Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or just someone who resentfully listens to their inner monologue saying, “Hey, you’ve only eaten beige things for the last 12 days,” there’s a limit to the number of frozen mixed vegetables you can eat in a week. So give the microwave a break, and remind yourself what real food is like with this guide, featuring 13 spots in Boston with plant-based options.
Any time a restaurant has “secret sauce” on the menu, we reflexively raise an eyebrow, a la Dwayne Johnson during his wrestling days. Lulu Green’s version comes alongside some tasty oven-baked za’atar fries, so we give them a pass. Everything else at this plant-based cafe has a variety of Mediterranean spices, so Lulu’s definitely gets our sense of smell going more than anything The Rock was cooking. Order pickup and delivery on their website.
If you read the ingredients label on frozen veggie burgers, you’ll find things like “autolyzed yeast extract” and “methylcellulose.” It’s hard to believe that someone discovered a way to get liquid out of those little fungi, and we won’t even get into what that second ingredient is used for. Don’t let chemists make your dinner - let Himalayan Kitchen do that instead. There’s bhindi masala, aloo mutter, and kwati (a dish with nine different sprouted beans) available, and the restaurant’s also on about 25 different delivery platforms. No excuses now, Morning Star lovers.
We daydream about fast-casual lunches sometimes - that crazy concept where we could walk into a crowded place, order food in line, consume it in a cramped booth, and then go back to work, all within the span of 15 minutes. While we wait for such creature comforts to return, we’re still ordering takeout and delivery from anoush’ella, the counter-service Lebanese spot in the South End. Their flatbreads, in particular, are pretty good - we recommend either the lentil kofta or the sabich (with grilled eggplant and hummus).
In a previous life, it used to take three weeks to get a table at Sarma. Nowadays, all you need to do is call ahead at 617-764-4464 to get your hands on some spicy olive bread, sweet potato falafel salad, and brussel sprouts bravas. We never thought that 2020 would be the year Sarma would overtake Amazon for speed of order fulfillment, but here we are.
There’s something called an “Eggplant and Tofu Surprise” at Grasshopper, an all-vegan spot in Allston. We have a mixed history with surprises - including a proposal-related one that resulted in a missing ring - but it turns out this spicy dish is pretty good. Perhaps the only disappointment is that there are no chapulines on the menu - yes, we know, they’re not vegan. Place your order here.
You’re tired of frozen peas, but going to the grocery store right now is as appealing as that solo game of Catan you played last night. Luckily for you, Life Alive is now doing three and five-day meal plan kits that come with salads, side dishes, soups, entrees, and dessert. Everything’s plant-based, and they even have growlers of kombucha to go. Check out their website to place an order.
Actually interesting vegan and vegetarian food can be difficult to find sometimes, but that’s exactly what you’ll get at Red Lentil. There’s pistachio-coconut crusted tofu, oyster mushroom calamari, and even a brunch menu on weekends with vegan waffles and artichoke quesadillas. Takeout and delivery are available Tues-Sat, from 11am-8pm - place an order on their website.
If you’ve ever made tofu successfully at home, we applaud you - our cheesecloth adventures only resulted in crumbles that were indistinguishable from cauliflower rice. Kim’s, on the other hand, makes their great tofu daily, and serves it in some flavorful broths. Both the kimchi and vegetarian versions are equally as good, and delivery is available through a variety of platforms.
Cocobeet, located Downtown in City Hall Plaza, is open for takeout and delivery across the city. They have a variety of smoothies and cold-pressed juices (the one with orange, ginger, and jalapeño sounds refreshing), but salads, grain bowls, sandwiches, and desserts are also available. If a key lime pie is vegan, these days we’re going to count it as breakfast and not dessert. Place your order here.
Apparently, “nu” is French for naked, which is pretty close to how we’re eating all of our meals now. This Somerville spot has a substantial menu of things like breakfast sandwiches, burritos, Hawaiian bowls, and burgers. They’re also offering a limited selection of groceries, beer and wine, and some rather pricey toilet paper made from recycled goods. Everything’s available for delivery, so no, you don’t need to put pants on.
Roxy's Grilled Cheese
When we think about vegan and vegetarian spots, Roxy’s - with a variety of bacon melts and burgers - isn’t usually the first place that comes to mind. But then we remember the buffalo tofu melt, the homemade veggie burgers, and the section of the menu that’s vegan (all available on Uber Eats), which makes us question all the other things that come to mind.
Saus at Bow Market
If you’re looking for meatless comfort food, then look no further than Saus. Everything at the Bow Market location is vegetarian (and can be made vegan upon request), which means fries with curry ketchup, poutine with kimchi, and cauliflower-falafel sandwiches are all available for dinner tonight. Delivery is available through Uber Eats and a number of other platforms - don’t forget to add some beer and wine to your order as well.
FoMu, the plant-based ice cream company, has four locations across the city. All of them are currently open for takeout and yes, delivery, which might be some of the most positive news we’ve heard in a while (sorry, John Krasinski). Flavors include lemon meringue pie, sweet lavender, peanut butter cookie, and dulce de coconut.