My hometown has some amazing vegan food! Go Cincinnati! Yumm. Just look at the size of those tomato slices.
Growing up in the Cincinnati, Ohio area, I never thought of the city as being vegan-friendly. I didn’t think much about vegan food at all. This is probably because I grew up eating the standard American fare, believing, as many do, that meat and dairy are necessary. Still, from a young age, I always knew I wasn’t meant to eat meat. I was only 10 years old when I declared I never wanted to eat a hamburger again, then swore off all meat at age 13. As I grew older and became more educated about vegan nutrition and food, I started to realize there are many places in Cincinnati that have meals without meat and dairy.
Here are some restaurants in the Cincinnati area that cater to vegan eaters.
Melt Eclectic Cafe
I fell in love with Melt several years ago. You can substitute Vegan Smokey Cheddar or Rinotta (a tofu/cashew/garlic vegan spread) in place of regular cheese for no additional charge. They make both in-house! You can also substitute the meat on any sandwich for tofu, tempeh or seitan. On Sundays, Melt serves brunch, and they offer a delicious vegan biscuits and gravy meal.
Park + Vine
I’m a huge fan of the all-vegan lunch counter at Park + Vine. Everything on the menu is vegan, and they have a changing veggie burger of the week. They also have a grocery section to stock up on vegan snacks, desserts, and convenience foods. It’s awesome!
Loving Hut Cafe
I’ve actually never been to Loving Hut Cafe because it’s a bit north of the downtown area where my mother lives, which is where I stay when I’m in town. But it’s on my bucket list and totally deserves a place on this list because EVERYTHING ON THE MENU IS VEGAN. I REPEAT: EVERYTHING.
Most Cincinnati natives know and love LaRosa’s. The restaurant offers vegan pizza through the option to create your own. There are no vegan cheese substitutes here, but that’s OK. I don’t like them much anyway. I order a pizza without cheese on traditional crust with banana peppers, spinach and tomatoes. When ordering take-out, I’ll marinade my own tempeh cubes in olive oil, garlic and oregeno, then bake for 20 minutes and throw them overtop my veggie pie for a boost of protein.
If you are an eco-conscious person, you will love Aquarius Star. I like the ambiance, the locally-roasted and fair trade coffee, and their overall mission as an eco-cafe. It’s a nice place to grab a snack or meal and relax. They have a Vegan Cuban Black Bean Chili and fresh, organic salads.
My family likes P.F. Changs for their meat dishes. The restaurant has only one vegan option on the menu, but I’ll take it. It’s the Buddha’s Feast, steamed, which consists of veggies and tofu. You can even ask for brown rice instead of white if you’re health-conscious.
More Places to Check Out in Cincinnati
These restaurants are on my to-do list because they offer vegan options. If you’ve been to any of these, let me know in the comments how the food is and what dish I should try!
– Bakersfield OTR
– Arnold’s Bar and Grill
– Pho Lang Tang
– Green Papaya
– Aladdin’s Eatery
– Mellow Mushroom
More Recommendations From Readers
Thank you to those who commented on this post and added your suggestions. My to do list just got a whole lot bigger!
“Tacocracy in Northside has 3 vegan taco options as well as a nacho option. You can sub any cheese for avocado and the guacamole is fresh and awesome.” – Allee Thompson
“Green Dog has a few really good dishes that are vegan or can be made vegan easily!” – Jo Griffith Yoga
“I prefer the vegan taco options at La Mexicana in Newport to Bakersfield. And for Indian food, Amma’s kitchen is amazing–all vegetarian with a million vegan options (anything with dairy is labeled with a D on the menu). Their New Year’s Day buffet is amazing. Also, Wednesday is the all vegan buffet day (though they have plenty of vegan buffet options every other day of the week, too). For baked goods, check out Happy Chicks in Northside. Their cinnamon rolls and turnovers are mind blowing! The ladies that run the place are suuuuuuper nice, too!” — Colleen O’ Connell
“Yard House on the Banks. They have a whole section of meals made using Gardein, my favorite is the Orange chick’n with jasmine rice. It’s one of those dishes where you worried if they gave you the right dish because it tastes just like the real thing.” – Dana Grothaus
“Kitchen 452 on Woodburn Avenue in East Walnut Hills is AMAZING!!!!” – Elizabeth Marsh Singh
Are there any Cincinnati restaurants you like that have vegan options? Let me know in the comments. Happy eating 🙂
Cincinnati image at top of post: Tom Collins/ Flickr