Consumer consciousness has expanded significantly in the past two decades. We no longer desire to just enjoy our meal. We want to know the meal, and all the ingredients used to make it, are as fresh, healthy and ethically sourced as possible. This shift in the way Americans approach food has led to a rise in vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Kansas City.
There are local spots all over the metro area where you can find a tasty and fresh meal. These restaurants aren’t all the same, either. There’s a vegan bakery in Kansas City, vegan pizza, vegan breakfast and even vegan barbecue in Kansas City.
Where can you go to find the kind of vegetarian and vegan food you are looking for? This guide will point you in the right direction.
Vegetarian vs. Vegan Restaurants in Kansas City: What’s the Difference?
A quick explainer before we get to the vegetarian restaurants in Kansas City: What’s the difference between vegetarian and vegan?
A vegetarian restaurant in Kansas City will serve all kinds of food that don’t use meat. This includes salads, soups, baked goods, dairy products and more.
On the other hand, Kansas City vegan restaurants will offer meals that abstain from using any animal products, which includes something like cheese or other dairy products that come from animals. It is a subtle but important distinction. Vegetarian restaurants in Kansas City don’t serve anything that is made by the death of an animal; vegan restaurants don’t serve anything that comes from an animal at all.
Vegan Restaurants in Kansas City
Let’s start with vegan restaurants in Kansas City, Mo. As Kansas City’s food scene has grown, more and more restaurants have popped up that are either entirely vegan or have dedicated portions of the menu to vegan meals.
Café Gratitude is arguably the premiere vegan restaurant in Kansas City. Their commitment to the ethical preparation and sourcing of food, as well as a determined effort to use sustainable business practices, sets Café Gratitude apart. You can find this shop in the heart of the Crossroads on Southwest Boulevard.
Another vegan-friendly restaurant in Kansas City is Succotash. This quirky restaurant on the corner of Holmes and 26th Street serves hearty brunch with several vegan offerings. If you’re hungry for vegan BBQ in Kansas City, head to Char Bar in Westport and try the jackfruit barbecue sandwich. It’s packed with flavor and vegan-friendly. Or, if you are looking for a good vegan breakfast in Kansas City, try out the vegan breakfast burrito at City Market Coffee House.
Vegetarian Restaurants in Kansas City
There are more options when it comes to vegetarian restaurants in Kansas City. Almost every restaurant has at least a few vegetarian options on the menu, and some dedicate the whole menu to this. Here are several of Kansas City’s vegetarian restaurants that you can try:
- canihaveabite: A vegetarian carry-out spot near Brookside. The food is light, healthy and fast.
- The Mixx: You can find sandwiches, wraps, salads, pastas and more at The Mixx. The original location is just south of Kansas City in Overland Park, and a second location is now open in the Power & Light District.
- Pirate’s Bone: A local vegetarian restaurant in Kansas City, the Pirate’s Bone is proud to be the only minority-owned/immigrant-owned plant-based food kitchen in Kansas City. The menu changes with the seasons, but you can also find a delicious dish and tasty drink.
- Enjoy Pure Food + Drink: Mission Farms is a budding neighborhood in south Kansas City, and that’s where you can find Enjoy. They offer “clean, responsibly grown and lovingly-made food.”
Along with the Kansas City vegetarian spots that have menus entirely focused on plant-based meals, there are so many other restaurants who offer vegetarian-friendly dishes.
- Greens and eggs at Happy Gillis
- A salad at Farmhouse
- Betty Rae’s Ice Cream
- Ling’s eggplant at Bo Lings
- The margherita pizza at Il Lazzerone
Dishes to Try at Vegetarian or Vegan Restaurants in KC
Salads, sandwiches and wraps can be excellent options at a vegan or vegetarian restaurant in Kansas City. But, you may be looking to branch out and try something a little different. If so, here are few options you will find on menus around town:
- A “Buffalo” Sandwich: Cauliflower is the standard substitute for chicken in vegetarian meals. A buffalo cauliflower sandwich may fool you for the real thing.
- Mushroom Burger: While cauliflower is used in place of chicken, mushrooms can be used in place of beef. That may sound surprising, but give it a try. It probably comes closer to the original than you’d think, and it’s just as juicy and flavorful.
- Beet Burger: One of the easiest ways to get your veggies is to enjoy a grilled beet patty topped with avocado spread and greens. Check out this vegetarian classic at Pirate’s Bone Burgers.
Vegan and vegetarian meals are an opportunity to enjoy fresh, ethical and delicious food. With all of these options around Kansas City, we’re sure you’ll find the right spot.