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Detroit Vegan Soul
Photo courtesy of Detroit Vegan Soul
Food & Drink
Anja Grommons Anja Grommons Anja Grommons

10 Black-Owned Vegan Restaurants in the Midwest

From America’s heartland—check out these Black-owned plant-based eateries.

Whether you’re a Midwest native or find yourself on a road trip through middle America, you won’t want to miss these all-vegan restaurants owned and operated by Black entrepreneurs. From vegan soul food and Creole-inspired eats to authentic Ethiopian fare and comfort food cuisine, these eateries are proudly serving their communities with delicious plant-based dishes. To get in on the action, check out these 10 Black-owned vegan restaurants in the Midwest.

Soul Veg City

Chicago, IL

Soul Veg City has been a Southside destination for over 40 years—that’s four decades of delicious plant-based soul food. Located in the Greater Grand Crossing community, the vegan eatery is currently under the ownership of Arel Brown and Lori Seay. Pop in for cruelty-free Southern eats from Jerk Nachos and Cajun Shrimp N Rice to Soulful Steak and Spicy Chicken Sandwiches.

Soul Veg City

Photo courtesy of Soul Veg City

The Black Vegan

Chicago, IL

Specializing in plant-based comfort food, The Black Vegan features dishes like BBQ Portobello Wings, Jackfruit Sliders, and Fried Pickles. This Black-owned vegan restaurant started as a pop-up and opened its brick-and-mortar location in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood in the summer of 2021. The restaurant is owned by Sparkle Le’Star Rucker, one of the youngest restaurant owners in the Windy City!

The Black Vegan

Photo courtesy of The Black Vegan

Cul De Sac Kitchen

Indianapolis, IN

Located in the Plaza Urbana mall food court, Cul De Sac Kitchen is known for delightful plant-based eats and happy, repeat customers. From soul food platters and nachos to burgers and raw tacos, Chef Poe El knows what Indianapolis vegans love to eat! His Indy customers cannot get enough of the Pineapple Express meal featuring a walnut meat sandwich paired with stir-fried veggies and curry beans.

Cul De Sac Kitchen

Photo courtesy of Donisha Chris

Detroit Vegan Soul

Detroit, MI

This Black-owned soul food restaurant has been serving the Motor City since 2013. Owned by Kirsten Ussery and Erika Boyd, Detroit Vegan Soul is an Eastern Michigan destination restaurant. Plant-based menu mainstays include the Oyster Mushroom Po Boy, Okra Stew, and Soul Platter, featuring “Catfish” Tofu, mac ‘n’ cheese, smoked collards, candied yams, black-eyed peas, brown rice, and a cornbread muffin.

Detroit Vegan Soul

Photo courtesy of Detroit Vegan Soul

Trap Vegan

Detroit, MI

After identifying a need for vegan-friendly eats on the go, owner Jasmine Raiford and crew created this fast-casual eatery. Soon, another vegan Detroit favorite was born! Featuring loaded burgers with house-made patties, fruity smoothies, fresh salads, IG-worthy acai bowls, saucy cauliflower bites, and nachos topped with all the fixings, Trap Vegan has your plant-based cravings crushed!

Trap Vegan

Photo courtesy of Rebecca Gade Sawicki

Trio Plant-Based

Minneapolis, MN

After being wrongfully arrested and maintaining his innocence through multiple felony charges, Louis Hunter is giving back to his community in a delicious way. In 2019, Hunter became the sole owner of Trio Plant-Based, the first Black-owned vegan restaurant in Minneapolis. The drool-worthy menu offers burgers, wraps, and soul food offerings like the For Your Soul Bowl, featuring mac ‘n’ cheese, collard greens, BBQ jackfruit, crumbled cornbread, and maple butter.

Trio Plant-Based

Photo courtesy of Trio Plant-Based

CC’s Vegan Spot

Saint Louis, MO

From crispy fried oyster mushrooms and Buffalo chicken nachos to loaded cheesesteaks and fresh tofu Caesar salads, you won’t want to miss out on CC’s Vegan Spot located in Saint Louis, Missouri. The all-vegan, Midwestern eatery is owned and operated by Chef Trezel Brown—who is passionate about plant-based, homestyle cooking.

CC’s Vegan Spot

Photo courtesy of CC’s Vegan Spot

JuJu’s Vegan Cajun & Creole Cuisine

Lincoln, NE

Chef Derick Gaspard’s part-time gig took a pandemic pivot, evolving into Nebraska’s first Black-owned vegan restaurant. As a New Orleans native, Gaspard is now bringing delicious Cajun- and Creole-inspired dishes to the Midwest with a vegan twist. JuJu’s Vegan Cajun & Creole Cuisine features menu items like jambalaya, BBQ rib sandwiches, and succotash, to name a few.

JuJu's Vegan Cajun & Creole Cuisine

Photo courtesy of JuJu’s Vegan Cajun & Creole Cuisine

Nile Vegan

Columbus, OH

With two locations serving up delicious Ethiopian cuisine, Nile Vegan is a Midwest must. Inspired by his Ethiopian heritage, chef and owner, Siyum Tefera, has filled the menu with authentic and comforting dishes. Start with an order of sambusas, followed by Ye Atakilt Alicha (a curried vegetable medley eaten with injera), and snag a brewed Ethiopian coffee for your trek home.

Nile Vegan

Photo courtesy of Nile Vegan

Twisted Plants

Cudahy, WI

In the name of sharing vegan comfort food with the Milwaukee community, husband-and-wife duo Brandon and Arielle Hawthorne started Twisted Plants in 2019. Whether you’re a Wisconsin native or are just passing through the Badger State, you won’t want to miss this Black-owned vegan restaurant featuring plant-based burgers, comfort food appetizers, and dairy-free milkshakes.

Twisted Plants

Photo courtesy of Twisted Plants

Anja Grommons

@vegcentricdietitian

During her studies to become a registered dietitian, Anja—a longtime vegetarian—transitioned to a vegan diet. Living in Kalamazoo, Michigan at the time (Go Broncos!), she met Maggie and Tammie through VegOut Kalamazoo (one of VegOut’s first focus cities) and began collaborating with the duo. When she’s not writing about new vegan eats, practicing as a pediatric clinical dietitian, and virtually coaching fellow plant-based eaters, you can find her creating veg-centric recipes, trying new cruelty-free products, and spending time with her partner Addison and cat Kovu.

Must-have products: Ezekiel Bread, Racconto Giardiniera, Pacifica Vegan Collagen Complex Serum, Elina Organics Botanical Cleanser

Articles by Anja
Anja Grommons

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