While surfing the web yesterday afternoon I found an article that resonated with me for two reasons: 1. because it involves great vegan eateries 2. travel in order to get to them. Combining my two favorite pastimes into one story? Rock on. It is a story out of VegNews and written by Carolyn Scott-Hamilton, aka the Healthy Voyager. For the time being, I’ll set aside that she stands between me and my ideal career because she has it already, and share this story with you. She highlights ten destination must-visits for vegan foodies, that boast delicious eateries and are peppered around the globe.
Where does she start? None other than Vancouver, BC, Canada, Sandy’s birthplace. I knew she was cut out to be a vegan foodie, evidently from the time she was born. Here is a link to the story if you would like to read more Vegan Spring Break.
This story inspired me to consider 10 Vegan Foodie Hotspots within swinging range in Michigan, where we have ventured and our palates delighted.
These are not in order of preference, only geography.
1. Bartertown Diner, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Amazing place, we visited there in January of this year and shared about the food they serve up daily, all local, all sustainable and all outstanding. Their menu changes every day and they sell out of the favorites since they only buy what is available. Try the Chickpea melt for some down home fun. They also have a wildly greener side, recycling everything in sight. Click here to read more. Visit them online Bartertown.
2. Brick Road Pizza, Grand Rapids, Michigan. From the same journey, this place knocked it out of the park with their vegan pizza options. They even have toppings like seitan pepperoni, tempeh bacon and steak style seitan. Wow. You can build your own or order vegan sandwiches, entrees and more. Visit them online Brick Road.
3. Jolly Pumpkin, Ann Arbor, Michigan. The warmed marinated olives appetizer knocks my socks off. Love olives, love them marinated, love them even more warmed. The red chili tofu sandwich is out of this world. Walk in the door, do not pass go, order it immediately. Visit them online Jolly Pumpkin.
4. The CupCake Station, Ann Arbor, Michigan. I had to lob a cupcake to- go place into the mix. Sometimes other CupCake Station locations are shy of vegan choices, but this one in Ann Arbor has daily vegan treats and usually a fun one or two to tempt a sophisticated palate. Plus, there are PupCakes for Chloe, so it’s worth a visit. They sometimes sell out early, so this is a case in point for why you should eat dessert first. Visit them online CupCake Station.
5. Sze-Chuan, Canton, Michigan. This unsuspecting little spot on a bustling road surrounded by franchises is a slice of Sze-Chuan heaven. We first fell in love with them when we realized that you can order their vegetable soup vegan (without chicken broth) and they are willing to pop some crispy rice on top. Their Vegetable delight is tasty and Sandy likes their garlic eggplant dish, but the one not to miss is the Home Style Tofu. Fried tofu in a house made brown sauce and lots of veggies, it is hearty and wonderful. Visit them online Sze-Chuan.
6. Bangkok 96, Dearborn, Michigan. Bangkok 96 Thai restaurant will rival any five star restaurant you can find. The owner is an amazing woman, who finds joy in bringing out special dishes she makes vegan for us besides the many that you can order from the menu. Our number one? The hot and sour soup. Ask for it to be made vegan and allow for a few extra minutes to be made fresh for you. It is worth driving across town to have it. Served in an elegant silver dish, with a sizzling volcanic center, it stays warm while you ladle out seconds. One of my favorite foodie moments ever was the afternoon that owner and chef of Bangkok 96, Genevieve Vang, gave Sandy and me a private tutorial to make her beloved fresh rolls. See post here. Visit them online Bangkok 96.
7. What’s Up Dawg? Deli, Dearborn, Michigan. This is a sleeper for sure. Serving many non-vegany deli treats, we would have passed this spot by a hundred times and never thought that they would serve up deli style dogs made vegan. They also have veggie burgers if a Chicago style vegan dog isn’t your thing. These dogs are hearty, delicious and reminiscent of everything you remember and love about the righteous experience of eating a good ole fashioned hot dog. Visit them online What’s Up Dawg?
8. Beirut By Night, Dearborn Heights, Michigan. Choosing a Middle Eastern restaurant in the Dearborn area is not an easy job, as they are bountiful and nearly every one has a specialty that they serve best. We pick this one because they have such a flavorful Vegetable Gallaba. (I’ve seen it also spelled ghallaya). Regardless of how you pen it, the dish is superb. Visit them online, but be cautioned, they play involuntary music that we could not find how to close out while reading the menu. Beirut By Night.
9. The Raw Cafe, Detroit, Michigan. This is relatively new on the dining scene in Detroit and I suggest you get in your car now and head over to get a seat. We are not always fans of raw food, but this cafe makes it sing. Try the “cheeseburger” and onion rings and you will see what I mean. What? How did they do that? It doesn’t make any sense, just order it. Visit them online Raw Cafe.
10. Russell Street Deli, Detroit, Michigan. A favorite of locals forever, this fantastic deli kicks out vegetarian and vegan dishes that are show stoppers. Nestled in Detroit’s Historic Eastern Market, they have access to the freshest of fresh produce. Try the TLT, veganized BLT or the Avocado sans cheese, or create a tofu scramble. The daily soups boast vegan options and if they have lentil the day you are there, get a bowl or two and one more to go. Visit them online Russell Street.
Have a delicious day.
Tags: 30 day challenge, Bangkok 96, Bartertown diner, Beirut By Night, Brick Road Pizza, compassionate eating, cupcake station, dairy free, going veg, Jolly Pumpkin, plant based diet, plant strong, Russell Street Deli, Sze-Chuan Restaurant, The Raw Cafe, Top 10 vegan hotspots, trying vegan, Veg News, vegan challenge, vegan experience, vegan wannabe, What's Up Dawg? Deli