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A vegan road trip through the Midwest

The Midwest is known for its friendliness, great lakes, and snowy winters. We can also get positively poetic about its comfort food – those generous portions! Join us on this vegan voyage as we hit the road up the Heartland for vegan eats that are kind for mind, body, and soul… and the animals, of course. Cowtowns without the cow?! We can do this and we can do this deliciously. Trust us, you won’t want to fly over any of these veg-friendly spots. It’s time to go Midwest, young vegans!

The Nile Vegan, Columbus, OH

There’s nothing quite like hearty, spicy Ethiopian food! A peep at their specials reveals a dehydrated tofu with berbere spices dish that makes us literally weep from heat and happiness. “Chickpea sauce with stewed kale (shiro be gomen) is amazing; I could eat it every day. If it is your first time going to Nile Vegan, I recommend getting their combo platters. The beet medley will completely change the way you think of beets.” – Sarah M

Detroit Filling Station, Ann Arbor, MI

Road trippers are definitely going to want to fuel up with the world’s greatest wrap and grilled queso burrito at Detroit Filling Station. “My favorite place in all of the US to get buffalo cauliflower. Yes, that’s a little extreme, but to be fair I’ve had them in several places (even outside the country) and they are by far the best place for buffalo cauliflower—perfectly crispy, good portion, and don’t even get me started on whatever magical ranch they have.” – Aya L

Loving Cafe, Fort Wayne, IN

Striving to provide healthy and affordable vegan food, in addition to vegan twists on classics like burgers and BLTAs, The Loving Hut offers up “great pho/wonton soup, Singapore noodles with tofu, pad thai with vegan steak and some great Boba tea! The prices were very nominal and also had a small outdoor seating area where we sat with our puppy and enjoyed some nice lunch!” – Prathima S

Vegan Tease, Orland Park, IL

Vegan Tease’s fabulous fish fri-yay sandwich, fried chicken and ta ta tacos may make us swoon, but “when you have lemon pepper cauliflower wings this good, and garlic and green onion fries made with cut potatoes this amazing, and then a Chik’n sandwich ‘buffalo style’ this bomb… the only thing left to do is sing!” – Shay J

Trumpet Blossom Cafe, Iowa City, IA

Featuring both deli-style take out and a focus on seasonal offerings in the dining room, Trumpet Blossom also has a tantalizing offering of cocktails from the bar (we’ll have a daytripper, of course!)  “I ordered the reuben with the veggies and beet hummus side, as well as their featured hibiscus margarita (I’m a sucker for anything hibiscus). It’s hard to put into words how amazing this reuben is. To be quite honest, I’ve never had a meat reuben in my life, but I already know this rendition is better than the real thing.” – Stephanie B

The Cheeze Factory, Baraboo, WI

Spaghetti and “meat sauce” parmesan will have you screaming holy cow, not to mention those decadent desserts like chocolate espresso cashew dream cheesecake! “Hearty portions, flavorful, lip-smacking goodness, friendly service, and mid-range prices that make this well worth visiting again and again. It’s places like these that make me understand that restaurants can go vegan and not give up anything at all.” – Marilyn B

Trio Plant-based, Minneopolis, MN

Although only open right now for take-out (perfect for a road trip) and delivery, you won’t want to miss out on a stop to Minnesota’s first 100% plant-based, Black-owned 100% plant-based restaurant. “Oh my! The bbq pit, which was my favorite kind of sandwich before going vegan (onion ring, bbq sauce, cheddar, sometimes bacon – you know the drill) was phenomenal.” – Sweta T

Rutabagas, Lincoln, NE

You wouldn’t expect to find scrumptious seitan “steak” and “eggs” in Lincoln, Nebraska, but here we are. “How a vegan restaurant exists in the middle of Nebraska, I don’t know. But I am SO glad we found it! Super friendly staff, amazing food, even Sunday brunch, alcohol, and late night happy hour.” – Nikole C

CC’s Vegan Spot, Saint Louis, MO

Do yourself a favor if you’re on the road in St. Louis: put in your online order with CC’s Vegan Spot and prepare to be amazed (we have our eye on the bbq brinjal burger, made with eggplant). “Even if you’re not vegan the food here is to die for. The flavors, variety of options and thoughtfulness that goes into each dish is wonderful. My friend suggested I get the supreme burger and it was incredibly juicy and filling (I would have taken a photo but I essentially inhaled it upon seeing it).” – Meggie W

Opolis, Norman, OK

While live music may be the main thing on the menu at Opolis, they also serve up plenty of plant-based comfort food that will leave you singing its praises (perhaps an ode to new wave nachos?) “Vegan options were absolutely delicious. I had the vegan wings and my sister had the vegan sloppy joe. Both dishes were super good!” – Skye B

Did we miss your favorite Midwestern vegan gem? Let us know so that we can be sure and include them on our next trip!