Let’s face it: most people think vegans are seriously deprived. Those people love to tally all the meals that are off-limits, usually concluding that they could never adopt such a diet. As a vegan, I can tell you the most popular “and that’s why I’d never go vegan” foods are burgers and bacon. But I’m about to blow your mind: I don’t feel like I’m missing out through my herbivorous diet. In fact, I’d like to present foods that are actually better sans meat, dairy and eggs.

1. Chipotle


Photo courtesy of ABC News

Have you tried their new sofritas? It’s shredded tofu braised with roasted poblanos, chipotle chiles and a Mexican spice blend. It tastes like a flavor party in your mouth. (Some reviews have compared it to spiced ground beef.) This stuff is so good, the majority of people who eat it aren’t even vegan.

2. Smoothies or “Nature’s Milkshakes”


Photo by Kelda Baljon

Pure fruit and veggie smoothies are the best. One sip, and you’re mentally on top of a mountain. The beauty of it is, you can blend together almost any plant combo and end up with a delicious concoction. Spinach, mango and kiwi? Blueberry and agave? All fantastic.

3. Cookies


Photo by Kirby Barth

Okay, I know you’re doubting me on this one. After all, chocolate chip cookies just like Mom bakes are full of non-vegan ingredients, like butter, eggs and milk chocolate. But did you know the Oreo, is technically vegan? So are Nutter Butters! Dunk them in (almond) milk, and you’re good to go.

4. Ice Cream


Photo by Aja Frost

There is a beautiful world of dairy-free dessert out there. I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve drowned a great deal of my sorrows in servings of cookie dough coconut ice cream. There’s also soy, almond and cashew-based pints. With flavors like Chocolate Walnut Brownie and Mocha Macha Crunch, you’ll wonder why you were ever seduced by Ben & Jerry’s. Plus there’s sorbet—and for the purists, banana ice cream(Pro tip: we tasted all the non-dairy ice creams out there. See how they stack up.)

5. Salads


Photo by Haley Durham

Those who think of meatless salads as “rabbit food” are clearly picturing the token house salad: a limp pile of iceberg lettuce, topped with a few lonely toppings. Real vegan salads are chock-full of hearty and delicious ingredients like nuts, seeds, greens, exotic fruits and fresh veggies. Basically, the Garden of Eden… in a bowl. And I haven’t even gotten to the dressings: tahini, balsamic olive oil, lemon poppyseed and more. If you’re not drooling, you must not have a mouth.

6. Ethnic food


Photo by Katherine Baker

Thai: All types of curry.

Indian: samosas, dal, flatbread, lentils, chana masala.

Chinese: TOFU.

Japanese: vegetable sushi and spring rolls.

Mediterranean: falafel, hummus, couscous, tabbouleh, spanakopita.

Italian: minestrone, pasta in marinara sauce, pesto.

Okay, so it’s fair to say these aren’t necessarily tastier than their non-vegan counterparts, but they’re certainly equal in flavor.

So for those who picture vegans as versions of Oliver Twist, secretly salivating over cheesefries and chicken, think again. The plethora of great options available makes us vegans as happy as the clams we’re not consuming.