For somewhere as cold as the Twin Cities, there is nothing more important than some serious Midwestern comfort food. Known for hearty classics, the food scene in both Minneapolis and St. Paul is a haven for the wintertime, full of countless restaurants that have taken plant-based cuisine to the next level. Chefs and restauranteurs are taking the Twin Cities food scene to new heights filling tourists and locals with everything from plant-based charcuterie to exciting vegan brunch spots.

While some people may not immediately think that the Minnesotan metropolis would be home to some of the country’s most exciting vegan foods, the Twin Cities is a hotspot for vegan cooking. Vegans, vegetarians, and flexitarians have and will fall in love with the exciting dishes that these establishments serve up. From vegan sausages to plant-based sloppy joes, people will be drooling over the menus of the top plant-based establishments across the Twin Cities.

But keep in mind: The Twin Cities vegan food scene is not exclusive to the wintertime by any means. On a hot summer day, you can visit a fully dairy-free ice cream parlor or grab a vegan ice cream sandwich to cool off. No matter when you find yourself exploring the Twin Cities, there’s plenty to eat. To help you navigate your summer food tour or to find comfort food refuge in the winter, here are The Beet’s top 11 vegan eateries around the Twin Cities.

1. The Herbivorous Butcher

Plant Yourself: Sibling-duo Kale and Aubry Walch have dedicated years to refining their deceivingly appetizing meatless meats. The two siblings opened the city's first 100 percent vegan butcher shops, a significant milestone for not only the Twin Cities but also the entire country. Since 2016, the family-operated vegan shop has been experimenting with making the perfect additions to create mouthwatering charcuterie boards.

Don’t Miss: To accompany the delicious vegan meats, The Herbivorous Butcher offers a selection of exciting dairy-free cheese to complement the innovative plant-based meats. From the Dill Havarti to the creamy a la carte Brie, the Walch siblings have developed cheese for any customer’s palette. Beyond alternatives for classic deli meats, the unique vegan spot also savory barbecue specials like Smoky House Ribs and Shredded Chicken.

Take Note: You might not have a trip to the Twin Cities planned any time soon, but year-round, The Herbivorous Butcher its vegan specialties directly to customers’ doorsteps nationwide. Check the Minneapolis eatery’s website to purchase some of the iconic products and see the extraordinary vegan creations from the Walch family.

Address: 507 1st Ave NE

2. Coconut Whisk Cafe & Bubble Tea Shop

Don’t Miss: Founded by Bella Lam and Myles Olsen in 2021, Coconut Whisk has grown into a monumental vegan business in the heart of Minneapolis, serving some of the best vegan desserts across the entire Twin Cities. From sweet treats to dairy-free bubble teas, the vegan cafe is a haven for resident sweet-tooths. The cafe features signature Mini Pancakes or the iconic Waffle Sticks, dressed in a variety of ways including the Cloudberry complete with strawberry jam and the vegan mylk cloud.

Take Note: Coconut Whisk Cafe is the flagship brick-and-mortar location for Lam and Olsen’s larger vegan empire. Coconut Whisk launched in 2018 to bring sustainable alternatives to the baking world. From waffle to cookie mix, the plant-based is giving vegan consumers the chance to bake with ease in their very own kitchens.

Address: 901 Nicollet Mall, Minn

3. Seed Cafe

Take Note: For nearly 12 years, Ryann and Phil Doucette have hosted yoga classes and promoted healthy living in Minneapolis. Despite a divorce, the two yogis knew that they wanted to open a plant-based restaurant as an offshoot to their Modo Yoga building. The restaurant is a straightforward and inventive space that builds on the values that both of the founders hold. More important than anything, the two hope to facilitate a health-based community.

Plant Yourself: Seed Cafe is serving the Twin Cities exciting plant-based foods including the staple vegan breakfast sandwich to the classic B.L.T. made with tempeh bacon. The plant-based menu is relatively small but packed with extremely flavorful options that prioritize health-centric recipes. The restaurant advertises that nothing on the menu is fried and all the ingredients are ethical- and healthily sourced. The goal is to bring people together and make them stay with simply delicious vegan eats.

Address: 3252-B W Lake St.

4. Vegan East

Plant Yourself: Vegan East’s legacy is all about the cake. Sheila Xiong opened up Vegan East in 2016, unveiling to the Twin Cities just how mouthwatering vegan baked goods can be. Beyond her 30+ variations of delicious plant-based cake, Xiong’s bakery offers everything from cookies, bars, rolls, cheesecakes, and cupcakes. No matter where you are in town, there is a Vegan East nearby, and it is likely that you will need to walk out with arms full of baked goods.

Don’t Miss: Although Vegan East is primarily known for its baked goods, the plant-based eatery also features a savory menu filled with delicious dishes. The daily menu often changes, but some classic options include a vegan Sloppy Joe, a Spicy Mustard Club, and a rotating cast of delectable soups. Make sure that when you visit Vegan East, you show up with an empty stomach so you can have a taste of everything there is to eat.

Address: 2409 Lyndale Ave. S, 1226 NE 2nd St.

5. Trio Plant-Based

Don’t Miss: Trio Plant-Based is pumping the soul directly into its innovative takes on homey classics. Chef Louis Hunter launched a vegan soul food establishment in 2018 with Dan and Sarah Woodcock. The brick-and-mortar restaurant started as a series of pop-ups that showcased the beauty and potential of soul food classics ranging from macaroni and cheese to BBQ jack fruit. Hunter and the Woodcocks aim to help bring nutritionally-conscious, plant-based foods to black communities all over the Twin Cities.

Order for a Crowd: Soul food and barbecue is a cuisine meant to be shared, so Trio Plant-Based makes sure there is a dish for any hungry customer. When visiting Trio Plant-Based or ordering for a gathering of friends and family, check out the BBQ Jackfruit Fries, the Soul Food Platters, and the extremely appetizing side including Southern Slaw, Yams, and BBQ Ribs.

Plant Yourself: Trio Plant-Based can guarantee that its customers will leave on a full stomach. The delicious menu is accompanied by a selection of classic Southern Desserts. Whether it's the Vanilla Cake with Strawberry Sauce or Lillian’s Sweet Potato Pie, one of the establishment’s sweets will catch your eye before you can leave your table.

Address: 610 W Lake St.

6. Reverie Cafe and Bar

Plant Yourself: This exciting vegan eatery and bar offers just about anything people need for a night out. From creative cocktails to exciting vegan dishes, Reverie Cafe + Bar is the product of perseverance. The original location opened in 2015, but when the lease wasn’t renewed, the owners Jeffrey Therkelsen and Kirstin Wiegmann decided to look for other options. For years, the co-founders ran a food truck that sustained the business until they managed to reopen in the heart of Minneapolis in 2020.

Take Note: The vibrant vegan restaurant features an extensive menu that ranges from lunch to dinner. So depending on what time or what type of day it is, pop into Reverie for a cocktail or a coffee. While the fully vegan bar and cafe is enticing enough, the kitchen is preparing some of the best meals you could ask for. Some kitchen specialties include the Cuban Sandwich, Cauliflower Bulgogi, Mac + Cheese, and Lemongrass Tofu Tacos.

Don’t Miss: Beyond the fascinating dinner menu, the local vegan hotspot also hosts a drool-worthy brunch. Every Saturday and Sunday the kitchen prepares vegan variations of the brunch staples such as a vegan Benedict made with Just Egg Scramble and Polenta Rancheros. Someone would be hard-pressed to get tired of this menu.

Address: 1517 East 35th

7. Hard Times Cafe

Don’t Miss: Hard Times Cafe is a little bit of preserved Minneapolis history. Founded in 1992, this vegan and vegetarian cafe kicked off the vast plant-based food scene in the Twin Cities. Known for its delicious, cheap vegan food and punk-rock aesthetic, Hard Times Cafe is the cornerstone of the city’s plant-based food scene defined by creative breakfast staples like its Helter Skelter hashbrowns and vegan Racheors or its signature sandwiches including the Tempeh Reuben or Korean BBQ Bun.

Plant Yourself: While most feel drawn by the old-school punk environment, visitors return for the full-scale and creative menu. The Hard Times menu features a healthy blend of some classic vegetarian dishes with new and exciting plant-based foods and desserts including an extensive bakery selection of doughnuts, cookies, and more.

Take Note: Although this timeless eatery used to be a late-night destination, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the owners to close the doors for in-store dining. But the full menu is still available for take-out orders for most of the day, feeding the entire Twin Cities for three decades.

Address: 1821 Riverside Ave

8. Herbie Butcher’s Fried Chicken

Plant Yourself: After falling in love with The Herbivorous Butcher, the next logical step is to check out the off-shoot location: Herbie Burcher’s Fried Chicken. From the geniuses who created the charcuterie-worthy vegan meats and cheese comes a bucket of mouthwatering fried chicken – made entirely from plants. The vegan fried chicken establishment puts big names like KFC and Popeye’s to shame, providing the Twin Cities with buckets full of vegan goodness.

Order for a Crowd: The hefty bucket of vegan fried chicken is share-worthy by itself, but just to add to its greatness, the plant-based eatery offers a wide variety of house-made sides including Bacon Creamed Corn, Mashed Potatoes, Tater Tots, and Biscuits with Maple Butter. This is a centerpiece to Twin Cities comfort food, regardless of dietary preference.

Don’t Miss: It is likely that you will get distracted by the Fried Chicken buckets or the savory sides, but make sure to leave room for dessert. Herbie Butcher’s features a massive milkshake menu with classic staples such as chocolate, peanut butter, and strawberry. But do not overlook the experimental specialty shakes that include Chicken & Bacon, Cinna Swirl, Gold Confetti Cake, and more.

Address: 735 E 48th St.

9. Hark! Cafe

Don’t Miss: Among the amazing plant-based food scene, Hark! Cafe is a newcomer that’s made quite the impression. Founded by Lisa Neumann and Katherine Pardue, Hark! Cafe broke into the Twin Cities plant-based community with bagels, sweets, and sandwiches to entice the entire metropolis. The 100 percent vegan bakery and eatery offer an extensive list of bagel sandwiches and dairy-free cream cheeses including (but not limited to) sundried tomato & roasted garlic and cranberry.

Take Note: Although Hark! Cafe might be better known for its morning and early afternoon snacks, the plant-based establishment provides a delicious cocktail menu accompanied by evening snacks. The evening bites include something as simple as olives and chips to drool-worthy flatbreads made with seasonal ingredients and house-made toppings. Regardless of the time of day, Hark! Cafe is an amazing choice.

Address: 430 N 1st Ave Ste 150

10. J. Selby’s

Take Note: J. Selby’s exclusively refers to its food as plant-based rather than vegan, because the founders’ main goal is to promote inclusivity for healthy eating. The Twin Cities restaurant hopes to create a dining experience that appeals to everyone and its plant-based menu presents a delectable American classic without any meat or animal ingredients. From burgers to wings, J. Selby’s gives the customer the full American dining experience with sustainability and nutrition as the priority.

Plant Yourself: The plant-based eatery is more than just meatless variations of traditional meals. Its menu is proof that people can eat tasty food free from unsustainable ingredients. Try the Crispy Chickin’ Sandwich or the Crunchwrap, and it’s a guarantee that you will be back for more. Beyond its appetizers and creative handhelds dishes, J. Selby’s features several salads and bowls including the Tamarind Noodle Stir Fry and its iconic chili. Grab a beer and enjoy a comfortable American dining experience without worrying about diet. You’ll just be focusing on the food.

Address: 169 Victoria St.

11. Infusedlife Plant-Based Emporium

Plant Yourself:  Chef Tabota Seyon opened the plant-based Emporium when she felt disappointed by the lack of exciting flavors in current vegan options. She wanted healthy food without compromising the flavors that people hold dear. She set up shop in the Midtown Global Market in February 2020 and despite troubles emerging from the pandemic, managed to establish her food as one of the best vegan options in the Twin Cities. Now, the vegan establishment has a full-scale brick-and-mortar location where health-conscious consumers can call home.

Don't Miss: Influsedlife Plant-Based Emporium's menu is a tour of all that vegan food can offer. From Street Food to Chef Specials, Seyon's dishes ensure that any customer won't feel like they are missing something. The specials change weekly, but some signature menu items include the Fiesta Grain Bowl will roast corn, zucchini, avocado, cabbage, black beans, fajita peppers & onions, and all topped with cashew crema.

Take Note: The Emporium is more than just a plant-based eatery. When you visit the vegan establishment, you will leave with more than just a full stomach. The eatery also acts as a plant-based grocery, providing customers with an expansive selection of plant-based products for every facet of life, fit to any customer's palette. Be ready to walk out with a meal and experience that exceeds expectations.

Address: 3800 S 28th Ave.

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