Listen, I'm a sucker for an epic macaroni and yam combination like anybody else. However, I have to say I'm proud of my fellow African-Americans who have not only taken on the healthy plant-based lifestyle, but have also opened up dope eateries to show others that just because it's vegan, doesn't mean it's not delicious.
You know they had us in mind when they created the vegan version of some of our favorite dishes - it's the best of both worlds. Check out a few Black-owned vegan spots you should definitely check out in your city:
Stuff I Eat – Inglewood, CA
Launched by Chef Babette (Chef B), Stuff I Eat in Inglewood is 100% vegan and 95% organic, i.e. it doesn't get more plant-based than that.
One of their most notable items are their tacos. From the wild rice blend to the tofu, or even a mix for those of us who want to try it all, Stuff I Eat has the vegan taco game on lock. They even feature Taco Tuesdays every week. You'll also want to dabble in other menu items like the organic soul flood platter (yams, macaroni, BBQ tofu, kale greens, black-eyed peas, and more), the Nat Burger, Lava Burrito, and of course a classic vegetable stir fry.
Green Seed Vegan – Houston, TX
Green Seed Vegan in Houston is another amazing option. And I'm sure it has everything to do with its unique menu choices like pb&p (caramelized plantains with spinach and peanut butter spread), sweet porta (grilled portabella mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and spinach over pesto), and tosh (maple jerk garbanzo tempeh with grilled plantains, spinach and jerk aioli).
If anything, Green Seed Vegan, and its owners, husband and wife Matti Merrill and Rodney Perry, have proven that vegan dishes can actually be fun, flavorful, and soooo delicious. They've had their food truck for years but settled in their Houston brick-and-mortar back in 2012 and have been going strong over since. Fortunately for Houston residents (and anyone who stops through the city), they don't show any signs of slowing down at all.
The Land Of Kush – Baltimore, MD
Baltimore is not sleeping on The Land Of Kush. Owned by Gregory Brown, Naijjha Wright, and Darius Waters, the restaurant has a 4.5 rating with more than 1,000 Google reviews, and the people have spoken: Issa hit. The Land Of Kush was also voted Baltimore City Paper's 2017 Best Restaurant and its award-winning vegan crab cake got a nod in the city's 2015 Top Baltimore Dishes.
Now let's get into this menu. The food is said to be so good, you'll have to do a double-take to make sure it's even vegan, but of course it is. Some of its most popular dishes include BBQ ribs, lentil burgers, candied yams, baked macaroni, spinach lasagna, and vegan drummies. Plus, it's never short of a celebrity sighting like Chloe & Halle and TLC's Chilli.
Plum Bistro – Seattle, WA
Owner Makini Howell definitely had us wannabe-vegans in mind when she launched Plum Bistro on the West Coast. While she's been a vegan all her life, she understands the struggle of sticking with the plant-based diet. This is probably why it's been named Capitol Hill's Most Loved Vegan Restaurant for nearly 10 years.
She's proven that just because it's plant based, doesn't mean you can't get your fill. The menu includes buffalo Portobello burgers, Jamaican wraps, Mama Africa salads, and macho burritos, just to name a few. She even threw in some season vegan desserts like pure vanilla milkshakes, ice cream, golden milk snickerdoodle and avocado lavender ice cream sandwiches, and banana bread. And it's all locally grown. Talk about support!
Seasoned Vegan – New York City
This mother and son combination is shutting down the vegan game in NYC. Brenda and Aaron Beener have made it clear that what the vegan people want, the vegan people get.
Seasoned Vegan touts some amazing dishes like lemon crusted "chicken" nuggets, pizza quesadillas, and its own classic Po'Boy sandwich. Other favorites for the dinner menu are the smothered "chicken," black pepper "steak," "tuna" melts, and Harlem chopped "cheeseburgers."
The brunch menu includes amazing dishes like fried fermented soy "chicken" drumsticks with pancakes (or even sweet potato pancakes… ayyeee) and Burdock "crawfish" in garlic basil sauce, and, check this out, yam fried "shrimp." It even has a late-night menu and stays open until 2AM on Fridays and Saturdays.
Louisville Vegan Kitchen – Louisville, KY
From its creative buffets to themed meals, Louisville Vegan Kitchen has made it clear you can get full (and do a good food happy dance) while indulging in a plant-based diet.
It doesn't only offer amazing meals and dishes like cauliflower nuggets, stuffed mushrooms, spinach wrap spirals, gumbo, and more, but it provides many ways for you to keep up with your vegan goals through health coaching and personal chef services. It also caters events like work lunches, weddings, and more, to show everyone how doable the vegan lifestyle is.
Tassili’s Raw Reality – Atlanta, GA
Vegans in Atlanta (and even people who aren't vegan) already know what's up with Tassili's Raw Reality. Located in the West End district, it's probably one of the top vegan places in the city. It's just a bonus that the owner, Tassili Matt, is black and also doubles as the chef.
It features its raw wraps and salads from the South of the Border. like their chili wraps with black eyed pea hummus, and the Mandingo (a really big wrap with vegan mayonnaise and kale, avocado, tomato, sweet coconut corn, almonds, and more). The Dat Ish wrap is also a popular menu item as well as the Big Yoshi. Who else loves these names though?
Is there a black-owned vegan restaurant where you live? Let us know about it in the comments!
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