“Radically inclusive, social justice centered, spiritually alive.” Not the typical motto for a restaurant but The Red Herring is everything but conventional. If the slogan doesn’t say enough about its vibrant nature, then the 100% vegan menu and colorful atmosphere will. Before all the carnivore readers sigh and move on to eating their meat lover’s pizza, The Red Herring is more than just your typical hipster-vegan café. It is vegan with a cause. After renovations this past summer, The Red Herring has opened its doors for the fall semester with a flair for diversity. Every Wednesday, it holds Vegan Cultural Dinners to embrace a different culture: this past week was vegan Kenyan.
The Red Herring’s dedication to embracing difference reflects the Unitarian-Universalist values of the Channing Murray Foundation. A lesson from your contemporary religion teacher: Unitarian-Universalists supports freedom on all dimensions, embracing ethnicity, race and sexuality. The Red Herring is a part of the Channing Murray Foundation, focused on reflecting their own values of difference, especially through their menu. There is even a salad named after an LGBTQ activist. “All of the profit from The Red Herring goes to the foundation, which supports social justice and activist movements of all kinds,” says The Red Herring chef Adrienne Weber. And she really means all kinds – just last week they had a showing about immigration rights. The restaurant’s vegan values don’t exclude the people’s favorites: the menu has nachos and BBQ that remain filling and flavorful sans animal products. From the miscellaneous tables, chairs and lamps to the smell of fresh vegetables and spices and coffee, this little restaurant down the side stairs of The Channing Murray Foundation building quite literally serves food for thought.
Address: 1209 W Oregon St., Urbana, IL
Hours of operation: Mon-Fri 10am- 3pm