Opening a vegan restaurant is for chefs who either have a conscience or like a challenge—often both. Cooking without meat, dairy or other animal products (even honey in some cases) requires an entirely new kind of culinary creativity, which has brought a new breed of fearless yet elegant meatless eateries to the fore.
Take Philadelphia’s Vedge, led by star chef Richard Landau and perhaps the finest vegan restaurant in the country at the moment, which serves dishes like eggplant braciole (smoked eggplant, cured olive puree and a Sicilian salsa verde). Crossroads in Los Angeles and its chef Tal Ronnen focus on flavorful Mediterranean small plates. And the refined Karyn’s on Green in Chicago elevates clean eating in exciting ways.
Whether you’re a longtime vegan or just experimenting, here are ten restaurants to try.