I grew up in Milwaukee, WI. It's the land of cows and beer and brats and cheese, but I went vegetarian at age nine and was that weird kid eating hummus that everyone made fun of at lunch.

Then, I went to NYU and Columbia and at some point became vegan (I know, I know, I'm such a cliché).

But I still love to come back to my hometown frequently and get my nom on. Lucky for me, the dining scene in Milwaukee has been thriving in the past decade, and it's been a delicious progression to watch and taste. 

In the past 3-4 years, especially, there seems to be a surge in veg-friendliness at many delicious new and old establishments.

This makes me a happy vegan Milwaukee native in the land of custard, beer, deep fried cheese curds, and brats. #GoPlants

1. Urban Beets Cafe

An all-vegan sandwich, bagel, and juice bar, Urban Beets is a solid place for a simple meal and a quality fresh-pressed juice. 

Don't skip the raw tacos, or the smoked-cashew cream cheese

2. Odd Duck

This place is pure magic. Delicious, seasonal, daily-menu small-plate type magic.

They treat vegetables with every ounce of love, respect, and creativity they deserve.

The food is divine, as is the customer service, and while they serve meat, if you drop the V word they'll take good care of you. Give them a visit.

3. Babe's Ice Cream

A cute old-fashioned ice cream parlor in Bay View with vegan ice cream, milkshakes, ice cream cakes, and chocolate-dipped bananas.

A fun place to stop on a warm summer night (they're closed mid-November through spring). 

4. The Vanguard

This divey-ish yet hip sausage and beer bar is a great place to meet up with friends for a drink and a good quick bite.

The Vanguard has an extensive beer menu and amazing vegan sausages and creative sausage-sandwiches (you can get anyone you want made vegan, just ask).

And don't you dare skip the burnt ginger tofu. It's life-changing. 

5. Hello Falafel

Four flavors, on laffa bread or saffron carrot rice, with delicious vegetable-focused sizes. A vegan paradise, paired with a side of eggplant fries. Website here.

6. Beans & Barley Cafe

Beans & Barley is an east-side institution. Striking a perfect balance between healthy and comforting, they have delicious brunch, lunch, dinner, and dessert options. 

The vegan pancakes are not to be missed, nor is the black bean and sweet potato burrito

7. Colectivo Coffee Roasters

Collectivo is synonymous with "home" for many Milwaukee-natives.

While they're still lacking in the vegan-baked goods department, you can grab a delicious almond-milk matcha latte or soy chai and soak up some serious Milwaukee hipster vibes.

Get the Revv tea. I think it fixes every single one of life's problems. And if that fails, some of the locations also serve beer

8. Honeypie

Honeypie has an every-changing selection of vegan pies and cupcakes, as well as a daily vegan pasty, and many veg-friendly seasonal menu items.

A solid, homey place to grab a meal or get a cupcake to-go. 

9. Lazy Susan

The ambiance inside Lazy Susan is reminiscent of being at your friend's mom's house for dinner in the late-90s in the best way possible. 

Lots of fun entrées and shareables for eaters of all dietary patterns. Good for groups.

10. Purple Door Ice Cream

A gem in the up-and-coming Walker's point neighborhood, this clean and modern dessert spot sets the ice cream bar high.

There's always a high-quality sorbet or two in the rotation, and with flavors like chocolate and spiced pear, it's unlikely you'll regret picking Purple Door to satisfy your sweet tooth. 

11. Cafe Manna

Located in Brookfield, Cafe Manna is a vegetarian restaurant with some vegan options.

Meals are often overpriced and under-seasoned, but if you're stuck in Brookfield and looking for something to eat, this place has decent vibes and food. 

12. Classic Slice Pizza

This Bayview pizza spot is a mecca for vegans and non-vegans alike. They serve pizza "by the slice," but the slices are so ginormous they're better described as "entire pizzas shaped like a slice."

The vegan options are creative and customizable, the salads are filling and delicious, and they even have nutritional yeast to sprinkle on top of your meal. #blessit

13. Comet Cafe

Sure, they have a reputation for having baskets of free bacon, but Comet Cafe is also famous for outrageous diner-style vegan entrees like deep fried vegan ribs and vegan Salisbury steak.

14. Riverwest Co-Op

Riverwest's cafe offers an extensive menu full of vegan options. From vegan pancakes, to tofu banh mis, to French toast and tempeh reubens, there's something to delight every vegan at this humble co-op cafe. 

Get out the stretchy pants—they have vegan cupcakes, and brunch too. 

15. Wolf Peach

Wolf peach has a local and seasonally-focused menu of small plates and brunch items with major MKE views. Vegan and gluten-free options, and yummy cocktails.

16. EE-Sane

This hole-in-the-wall charmer throws down some seriously delicious and authentic Thai food. Order a meal with tofu and veggies and get ready for a flavor mind-f*ck (in a good way).

17. Transfer Pizza Company

Shareable pizzas with vegan options. Located on KK in Bayview.

18. BelAir Cantina

With three locations, BelAir is a local favorite for tacos, margs, and GTs. They have quite a few vegan options, and you can veganize many of the vegetarian menu items by asking for #nocheese. 

19. Holy Moley

Holy moley, vegan doughnuts in Milwaukee? Sign me up.

Fresh, yummy doughnuts, with several vegan options on the daily. The location is sort of hidden within a downtown building, but it's worth seeking out. 

20. Anodyne Coffee 

Some of the best coffee in Milwaukee. The Bayview location also serves (delicious) stone-fire Neapolitan pizza, which you can veganize by asking for no cheese and adding veggies. 

Don't skip an East Side Ovens fruit dumpling for a dairy-free sweet-treat—it's basically a mini pie straight out of a sweet-tooth dream.

21. The National Cafe

Tucked away in the up-and-coming Walker's Point neighborhood, The National Cafe offers some delicious vegan and non-vegan brunch options, soups and sammies. 

22. Stone Creek Coffee

Gorgeous lattes, vegan pastries, and trendy yet soothing vibes are what you'll find at Stone Creek. Stop in for a pick me up or to get some work done

23. Hue Restaurant

Vietnamese-inspired cuisine with vegan options, including pho. Delicious cocktails, too. Try the Basil Smash for a refreshing way to get your tipsy on.

24. Pizzeria Piccola

Ask for the vegan/gluten-free crust, and double up on tomatoes, basil, and veggies and you have another solid vegan option in charming downtown Tosa or the MKE airport

Also, the salads are simple, but the embodiment of leafy green perfection.

25. Bombay Sweets

Indian vegetarian paradise! Bombay Sweets holds a special place in the hearts of many Indian-food-loving and vegetarian Milwaukee residents.

And true to their name, they have oodles of Indian desserts to end your meal on a sweet note. 

26. Outpost Natural Foods

Sure, it's technically a co-op grocery store, but their cafe offers better food than a lot of sit-down chains. 

The menu changes, but there's always something satisfying, vegan, flavorful, and healthy. While you're there, pick up a vegan pastry and some organic produce. Nom nom. 

27. Alem Ethiopian Village

If you haven't experienced Ethiopian cuisine yet, you really need to put it at the top of your to-do list. 

Basically, you get globs of flavorful legume and vegetable concoctions on this giant sourdough pancake-like bread and you mix and match and dip your way to paradise. 

A fun place for a satisfying meal when you're feeling adventurous. 

28. Cafe Corazon

A charming seasonally and locally-focused Mexican hot-spot with oodles of vegan options, margaritas, mouse-made sangria, and brunch.

Visit them in Bay View or Riverwest when you need a Mexican fix. 

29. Maxie's Southern Comfort

Southern comfort food with tons of vegan options. The BBQ tofu will leave you breathless. Omnomnomnomnom.

30. The Green Kitchen

Tucked inside Milwaukee Public Market, the Green Kitchen has salads, wraps, and sandwiches. Customize-able, fresh, and delicious.

31. Palomino

Diner meets dive-bar, with delicious comfort food. Vegan options available for when you need a drunchie fix. 

32. AJ Bomber's

For when you want a giant veggie burger and fries that will make you unbutton your pants. 

33. Ian's Pizza

A Wisco classic, now vegan-friendly (yes, even the mac'n'cheese pizza)!