Eating vegan on the meal plan is completely doable, but a change in cuisine can provide some variety to your diet. Over the past two years, I have discovered a few restaurants that serve solely vegetarian and/or vegan options, so that eating out with omnivorous friends does not have to be an ordeal. Here are a few vegetarian and vegan restaurants to try on a future excursion to Cambridge.
Veggie Galaxy (Central Square)
This diner-style restaurant is a must-visit for everyone, regardless of diet. Veggie Galaxy serves vegetarian and vegan options, and every dish can be made vegan upon request. Highlights of the menu include an all-day breakfast menu, veggie burgers and vegan donuts on Saturdays.
Veggie Galaxy strives for healthy options that are unique and that don’t seek to imitate meat versions of the same food. Their chickpea and mushroom burgers are a staple that meat-eaters can appreciate just as much as vegans.
Additionally, everything Veggie Galaxy bakes is 100 percent vegan, while retaining the taste of its non-vegan counterparts. Adhering to a vegan diet does not mean giving up cheesecake, Boston cream pies or cake! The vegan frappés, made with coconut milk, are rich and decadent — perfect for a post-midterm treat.
Life Alive (Central Square)
This cozy café, lined with fresh vegetables along its walls, is a haven for vegetarians and vegans alike. The menu is mostly vegan — with a few vegetarian options — and features bowls, wraps and plates infused with Asian and Mediterranean flavors. Life Alive also prides itself on getting local produce and cheese from farmers near Lowell, Massachusetts.
Life Alive’s best menu items are the smoothies, which are made with organic almond milk and soy-based ice cream, both of which are vegan, as well as an abundance of fruit, dates and coconut oil. This is a great option if you want a filling drink to sustain you throughout the day.
Clover Food Lab (Harvard Square)
Simple, delicious and fast, Clover provides great options for vegans and non-vegans alike. Their menu is always in flux, due to their commitment to provide fresh ingredients. Their chickpea fritter, however, is always on the menu and provides a quick, satisfying vegan meal. Clover also features experimental sandwiches in flavors such as Japanese Sweet Potato or Hungarian Beet from time to time. Most of these experimental sandwiches are at least vegetarian, if not vegan.
There are also some great options for popular food outside of specialty vegan or vegetarian restaurants. Chipotle, for example, provides a vegan option with their veggie burrito or bowl — just be sure to get black beans and to skip the cheese and sour cream.
Boloco has vegan options, too. The teriyaki burrito with tofu and the chopped sesame salad are both vegan, and any other burrito can be made vegan by requesting it without cheese or sour cream. They also serve the Berry Blitz and Soy Berry smoothies, both of which are vegan.
For dessert, rest assured that vegans can still enjoy Georgetown cupcakes! They offer at least one vegan cupcake a day, usually vegan apple cinnamon or vegan carrot. Vegans can also rejoice in dairy-free options at J.P. Licks and Truly Yogurt in the Ville. J.P. Licks always has at least one soy-based ice cream — the black raspberry soy ice cream is wonderful — and Truly always has sorbets, which are both dairy-free and delicious.
Below are some other vegan restaurants that are on my list of places to eat this semester. In general, it helps to keep in mind that there are more vegan-friendly places in Cambridge and Allston.
- My Thai Vegan Cafe & Bubble Tea Bistro: 100 percent vegan Thai cuisine (Chinatown)
- Grasshopper: Boston’s longest-running vegan restaurant; serves Asian cuisine (Allston)
- Root: Vegan burgers, sandwiches, quesadillas and salads (Allston)
- FoMu: Alternative, dairy-free ice cream (Allston)
Check back in two weeks for vegan snacking tips!