As a chef I’ve always had at least one or two vegetarian/vegan items available on my menu. As a soon to be husband to my wonderful vegan/vegetarian wife, I’m learning that that might not be good enough. It turns out, it is discouraging to have your dinner choice made before you even look at the menu. So now, we are on a quest to find restaurants that offer variety and creativity to the vegetarian and vegan crowd.
As we spend more and more time dining in Western Michigan we realize that completely vegan restaurants are hard to come by. One that stands out is Rise Authentic Baking Company, a vegan, gluten free, soy free bakery in Grand Rapids, MI. Rise is a super cute bakery and coffee shop with a hip vibe. Their breakfast bagel sandwiches and pancakes were both delicious. Another breakfast option that provides a nice vegan selection is Anna’s House. With locations all over Michigan they are one of the few places we have found with their own dedicated vegan menu. We had the breakfast scramble and vegetable quesadilla and both were excellent. Next time I”ll try the waffle or the French toast.
While it may sometimes be hard to find exclusively vegan restaurants, it is getting easier to find places that have a variety of vegetarian and vegan offerings. Our family loves tacos, so we are always looking for places that offer vegan varieties. Two of the best we have found are Luna in Grand Rapids, MI and Righteous Cuisine in Grand Haven, MI. The sweet potato tacos at Luna were well prepared and the quinoa salad was fresh and flavorful. And at Righteous Cuisine, the seasonal mushroom tacos went well with the spicy vegan chili. I love sushi and pad thai so it is convenient that most Thai & Japanese restaurants offer vegetables or tofu as a substitute for animal protein. Kazumi in Muskegon, MI offers a variety of noodle dishes that can be prepared vegan. They also have a good selection of vegetable friendly sushi rolls. Indian cuisine is another option that offers a good variety of meatless selections. Our favorite is Cumin Fresh Indian Kitchen in Grand Haven, MI. This restaurant is charming and the food is authentic and consistent. Whichever veggie entree you choose, make sure you order a side of garlic naan. It is the best.
For a grab and go lunch we loved Bodhi Tree Juice Company in Grand Haven, MI. Bodhi Tree primarily serves juice and kombucha, but they have vegan salads and side dishes available to go. We tried the tofu egg salad and onion tortilla wraps and both were unique and delicious. Another healthy and quick option is the Henry Street Deli located inside The Health Hutt in Norton Shores, MI. The Health Hutt is an awesome grocery store specializing in healthy, organic, natural foods and supplements. The Henry Street Deli offers sandwiches, salads, wraps and smoothies to go. They also have snacks, sides, entrees, and desserts in their grab and go deli case.
When searching for vegan and vegetarian dining choices in Western Michigan, do a little research before heading out. Check out menus online and don’t assume places will have available options. At first it may seem that the possibilities are quite limited, but as our hunt for exciting vegan dining carries on across the state, we continue to be pleasantly surprised by the options we find.
Rise Authentic Baking Co.
1220 Fulton St W
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Locations in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Holland, Grand Haven, Ann Arbor, Okemos, Westland
64 Iona Ave SW #100
Grand Rapids, MI
211 N 7th St
Grand Haven, MI 49417
5710 Harvey St
Muskegon, MI 49444
Cumin Fresh Indian Kitchen
1106 Robbins Rd
Grand Haven, MI 49417
Bodhi Tree Juice Co
1115 Washington Ave Grand Haven, MI 49417
Health Hutt - Henry Street Deli
3112 Henry St
Norton Shores, MI 49441