All lifestyles offer a little indulgence, and veganism is no exception. Here is a list of the best of the best vegan eateries, that without a doubt need to be on your culinary bucket list for 2017.
Watercourse Foods: Denver, CO
First on your vegan bucket list is Watercourse Foods in Denver, Colorado. With biscuits and gravy, sweet potato cinnamon rolls, and lavender mimosas, Watercourse Foods *elevates* diner food with a vegan flare.
The V Spot: New York, NY
Best known for their empanadas and buffalo wings gone vegan, The V Spot does Latin food, while maintaining the authenticity of the original dishes using ingredients like plantains and avocados (think quesadillas with plantains and avocado fries).
The Chicago Diner: Chicago, IL
With the slogan, "Meat free since '83," The Chicago Diner offers a vegan alternative to every item on the menu.Known for their world famous milkshakes and voted one of the best breakfast sandwiches in Chicago in 2015, The Chicago Diner is loved by vegans and non-vegans alike.
KindKreme: Los Angeles, CA
A gourmet, vegan, raw, and organic ice cream shop? You'd be crazy not to have this on your bucket list. Flavors run the gamut from Honey Strawberry Blueberry Lemonade to Carmel Apple and Chocolate Almond Butter. After a bite you'll probably forget it's vegan.
Haleiwa Bowls: Honolulu, HI
Nothing says Hawaii quite like acai bowls in a shack on the beach. With ingredients like acai sorbet, fresh papaya, and cacao nibs, this is probably among the freshest of acai bowls that you will come across in your lifetime.
Pro tip: Get one of the alternating flavors of Kombucha on tap, like Mango and Hibiscus.
Hilary's Cookies: Chicago, IL
These are hands down, the best cookies on the planet (and this is coming from a full on non-vegan). If you love chewy cookies, this place will be your haven. Flavors include Butterscotch Pecan and Cranberry Walnut (among others).
Bonus: Hilary's are sold at Whole Foods, so you can get your vegan cookie fix on the reg.
by CHLOE: New York, NY
If you haven't seen pictures of Eat by Chloe scrolling through your Insta feed, I'll be the first to tell you that this restaurant puts out some of the most photogenic food around. They have a famous Quinoa Taco Salad and fries that will make you want to turn vegan on the spot.
True Food Kitchen: Various Locations
While True Food doesn't brand itself as a vegan restaurant, a good portion of the menu offers a vegan alternative. Options range from Kale Guacamole with grapefruit to Butternut Squash Pizza with vegan almond ricotta and cranberries.
P.S. Definitely don't skimp on the cocktail menu. There is a Gingersnap Cocktail. Repeat. Gingersnap Cocktail.
The Cinnamon Snail: New York, NY
Recently voted one of New York's Best food trucks, The Cinnamon Snail has "sanwiches", bowls, donuts, and pastries that are seriously unreal. The menu changes often, with some recent offerings including a Gochujang Monster Burger.
This is a smoked chili smothered seitan burger with gochujang mac n' cheese and kimchi on a pretzel bun. If you have a sweet tooth, you can always settle with a Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cinnamon Bun or a Bourbon Hazelnut Cheesecake Brownie.
Allie's Vegan Pizzeria and Cafe: Spokane, WA
Allie's features everything you could possibly ask for from your favorite pizza parlor, with *funky* (thanks Guy Fieri for making that socially acceptable to use) twists like the Hot Mess pizza, which is topped with fried chicken and mac n' cheese--all vegan of course.
Candle 79: New York, NY
If you're want a high brow plant-based restaurant, Candle 79 is the place to be. Serving as one of the more highly acclaimed vegan restaurants, Candle 79 offers items like Pan Seared Dumplings with seitan, and hummus that received high praise from the New York Times.
BBQ Revolution: Austin, TX
Arguably the barbecue capital of the world, it was just a matter of time before Texas came out with some vegan BBQ. Think bucket list worthy brisket, ribs, mac n' cheese, and fried Twinkies.
Gracias Madre: California
Gracias Madre does completely authentic Mexican, with specialties like a roasted sweet potato quesadilla with caramelized onions, spicy cashew nacho cheese, and pumpkin seed salsa. They also have an impressive tequila menu, so you should feel right at home.
Beyond Sushi: New York, NY
I know it sounds weird- vegan sushi, but don't knock it 'til you try it. From rolls like the Spicy Mang to rice paper wraps like the Nutty Buddy with tofu and peanut butter, vegans and non-vegans alike rave about Beyond Sushi.
Plum Bistro: Seattle, WA
With brunch options ranging from Spinach and Yam Crepes, Candied Apple and Bacon Waffle, and Spicy Cajun Mac N Yeeze, the menu will leave you drooling. The dinner menu offers upscale comforts like Skillet Lasagna and Avocado Flatbread.
Vegan Treats Bakery: Bethlehem, PA
Between sticky buns, chocolate chip cookie dough cake, and White Chocolate Pumpkin Pie, it's more than obvious that Vegan Treats Bakery knows how a thing or two about desserts. Warning: the amount of sugar on their Instagram is seriously arousing.
Taim Falafel: New York, NY
Although Taim is technically vegetarian, vegans will have no problem here. Taim is killing two birds with one stone, serving up vegan falafel, with some of NYC's most popular pitas.
With three different flavors of falafel and hummus that received a glowing recommendation from the New York Times, Taim is Mediterranean food at it's best.
Vedge: Philadelphia, PA
Vedge is a haven for all types of foodies, with offerings from stuffed avocado to rutubega fondue with pretzels. They play with smokey flavors, luring in carnivores and omnivores alike.
Araya's Place: Seattle, WA and Los Angeles, CA
Dubbing themselves the first Thai vegan restaurant in the Pacific Northwest, Araya's Place approaches their food with gusto. From "Phad Thai" to curry, they are taking the classic comforts of Thai food and transforming them vegan style.
Pressed Juicery: Various locations
Originally known for their bottled, cold pressed juices, Pressed Juicery is becoming increasingly more popular for their vegan, soft serve, "freezes".
Fruits, vegetables, and nuts serve as the base for this "ice cream" in disguise, and toppings range from peanut butter sauce to homemade cacao nut freeze drizzle (essentially a chocolate sauce). It's almost too pretty to eat (but not) and definitely too pretty not to Insta.
From sushi to fondue, east coast to west coast, the possibilities are endless when it comes to splurging vegan style. Whether you're vegan or a full-on carnivore, make your next cheat day a little bit more guilt-free and check out some of the best eats the country has to offer.