Finding a vegan restaurant in Salt Lake City is easy; the difficult part is deciding which one you will choose. Dining out as a vegan hasn’t always been so easy in the past. While traveling with my extended family to a reunion in Iowa, I was delighted to see a menu offering a “veggie burger”. My delight quickly turned to disappointment when discovering that their veggie burger was just a beef patty with a single leaf of iceberg lettuce on top. It wasn’t unusual for a waitress to suggest the “Chef’s Salad” as a suitable meal, which included egg, ham, cheese, and topped with a creamy dressing. After requesting eliminating them, it left you with iceberg lettuce with a slice of tomato. Many people simply didn’t understand what vegans ate. Traveling for business or on vacation, meant packing your own food.
Times have certainly changed. Eating a vegan diet, whether it is for medical reasons, food allergies, environmental concerns, or compassion for animals, offers a wide variety of food to eat. Whether you reside in Salt Lake City, or are visiting for business or vacation, the first thing to do is pick up a free copy of the Utah Vegan Guide, which is updated annually by UARC. Typically these booklets can be found at local restaurants.
This year, the guide has expanded beyond Salt Lake City, covering restaurants from as far north as Logan to as far south as Kanab and St. George, and includes many cities in between. They list restaurants which are 100% vegan, as well as others who offer vegan options on their regular menus.
The following are just a few of my favorites in no particular order. To be fair, for those that are not mentioned below, there are still more vegan restaurants that I haven’t eaten at yet.
Seasons Plant Based Bistro located at 1370 S State Street in Salt Lake City. It offers French and Italian cuisine, with a selection of local and imported beer and wine. On our first visit, the waitress inquired about any food allergies, and pointed out appropriate options from their menu. During our second visit, a few months later, the same waitress not only recognized us, but remembered my wife’s mushroom allergy. The food and service is wonderful.
Vegan Bowl located at 8672 S Redwood Road in West Jordan. It offers vegan versions of all your Vietnamese favorites including, ramen stir-fry, egg rolls, banh mi, noodle salads, rice bowls, pho, flan, and drinks, including shakes. Service is very quick.
Lil’ Lotus located at 2223 South Highland Drive in Salt Lake City. It offers vegan breakfast burritos, Navajo tacos, mac n’ cheese, hot dogs, and sliders. The food is very flavorful.
The Pie Pizzeria has several locations including Salt Lake City, South Salt Lake, Midvale, South Jordan and Ogden. This traditional pizzeria often makes it on the Best Pizza lists. They offer Follow Your Heart vegan cheese and other vegan options on their regular menu, in addition to a different specialty pizza each month. Their menu also includes Gluten free options.
Monkey Wrench is located at 53 E Gallivan Avenue in Salt Lake City. This vegan ice cream shop makes their ice cream in small batches and offers 16 flavors. They serve it in a cup, a cone, with a brownie, or as sundae or a banana split. Take a pint home with you. They also sell coffee, hot chocolate and vegan pastries.
Boltcutter is located at 57 Gallivan Avenue, Salt Lake City. They offer vegan versions of Mexican classics such as street tacos, burritos, and quesadillas, as well as craft libations. Be sure to try their Buffalo cauliflower and nachos.
Buds is located at 509 E 300 South in Salt Lake City. They offer vegan sub sandwiches and salads, including the Pesto, Buffalo, Cheese Steak, Barbacoa. They have a walk-up window to order and pick up your food. There is no indoor seating, although there is an outdoor patio with picnic bench seating, when the weather is nice. They are great sandwiches to take on the go, and be sure to try their zucchini chocolate chip cookies.
Passion Flour is located at 165 E 900 South in Salt Lake City. They offer authentic French pastries, tartines, crepes, sandwiches and coffee. They also take orders for wedding and specialty cakes.
Big O Doughnuts is located at 248 W 900 South in Salt Lake City. They offer vegan gourmet doughnuts with flavors such as spiced apple cider, blueberry lavender, orange cardamom, matcha, rosemary brown sugar, cookies and cream, pumpkin pie, churro and traditional favorites such as Boston cream filled, lemon curd as well as apple fritters. They open at 7 am on weekdays, and 9 am on the weekends. Be sure to go early as they often sell out before their 3 pm closing time.
Vertical Diner is located at 234 W 900 South in Salt Lake City. Breakfast is served when you want it. Whether you like it sweet or savory, they have menu items that are sure to please. They offer comfort food with a selection of burgers, sandwiches, and specialty plates. They provide catering on-site in their Jade room for up to 40 people or off-site for up to 500.
If you have a personal favorite that I didn’t mention, be sure to share it with me in the comments section below.
Upcoming Vegan events:
Vegan Mac Down SLC Be sure to get your tickets for the 3rd annual Mac Down on Saturday, October 19th at Impact Hub on 150 State Street, #1, in Salt Lake City. Nine local cooks have prepared their best vegan mac n’ cheese recipes to compete for your vote. Enjoy music, games, prize giveaways and local vendors.
A Very Vegan Thanksgiving will be held on Saturday, November 9th at Wasatch Elementary, 30 “R” Street in Salt Lake City. This is an annual fundraiser for Ching Farm Rescue & Sanctuary. Proceeds from this event helps to purchase animal feed and hay for the winter months. Doors will open at 5 pm, dinner will be served at 6 pm. Silent Auction items will be available to bid on until 7:45 pm.
Are you looking for something different to do this Thanksgiving besides cooking all day and eating a big meal? Whether you are a newcomer to Utah or a lifelong resident, spending the holiday alone or with house full of friends and family; here are some fun ways to celebrate Thanksgiving this year.
Ching Farm Rescue and Sanctuary
The 20th Annual Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner and fundraiser for the animals at Ching Farm Rescue and Sanctuary will be held on Saturday, November 10th at the Wasatch Elementary School, 30 R Street from 5 to 9 pm. Erika Tymrak, midfielder of the Utah Royals Soccer Team, will be the guest speaker. Also there will be plenty of great items to bid on during the silent auction. Buy tickets here
Utah Food Bank
The Utah Food Bank distributed 39.2 million pounds of food to people facing hunger in Utah during 2017. Each day, 392,000 Utahans (including many children) are at risk of missing a meal. You can help support them by donating food, time and/or money.
Donating Food: There is a virtual food drive on-line where you can fill up a grocery cart with the most needed items – with the added benefit of paying less for the items than you would at retail prices, as well as save on gas and time by doing it on-line.
Time: Last year, volunteers worked 83,418 hours. There are lots of opportunities to volunteer time as an individual, family or group at the warehouse. All volunteers must sign up in advance. Keep in mind, Thanksgiving is a popular time to volunteer, but volunteers are needed throughout the year.
Money: There are several ways to donate to the Utah Food Bank including cash, donating your used car, employers’ matching gifts, and gifts of stocks. Check their link for further details.
Utah Human Race 5K/10K
You may also want to participate in the 13th annual Utah Human Race on Thanksgiving morning (and burn some calories before your Thanksgiving meal) to support the Utah Food Bank. Registration Details
Cottonwood Heights Thanksgiving Day 5K
Be part of the longest “running” Thanksgiving Day event. Strollers and dogs on leashes are welcome. Commemorative Medals awarded to participants who beat the Mayor to the finish line. Registration Details
“Thankful 13” Half Marathon / 5K / Kid’s Race
Participate in the half marathon, 5k or kid’s race on the Jordan Parkway trail in Lehi. Pumpkin pie, rolls and hot chocolate are available for participants at the end of the race. Registration Details
The Pilgrim 5K at Thanksgiving Point is a pilgrim wear costume run which includes their iconic long-sleeved cotton T-shirt and a giant buckle hat or bonnet. Pilgrim scenes can be found along the course, ending at Plymouth Rock where finishers can feast on pumpkin bars and drink apple cider. Registration Details
Salt Lake City offers a diversity of vegan restaurants. If you ever wondered what a vegan eats, the SLC VegFest would give you some ideas. The 3rd annual SLC VegFest organized by the Utah Animal Rights Coalition (UARC) was held at Salt Lake City Main Library Plaza on Saturday, September 8. The event offered a kids’ area, live music, beer garden, cooking demonstration, a film showing, and expert speakers.
Vegan Panini’s, gyros, crepes, ice cream, pastries and much more was available to purchase from food trucks, bakeries and local restaurants. It was a great opportunity to try many different options all in one place.
The event is attended by thousands of people each year, and continues to grow. Many people are interested in learning more about vegan diets, whether for ethical reasons, environmental concerns, or for improving one’s health.
A Vegan Kids Panel featuring children ranging in age from 5 to 17 responded to questions about being vegan and how they handle different situations when eating at school, attending birthday parties, social events, and while traveling. They also shared their experiences when celebrating holidays, such as Halloween and Thanksgiving. They offered tips about prepping food for the week, and easy food to take on the go. One of the panelists stated that a friend asked her if she just ate grass. Although none of the children ate grass, they did share what their favorite foods were, and several stated that they enjoyed preparing food at home themselves.
Whether you prefer American classics, Italian, Mexican, or Asian dishes, Salt Lake City has many vegan options for dining out. UARC has a free SLC Veg Dining Guide which can be found at many local businesses, or can be downloaded from their website. Their Dining Guide identifies restaurants that are entirely vegan, vegetarian and those are who UARC partners (providing special offers or discounts to UARC members).