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New Vegan Restaurant Opens in Traverse City, Michigan

Zest Plant-Based Kitchen is bringing vegan options to Northern Michigan.

Zest Plant-Based Kitchen

Zest Plant-Based Kitchen is bringing vegan options to Northern Michigan.

Attention Northern Michigan vegans, there’s a new inclusive eatery in town. Zest Plant-Based Kitchen opened earlier this month on Front Street in Traverse City. This vegan foodie destination is owned and operated by local husband-and-wife duo Satya Pillay and Tarah Elhardan. The couple yearned to bring more cruelty-free options to the TC area for years before finally opening. In bringing their dreams to fruition, the team is striving to promote a healthier community through whole, nourishing foods that taste great!

Zest’s Plant-Based Menu Offerings

Traverse City vegans can expect to find a wide variety of tasty plant-based menu offerings. The Zest crew utilizes many local, organic ingredients on their seasonally inspired menu. At this time, diners can choose from creative toasts topped with avocado, nut butters, hummus, fruits, and/or vegetables. The menu houses smoothies made with fresh fruits, veggies, and a variety of plant-based add-ins—no fruit concentrates here. Choose from IG-worthy acai bowls piled high with fruity goodness and granola. Zest also serves substantial handhelds like the popular Bollywood Burrito and loaded oatmeal. Michiganders may also select fresh salads and Indian-inspired bowls, like chickpea curry, in tribute to Tarah’s heritage. Plant-based beverages like coffee drinks and local kombucha can also be found on the menu. Are you drooling yet? Run, don’t walk, to this new plant-based eatery in the heart of downtown TC. Zest has reported good success and high demand—the eatery even sold out on opening day.

Eating Vegan in Traverse City

The launch of Zest is big plant-based news for this small, but growing city—eating vegan in Traverse City just got a lot easier. The new brick-and-mortar restaurant can be found at 439 Front Street, just a three-minute walk from Rad.ish Street Food, another cruelty-free eatery featuring burgers, sushi, breakfast sandwiches, and more. Zest offers outdoor seating for soaking up the sun and watching the crowds shop the local tourist-driven businesses. At this time, the kitchen will remain open from 8am-4pm Tuesday through Saturday. As interest grows, the restaurant may branch into dinnertime service.

Anja Grommons

Anja Grommons


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.

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