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Vegan and Vegetarian Menus in Dallas

Shannon_BettyGoesVeganHC-234x300Yesterday, my colleague, Krista Knightengale, and I were discussing various vegan-and-vegetarian-friendly restaurants in Dallas. She has a Dallas friend who is a vegan and her friend complains about the lack of options in area restaurants. I’m neither but I pay attention to every menu I read and make note of places with vegan/vegetarian options. I feel that a lot of restaurants are making an effort to include options on their menu; Krista says “not so much.”

As an example, I pointed to the menu at Peak & Elm which is where we were lunching. On the back, there were several choices with a note “more vegan and vegetarian options coming soon.” A Tex-Mex restaurant with vegan options? I say that’s progress. I’d love to hear what you’ve spotted out there. Do you see listings on menu? I mean good ones, not just a cruddy salad or plate of steamed vegetables. (BTW, I am retiring the word “veggie” from my vocabulary. Over it.)

24 comments on “Vegan and Vegetarian Menus in Dallas

  1. Another Tex-Mex place with yummy vegetarian options is Manny’s. Their fajitas are delicious.
    My favorite vegan meal ever was at Abacus — they will whip up just about anything if you ask nicely!

  2. I guess it depends on your definition of “a lot” is. Comparatively, there’s no question there are “a lot” more restaurants doing this now than say, five years ago. It’s likely Krista and her friend just don’t know the right places to look.

    And their are words far worse than “veggie” that need retiring first, I believe.

  3. Almost every place has decent vegetarian options (aside from the aforementioned “cruddy salads”), but finding vegan is much harder. (Especially after just returning from a trip to Portland.) DISH has a pretty killer cauliflower steak with kale, Calabrese peppers, and cipollini onions. You can ask for them to make it vegan with balsamic vinaigrette instead of the “Golden Raisin Brown Butter.” It’s really, really good. I’ve back on another pho kick lately, and I love that Dalat has a vegetarian menu that includes vegetarian pho and tofu bahn mi. Dream Cafe serves an acorn squash stuffed with shallots, currants, and pilaf and the Global Dinner (black beans, rice, salsa, guac) has a tofu option.

  4. I work in a restaurant and our kitchen staff hates vegans. They are very demanding and never satisfied. Sometimes I’m scared to take their order.

  5. Former vegan, now vegetarian who doesn’t eat eggs or consume dairy, but with an occasional foray into the sea for fish. Yep, I’m a freak.

    But, what a crock of utter BS. As someone who has willingly and consciously made the decision to not consume animals or it’s by-products, I am well aware that my dining choices are limited. Do I b*tch and moan? No! Why would I plague a kitchen with my food neurosis? I would never expect a restaurant to accommodate my choices by rolling out the red quinoa carpet. “Not so much” she says. I know your type honey. You will give some hapless waitstaff your detailed order, declaring you are vegan/vegetarian and then order a cocktail that is not vegan. That lovely margarita or martini drink you ordered is most likely colored with carmine or cochineal, derived from the scales of beetles, as are many food additives.

    I have been to many a restaurant, even a steakhouse and ordered vegan/vegetarian. I don’t make a special requests. I just order vegetables or salads without making a big deal out of it. I just go with the flow.

    Sorry Nancy, I just get tired of the way picky vegans/vegetarians give the lifestyle a bad name. It’s like expecting every restaurant to be gluten-free. The entitlement gets old.

  6. Hacienda on Henderson has an entire vegan menu with Daiya cheese quesadillas, black bean tacos, guacamole tacos…. There’s also The Loving Hut in Addison, New Start in Dallas, and Veggie Garden in Richardson, which are conpletely vegan buffets. Spiral Diner in the Bishop Arts area (with another location in Ft. Worth) is totally vegan as well. Kalachandji’s is an indian buffet, completely vegetarian with vegan options clearly marked. Pizza by Marco (tons of locations) and Pizza Lounge in Fair Park have Daiya cheese, with vegan faux meats, and gluten free crust available too. And these are just places that I’ve tried, I know there are more. Krista and her friend need to do a little more research.

  7. Mai’s Vietnamese at Bryant and Fitzhugh has wonderful spring rolls, a vegetarian section to their menu, and, well 66A–wonderful. Veggie, VegOut, VegFest, VegTexan–seems a shame to lose that word!

  8. Pretty much any asian cuisine can have veg friendly options. Hacienda is good. Spiral Diner is straight vegan. Any pizza place can have veg options. Of course, there is Mediterranean food like Fadis and Andalous. Fuzzy’s has cheese enchiladas with vegetarian rice and potatoes. There are so many options if you look. I’m vegetarian and we eat out in the city all the time with no problems.

  9. Nana used to have vegetarian and vegan tasting menus. I suspect most fine hotel restaurants likewise offer interesting vegan and vegetarian options.

    Kalichandji’s is an excellent restaurant, very inexpensive, and offers one of the most serene patios in Dallas. The vegan dishes are clearly marked.

  10. Thanks to all for this conversation. Jane, you are brilliant. rolling out the red quinoa carpet=awesomeness. I was a vegetarian for 8 years and in the late 80s and early 90s. I got so sick of servers saying well we have chicken and fish. I was lucky enough to spend two weeks each year in London and it was so great to find “suitable for vegetarians”on almost every menu”and even on some wine labels. I eat out a lot here and I think Dallas restaurants are making efforts not just for vegans, and vegetarians, but gluten -free diners. Although I feel some do it for the “trend” of GF not really for the medicinal reality of the lifestyle. Dallas Vegan, I hear you. Perhaps vee’s. We’ve started a Vegan/Vegetarian section to our online and magazine directory so feel free to boast about your favorite V-Spot. Oh, sorry. too soon?

  11. well, my dear, you need to get over that. If you want to make money you take care of your customer and refuse to be intimidated by kitchen staff. If the owner isn’t part of the kitchen staff, go straight to the top. Good owners and managers rely on feedback from servers to improve menu and service.

  12. I think Scott at Dallasfood.org did a series on vegetarian tasting menus or maybe it was just tasting menus. It was brilliant. Must look up link.

  13. Most overlooked veg stop is Trinity Hall Irish Pub & Restaurant at Mockingbird Station (http://www.trinityhall.tv) with four veg choices on the menu. Recently saw a vegan list inserted into the menu. Great music and spirits, too

  14. The one and only time I had it was back in 2009. It was quite glorious. I always wished they actually had any of the items from the tasting menu on the actual menu, but lovely nonetheless.

  15. Indeed…Fearing’s at the Ritz has a vegetarian menu, much of which can be made vegan. The tortilla soup is amazing.

  16. Touché‎. And I trust you realize that particular closing had less to do with the demand for vegan options, than with ownership/management itself. It was no loss to the community.

  17. Nancy, it was three years ago this July 4. Excellent menus and service. It is a shame it closed.

  18. I miss the old dallasfood.org, as well. I do recall a vegetarian teasing menu thread. My rotting memory wants to recall that the Mansion was reviewed.

  19. To this day most vegetarian options are either grilled squash/zucchini, fried something, or something else with cheese; yes, no understanding of lacto free vegetarians. Many years ago at Bouley’s I asked for a vegetarian meal. The kitchen did not skip a beat and after dinner Bouley himself came by to tell me if I called in advance spring/summer he would make something from his home garden.

  20. While it’s probably true that “most” vegetarian options are not vegan, there’s so much more out there. Just need to know where to look, and frequent those places. Trust me – I eat out all the time, and never get tired of my options.

  21. I am a recent transplant in Dallas from NYC and without question NYC has many more vegetarian and vegan options at most restaurants (even a seven course tasting at Gramercy Tavern). Everything from the most trendy establishments to the dives take the time to add composed and tasty veg options. At a recent dinner at Cedar Social the only item that didn’t not have meat or fish on the menu was Mac + Cheese. While I love noodles and cheese and the cocktails were great, I felt underwhelmed.

    I’ve found in Dallas that a lot of the vegetarian options are a bit weak and seem to only exist to satisfy the non-meat eating customers; it feels like an afterthought. Vegetarian food can be well composed, substantial and delicious. I would encourage more Dallas businesses to offer vegetarian options not only for vegetarians, but mindful meat eaters who don’t choose to eat meat at every lunch or dinner. With all that said, I have yet to try some of the places listed in the comments and look forward to doing so!