is the kind of place you’d discover on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. It’s a tiny storefront in Costa Mesa with a cramped parking lot and a few covered tables outside. The dive focuses on unpretentious and old-school fast food, including super-stacked, greasy burgers; fried chicken sandwiches, and classic malt shakes. OC residents have come to love it, and the company has expanded into Stanton, Santa Ana, and Long Beach. Local tip: if you’re in need of a late-night meal after a night out, visit the Santa Ana location. It’s open until midnight.

Dear Bella’s Creamery

This VegNews editor whooped with delight when this Hollywood vegan creamery set up shop directly across the street from her daytime office. Now with a location in Costa Mesa (steps away from the original Seabirds), Dear Bella has brought its innovative scoops and drool-worthy ice cream creations to the OC. Stroll by for a casual double scoop of Peanut Butter Cup, celebrate a minor occasion with an ice cream cookie sammie, or be the MVP of any party by showing up with a Cookie Monsta ice cream and brownie cake.

7 Vegan Market

Orange County’s very own vegan grocery store can be found in Garden Grove, an inland city with a predominantly Asian population and several vegan restaurants (Saigon Vegan, Hoa Sen, and Thuyen Vien, just to name a few). The boutique shop itself resides in the same shopping center as Sub Vegan (a sandwich shop), Vegan Pizza, and Loving Hut—a global vegan restaurant chain. Before you stop into any of these establishments, stroll through Seven Vegan Market to wonder at all of the vegan innovations.

From sauces and meats to snacks and cheeses, this place packs a dizzying amount of vegan products in such a small space. Be warned: the freshly baked cake slices situated right next to the register are impossible to resist. Our two favorites are the pandan and carrot cake. We’ve definitely purchased one of each on multiple occasions.

Zabb Thai Cuisine

Look for the elephant on PCH in Newport Beach, and you’ll find this Newport institution. Great for dine-in or takeout (yes, even on holidays like Christmas and the Fourth of July), the decades-old restaurant offers a dedicated vegan menu with a wide range of satisfying options. We never tire of the Vegan Chicken Satay and Garden Rolls, and the Pumpkin Curry is often a weekly thing. Noodle-lovers will delight in the classic pad thai or vegan drunken noodles. If ordering on a Friday or Saturday night, plan ahead, as the place can be packed.

The Stand Natual Foods

Despite the lavish wealth associated with this coastal city, Laguna Beach has hippie roots, and still shows it today. The Stand is an authentic representation of this laid-back, artistic vibe, serving up sprout-stuffed sandwiches slathered with homemade hummus since 1975. The menu is old-school vegan. Instead of plant-based meat and cheese, you’ll find an ample amount of beans, hummus, guacamole, and brown rice served up every which way—in a sandwich, as a burrito, and loaded onto a salad. It’s simple food, but it’s just what every pottery-making, sunrise surfing, beach cottage-residing Laguna Beach resident needs.

Giselle’s Vegan Kitchen

A visit to Giselle’s Vegan Kitchen is like walking into a fairy tale. Yes, the walls are painted pink and there’s a literal oversized storybook on a pedestal, but the true magic lies in the vegan baked goods. Everything made in this wonderland of a bakery is gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and surprisingly low in calories while high in protein. We don’t know how she does it, but her fudgy vegan brownies, tender icing-topped coffee cake, and rich tiramisu don’t taste “healthy” or gluten-free at all. Those who live outside of the OC area can get a taste of this magic anytime they want. The bakery ships all of its offerings nationwide.

Hug Life

Orange County’s first dairy-free scoop shop has made a name for itself in SoCal. Now with three locations spanning Orange, Garden Grove, and Long Beach, Hug Life has proven that vegan ice cream can be just as sweet as its dairy-based counterpart. The chain offers classic flavors like cookies and cream, chocolate, and rocky road intermixed with traditional Asian flavors such as Vietnamese Coffee, Yuzu Creamsicle, Taro, and Matcha Monster. Customers can order by the scoop, with a brownie, or in one of Hug Life’s perfectly balanced (and sizeable) milkshakes. No matter what time of year, OC residents can be found closing the place down at 10pm every single night.

The Donuttery

Imagine a place where the vegan doughnuts are stacked high on eight-foot bakery trays, available 24/7, including holidays. Such a place does exist, and it’s right off Beach Boulevard. in Huntington Beach, CA. While not all vegan, the plant-based selection of no-frills vegan yeasted and cake doughnuts is enough to incite major decision paralysis. If you’re not purchasing for a crowd, here are the absolute must-trys: vegan blueberry cake doughnut (glazed, not frosted), sprinkles cake doughnut, and jelly-filled. Buying for a group? Get a baker’s dozen of glazed twists, maple bars, pistachio cake, and assorted Long Johns.

What Do Vegans Eat For Breakfast, Lunch, And Dinner Daily?

What Do Vegans Eat For Breakfast, Lunch, And Dinner Daily?

Often, when we think about vegans and what they eat, we mostly talk about what they don’t eat. Many of us know what vegans avoid: no meat, no eggs, no dairy. But where do vegans get important nutrient sources, including proteins and iron? What meals do vegans eat throughout the day? In this website‘s guide to what vegans eat, we’ll break it all down for you.

Most vegans report that they changed their diet because they were concerned about animal welfare. But there are lots of reasons to go vegan, from protecting the environment by reducing pollution and acting against climate change, to looking after your own health by avoiding toxins and eliminating bad cholesterol—or even saving money! And though it might be intimidating to make a big change to your diet, veganism is becoming more and more popular. Today, it’s easier than ever to go vegan.

What is veganism?

Veganism is a choice to avoid causing any harm to animals, no matter how big or small. Some vegans pursue this goal by eating only vegan food, while others might wish to be vegan in every area of their life. For example, when picking out clothes, some vegans avoid materials like leather and wool and instead rely on cotton, linen, or alternative materials like faux leather. Some vegans cut out cosmetics and other household items which were tested on animals. Just as there are all kinds of omnivores in the world, there are also all kinds of vegans who approach veganism, vegan diets, and vegan choices in a way that works for them!

Though the choice to go vegan can be seen in terms of practical changes that you make to your diet and lifestyle, it can also align with people’s deeper philosophical values to reduce harm in the world. The actress Natalie Portman once said, “Three times a day, I remind myself that I do not want to cause pain to or kill other living beings. That’s why I eat the way that I do.” That’s the perfect encapsulation of how a practical daily choice adds up to an ethical lifestyle.

What is a vegan diet?

When we talk about what vegans eat, we are talking about a plant-based diet. Vegans don’t eat meat or dairy products like eggs and cheese. Instead, vegans eat either plants themselves (such as leafy greens like spinach and lettuce), products that plants produce (fruits, seeds, nuts, and legumes), or products that are derived from plants (such as olive oil and tofu).

There are also lots of staple products that just happen to be vegan, especially carbohydrates like white rice, white bread, french fries, and more, so you can keep many of your favorite foods on the menu! And in addition, more and more emerging products offer processed vegan alternatives, such as plant-based meat and ice cream.

What do vegans eat?

Don’t believe that veganism is a restricted diet—vegans eat lots of things! Fruits and vegetables, of course, make up a huge part of a vegan diet. So do legumes like peas, beans, and lentils, as well as nuts and seeds, which are great for providing alternative sources of protein.

Breads, rice, and pasta are usually vegan, meaning you don’t have to cut out your favorite carbohydrates to eat vegan! Vegetable oils, from olive to sunflower oil and more, are all part of a plant-based diet, making them easy for vegans to eat or cook with.

Vegans also often eat dairy alternatives. For example, instead of cow milk, a vegan might try soymilk, coconut milk, oat milk, or almond milk. There are also lots of products that offer vegan alternatives to foods like eggs, butter, chocolate, and even beer and wine!

What do vegans not eat?

Vegans do not eat any animals or any food that is derived from animals. This means that vegans do not eat beef, pork, lamb, and other red meat. They also don’t eat chicken, duck, and other poultry. And because fish are also living creatures, vegans don’t eat fish or shellfish such as crabs, clams, and mussels.

Other food which vegans avoid includes eggs, cheese, butter, milk, cream, ice cream, and other dairy products because these are all products derived from animals. Vegans also avoid items like mayonnaise (which is made of eggs) and honey (which is created by bees, often at a cost to bees’ health).

Many vegans also eat alternatives to dairy-based products, including ice cream made from alternative milks (like soymilk, coconut milk, or even cashew nuts), or replace non-vegan foods like honey with a vegan choice like maple syrup or blackstrap molasses. Tofu is a great vegan food that can mimic almost any animal-based food, from tofurkey to scrambled tofu!

What Do Vegans Eat For Breakfast, Lunch, And Dinner Daily?

What do vegans eat for protein?

Some people worry that eating vegan means they’ll miss out on important protein, which our bodies need. But actually, there are many great vegan sources of protein! These include dark leafy greens, beans, lentils, nuts, and more. There are also lots of vegan-friendly protein supplements that you can find in your local grocery store, including protein bars and powders ideal for when you need a quick dose of energy or a pre-workout boost.

What do vegans eat for breakfast?

There are many delicious and healthy vegan breakfast options. Why not try chai porridge with caramelized apples? Or peanut butter and raspberry chia crepes? Vegans sometimes use “fake” bacon products for a classic breakfast BLT or eat scrambled tofu instead of scrambled eggs. And of course, there are plenty of quick and simple breakfast options, from vegan cereals with your choice of almond/cashew/coconut/soymilk to a piece of toast with peanut butter!

What do vegans eat for lunch?

Depending upon what you like for lunch, there are tons of vegan options. Prefer some carbs to pick you up during the day? Try a mushroom shawarma wrap or protein-packed chickpea salad sandwich! Fancy something lighter? There are tons of vegan salad options (we’re partial to this take on the classic caesar salad) or drink an invigorating smoothie.

What do vegans eat for dinner?

Just like breakfast and lunch, there are thousands of delicious vegan dinner options to suit your favorite food and cooking style. Consider a Thai red curry or a tasty veggie burger. Try an easy weeknight pasta or go big for a vegan cookout! Whether you’re looking for something you can whip up in fifteen minutes or want to create a feast to impress your friends, there are plenty of vegan dinner options.

FAQ: What do vegans eat?

Do vegans eat eggs?

No. Chickens lay eggs, often in horrifying and cruel circumstances, which means that vegans don’t eat eggs. Instead, they look for vegan egg substitutes, like bananas, applesauce, potato starch, and more.

Can vegans eat pizza?

Pizza is traditionally made with cheese, which vegans don’t eat, but vegan pizzas are becoming more and more popular. You can find vegan pizzas on the menu at many popular restaurants and chains, including Pizza Hut, or try whipping up your own!

Do vegans eat pasta?

Most packaged pasta—including spaghetti, penne, and more—is vegan. It’s worth checking the label to be sure, as some pasta contains eggs, but most of the pasta you see on the supermarket shelves is 100% vegan! There are also lots of delicious pasta sauces you can make which are completely vegan, including this tasty “cheesy” pasta sauce which actually contains no cheese at all.

Do vegans eat fish?

No. Fish are living creatures who feel both physical and psychological pain. The factory farming industry causes a huge amount of distress to fish, as well as an environmental toll on our planet. As such, vegans don’t eat fish.

Do vegans eat meat?

No. A vegan lifestyle means you don’t eat any meat. Vegans might choose not to eat meat for ethical, environmental, health, and budget reasons—or all of the above!

What do vegans eat at a BBQ?

Don’t panic—there’s lots of tasty vegan food to eat at a BBQ, from BBQ vegetables to Buffalo cauliflower bites. Vegans can grill vegetables, make pasta salads, cook veggie burgers, and more to enjoy traditional BBQs with a vegan twist. Take a look at our summer barbecue recipes for more inspiration.

What do vegans eat after a workout?

After a workout, you probably need a dose of protein to replenish your energy and keep you feeling good. Vegans are no different! Often vegans will eat something with lentils, chickpeas, or beans for a good dose of protein after a workout. A tofu and spinach scramble or a smoothie packed with your favorite fruits and vegetables would also be a great vegan way to boost your energy post-workout.

What do vegans eat at holidays?

Vegans enjoy the same holiday feasts as the rest of us, while also ensuring that their food hasn’t hurt any animals along the way. They might replace a central meat dish (like a roast chicken or turkey) with something made from tofu, a nut roast, or simply a bunch of delicious sides. More of your traditional holiday dinner is already vegan than you might realize, too—it’s easy to enjoy vegan roast vegetables, salads, sides, and more. And vegans often like to indulge their sweet tooth during the holidays, trying vegan chocolate, vegan ice cream, and more.

Ready to eat vegan?

Now that you know how easy—and delicious—a vegan diet is, why not give it a shot yourself? Dive into our plant-based starter pack to start enjoying all the great tastes (and great values) of vegan life today.

Vegan Portland Mega Guide 2023! 36 Best Vegan Restaurants in Portland!

Vegan Portland Mega Guide 2023! 36 Best Vegan Restaurants in Portland!

Looking for a vegan Portland guide? Then you’re in the right place. Here are‘s list of the best vegan restaurants in Portland!

Ah, Portland Oregon. The smell of coffee rising up in the morning, the misty drip of the air, he green trees surrounding your every move.

The most vegan-friendly city in the USA boasts more than 60 eateries that are fully vegan. And nearly every other joint in town accommodates vegan taste buds.

The Rose City is now a global leader in the vegan game, not only with food, but also lifestyle and vegan gear, etc etc. 

Come along with us as we carve our way through the city of stumps as we wind through each quadrant of the little gem of the Pacific Northwest.

Vegan Portland Mega Guide 2023! 36 Best Vegan Restaurants in Portland!

The Best of Vegan Portland!

What makes this city rank globally is not the number of vegan restaurants in Portland? Rather it’s the fact that you can go almost anywhere and get delicious and thoughtfully made vegan food…not just at vegan-only spots.

That said, vegan restaurants, cafes, and shops abound. There’s even a vegan strip mall and vegan tattoo shop in Portland (see below)! You can get everything you need as a vegan in this awesome city. Even good vegan vibes!

Vegan Cafes in Portland

First up, let’s begin with the bean and its devout worshipers.

The best vegan cafes to start your day with a cup of the black gold and a bite, the very reason alone why many foodies flock to Portland, the coffee.

Sweetpea Baking Company

May as well start at the beginning.

When friends would visit, I would always take them by Sweetpea Baking Company, the originators.

They’ve been cranking out vegan specialties like wedding cakes and other tasty delights for years now. Quality is key here, and the people at Sweetpea are a dedicated bunch.

Saturday is donut day, and Mondays are for the cronuts at this stellar vegan spot on SE Stark. 

Along with the sweet treats, their savory breakfasts pack a wallop, and vegan sandwiches are also on the menu, along wit a selection of salads. Sweetpea started back in 2005, and their still going strong today.

Tiny Moreso

Another place on NE 42nd is Tiny Moreso, an all vegan and gluten-free menu, with the exception of a few items with honey.

Toast with avocado or spreads like nut butter. Seasonal cheesecakes to die for.

This little spot has fresh juices and smoothies too, and also plenty of sweet treats. They also have soups, salads, and paninis, if you’re craving something savory but light.

Jet Black Coffee Company

Jet Black Coffee Company is a Portland vegan cafe that serves Water Avenue Coffee.

Their goodies come from vegan bakeries like ShooflyBowery BagelsSweetpea and others.

Shoofly Vegan Bakery and Cafe

On SE 11th Avenue you’ll find Shoofly Vegan Bakery and Cafe.

As one of the titans of the Portland vegan scene, these people have it all. From a plethora of pies and cupcakes, to full cookie trays, to specialty cakes like German chocolate, carrot cake, cookies n cream, and tiramisu to name a few.

They also make an effort to use fresh fruit and seasonal foods.

You can find their vegan breakfast trays scattered about Portland in markets, coffee shops, and many other eateries.

This vegan bakery is an easy choice for coffee and breakfast, or just a mid-day break.

How Vegan Friendly are Other Coffee Shops in Portland?

Pretty much every coffee spot in The Rose City will accommodate vegan needs.

Oat, soy, and a variety of other vegan milk options are plentiful in this coffee paradise.

So dip in to any place that you see for a cup of Joe, knowing that you’re starting your day out with some of the best roasters in America in this cozy vegan nook of the country.

Vegan Restaurants in Portland – Northeast

As mentioned before, Portland is a city that is broken up into quadrants. You’ll see SENESW, and NW on every street label, with the exception of a few wonky areas that usually receive their own geographical marker, such as N Lombard. 

From classic vegan restaurants to new cutting edge hip spots, and of course all-vegan food cart pods, The Rose City has all of your vegan needs covered.

Let’s wind through this peaceful leafy town and check out what each of the four sections offers for Portland vegans.

Ahh, the east side. For those that have never been to Portland, this is the side of town that acts as the modern beating heart of American counter-culture.

Northeast has Alberta street, a vibrant strip with galleries, cafes, bars and other cool spots. There’s also North Mississippi Avenue, a revamped thoroughfare that runs north and south and contains plenty of eateries and shops that are really nice to explore.

Blossoming Lotus Vegan Restaurant

When it comes to classic PDX plant-based, the old bear sits on NE 15th Avenue, as Blossoming Lotus still cranks out delicious vegan fare to this day.

They cover most cuisines, from nachos to mac n cheese, barbecue bowls, taco salad, and a bibimbap with brown rice, Korean bbq soy curls, scallions, chili oil, pickled carrots and daikon.

Iced coconut chai, lavender lemonade, and also kombucha are all ready to wash back your meal.

They also have a small limited menu spot on NW 21st, with some of their prepared classic dishes to go, along with fresh juice available.


Epif is a vegan restaurant and Pisco bar that is inspired by the Andes mountains.

Located at NE 28th Avenue, just across Flanders, the owners are Chilean, and they go with what they know, a twist on traditional South American bites done 100% vegan. It’s a bit on the fancy side of food and atmosphere.

Baked empanadas and fried empanadas come with an assortment of goodies inside, like raisins, olives, soy crumbles, onions, and sundried tomatoes. Small plates like sopas, ensaladas, and sopapillas made from pumpkin bread all tingle the tastebuds.

They boast one of the largest Pisco bars in North America, and the cocktails are infused with this sexy drink.

Reservations are recommended for Friday and Saturday evenings.

Ben and Esther’s Vegan Jewish Deli

Ben and Esther’s Vegan Jewish Deli is on NE Sandy.

A great spot for a quick bite. They cover all the classics; lox bagel, vegan matzo ball soup, challah bread, whitefish bagel, reuben sandwich, knishes, and of course wonderful potato latkes.

Erica’s Soul Food

A food truck with pow on NE Russell street, Erica’s Soul Food gives the Pacific Northwest an explosion of flavor from the American South.

Ever have boiled peanuts? Of course not. Start with Erica’s pride and joy, she boils farm fresh peanuts for ten hours in Old Bay with tomatoes and onions. The result is a tasty treat that you peel and eat, one that reminds me of boiled crawfish in South Louisiana.

Erica also gives you other delicious staples from her native Georgia, like vegan chicken wings, deep fried and tossed in her own sauce. Smothered tofu in a mushroom gravy over white rice — what could be more Southern with a vegan spin?

Don’t leave without delving into the collard greens and mac n cheese too.

Vegan Restaurants in Portland – Southeast

Laurelhurst Park straddles the dividing line between Northeast and Southeast, as the beautiful green space sits just south of Burnside. It’s a great place to meander through with a cup of coffee. I’ve been to pop-up markets here that sell plenty of vegan goods.

Paradox Cafe

Paradox Cafe is a mostly vegan place and only a few blocks south of the park, it’s a good place to grab a coffee and a small bite. I recommend to everyone to take a little stroll through this park that sits at the heart of the east side of Portland.

Maybe I’m wrong, but it sure seems like Southeast Portland has the highest concentration of vegan joints on the planet.

Kati Portland

Kati Portland is asian inspired vegetarian and vegan eatery that focuses on Thai food.

The place is casual in feel but the food pops with flavor. Tempeh salads, curries, and rice noodles like pad thais are all on offer.

Check out the beverages too, vegan Thai iced tea with coconut milk, and creative cocktails with an asian twist.

Next Level Burger

On SE Hawthorne you’ll find Next Level Burger, where vegan dogs and vegan burgers get fresh organic toppings. A fast food joint done right, the vegan way.

The tater tots and chili cheese fries will make your mouth water.

Obon Shokudo

If you find yourself in the mood for vegan Japanese dishes, then head to Obon Shokudo on SE Grand Avenue.

Garlic with white miso onigiri dazzles the eye and tempts the belly. Tofu katsu, teppanjaki, katsu curry, and giant tater tots are all on this eclectic menu.

Of course there is bento, and plenty of soups and noodles too. 

Van Hanh Restaurant

Another place with asian appeal is Van Hanh Restaurant, a vegan and vegetarian place that serves up hue spicy noodles, tofu rolls, vegan beef pho, lemongrass chicken, and vegan fishcakes.

The cuisine is mostly Vietnamese, and it’s local is easy to access on SE Division.


If you want sushi, then swing by SE 82nd Avenue and stop at SushiLove.

This food cart is totally vegan and also gluten-free. Starry Inari is a favorite of the devout patrons that need their vegan sushi fix.

Their rolls are elegant and delicious, like their heart of palm lobster salad with cream cheese, cucumber and avocado.

Edamame comes with their own spicy garlic ginger sauce. There’s miso soup too. And a nice option for simple rolls, you pick the ingredient.

Note: temporarily closed as of June 2023. Check before you go.


Staying in the exotic realm, if you want Sri Lankan food, then head over to Mirisata.

Collectively owned by its employees, this place spices up vegan cuisine with flavor and flare.

Another all vegan menu has impossible beef rolls, “fish” patties, and polos cutlets, which are two breaded and fried croquettes filled with jackfruit and potato curry.

This place is a spicy joint, but some dishes are a bit mild, if you’re not into the heat. Other items are string kottu, string hopper meal, fried rice meal, hot chili pol roti meal, and a deviled chick’n marinated and stir-fried and served over rice.

Sunday brunch entrees include egg roti, two pieces of godamba roti filled with just egg, onions, and curry leaves. These unorthodox brunches come with creamy dahl, deviled breakfast potatoes, pol sambol, and a tropical fruit salad.

Virtuous Pie

Other Southeast spots that should be on everyone’s list are Virtuous Pie. This all vegan restaurant dishes out vegan pizza, ice cream, apps, and dessert!

Virtuous Pie is one of the best vegan restaurants in Portland for vegan pizza.

I mean, seriously their Stranger Wings pizza is enough to convince me to visit! I don’t know about you, but I could really use the love child of a basked of fried wings and a thin crust pizza.

If that’s not your vibe then maybe check out the Superfunghi, Ultraviolet, or Forrager pizzas. They even have blue cheese and vegan garlic ranch to dip your slices in!

If you’re not in the mood for pizza (weirdo) then they also have mac & cheese, and salads.

Mama Dut

Mama Dut, a Vietnamese comfort food place that serves up bao buns, banh mi, pho, and crispy vegan pork belly.

Southeast Portland deserves its own article, truly, there are really too many places to cover. Venture around the hip artsy quadrant and let the Portland vegan life come to you.

Vegan Restaurants in Portland – Northwest

The west side simply can’t compete with the vegantopia that is the east side of The Rose City.

But, Northwest probably takes third place for the most vegan eateries in Portland. An old hippy area, now an upscale urban district sloped on a green leafy hillside, it’s truly a beautiful zone.

This quadrant is dominated by its two bustling yet quaint high streets of NW 21st and NW 23rd. These streets satisfy your food and shopping needs.

As mentioned before, Blossoming Lotus has a no frills takeout spot on NW Quimby. 

The Whole Bowl

The Whole Bowl is simple and affordable vegan food on NW 23rd.

All of their bowls are sans gluten, nuts, wheat, and a bunch of other stuff some people don’t like to consume. Plus, they can be made vegan upon request.


Harlow is a comfy cafe that serves vegetarian and vegan food.

Also located on crowded NW 23rd. A wide range of smoothies accompany bowls and wraps of many different varieties.

Biscuits and gravy comes as “sausage” gravy on a vegan mushroom and scallion biscuit. The place is health focused with many choices of juices and elixirs.

Homegrown Smoker

Homegrown Smoker is a food truck out on the far-flung edge of the city, and not quite in Northwest, it’s just across the river.

They are worth the trip out, with buffalo thwings, hush puppies, barbecue rib plates, a gorgeous mac daddy burger, and trusty chili cheese fries.

Give this comfort food a try, and you won’t regret it.

Vegan Restaurants in Portland – Southwest

Dip down into Southwest Portland for a stroll around the old downtown, museums, and an easy walk along the river.

This is the busy office area of Portland, well, it’s at least the office area, but the vibe is still laidback with a PDX feel.

I would say this quadrant probably has the least vegan eateries, but of course plenty of places will accommodate the vegan appetite.

Plant Based Papi

There is one stand out though, and all of Portland knows about it. I’m speaking of Plant Based Papi on SW 11th Avenue.

Many people say that it is the best vegan food that they’ve ever had. It’s been lauded ever since it was a pop up. Now a brick and mortar spot that continues to wow vegans from around the world.

Its Latin American inspired that dips into other areas of vegan cuisine. Comfort food comes in the form of vegan parm on Italian bread, mac n cheese, burgers, and fried chicken.

Papi’s vaunted vegan wings are served on wings Wednesdays, a don’t miss when passing through the Portland vegan scene.

Plant Based Papi is a black owned favorite that continues to shine on, no matter the location, the faithful will follow Papi anywhere he goes.

Vegan Restaurants in Portland – More Black Owned Spots

Speaking of black owned eateries that also serve vegan fare, here’s a few that you should check out when dining in The Rose City.

Fuel Cafe

In Northeast, stop by Fuel Cafe on NE Alberta for comfy brunchy food. 

Vegan options include biscuits and gravy, migas, breakfast burritos, and tofu scramble.

Dirty Lettuce

Dirty Lettuce on NE Fremont dishes out southern comfort bites like BBQ ribs, jambalaya, candied yams, and shrimp and grits. And the menu is totally vegan, so relax and stuff yourself with their delicious regional plates.

Bole Ethiopian Restaurant

Staying in Northeast, Bole Ethiopian is a restaurant that has an entire page of vegan options on NE Alberta. For the delicious East African cuisine, well-seasoned veggie plates hit the spot.

Akadi West African PDX

In Southeast, Akadi West African PDX is a family owned joint with home-cooked recipes passed down from one generation to the next.

This wonderful place on SE Division is the brainchild of a chef and owner from Cote D’Ivoire.

A nice size portion of the menu is dedicated to vegan food. Try the spicy okra with fufu. It’s one of these African eateries where eating is a communal act, so food-sharing is encouraged.

The spinach stew is really tasty, and the mafe and yassa are also delicious.

Vegan-friendly Restaurants in Portland

But in a city as vegan-friendly as Portland Oregon, most eateries will convert their dishes to vegan. Here’s a look at some of the best ones in this category.

Jam On Hawthorne

Non-Vegan Restaurants That Serve Vegan dishes, like Jam On Hawthorne. This one is a must stop by, try the chai-cakes, a blueberry pancake made with chai.

They also have a nice tofu scramble, along with smoked tempeh on sourdough with tomato and greenery.

Uchu Sushi and Fried Chicken

A standout in this category has to be Uchu Sushi and Fried Chicken on N Mississippi Avenue.

Vegan rolls, warm perfect edamame, veggie tempura roll, a green dragon roll, and their famous vegan Iggy Popper with cream cheese and jalapeño.

Rudy’s Pizza PDX

Rudy’s Pizza PDX is a thick-crust joint on SE Powell Boulevard. If pizza’s not your thing, then dive into the vegan nuggets with vegan ranch. There’s also a meatball parm pizza, and hearty cheesy bread too.

Los Gorditos

Los Gorditos isn’t a completely vegan restaurant in Portland, but they do have a separate menu entirely made up of veganized Mexican dishes.

With five locations around town, you’re never far from delicious vegan burritos, tacos, tostados, tortas, and more!

Go, and go hungry! You won’t be disappointed.

Vegan Restaurants in Portland – Must Visit Spots

Here are a few Portland vegan places that every foodie must stop by, the essentials.

Petunia’s Pies and Pastry

Petunia’s Pies and Pastry shop, with its pink and white decor, serves a glorious variety of sugar-laden treats and Stumptown coffee on.

Crumbles, cakes, muffins, cookies, pies, bars, and even donuts on Saturdays and Sundays are all possible here.

Honestly, it’s worth planning a trip to Portland just to visit Petunia’s. It was probably my favorite among all the vegan restaurants in Portland!

The Sudra

The Sudra is an Indian restaurant that serves vegan dishes with southwest influence, talk about a spicy love match.

With four locations they are easy to find.

Cultured Kindness

Cultured Kindness is the latest addition to Portland’s famous vegan strip mall.

This fully-vegan cheese shop carries a range of gooey goodness from soft brie to smoked gouda. They also have deli sandwiches and artichoke dip, along with cheesecakes.

Ice Queen

Ice Queen is at the vegan mini mall on SE Stark.

Drop by for creamy vegan popsicles like oat milk horchata with cinnamon. And on the adventurous side, try the tickle my pickle made with avocado and pickle juice.

You can find their tasty vegan treats at Portland restaurants and other local retail shops.

Doe Donuts

Last, but certainly not least, Doe Donuts on NE Sandy are dedicated to crafting vegan donuts at the highest level.

Their classic donut of strawberry milk with sprinkles really says it all… I mean, really? Other flavors include salted vanilla bean, birthday cake and a tiramisu filled donut.

This woman-owned spot also donate part of their donut proceeds to different charitable causes each month. So, feel free to be naughty for a good cause.

Vegan Groceries, Tattoos, & Clothes in Portland

Visiting awesome vegan restaurants in Portland is only scratching the surface of the vegan scene. There is so much more going on in this city.

For example, Portland has the world’s only vegan strip club. It even has a vegan buffet. Craving vegan food and boobies? You’re covered in Portland.

Here is a rundown of a few special vegan shops in Portland.

Food Fight – Vegan Grocery Store in Portland

Food Fight is a Portland vegan grocery store that’s been around since 2003.

Shelf upon shelf is stocked full of vegan goodies like fresh produce, chocolate, vegan haggis, chap stick, and even vegan condoms.

Scapegoat – Vegan Tattoo Shop in Portland

Scapegoat Tattoo is a vegan owned and operated tattoo shop in Portland.

This tattoo shop has artists tattooing a variety of styles. They’re open 7 days a week, and unlike a lot of shops, they can accommodate walk-ins in addition to appointments.

Vegan Portland Guide Wrap-up

The Rose City is blanketed with vegan food options; there’s way too many to cover them all.

Hopefully this list sets you off in a good direction, as you take in the beautiful old theaters with their swirling neon signs. The greenery of the town that was carved out of the forest is a natural fit for the vegan vibe and those that embrace nature and thrive off of the progressive food scene.

Catch a Blazers game, or jaunt through Forest Park, or stroll the river, or just mosey around the east side and sample vegan fare all day.

Portland is the city of coffee and donuts. It’s also a rare city where vegans can always stumble into delicious plates of a wide range of cuisines, just as it’s easy to come upon green spaces while clutching a cup of their famous coffee.

Dairy and alternatives in your diet

Dairy and alternatives in your diet

Milk and dairy products, such as cheese and yoghurt, are great sources of protein and calcium. They can form part of a healthy, balanced diet.

Unsweetened calcium-fortified dairy alternatives like soya milks, soya yoghurts and soya cheeses also count as part of this food group. These can make good alternatives to dairy products.

To make healthier choices, go for lower fat and lower sugar options as‘s recommendations.

Dairy and alternatives in your diet

Healthy dairy choices

The total fat content of dairy products can vary a lot. To make healthier choices, look at the nutrition information on the label to check the amount of fat, including saturated fat, salt and sugar, in the dairy products you’re choosing.

Much of the fat in milk and dairy foods is saturated fat. For older children and adults, eating too much fat can contribute to excess energy intakes, leading to becoming overweight.

A diet high in saturated fat can also lead to raised levels of cholesterol in the blood, and this can put you at increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke.


The fat in milk provides calories for young children, and also contains essential vitamins.

But for older children and adults, it’s a good idea to go for lower-fat milks because having too much fat in your diet can result in you becoming overweight.

If you’re trying to cut down on fat, try swapping to 1% fat or skimmed milk, as these still contain the important nutritional benefits of milk, but are lower in fat.


Cheese can form part of a healthy, balanced diet, but it’s good to keep track of how much you eat and how often as it can be high in saturated fat and salt.

Most cheeses, including brie, stilton, cheddar, lancashire and double gloucester, contain between 20g and 40g of fat per 100g.

Foods that contain more than 17.5g of fat per 100g are considered high in fat.

Some cheeses can also be high in salt. More than 1.5g salt per 100g is considered high. Eating too much salt can contribute to high blood pressure.

Try choosing reduced-fat hard cheeses, which usually have between 10g and 16g of fat per 100g.

Some cheeses are even lower in fat (3g of fat per 100g or less), including reduced-fat cottage cheese and quark.

If you’re using cheese to flavour a dish or a sauce, you could try using a cheese that has a stronger flavour, such as mature cheddar or blue cheese, because then you’ll need less.

But remember, it’s recommended that “at risk” groups avoid certain cheeses, such as:

  • infants and young children
  • people over 65 years of age
  • pregnant women
  • those who have a long-term medical condition or weakened immune system

These cheeses include:

  • mould-ripened soft cheeses like brie or camembert
  • ripened goats’ milk cheese like chèvre
  • soft blue-veined cheese, such as roquefort

These cheeses may carry bacteria called listeria.

But these cheeses can be used as part of a cooked recipe as listeria is killed by cooking. Baked brie, for example, is a safer option.

Other dairy foods

Butter is high in fat and saturated fat. It can often be high in salt too, so try to eat it less often and in small amounts.

Choosing lower-fat spreads instead of butter is a good way to reduce your fat intake.

Cream is also high in fat, so use this less often and in small amounts too. You can use lower-fat plain yoghurt and fromage frais instead of cream.

Or you could opt for reduced-fat soured cream or reduced-fat crème fraîche in recipes.

But remember, these foods can also contain a lot of saturated fat.

When eating yoghurts or fromage frais, choose lower-fat varieties, but look at the label to check that they’re not high in added sugar.

Plain lower-fat yoghurts are a good choice as they usually do not contain added sugars.

Dairy intake for pregnant women

Dairy foods are good sources of calcium, which is important in pregnancy because it helps your unborn baby’s developing bones form properly.

But there are some cheeses and other dairy products that you should avoid during pregnancy, as they may make you ill or harm your baby.

Make sure you know the important facts about which foods you should avoid or take precautions with when you’re pregnant.

During pregnancy, only drink pasteurised or ultra-heat treated (UHT) milks. These milks have been heat-treated to kill bacteria and prevent food poisoning.

Cows’ milk that’s sold in shops is pasteurised, but you can still find unpasteurised or “raw” milk for sale from some farms and farmers’ markets. Check the label if you’re unsure.

Dairy intake for babies and children under 5

Milk in your child’s diet

Milk and dairy products are an important part of a young child’s diet.

They’re a good source of energy and protein, and contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals, including calcium. These will help young children build bones and keep teeth healthy.

Giving your baby breast milk only (exclusive breastfeeding) is recommended for around the first 6 months of your baby’s life.

If you choose not to, or are unable to breastfeed, the only alternative is infant formula.

Cows’ milk should not be given as a drink until a baby is 1 year old. This is because it does not contain the balance of nutrients babies need.

But babies who are around 6 months old can eat foods that use full-fat cows’ milk as an ingredient, such as cheese sauce and custard.

Babies under 1 year old should not be given condensed, evaporated or dried milk, or any other drinks referred to as “milk”, such as rice, oat or almond drinks.

Between the ages of 1 and 2 years, children should be given whole milk and dairy products. This is because they may not get the calories or essential vitamins they need from lower fat alternatives.

After the age of 2, children can gradually move to semi-skimmed milk as a drink, as long as they’re eating a varied and balanced diet and growing well.

Do not give skimmed or 1% fat milk as a drink to children under 5 years old. It does not contain enough calories and other important nutrients for young children.

Children between the ages of 1 and 3 need to have around 350mg of calcium a day. About 300ml of milk (just over half a pint) would provide this.

Goats’ and sheep’s milk in your child’s diet

Like cows’ milk, goats’ milk and sheep’s milk are not suitable as drinks for babies under 1 year old because they do not contain the right balance of nutrients.

Once a baby is 1 year old, they can drink full-fat goats’ milk and sheep’s milk as long as the milks are pasteurised.

They can be given to babies from the age of 6 months in cooked foods such as cheese sauce and custard.

Cheese in your child’s diet

Cheese can form part of a healthy, balanced diet for babies and young children, and provides calcium, protein and vitamins like vitamin A.

Babies can eat pasteurised full-fat cheese from 6 months old. This includes hard cheeses such as mild cheddar cheese, cottage cheese and cream cheese.

Full-fat cheeses and dairy products are recommended up to the age of 2, as young children need fat and energy to help them grow.

Babies and young children should not eat:

  • mould-ripened soft cheeses, such as brie or camembert
  • ripened goats’ milk cheese like chèvre
  • soft blue-veined cheese like roquefort

These cheeses may carry bacteria called listeria.

You can check labels on cheeses to make sure they’re made from pasteurised milk.

But these cheeses can be used as part of a cooked recipe as listeria is killed by cooking. Baked brie, for example, is a safer option.

What is pasteurisation?

Pasteurisation is a heat treatment process to kill bacteria and prevent food poisoning. Most milk and cream is pasteurised.

If milk is unpasteurised, it’s often called “raw” milk. This must carry a warning saying it has not been pasteurised and may contain harmful bacteria (which could cause food poisoning).

You can sometimes buy unpasteurised milk and cream from farms and farmers’ markets.

If you choose unpasteurised milk or cream, make sure they’re kept properly refrigerated because they go off quickly.

Follow any instructions provided with the milk and do not use the milk past its use-by date.

Some other dairy products are made with unpasteurised milk, including some cheeses.

For example, some makers of camembert, brie and goats’ cheese may use unpasteurised milk, so check the label.

Children, people who are unwell, pregnant women and older people are particularly vulnerable to food poisoning.

They should not have unpasteurised milk or cream and some dairy products made with unpasteurised milk.

Milk allergy and lactose intolerance

Milk and dairy foods are good sources of nutrients, so do not cut them out of your or your child’s diet without first speaking to a GP or dietitian.

There are 2 conditions that cause a reaction to milk.

Lactose intolerance

Lactose intolerance is a common digestive problem where the body is unable to digest lactose, a type of sugar mainly found in milk and dairy products.

Lactose intolerance can cause symptoms such as bloating and diarrhoea. It does not cause severe reactions.

Cows’ milk allergy

Cows’ milk allergy (CMA) is 1 of the most common childhood food allergies.

CMA typically develops when cows’ milk is first introduced into your baby’s diet either in formula or when your baby starts eating solids.

More rarely, it can affect babies who are exclusively breastfed because cows’ milk from the mother’s diet passes to the baby through breast milk.

If you think you or your baby have a milk allergy or intolerance, make an appointment to talk to a GP or another health professional.

Dairy alternatives and substitutes

Some people need to avoid dairy products and cows’ milk because their bodies cannot digest lactose (lactose intolerance) or they have an allergy to cows’ milk protein.

There are a number of lactose-free dairy products available to buy that are suitable for people with lactose intolerance.

These contain the same vitamins and minerals as standard dairy products, but they also have an added enzyme called lactase, which helps digest any lactose so the products do not trigger any symptoms.

Some people also choose not to have dairy products for other reasons – for example, because they follow a vegan diet.

There are a number of alternative foods and drinks available in supermarkets to replace milk and dairy products, such as:

  • soya milks, yoghurts and some cheeses
  • rice, oat, almond, hazelnut, coconut, quinoa and potato milks
  • foods that carry the “dairy-free” or “suitable for vegans” signs

Remember that milk and dairy foods are good sources of important nutrients, so do not cut them out of your or your child’s diet without first speaking to a GP or dietitian.

If you’re not able to, or choose not to, eat dairy products, you may not be getting enough calcium in your diet.

Best Vegan Steak Recipe

Best Vegan Steak Recipe (Seitan)

Vegan Steak! You will freak when you taste my vegan alternative to steak! Juicy, marinated Seitan steak with a perfect meaty chew! Delicious and easy vegetarian meat recipe!

Ok I’ll admit I used loved a good juicy grilled ribeye steak! (long day ago) But I don’t miss it especially when I have veganized it so well! Yup vegan steak guys! It’s on the menu- And it’s fabulous! Slices like butter. Hard to believe it’s plant based! 

The perfect dinner with with gravy and mashed potatoes or as I like it- with vegan garlic butter, horseradish, baked or roasted potatoes and veggies! Mmm and corn on the Cobb. YUM! Great cut into strips or cubed for stir fries, stews or salads too! So many options 

I wanted to create a great seitan steak recipe as there are no good options to buy them anywhere! And if you can find one they’re pricey. They rarely even have gardein beefless tips stocked in my area and definitely not at any local restaurants!

A crazy good protein rich meal for vegetarians and if you want to impress meat eaters, serve them this! It’ll blow their mind!

The magic happens when these vegan seitan steaks are marinated, fired on the bbq and grilled! OMG so good

What is vegan steak made of and what does it taste like?

This vegetarian steak recipe is made using vital wheat gluten and lentils, not tofu. It has a chew much like beef and the taste is similar as it takes on the flavours of the marinade which is super tasty and 100 % plant based. 

Let’s keep those cows safe and happily grazing in the fields shall we

What is seitan?

Seitan is a vegan meat substitute made using vital wheat gluten. It is sometimes referred to as “wheat meat”

What is vital wheat gluten?

Vital Wheat Gluten is made from wheat. It is made by washing the wheat flour with water until all the starch has been removed. And you are then left with the gluten which must be cooked before eaten.

Best Vegan Steak Recipe

How do you make vegan steak?

For the seitan: First add the ingredients for the seitan steaks in your food processor (except vital wheat gluten) and process until smooth. 

Now add the gluten evenly on top of the wet mix. Process until JUST COMBINED! You do not want to over mix or the steaks could turn out tough.

Turn the dough out onto the counter. Do not kneed the dough! Press into a disc approximately 8-9 inches in diameter and about 1/2 inch thick. Portion the steaks like you would a pie, into 4-6 pieces. Wrap steaks individually in tin foil, wrap loosely to leave room for expansion during steaming.

To cook the raw seitan: Place in your steamer basket (pot) and steam for 30 minutes over medium heat, flipping them halfway through.

While the steaks are steaming make the marinade: Add all the ingredients to a medium bowl and whisk together until sugar is dissolved. Set aside

When steaks are done, remove from foil packets and place in a shallow dish (I use my glass pie plate) or a large freezer bag. Pour the marinade evenly over the steaks. Marinade for a minimum of one hour or longer (I usually leave mine for 6 hours or overnight for better flavour and texture).

To grill: cook the steaks on your grill pan or bbq over medium heat for 2-3 minutes per side, to get some good char marks and flavour! basting frequently with the marinade. 

Move to a serving platter and add a little more marinade for added juiciness. Serve and enjoy! For full recipe ingredients and instructions see in this website recipe card below.


juicy and meaty, protein rich and satisfying! fun to make, simple, great for a summer potluck, saucy,

Enjoy guys! Happy day to you! feel free to leave a comment and a rating below. I would love to hear from you.


For the Vegan Steaks:

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup canned lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons tamari (could sub soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon better than beef vegetarian bouilllon*
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 and 1/3 cups vital wheat gluten

For the marinade:

  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons oil, I use grapeseed oil
  • 1 to 1 and 1/2 tablespoons vegan worcestershire sauce, I like Wizard’s or Annies
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • pinch of salt and pepper


  1. For the seitan steak: First add the ingredients for the seitan steaks in your food processor (except vital wheat gluten) and process until smooth. 
  2. Now add the gluten evenly on top of the wet mix. Process until JUST COMBINED! You do not want to over mix or the steaks could turn out tough. See step by step photos in above post if necessary
  3. Turn the seitan dough onto the counter. Do not kneed the dough! Press into a disc approximately 8-9 inches in diameter and about 1/2 inch thick. Portion the steaks like you would a pie, into 4-6 pieces. Wrap steaks individually in tin foil, wrap loosely to leave room for expansion during steaming.
  4. To cook the raw seitan: Place in your steamer basket (pot) with lid and steam for 30 minutes over medium heat, flipping them halfway through.
  5. While the steaks are steaming make the marinade: Add all the ingredients to a medium bowl and whisk together until sugar is dissolved. Set aside
  6. When steaks are done, remove from foil packets and place in a shallow dish (I use my glass pie plate) or a large freezer bag. Pour the marinade evenly over the steaks. Marinade for a minimum of one hour or longer. I usually leave mine for 3-6 hours for better flavour and texture or overnight if I have time.
  7. To grill: cook the steaks on your grill pan or bbq over medium heat for 2-3 minutes per side, to get some good char marks and flavour! basting frequently with the marinade.
  8. Move to a serving platter and add a little more marinade for added juiciness. Serve and enjoy! I like my steak with a little vegan garlic butter, horseradish sauce for dipping, along side baked or roasted potatoes, corn on the Cobb and green salad or caesar salad maybe some grilled veggies too! SO GOOD! Would make an excellent vegan steak sandwich also! or sliced for stir fries, stews or soups! Lots of tasty options!
The 18 Best Protein Sources for Vegans and Vegetarians

The 18 Best Protein Sources for Vegans and Vegetarians

A common concern about vegetarian and vegan diets is that they may lack sufficient protein. But vegans can get protein from various plant sources, though some may be better than others.

Many experts agree that a well-planned meatless diet can provide all the nutrients you need, including protein.

That said, certain plant foods contain significantly more protein than others, and new and older studies alike suggest that higher protein diets can promote muscle strength, feelings of fullness, and weight loss.

Here are 18 plant foods that contain a high amount of protein per serving.

Benefits and risks of a vegan diet

Plant-based diets have been linked to several health benefits.

Vegan diets may support weight goals, blood pressure, heart health, and more

For starters, vegans tend to have lower body mass indexes (BMI) than non-vegans, which may be associated with lower chronic disease risk in some populations.

In addition, studies suggest that vegan diets are more effective at helping people lose weight than many other diets, including the Mediterranean diet.

A vegan diet has also been linked to a lower risk of cancer. What’s more, it also appears to reduce pain from arthritis and may further reduce your likelihood of experiencing age-related cognitive decline.

Plant-based diets are also linked to several other health benefits, including lower blood pressure, better-regulated blood sugar levels, and a healthier heart.

Because of this, several health organizations recommend increasing the amount of plant-based protein in our diets.

Learn more about potential benefits of plant-based diets in this website

Vegan diets may lead to nutritional deficiencies without careful planning

That said, it’s important to keep in mind that not all vegan diets will be equally beneficial.

While well-planned vegan diets made up of mostly minimally processed foods are considered beneficial for all stages of life, those including large amounts of ultra-processed plant foods are not.

Poorly-planned or highly-processed vegan diets may also increase your risk of nutrient deficiencies, especially in vitamin B12, iodine, iron, calcium, zinc, and long-chain omega-3s.

Sprouting, fermenting, and cooking foods in cast-iron cookware can further enhance your body’s ability to absorb the nutrients contained in plant foods.

Minimizing your intake of processed plant foods, while increasing your intake of whole or minimally-processed ones can help reduce the risk of experiencing nutrient deficiencies.

Using supplements and fortified foods to bridge any nutritional gaps can also minimize your risk of experiencing ill effects from a vegan diet.

The 18 Best Protein Sources for Vegans and Vegetarians

Plant versus animal protein

Protein is made up of chains of molecules known as amino acids.

There are 20 amino acids found in nature that your body can use to build protein. Out of these 20 amino acids, 9 are considered essential, which means that your body cannot produce them itself, so you need to get them from your diet.

The remaining 11 are considered non-essential, as your body can produce them from the 9 essential amino acids.

Animal protein contains all nine essential amino acids in sufficient amounts. Plants also contain all nine essential amino acids — however, besides a few exceptions, most typically offer a limited amount of at least one essential amino acid.

For instance, beans, lentils, peas, and many vegetables tend to contain low amounts of cysteine and methionine. On the other hand, grains, nuts, and seeds tend to be low in lysine.

Because of this, many people refer to plant foods as “incomplete” sources of protein.

However, as long as you eat a variety of plant-based proteins, this shouldn’t pose a problem. You can still get sufficient amounts of all the essential amino acids your body needs.

1. Seitan

Seitan is a popular protein source for many vegetarians and vegans.

It’s made from gluten, the main protein in wheat. Unlike many soy-based mock meats, it closely resembles the look and texture of meat when cooked.

Also known as wheat meat or wheat gluten, it contains about 25 grams of protein per 3.5 ounces (100 grams), making it one of the richest plant protein sources available.

Seitan is also a good source of selenium and contains small amounts of iron, calcium, and phosphorus.

You can find this meat alternative in the refrigerated section of many grocery stores, especially at health food stores. You can also make your own version with vital wheat gluten.

Seitan can be pan-fried, sautéed, and even grilled, making it easy to incorporate into a variety of recipes.

However, because it contains wheat, people with gluten-related disorders should avoid eating seitan.

2. Tofu, tempeh, and edamame

Tofu, tempeh, and edamame all originate from soybeans and are especially popular in East Asian cuisine.

Soybeans are considered a whole source of protein. This means that they provide your body all the essential amino acids it needs.

Edamame are immature soybeans with a sweet and slightly grassy taste. They need to be steamed or boiled before you eat them. Then, they can be enjoyed on their own or added to soups, salads, sushi, wraps, stir-fries, or rice rolls.

Tofu is made from bean curds pressed together in a process similar to cheesemaking. Meanwhile, tempeh is made by cooking and slightly fermenting mature soybeans, then pressing them into a block.

Tofu doesn’t have much taste on its own, but it easily absorbs the flavor of the ingredients it’s prepared with. Comparatively, tempeh has a characteristic nutty flavor.

Both tofu and tempeh can be used in a variety of recipes, ranging from burgers to soups, stews, curries, and chilis.

All three soy-based proteins contain iron, calcium, and 12–20 grams of protein per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving.

Edamame is also rich in folate, vitamin K, and fiber, which can help support digestion and regularity.

On the other hand, tempeh contains probiotics, B vitamins, and minerals, such as magnesium and phosphorus.

3. Lentils

With 18 grams of protein per cooked cup (198 grams), lentils are a great source of protein.

They can be used in a variety of dishes, ranging from fresh salads to hearty soups and spice-infused dahls.

Lentils are also a great source of fiber, providing over half of your recommended daily fiber intake in a single cup (198 grams).

Furthermore, the type of fiber found in lentils has been shown to feed the good bacteria in your colon, which can help promote a healthy gut. Lentils may also reduce your chance of heart disease, diabetes, excess body weight, and certain types of cancer.

In addition, lentils are rich in folate, manganese, and iron. They also contain a hearty dose of antioxidants and other health-promoting plant compounds.

Lentils are popular around the globe, and they’re the basis of Indian dishes known as dal or dahl. If you eat South Asian food often, chances are you’re already a fan of lentils.

4. Beans

Kidney, black, pinto, and most other varieties of beans are extremely important staple foods across cultures and contain high amounts of protein per serving.

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are another type of bean with a high protein content.

Most types of beans contain about 15 grams of protein per cooked cup (170 grams). They’re also excellent sources of complex carbs, fiber, iron, folate, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, and several beneficial plant compounds.

Moreover, several studies show that a diet rich in beans and other legumes can help decrease cholesterol levels, manage blood sugar, lower blood pressure, and even reduce belly fat.

Add beans to your diet by making a tasty bowl of homemade chili, or enjoy extra health benefits by sprinkling a dash of turmeric on roasted chickpeas.

5. Nutritional yeast

Nutritional yeast is a deactivated strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast, which is sold commercially as a yellow powder or flakes.

It has a cheesy flavor, which makes it a popular ingredient in dishes like mashed potatoes and scrambled tofu.

Nutritional yeast can also be sprinkled on top of pasta dishes or even enjoyed as a savory topping on popcorn.

Half an ounce (16 grams) of this complete source of plant protein provides 8 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber.

Fortified nutritional yeast is also an excellent source of zinc, magnesium, copper, manganese, and all the B vitamins, including vitamin B12.

However, keep in mind that not all types of nutritional yeast are fortified, so be sure to check the label carefully.

6. Spelt and teff

Spelt and teff belong to a category known as ancient grains. Other ancient grains include einkorn, barley, sorghum, and farro.

Spelt is a type of wheat and contains gluten, whereas teff originates from an annual grass, meaning that it’s naturally gluten-free.

Spelt and teff provide 10–11 grams of protein per cooked cup (250 grams), making them higher in protein than other ancient grains.

Both are excellent sources of various nutrients, including complex carbs, fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese. They also contain B vitamins, zinc, and selenium.

Spelt and teff are versatile alternatives to other grains, such as wheat and rice, and they can be used in many recipes ranging from baked goods to risotto.

In fact, flour made from teff is the key ingredient in injera, a flatbread commonly eaten in East Africa, such as in Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Sudan.

7. Hemp seeds

Hemp seeds come from the Cannabis sativa plant, which is sometimes maligned for belonging to the same family as the cannabis plant.

But hemp seeds contain only trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that produces the psychoactive effects of cannabis.

Although hemp seeds aren’t as well-known as other seeds, they contain 9 grams of protein in each 3-tablespoon (30-gram) serving.

Hemp seeds also contain high levels of magnesium, iron, calcium, zinc, and selenium. What’s more, they’re a good source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the ratio considered optimal for human health.

Interestingly, some studies indicate that the type of fats found in hemp seeds may help reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, menopause, and certain skin conditions.

You can add hemp seeds to your diet by sprinkling some in your smoothie or morning muesli. They can also be used in homemade salad dressings, granola, energy balls, or protein bars.

8. Green peas

Green peas contain nearly 9 grams of protein per cooked cup (160 grams), which is slightly more than a cup (237 mL) of dairy milk.

What’s more, a serving of green peas covers more than 25% of your daily fiber, thiamine, folate, manganese, and vitamin A, C, and K needs.

Green peas are also a good source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and several other B vitamins.

You can use peas in recipes such as pea-and-basil-stuffed ravioli, Thai-inspired pea soup, or pea-and-avocado guacamole.

9. Spirulina

This blue-green algae is definitely a nutritional powerhouse.

A 2-tablespoon (14-gram) serving provides 8 grams of complete protein, in addition to covering 22% of your daily requirements for iron and 95% of your daily copper needs.

Spirulina also contains high amounts of magnesium, riboflavin, manganese, potassium, and small amounts of most of the other nutrients your body needs, including essential fatty acids.

According to some test-tube and animal studies, phycocyanin, a natural pigment found in spirulina, also appears to have powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties.

Furthermore, studies link consuming spirulina to health benefits ranging from a stronger immune system and reduced blood pressure to improved blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Still, we need more human studies before we can draw conclusions on all of spirulina’s health claims.

10. Amaranth and quinoa

Although amaranth and quinoa are often referred to as ancient or gluten-free grains, they don’t grow from grasses like other cereal grains do. For this reason, they’re technically considered pseudocereals.

Nevertheless, similarly to more commonly known grains, they can be prepared or ground into flours.

Amaranth and quinoa provide 8–9 grams of protein per cooked cup (185 grams) and are complete sources of protein, which is uncommon among grains and pseudocereals.

Plus, amaranth and quinoa are good sources of complex carbs, fiber, iron, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium.

11. Ezekiel bread and other breads made from sprouted grains

Ezekiel bread is made from organic, sprouted whole grains and legumes. These include wheat, millet, barley, and spelt, as well as soybeans and lentils.

Two slices of Ezekiel bread contain approximately 8 grams of protein, which is slightly more than most other types of bread.

Sprouting grains and legumes increases the number of healthy nutrients they contain and reduces their content of antinutrients, which are compounds that can affect your body’s absorption of certain vitamins and minerals.

In addition, studies show that sprouting increases their content of specific amino acids, such as lysine, which can help boost their overall protein quality.

Similarly, combining grains with legumes could further improve the bread’s amino acid profile.

Sprouting also seems to boost the content of soluble fiber, folate, vitamins C and E, and beta carotene. It may also slightly reduce gluten, which can improve digestion among people with gluten-related disorders.

12. Soy milk

Soy milk is made from soybeans and usually fortified with vitamins and minerals. It can be a great alternative to dairy milk for those who avoid dairy.

Not only does it contain 6 grams of protein per cup (244 mL), it’s also an excellent source of calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12.

You can purchase soy milk in most supermarkets. It’s an incredibly versatile product that you can drink on its own or use in a variety of cooking and baking recipes.

However, keep in mind that soy milk and soybeans do not naturally contain vitamin B12, so I recommend picking a fortified variety.

Additionally, some types may contain added sugar, so it’s best to opt for unsweetened varieties whenever possible.

13. Oats and oatmeal

Eating oats is an easy and delicious way to add protein to any diet.

Half a cup (40 grams) of dry oats provides approximately 5 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber. Oats also contain magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and folate.

Although oats are not considered a complete protein, they do contain higher quality protein than other commonly consumed grains like rice and wheat.

You can use oats in a variety of recipes ranging from oatmeal to veggie burgers. They can also be ground into flour and used for baking.

14. Wild rice

Wild rice contains approximately 1.5 times as much protein as other long-grain rice varieties, including brown rice and basmati.

A cooked cup (164 grams) provides nearly 7 grams of protein, in addition to healthy amounts of fiber, manganese, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, and B vitamins.

Unlike white rice, wild rice is not stripped of its bran. That’s great from a nutritional perspective, as bran contains fiber and plenty of vitamins and minerals.

However, this causes concerns about arsenic, which can accumulate in the bran of rice crops grown in polluted areas.

Arsenic is a toxic compound that’s associated with a variety of health problems, especially when consumed regularly over long periods of time.

Washing wild rice before cooking it and using plenty of water to boil it can significantly reduce levels of arsenic, along with other heavy metals like lead and cadmium.

15. Chia seeds

Chia seeds are derived from the Salvia hispanica plant, which is native to Mexico and Guatemala.

With 5 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber per ounce (28 grams), chia seeds definitely deserve their spot on the list of top plant-based proteins.

These little seeds contain high levels of iron, calcium, selenium, and magnesium, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and other beneficial plant compounds.

They’re also incredibly versatile, thanks to their mild taste and ability to absorb water and form a gel-like substance.

This quality makes them an easy addition to a variety of recipes, ranging from smoothies to baked goods to chia pudding.

16. Nuts, nut butters, and other seeds

Nuts, seeds, and their derived products are great sources of protein.

One ounce (28 grams) contains 5–7 grams of protein, depending on the variety.

Nuts and seeds are also great sources of fiber and healthy fats, along with iron, calcium, magnesium, selenium, phosphorus, vitamin E, and certain B vitamins. They likewise contain antioxidants, among other beneficial plant compounds.

When choosing which nuts and seeds to buy, keep in mind that blanching and roasting may damage the nutrients in nuts. Therefore, it’s best to reach for raw, unblanched versions whenever possible.

Also, try opting for natural nut butters to avoid the oil, sugar, and excess salt often added to many popular brands.

17. Protein-rich fruits and vegetables

Although all fruits and vegetables contain protein, some contain more than others.

Vegetables with the most protein include broccoli, spinach, asparagus, artichokes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and Brussels sprouts, which typically contain 4–5 grams of protein per cooked cup.

Although technically a grain, sweet corn is another common food that contains about as much protein as these high protein vegetables.

Fresh fruits generally have a lower protein content than vegetables. Those containing the most include guava, cherimoyas, mulberries, blackberries, nectarines, and bananas, which have about 2–4 grams of protein per cup.

18. Mycoprotein

Mycoprotein is a non-animal-based protein derived from Fusarium venenatum, which is a type of fungus.

It’s often used to produce meat substitutes, including veggie burgers, patties, cutlets, and fillets.

The nutritional value can range a bit depending on the specific product, but most contain 15–16 grams of protein per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, along with 5–8 grams of fiber.

Although there are concerns about the safety of mycoprotein related to food allergies, research shows that adverse reactions are very rare.

However, keep in mind that some products made with mycoprotein may also contain egg whites, so be sure to check the label carefully if you’re following a vegan diet or avoiding eggs for other reasons, such as food allergies.

The bottom line

Protein deficiencies among vegetarians and vegans are uncommon, especially for those following a healthy, well-planned diet.

Still, some people may be interested in increasing their plant protein intake for a variety of reasons.

This list can be used as a guide for anyone interested in incorporating more plant-based proteins into their diet.

9 Best Vegan Meat Substitutes

9 Best Vegan Meat Substitutes

Not that long ago, if you wanted to create a hearty meal while on a plant-based diet, your only choice was something made of highly processed soy protein.

Today, luckily, there are tons of great protein-packed bases for creating meat substitutes. And even more amazing brands using those bases to create some very tasty and naturally healthy products.

If you’re looking to broaden your horizons in the meatless meat world, we’re here to help.

Below, you’ll find 9 of the best vegan meat substitute bases that can be used to create some seriously deliciously meaty plant-based meals. Plus, we’ll give you our favorite product recommendations from each category so you know which brands are made with your health and taste buds in mind.

9 Best Vegan Meat Substitutes

9 Great Vegan Meat Alternatives

Each of these awesome protein-packed vegan meat substitutes can be used in their most basic form to create recipes from scratch. And many of them are utilized by the growing meat substitute industry to create ready-made products that take less work to prepare.

1. Tempeh

Tempeh is no newbie to the protein-packed plant product world. In fact, this soybean-based product has been used in Indonesia for thousands of years.

It is made by cooking and fermenting whole soybeans and then packing them into a dense block or patty that can be easily sauteed, grilled, or crumbled and doused in barbecue sauce to create some delicious vegan sloppy joes.


  • High in protein
  • High in fiber
  • Some probiotic benefits
  • Dense, chewy meat-like texture
  • Less processed

That soybean base means tempeh has tons of protein to offer and contains all nine essential amino acids. It is also loaded with fiber to help keep you regular and contains probiotics thanks to the fermenting it undergoes during creation. And of course, it is loaded with health-supporting isoflavonoids.

Tempeh has a chewy texture and dense consistency that make it great for use in recipes that would normally call for ground beef. It can also be sliced thin and used to create some amazing vegan bacon strips.

Unlike a lot of meat alternatives, tempeh is not overly processed. This means it retains a lot of its natural enzymes and nutrients.


  • Have to prepare it
  • Can be dry and/or bitter
  • May not be gluten-free
  • Contains some fat

Of course, one of the downsides of unprocessed plant-based meat substitutes is that you have to do more work to prepare them. Most tempeh you’ll find at the store doesn’t include marinades or seasoning. Some may have seeds or grains added to the mix before pressing, but this adds more to texture than to flavor and can mean the product isn’t gluten-free.

If you don’t prepare your tempeh correctly, which often requires boiling it first, it won’t absorb the flavors of the dish and you’ll be left with a bitter, bland, or dry final product.

2. Lentils

Lentils are a type of legume prized for their chewy texture and neutral flavor. They make a great unprocessed addition to many meals that normally include meat, such as chili and enchiladas.


  • Rich source of protein
  • Unprocessed
  • Versatile
  • High in fiber

Like other legumes, lentils are naturally high in protein. They are also loaded with fiber which means they can help support healthy digestion and a balanced gut biome.

Legumes are also wonderfully versatile thanks to their neutral flavor. They pair well with a variety of sauces and seasonings. They can be eaten on their own or used in place of ground beef in many recipes.

And, since these tasty beans are completely unprocessed, you know you’re getting all the great vitamins and minerals they have to offer! Plus, they come in a variety of colors, all with slightly different textures and flavors.


  • Can cause gas
  • Low in some amino acids
  • No convincing meaty texture

Fiber is good, if your system can handle it. Lentils, more so than other beans, seem to give some people more digestive trouble and gas. And, despite having tons of protein, they are low in a few essential amino acids, so it’s best to pair them with grains to get everything you need.

While lentils are delicious, they aren’t going to fool anyone into thinking they’re eating meat. So, this meat substitute is best saved for your vegan friends.

3. Beans

Beans come in a wide variety of types, from the old standby black beans, to the texture powerhouses aduki beans and chickpeas. You can use beans to up the protein content of many vegan dishes, like quinoa bowls, or use them as a meat replacement to make your own burger patties.


  • High in protein
  • High in folate
  • Make you feel full
  • Very versatile
  • Unprocessed

All beans are high in protein and many are great sources of folate, or vitamin B9. Folate is turned into folic acid in the body and used to produce and maintain new cells. This vitamin is highly important during pregnancy and something to track closely if you follow a vegan diet.

Beans also have plenty of insoluble and soluble fiber to make you feel full. Plus, they are super versatile given how many different types of beans there are. Some lend themselves well to being squished up and made into vegan burgers, while others are chewy enough to mimic chicken in chicken salad, and some can be prepared to take the place of ground beef in many traditional meals.


  • Low in some amino acids
  • No convincing meaty texture

Like lentils, beans are also low in certain amino acids. Preparing your beans with grains like rice or pasta, fills in the nutritional gaps nicely, however. But, no matter how you prepare them or which type you use, you aren’t likely to convince anyone they’re eating an animal-based meal.

4. Tofu

Like tempeh, tofu is a soy-based meat replacement that has been around for thousands of years. But instead of using whole soybeans, this product is made by curdling soy milk and pressing it into a block. This gives it a unique texture as far as “meat” goes, but also makes it incredibly versatile.


  • Low calorie
  • High protein content
  • Multiple uses
  • Different types

Compared to tempeh, tofu is lower in calories but still packs a ton of plant-based protein and many vital minerals and vitamins. It is also lower in fat and a great meat alternative for those trying to cut their calorie intake.

And because tofu comes in five different varieties from soft silken to dense super-firm, it can be used in a variety of situations. Silken tofu, for instance, makes a wonderfully convincing egg replacement for morning scrambles and breakfast burritos. Meanwhile, firm tofu can be cut to shape and flavored to mimic chicken, steak, ground pork, and more.


  • Requires some prep work
  • Can be difficult to work with
  • Has a bland flavor if not seasoned correctly

Of course, like other minimally processed non-meat options, tofu will require more work on your part. To get it to taste like a well-marinated or spiced piece of meat, you have to press the block to remove the water. Then you must prepare and cook it right so it absorbs enough flavors.

And because of all the different types available, it can be tough to find the right one for your needs and it can take some practice to learn how to work with it.

5. Mycoprotein

Maybe the least well-known of the meat substitutes, mycoprotein is starting to catch on in many vegan circles. Made from Fusarium venenatum, a naturally occurring fungus, this plant meat is much tastier than it sounds.


  • Loaded with nutrients
  • Great source of protein
  • Very convincing meat-like texture
  • Less processed than many commercial meat substitutes
  • Ready to cook

This special fungus is loaded with nutrients, including zinc and vitamin D, and has more protein per gram than chicken. But it takes far fewer resources to grow than livestock.

Most impressively, mycoprotein has a very meat-like texture and can be easily manipulated to replicate beef, chicken, sausage, and many other meat products. Despite this, it is less processed than many commercial meat substitute products.


  • Not all options are vegan
  • A little pricey
  • Not always easy to find

Currently, there is only one brand of mycoprotein-containing vegetarian products on the market, Quorn. And unfortunately, many of their products contain egg whites as a binder. But, they are slowly expanding their vegan product options.

Even still, these products can be a bit pricey and aren’t available at all grocery stores yet.

6. Seitan

Seitan was first created by Buddhist monks back in the 7th century. Then, it was made by soaking wheat dough in water to isolate the protein, or vital wheat gluten. Today, this product can be made at home in much the same way, but is much more often processed in large commercial facilities and pressed into a variety of shapes to imitate real meat.


  • High in vegetable protein
  • Available in many varieties
  • Chewy meat-like texture
  • Many products require little prep

Seitan is made by washing away the starch in wheat, producing a product that is low in fat and carbs, and high in protein. This vital wheat gluten product has a chewy texture that very much resembles chicken or beef.

Many seitan products that you’ll find at the store have been pre-flavored and come in a number of different varieties to make your food prep super simple. You can also buy plain seitan and marinate it yourself.


  • Contains gluten
  • Not a complete protein
  • Many products are overprocessed

If you are sensitive to gluten or have celiac disease, then seitan is not for you. Even if you tolerate gluten well, it’s best not to eat this product every day as you could develop an allergy. This is especially true if you eat highly processed seitan products.

It is also worth noting that seitan is not a complete protein. Like beans, it is low in a few essential amino acids. Luckily, though, the ones it’s low in happen to be the ones beans have plenty of. This means that if you pair your seitan with legumes, you’ll get everything you need in one meal.

7. Jackfruit

Jackfruit is a tropical fruit grown in Asia, South America, and Africa. It is the largest fruit in the world and can grow up to 40 pounds. While very ripe jackfruit is somewhat sweet, less ripe varieties have a bland taste that pairs well with savory sauces.


  • Has a stringy texture like pulled pork
  • Loaded with nutrients and phytochemicals
  • Low in calories
  • Not overly processed

Jackfruit is mostly made up of fiber and starch, which means it’s a fairly low-calorie meat substitute option. It has a naturally stringy texture with some chunky bits that allow it to perfectly imitate pulled pork. It’s also great for tacos and carnitas.

Because it comes by its meaty texture naturally, there’s no reason to over-process it, which means a lot of commercial jackfruit products are better for you than other fake meat options. Many retain all the great nutrients, phytochemicals, and antioxidants that make the fruit part of a healthy diet.


  • Low in protein
  • Texture can be off-putting
  • Use caution if you have certain allergies

One thing jackfruit doesn’t have that most other plant-based meats do is protein. Like other fruits, jackfruit contains some protein, but not a ton. Therefore, this is only a good meat substitute in terms of texture, not macronutrient profile.

While that texture is pretty dead-on for pulled or shredded pork, many find it off-putting once they learn it’s actually from a plant. Whether you like the texture or not you may want to avoid this meat fruit if you have a latex or birch pollen allergy as cross-reactions have been known to happen.

8. Pea Protein

Pea protein is a very useful product for those looking to ditch whey, casein, and other animal product-based protein powders. It’s also becoming more and more popular as a base in meat substitutes.


  • High in protein
  • Soy and gluten-free
  • Can be used to replicate many meaty textures
  • Little preparation required

Pea protein naturally has a neutral flavor that can be mixed with a host of other ingredients to create all kinds of meat substitute products. Many of these creations are also gluten and soy-free which means more people can enjoy them.

Because pea protein isolate is made by washing away the starch in peas, it offers tons of protein without a lot of extra calories.


  • Included in many highly processed products
  • Many products are high in sodium
  • Best as an occasional indulgence

Because pea protein takes a ton of processing to resemble meat, it isn’t the best substitute to use as a daily indulgence. That processing often includes a ton of less-than-natural binders and fillers and an unhealthy heaping of sodium.

9. Soy Protein

Unlike tofu and tempeh, soy protein found in many plant-based alternatives is created by processing soy to wash away the starch. What is left is highly useful soy protein isolate.


  • Very high in protein
  • Can be used in a variety of recipes
  • Little preparation required

Much like pea protein, soy protein can be processed in a number of ways to imitate various meat products. It is often mixed with other ingredients and pressed into a mold to look and taste like anything from chicken to ground beef.

Most products that contain soy protein are ready to heat and already bursting with flavor, which makes the prep process a breeze.


  • Highly processed
  • May be high in sodium
  • Best as an occasional indulgence

Soy protein shares many of the same pitfalls as pea protein. These products are often highly processed and contain a lot of salt to add flavor. Products that aren’t all-natural may also contain artificial flavors and colors, as well as synthetic binders.

While these products may taste amazing and do a great job imitating meat, they are best saved for special occasions rather than representing a part of your daily diet.

Make Your Own Vegan Ground Beef

The easiest meat substitutes to work with from our list above are tempeh and tofu. Each can be used interchangeably in many recipes to make seriously delicious and healthy meat substitutes right at home.

One of our favorite recipes using these soy products is this awesomely easy plant-based ground beef.

Vegan Restaurants Near Me: The Best Places for Plant-Based Food in San Francisco

Vegan Restaurants Near Me: The Best Places for Plant-Based Food in San Francisco

There are many, many reasons why millions flood to San Francisco every year. The northern California city isn’t short on beautiful views, interesting museums, thriving nightlife, or great theater. But one of the biggest reasons why people love the home of the Golden Gate Bridge has to be the city’s food scene. Over the past few years, San Francisco has evolved into quite the foodie haven, and good news for vegans: it has an abundance of plant-based fare on offer. If you’re heading there soon, here are some of our top vegan restaurant picks from‘s team, from Italian to sushi to raw. Honestly, good luck deciding. You’re going to need it.

11 must-try vegan restaurants in San Francisco

Vegan Restaurants Near Me: The Best Places for Plant-Based Food in San Francisco


Founded by renowned San Francisco restaurateur Adriano Paganini, Wildseed specializes in top-quality, seasonal plant-based food. Every dish is led by California’s fresh ingredients, but inspired by different cuisines from around the world. Right now, for example, you can grab a fragrant Spicy Yellow Curry, made with an array of vegetables and spices, including turmeric, squash, eggplant, and basil. And on the side, you can enjoy a taste of Belgium by sharing a portion of Belga Fries, complete with not one, but two types of aioli and curry ketchup.


Celebrity chef Matthew Kenney has a host of plant-based restaurants to his name, including Baia on San Francisco’s Grove Street. If you’re into comforting Italian fare, then this is upscale eatery is guaranteed to become your new go-to. The menu is complete with spicy ravioli, garlic-laden spaghetti, and indulgent pizza with Impossible Foods’ Italian sausage. Buon appetito!

Mr. Charlie’s

If you really love the taste of McDonald’s but you’d rather not sacrifice any animals for your burger, then you need to try one of Mr.Charlie’s Frowny Meals. Choose from the Not a Cheeseburger or the Impossible Hamburger, both of which come with plant-based nuggets, and, of course, fries and a drink.

Rad Radish

Whether you fancy a plate of vegan chicken and waffles, a carb-heavy pizza, or a fresh bowl of leafy green salad, Rad Radish on Hayes Street has the meal for you, be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner time. Think of its specialty as comfort food with a healthy, fresh, locally sourced, seasonal twist.


Traditionally, sushi is made with fish and seafood, like squid, salmon, tuna, and eel. But as this vegan restaurant proves, animal products aren’t necessary for making deliciously addictive Japanese cuisine. Shizen’s menu includes everything from asparagus nigiri to California rolls made with shredded tofu and avocado. But that’s not all. Its plant-based versions of ramen, miso soup, yuba salad, and specialty rolls—like Open Invitation featuring pumpkin tempura and Foxy Scarlet with sweet potato purée—are all must-tries.

Golden Era Vegan

Since the late 1990s, Golden Era Vegan has been supplying downtown San Francisco with delicious, plant-based dishes inspired by many countries in Asia, including Vietnam, India, China, and Thailand. Sample a little bit of everything by combining flavorful Pho with Spicy Thai Fried Rice, egg-less rolls, and curry wraps. You won’t be leaving with an empty stomach, that is guaranteed.

Nourish Cafe

If you’re craving some plant-based nourishment, then Nourish Cafe is the spot for you (the clue is in the name really). Expect to find a rich and diverse menu filled with whole food, organic ingredients, like quinoa, marinated tofu, housemade “tuna,” and all the veggies under the sun. If you just want to stop by for a smoothie, then great news: there is an extensive menu ready and waiting (Baobab Banana Berry is not to be missed).

Gracias Madre

For those who love Mexican cuisine (and who doesn’t?), then you can’t leave San Francisco without stopping by Gracias Madre. The Mission Street spot, which is also open for brunch on weekends, offers everything from jackfruit carnitas tacos to ultra-filling enchiladas, loaded with potato and zucchini. And of course, everything has to be washed down with one of the eatery’s signature margaritas.


You can’t go wrong with a big, juicy vegan burger, let’s be honest. And, as the name has already given away, this is something that VeganBurg has in spades. From Avocado Beetroot to Tangy Tartar to Smoky BBQ, this chain (which also has a spot in Singapore) has a patty to suit everyone’s taste. On the side, there are standard (yet delicious) options like Cheesy Fries and the Rainbow Salad, as well as more unique offerings, like BBQ Franks, Loaded Shroom Fries, and Sizzlin’ Broccoli.


If you’ve been unsure about raw vegan food in the past, then let Judalicious’ fresh and flavorful menu convince you that it is 100 percent worth your time and your tastebuds. The Dark Side of the Shroom, for example, which features a portabella mushroom loaded with zucchini, kale, cauliflower, cashew creme, and more, proves that raw is far from boring. But that said, if you would really prefer something cooked, then Judahlicious also offers an extensive hot menu. Pro tip: the House Chili with toasted ciabatta is particularly satisfying.

Wholesome Bakery

Whether you’re after a beautiful custom-tiered cake, a tasty morning bun, or an indulgent fudge brownie, Wholesome Bakery has got you covered. Everything at the bakery is totally plant-based, plus it prioritizes the use of sustainable ingredients, including fair trade chocolate, and all of its sweet treats are free of refined sugar.

Vegan Breakfast Near Me: 17 Chains to Grab a Tasty Morning Meal 

Vegan Breakfast Near Me: 17 Chains to Grab a Tasty Morning Meal 

Breakfast is, arguably, one of the best meals of the day. Whether you eat first thing in the morning or you’re more of a brunch-lover, you can’t go wrong with a stack of pancakes, a plate of (vegan) bacon and eggs, a bagel, or a simple bowl of cereal and oat milk. But when did we first start eating breakfast? And why? We’ve got the answers below. And, for days when you roll out of bed and just don’t feel like cooking, we’ve also listed the very best chains to grab some tasty plant-based morning grub.

Why do we eat breakfast?

While it’s now considered by many as the most important meal of the day, people haven’t always eaten breakfast.

Those who lived in medieval Europe, for example, would only eat early in the morning if they were up early for work, or they were suffering from an illness. Some also rejected the idea on religious grounds. Fasting was the pinnacle of morality, and eating too soon in the morning was seen as a sign of gluttony. Fun fact: the word breakfast literally means to break the fast—because we fast as we sleep.

But over the centuries, as new foods and beverages (like tea and coffee) were introduced to Europe from countries they had colonized, breakfast became more normalized, and even celebrated.

By the Victorian era, people on both sides of the Atlantic were enjoying breakfast. For poorer, working people, this would be something simple and quick, but for, say, wealthy Americans, breakfast became a feast of poached eggs, English muffins, toast, and French cheese, reports CBS.

The 19th century also brought with it the invention of Quaker Oats and cereals, like cornflakes. And by the turn of the 20th century, breakfast, as we know it today, had started to take shape.

Vegan Breakfast Near Me: 17 Chains to Grab a Tasty Morning Meal 

Popular vegan breakfast foods

According to USA Today, bacon, eggs, sausage, and pancakes are all in the top five breakfast foods for Americans. But plant-based alternatives to all of these foods exist, so if you want to indulge in a big vegan meal in the morning, you don’t have to miss out. For more on vegan bacon options, follow our guide to the best brands here. We’ve also got the ultimate guide to vegan sausages, and you can find out everything you need to know about one of the most popular vegan egg products, Just Egg, here.

Where to buy vegan breakfast

Life is all about the little things that make us happy. And waking up at the weekend and finding somewhere to eat a delicious breakfast is one of those little things. Luckily, the vegan breakfast options are leveling up all of the time—and not just in the US.

If you’re in Toronto, Revelstoke Cafe is the newest brunch spot turning its customers on to plant-based foods with vegan breakfast classics, like tofu scramble and cashew hollandaise. And in London, popular breakfast chain the Breakfast Club serves an extensive vegan menu, and even turned one location totally vegan for Veganuary.

But in the US, there is also an abundance of vegan breakfast options. Next time your stomach growls in the morning, consider breaking your fast at one of these chains.

Peet’s Coffee

If you’re in the mood for a munch and a morning coffee (with dairy-free milk, of course), head down to Peet’s and try the Everything Plant-Based Sandwich, which includes Beyond Breakfast Sausage, Just Egg, and vegan cheddar cheese.


If you’re passing a Starbucks (which, to be honest, is a frequent occurrence for most of us), meat-free breakfast options include an Impossible Breakfast Sandwich (which comes with egg and cheese) or a bagel with avocado spread (which is totally vegan!).


Ok, so unfortunately the pancakes at IHOP are not vegan. But don’t despair, the menu at the popular pancake chain has plenty of other plant-based choices, including plant-based sausages, avocado toast, and crispy hashbrowns.


Qdoba is a great place to grab a quick burrito for lunch or dinner, but there are some vegan breakfast options too. Ask for the Potato Breakfast Burrito, or the Potato Breakfast Bowl, without egg or cheese, and ask for extra guac.

Caffe Nero

Based in London and inspired by Italy, the coffee chain Caffe Nero also has several locations in the US. And just like its UK spots, a handful of vegan options are on the menu, including a Vegan Breakfast Roll with Beyond Sausage, Just Egg, and Daiya vegan cheese.

Odd Burger

Odd Burger (formerly known as Globally Local) is currently a Canada-based vegan chain, but it’s on its way to the US very soon, as it signed a letter of intent last year to open 50 new spots in the US and Europe. And when that moment comes, make sure your stomach is ready, because its vegan breakfast menu—which includes the Bacun Maple Crunch, the Faconator, and the Ham Breakfast Sandwich—is extensive.

Silver Diner

Eastern US chain Silver Diner really delivers on the vegan breakfast options. If you want to keep it simple, there’s the standard (yet always delicious) pancake stack, or you can indulge in Just Egg Breakfast Tacos, which are served with BBQ Beyond Meat. If you’re extra hungry, you could add some tempeh bacon too.

Breakfast Republic

Breakfast Republic caters to all tastes and lifestyle choices, and its vegan menu doesn’t disappoint. There’s even a Harvest Omelet, complete with plant-based eggs, veggies, vegan sausage, pancakes, and a Vegan Breakfast Burrito with meatless beef strips.

Alfred Coffee

Popular LA coffee chain Alfred has something for everyone—including vegans. Grab an iced, dairy-free latte, and if your stomach is rumbling, there are choices like an Avo Bagel with chives and micro greens or a VLT bagel with avocado, lettuce, and tomato.

Caribou Coffee

Caribou Coffee started in Minnesota in the 1990s and has since expanded to around 485 locations across the US. If there’s a spot near you, head down in the morning for an Iced Oatmilk Crafted Press and a Just Egg Roasted Tomato & Pesto Flatbread, complete with vegan cheese.

Plant Power Fast Food

McDonald’s may be lacking in vegan breakfast options, but you still can grab a meaty, cheesy plant-based muffin, croissant, or bagel at California-based chain Plant Power Fast Food. Don’t forget the side of hash browns!

Jajaja Mexicana

For a taste of Mexico in the morning, head down to one of Jajaja Mexicana New York locations and grab a Breaky Burrito with vegan eggs and mushrooms, or treat yourself to a big stack of Kale Pancakes with coconut mango jam.

The Butcher’s Daughter

Despite the name, The Butcher’s Daughter is an entirely vegetarian chain, with locations in Venice, West Hollywood, Nolita, Williamsburg, and West Village. At the weekend, it serves a brunch menu, complete with vegan Loaded Banana Bread and Butcher’s Pancakes with coconut drizzle and berry sauce.


With 10 locations across the US and Canada, Planta is the place to go if you’re celebrating something special. Its indulgent plant-based brunch menu includes French Toast, Frittata, and Overnight Oats. If you prefer something a little less breakfast-y, there’s also a Poke Bowl with spicy ahi watermelon and hearts of palm.


It’s breakfast all day every day at Philadelphia-based Saxbys, so don’t worry if you want a super long lie-in. After you’ve emerged from your slumber though, you should definitely try the Plant-Powered Breakfast Grilled Cheese with dairy-free cheddar and Just Egg.

Turning Point

With 20 locations across New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, Turning Point is a bit of a vegan breakfast paradise. There are plant-based omelets, sausages, patties, and Just Egg, but the star of the menu is the I Can’t Believe They’re Vegan Pancakes, served with fresh fruit.

Gregory’s Coffee

New York-based Gregory’s Coffee goes above and beyond with its breakfast menu, which is prepared under the guidance of its own in-house registered dietitian. The croissant Deluxe is one of its most popular menu items, but vegans don’t have to miss out, because the chain has made a plant-based version with vegan eggs, sausage, and cheese.