Let’s face the facts here: Being a vegetarian is hard. Being vegan is harder. As a meatatarian, I feel for both of these groups so much. That’s why I assembled a team of well-traveled peeps from both of these groups to give me the lowdown on the best places for eating all the veggies without all the hassle of worrying about getting some kind of weak ass salad instead of something that’s actually tasty. From a quick bite to eat to full sit-down dinners, these places have your back if you’re a hungry herbivore in Cincinnati…
Melt Eclectic Cafe
It’s no secret that some of the best vegetarian and vegan food in the city is nestled among the bustling main street of Northside’s Hamilton Avenue. The first to enter this realm, and arguably the most true to the form, Melt has become a staple of healthy eating. But it’s not just the fact that it’s healthy… the food is ridiculously tasty, too. With choices like Veggie Cheesesteaks and a ton of other unique sandwiches, it’s not hard to tell why so many people are in love. What’s even cooler is that local business owner and badass bartender, Molly Wellmann, has taken charge of rebranding the already incredible restaurant and they’ll be opening a new location in the early part of 2017. We can’t wait to see what she has up her sleeve.
A couple of weeks ago, we wrote a feature article on Tickle Pickle and it’s increasing notoriety for having some of the most bodacious burgs in the city. While we did mention that they have options for the vegetarians and vegans out there, we didn’t go into much detail. Sure, there are plenty of burgers that are great for meat lovers, but let us just tell you about their Buns N Roses burger… This Vegan Black Bean Burger comes complete with a Vegan Seeded Bun, onion, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and this epic special sauce that we’re still amazed by. Basically, just because you’re a vegan doesn’t mean you don’t have a right to enjoy amazeballs burgers, and Tickle Pickle gets that.
Park + Vine
As a true meat-lover, I’ll be the first to say: I was shocked with how creative Park + Vine gets with their foods to make them versatile enough for everyone to enjoy. In fact, and this is the truth, one of the best burgers I’ve ever had in my entire life came from this spot, and it didn’t have meat. Yes, you read that correctly. They have a constantly-changing weekly burger at this spot, and they never cease to impress. We’ve had everything from a Beer Burger to a Butternut Squash Burger, and they’ve never failed to amaze. Oh, and you can’t miss out on their vegan-friendly GLT, which pays homage to Cincinnati with vegan goetta, cheese, and is topped off with lettuce and tomato.
Sleepy Bee Cafe
One of the best brunch spots in Cincinnati, Sleepy Bee has always been known for it’s ability to appease just about anyone who walks through its doors. A close look at their menu shows that vegetarians and vegans are no exception to that. While Mama Bee’s Vegetarian Chili is perfect for the chilly days that are starting to be commonplace, it seems that the clear winner among many in the veggie-lovers community is the Worker Bee. This omelette, complete with tofu scramble, comes with all the sides your heart desires and even comes equipped with the option of adding in veggie sausages. Man, we love it when a place has its act together and covers all the bases. Here’s to you, Sleepy Bee.
Would you just look at that veggie-topped masterpiece? We would say that the picture speaks for itself, and it does, but we’ll go ahead and give you the beautiful details anyway. What you’re looking at in the picture above is none other than the Killer Veggie. Why does it look so incredible, you ask? Well, a lot of it comes down to the fact that they add all those lovely veggies on top after the bake is complete; leaving them preserved in all of their glorious freshness. Oh, and the Edgar Allan Poe is of equal awesomeness. Don’t miss out on it if you’re coming back for seconds!
Green Dog Cafe
First off, we want to give Green Dog Cafe props for being so dedicated to being dedicated to both locally-sourced and environmentally conscious practices with their food. With that being said, we’re all about the unique items they’ve come up with to be vegan-friendly as well. The soups and salads are to die for, but you can find vegetarian and vegan options for those in most places. What you won’t find anywhere else, however, is their Green Dog Burger. This vegetarian-friendly puppy (heh) is topped with garbanzos, nuts, mushrooms, herbs, baby arugula, cheddar, red onion, and tomato jam; all between a house-made bun. Talk about complexity…
Okay, so we had to mix it up a little bit. Sure, there are plenty of quality places to get Asian food to nom on that are going to be vegetarian and vegan-friendly, but nothing comes close to the quality of Green Papaya. We could ramble on about all of their delicious options, but just go for the Queen City Rainbow from the Veggie Lovers menu. It’s got everything your heart desires and then some. You’re welcome.
Are you a veggie-lover in Cincinnati? Share some of your favorite places to nom in the comments below!