Being a vegan can be tough. Whether it's the whole "plants have feelings too" charade or the struggle of trying to go out to eat with friends, it can take a lot out of you. If you go to Emerson College, you'll find the options you have for vegan food are exclusive to the vegan station. But with its lack of variety and the weird weekend schedule, it's about time you got around to treating yourself to some of the vegan restaurants in Boston.
If you do a little research, you might come across places like Veggie Galaxy, True Bistro, or Taco Party and rejoice... until you realize that all of those options are a long T ride away. But don't let this stop you. There are a ton of places both purely and partially vegan within walking distance of Emerson.
My Thai really gives vegan food a great name. A lot of their dishes feature mock meat that actually does its job. It's one of the few places to find vegan bubble tea. They serve up a wonderful variety of Thai dishes. My favorite dish is the Rad Na with tofu, but let me tell you something: the lemon poppyseed cake is the standard by which all cakes should be measured. Anyone who has scoffed at the idea of vegan baked goods will be in awe.
A five-minute walk from The Little Building, Genki Ya is not a place to be overlooked. The Japanese restaurant offers a wide variety of unique, vegan-friendly sushi that substitutes fish with fruits and vegetables. You can get rolls with mangos, bananas, mushrooms, or asparagus and even choose between white, brown, and multigrain rice (which I highly recommend).
Right near Government Center and the Starbucks with the large, gold, steaming teapot above it, Cocobeet is a grab-and-go vegan food/juice cleanse place. If you're like me and not on the juice cleanse boat, Cocobeet has a great range of prepared vegan salads, smoothie bowls, snacks, sweets, soups, and sandwiches. They even have vegan key lime pie and pumpkin pie. Yum!
Clover has two locations by Emerson: one on School Street and the other in a consistent food truck on Newbury Street. They have many vegan options like the Vegan BBQ Sandwich (my favorite) and the Chickpea Fritter Sandwich. If you aren't in the mood for bread, you can get both of these as platters. They're always trying out new things on the menu, so make sure to check them out.
With a location in the South End and Beacon Hill, Pressed is somewhere you're likely to walk by while exploring Boston. Like Cocobeet, it has juices and grab-and-go vegan food, but of a different variety. You can get pad Thai, lasagna, and even sushi! Plus, they have a wide variety of toasts that they make on the spot all day.
Every time I have a guest visit me, I make sure that we go to Trident. This book store/cafe serves up a wonderful variety of foods to satisfy vegans, vegetarians, and carnivores alike. I made sure to try their portobello mushroom burger and was blown away by how well the combination of mushroom, humus, and red peppers worked. If that's not your thing, they also have bowls, wraps, and a cashew chili. And make sure to try from their selection of Mem Tea, like my favorite, Golden Green.
Another option on Newbury Street (as well as in the Boston Public Market), Mother Juice is a great, totally vegan eatery. Beyond serving cold pressed juices, they have a wide range of salads and toasts. You can even build your own bowl by choosing from a variety of greens, toppings, and dressings. Make sure to try one of their smoothie bowls or overnight oats.
The Boston Public Market is a wonderland full of tasty, local treats. It should come as no surprise that this year-round marketplace has a myriad of vegan food options. Jenifer Lee's Gourmet Bakery has donuts, cookies, muffins, breads, and cake jars. They also serve paninis made with fresh produce from the other vendors, but make sure to get one before they run out of bread.#SpoonTip: They also have Bella & Harvey goods on display, which are not vegan.
Make sure to hit up Taza Chocolate for daily free samples. But don't stop there. You can get any of their delicious chocolate drinks with almond milk. Bon Me, which is also a popular food truck, serves Asian salads, rice bowls, and bahn mi's. They clearly mark their vegan food options on their menu and have an ingredient list online. If you're in the mood for falafel, Inna's Kitchen serves theirs on one of the best whole wheat pita's I've ever tried.
Jugos seems to have become a mecca for anyone who wants a great picture of an açaí bowl for their Instagram, but it offers up so much more than that. Coming from Miami, it was refreshing to see a place like this in Boston. They have café con leche with almond milk, a variety of tropical fruits, and the names of the items on the menu are all in Spanish (don't worry, the descriptions are in English).
Whether you're on School Street or Boylston Street, Sweetgreen is definitely a place that you have to check out. They use fresh, local produce to make delicious bowls and salads. You can easily substitute meat or dairy with veggies, falafel, or tofu, or you can make your own bowl. But make sure to try the Shroomami bowl. It's 100% vegan and my absolute favorite. It's made with wild rice, kale, beets, bean sprouts, basil, sunflower seeds, their portobello mix, tofu, and an insanely tasty miso sesame ginger dressing.
Right by My Thai, Cuong's is not a place to be overlooked. You can get the same vegan bubble tea and cake, but with the added bonus of wonderful bahn mi's! Plus, it's better for grabbing a quick lunch. I definitely recommend the red curry. I never seem to be able to leave any for leftovers.
If you've taken a trip down Boylston Street for any reason (whether to go to Trader Joe's, the Prudential Center, or the BPL) you've certainly taken note of Dig Inn. Dig Inn offers a bunch of delicious choices, made with local produce. You start with a base, choose from two sides (vegan options marked), pick your protein (currently tofu is the only option but you can sub it for another side), and then get a dressing. Don't be deterred by the long line, it moves fast. Get it to go to eat in the square.
Everyone who's been to the South End knows that the food options are on point. FōMū is no exception. It's one thing to know where to get vegan food when it comes to a meal, but finding a sweet treat can be another battle. FōMū is a vegan ice cream store that sells not only cones and cups, but ice cream cakes, cartons, cookie sandwiches, coffee, and sundaes. You get a wide variety of flavors from Avocado to Sweet Lavender to Peanut Butter Mud Pie, all made with organic ingredients. What a treat!
I've walked by this adorable cupcake place a million times going towards the North End, fueling my tea addiction at David's Tea, or getting something yummy from Sweetgreen. Little did I know that Sweet Bakery has vegan cupcakes! In store, they only have a chocolate cupcake, but you're able to special order a box of an assortment of yummy cupcakes and brownies. The one I tried was fluffy and full of chocolatey goodness.
Remember when you were upset that Veggie Galaxy was so far away? By Chloe, an up and coming vegan restaurant from New York, just opened up in the Seaport. Vegan food can now become comfort food with an extensive menu of mac 'n cheese, pancakes, burgers, and fries. You can have brunch, grab and go, get a salad, or get an ice cream cone. And with the owner being Cupcake Wars winner Chloe Coscarelli, you know you have to try out the baked goods.
So as it turns out, there are more vegan options than trying out a different spice or sauce at the vegan station. Options that you can even go out to with the most meat crazy people you know. So maybe it's still pretty tough being a vegan, but at least you have the comfort of knowing you can always get some really great vegan food.