There is no shortage of steakhouses and burger places in Laramie. Yet the local food scene is beginning to change as restaurants begin to provide more vegetarian and vegan options. One of the perks of eating with vegetarian friends is you realize vegetarian food doesn’t mean bland, tasteless meals of kale and green beans. These local restaurants prove that point, with their creative and delicious food creations. The best part is, you don’t have to be a full time vegetarian to enjoy a meal at these restaurants. Here are 5 of the best vegetarian restaurants in Laramie.

Sweet Melissa

When it comes to vegetarian cuisine, Sweet Melissa’s has the market on lock down. This cozy local spot is located downtown on First Street. They have a variety of vegetarian sandwiches and specialty dishes. From cauliflower wings to smoothed sweet potato and black bean burger; it’s easy to forget there isn’t any meat when the food tastes so good. Also save room for desert, their fried banana bread is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Turtle Rock Café

There’s a reason that when lunch time rolls around Turtle Rock's line is out the front door. Located right across the street from campus on 9th street, this little café is a hot spot for University of Wyoming students and staff. The café is not only your coffee hookup, but they have plenty of great vegetarian options. The MoJo JoJo ciabatta is a black bean patty with avocado, provolone, and spicy Sriracha slaw. All of their sandwiches and salads are cleverly named, so you’re sure to remember what your favorite dishes are.

Jeffrey’s Bistro

If you're feeling fancy, this locally owned restaurant is the perfect place to grab lunch or dinner. Downtown on Ivinson Avenue, Jeffrey’s Bistro has several creative dishes on their menu inspired by Mexican, Italian, and Asian cuisine. Sandwiches and salads are their specialty, the Grilled Humus or the Deluxe Avocado sandwich are two of their great vegetarian options. They also have a number of gluten free and vegan options on their menu.

Anong Thai Cuisine

Whether it’s for a date night meal, or a quick take out run, Anong’s is the place to go for Thai food. Walk in to the warmly decorated restaurant, complete with authentic Thai motifs, over on the corner of Ivinson and First Street. While most Thai food does have meat, at Anong’s you can add tofu or vegetables to any of the entrees. You can't go wrong with their egg rolls and yellow curry, a traditional Thai meal that's sure to hit the spot.

The Crowbar and Grill

Although the Crowbar specializes in burgers, it is still a vegetarian friendly restaurant. Located on 2nd street, they are known for the friendly, laid back vibe. Their Cardinal Burger is made with Tempura fried eggplant. They also have meat free appetizers, salads, and pizzas. I’d recommend the Pad Thai fries, covered in sweet and spicy Thai sauce, chopped peanuts, green onions, and lime. You'll never see a naked fry in the same way again.

Finding healthy vegetarian food while you are in college can be a struggle, but these vegetarian restaurants in Laramie are changing that. Check out some more helpful hints on being a vegetarian in college. Even if you aren't a full time vegetarian, next time you go out to eat, save a cow and try one of these restaurants. Who knows, maybe their food will convince you being vegetarian isn't all that bad.