Dallas may have a reputation as a steakhouse city, but in 2018, we saw more new vegan and vegetarian options than ever. Hell, even some of the aforementioned steakhouses are offering vegan menus now. We've explored a bevy of vegan and vegetarian Dallas restaurants this year — here are our favorites:
Recipe Oak Cliff
1831 S. Ewing Ave. (Oak Cliff)
Recipe Oak Cliff is a plant-based eatery serving fresh and affordable vegan food. Owner Tish Crear recreates recipes she grew up with, things like a barbecue jackfruit sandwich with slaw; walnut “meat” tacos with avocado and cashew nut “cheese;” and pumpkin seed and walnut “chicken” salad. While there, try one of Recipe’s fresh-squeezed juices or smoothies. The By the Nile smoothie with hemp milk, dates, banana and coconut milk is Crear’s favorite.
4121 N. Westmoreland Road (West Dallas)
This is a newcomer to the Dallas vegan food scene. They specialize in vegan comfort food with menu items like their Mac & Cheese Buffalo Chick’em Sandwich, a vegan take on a fried chicken sandwich, topped with mac and “cheese,” vegan mayo and pico de gallo. Look for changes coming in the new year when Da Munchies launches an off-shoot eatery, Lé Munchie Vegan Food Company.
1101 N. Beckley Ave. (Oak Cliff), 1314 West Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth and 608 E. Hickory St., Denton
Spiral is probably Dallas’s best-known vegan restaurant and it serves up vegan twists on everything from a patty melt to quesadillas. It’s a great option for vegans looking for plant-based cheese and meat substitutes. Try the Nachos Supreme topped with cashew “cheese,” the Philly “cheese” steak, or the baked potato grilled cheese stuffed with “cheese” and home fries, bacun bits, sour cream and green onion.
10233 E. Northwest Highway (East Dallas)
Nature's Plate is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a convenient vegan option. They offer individual meals to go or you can sign up for one of their weekly plant-based meal plans. From breakfast items like gluten-free blueberry almond oatmeal and picadillo potato breakfast tacos to lunch and dinner choices like meatloaf, Mediterranean loaded sweet potato and chickpea noodle soup, Nature’s Plate makes it easy to eat vegan on-the-go. They also have a variety of baked goods, things like oil-free fudge brownies, chocolate pudding and banana raspberry bread.
2912 Oak Lawn Ave. (Oak Lawn)
Cosmic Cafe has long been a mainstay for Dallas vegetarians, and for good reason. Their menu covers a wide assortment of cuisines, with dishes like yellow squash bisque, samosas, paneer pakora, spinach enchiladas, tofu stir-fry, curried vegetables, black bean burger and pizza. Many of their items can be made vegan upon request. Cosmic Café is also an affordable choice; there is nothing on the menu over $12.
True Food Kitchen
8383 Preston Center and 7601 Windrose Ave., Plano
True Food Kitchen isn’t a strictly vegetarian or vegan restaurant, but it has plenty of interesting choices for vegetarians and vegans alike. Try the T.L.T., their vegan take on the B.L.T., with smoked tempeh and vegan mayonnaise. Vegans can also try the butternut squash or tomato and arugula pizzas or the Korean noodles with sweet potato glass noodles, bok choy, kale, cucumber kimchi, pineapple, bean sprouts and almond-lime vinaigrette. The spaghetti squash casserole is a hearty vegetarian (and gluten-free) offering, with crushed DiNapoli tomatoes, caramelized onion, zucchini and fresh mozzarella.
5450 W. Lovers Lane (Inwood Village)
Flower Child is another restaurant that isn’t purely vegetarian or vegan but has plentiful plant-based options. In fact, nearly every menu item is vegetarian, if not vegan. You have the option to add protein to these vegetarian and vegan bases, if you so choose. Standouts include the vegan poke bowl with marinated beet, avocado, pickled mushroom, cucumber, radish, wasabi pea, smoked dulse, brown rice and spicy ponzu. Or try the vegetarian Brussels and squash salad, with arugula, roasted Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, organic apple, ancient grains, cranberry, goat cheese, sprouted almond and chia seed vinaigrette.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.