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25+ vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Columbus

Dig into delicious and nutritious vegan and vegetarian fare in every corner of Columbus, OH, ranging from downtown to Westerville.

CBUStoday - 4th and State

Find non-brunch options like these vegan nachos at 4th & State. | Photo via 4th & State

Table of Contents

Eating meat-free hasn’t always been easy, but in Columbus, it’s a piece of (vegan) cake.

Our local food scene is as vibrant as ever, so it’s no surprise there are a slew of local chefs serving up fresh, vegetarian bites across town. From vegetarian barbecue to vegan baked goods, here are 28 restaurants serving up plant-based fare in CBUS.

Senior City Editor Mitch, here. Be prepared to see that phrase a lot throughout this guide. I have been a vegetarian since 2017, and it all started right here in Columbus. I’ll be sharing my pro tips, go-to orders, and general advice throughout each section.

The brunch bunch

CBUStoday Katalina's

The breakfast tacos with vegan chorizo are served with elote-style corn on the cob at Katalina’s. | Photo by CBUStoday

4th & State, 152 E. State St., Downtown
This family-owned diner offers items like the “Vrunchwrap,” a vegan breakfast spin on Taco Bell’s Crunchwrap Supreme. Plus, you can get a sneak peek of how chef Chad Goodwin’s kitchen operates by watching “Top Vegan,” a CBUS-based cooking competition, on YouTube.

Fox’s Bagels & Deli, Multiple locations
You may know this bagel shop as Block’s, but it went through a name change in 2022. While it’s under new ownership, the menu offerings remain much of the same with high quality bagels + plant-based options like vegan sausage or vegan cream cheese.

Mitch, again. This local bagel shop in the North Market + Bexley has been the fuel to my Saturday mornings for nearly half a decade. Follow my lead here and you won’t be disappointed: Egg, cheese, and vegan sausage on an everything bagel. Don’t skip the pickle. If you’re at the North Market, you have to get a cold brew from Stauf’s.

Pattycake Bakery, 3870 N. High St., Clintonville
This all-vegan bakery is known for its cakes and cookies that are full in flavor. It has also gained a fan following for its sticky buns, which are only available on Saturday mornings. We recommend getting your hands on one sooner rather than later.

Portia’s Café, 4428 Indianola Ave., Clintonville
Choose from a wide selection of coffee to pair with a breakfast burrito bowl made with tofu eggs, roasted potatoes, black beans, and coconut bacon. In addition to focusing on veggies, Portia’s is gluten-free, organic, GMO-free, and local — now that’s a power combo.

The Lifestyle Café, 891 Oak St., Olde Towne East
Make it a southern-style brunch with vegan chick’un and waffles or plant-based fish and grits. You can count on Shanna “Chef Bae” Dean, who created the menu based on inspiration from her late grandmother.

Two Dollar Radio Headquarters, 1124 Parsons Ave., German Village
Share a plate of plant-based breakfast nachos with the table + vegan chorizo tacos for yourself. This spot comes highly recommended by reader Gustavo R.

Katalina’s, Multiple locations
While some menu items are accidentally vegetarian, like the highly coveted Nutella-filled pancake balls, others are purposefully plant-based, offering the option to swap real meat for veggie meat. The Clintonville location offers larger indoor area + a patio, and the original location on Indianola Avenue is iconic for its cozy setup.

Senior City Editor Mitch here. I’m a firm believer that tacos can be enjoyed at any time of the day, and luckily, Katalina’s agrees. I love the breakfast tacos with vegan chorizo, prepared with tortillas from the North Market, crema from Snowville, and loads of other fresh ingredients like pico de gallo and avocado.

Food trucks

CBUStoday J-POPS

Want to boost your experience? Drop your J-POP in your cocktail. | Photo via J-POPS

J-POPS
Plant-based eaters need to satisfy their sweet tooth, too. This traveling popsicle stand offers all-natural options made with just four ingredients.

Pitabilities Street Food
Build your own rice bowl or pita with Mediterranean fillings like falafel, tzatziki, cucumber, and red onion. It’s also great for large crowds, which is why it offers food truck services for private events as well as catering.

Ray Ray’s Hog Pit, 424 W. Town St., Franklinton
Vegheads can find cauliflower burnt ends at this popular barbecue food truck at Land-Grant Brewing Co. It’s hard to find vegetarian or vegan food at barbecue spots, so we appreciate the extra effort from Ray Ray’s.

Tortilla Street Food
Choose your base with options like walking tacos or quesadillas, then fill it with veggies and sauces of your choice.

Two Fatt Indians |
This food truck has a full menu of vegan and vegetarian options, ranging from saag paneer to aloo mutter. And the garlic naan is a must order with whatever entree you decide on. The menu also has plenty of meat options to ensure all eaters leave happy + full.

Senior City Editor Mitch here. Is there anything better than dunking naan into a fresh order of chana masala? That’s my go-to order, which is chickpeas cooked in spices and herbs.

For the meat-free carnivore

CBUStoday Comune.png

Grab a friend and share a plate of plant-based food at Comune. | Photo by Brian Kaiser

Comune, 677 Parsons Ave., Olde Towne East
All menu items at this upscale restaurant are vegetarian but can be made vegan. The bread and spread is a consistent crowd pleaser + entrees are regularly updated based on seasonal produce.

Senior City Editor Mitch here. Comune is my go-to spot for any non-veg head that may be reluctant about not having meat in their meal. Chef Jacob Inscore’s innovations in the kitchen have led to creations like the mustard greens ‘pesto’ rigatoni — a vibrantly green pasta dish with toasted Guajillo chile oil and lemon zest.

Greenhouse Canteen, 1011 W. 5th Ave., Grandview
Plants, beans, and legumes can still be the star of the dish; just ask this local spot. It comes recommended by reader Jewel M. with menu items like jackfruit enchiladas.

Hot Chicken Takeover, Multiple locations
Kick up the spice levels with plant-based nuggets cooked in your chosen heat level. Regardless of your preference, we highly recommend dunking these in the vegan ranch. Vegans can pair their nugs with the vegan baked beans, while vegetarians can opt for Ma’s mac ‘n’ cheese.

Seitan’s Realm, 3496 N. High St., Clintonville
This vegan deli specializes in seitan, which is made daily for delicious sandwiches like the “Beef n’ Cheddah,” a vegan homage to the Arby’s classic.

Senior City Editor Mitch here. Sandwiches are just the beginning of the fun at Seitan’s Realm. They have worked on a variety of plant-based alternatives to fast food favorites, including a four piece combo from Raising Canes. I highly recommend giving their Instagram page a follow to stay in the loop about the latest special menu offerings.

Vida’s Plant Based Butcher, 1724 Northwest Ave., Upper Arlington
Stop by this Upper Arlington-based butcher and upgrade your next cookout with vegan hot dogs, bratwursts, and sausages. Plus, it features a menu of sandwiches made with their deli offerings.

Casual eating

CBUStoday Northstar Cafe

The Northstar burger from Northstar is free on Earth Day each year. | Photo via @northstarcafe

Can’t Believe It’s Vegan, 584 W. Schrock Rd., Westerville Just like the name suggests, you’ll be in disbelief after your first bite of the barbecue jackfruit sandwich served with freshly made fries.

Hoyo’s Kitchen, 59 Spruce St., Downtown
Switch up your daily lunch routine with Somali cuisine. This fast-casual style restaurant offers bowls and wraps that are made with rice plus your choice of lentils, cabbage, chickpeas, and spinach. Then, it’s topped with fresh veggies like tomato or cucumber + an addictive garlic sauce.

Senior City Editor Mitch here. When I’m feeling brave, I get the spicy rice with extra lentils and chickpeas + all the fresh veggies with garlic sauce. I will warn anyone out there that the spicy rice lives up to its name, but the flavor is worth the burn. I typically pick up an extra Coke from a nearby vendor and tough it out.

Nile Vegan, 1223 Goodale Blvd., Downtown
Every dish here is made to order, so you can expect some of the freshest Ethiopian dishes in the city. This spot is fun for kids too, as eating with your hands is encouraged.

Senior City Editor Mitch here. Don’t be afraid to try something new, especially as a vegan or vegetarian. Meals here, such as Misir (lentils stew) are downright filling, delicious, and unbelievably vegan. Plus, when I ate inside the restaurant, I watched the chef freshly cut the peppers and onions for my dish — that’s how fresh it is.

Northstar Cafe, Multiple locations
If it feels like there’s a Northstar in every corner of the city, that’s because they have locations in Clintonville, Easton, Short North, and Westerville. And, it’s for good reason if you are plant-based eater. The Northstar burger, made with black beans, brown rice, and beets, satisfies both vegheads + meat eaters.

Senior City Editor Mitch here. The Northstar burger deserves all of its fame, but the vegetarian enchiladas are a solid alternative if you want to change your regular order. They are made with roasted corn + sweet potatoes and served with smoky black beans.

Willowbeez SoulVeg, 59 Spruce St., Downtown
Treat your taste buds to soul food like the “Rich Boi,” a vegan take on po’boys made with fried oyster mushrooms. They also offer a plant-based BLT, and somehow the fully dressed kale is the star of the show, in our humble opinion.

Woodhouse Vegan, 19 W. Russell St., Short North
We’re not sure what to recommend more here, so our best advice is to bring friends and order everything. The OG-loaded nachos are always a hit, and the “Trustfall Grilled Cheese” is unique to each order. Plus, this new location offers vegan baked goods like scones or cinnamon rolls.

Late-night bites

CBUStoday Mikey's Late Night Slice Hot Chicken Takeover

Mikey’s Late Night Slice is known for collaborating with local restaurants like Hot Chicken Takeover for a spicy pizza with pickles and ranch. | Photo by CBUStoday

Barrio, 1416 W. 5th Ave., Grandview + 1870 N. High St., Campus
Snack on chips and guacamole while you wait for your fully customized tacos made with plant-based options.

Condado, Multiple locations
Build your own vegan or vegetarian taco with options like Thai chili tofu or vegan chorizo, two favorites of Senior City Editor Mitch. Condado has also been expanding its menu with options like rice bowls, burritos, and nachos.

Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace, 248 S. 4th St., Downtown | These aren’t your typical vegan hot dogs — these are all dressed up. Create your own with toppings like vegan cheese sauce and vegan bacon, or ask for a plant-based version of pre-made menu items.

I am possibly the city’s biggest fan of Dirty Frank’s. There’s no extra up-charge to ask for a plant-based alternative, and the dogs always come out freshly made. I could list off about 10 different recommendations, but the “Classy Lady” — made with crushed up potato chips and cheese sauce — is simple perfection.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Multiple locations
The ice cream queen offers vegan options like the frosé sorbet. If you can’t find one nearby, Jeni’s is also available in most grocery stores throughout central Ohio.

Mikey’s Late Night Slice, Multiple locations
Vegetarians can pick up a slice of cheese or mushroom pizza + vegans can snag options like the vegan buffalo chicken. Slices all can be served with your choice of dipping sauce, like the smoky unicorn sauce or the beloved ranch dressing.

Chef it up at home

Check out our favorite tips and tricks for serving veggie-focused fare from your own kitchen:

  • To make zucchini, carrot, or beet noodles, try a veggie spiralizer that magically turns vegetables into noodles.
  • Tired of wasting money on spices you use once? Broth Bomb combines all the spices you need for a flavorful meal.
  • Harness the power of fresh and high-quality spices from James Beard Award-winning chef Meherwan Irani.
  • A tofu press draws out water and can help tofu firm and crisp up once you cook it — the one linked here is dishwasher safe + works in twenty minutes.
  • If your least favorite part about veggie prep is chopping, this all-in-one vegetable chopper can minimize prep time.
  • Use a sprouting jar kit to grow microgreens and sprouted beans at home.
  • If you’re making fresh bread, this Sourhouse starter jar was designed to be the easiest-to-clean sourdough starter jar in the world.
  • For the ultimate veggie food prep, this glass storage container set keeps lunches and leftovers organized.

Need some good recipes? Browse cookbooks “Inspiralized: Turn Vegetables into Healthy, Creative, Satisfying Meals” for veggie spiral recipes, “The Blue Zones Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100” for plant-based ideas, or “The Complete Plant-Based Cookbook” from America’s Test Kitchen

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