Surveys generally put the count of vegans in the U.S. at 2-6% of the population. That may not seem like a lot, but it represents up to two million Americans.

We don’t have a clue how many vegans actually live in Grand Rapids, but we do know that many local restaurants go out of their way to offer a selection of vegan (and vegetarian) selections. Their job is made easier by an abundance of local family farms and fruit orchards, which deliver a wide variety of fresh-picked produce to creative chefs who craft it into delicious plant-based dishes.

We asked our social media followers to share their go-to restaurants for vegan options, and they responded with dozens of recommendations spanning a wide range of cuisines and budgets. Some of them we expected and some were surprises  – including a steakhouse – but all of them are sure to satisfy anyone eschewing animal products, whether as a lifestyle or an occasional change of pace.

Flights of Flavor at Love's Ice Cream
Flights of Flavor at Love's Ice Cream

Love's Ice Cream in the Downtown Market offers flights of vegan ice cream - so you can try a variety of flavors!

Photo by Ashley Wierenga for Experience GR

Char GR. Virtually every item on the menu at this East-meets-West Asian fusion restaurant can be customized into a vegan-friendly dish.

Field & Fire Bakery. There are always vegan muffins and cookies on the menu at this bakery inside the Grand Rapids Downtown Market and at the Field & Fire Café in downtown’s North Monroe neighborhood.

Friesian Gastro Pub. Mac & Cheese made with cashew-based cheese sauce is one of the vegan options at this casual pub in downtown’s Medical Mile.

Gita Pita. Mediterranean restaurant offers a variety of vegan and vegetarian options made with fresh, high-quality ingredients.

Jolly Pumpkin Pizzeria & Brewery. Enjoy a Bridge Street Vegan Pizza and numerous vegetarian items at this Bridge Street eatery.

Love's Ice Cream & Chocolate. Sweet shop in the Grand Rapids Downtown Market always has a selection of vegan, non-dairy ice cream flavors on the menu.

Max's South Seas Hideaway. Tiki-themed restaurant offers a vegan burger, vegan noodle bowl and vegan options for several other dishes.

MeXo. Enchiladas and coconut flan dessert are among the vegan options at this authentic pre-Hispanic Mexican restaurant. 

New Holland Brewing - The Knickerbocker. Bridge Street brewpub offers a delectable Vegan Supreme pizza and Black Bean burger.

Palace of India. Indian restaurant offers a vegetarian section on the menu and also has a few vegan options.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House. It may not be your first choice for a vegan meal, but there are a few meat-free options on the menu here – tell your server you’d like them prepared to a vegan recipe.

San Chez Bistro. The vegan menu at this European/Mediterranean/Latin American fusion restaurant includes an ample selection of breakfast, lunch and dinner choices.

SpeakEZ Lounge. Vegan items such as Elote Corn Chowder and a Korean BBQ Bowl are clearly identified on the menu at this Prohibition-inspired bar/restaurant.

Tacos el Cunado. Select vegan tempeh or nopales as the protein in the Mexican street food dishes offered at this Grand Rapids Downtown Market restaurant. 

Basalt. Tex-Mex restaurant offers vegan options for many of its dishes, including breakfast tacos and burritos.

Black Napkin. Local fast-food restaurant includes vegan options for its smash burgers and chicken sandwiches.

Brewery Vivant. Look for the vegan tempeh sandwich and occasional vegan specials at this European farmhouse-inspired brewery.

Cherie Inn. Breakfast and lunch options at Grand Rapids’ longest-running restaurant include Vegan Hash and Spicy Vegan Tacos.

Electric Cheetah. The eclectic menu at this from-scratch homestyle restaurant changes with the seasons, but we counted six vegan options on our last visit.

Forty Acres Soul Kitchen. “Vegan Soul” is one of the menu categories at this authentic soul food restaurant, and it includes everything from grits and gumbo to a burger and “chicken” sandwich.

Furniture City Creamery. In addition to offering a rotating selection of house-made vegan ice creams, this local shop makes vegan-friendly sundaes, shakes and ice cream sandwiches.

GoJo Ethiopian Cuisine. Vegetarian options take up nearly a third of the menu here, and virtually all of them are also vegan. GoJo recently debuted an all-you-can-eat vegan dinner buffet on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Good Judy's Market & Juice Bar. All the food and beverages here are plant-based, and items like the Green Tahini Salad and Vegan BLT Toast contain no animal products.

Good Truckin’ Diner. This all-day breakfast and lunch diner serves up vegan waffles, tacos, burritos, “chicken” sandwiches and more.

The Green Well. The seasonal menus at this eco-friendly gastropub always include a few vegan items, clearly marked on the menu.

Grove. One of the city’s most acclaimed restaurants generally offers some vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options on its seasonal farm-to-table menus.

Hancock. Nashville-style hot chicken restaurant offers a very popular vegan chicken sandwich along with vegan crinkle fries and vegan bread & butter pickles.

Harmony Brewing Company. Pepperphoni – made with roasted mushroom “pepperoni” – top a wood-fired vegan pizza and vegan sandwich at this funky, eclectic brewery.

Mangiamo. Elegant Italian restaurant in a historic 19th century mansion serves elevated vegan chicken and vegan steak dishes.

Maru Sushi. The vegan and vegetarian options at this chef-driven restaurant prove sushi doesn’t need fish to be tasty.

The Commons. ‘70s-themed restaurant gives a nod to contemporary eating patterns with its black bean cheeseburger featuring vegan cheese and vegan mayo.

Zivio. A menu of Central European cuisine includes a vegan gyro and vegan tzatziki sauce; select other items can be made vegan – just ask your server.

Archival Brewing - Sign
Beer on an Outdoor Patio - Archival Brewing, 2022

Enjoy the patio at Archival with great beer and vegan food options.

Photo by Brian Craig for Experience GR

616 Kabob Stop. Numerous vegan options at this Mediterranean restaurant include a garlic dip, crushed lentil soup and grape leaf rolls.

Archival Brewing. You’ll find vegan options on the starter, salad and entrée menus at this destination specializing in historic-style microbrews and seasonally crafted regional eats.

Blue Water Grill. In addition to a vegan pizza and vegan chicken sandwich, this lakeside restaurant offers vegan substitutions for many popular menu items.

Cedar Springs Brewing Company. Regulars rave about the house-made vegan schnitzel  at this German-American restaurant and brauhaus.

Frosty Boy. One of the city’s most loved ice cream shops offers vegan soft-serve vanilla and a second vegan soft-serve flavor that rotates every few weeks, plus vegan shakes made with almond and coconut milk, and more.

Gravity Taphouse Grille. Opt for the Vegan Buddha Bowl – featuring a variety of vegetables served over coconut ginger rice – at this destination for craft beers and elevated eats.

Lucy's. Vegan Avocado Toast is a favorite at this breakfast and lunch eatery (with a full bar). Tofu and vegan sausage are available as proteins in other dishes.

Rezervoir Lounge. The Vegan Jambalaya – made with plant-based spicy sausage – is a dinner favorite at this Bourbon Street-inspired restaurant/bar.

Sheshco Mediterranean Grill. Relaxed eatery adjacent to Celebration! Cinema North offers an expansive range of Mediterranean foods, many of which are vegan-friendly.

Tia Juana. This Mexican restaurant offers a vegan taco and vegan burrito to complement its meat-based dishes.

Blue Dog Tavern. The delicious burgers at this west-side eatery can be made with an Impossible patty to make them vegan-friendly.

El Granjero Mexican Grill. “The best cactus tacos!” raves a fan of this Bridge Street Mexican restaurant.

Mod Pizza. Gluten-friendly crust, dairy-free cheese and plant-based Italian sausage are among the vegan-friendly options at this national chain restaurant. There’s a second location on 28th Street (southeast GR).

Bliss & Vinegar. Create your own salad with vegan-friendly toppings (including a choice of six house-made vegan dressings) or order the Vegan Bliss Salad filled with kale, quinoa, broccoli, avocado and more.

Broad Leaf Brewery + Spirits. There are always a few vegan and vegetarian items on the menu at this brewery/distillery/restaurant/pickleball venue.

Buddy's Pizza. Customize your Detroit-style (square) pizza with Daiya vegan cheese and veggies at this Michigan chin restaurant.

CoreLife Eatery. Choose from healthy salads, grain bowls, bone broth bowls, soups and more, many of which can be made vegan friendly. There’s a second location in Grandville.

JB's Pizza Parlor. Build your own pizza with vegan meats (chicken, pepperoni and sausage) and vegan Mozzarella cheese at this Alger Heights neighborhood pizza joint. They’ve got vegan wings and vegan sandwich bread, too.

Mithu Sri Lankan & Indian Cuisine. All the vegetarian appetizers here are vegan, and many vegetarian curries can be made vegan upon request. The staff is very helpful in pointing out additional vegan options.

Nagoya Sushi. Japanese restaurant offers a number of vegetarian and vegan items.

Noco Provisions. A house-made beet burger, a wild rice dish and sweet potato fries lead the vegan options at this Northern Comfort restaurant.

Pal's Indian Cuisine. More than 25 food and beverage items at this family-owned Indian restaurant can be made vegan – and they’re all marked on the menu.

The Old Goat. Several vegetarian dishes at this “New American Restaurant” in Alger Heights include a vegan pizza topped with vegan cheese and vegan meatballs.

Vegan, Gluten Free, Soy free baked desserts.
Box of Donuts from Rise Authentic Baking Co. in Grand Rapids, MI

Despite operating as an entirely vegan bakery, Rise Authentic Baking Co. offers an ever-changing menu with an extensive variety of options, from cakes and pastries to sandwiches and smoothies.

Photo by Brian Craig for Experience GR

Anna's House. A separate vegan menu at this retro-style breakfast & lunch diner lists 12 delicious options. Additional locations on East Beltline Ave., Plainfield Ave., and Northland Dr.

Le Kabob. Mediterranean restaurant offers a variety of vegan options at this Wyoming location and a second one in Kentwood.

Little Bangkok Thai Restaurant. Ask your server to recommend vegan options at this Wyoming restaurant near the Metro Health Village.

Rise Authentic Baking Co. Named one of America’s best vegan bakeries by VegOut Magazine, this eatery near John Ball Zoo offers a tantalizing array of vegan, gluten-free, soy-free and dye-free baked goods, sandwiches and “breakfast-ish” items.

Tastefull Vegan Frozen Desserts. The soft-serve ice cream, freezepops, chocolate bars, granola and more at this ice cream shop are all vegan – and free of gluten, eggs, dairy, nuts, soy and refined sugar.


Menu items are subject to change, so if you’ve got your heart set on one of the dishes mentioned above, consider calling to confirm availability before you visit!