As we've previously discussed, being a vegan in Dallas isn't a miserable and lonely existence, so long as you know how to navigate eating situations involving friends, family and coworkers.
A crucial piece of information to have in your back pocket is a restaurant list. But not just any restaurant list. Some meat eaters expect to eat meat at every meal and sometimes in more than one way. I love Spiral Diner and Kalachandji's, but if your eating company thinks they need meat lest they die, those places are a non-starter.
But there are plenty of places vegans and omnivores can both eat a meal that they'll enjoy. Here are 10 of Dallas' best.
Anvil Pub (above) Anvil offers a variety of options, because Daiya cheese easily transforms many items into vegan dishes. That means vegan sandwiches, pizza, nachos, chili, and more. Basically all the foods that go well with ice cold beer, which they conveniently serve on tap.
Pizza Lounge There are other places in town that have vegan pizza options, but Pizza Lounge has the most options by far. Many of the pizzas on the menu can be made vegan and are clearly marked so by substituting Daiya cheese. They also have a long list of vegan meats (if you can still call it meat) including soyrizo, chipotle sausage, italian sausge, and tofurky brats. Vegan cheese or not, the Dime Bag and it's spinach, broccolini and basil is a popular choice. You get it, right?
The Libertine The Libertine features great food without relying on vegan cheese. Items like the seitan tacos and the portobello sandwich are clearly marked vegan so there's no need to ask. And vegans can easily share in the Tex-Mex platter's black bean hummus and guacamole while the omnivores fight over the cheese. The Libertine occasionally offers Vegan Beer Dinners, which would make for a great evening with that special vegan in your life.
Chennai Café Unless you live or work in northwest Plano, Chennai is off the beaten path, but it is worth the trip. Vegans will need to ask what vegetarian items contain ghee, but everyone at Chennai Café is happy to explain what items are vegan and what aren't. Despite distance and the menu navigation, this place is worth it because it is damn tasty. (We didn't give it best vegan/vegetarian for no reason.) If you aren't sure what to order, try a thali, which gives you many small dishes served on a single platter. There are two veg thalis and omnivores can choose from the seafood or non-veg thali.
Sundown at Granada Hangover brunch can have restorative properties and be delicious all at the same time. Vegans can enjoy The Big Bend, a quinoa patty on top of spinach and served with roasted sweet potatoes. Omnivores can get an omelet, burger, or French toast. Everyone should get a bloody mary or a mimosa, though, because meat or no meat, it's still brunch.
Zen Sushi Vegans get their own menu here, which says good things about the variety of sushi and noodles available. Vegans and their eating partners can order side-by-side Xalapa rolls, one with shredded beet and the other with tuna, both with a jalapeno kick. If you are the kind of person who's never met an avocado you didn't like, you shouldn't pass on the avocado roll because Zen does not skimp.
Garden Café If you haven't been to Garden Café in a while, it may be time to give it another look. Vegans have options like a meal-sized salad featuring greens grown out back or the vegetable plate (minus cornbread), which features an ever-changing array of seasonal produce. It's food cooked just like mom used to make. Or like you wished she had made.
Bolsa All other restaurants on this list offer multiple vegan menu choices. Bolsa technically offers none, unless you count the seasonal pickled vegetable appetizer that might not even be on their ever-rotating menu anymore. So why did it make the list? An off-menu vegetable plate featuring whatever the kitchen has lying around makes this place a vegan treat. The result is a vegetable ensemble that would draw envy from the every omnivore at the table if they weren't enjoying their locally sourced chicken or flatbread featuring local goat cheese favorite Caprino Royal so much.
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Dalat Even vegans want pho at 1 a.m. sometimes. Or tequila shots. Whatever: Dalat has everyone covered. Their vegetarian menu offers spring rolls, pho, fried rice and tacos. Omnivores can get all these things too with chicken, beef, pork, and in some cases spam. Vegans love it when you eat spam in front of them.
Hacienda on Henderson This might not be your first thought for Tex-Mex. But Hacienda has a separate vegan menu that offers enchiladas, multiple taco offerings, quesadillas, and more. Like Anvil Pub, many of these dishes are made possible by Daiya, but if you are faux cheese averse, you still have plenty of options, including the grilled vegetable plate. You can even share sopapillas with agave at the end of your meal, assuming you didn't stuff yourself with too many magically expanding tortilla chips with salsa.