We’re currently in the middle of Veganuary, a month when people are encouraged to learn about and try a plant-based diet. As the average citizen becomes increasingly aware of his or her carbon footprint and its effects on the environment, many decide there’s no time like the present to introduce more plant-based meals.
As most folks know, both vegans and vegetarians forego meat consumption; however, as vegans eschew eating any animal products, vegetarians oftentimes include eggs and other dairy products in the diet. As a vegan blogger, here are some of my favorite vegan-friendly eateries in Plano to help you dip your toe into a meat-free lifestyle.
Earls Kitchen + Bar
Earls Kitchen + Bar in Legacy West has an upscale yet laid back vibe that is perfect for a romantic date night or a fun night out with friends. Not widely known as a vegan hotspot, multiple dietary needs can be accommodated, and there is even a separate vegan menu. The Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower and Crispy Tofu Zen Bowl are both must-tries.
Happy Panda’s menu offers traditional Chinese dishes as well as an extensive list of vegan options. It has everything from vegan Hot and Sour Soup to Sesame Soy Pork to Vegan Mongolian Beef, and the menu clearly denotes what can be made vegan. Happy Panda also gets bonus points for its monthly vegan buffet, which I recommend trying for both new and longtime vegans.
Austin transplant JuiceLand has a mission of encouraging the community to embrace health, wellness and a vibrant, plant-based diet. It is famous for all-natural, whole food smoothies and raw juices, but its all vegan food menu is just as imaginative and delicious. My favorites are the Vegan Gyro, Beyond Burrito and Queso Roller.
Kesari serves up traditional South Indian vegetarian cuisine and has several vegan-friendly options. The affordable portions are huge, and food quality is always top notch. The Mini Thalis also change daily, so check the website for the offering of the day. My current favorite is the Masala Dosa and Masala Vadai.
Dallas-based Nature’s Plate opened its Plano location in early 2019, bringing in the concept of whole food, plant-based meals to-go. The menu rotates weekly; Nature’s Plate offers a weekly meal subscription delivery service to help take the guesswork out of enjoying healthy plant-based meals at home or work. My favorites are the Mushroom Stroganoff, Buffalo Chickpea Salad and BBQ Plate.
Nom Noms Mexican Grill
Located at The Shops at Willow Bend, family-owned Nom Noms Mexican Grill offers a menu of simple yet delicious tacos, bowls and burritos. Fellow vegans usually lament over the difficulty in finding restaurants that offer vegan rice and beans, so Nom Noms is a personal favorite for offering both on its menu. The fast-casual counter service allows customers to customize meals to their liking, and there are vegan frozen fruit pops for dessert.
If you’re looking for a more contemporary spot to have a vegan-friendly date night, then look no further than Seasons 52. It has maintained its place on my list of favorites by continuing to offer a seasonally changing menu with vegan options in an upscale setting. My recent favorites are the Roasted Vegetable Gnocchi and Grilled Artichokes with Preserved Lemon Hummus.
True Food Kitchen
True Food Kitchen was founded on the concept that food should make you feel better, not worse. The menu rotates seasonally and is made of flavorful, all natural, whole food dishes. I highly recommend the Creamy Tomato Soup, Butternut Squash Pizza with house-made vegan almond ricotta or, if you’re in the mood for something sweet, the Squash Pie.
The women-owned and women-built Viridescent Kitchen opened in July 2019 and offers an innovative 100% plant-based and vegan menu that proves you don’t have to sacrifice flavor when omitting meat and dairy. The rotating menu features classic favorites like Monster Nachos and Stacked Grilled Cheese, while also offering a variety of flavorful bowls with a wide-range of vegan protein options.