For the city with the longest continuously run farmer’s market in the nation, Lancaster residents certainly appreciate their local produce. Many restaurants like to show off the bounty of the region, but few specialize solely in vegetable-based cuisine.
For those who desire an eating establishment that is vegetarian, vegan, sustainable, organic, gluten-free, community run and serves housemade products to the progressively thinking, there’s only one place that has it all.
Located downtown, The Seed is the first and only worker-owned and community managed café in Lancaster. The restaurant features housemade local food and drinks that satisfy even the most meat-inclined palates. The menu offers an extensive selection of breakfast items, salads, sandwiches, wraps and baked goods, perfect for a late breakfast or lunch.
The food here caters to all eaters on the dietary scale. With vegan and gluten-free substitutes for all of their items, they aim to accommodate all progressive foodies. Even if you aren’t compelled by their conscious cuisine, the food is delicious regardless of dietary preference.
If you’ve been too scared to try meat substitutes and vegan fare, The Seed is the perfect place to test the waters as the food there is prepared expertly. For those ready to jump into a full out vegan experience, the Reuben Sandwich is a must-try.
The sandwich is made with toasted rye bread (which can also be made to be gluten-free), local sauerkraut, housemade vegan Thousand Island dressing and vegan cheese (though you can always substitute for good ol’ Swiss). Instead of the typical corned beef, the sandwich features marinated tofu. The meal is served with sweet Maui onion chips and a pickle.
The Reuben flavors are all present and blend beautifully. Reubens tend to be dense from the amount of meat. This sandwich is much lighter, giving you a more guilt-free eating experience. The tofu is flavorful and delivers on texture, making you question why the sandwich even needed meat in the first place.
If veganism still isn’t for you, the restaurant offers a number of foods that anyone can enjoy. Their grilled cheese features smoky local cheddar, perfect for dunking in a cup of their soup of the day. Their white bean soup is perfectly seasoned with hints of rosemary and thyme.
To wash down the food, try some of their homemade kombucha tea. This fermented beverage may sound strange, but is in fact a great digestive and a huge hit among supporters of the organic movement. It has a bright acidity that is refreshing and settling.
Along with being an awesome café, the space is also used by the community for concerts and even has a lending library, featuring “progressive and radical literature.” With its quirky vibe and colorful décor, it’s a great hangout spot to grab a bite, read some environmental literature and talk about the newest green that’s in this season.
The Seed’s mission is to promote sustainability and activism, but it still maintains a comfortable environment for diners. They offer paper instead of reusable napkins, but caution you about wasting trees. So come for the activism, stay for the vegenaise.
Location: 52 North Queen Street, Lancaster, PA 17603
Hours of Operation: Tuesday-Thursday 10am – 4pm, Friday & Saturday 10am – 9pm, Sunday 10am – 6pm
Has this article got you craving some vegan eats? Try some of these: