In the last several years, eating vegan has gotten a little easier in Greater Boston as more restaurants open and others expand their menus serving vegan and plant-based options.
It’s a trend that reflects the changing attitudes toward eating vegan and plant-based diets in the country. In May 2020, sales of plant-based foods increased by 90 percent compared to the year before, according to the Plant Based Foods Association and market research company SPINS. Most Americans are still eating animal products, but more are willing to venture into the world of vegan cuisine than in previous decades.
Still, if you aren’t already familiar with vegan restaurant options, it can be difficult to find them when you want something new. We asked our readers to share their recommendations for the best places that serve vegan or plant-based food in Greater Boston, and they sent in dozens of suggestions along with their favorite dishes to order.
Here are the top five restaurants that serve the best vegan and plant-based dishes according to readers, plus a map that includes all 55 recommendations.
Responses have been lightly edited and condensed for clarity and length.
1. Life Alive (Multiple locations in Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Lowell, and Salem)
“[The] Swami Bowl is my favorite because of the dressing but also because it’s a wonderful mix of delicious and nutritious food. Could eat it for lunch or dinner every day.” — Laurie, Cambridge
“Love pretty much everything, but nothing beats the Green Goddess bowl. It’s filling, delicious and there is truly nothing better than their ginger tamari sauce.” — Anonymous
“Best ingredients and made quickly. If I were on death row and being asked what I wanted for a last meal, I would beg for the Sufi Poet. This is a menagerie of red lentil hummus, cashews, greens, carrots, and wonderful spices that make the meal sing. To think this is actually health-promoting as opposed to the usual restaurant fare of fat, sugar, and salt is amazing!” — Anonymous
“Been ordering from here since they opened and were a great option for delivery during the pandemic. The Green Goddess and Swami Bowls are the best!” — Anonymous
2. Clover Food Lab (Multiple locations in Boston, Burlington, Cambridge, and Newton)
“Everything on their menu is plant-based, and dishes rotate in when they are in season. I have several favorites, but my favorite is the Japanese sweet potato sandwich in the fall. I am not vegetarian, but I can’t get enough of Clover. Everything is so full of flavor!” — Lydia
“Vegan BBQ Seitan. Great combination of sweet BBQ sauce and tangy vegan mayo. Add pickles and get rosemary fries.” — Scott
“Clover Food Lab by far has THE BEST vegetarian and vegan options in Boston. The food is always fresh and delish. Locally sourced and made fresh to order, this fast food joint is always the perfect option.” — Anonymous
3. True Bistro (1153 Broadway, Somerville)
“The brunch tofu and waffles because it is the perfect combination of salty, sweet, spicy, and savory. Every bite sends endorphins running through my body that make it nearly impossible not to burst into an over-the-top musical number. Hands down the best ‘chicken’ and waffles I’ve ever had, including before I went vegan. Also has the huge benefit of not slaughtering an innocent animal.” — Jerry Jarnagin
“True Bistro is a favorite! What sets them apart from most other establishments in the Boston/Cambridge area are their unique and creative dishes/desserts.” — Anonymous
“Waffles with buttermilk fried tofu. It’s the best-flavored tofu in the WORLD.” — Paul Snorbin
4. Veggie Galaxy (450 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge)
“The best vegan dish I’ve had is the buffalo sandwich at Veggie Galaxy in Cambridge. It’s filling, delicious, and just the right amount of messy. While the buffalo flavored seitan is the star of the show, the brioche bun is the perfect co-star.” — Sydney M., Somerville
“Southwest Breakfast burrito. Why? It is in no way, shape, or form, healthy. It’s just delicious. Their housemade vegan cheese sauce is the best I’ve ever had. And the fact [that] they put french fries into a burrito. C’est magnifique! The entire menu is spectacular, but I always find myself going back to this breakfast burrito.” — Rich
“VEGGIE GALAXY ALLLL DAAAAAAY BRO, especially around Thanksgiving (quickly approaching) they have THE BEST turkey entrée. I swear by this place. They also have dairy/egg options for those of you who haven’t fully committed.” — Anonymous
“The Rachel, which is like a Reuben sandwich, and the best one in the country, comes with tasty potato salad which is delish. Make the biggest mess eating it.” — Anonymous
5. Taco Party (711 Broadway, Somerville)
“My whole office used to celebrate when we’d get a chance to order here for lunch. I particularly loved the fried tofu taco with mango and the jackfruit taco! What I love about it most is the dishes are creative, interesting, and non-standard for this region independent of them being vegan or plant-based. Really unique fare while still being somehow approachable to this newbie.” — Rebecca
“Oh my, such delicious and inventive tacos. Cheap so you can get a bunch and try different flavors. Even my non-vegan family likes them.” — Anonymous
“Creative, affordable, and delicious tacos. They serve alcohol now too!” — Anonymous
“Get the cheezy potato taco. It’s amazing. Words can not describe the taste. Try it and thank me!” — Tim Bailey
These five restaurants may have been the most mentioned by readers, but there were plenty of other vegan and plant-based eateries readers swear by. Some other Boston favorites include Grasshopper in Allston, Double Zero, and My Thai Vegan Cafe. Look through our map below to find the 55 restaurants readers said served the best vegan dishes in the state.
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