Rhode Island’s Vegan and Vegetarian Top Picks
If all the vegans in the United States met for brunch tomorrow, they wouldn’t all fit in Rhode Island. With over six million vegans, and more than twice as many vegetarians, plant-based diets have been popular for decades. In 2016, meat alternatives were named as one of the “top food trends” by Mintel’s 2016 Global Food and Drink Report, indicating the trend might be rising. With a bounty of fresh, local food sources in Rhode Island, the veggie opportunities are plentiful.
Li’l Rhody offers an enticing and diverse array of vegan- and vegetarian-centric establishments that are sure to satisfy even the omnivores. Below is a list of restaurants and cafés that are strictly vegetarian:
Maize ‘n Manna Wholefoods (vegan, gf)
Maize ‘n Manna Wholefoods serves up a fresh, creative vegan and gluten-free array. As an organic take-out and grocer venue, their ever-changing menu and custom juicing options ensure that no visit will ever be the same, let alone boring. Each day you’ll be guaranteed a collection of vegan and gluten-free choices: an entrée (how good does spicy Moroccan chickpea and zucchini coupled with forbidden rice sound?); a selection of soups (like lentil and mushroom or carrot ginger); or salads (usually with vegan proteins like beans, quinoa and tempeh); and baked goods (read: amazing vegan brownies). Stop by to grab a take-out lunch for the office, to bring back home for dinner, or to enjoy during a walk along the Pawcatuck River right next door!
40 High St, Westerly
Wildflour Vegan Bakery & Juice Bar (vegan, gf)
With tall windows and a light, open, airy feeling, this vegan establishment emblematizes cleanliness and health; the exact mission they want to promote. Their rainbow selection of fresh, cold-pressed juices can make it hard to choose just one flavor, but know that the care behind each one will guarantee great quality. Their baked treats are all vegan. Many are gluten free—like tarts, cupcakes, and muffins, among many others. With smoothies and other hot drinks on the menu, plus an assortment of lunch foods like vegan "tuna" rolls, soba noodle salads, raw lasagna, vegan chili, and quinoa kale salad, there is something for everyone to try.
727 East Ave, Pawtucket
Garden Grille (vegetarian, vegan, gf)
The Garden Grille is in essence an extension of the flagship health market and cafe that first bloomed in Providence in the 1970s. Founder Rob Yaffe opened his full-fledged vegetarian restaurant in Pawtucket 20 years later, the start of his three present-day vegetarian and vegan businesses, including Wildfour Vegan Bakery & Juice Bar and The Grange. The Garden Grille is completely vegetarian, though filled with a robust vegan and raw section, and several gluten-free options. Enjoy classic favorites with a twist: chipotle seitan, celery root latkes, mac ‘n cheese (gluten free and vegan!), almond cornmeal encrusted tofu. Also Kosher certified, the Garden Grille is a must stop for visitors to Rhode Island and locals alike!
727 East Ave, Pawtucket
Keenwah Superfood Eatery (vegetarian, vegan, gf)
With a mix of vegan, gluten-free and omnivore selections, the Keenwah Eatery draws its focus from organic and local ingredients. Breakfast and lunch are served daily, with a fresh juice bar and café to complement the cute and quirky establishment. The breakfast burritos (available with gluten-free wraps and local eggs!) and acai bowls are local favorites, while the sweet potato fries can’t be missed, alongside a hummus wrap or the tempeh burger.
311 Broadway, Newport
South County Food Co-op (vegetarian)
Since 1970 this food co-op has been serving the community high-quality natural foods at affordable prices. At this grocery cum cafe you’ll find enough to fill the fridge for the week, plus fresh baked goods, soups, stews, salads and wraps that are made from scratch daily. Made-to-order juices and smoothies pair perfectly with their salad bar or a baked treat right from the oven. Enjoy the goodies in their quaint café, take them home to share with family and friends, or munch as you overlook the Saugatucket River on their back deck!
344 Main St, Wakefield
The Grange (vegetarian, vegan, gf)
From brunch to dessert and drinks, The Grange serves vegetarian dishes widely regarded as some of the best in Providence. “I’m not even a vegetarian and I go there,” Noah Webb, a Providence resident said. “That’s how you know it’s good.” With its entirely vegetarian menu, locally-sourced and fresh ingredients, The Grange offers an array of veggie masterpieces guaranteed to make your tastebuds happy: Chicken fried seitan waffles with spicy maple syrup and pecans; loaded grits with pepper jack cheese and guacamole; beer onion soup; purple potato croquettes with cajun remoulade, and the list goes on!
Here are a few other suggestions from our readers:
- Julians (318 Broaway, Providence) - a restaurant that is not strictly vegetarian, but offers a great selection of vegetarian options
- Lucia Italian Restaurant (186B Thames Street, Newport) - a restaurant that is not strictly vegetarian, but offers a vegetarian menu
- Nice Slice (267 Thayer Street, Providence) - a pizzeria that is not strictly vegetarian, but offers vegan and gluten-free options