Whatever your reason for meat abstinence, it’s crucial to be aware of the dankest destinations in your city to score your other favorite greens (along with delicious reds, yellows, purples, oranges...) so you can do away with cooking a few meals here and there without putting a snag on your weed budget. That’s why HIGH TIMES has scoured the nation for the most stoner-friendly vegan and vegetarian restaurants. And, trust us: You don’t have to be a practicing vegan or vegetarian to enjoy meatless meals at these spots. The chefs at these places know how to pack even more umami -- the savory flavor you typically associate with meat, mushrooms, and soy sauce -- in their dishes than you’ll find in typical plates that include popular proteins like chicken, beef and pork, so you might not even miss having animal parts in your food.
Check out the list, and let us know what dishes you like to order if any of these are your local spots. And, as always, feel free to shout-out any places we missed that you think are worthy of being included.
*(Complete vegan restaurants are marked as such; all others on the list are vegetarian or offer a combination of vegetarian and vegan)*
Counter Culture - Austin, TX - Vegan
This sky blue and brown diner epitomizes healthy and local cuisine, featuring as much locally grown produce that’s organically grown whenever possible. Owner Sue Davis began cooking her Counter Culture grub out of a food truck in ‘09 and moved into the larger brick-and-mortar space in 2012. Davis is first to admit that “vegan” doesn’t always mean healthy, but in her case, it does always mean delectable. With ingredients like cashew “cheeze,” seitan sausage, and tofu in numerous forms, CC is the place to be if you’re weaning yourself off meat. We recommend the Spicy Raw Pad Thai, composed of kelp noodles, seasonal vegetables, cilantro and ginger sauce, topped with sunflower seeds.
Greens Restaurant - San Francisco, CA
Chef Annie Somerville’s menu changes daily in her Fort Mason restaurant, giving diners a chance to embark on a new culinary journey whenever they stop in. Somerville has authored multiple cookbooks on vegetarian cuisine, and works closely with local growers and cheesemakers to bring in the freshest products money can buy. Get goofy on some Durban Poison and then trek over to Greens to obliterate your munchies with dishes like asparagus pizza, topped with spring onions, green garlic, ricotta salata, asiago, meyer lemon, pepper flakes and Italian parsley, or a portobello sandwich with roasted onions, tomatoes, arugula, Wagon Wheel cheese, and basil mayonnaise.
Dirt Candy - New York City, NY
What is “dirt candy,” you ask? Why, vegetables, of course. The creative cuisine at this NYC restaurant is more of a splurge than the other places on the list, but it’s in the Big Apple, so that should go without saying. Dishes like portobello mushroom mousse with truffled toast and pear-fennel compote, roasted cucumber hot and sour soup with black sesame, garlic-chili oil, wood ear mushrooms and cucumber jelly, and salt-roasted beets with Thai green curry, beet gnocchi and whipped coconut galangal cream sound so exotic that marijuana had to be involved in their invention. Check out this blog post on Dirt Candy’s insane-sounding Celery Cheesecake Roll dessert for true (stoney) culinary inspiration.
Watercourse Foods - Denver, CO
Dan and Michelle Landes started WaterCourse Foods in 1998 without any money in the register to make change. Now, over 15 years later, they’ve transformed from a 5-day-a-week breakfast and lunch spot to a 7=seven-day-a-week restaurant with a bakery that also serves wine and beer. Their perseverance has led to an amazing menu for Denver stoners to munch out on, including dishes like gluten-free nachos, seitan buffalo wings, deviled eggs with crimini “bacon,” and blackened tofu with coconut cream sauce.
Cafe Flora - Seattle, WA
With an environmentally friendly philosophy and strong support from the Madison Valley community, Cafe Flora has been thriving in Seattle since its opening in 1991. Menu options feature vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes, like sunchoke chips with parmesan-chive dip, fried avocado with cabbage-cilantro slaw, cayenne aioli and jalapeno jelly, and a vegan shepherd’s pie with lentils, black eyed peas, rutabagas, carrots and peas topped with a potato-yam smash and frizzled leeks. We can’t get enough of the roasted cauliflower and lentil salad with spicy greens, almonds, feta, dates, and lemon-tahini dressing, and we recommend burning a fat, fruit-flavored blunt among friends before you go.
Vedge - Philadelphia, PA
Vedge might look pricey, but for the quality of cuisine you can order and $16 grilled seitan (with Swiss chard, whipped tahini, pickled parsnips and za’atar) being the highest-priced dish, we felt it deserved inclusion as another “splurge spot.” We’re particularly fond of the Vedge Happy Hour, where you can small plates for $4 to $5, including Korean seitan tacos, crispy cauliflower with green harissa, and fried kimchi potato salad, along with killer cocktails like Tiger-berry Punch (gin, lemon, strawberry, coconut oolong and soda) and pomegranate sangria to take your high to a more elevated space.
Veggie Galaxy - Cambridge, MA
Imagine the ideal diner, but with everything you know about traditional diner menus being stripped away and reinvented without meat or seafood. No, you didn’t take too many tokes off that monster spliff; that’s exactly what you find in Veggie Galaxy. With meat-free takes on breakfast classics like omelets, pancakes, and eggs benedict (this version balsamic-roasted tomato and chipotle hollandaise), along with burgers (mushroom-chickpea or chipotle black bean), sandwiches, and All-American entrees (we’re talkin’ glazed seitan loaf with mashed sweet potatoes and sauteed rainbow chard; beer-battered house-smoked tofu with caper-dill aioli; and an assortment of salads with house-made dressings), this is the place to go when you want a meat-free fix of deliciousness.
Cafe Sunflower - Atlanta, GA
With locations in Buckhead and Sandy Springs (only the former serves beer and wine), Cafe Sunflower is one of the best destinations in the ATL to score vegetarian eats. Each location sports a different, ever-changing menu, but you can expect to find dishes like stuffed mushrooms with soy, scallions, carrots and sesame seeds with miso-mushroom sauce; Jamaican Limbo plantains with chipotle black bean dip; and orzo eggplant lasagna with portobello, zucchini, roasted red pepper, grilled asparagus, tofu ricotta, and roasted shallot marinara. We highly recommend the fajitas with soy steak, smoked tofu, an array of roasted vegetables and guacamole.
Blossoming Lotus - Portland, OR - Vegan
Located in Portland’s Irvington district in the NE quadrant, Blossoming Lotus serves “world fusion vegan cuisine” and operates a full bar with a variety of interesting concoctions and local wines and craft brews. We’re all about the whiskey ginger BBQ soy curd sandwich on toasted ciabatta with whole grain mustard and vinegar dressed apple slaw, and we can’t talk enough about the tempura avocado tacos with kimchi and aji slaw. But, our highest compliment goes out to the super-packed Green Bowl, filled with super greens kissed with roasted beet balsamic vinaigrette, steamed kale, cucumber, diced avocado, edamame, your choice of quinoa or brown rice, and miso sesame vinaigrette (yep, you get double the dressing). Obviously, taking in a green bowl of your own at home before you go eat is part of our reco.
MANA Food Bar - Chicago, Il
The Windy City sure loves meat, but at MANA Food Bar, veggies get their own dose of Midwestern love. MANA has full vegan and gluten-free menus to go with its full vegetarian one, and features international favorites like gyoza, curry potatoes and chickpeas, bi bim bop, burritos, and chili. An outdoor patio opens up in March (weather permitting), and is the perfect place to enjoy your high with a spinach and pear salad with mustard vinaigrette, or a steamy bowl of saag paneer, an Indian dish with spinach and paneer cheese (which stays solid in heat) cooked in a spiced yogurt sauce and served with brown rice. Don’t forget to order a side of brussels sprouts with mustard miso.