I've been a vegetarian for eight years, and my friend and fellow Spoon-er Lia Lankford has been a vegan for almost a year now. In St. Louis, we may sometimes prefer the veg-friendly options of Seedz Cafe or Lulu's, but we're sick of people assuming we can't eat anywhere else. Yes, our go-to is the basic but delicious açai bowl, but that doesn't mean we don't also enjoy some classic Korean-Mexican fusion or even BBQ. To put the "veggies are too picky to go out with" rumor to rest, we reviewed seven of the most popular and not veggie-specific restaurants on the Delmar Loop, a Wash U student hangout just north of campus. 

1. Corner 17

wine, coffee, alcohol, tea, beer, liquor
Brooke Robinson

Vegetarian: Honestly, no matter how many times I go, I can never decipher the menu. That being said, whatever I accidentally end up ordering, I love each time. The portions are definitely filling, especially if you get the hand-pulled noodles. I wish they had more veggies to add to the stir-fry dishes, but the silky and smooth tofu makes up for it.

Brooke's recommendation: Mala stir-fry with teriyaki (I hate spicy things) and rice noodles. They’re oddly chewy and gummy but so fun to eat.

Vegan: I mean everyone knows how I feel about Corner 17 because I never stop talking about it or craving it--probably some of the most delicious hand-pulled noodles I’ve had in the U.S. (and they actually rival those I’m currently eating abroad in China). On the off chance that I don’t finish every bite, Corner 17 food makes for great leftovers, too.

Lia's recommendation: Mala stir fry (not the soup because they only have bone broth!) and the bubble tea, which is a bit expensive but is also essentially the nectar of my life.

2. Mission Taco

vegetable, lettuce, cheese, salad, tomato, bread, meat
Matthew Wenger

Vegetarian: If I could eat Mission’s warm salty chips and guacamole for the rest of my life without becoming morbidly obese, I 100% would. It’s also really nice that they have tofu tacos and a tofu burrito. That being said, I find their tofu a little dry and bland. Right idea, wrong execution.

Brooke's recommendation: Street corn! It’s the opposite of the tofu: flavorful and gooey (thanks to a creamy sauce) and a general favorite among veggies and meat-eaters alike. It's perfect for sharing. 

Vegan: Like Brooke said, I’ve found the tofu options at Mission Taco to be dry, especially when you have to take out the cheese or aioli sauce (aiolies are mayonnaise based—made with egg, so if you're vegan, don’t forget to ask for your tacos without them!) You can make a meal out of the sides, but that's definitely not ideal.

Lia's recommendation: Grilled vegetable quinoa side dish.

3. Seoul Taco

Ariel Vasser

Vegetarian: Seoul Taco has easily the best tofu on the Loop; I would Postmates buckets of it daily if I could. It's the ultimate drunchie and munchie restaurant that totally satisfies any cravings for Korean-Mexican fusion. 

Brooke's recommendation: The tofu Gogi bowl with extra tofu and fried rice.

Vegan: There aren’t really that many vegan options here, since the non-vegan sauces and cheese sort of pull together the burritos and quesadillas. But, as a friend (read: Brooke) once eloquently said, “The tofu is fire,” so you won’t even feel bad that everyone around you is inhaling bulgogi meat.

Lia's recommendation: You can’t go wrong with a tofu Gogi bowl sans egg—I usually sub the egg for extra greens or extra rice, depending on how much I want to carb-o-load that day.

4. Three Kings Public House

vegetable, dairy product, milk, sweet
Tess Citron

Vegetarian: Kings is such a quintessential Wash U hangout, I'm sure almost every student has stopped by there at least once. The appetizers are killer, and besides the wings, calamari and chicken strips, all the popular options are veg-friendly. 

Brooke's recommendation: The fried pickles and the pretzel twists.

Vegan: Kings has a vegan burger, if you make sure to order the veggie patty without the chipotle mayo. It's pretty good and is a nice option if you're there with friends for some drinks and din. And of course, if you're at Kings for a bit, but you're not trying to eat a whole meal, the fries are always a safe bet. 

Lia's recommendation: Fries on fries on fries.

5. Fitz's

chocolate, popcorn, cream, coffee
Ariel Vasser

Vegetarian: There's a reason I haven't been back to Fitz's since my mandatory freshman year orientation outing: it's just not too special. The veggie burger is average, BD fries are better, and don't get me started about the mediocrity of the salads. 

Brooke's recommendation: The signature root beer floats, if you're looking to relive your childhood days and indulge in a less common treat made with Fitz's homemade root beer. 

Vegan: I refuse to endorse a place where the only vegan option is lettuce. 

Lia's recommendation: No.

6. Pi Pizzeria

pizza, mozzarella, sauce, tomato
Ariel Vasser

Vegetarian: It's pretty hard to mess up a classic pizza. The deep dish is definitely an artery-clogging splurge, but the foodgasm worthy melty cheese justifies it, at least some of the time. 

Brooke's recommendation: Eating the extra deep-dish cornmeal crust with honey.

Vegan: Pie is a good pizza place for vegans since they have a vegan cheese option. If you're not into that, then try a thin crust pizza without the cheese and classify it as a "flat bread" if you're feeling a bit pretentious. 

Lia's recommendation: Build your own "pizza" with as many veggies as possible.

7. Salt + Smoke

sandwich, bread, avocado
Ariel Vasser

Vegetarian: Oddly enough, this BBQ restaurant is one of my STL favorites. I am often not able to choose between their falafel burger, mac & cheese and apple pie. Vegetarians may only have a few options to choose from at Salt + Smoke, but they're definitely solid options. It's also just fun surprising your meat-eating friends and suggesting BBQ for dinner. 

Brooke's recommendation: Never skip dessert, as full as you may be--specifically, the apple pie with vanilla ice cream is outrageously good.

Vegan: You're kidding...right?

Lia's recommendation: A more vegan-friendly restaurant.

So, while it's often a harder challenge for Lia to find a vegan option at these Loop restaurant favorites, that doesn't eliminate the Loop as an option for vegans altogether. Pie Pizza, Seoul Taco, Corner 17, Three Kings and Mission Taco all offer solid vegan options...and as a vegetarian, I'm able to find something delicious at all 7 spots in this list. The next time you're worried about suggesting a restaurant that's non-veggie-friendly, you can rest assured that the Loop will have something for every type of eater in your group.