ANN ARBOR, Mich – Home to a diverse population of hungry professionals and students, Ann Arbor is also a foodie paradise with small local eateries standing side-by-side with franchise restaurants.
On top of its notable Main Street eats, the city’s food scene is also friendly to those who are strictly vegetarian or vegan (or those curious about plant-based diets).
Here are seven eateries in Ann Arbor that make even the veggie-curious contemplate a change in diet.
Strictly vegan, Detroit Street Filling Station offers filling fare from Buffalo Cauliflower Wings to the beautiful Buddha Bowl. Protein-packed add ons, such as grilled seitan chik’n or braised tempeh, add a punch to salad, sandwiches and entrees. Try the biscuits and gravy with a seitan sausage patty!
Detroit Street Filling Station offers Sunday Jazz brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every weekend.
A staple of Ann Arbor vegetarians, Seva is known for its imaginative cuisine. With substitutes peppered throughout the main menu, many dishes can be made vegan-friendly and the eatery even has a gluten-free menu and a dedicated gluten-free toaster. Offering belly-filling fare like a Beyond Burger or the tofurkey-stuffed Seva Club, the Ann Arbor institution has been serving food for more than 40 years.
Located in the plaza on the curve of Plymouth Road by Upland Drive, Cardamom serves up a bevy of veggie-friendly Indian dishes. Starters including Papri Chat and vegetable samosas are great as a snack or to whet appetites before entrees such as vegetable biryani or one of Cardamom's many vegetarian curries.
Cardamom also has a take-out menu for those who don’t have time to sit down.
4. Vedge Cafe
Another vegan hotspot, Vedge Cafe offers deli-style eats with its vegan lunch “meats.” Offering salads, sides and cold sandwiches, Vedge Cafe also has warm sandwiches including the Vedge Philly full of sliced seitan, vegan cheez, caramelized onions, mushrooms and other Philly sandwich accouterments.
Vegan meats can also be purchased by the pound for those wanting to make their own Vedge Cafe versions at home.
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Family-owned and operated, Jerusalem Garden offers delicious dishes in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor. While not a dedicated vegetarian or vegan restaurant, the downtown eatery offers animal product-free plates including the Falafel plate (falafel, hummus and pickled turnips), vegetarian grape leaves and the Mjaddara sandwich.
Winner of the Current’s 2018 Best Lunch! Best Vegan/Vegetarian award, the Lunch Room has vegan meals ranging from the T.L.T. (tempeh, lettuce, tomato) and tasty Chili Mac to the Buffalo Wrap and Pam’s patty melt. Go for the Can’t Beet Our Burger beet burger!
Looking for something lighter? Head over to the Lunch Room Bakery & Cafe for vegan-safe baked goods.
7. Earthen Jar
Kosher and mostly vegan-friendly, Earthen Jar is a hidden gem right next to the downtown branch of the Ann Arbor District Library. Rotating the items on its hot and cold buffets, eaters can grab a plate and pile on various things to try for $7.99 per pound.
Try both versions of the banana pudding (non-vegan and vegan)!
Although it's not a vegan or vegetarian eatery, Fleetwood’s famous vegetarian Hippie Hash (and its variations) could persuade you to give up meat. Tempeh can be added to the hash to bulk it up.
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While not something that’s thought of as traditional tacos, the cauliflower tacos at Isalita are a vegetarian favorite and full of mint salsa and pickled jalapenos.
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