Foodies take note: flavorful, creative, exquisite cuisine is not just the forte of restaurants for meat and dairy eaters. Columbus, Ohio, has an array of restaurants that cater specifically to vegetarians and vegans with menus that will make even the most suspicious carnivore lick their lips, so friendly outings can be fulfilling for all — no more pasta with bland marinara sauce or boring salads for you, vegetarians. If you’re considering moving to Columbus but worried that you won’t find good vegetarian or vegan fare, have a look at these spots. They don’t disappoint.
1. Portia’s Cafe
If you’re looking for a truly conscious but incredibly flavorful meal or even just some dessert, Portia’s Cafe is the sweet spot. This cafe caters to all dietary preferences, from gluten-free and vegan to raw foods, all with a mission of inclusivity and awareness of community and environmental impact. You can still satisfy your cravings for hearty quesadillas, or pizza, or “cheesecake” — but without feeling heavy after. So whether you’re vegan or not, eat up — you won’t regret it later, and your karma is clean.
2. Banana Leaf Restaurant
Really hungry vegans rejoice: the Banana Leaf serves up vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free Indian fare buffet style. They even grind their spices in-house, meaning you can be completely assured they know what’s going into each dish down to the seasoning. That means no surprise chemicals — just fresh taste and hearty meals at a reasonable price. Meat-eaters and vegetarians alike will leave Banana Leaf feeling satisfied, and with very happy tastebuds.
3. Whole World Natural Restaurant & Bakery
The Whole World is your classic vegetarian/vegan restaurant with plenty of seitan, veggie burgers, and tofu Sloppy Joes. They specialize in comfort food, if you will, for those who prefer their comforts without animal products. You can chow down on a salad anywhere, Whole World knows — but when you want a broccoli “burger”, hit up this cozy spot with a laid-back vibe. They’ll take good care of you.
4. Udipi Café
When you leave Udupi stuffed to the brim with dosas, you and your non-vegetarian friends will forget that the Indian food you just devoured was completely free of meat. The lunch buffet will allow you to try a little bit of everything but guaranteed you’ll want to come back for more. The prices are reasonable and there’s truly something for everyone, from noodle dishes to more traditional masalas. When you’re relocating to Columbus you might not be thinking Indian food, but think again — Udipi may become your new favorite.
5. Loving Hut
The Loving Hut is a hub of creative vegan cuisine — that means no animal products, period, go into making those tasty BBQ sandwiches. The cuisine ranges from “golden nuggets” and spring rolls to burgers and chili fries, so there’s a sampling of multiple styles of cooking. Your meat-eating friends will be pleasantly surprised by the Kung Pao “Chicken”, and you can all wrap up your meal with some vegan “cheese” cake or ice cream. Eating out vegan has never been so easy.. Or tasty.
6. The Northstar Cafe
It may not be entirely vegetarian, but this restaurant is deeply rooted in consciousness and responsible eating. They source as much of their food organically and locally as they possibly can, emphasizing in their philosophical statement that they believe in taking care of earth and community through how they source and prepare their food. Their kitchens and bakeries are visible, lending to their belief in transparency in the preparation, and a look through their menu will have everyone in your party happy with their choices. With three locations right in town, eating well while living in Columbus is a lot easier.
If you’re looking for a few more indoor activity options after you’re done with your tour of restaurants in Columbus, have a look at this blog post.