Best Vegan Restaurants in Cincinnati

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Whole Bowl in Cincinnati

Best Vegan Restaurants in Cincinnati

Looking for the best vegan restaurants in Cincinnati? Look no further!

In a city of seemingly endless beer cheese and bratwurst, eating a plant based diet in Cincinnati, Ohio can be intimidating to say the least. Of course, like most cities, vegans can always find some version of Tikka Masala, Ramen, Sushi or Falafel within the walls of the Queen City. Even the beloved Skyline Chili has a few vegan options if you’re down to get creative.

However, if you are a plant based eater experiencing a touch of french fry fatigue– get excited. A variety of restaurants specializing in exclusively vegan and vegetarian cuisine have been popping up in this Midwest mecca. Cincinnatians- say goodbye to salads without cheese and get ready for the best burgers of your life, because these are the best vegan restaurants in Cincinnati- fries optional.

Essen Kitchen

Best Vegan Restaurants in Cincinnati

PC: Essen Kitchen

  • Best for: Gorgeous, curated takeout
  • Neighborhood: Downtown
  • Price Range: Moderate

This brand new pop-up, pick-up restaurant downtown is not your average salad joint. Essen Kitchen’s mission is to create plant based compositions that are accessible to everyone– and ‘compositions’ is the word for it.

Essen prioritizes fresh, local ingredients, presentation, and balanced texture profiles in their menu items– basically meaning, Essen’s food is beautiful in every sense. Choose from a pre-assembled lunch “box” or make your own from Essen’s plethora of plant based sides.

The quinoa salad and chocolate gluten free brownie with walnuts are both good choices (but we know which one is better…). Feeling lazy? Head online to place your order and they’ll deliver straight to your door!

Happy Chicks Bakery

Best Vegan Cupcakes in Cincinnati

PC: Happy Chicks Bakery

  • Best for: custom cakes and cute cookies
  • Neighborhood: NorthSide
  • Price Range: Affordable

This local, independent bakery is an under-the-radar plant based paradise. Every ingredient at Happy Chicks Bakery is vegan, dye free, organic and locally sourced. Their bright white storefront is filled with foliage, throw pillows, string lights and tended by friendly staff.

Treat yourself to a Chocolate Rose or Ginger Chai cupcake– if you’re feeling a little more savory, try the croissant grilled cheese with kale pesto and sundried tomatoes.

With the holidays coming up, Happy Chicks is also the perfect place to pick up plant based pies, custom cakes, or other, subtle and delicious dishes to share with friends and family. Although they seem like a standard bakery at first glance, Happy Chicks Bakery is home to some of the best vegan baked goods Cincinnati has to offer.

Rooted Juicery

Vegan Juice Bar Cincinnati

PC: Rooted Jucicery

  • Best for: energizing juices and breakfast bites
  • Neighborhood: Downtown, Oakly, Mariemont
  • Price Range: Moderate

With three locations in the Cincinnati area, Rooted Juicery is a lunch go-to. Rooted is all about food in its most natural state- which explains why their entire menu is vegan.

Every item is organic and completely free of pesticides, chemicals or artificial preservatives. Kind of amazing, considering Rooted’s raw, vegan, gluten free desserts are infamously delicious around the city.

Favorites include the coconut bliss bar, chocolate mousse pie, lemon cheesecake and homemade peppermint patties. Don’t feel like skipping straight to dessert? Rooted’s Almond Thai bowl and Guac Taco wrap are also to die for.

Whole Bowl

Whole Bowl in Cincinnati

  • Best for: Chipotle but better
  • Neighborhood: Clifton
  • Price Range: Affordable

This (literal) whole in the wall on Ludlow is easy to miss amidst all the boutiques, bars, and general hustle and bustle of Clifton. Once you find it, however, Whole Bowl won’t disappoint.

Their generously portioned grain and salad bowls total about six dollars each- keeping you full for hours with seemingly endless toppings. Every bowl is nut, gluten, wheat, hydrogenated oil (and guilt) free. To guarantee it’s vegan, just ask. Choose between brown rice, black and red beans, avocado, cilantro, black olives, salsa and Tali Sauce– or don’t!– and eat this counter-served masterpiece on a nearby picnic table or park.

Melt Revival

Melt Revival Cincinnati Vegan Pad Thai Wrap

PC: Melt Revival

  • Best for: A hearty lunch out
  • Neighborhood: Northside
  • Price Range: Moderate

Melt Revival, previously known as Melt, is a long loved staple of Cincinnati’s culinary scene that recently underwent a plant based transformation.

The menu, previously traditional (yet delicious) soups and salads, is now a much more global experience. The real difference> Melt Revival is now a primarily whole-food based eatery with a vegan / vegetarian slant offering lunch, dinner, cocktails– and you guessed it– brunch.

Try the Vegan Biscuits and Gravy, Sweet Potato Hash Browns, Black Bean Chili, or (wild card) Pad Thai Wrap. If that’s not enough to convince you, then trust the foodies at Buzzfeed and their recent (raving) review of Melt Revival.

Kitchen Factory

Kitchen Factory Vegan Pizza in Cincinnati

PC: Kitchen Factory

  • Best for: creative sandwiches and late night pizza
  • Neighborhood: Northside
  • Price Range: Affordable

The adorable neighborhood spot, Kitchen Factory, specializes in handcrafted pizza and is famous for its wide variety of plant based alternatives. They offer a range of house made sauces, dressings, sandwiches, pizza dough, soups and salads- pretty much all of which can be made vegan.

Grab a creative slice of pizza- Dig the Fig is my personal fave- or opt for an artisan sandwich- the BBQ Tempeh Cowboy or Vegan Meatball will not disappoint- and plop down in one of their intimate tables for two by the window.

The best part about Kitchen Factory? With a late night window open until 3am on weekends, you’ll never miss out on post-party pizza again.

Tickle Pickle

vegan burgers at Tickle Pickle in Cincinnati

PC: Tickle Pickle

  • Best for: the most amazing milkshakes ever
  • Neighborhood: Northside
  • Price Range: Moderate

Come for the milkshake…. stay for the quirk- if that’s not the official of Tickle Pickle it should be.

This cozy joint, known it’s burgers named after rock and roll icons– Buns and Roses is a favorite- serves up more than your standard diner fare.

Don’t be fooled by the wooden stools and low-key interior- every burger on Tickle Pickle’s menu can be made plant-based- so go ahead, get the Metallica! Pair your sam with the sweet potato hash and top it all of an Oreo Speedwagon, Dark Side of the Moon Milkshake or James Browie Sunday. We all know that’s why you came anyways.

Although these gems are undeniably the best vegan restaurants in Cincinnati, they are (finally!) not alone in offering plant-based options. For other amazing eats check out The Loving Hut (always a favorite), Undwine Wine Bar for a lighter bite, curated wine list and a romantic atmosphere, Pho Lang Thang for out-of-this-world Vietnamese and Maplewood Kitchen and bar for a slightly bougie brunch experience.

These local, plant-based spots treasures are just the beginning for Cincinnati. The next step? Get ready for some vegan beer cheese and bratwurst.

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