The 2021 VegOut Awards Winners
After some very tight races, and drool-worthy selections, your votes for the best vegan spots across the nation have been tallied and the results are in! Below are the winners for the 2021 VegOut Awards.
Best Vegan Restaurant
Crossroads Kitchen – Los Angeles
Coming out on top, Crossroads Kitchen takes the prize for the best vegan restaurant overall. From small plates to entrees and desserts, this spot reigns supreme this year with its elegant atmosphere, innovative menu, and consistently amazing service.
Best Vegan-Friendly Restaurant
Veggie Galaxy – Cambridge, MA
With vegan options that are out of this world, It’s no wonder Veggie Galaxy won best vegan-friendly restaurant. This New England must-try is entirely vegetarian, but everything on their menu can be made vegan upon request. Comfort food heaven—beam me up!
Best Vegan-Friendly Fast Food
With so many vegan-friendly chains these days, this race was close, but Chipotle came through. The options for burritos, bowls, or tacos are endless, and … pro tip: guac is free if you choose fajita veggies as your main.
Pie, Pie My Darling – Chicago
Located in the heart of Chicago, this LGBTQ+-owned vegan bakery has some big fans across the country! From cakes to pies, to cookies, and even cosmic brownies, Pie, Pie My Darling has everything to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. We only hope they can start delivering nationally soon!
Best Ice Cream
Ben & Jerry’s – Multiple Locations
As Ben & Jerry’s continues their non-dairy takeover of the grocery aisles, look for a scoop shop near you on their website. New additions to the non-dairy flavor lineup include Phish Food and Karamel Sutra Core. Keep ‘em coming!
Voodoo Doughnut – Multiple Locations
Started as a single shop in Portland, Oregon, Voodoo Doughnut can now be found in California, Texas, Florida, and Colorado with plans to expand to even more states. Not an entirely vegan spot, most of their doughnuts can be made vegan upon request and are clearly labeled on their website.
Photo credit: @jodiesveganeats
Purgatory Pizza – Los Angeles
Long gone are the days where removing the cheese and throwing on a bunch of limp veggies was the only vegan pizza option. Purgatory Pizza wins for good reason! They have seven house specialty pies, plus nearly anything on their menu can be customized to be made vegan.
Monty’s Good Burger – Los Angeles
The Monty’s love is real, and we’re here for it! Made from Impossible meat, Follow Your Heart cheese, and customer’s choice of one of five house-made sauces, it’s no wonder over 2 million burgers have been sold in SoCal since the first location opened in 2018.
Sage Plant Based Bistro – Los Angeles
From pancakes to breakfast tacos and pizza, Sage Plant Based Bistro offers something for everyone and is the best brunch of the bunch. The expansive brunch menu includes nut-free, soy-free, and gluten-free options to accommodate those with special dietary needs.
Best Fried Chicken
Lettuce Feast – Los Angeles
Let us feast on the super crispy and savory fried chicken from Lettuce Feast! The house-made proteins used for their sandwiches and strips are unmatched this year. All-vegan and all delicious, the menu options include Nashville-inspired or classic and come in a variety of spice levels, including hot honey.
Cena Vegan – Los Angeles
It’s the plant-based meats made by Cena Vegan’s sister brand Plant Ranch that earned this spot the award for best tacos. The protein options include carne asada, pollo asado, al pastor, barbacoa, and carnitas. Three of the flavors are available for shipping nationwide to recreate these tacos wherever you are.
Best Upscale Restaurant
Crossroads Kitchen – Los Angeles
So nice it made our list twice, the Los Angeles hot spot located on Melrose Avenue is perfect for date night or any special occasion. The picturesque menu includes a high-end wine and cocktail list, and the restaurant can even be rented out for private dining.
Best New Restaurant
El Cocinero – Los Angeles
El Cocinero is coming up on its one-year anniversary since opening, and OG fans may recognize the new hot spot as a spinoff of vegan pop-up, Vegatinos. Launched by the same owner, the brick-and-mortar has developed a quick cult following for their massive burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and sides.
Best Food Truck
Word of Mouth – Los Angeles
The truck’s namesake has paid off here! The word has spread and Word of Mouth is the nation’s best food truck. Burgers and fries are some common favorites here, but the Munchwrap is an impressive take on a popular fast-food spot’s claim to fame.
Cena Vegan – Los Angeles
Already topping our list for best tacos, it’s hard to believe Cena Vegan operates as a pop-up—but it’s that good! While the tacos may be one of the stars, the showstoppers of the menu at events throughout the city are definitely the burritos and piled-high nacho boats.
Best Mac & Cheese
The Chicago Diner – Chicago
“Meat-free since ‘83,” the diner displays proudly, and with a fully vegan-friendly menu, The Chicago Diner wins for the best mac ‘n’ cheese in the nation. Loaded with Chicago’s own Teese vegan cheese alternative brand, the Mac & Teese is ooey gooey perfection.
Best Coffee Shop/Cafe
Timeless Coffee – San Francisco Bay Area
The coffee is great, but you know we’re here for the foodie options! An all-vegan coffee shop, bakery, and chocolatier, the choices are endless at Timeless Coffee’s two locations in the SF Bay Area. You can’t go wrong with their sweet and savory options, including cakes, croissants, calzones, and scones.
Pie, Pie My Darling – Chicago
Back for round two, Pie, Pie My Darling is killing it in the bakery game! Launched in 2014 by a vegan woman in search of better tasting baked goods, the spot is a name play of her favorite Misfits song. Like any punk fan, she took the task head-on, and has been serving Chicago’s best baked goods ever since.
Amitabul – Chicago
This small spot has a big following in Chicago and, based on your votes, elsewhere beyond the Midwest. All-organic and Korean, the restaurant’s selection includes multiple noodle soup options packed with flavor, veggies, and broth that will keep you coming back for more.
Beyond Sushi – NYC
The folks at Beyond Sushi are making vegan sushi easily accessible with five locations throughout the New York City area. Sushi highlights include the Mighty Mushroom made with black rice and delicious shiitake truffle sauce and the Spicy Mang which features fresh mango and toasted cayenne sauce for a subtle heat.
Best Breakfast Sandwich
Handlebar – Chicago
Chicago, we see you! So many amazing spots on this list and, last but certainly not least, Handlebar rounds out our winners’ list with their breakfast sandwich featuring a hashbrown patty, vegan egg, grilled onions, and sauce. It’s what breakfast dreams are made of!
Melissa has been vegan for three and a half years and is a self-proclaimed pizza and doughnut enthusiast. Has anyone tried combining the two yet? A public relations executive—when she’s not scouring New York City and beyond for the next great vegan food and beauty finds—she donates her time to HIT Living Foundation dog rescue and spoiling her cat, Waffles.
More from VegOut
19-Year-Old Entrepreneur Opens Gourmet Vegan Bakery in Washington, D.C.
Last March, Chanice McClover-Lee, a 19-year old Howard University student, launched Baked by Chanice, a gourmet vegan treat company that specializes in cookies and custom cakes. The young entrepreneur began selling baked goods at farmers markets in her hometown of South Florida, and after a successful launch, McClover-Lee is now relocating the business to a food hall and commercial kitchen in DC’s Brookland neighborhood. The new shop is set to open on May 22-23 at 1pm, and will operate on weekends for takeout only.
Soy Concha Bakery to Ship Vegan Pan Dulce Nationwide
Southern California’s first vegan panaderia, Soy Concha Bakery, is launching nationwide shipping. Formerly Vegan by Victoria’s, the business launched in 2018 at Orange County’s SoCal Vegfest and quickly took over a brick-and-mortar in a small Santa Ana strip mall. Since its founding, owner Earvin Lopez has expanded his offerings from Oreo-topped tres leches and crunchy puerquitos to colorful conchas, vegan gansitos (“vegansitos”), jalapeño-stuffed bolillos, and other classic panaderia goods.
Matthew Kenney Opens Two Vegan Restaurants in Baltimore
Celebrity chef and restaurateur Matthew Kenney is opening two vegan restaurants in Baltimore, MD on July 1. Under the Matthew Kenney Cuisine umbrella, Double Zero and Liora will be the first Matthew Kenney restaurants in Baltimore. The establishments will take root in two adjoining spaces within Baltimore’s downtown Inner Harbor.
Vegan Activist Haile Thomas Is Opening a Teahouse in Beacon, NY
Enjoy vegan and gluten-free sips and bites as you help support the community at this new teahouse!
The Top 11 Vegan-Friendly MLB Baseball Stadiums
While vegan-friendly options might have been limited to peanuts and Cracker Jack in years past, America’s baseball stadiums are upping their plant-based game—and we’re here for it! From Beyond Meat burgers to sriracha brats, you can be sure to stay fueled while you root for your favorite team. Here are the 11 most vegan-friendly baseball stadiums across the US!
Canada’s All-Vegan Grocery Store, PlantX, Is Coming to San Diego
PlantX is a one-stop vegan retailer that sells everything from oat milks and canned goods to all-natural soaps and air-purifying indoor plants. They carry thousands of products across 350+ brands—meaning if it's vegan, it can most likely be found in one of their stores. If not, then it’s probably being loaded on a delivery truck to be stocked on shelves later in the week. Leading up to 2021, this West Vancouver-based business was only located throughout Canada, but it will soon make its United States debut in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego.
This South Carolina Luxury Resort Is Hosting a Plant-Based Wellness Retreat in July
As spring blends into summer, and many of us are planning our first vacations in over a year, a luxury South Carolina resort will be hosting an inaugural wellness retreat weekend featuring big names in wellness, plant-based cooking, and health, including Deepak Chopra, Ryan Engelhart, and more.
Jaden Smith Is Opening a Vegan Restaurant Where Unhoused People Eat for Free
Entertainment artist Jaden Smith has re-launched his initiative to provide free, plant-based meals to the unhoused population of Los Angeles. What originally began in 2019 as the “I Love You” food truck that serviced the streets of Skid Row, the eat-for-free concept is evolving into a brick-and-mortar.
6 Vegan-Friendly Meal Delivery Services to Try This Year
Take the guesswork out of dinnertime with vegan-friendly meal delivery services. They provide fresh plant-based ingredients straight to your door, as well as instructions on how to prepare them, so you can have something fresh and new to eat every day. Here are the meal delivery companies we are loving!
The Best Vegan Dal Ever
This is my go-to dal. It’s creamy from the coconut milk, tangy from the lemon. It pulls sweetness from the tomatoes and sneaks in some surprise spinach (mostly because I wanted to add some greenery). It’s energizing and light, while remaining both grounding and comforting.
Subscribe NowOrder the magazine!